Everyone loves a cinnamon swirl, but how often have you had one made with shortcrust pastry? This recipe for cinnamon swirls draws on homemade wholemeal spelt shortcrust, which produces the most delicious melt-in-the-mouth bites of delight. And check out the scrumptious caramelised layer that forms on the bottom. Two for the price of one.
If you’ve not made cinnamon swirls from pastry scraps (pie crust) before, you’re missing a treat. This is how I started making these gorgeous and very moreish pastries. They’ve evolved now into their own dedicated recipe, but I’ll still sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon over any leftover bits of pastry and create a little extra portion of yum.
What Are Cinnamon Swirls?
You might know cinnamon swirls by one of their other names: cinnamon scrolls, cinnamon rolls and cinnamon pastries. Call them what you will, they’re spirals of pastry with a dark cinnamon and sugar filling. Sometimes the filling contains butter, but as the pastry is usually butter laden, this isn’t really necessary. They’re often, though not always, finished off with a drizzle of icing.
Most recipes call for bought puff pastry. These make a quick and delicious swirl. They’re more crunchy than melt-in-the-mouth. But just try making them with a beautiful homemade flaky shortcrust pastry and you’re on to a real winner. Even better when it’s a nutty wholemeal pastry.
Cinnamon swirls are not to be confused with cinnamon buns, however, which are made with yeasted dough rather than pastry. They too are super delicious, but they take a bit more time and effort to make than these pastry versions.
How To Make Cinnamon Swirls With Shortcrust Pastry
Are these cinnamon swirls a biscuit (cookie) or are they a pastry? My cinnamon swirls are more of a pastry than a biscuit. They’re small in size, admittedly, but the flaky melt-in-the-mouth texture is all pastry. They’re also not overly sweet and they’re not hard either.
There’s an extra treat with these cinnamon scrolls though. Some of the cinnamon sugar seeps through and forms the most delicious caramelised layer on the bottom.
Cinnamon Swirls Step by Step
Full instructions and ingredients are in the recipe card near the bottom of the post.
1. Make the pastry dough
Rub the butter into the flour and other dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Small lumps of butter are actively encouraged as they help trap the air which gives this pastry a certain flaky quality. But do make sure all of the flour is coated.
Add the yoghurt and stir with a flat bladed knife until everything starts to clump together. Form a ball of dough with your hands. Cover with a cloth and leave in a cool place to rest for ten minutes.
2. Roll out the dough
Roll the dough into a rectangle about 0.6 cm (¼ inch) thick. The long side should measure roughly 30 centimetres (12 inches).
3. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together for the filling, then sprinkle this evenly over the surface of the dough.
4. Roll up the dough
Roll the dough up as tightly as you can along the long side to form a log. Or if you prefer, fewer but larger swirls, roll up along the short side.
5. Slice the log
With a sharp knife, cut the log into 24 even slices.
6. Place on baking sheets
Space the slices well apart on two non-stick baking sheets or line some ordinary baking sheets with baking paper.
You can brush the swirls with beaten egg before you bake them. This gives a lovely shiny bronzed top, but a slightly different texture too. If you’re going to drizzle them with icing, brushing with egg or even milk isn’t really necessary.
7. Bake the pastries
Bake for twenty minutes in the centre of the oven. They should be nicely golden, but not too brown. If they don’t look ready, place them back in the oven for a further five minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
8. Ice the pastries
Mix the icing sugar, if using, with enough water to make a slightly runny icing. Drizzle over the swirls and leave to set.
Cinnamon Swirls Top Tips
For larger cinnamon swirls, roll the pastry up widthways, rather than lengthways. You won’t get as many pastries, but they will be substantially bigger. Bake them for an additional five minutes.
If you prefer not to ice the swirls, brush them with milk or beaten egg before you bake them. Egg will give a lovely shiny bronzed top, although the texture will be slightly different.
These swirls are at their most delicious when eaten warm soon after baking. However, they will keep happily in an airtight container for three to four days.
Other Recipes Featuring Cinnamon You Might Like
- Choc chip cinnamon friands
- Chocolate cinnamon buns
- Cinnamon coconut chocolate crunch
- Honey & cinnamon Christmas stars
- Prune porridge topped with toasted walnuts & cinnamon
- Spelt snickerdoodles
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these cinnamon scrolls, with or without the wholemeal spelt pastry, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more pastry recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious and nutritious, of course.
Cinnamon Swirls. PIN IT.
Cinnamon Swirls – The Recipe
- 250 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 pinch sea or rock salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 150 g unsalted butter – fridge cold and cubed
- 3-4 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 75 g light muscovado sugar
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 30 g icing sugar
- Place the flour, salt, cinnamon, sugar and butter cubes into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Small lumps of butter are actively encouraged, but do make sure all of the flour is coated.
- Add three tablespoons of yoghurt and stir with a flat bladed knife. The dough should start clumping and coming together. If it looks too dry, add a further tablespoon of yoghurt.
- Bring the dough together with your hands, form it into a square and place it back in the bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave in a cool place, or the fridge for ten minutes or so to firm up a little.
- Lightly dust a rolling surface with flour, then roll the dough into a rectangle about 0.6 cm (¼ inch) thick. The long side should measure roughly 30 centimetres (12 inches).
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the filling, then sprinkle this evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Roll the dough up as tightly as you can along the long side. Or if you prefer, fewer but larger swirls, roll up along the short side.
- Dampen the edge with a little water and seal.
- With a sharp knife, cut the resulting log into 24 even slices.
- Space the slices well apart on two non-stick baking sheets or line some ordinary baking sheets with baking paper.
- Leave in a cool place or the fridge, whilst you heat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan, 350℉, Gas 4.
- Bake for twenty to twenty five minutes, depending on whether you’ve gone for smaller or larger swirls. They should be nicely golden, but not too brown. If they don’t look ready, place them back in the oven for a further five minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar (if using) with enough water to make a slightly runny icing. Drizzle over the swirls and leave to set. Alternatively eat straight away, whilst still warm.