Pretty Healthy Cinnamon Rolls

It’s a holiday weekend here in the United States, and I like to cook something special for the holidays. In the past I’d make the biggest pan of  frosted brownies you’ve ever seen and make sure we were stocked up with plenty of candy, chips and junk.

I know that cinnamon rolls aren’t usually considered a health food. But these cinnamon rolls I made the other day with the recipe from my blog friend Jeanette are so tasty, and really not bad for you. The basis for the dough is the bread recipe I use when grinding the wheat and making my weekly sandwich bread. Here’s the post about my bread making.

When I make the bread, I put it directly in the loaf pans and let it rise for an hour, then cook up the loaves. But, when I make the cinnamon rolls, I let the dough rise twice and then make the rolls. Here’s how it works:


1 1/4 cups really warm water

2 1/2 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of oil

1 skimpy teaspoon salt

1 real teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon wheat gluten (optional if you are using packaged whole wheat flour)

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour


In a mixing bowl, put water, half of the flour, oil, honey, yeast and gluten. Mix on low until combined. Add the rest of the flour and the salt. Mix and sprinkle in more flour until your dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you are using whole wheat flour and having a hard time with the dough pulling away, add a bit of bread flour until the dough pulls away from the side. Knead by hand for 10 minutes or in your machine for 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn into a bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise until doubled – about an hour in a warmed, turned off oven. (I preheat my oven to 170 degrees for two minutes then turn if off.)

After the first rise, roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. 

Brush with a bit of melted real butter. I used about one to one and a half teaspoons. Not much at all. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. (This is the not so healthy part!)

Roll the whole rectangle up into a log.

Cut across the length of the dough into 1.5 inch strips. Roll up and place cut side down on a baking pan. Cover and let rise again for about an hour.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. I drizzled (didn’t pour) some powdered sugar/milk glaze on these, but they are good enough all on their own.

I hope you try these for a holiday or special occasion. My kids loved them, and I didn’t think they were half bad. . .

Do you cook something special on holidays?   Diane

22 thoughts on “Pretty Healthy Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Karen says:

    Oh those look yummy! Nope. I am not much of a cook or baker. I think the only exception is that my family does like to have potato pancakes for Hanukkah so I will make those at least once. No healthy way to do it!

  2. Marcelle says:

    Looks very yummy, but as there are no children in this house of mine and a hubby who does not eat cake…I wont attempt as I will have to eat it all up!!!!
    But they do look divine!!

  3. Ashley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. These will be perfect for picky eaters like my fiance’s dad. I’ll just not mention that they are health-ified. Muahaha!

  4. vickie says:

    one person making a whole batch would be disaster (or at least it would be for me), but that is the beauty of having a pile of kids 🙂 you can make a batch of these types of things and then they are gone.

  5. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Honestly Diane, I am drooling all over my keyboard!!!! YUM!!!!!!! And we just bought a fattening one for my hubby’s treat Sunday breakfast!

    I may actually try these although I am scared to because I would eat them all! 🙂

    THX!!!! Printing it now anyway!!!!!

  6. Babbalou says:

    I agree these do look fabulous! I also agree that without any kids in the house, I’d better not make a batch because they would just call my name from the kitchen. I did make something special today, a swiss chard fritatta, made with italian sausage and feta as well as the chard. Filling and delicious – even good cold for lunch. The recipe is on if anyone wants to try it. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend!

  7. 'Drea says:

    If I could just cook again, it would be a beautiful thing but I haven’t felt like it in awhile — maybe as fall comes in, I’ll get back into the swing of things…

    Your rolls do look good though.

  8. Julia says:

    I can smell and taste those from here they look so good, my kids would love them. I used to make bread often in SA as a kid, I would make challah for Friday nights and it is so good. Haven’t done much baking here.
    Enjoy the rest of your w/e 🙂

  9. jeanette says:

    Oh Diane, yours look so lovely! A lot of people are afraid to make them because they will eat too many and that they will go straight to belly fat, and they might be right if they are using regular white flour. But OURS, made with fresh ground wheat will not! And more than that they are nutritious and so filling. You just CAN’T sit and eat half a pan. No way! Yessss, guilt free cinny rolls unite!!!

  10. Leah says:

    My daughter did the baking for the church picnic this year. I still ate more than I needed, but she’s doing such an awesome job I couldn’t resist.

    Might try these sometime soon as we love cinnamon rolls. Well, soon…later…when I’ve recovered from cookies today. 🙂

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