Cinnamon Pastry

Cinnamon Pastry…AKA or family’s favorite “Cinnamon Thing”. Use your favorite pie dough to make this soft, flaky filled buttery pastry!

This recipe has been a long time coming. If there is one dessert that I feel like defines my childhood, it’s this one. And if there is one recipe I’ve brought into my married life, it’s this one.

The infamous “cinnamon thing”. What in the world is this humble dessert made from pie crust, cinnamon and sugar? In my younger years, we made it when we had leftover pie dough from making pies. But I loved it so much, I now make pie dough for the specific purpose of making a “cinnamon thing”. I’ve showed it to you on Instagram and you wanted the recipe. Here it is!

cinnamon sugar pie crust pastry

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Traditional, comforting spicy, warm sugar flavor.
  • Flaky, buttery crust with a soft, sweet filling.
  • Perfect for making with leftover pie crust (or make pie crust for this purpose like we do!).
  • Ready in about 35 minutes.
  • Comforting with a cup of tea, coffee or milk.

Why is it called a “cinnamon thing”?

It’s called this because growing up, we didn’t know what else to call it. At that point we were taking scraps and forming them into this delicious little pastry. So when I had my own family, the name just stuck with it.

I’ve seen similar pastry desserts called “pop tarts” or “cinnamon roll cookies” or “cinnamon turnovers”. And this is a pastry, but I wanted to keep our original family name of “cinnamon thing”. Even though no one knows what that is, it is special to our family!

closeup of a sliced cinnamon filled pastry

Ingredients Needed:

  • Pie Pastry. My favorite recipe is our grandma’s pie crust, and for this pastry I make half a recipe. You could also use store bought pie crust if you are used to that, or your own favorite homemade recipe.
  • Butter. I almost always use salted butter in my baking without any issues.
  • Brown sugar. Or dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor if you’d like!
  • Cinnamon. Use Saigon cinnamon for the best flavored cinnamon. You can buy nice size containers of it at Costco in the Kirkland brand.

How to Make A Cinnamon Thing

The first step is the filling. You can make a cinnamon sugar paste with the butter if you’d like. But honestly, we just spread the butter on the dough, then sprinkle with the sugar, flour and cinnamon. It’s easy that way and it all bakes in deliciously.

The second step is to prepare the pie dough. You can use your own favorite recipe or even store bought pie crust. I make my the recipe I’ve made for years, but lately we’ve been mixing it with the food processor. It takes away 80% of the mess and the pie crust is mixed within 5 minutes. It is so easy!

Then assemble the cinnamon pastry.

  • Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to about an 11×16” rectangle.
  • Brush the top of the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture (or all separately if that is the way you choose to make it)
  • Fold the long edge of the pastry into the center and have them overlap slightly. Not quite in thirds, but you want the center the pasty to overlap slightly in the middle.
  • Then fold the ends in gently to seal. Note: If there are cracks in the bottom of folded edges of the dough, the cinnamon sugar mixture will bake out, so make sure it is well patched.
  • Place the pastry on a baking sheet that you’ve lined with parchment paper. Or use a silicone baking mat. This will help make cleanup easier.
  • Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar. Optional, but when isn’t a little sugar sprinkle a good idea?
  • Bake at 400º Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
overhead sliced cinnamon pastry

I guarantee you’re going to want to dive into this pastry as soon as it comes out from the oven. The cinnamon sugar filling will be very hot, so let it cool for 15 minutes or so before slicing and serving. But you definitely want to serve it fresh & warm.

slices of cinnamon thing stacked on a table
slices of cinnamon thing stacked on a table

Cinnamon Pastry AKA Cinnamon Thing

4.88 from 8 votes
Cinnamon Pastry…AKA or family's favorite "Cinnamon Thing". Use your favorite pie dough to make this soft, flaky filled buttery pastry!
Servings 10
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter melted

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold salted butter
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

Extra sugar, for topping

    Instructions
     

    Make the filling:

    • In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter.
    • *Note: Mixing it all together first is optional. Usually I just slather butter on the dough, then sprinkle with sugar, flour and cinnamon. It saves washing a bowl if you do it this way. And it tastes just as good!

    *Make the dough:

    • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
    • Cut in the shortening and the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    • Mix the water and vinegar together in a cup. Add the mixture to the crumbs.
    • Mix together just until the dough is combined and handles well.

    Form the pastry:

    • Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to about an 11×16” rectangle.
    • Brush the top of the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture (or all separately if that is the way you choose to make it)
    • Fold the long edge of the pastry into the center and have them overlap slightly. Not quite in thirds, but you want the center the pasty to overlap slightly in the middle.
    • Then fold the ends in gently to seal.
    • Place the pastry on a baking sheet that you’ve lined with parchment paper. Or use a silicone baking mat.
    • Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar.
    • Bake at 400º Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
    • Allow the pastry to cool for 15-20 minutes, then serve. Best when served warm.

    Notes

    *You can mix the pie crust in the food processor. Just add all of the ingredients and pulse until it is all well mixed and forms a dough.
    The calories shown are based on the pastry being cut into 10 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of pastry. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

    Nutrition

    Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 286IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Calories 255
    Keyword cinnamon dessert recipe, how to make pie dough, old fashioned pie recipe

    Love cinnamon rolls? Try one of our recipes.

    About Julie Clark

    I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

    Get 5 Classic Recipes with a Deliciously Secret Twist

    You might also like

    Join the Discussion

    Subscribe
    Notify of
    16 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    Barb Cashell
    10 months ago

    5 stars
    Thank you Lizzy for the recipe. My family has always called them pie crust cookies and they are soooo good! I always make these with left over pie crust and my family is disappointed if I don’t have any crust left over to make them. I also mix up some icing with 10x sugar and milk to drizzle over them after they are baked. I never thought of using brown sugar but that sounds good so I will use that the next time.

    Harry D. Mack
    10 months ago

    I’m 75 now, but as a child I absolutely loved the spare crust/cinnamon treats. My mother would roll up the crusts with the cinnamon filling to a diameter of about 1 1/2″,,, Your recipe has inspired me to try to replicate a wonderful memory. Thank You,,,

    Andrew Carson
    9 months ago

    I am a septuagenarian (70’s). My mother made a roll up version of your cinnamon pastry and called it “rollie-pollie”. Her mother gave the recipe to her. When my wife and I make pumpkin-chiffon pies each fall, there is always leftover pie crust (no tops). The first question from our children and grandchildren is always, “Did grampa make the rollie-pollie?” Without a doubt, the cinnamon pastry dessert, no matter how you fashion it, is a perennial favourite for every generation…and there are never any leftovers.

    Vickie
    9 months ago

    5 stars
    Back to the 1960’s! My mom made this back when pie dough was made with lard! She rolled it up jelly roll style and baked it whole, slicing it after it was cooked. Never any leftovers. Thank you for introducing it to a new generation.

    annie
    5 months ago

    5 stars
    My gramma made something like these when she had extra pie crust dough and we (almost) loved it more than her delicious pies! We called them Cinnamon Crispies. It’s fun to see it be elevated to such a special treat!

    Wyota Henni
    4 months ago

    5 stars
    I can hardly wait to make this. I loved the cinnamon sugared pie crust scraps, too. I just never thought to make pie crust especially for that.

    Toni D
    1 month ago

    5 stars
    I just love making this little cinnamon thingy. Serve it warm!! We are soon having out of town company and I’m serving this warm witty homemade ice cream. Mmmmm

    Heath
    1 month ago

    My family always called it cinnamon hand pies. It was made with scraps and made to be about the size of a snack fruit pie. I remember mom would take it out of the oven and soon as it was cool enough she’d wrap it in a paper towel hand it to me and send me outside. I still love them and have been making pie crust dough, dividing it up in to hand pie size sheets and freezing it do I can still make a hand pie for myself but not I sit with coffee to enjoy

    Sarah
    20 days ago

    I made this today but mine completely puffed up and basically “exploded” haha my kitchen smells awesome but it definitely did not come out looking like yours. Any thoughts? I did use store bought pie crust in a pinch too.