Healthified Cinnamon Rolls

Healthified Cinnamon Rolls

Today is going to be a great homemade food day. I know this because I’ve already started the day by making a healthier version of cinnamon rolls for breakfast at my wife’s request. I found the basic recipe on The Picky Eater Blog, making a few minor modifications to it. And while the end result wasn’t quite the same as the tried-and-true old school cinnamon rolls we’re all used to, this lightened (and healthier) version proved to be a suitable substitution for health-conscious eaters like me. It also proved to be a nice addition to my 50 in 15 Challenge.


  • 1 c. nonfat (or low-fat) milk
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 c. unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar (for icing)
  • 1/2 tbsp. low-fat milk (for icing)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (for icing)


  1. Stir together milk, oil, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl and heat until warm.
  2. Add yeast to 2 tbsp. warm water and let sit for 5 minutes, then add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture.
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl (or electric mixer) and beat in half of the flour until well incorporated. Then add the remaining flour until a soft dough forms. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Knead dough on a floured surface or with an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes, then let rest another 10 minutes.
  5. Add dough to a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 1 hour until the dough doubles in size.
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and roll into a 12″ x 10″ rectangle.
  7. Stir together the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then brush over the dough. (If desired, you can sprinkle in some additional fillings like raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc.)
  8. Spray a 9″ baking pan with a light coat of cooking spray.
  9. Roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll, then cut into 12 pieces and place each bun in the baking pan.
  10. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise until the buns double in size, about 1 hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350° F, and bake until the buns are firm and browned on top, about 30 minutes.
  12. Make the icing by mixing together the powdered sugar, 1/2 tbsp. low-fat milk, and vanilla extract. Add icing to the top of the finished cinnamon rolls.


As I mentioned above, the end result wasn’t quite the same as the tried-and-true old school cinnamon rolls we’re all used to. I found that on their own, the buns ended up being a bit tough and dry when I made them. However, adding icing to them did help by adding an additional touch of sweetness and moisture. I think that when I make them again, I may try to use a bit less whole wheat flour and a bit more all-purpose flour to see if that helps soften the end result at all.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this recipe. It did prove to be a suitable substitution for the stereotypical rich and calorie-ridden cinnamon roll. And it was a nice addition to my 50 in 15 Challenge, and a great sweet treat to help start off a nice relaxing weekend.

Bon Appétit!


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