Healthy Treat For Today: Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve been baking all my life (give or take).  I can bake in my sleep.  I can bake along with the best of ‘em. 

But I have had the hardest time coming up with a good cinnamon roll

I’ve tried many different recipes and they always end up being too bready, too heavy, too doughy or too dry.

I just about gave up, figuring I must have the incurable CRBD (Cinnamon Roll Baking Disorder)….

But I tried just one more time.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.  Must be because I also suffer from GGDS (Good Grief Duh Syndrome) and sometimes have a hard time seeing the obvious.

It finally occured to me that since my homemade soft pretzels are so, so good…maybe that dough recipe would make a good cinnamon roll.  And BOY was I right!  Yumm-eee.

It was one proud day when I finally made a good cinnamon roll.  And the fact that it was made with whole wheat and honey was an added bonus!  Healthy and delicous…what a deal!

So, just in case you also have CRBD (see above to remind yourself what that is if you have GGDS and can’t remember)…here’s the recipe that finally worked for me!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup water
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 teaspoons honey
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
4 teaspoons sea salt
8 cups whole wheat flour

Ingredients for the “innerds” of your cinnamon rolls:

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup rapadura or sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar juice) (you can use white sugar if you want)
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 

Melt your butter and set it aside.  Mix together the rapadura and cinnamon in a bowl.

Ooey-Gooey Frosting

1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups powdered sugar to make the consistency you like

Melt butter.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, milk and powdered sugar.  Whisk together until smooth. 

Okay, here’s how to make the dough…

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup very warm water, 2 T. yeast and 2 t. honey.  Stir this together and kind of mush the yeast around.  Let this sit for a few minutes while you do the next step.

Melt a stick of butter in a large saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup honey, 4 t. salt and 2 1/2 cups of milk.  Heat this to 120 degrees.

Pour milk mixture into yeast mixture and stir.  Stir in 8 cups of flour, 2 cups at a time. (add more if you need it)

Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.  Plop it into a bowl, cover it and let it rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.

After dough is nice and fat, punch it down and knead out all it’s bubbles.  Cut the dough in half, setting one half aside. 

On a well floured surface, roll dough into a nice big rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.

Use a pastry brush to spread 1/2 of the melted butter all over the rectangle.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the rapadura/cinnamon mixture all over the butter. 

cinrolls1sm.JPG

Roll up the dough.

cinrolls2sm.JPG

Cut into thin slices, about 1/2 inch thick. 

cinrolls3sm.JPG

Place rolls side by side on baking pan.
cinrolls4sm.JPG  cinrolls5sm1.JPG

Repeat process with other 1/2 of dough.

Allow dough to rise about 30 minutes. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees.

Allow rolls to cool a bit, then drizzle lots and lots of ooey-gooey frosting all over them.

Happy cinnamon roll baking!!  Be sure to look through the “Natural Sugar Treats” section of my blog for more great recipes like this one…using great wholesome ingredients to make great treats!
———————————

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook434Pin on Pinterest2,193Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Comments

  1. Annie says

    How many rolls does this make? I am searching the web today for exactly this and I would like to figure out the nutritional info. Thanks for sharing! I am dying for a guilt free cinnamon roll!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It makes about 24 rolls. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Tricia B. says

    Just made this recipe w/white whole wheat dough and they were DELISH! They make way more than 24 rolls…I made 20+ in two small casserole dishes & I have about 20+ in the freezer for an easy make ahead breakfast. Can’t wait to leave them out the night before as you recommend & see them rise before baking them the next AM!

    I’m thinking the people having problems did not see their yeast work? Make sure the water is warm to touch & not hot as to kill the yeast. The directions say very warm which might be misinterpreted.

    Thanks Laura!!

    [Reply]

  3. Derek L says

    Will it still work fine if i use sweetener (Splenda) instead of the sugar? I am assuming it will be but this is my first crack at cinnamon buns so I am not even sure what to expect!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m assuming it would work, but I don’t believe that splenda is a healthy sugar subsitute. Artificial sweeteners aren’t great for our bodies, unfortunately. :)

    [Reply]

    Kersten Reply:

    Could you use stevia?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I think that would work, but I don’t have enough experience with it to know how to substitute it in this recipe.

    Sue Reply:

    I have substituted 1/2 the sugar in baking for Stevia and it works very well. I have NOT make cinnamon rolls, but it should work. The ratio is 1t stevia = 1 C sugar. (ie 1/2t stevia = 1/2 cup sugar.)

    [Reply]

  4. Sue says

    I have been playing around with using 1/2 the sugar in baking recipe’s. Lately i’ve tried home made ice cream, chocolate and i made a hot cocoa mix (just add water). The recipe’s called for 2 cups of sugar and i’ve used 1 cup sugar and 1 t stevia powder – this was white pure stevia from trader joes and you cannot tell difference!!! For the Ice cream and hot cocoa, I added several T’s of Arrowroot powder to thicken it up. Have fun experimenting and share pls your results!

    [Reply]

  5. G says

    Can these hold uncooked overnight in the refrigerator? I want to prep in the evening and bake in the morning. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, that will work!

    [Reply]

    Carmen Reply:

    If I do it this way and pull them out of the fridge in the morning, do I need to let them come to room temp before baking them? And do I need to even do the second rise before putting them in the fridge? Or will being in the fridge overnight be “the second rise?”

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I do try to let them get to room temp before baking them. The second rising happens naturally in the fridge. :)

  6. jill says

    Love this recipe. Just a couple things. My husband is kneading the dough right now. 8 cups of flour was not near enough. We lost count of how much more we added. It could be due to the rain. Also, my husband thought he was supposed to knead it in the pan. I assumed it would be kneaded on a flat surface.
    Otherwise, so far so good. Oh, maybe save one tiny piece for the 4 yr old since he’s right in the middle of this.
    Thanks for posting this.

    [Reply]

    ashley Reply:

    that sounds like a good amount. i’ve only made cinnamon rolls once before
    so i wasn’t sure how it would be but added 1/2 cup more.
    and it was still sticking to the counter trying to knead

    [Reply]

  7. Blake will says

    Awesome! It took about 9 cups flour for me. I also used half white whole wheat and half spelt. Used extra cinnamon too. Great Christmas morning treat! Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  8. Kristen M says

    Have you ever made these and froze them to have on hand? Would you just take them out the night before to defrost/proof on the counter?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, if you freeze them right after you’ve rolled and cut them (before the second rising), they work great! Then defrost them and let them rise overnight in the fridge or even countertop, then bake in the morning.

    [Reply]

  9. Sarah B says

    Seconds Kristen’s question and also wonders, at what step do you freeze them?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If you freeze them right after you’ve rolled and cut them (before the second rising), they work great! Then defrost them and let them rise overnight in the fridge or even countertop, then bake in the morning.

    [Reply]

  10. Rashelle says

    I just made these and the dough is absolutely amazing!! Can’t wait to ice them and start chowing down:) Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

    [Reply]

  11. Patricia says

    Wow!!!! Delicious! Thanks so much for posting this. This is the first time the actually came good for me after many other times. I used 9 cups of flour. The only thing is that I need to work on the frosting part. It looked like I didn’t have enough. Which is fine by me, but maybe next time I will do more of the frosting part. THANK YOU!!

    [Reply]

  12. Teghan says

    Is active rise the same as rapid rise or breadmachine yeast? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure on the breadmachine yeast, but I believe it is the same as rapid rise.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    So not active dry yeast? That’s what I use for my loaves of bread. Also, how did you defrost them before they started rising? If you make them the day before completely except maybe the frosting and fridge them would they reheat up well in the microwave? And how long do they keep once made?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really think either yeast will work fine. I just defrost them on the countertop. Yes, they heat up nicely (although I usually use our toaster oven). These get dry after a couple of days, but don’t go bad until a week or so.

  13. Susie says

    If I substitute almond milk for the milk and earth balance for the butter do you think this recipe will work. I have been a vegan for about a month and am still learning.
    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I can’t say for sure since I’ve not tried it, but I would imagine so.

    [Reply]

    Susie Reply:

    I just made them and substituted almond milk for the milk and earth balance for the butter.
    They turned out amazing. Just wanted to let people who are vegan know that it works out just fine.

    [Reply]

  14. Michelle says

    I have made these a few times as well as your pretzels and they alway turn our amazing. I think I killed the yeast. It did t seems to rise…..I am making them anyways since I don’t want to waste all the ingredients. I am sure they won’t be as amazing as they always are.

    [Reply]

  15. Kirsten says

    Was stoked to find a more healthy alternative to the normal version of cinnamon rolls. This recipe turned out great, and I was on the ‘hippier’ side and added one cup of quinoa flour and oat flour, minus that in wheat, and they turned out great, with a unique flavor. Thank you for your great ideas and time into each recipe. Looking forward to making more of them!!!

    [Reply]

  16. ruby says

    I am so thankful for this receipe!!
    I am not an amazing baker and am gaining experience the older I get!!
    Everytime I make these I make about 50 rolls with eavery batch!
    I subtituted brown sugar for regular sygar and have used almond milk…always comes out amazing!
    Active dry yeast works well and so does rapid rise…This is the receip that always comes out tasting amazing! Thank You so much!

    [Reply]

  17. Natalie Watson says

    Have you ever used the same cream cheese frosting you use on your banana cake for these rolls? It only has whipping cream vanilla honey and cream cheese.

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Laura says, “Yes, it’s awesome!” ;)

    [Reply]

  18. says

    These are fantastic. I have been looking for a recipe that is healthy enough to eat every week (Sunday morning tradition), but also easy enough to make every month or so and freeze. The trick is making them taste good enough for the sweet-tooth boys in this house! I can say for certain that these are definitely the winner.

    My only changes – I realized too late that I only had one pack of yeast, but it was totally fine! I still managed to get 40 big rolls out of this recipe (enough for 4 weeks, woohoo!). Also, my sea salt is a fine grain, and 4 tsp worried me, so I put 3 and it was perfect. I also added more cinnamon to the filling b/c we love it :)

    [Reply]

  19. Amber says

    Is there a way to speed up the first rise? A warm oven, maybe? I am new to baking and have always wondered this. Thank you for the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    You could do a warm oven, but make sure it’s not over 175 degrees or so. :)

    [Reply]

    Sue m Reply:

    I suppose you could, however I would just get in the habit of starting earlier and leave more time. That’s what I learned to do. For example, when i make pizza dough, I need to start before 2pm or I don’t make pizza for that day because I know that I need time for the dough to rise. While the dough is rising, I get the sauce and toppings ready for the pizza

    Himalayan Sea Salt – Saturday I was in a local Indian grocerie store and found Himalayan sea salt and a VERY VERY good price

    [Reply]

  20. Shelly says

    Wow, Laura! These were Ah-Mazing! My whole family loved them! I doubled the cinnamon and added 1/2 c cream cheese (softened), to the frosting. :) thanks for sharing your gifts with ot

    [Reply]

  21. Lori says

    Hey Laura, love all your recipes! I tried this one (cinnamon rolls) and my yeast bubbled great but the dough failed to rise! I’m wondering if I killed it with the butter/honey/milk mixture. I didn’t have the correct thermometer to check the temp. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, it could be that the liquid was too hot? Although if it bubbled initially, I’m not sure why it wouldn’t rise later. :)

    [Reply]

  22. Kristen says

    Ok, I used about 10 cups of flour and made 40 very nice sized rolls. :D I have 2 cake pans and a 9X13 pan in the freezer and one cake pan in the fridge. I think that I may need to invest in some disposable bake ware for freezing my baked goods. Ha, such a terrible problem to have. I’m even freezing individual frosting packets with the pans so I’m ready to go.

    Just so you know, I’ve had a baking marathon of sorts…Raspberry Oatmeal bars, applesauce cake, Cinnamon rolls. and lots of pecan waffles for freezing. I’m so excited to be baking again. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  23. Jessica says

    These sound amazing and simple enough to make! Would you happen to know the approximate calorie count per roll?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t know how to figure out the calories in my recipes, sorry!

    [Reply]

  24. Jennifer says

    I made these tonight and halved the recipe. They were really good but my dough didn’t rise. Should I have used more yeast when halving it or do you think the milk mixture may have been too hot? Will keep on trying:}

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    My guess is that the milk was too hot and killed the yeast. :) Hope you have better luck next time!

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *