These ones have been on my mind for a while now. I’m a dietitian; I should make healthy, nutritious, wholesome foods, right? Well…at least sometimes I should. There’s always room for treats. I’ve made enough cinnamon rolls now that I felt it was time to explore the healthier realm of this breakfast delight. So huzzah! We can now have our cinnamon rolls and not feel as guilty about it!
The beautiful thing about these rolls is that you’d never even guess they’re partly made with whole wheat flour. They are still as fluffy and tender as my other cinnamon rolls (these, these and these!) but with a hidden dose of nutrient-rich whole grains. I absolutely LOVE when you can make a few simple changes and turn regular recipes into healthier versions without losing any of the flavor, texture or pleasure of the original.
It is important for this recipe that you use whole wheat pastry flour, not regular whole wheat flour. There is a difference. The pastry version has a much finer texture. If you hold a handful of each side-by-side, you can clearly see that the non-pastry variety is rather coarse; the pastry variety is much fluffier and less gritty. You can understand why the pastry flour is the one we want to use in baking. I think I speak for all of us when I say… cardboard cinnamon rolls, ew.
Another exciting thing about this recipe for ME is that I got to try out my new pastry mat. I know, thrilling. But when you have a kitchen with less than 4 square feet of counter space, these little improvements mean a lot. In previous dough rolling recipes, I had to move my toaster, everyday seasonings and water glasses off the useable counter area in order to have enough space for rolling. And even then, my rolling pin handles would hit the wall, the microwave, me…it was like baking in the Dark Ages. But now… Now I’ve got a pastry mat and am no longer confined to the tiny square of countertop loosely referred to as my kitchen. I’ve moved up in the world of baking and can roll dough on top of my classy Target-brand kitchen island without hurting the wood surface (I actually had to move my fruit bowls, sweet potatoes and stack of recipe printouts, but it’s still an improvement).
Needless to say, I can’t wait until I become a real adult and live in a real house that has a real kitchen. Even just a dishwasher (other than my two hands) and an in-sink garbage disposal would be lovely…
But anyway, enough about me. Let’s get back to the important things. These cinnamon rolls. I just love so much how each one looks like a perfect little spiral of deliciousness. And is it just me, or do more cinnamon rings = yummier cinnamon rolls?
Don’t forget, if you give this or any other So Much Yum recipe a try, please be sure to let me know! Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, on the So Much Yum Facebook page, or find So Much Yum on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened original almond milk)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Energ-G Egg Replacer egg (1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg + 2 Tablespoons warm water)
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus extra for rolling and if your dough is too sticky (*see note in step 2 of directions)
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance butter, melted
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened original almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve yeast in the ½ cup warm water for about 1 minute. The water should feel like the temperature of a bathtub (approx. 105-115°F, but no need to use a thermometer). Gently swirl the yeast/water around. Add the milk, sugar, salt, Ener-G egg, butter, ½ cup of the whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat everything together on low, scraping down the sides as needed.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour (½ cup whole wheat pastry + 1 cup all-purpose) to form a dough that is easy to handle. *You can add a little more flour if the dough appears too wet; you want dough that is not sticky and will spring back when poked with your finger.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 5-6 minutes. Form dough into a ball and transfer to a bowl lightly coated with non-stick spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. I usually turn on my oven to 350°F for just a few minutes, turn off the heat, and then place my covered bowl of dough inside to rise.
- Once the dough has finished rising, prepare the filling ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 20x15-inch (approximately) rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners. Spread dough rectangle with the melted butter and sprinkle with all of the cinnamon-sugar mixture (I actually use my fingers to evenly spread the butter and filling mixture). Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 12 even pieces with a very sharp serrated knife. Lightly coat a 7x11-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and arrange rolls in dish, cut sides up, leaving a little space around each for more rising.
- Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and set them in a warm place (like on top of the oven while it preheats) for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Leave rolls loosely covered with the aluminum foil and bake for 25-28 minutes (mine took 25 minutes exactly), until they are light golden in color. Transfer pan to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together all of the glaze ingredients and drizzle over rolls before serving.
- Leftover rolls can be sealed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for several days. Microwave one roll for 10-20 seconds to soften.
- (Serving size = 1 roll)
- Calories: 209
- Fat: 3g
- Sodium: 237mg
- Carbohydrates: 41g
- Fiber: 2g
- Sugar: 16g
- Protein: 3g