Yankee Buns | Biscuit Style Cinnamon Buns

Servings: 10 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Take me to the recipe

This is a lovely biscuit-style cinnamon bun that bakes in a sweet molasses sauce. The recipe makes just enough for your family to eat in one sitting.

Yankee Buns Biscuit Style Cinnamon BunsWho doesn’t have a weakness for cinnamon buns?

It’s a special day for me when molasses lovers share their family favourite recipes. It’s like being invited into their kitchen for a cup of tea. It also highlights what I think is the most wonderful thing about food – the sharing.

This recipe was given to me by Rona, who grew up in Saint John NB (the home of Crosby Molasses) but who has lived overseas for decades. She has never lost her love of molasses though and managed to keep a little stash of Crosby’s on hand to bake special treats for her family. So even though her sons grew up thousands of kilometers from the nearest grocery store that sells our molasses they were practically raised on it.

Yankee Buns Biscuit Style Cinnamon Buns

This is what Rona wrote to me the day she shared the recipe:

When I think back to when I was younger molasses was a must to have.  My mom and dad were from the north shore and molasses was used a lot.  I remember dad putting some on his plate when he had a roast dinner and he would mix it with what gravy was left, and then take a piece of bread and soak it up. He always had molasses cake or cookies in his lunch box to have with his tea.  After I moved to Norway almost 31 years ago my boys grew up with molasses as I would always take it back with me when I visited Saint John. They love it too. 

I am going to share a recipe with you Bridget that my mom had, and I make it a lot and everyone loves it.  Mom called them Yankee Buns.  This recipe is almost like tea biscuits and would love to share this with you.”

Yankee Buns Biscuit Style Cinnamon Buns

Update: I received a note from another ready who calls these buns Rolly Pollies. A sweet name for a very delicious treat.

Rona’s Mom’s Yankee Buns – Biscuit Style Cinnamon Bun Recipe

Makes 10-12 buns


  • 2 cups of flour, spooned in
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 5 Tbsp. butter (cold)
  • 2/3 cup milk (can add up to 2 Tbsp. more if dough seems too dry)


  • 1 Tbsp. soft butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)


  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. flour
  1. Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter. Pour over milk and stir to combine.
  2. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough comes together. (Try not to work the dough too much).
  3. Roll out to a rectangle about ½” thick.
  4. Spread with soft butter and sprinkle over the brown sugar and cinnamon (if using).
  5. Roll up and gently pinch seam.
  6. Cut into ½”-3/4” slices and place in a parchment-lined 9”x13” pan.
  7. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over the buns.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes.

Best eaten warm.

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15 thoughts on “Yankee Buns | Biscuit Style Cinnamon Buns

  1. Diane says:

    Many thanks to Rona for sharing this delightful recipe, and to Crosby’s for passing it along!

  2. Jo Ann says:

    sounds good

  3. sherrin laird says:

    love any recipes with molasses…

  4. Sonia phillips says:

    Thanks for the info. I love cooking with molasses.

  5. Jeannine Lavigne says:

    Please email me a copy of your free cookbook. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jeannine, please send along your mailing address

  6. Ella says:

    Ymmmmmm! I and the four who were in for tea. This actually is the same recipe that I have except I never thought of a sauce over them. All of us say, Hooray!
    Thanks to Rona-looks like a Maritimer-at heart. Thanks to Bridget knowing that another Maritimer, NS, is enjoying the buns-we here call these cinnamon swirls.
    Thanks Ella

  7. Rona Berntsen says:

    Am so excited that so many have tried the recipe and love it. I am proud of my mom for having recipes that she shared with me and now I am able to share them too. Moms are special aren’t they.

  8. Lynn Anthony says:

    Thank you, Bridget!
    I have been enjoying your recipes and love Crosby’s molasses!
    This will be another recipe I look forward to trying!

  9. Howard Stymiest says:

    My late mother’s yankee bun recipe has been made this Christmas by her grand daughters in Vancouver , Bridgewater, and Saint John. I always like to put a little butter on mine, then again I also like to butter donuts. And dough boys in a stew aren’t complete until they are covered in molasses.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Wonderful memories Howard!

  10. My dad used to make these. He was from New Brunswick, Canada. Never thought I would find the recipe. Thank you so much!

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Nancy, So glad you rediscovered the recipe. Enjoy!

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