These super easy, Homemade Healthy Cinnamon Rolls are clean-eating goodness rolled with love! They are made without refined sugar, and the main ingredient in the glaze is Greek yogurt. One word: scrumptious!
Hooray for cinnamon rolls! Yes, people. Cinnamon rolls. I am SO excited to share this healthy cinnamon roll recipe with you today.
I love cinnamon rolls. Like love LOVE them. There’s something so special about their ooey, gooey, cinnamony, sugary centers that I just crave.
It’s like a sweet little present every time. And speaking of these cleaning-eating, wholesome treats, I still can’t believe I don’t have a cinnamon roll recipe on the blog. C’mon, we’re talking about cinnamon rolls here, right?!?
Why? Well, it’s kind of a long story…
Way back when, about 4 years ago, I wanted to add a healthy cinnamon roll recipe to the blog. So, like I always do, I started researching how to make cinnamon rolls and tried out a recipe or two. And they were COMPLETE failures. Like almost inedible. I say almost because, hey, we are talking about cinnamon rolls, here. And, well, me. Anyway, I was so shaken about these horrible outcomes that I decided I just couldn’t make cinnamon rolls. It was just never gonna happen.
They were my Everest and I just couldn’t do it.
From time to time after that point, Dustin would suggest I try to make cinnamon rolls and I’d shrivel up into a pathetic ball and remember the horribleness. And then politely decline.
So…fast forward to about a month ago when Dustin and I were making a list of all the recipes I should have on the blog, but don’t…recipes like fried chicken, dinner rolls, chicken noodle soup, ravioli (man, don’t get me started on my ravioli failures!), apple pie, and so on. And then healthy cinnamon rolls came up. Sigh.
Plus, they are a great Christmas morning treat to have on hand which goes perfectly in line with the Christmas theme we are doing on the blog this month. Double sigh. It was time I put together a cinnamon roll recipe that tasted fantastic but could tick all the boxes for a clean-eating recipe. It was just time. So, I went back to the drawing board. I tried a few different things, made some adjustments, tried some more things, and then came up with this recipe.
And I nailed it! FINALLY! Whew. Who wants an easy, yet healthy cinnamon roll recipe? ‘Cuz I finally have one to share with you. Woohoo!
It’s funny, really, because they aren’t even difficult to make. In fact, they’re pretty much no-fail. Triple sigh. Needless to say, we are super happy. The girls are ecstatic they can have homemade cinnamon rolls. I am relieved and happy I was finally able to overcome my ridiculous issue with cinnamon rolls. Dustin is happy we have this recipe on the blog and can check it off the list.
All sorts of goodness.
HOW CAN I MAKE HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS NON-DAIRY?
It’s a breeze to make these healthy cinnamon rolls a non-dairy treat. Simply replace the Greek yogurt used for the glaze with a plant-based yogurt. The recipe will still be sweet and delicious, but allows those with lactose intolerance to enjoy them, too!
HOW CAN I MAKE HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS GLUTEN-FREE?
To make your Homemade Healthy Cinnamon Rolls gluten-free, switch the whole wheat flour for almond flour. The ratio is 1:1. Although, for binding, you may need an extra egg. Other good unrefined choices are cassava flour with a 1:1 ratio and chickpea flour. For this alternative, replace one cup of wheat flour with ¾ cup of chickpea flour.
CAN I MAKE HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS SUGAR-FREE?
You have to include sugar in this recipe to make it come out right as it bakes and to give the cinnamon rolls a delectable taste! But, my recipe replaces brown and granulated sugars with coconut sugar for the roll, and maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the glaze.
Coconut sugar is not chemically altered in any way, which puts it at the top of the list for healthy sugars. It contains calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. This boiled and dehydrated sap of the coconut palm is much lower in glucose and fructose than white sugar, for example. Be wise when you shop, though. Sometimes coconut sugar is mixed with cane sugar; be sure to buy coconut sugar alone.
HOW DO I MAKE SURE THE HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS RISE?
Careful application of the yeast will ensure fluffy and deliciously plump cinnamon rolls every time. When adding the yeast to the milk mixture, the warm milk must be just that – warm. If it’s too hot, the yeast will not work its magic, so make sure the liquid is the right temperature.
CAN I MAKE HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS AHEAD OF TIME?
These delightful cinnamon rolls can be made ahead and will retain their deliciousness when stored properly. If you are keeping them in the refrigerator, they’ll last up to a week. Nourishing and crave-worthy, the cinnamon rolls will stay fresh for 2-3 days if you want to keep them on the counter. In either case, cover them well so that they stay soft!
HOW DO I REHEAT HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS?
These healthy cinnamon rolls are easily reheated in either of the two following ways:
- Microwave: Can be microwaved for 30-60 seconds
- Oven: Place in the oven at 300 degrees until heated through
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS FOR HOMEMADE HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS
These soft and gooey cinnamon rolls are already clean-eating. If you are looking for replacements for ingredients specific to your diet or eating regimen, here is how to do that:
- Gluten-free: Replace the whole wheat flour with almond, cassava (both with 1:1 ratio) or chickpea flour (¾ cup chickpea to one cup whole wheat flour)
- Vegan/Non-dairy: Use a plant-based yogurt instead of the Greek yogurt
- Keto/Paleo: Replace the whole wheat pastry flour with almond flour (1:1 ratio)
LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHY BAKED DESSERT RECIPES?
A healthy dessert is the best way to finish off a tasty, pleasurable meal! Bake these for your next after dinner, clean-eating treat:
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup melted coconut oil divided
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 cups plus 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour divided
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups full fat plain greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp maple extract
Combine the milk, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and coconut sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until heated through. Do not heat enough to boil, just until heated through.
- Set aside and allow to cool until it turns from hot to warm. You'll want the temperature to feel warm on your finger, but not to burn it. If the temperature is too hot, it will kill the yeast which would mean the yeast would never rise.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk mixture and let it sit for approximately 2-3 minutes, until the yeast starts to grow and smell yeasty.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk-yeast mixture with 4 cups of the whole wheat pastry flour and stir until just combined. The mixture will be sticky.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let sit for 1 hour to rise. It will double in size.
After 1 hour, remove the towel, and add the baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Using your hands, knead the dough and stir together to make dough go from semi-crumbly and powdery to smooth. This process of kneading the dry ingredients into the dough will take approximately 3-5 minutes.
Start preheating the oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Now, it's time to assemble the rolls. Clear a very large, clean surface and sprinkle it generously with flour.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle, trying your best to keep the corners as square (90 degrees) as possible. The dough should be relatively thin.
Take the remaining 1/4 cup coconut oil and pour over the rectangular dough. Spread until dough is completely covered with the oil.
Sprinkle the coconut sugar very generously over the entire surface of the dough. All the dough should be covered well.
Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the coconut sugar, making sure to cover all the dough. Don't be afraid to go for it with the cinnamon - it's gonna be delicious.
- Beginning at the end farthest from you, start to roll the dough towards you by using both your hands and working slowly, taking care to keep the roll as tight and as even as possible.
- Once it's completely rolled up, carefully lay the log down on its seam.
Using a sharp knife or other tool (some people use dental floss - I use my handy dandy kitchen scraper, divide the log into 12 equal pieces. I start in the middle, then keep halving the two halves until there are 6 equal halves on each side, totaling 12 rolls.
Carefully, place the sliced rolls down flat into the prepared baking dish in 4 rows of 3 rolls. You may need to slightly shape the rolls back into circles after slicing them.
Cover the baking dish again with the kitchen towels and let rise for an additional 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.
While the rolls are in the oven, make the frosting.
Combine the greek yogurt, syrup, and extracts in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
Remove the rolls from the oven and, while still hot, pour the frosting over the rolls and spread evenly.
- The rolls will keep, covered, unrefrigerated for 2-3 days or up to a week if refrigerated.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for the kitchen item(s) I use 🙂