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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Light and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

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Light and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls - easy healthy recipes, tasty healthy recipes, delicious healthy recipes, vegetarian healthy recipes, quick and easy recipes for picky eaters #healthyfood #food

I have a confession to make.

While I do try to eat healthy most of the time, I’ve got quite a sweet tooth. It’s one of the rare food preferences the husband and I have 100% in common!

I crave all sweet treats: cookies, cakes, pastries, chocolate, candy, ice cream — they call to me like long lost friends whom I love and adore.

I also eat dessert every day.

But I do it in The Picky Eater way: in moderation, just a bit of indulgence, so it’s relatively guilt-free.

A while back, I received a request on my Facebook Page for a lighter version of Cinnamon Buns or Cinnamon Rolls. I love, love, love Cinnamon Buns. I remember when Cinnabon opened in our local mall when I was in junior high — it was all the rage and I definitely had my fair share of their ooey, gooey, decadent, calorie-laden treats.

So in a quest to recreate that Cinnabon experience, but with The Picky Eater twist, I scoured the web and finally found this amazing recipe for a health(ier) version of Cinnamon Buns!

What are the secret swaps in this recipe?

  • Whole wheat flour for 1/2 the all purpose flour
  • Nonfat milk
  • A bit less sugar than the traditional recipe
  • Fat free icing, and less of it per bun
  • Smaller buns (it’s somewhat obvious, but if you make the buns slightly smaller, you end up with fewer calories!)
  • Raisins instead of nuts for the filling
The Ingredients
Adapted from Food.com

Makes 12 buns

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast, about 1 package
  • 1.25 cups whole wheat flour, sifted, divided
  • 1.25 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, divided
  • 1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
  • 1/4 cup raisins or 1/4 cup dried cherries or 1/4 cup cranberries
  • Optional icing ingredients: 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 Tbsp low fat milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions

  1. Stir together milk, vegetable oil, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat to lukewarm.
  2. Pour yeast over 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the yeast/water mixture into the milk mixture.
  4. Transfer milk mixture to a large mixing bowl and beat in half the flour by hand or with an electric mixer.
  5. Mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough (you may need a little less than 2.5 cups total)
  6. Let rest 10 minutes; knead well on a floured board or with an electric mixer and dough hook; let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Spray a large, clean bowl with cooking spray, add dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  8. Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.
  9. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle.
  10. Spray the rolled out dough with cooking spray.
  11. Stir together brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest; brush over dough.
  12. Sprinkle with raisins.
  13. Roll up tightly, like a jelly roll.
  14. Cut into 12 pieces.
  15. Place buns cut-side up in baking pan.
  16. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  17. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  18. Bake buns until firm and nicely browned on top, 30 minutes.
  19. Cool completely before serving.
Your finished buns will look like this:
.
Now, if you want to add a bit of icing, all you have to do is stir together the icing ingredients (powdered sugar, milk, vanilla) until smooth. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp over each of the buns.
.

Light and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls - easy healthy recipes, tasty healthy recipes, delicious healthy recipes, vegetarian healthy recipes, quick and easy recipes for picky eaters #healthyfood #food

Each cinnamon roll / cinnamon bun has about 160 calories, 10g sugar, and 1.5g fat. Not bad for a guilt-free version of the original!

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Light and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Simple swaps like whole wheat flour and fat-free icing make these cinnamon rolls a very happy indulgence!
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 buns
Calories: 166.4kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast about 1 package
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour sifted, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour sifted, divided
  • 1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest grated
  • 1/4 cup raisins or 1/4 cup dried cherries or 1/4 cup cranberries

Optional icing ingredients:

Instructions

  • Stir together milk, vegetable oil, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat to lukewarm.
  • Pour yeast over 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and let sit 5 minutes.
  • Stir the yeast/water mixture into the milk mixture.
  • Transfer milk mixture to a large mixing bowl and beat in half the flour by hand or with an electric mixer.
  • Mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough (you may need a little less than 2.5 cups total)
  • Let rest 10 minutes; knead well on a floured board or with an electric mixer and dough hook; let rest 10 minutes.
  • Spray a large, clean bowl with cooking spray, add dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle.
  • Spray the rolled out dough with cooking spray.
  • Stir together brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest; brush over dough.
  • Sprinkle with raisins.
  • Roll up tightly, like a jelly roll.
  • Cut into 12 pieces.
  • Place buns cut-side up in baking pan.
  • Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake buns until firm and nicely browned on top, 30 minutes.
  • Cool completely before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Food.com

Nutrition

Calories: 166.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1.5g | Sodium: 215.6mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 10g

Light and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls - easy healthy recipes, tasty healthy recipes, delicious healthy recipes, vegetarian healthy recipes, quick and easy recipes for picky eaters #healthyfood #food

Posted In…

Breakfast ·

Whether it’s a quick smoothie or indulgent (but guilt-free) pancakes, my breakfast recipes have everything you need to start your day off right.

Also posted in Recipes · Dessert · Entrees · Holiday Recipes · Snacks · Vegetarian

56 responses to “Light and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Hi anjali! Is the oil necessary? As i am trying to keep it low fat as possbible, I was wondering if maybe apple sauce or greek yogurt would work as a substitute? and The carb count is impressively low…How in the world?!

    • Hi Shweta! You could try replacing the oil with applesauce, but honestly the amount of fat in this recipe is already super low (1.5g) and I’m worried that with zero fat it will lose some of it’s yummy texture and flavor. I’d say go ahead and give it a try, but if it doesn’t turn out well – then make another batch with the oil and it will taste a lot better. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  2. Hi Anjali,

    theses cinnamon buns looks so welcoming and divine. I did try these out over the week , the kitchen smelt heavenly with the spicy aroma, buns were soft and gooey (maybe too gooey), tasted really nice expect it was it went abit hard (not too sure what went wrong) could it be me being too generous with the maple syrup that could have caused them to get hard….so I tried them again following your recipe to point and the same thing happened. 🙁

    • Hi Charm! So sorry to hear these didn’t turn out perfectly for you! I’m confused though, you said the buns were soft & gooey but then you also said they were hard? One thing to try is to try baking them for a little less time – it’s possible your oven gets hotter than mine and so it overbaked the rolls. Hope that helps!

      • hi Anjali,

        thank you for the feedback ,sorry bout the confusing , when i took them out the oven the buns were still very warm and soft but after cooling off completely there turned out abit hard ,well more stiff and dry ( hope this makes sense)

        you might b right it could be my oven settings and I could have rolled out the dough too thin. I did take a pic of the final product and looked at it again , mine are much browner compared to yours in the pic . Well I am gonna try these again .

      • Ah I see, that makes sense. Yes I’d recommend less baking time and maybe not rolling the dough out so much. Let me know how they turn out the next time!

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