Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon Rolls | These old fashioned cinnamon rolls are more commonly called pie dough cinnamon rolls.

Grandma’s Gooey Cinnamon Rolls |  These old fashioned cinnamon rolls are just like my grandma used to make.  They often refer to these rolls as pie crust or pie dough rolls.  Back in the depression moms and grandmas would make cinnamon rolls from the pie dough scraps.  All the kids would wait by the oven in anticipation of devouring them!  They bring back sweet memories of Christmas with my grandma.  If you were lucky you would be the first to know and get more than one!

Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon Rolls | These old fashioned cinnamon rolls are more commonly called pie dough cinnamon rolls.

During the holidays my grandma Reed always made these gooey cinnamon rolls.  You could say they were a Christmas Tradition and always requested.  In fact we would have family friends call ahead and reserve a roll for them before we ran out!  I love that there is NO rising involved.  YEP, that’s right NO YEAST!  Just buttery goodness!  Unlike the typical cinnamon roll that is sliced before baking these rolls are sliced after they bake.  It’s because of that little difference that these rolls stay doughy on the inside and flaky on the outside.  Just like they should be!

These old fashioned rolls essentially fry in butter!  So…..leave your calorie counting app alone for this one!  Watch full “how to” video below.

Separate dough into 4; roll into rectangles and add the butter, sugar and cinnamon.  Add ALL four to the pan and bake.

Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon RollsBake!

Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon RollsAs soon as you can handle the rolls, take them out of the pan onto a cutting board to cool.

Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon RollsCut each roll into 4 large pieces or 8 small.

Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Grandma's Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Serves 4 large rolls or 8 small rolls (per roll)     adjust servings


  • 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 1/4 cups cold water to 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.
  3. Cut in the shortening until pieces are no larger than pea size.
  4. Stir in water; dump dough onto a floured surface and separate into 4 equal parts.
  5. Roll each part, one at a time into a 13x12-inch rectangle.
  6. Slather 1 stick of softened butter on top of the rectangle; sprinkle 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar on top of butter then 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  7. Roll so that the roll is 13-inches long. Close the ends by pinching the dough together.
  8. Place in a 9x13-inch cake pan seam down; repeat for the next 3 rolls.
  9. Bake 47 to 50 minutes or until light and crispy.

NOTE: Don't be worried when baking, if it looks like all the butter has come out, it hasn't. The rolls essentially fry in butter.

  1. When finished baking carefully take out of pan to cool on a large cutting board or foil on the counter.
  2. When cool slice; cut each roll into 4 for large cinnamon rolls and 8 for small cinnamon rolls.


cinnamon rolls




Grandma’s Gooey Cinnamon Rolls — 41 Comments

  1. These look exactly like my nana’s cinnamon rolls……and I mean exactly! It was the only recipe that my daughter didn’t get before she passed away in 1999 and of course that’s the one the family always asks for at Christmas. I’m so happy to have found it – I’m going to surprise everyone and make them for Christmas eve. Thank you!

    • Hi Kalamity Kelli,
      You just brought tears to my eyes. I’m so excited you get to make these for your family and bring back sweet memories of your nana. 🙂

      • I told my daughter today and she got so excited I thought SHE was going to cry – these are well loved in my family. I can’t wait to make them – in the next few days for sure and then again on Christmas eve for my mother. She will probably try to take the pan to church with us! 🙂 I am a pinner for RecipeNewZ and I not only pinned this to my personal recipe board, I also pinned it to RecipeNewZ and I am sure you will get lots of traffic from it over the next few days – that board has lots of followers and more every day – I just love the owner of the site. She’s as sweet as she can be!

  2. Sheryl, these sound great! I have fabulaour memories of cinnamon rolls with both of my Grandmas. One having to do with a camping trip when I was a kid, and the oven in the trailer was broken (we didn’t discover this until my Grandma and I had already made the rolls), so we ended up cooking them on the BBQ and they were great! And my other Grandma is a cinnamon roll queen, though unfortunately she won’t be making them anymore as she is too sick 🙁 Thank you though for sharing, and for helping me remember good times!
    Featuring you from Scrumptious Sunday #41!

    • You are welcome. It seems my grandma wasn’t the only grandma to make these cinnamon rolls. I’m so glad I could bring you some sweet memories. 🙂

  3. I just made them! They are fantastic!! I’m going to post later (maybe tomorrow) and post a link back to yours for the recipe. I just love how they taste and I swear, they taste just like Nana’s!! Thank you for the sweet memory.

  4. I feel a bit like a stalker – so sorry! I made those lovely rolls and they turned out so well I blogged a post about them and sent everyone here for the recipe – I looked at my clicks and it shows you are getting some pretty good traffic from my blog so I thought I would say thank you and let you know that I sent everyone to you for the actual recipe, just showed them the picture of mine – and I talked really nice about ya! 🙂

  5. These are almost like my grandmother used to make. When she baked pies and had a bit of pie dough leftover, she used to let me make cinnamon rolls like these out of it. That was 57 years ago. Wow…..brings back memories.

  6. I was so excited to see these rolls. They really are just like my Grandma made too, only my Grandma’s been gone for 35 years. I thought they were lost to me. Thank you so much for bringing these and her back into my life.

    • Hi Charlie, The dough is like a pie crust dough. From the other comments I guess it was common to use up the extra pie crust and make cinnamon rolls. I was a kid so I didn’t pay that much attention. I just knew they were good! 🙂

  7. These were made by my Grandma as well, We called them Brimble Bobs. The only difference was the sugar, we used brown sugar and sliced them into 1 inch pieces. They are still a holiday favorite.

  8. Oh Sheryl, thankyou for a sweet memory. My Mama used to call these “Teasers”. She made the best pies in the world because her crust was always wonderfully flaky and delicious. With the leftover dough from the pie, she would make these little rolls. The divine smell of cinnamon would draw us in. We would have a afternoon snack of a glass of cold milk and a Teaser roll knowing we would have the main event after supper. This sweet memory is just one more thing to be thankful for this holiday season.

  9. Your grandma made these for my family(hubby& 4kids) when I had gallbladder surgery, 9/82. They were so good & I’m excited to have the recipe! We LOVED your grandma! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. My hobby is reading & collecting recipes, but I do cook a lot of them too.

  10. My aunt used to make something similar with biscuit dough. Lots of butter, sugar and cinnamon rolled into a tube then baked. The only difference was that she used an apple cider vinegar and sugar mix to pour over top and make a sauce. She, and her mother before her, called it a vinegar roll. It was absolutely delicious. I remember it from when I was a very little girl and I was born in 1941! I can make the roll but have never been able to get the sauce right. Do you or anyone else know the recipe for the sauce? I’d give a lot to be able to make this again.

    • Hi Cathy, I never use salted butter in baked goods. It adds way too much salt. I would rather add my own salt, that way I can control it myself. 🙂

  11. My mom use to make these with left over pie dough. I didn’t know so many other people made them too! My mom passed away in 2005 and I haven’t made them but now I’m going to have to give it a go!

  12. These rolls looks so yummy! Have made Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns before. Even made Cinnamon Bread. Every time I make these goods I use yeast. Can’t wait to make these and try them! Since so many people are raving about them I’d give it a try. Thanks for sharing.Sheryl.

  13. Would it be possible to substitute the shortening for something else? I try not to use it when baking. Thank you

    • Hi Alison, You can use butter but be aware that it might change the texture of your dough. Shortening is 100% fat and butter is about 85% fat and 15% water. It will for sure change the to a more intense butter flavor.

  14. i have been looking for 40 years for the cinnamon rolls they made at my grammer school. This is them, cant wait to make them.

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