These Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls are made healthier using whole wheat white flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. They’re also giant and happen to be glazed with healthier salted caramel too, so they’re pretty awesome.
Happy WEDNESDAY, friends. What better way to celebrate Hump Day than with GIANT Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls? With a healthier salted caramel glaze? Hhmmm??? Yeah, there is no better way.
(the SWIRLS) *swoon*
Okay. So to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to post these… I’m not really sure why. I guess maybe because they don’t really fit the whole “healthy” bill. At least, in a close-minded sort of way they don’t. And I’ve been posting a lot of sweet(er) recipes lately (sorry). And because I don’t want people to see these and think “WTF. She is supposed to sharing fit foods, not carbs on carbs on carbs. These are so not healthy.” Well guess what peeps, I eat carbs. (And I hope you eat carbs as well, but that is a whole other subject.) I don’t eat carbs like this ALL the time. But cinnamon rolls are a lovely treat, and are meant to be enjoyed without guilt. Actually with some switching around of the ingredients, these whole wheat cinnamon rolls are practically guiltless! And I actually thoroughly enjoy making them too. There is something about all the steps and the process of making cinnamon rolls I just love. Rolling out the dough, sprinkling the cinnamon sugar, cutting the dough, rolling up the pieces into swirls. Then you wait a little bit and they rise like magic.
And then when they finally come out of the oven and you just get super impressed with yourself and you’re all like, “I just made a freaking masterpiece.” I can’t be the only who feels this way, right?!
And while traditionally I would top my cinnamon rolls with a cream cheese glaze, I had just enough of Erin’s Healthier Salted Caramel left over to use on these. Pretty epic combo (thanks, Erin).
So here is the low down on these rolls…
- They’re made with whole wheat white flour. What does that mean? It means they are not going to be your white, super fluffy cinnamon rolls like you may be used to, i.e. I don’t work for Cinnabon. If you haven’t realized by now, I typically use more “wholesome” ingredients when baking. So these rolls do have a slightly “heartier” taste to them.
- For the filling, I used coconut sugar and coconut oil. I also cut back on this calorie heavy filling inside the rolls by about half, in comparison to your traditional recipe. Partly because I knew I was going to have a decent amount of sugar from the salted caramel glaze.
- They’re kind of giant, which I KIND of did on accident. Instead of rolling up the rectangle of dough into a roll and slicing the rolls with a knife, I used a pizza cutter to slice the rectangle of dough into STRIPS, and then rolled the strips into SWIRLS. You can do either approach. And I’ve done both ways in other recipes, but I was curious to see if cutting strips, then rolling into swirls would work just the same. And I’d say one main difference is that the rolls don’t spread as much when cutting strips. They are slightly taller with thinner coils, but not wide.
I kind of like the tight coils though! They’re fun to pull apart…
Okay. So now that we’ve got some of the general ingredient deets out of the way, please please please read through all of the instructions in the recipe page before starting. Making your own cinnamon rolls can seem a little daunting, but I promise it is not too bad! Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it. I’m not some natural pastry chef that grew up with parents who always made every meal from scratch. I’m just a baker aficionado who learned most of my tricks at a young age from my best friend’s kitchen, and trial and error thereafter. There is something about baking and creating fun dishes with healthier ingredients that excites me. And then being able to share these recipes here on the blog with you all is even more fulfilling.
Okay, I’ll let you read the recipe now.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls [with salted caramel glaze]
These Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls are “healthified” using whole wheat white flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. They’re also refined sugar-free and dairy-free! *Please read through all of the instructions before beginning. It is going to seem like a lot of steps, but it is easy once you get going!
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours (includes rise)
- Yield: 9” dish 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 3 1/4–1/2 cups whole wheat white flour, plus a little more for rolling
- 2 TBS coconut sugar* (for dough)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) of instant yeast
- 1 large egg**, room temperature
- 1 cup non-dairy milk*** (regular cow’s milk works too)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 TBS coconut oil****
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (for the filling)
- 1.5 TBS ground cinnamon
- 2 TBS softened coconut oil (for the filling)
- Healthier Salted Caramel Sauce
- Grease a 9″ pie dish with coconut oil and set aside.
- In your stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment, add 3 cups flour, 2 TBS coconut sugar, yeast, and salt together. Stir until well combined, then turn off mixer.
- In a microwave safe bowl, warm milk, water, and coconut oil together until mixture is hot to touch, but not boiling. I did 15 second increments, and it was about 45 seconds. You can also use the stovetop.
- With mixer paddle attachment running, slowly add your milk mixture to flour until combined.
Add egg (for flaxseed “egg”) until dough starts to come together.
- Change attachment to dough hook and knead dough for about 5 minutes. You may need to add a bit more flour here,1/4-1/2 cup. Dough should be elastic and start to pull away from edge of bowl when it is ready.
- Oil large bowl and shape dough into ball, place dough in bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap (or lid) and let rest and rise until ball of dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, you can combine the 1/4 cup coconut sugar and 1.5 TBS of ground cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. If your coconut oil is not soft, place jar in bowl of warm water.
- Once dough has doubled in size, lightly cover rolling pin and surface with flour. Roll out dough into a 15×12 inch rectangle. (Be patient, and roll gently. If you’re new to this it could take some practice! Don’t use too much flour or your dough will be stiff.)
Spread coconut oil on dough with small spatula (or your hands), and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 7 strips, about 1 3/4″ wide. Loosely roll dough strips up into swirls (see second picture in post) and place swirl side down in greased 9″ pie dish, leaving some space in between. They don’t need to be packed in, you should have just enough room for 6 rolls on the outside and 1 roll in the middle (see pictures in post).
- Cover rolls loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rise for 30 more minutes in a warm, draft-free environment. *PRO TIP: Turn oven on to 200F, shut off and let rolls rise in warm oven
- Once the rolls have risen again slightly, preheat oven to 350F (take rolls out and wait for oven to get up to 350F). Bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Then, if necessary, cover top of rolls with foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Covering the rolls for the last 5-10 minutes will prevent them from getting too brown on the top. My rolls took 30 minutes total.
- Once rolls have cooled for about 10 minutes, cover with Healthier Salted Caramel Sauce.
- Rolls are best enjoyed fresh, but can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days. Rolls can also be wrapped individually in plastic wrap, then covered with foil and stored in freezer up to 2 weeks. Thaw at room temperature, or in microwave.
*You may use brown sugar in place of coconut sugar
**To make vegan, you can replace the egg with 1 TBS milled flaxseed + 3 TBS water and sit for 5 minutes to form gel.
***Cow’s milk or half & half may be used if not vegan.
****You may use unsalted butter in place of coconut oil
If you’re looking for a simple glaze, use 1 cup of organic powdered sugar to 1-2 TBS of milk of choice. Start with 1 TBS and adjust liquid to desired thickness of glaze. I’ve also made the salted caramel sauce with all coconut oil and it works fine 🙂
Nutrition does not include salted caramel glaze.
- Serving Size: 1 roll
- Calories: 300
- Sugar: 7
- Sodium: 381
- Fat: 8
- Saturated Fat: 5
- Unsaturated Fat: 2
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 44
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 9
- Cholesterol: 21mg
Keywords: whole wheat cinnamon rolls, healthy cinnamon rolls, salted caramel sauce
So hopefully reading through the instructions wasn’t too bad! Please comment below if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to get back to you and answer any questions prior to you baking these magnificent rolls.
My next goal in the cinnamon roll department is to make a vegan version. I did read on a couple other blogs that a flax egg worked for them. And then I believe I came across cinnamon rolls with no eggs at all, just oil. So you can expect to see more recipe testing cinnamon roll pics in the near future 😉 The holidays are coming, after all…
SO TELL ME! >>>
What was your GREATEST baking accomplishment?
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