Jo’s Cinnamon Squares Tell a Friend

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Only quantities of ingredients are changed; recipe Directions below will not reflect those changes.


  • - Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Dough
  • 1/4 cups - warm water
  • 2 packages - 1/4 oz. active dry yeast
  • 2 cups - granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups - milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cups - butter, melted and cooled, plus a little more
  • 2 - eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoons - kosher salt
  • 6 cups - all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 - egg, beaten (to brush on top before baking)
  • Filling
  • 2 cups - pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 cups - chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups - packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons - ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cups - chopped dried tart cherries, optional
  • Vanilla Bourbon Glaze
  • 3 cups - powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons - bourbon
  • 1 teaspoons - vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons - milk, or a little more or less for right consistency
  • Maple Pecan Glaze
  • 1/4 cups - melted butter
  • 1/4 cups - heavy cream or milk
  • 3 tablespoons - pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups - powdered sugar, or more or less, to right consistency
  • Directions:

    For Dough:
    In a large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes or until foamy. Add remaining sugar, milk, melted butter, beaten eggs, and salt; stir until combined. Add flour and stir until dough comes together (dough will be very sticky). Smear softened butter around inside of bowl and over top of dough; cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.

    For Filling:
    In a food processor combine pecans, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Process until mixture is well blended and paste-like. (If no food processor available, chop nuts finely and set aside. Soften the butter and cut into pieces; mash butter with sugar and cinnamon until well blended.)

    To Make the Squares:
    Position oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a large (13 by 18-inch) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking spray).

    Place a large piece of parchment paper on work surface and generously flour it (using the parchment paper to fold over the dough at each step is the easiest way to make these without the dough sticking to the work surface). Punch dough down and place on floured paper; roll dough into a 16-x-24-inch rectangle.

    Spoon 2/3 of filling over dough (or spread cinnamon butter over dough and then sprinkle with finely chopped nuts), spreading all the way to the edges. Starting with a short side, carefully fold the dough in half over the filling (using the paper to lift up the dough and fold it over, then peeling back the paper); press the short sides together and flatten slightly to a 14-x-16-inch rectangle.

    Spoon remaining filling over top of dough, spreading all the way to edges. Using parchment paper, start with a short side, carefully fold the dough in half over filling and press short sides together, pressing with hands to flatten out to about a 12-x-18-inch rectangle.

    Use a pizza cutter to cut rectangle into 24 squares; arrange squares on prepared baking sheet so they are touching. (At this point, cover and place in refrigerator until tomorrow morning, if desired).

    For Vanilla Bourbon Glaze:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, bourbon, vanilla and enough milk to make it easy to spread or drizzle.

    For Maple Pecan Glaze:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, heavy cream or milk, and maple syrup. Whisk in the powdered sugar, enough to make it easy to spread or drizzle. After drizzling over squares, sprinkle with 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans, if desired.

    Brush tops of squares with beaten egg. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven until lightly golden. Let cool for 15 minutes; if you wish, drizzle with one of the glazes, and serve warm.

    Brief Description

    Layered cinnamon roll breakfast or dessert filled with brown sugar, cinnamon, dried cherries and pecans, drizzled with vanilla-bourbon white glaze; make the night before and refrigerate until ready to bake in the morning.

    Main Ingredient:


    Category:  Breakfast

    Cuisine:  American

    Prep Time: 2 hour(s) 30 min
    Cook Time: 30 min


    Magnolia Journal

    Posted By:


    Posted On:

    March 27, 2019

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    1. Carla says:

      Great concept for a cinnamon recipe, but extremely sweet! Makes an enormous recipe! Dough is very cake like & stretches all over the place. Next time I make them I’m going to cut the dough into thirds & roll out each piece the size of a cookie sheet then spread with my Potica filling, repeating this 2 more times. Slice this raw dough into squares, then bake for 30-40 minutes. Sounds good in my head so will see if it actually turns out so it’s at least edible, unlike this original recipe!

      • MC says:

        I’m sorry to hear you had so much trouble with this recipe. We didn’t have issues with the dough or layering. It is quite sweet (though less so without the glaze). We’d love to hear how your version turns out! It does sound like a nice variation.

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