The Ultimate Healthy Cinnamon Rolls
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Yields: 12 cinnamon rolls
 
These truly are the BEST healthy cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had! Sweet, tender, cozy, gooey, oh so irresistible… Everybody always raves about them! They’ll keep for at least one week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator—if they last that long! (And I highly recommend reheating individual cinnamon rolls to make the filling turn melty and gooey again. Pure bliss!)
  • for the dough
  • ¾ cup (180mL) warm nonfat milk (100-110°F)
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (24g) coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp (7g or one ¼-oz package) dry yeast (see Notes!)
  • 2 – 2 ½ cups (240-300g) whole wheat flour (see Notes!)
  • for the filling
  • 6 tbsp (72g) coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (see Notes!)
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Lightly coat a 9”-round pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. (See Notes!)
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and wait 10-15 minutes or until the mixture turns frothy. Mix in 1 ½ cups of flour. If the dough is still wet, continue stirring in flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead for 3-5 minutes or until the dough springs back most of the way when you gently press your index finger into it. Let the dough rest while preparing the filling.
  4. To prepare the filling, stir together the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. On a clean, well-floured surface, roll the dough out into a 16x10” rectangle. Brush with the melted butter, leaving a 1” border on the two longer sides. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1” border on the two longer sides again. Carefully roll up the dough into a log, starting at one long edge and rolling towards the other one. Pinch the ends to seal. If the dough won’t stick together, gently brush the second longer edge with water before pinching to seal.
  6. Slice the log into 12 pieces using dental floss (recommended) or a sharp serrated knife. Place the rolls into the prepared pan, and cover the pan with a clean towel. Set the pan in a warm, draft-free spot, and let the rolls rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-22 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the sides feel firm. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Notes: I highly recommend using a 9”-round springform pan, like this! Springform pans have taller sides than most traditional cake pans, so this allows your cinnamon rolls to rise properly without touching the top of the towel in Step 6.

For the whole wheat flour, I HIGHLY recommend Gold Medal whole wheat flour. It performs the best out of any brand I’ve tried, and it ensures your cinnamon rolls fully double in size while rising in Step 6. (Other brands of whole wheat flour don’t rise nearly as high, if at all!)

All-purpose flour may be substituted for the whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and other brands of whole wheat flour may also be substituted for the Gold Medal whole wheat flour, but your cinnamon rolls may not rise as high as with Gold Medal whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour. See Nerd Alert #6 in my blog post above for more information!

I haven’t had good luck substituting gluten-free flours or oat flour in this recipe. The cinnamon rolls don’t rise the way they do with wheat-based flour due to the lack of gluten. See Nerd Alert #6 in my blog post above for more information!

For the yeast, I HIGHLY recommend Red Star Quick Rise Yeast. It performs the best out of any yeast I’ve used, so I highly recommend it! It isn’t always easy to find in grocery stores, so I buy mine online here. (Their regular active dry yeast also works equally well!) See Nerd Alert #5 in my blog post above for more information about yeast and different brands!

Any milk may be substituted in place of the nonfat milk.

Brown sugar may be substituted in place of the coconut sugar, but the rolls will no longer be clean-eating friendly. Do not substitute liquid sweeteners (ie pure maple syrup, honey, or agave).

I highly recommend using Saigon cinnamon. I buy mine online here because it’s so inexpensive and affordable, and it’s the only cinnamon I use in my baking now! It has a stronger, richer, and sweeter flavor than regular cinnamon, which makes your cinnamon rolls taste even better!

I absolutely love using my silicone rolling pin and silicone baking mat for rolling out the dough in Step 5! Their nonstick surfaces make the process much easier, and they’re also really easy to clean. (However, even if you use the same silicone tools as I do, make sure you lightly flour your surface and rolling pin first so the dough doesn’t rip or tear!)

VEGAN + DAIRY-FREE OPTION: Substitute your favorite non-dairy milk and stick-style vegan butter (this is my favorite!). You may substitute coconut oil, but the cinnamon rolls will taste different, and the yeast won’t turn frothy in Step 2.

GREEK YOGURT FROSTING: In a small bowl, stir together ¼ cup (60g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt + 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or honey or agave!). Spread on top of the cinnamon rolls just before serving. (The frosting will melt a little if your cinnamon rolls are still warm or hot, but it’ll still taste delicious!) This is the frosting that I used in the photos in my blog post above!

CREAM CHEESE DRIZZLE + FROSTING: For a cream cheese drizzle, use this recipe of mine. For cream cheese frosting, use this recipe or this recipe.

For more information and tips, see Nerd Alerts #1-12 in my blog post above!

{clean eating, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, low fat}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2017/06/27/the-ultimate-healthy-cinnamon-rolls/