SMiLes by Meg

Cinnamon Pinwheels

I’m officially on summer vacation! With a month before I start my last year of school ever, I’m definitely trying to pack a lot in. In a couple of hours, my mom and I will leave for our annual Nantucket trip. Then, two days after we get back, I’ll head out to Montana and Wyoming for a couple weeks of hiking and generally not being in an office.

With all of this traveling, baking will be a bit more challenging, but don’t worry – I’m committed.

For example, these cinnamon pinwheels began at 5am this morning. I’m not sure I have ever started baking that early in the morning before. My mom was going through her recipe box yesterday and found this one. It’s from my Home Ec (the teacher preferred that we called it “Family and Consumer Science”) class in middle school, which meant it had to be written in a way to allow us to bake it in one class period. In other words, these are the fastest cinnamon rolls you’ll make from scratch.

First, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until mixture is moist sand texture. My mom didn’t have a pastry blender (likely because I stole it and brought it to my apartment), so I used a Cutco whisk, which was surprisingly effective.

Next, create a well in the middle of the mixture and add the milk a little at a time, pulling the mixture in with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. Roll dough out into a roughly 9×12 rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Again, the pastry brush seemed to have gone missing, so I made due pouring the butter on and spreading it around with a rubber spatula. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. Spread evenly over the melted butter. Roll up dough the long way and cut into 12 even slices. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. And that’s it! You’ve got cinnamon rolls! You could probably put these into a smaller baking dish and smush them together if you wanted that Cinnabon consistency. These come out a bit crispy, though, which I like.


Cinnamon Pinwheels


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture is texture of wet sand.
  3. Create a well in the middle of mixture and add milk, a little at a time, mixing slowly.
  4. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead 10 times.
  5. Roll dough into 9×12 inch rectangle. Spread with melted butter.
  6. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over melted butter.
  7. Roll dough lengthwise and cut into 12 equal slices.
  8. Place slices on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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