Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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This homemade cinnamon rolls recipe is the perfect alternative to store-bought!

I have to tell you, I didn’t think I could do this. The truth is, I try a lot of things for the first time in the interest of bringing you all a new recipe. As a result, I have plenty of “experiments” that end up in the trash (Good thing I don’t blog about those, it’s not pretty!)

So when I set out to try this Clean Eating Cinnamon Rolls recipe for the first time, you guessed it, most of it went in the trash. I have never before in my life made cinnamon rolls and I just couldn’t fathom trying to bake and eat the disaster that lay before me on the counter.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Rolls shown up close on a white platter. You can see the glaze of honey over the buns and pieces of pecans are sprinkled over the top.

But being the brave soul that I am, I cut off a small portion and put it in the oven just to see how it would turn out, and you’ll never guess what happened. The timer went off, I opened the oven, and I had a very small batch of nearly perfect clean eating cinnamon rolls before me (Yes, I cursed myself for throwing out so much of the recipe).

So taking note of a few things that I thought should change, I decided I’d give it another shot.

Well, little changes can make a HUGE difference in baking. And while I still had an absolute mess in my kitchen by the time I was done, I ended up with the most fabulous clean eating cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had!

So if you decide to try this recipe, I’m not saying it will be the most tidy experience you’ve ever had in the kitchen, but I am saying it will definitely be worth it!

I should also just mention that this is a recipe redo from WheatFoods.org.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY THIS CLEAN EATING RECIPE:

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS RECIPE:

Clean Eating Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Clean Eating Cinnamon Rolls

Note: This recipe will require 3 hours of total rising time. So plan accordingly.
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Course: Breads, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 48 minutes
Servings: 15 rolls, approximate
Calories: 272kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

CINNAMON ROLL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • cup warm water (100-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (regular milk works too)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil + extra on reserve
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (affiliate link)

CINNAMON FILLING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour (affiliate link)
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • (This will all be done in one large mixing bowl)
  • Pour the yeast into the bowl and mix in the warm water and the 1/2 teaspoon honey. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Now, add the almond milk, 1/4 cup honey, salt olive oil and eggs to the yeast mixture. Whisk gently until combined.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour. When it's partially mixed and too thick to mix with the spoon any longer, begin kneading by hand. This will be very sticky at first, but you'll find that the more you knead, the more the gluten starts to pull everything together. In the end, you'll have a fairly firm ball of dough. So keep kneading (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Coat the ball of dough in a thin layer of olive oil and set back in the bowl. Cover with a towel and let stand for 1 hour to rise.
  • Punch down the dough, and cover again. Let it sit for another hour.
  • Punch down the dough one last time, cover and let sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend all your filling ingredients together. You should have a nice, thick, molasses-like filling when you are done mixing.
  • On a generously floured surface, roll out your dough. Again, be generous with the flour. If you are not, the dough will stick to your counter making the rolling process a real chore. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Cut with a knife if necessary and place the cut offs in the center of the dough to be rolled back in with the rolling pin (no wasting good dough here!) In fact, if you look closely at the photo above, you can see the lines in the dough where I rolled my cut-offs back in.
  • Pour the honey mixture onto the middle of your rolled dough.
  • Smear on your filling. Make sure it only touches 3 of the four sides of your rectangle.
  • Roll the dough, starting with the side that has the honey mixture up to the edge.
  • When you get it rolled almost all the way, use your fingers to "paint" some water onto the edge of the dough that does not have any honey mixture on it. Give the dough one final roll so the dough will be "glued shut" by the water.
  • Note: If you get to this point and feel like you should just throw the whole thing in the trash, you're probably doing it right. Did I mention this recipe is messy?
  • Cut the roll into approximately 1 inch strips, and place each strip in an oiled baking pan or casserole dish. You want the dish to be too big for all your rolls as they will still need room for rising and baking. But don't go overboard, or your filling will seep out during baking. Better to have them fit snuggly after they have risen than still have too much room. Gauge accordingly.
  • Cover the dish with a towel and let the dough rise, one last time, for 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • If using the pecans, sprinkle them on now. Place rolls in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and squeeze some honey over the top of the rolls.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1.7mg
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84 Comments

  1. graciouspantry says:

    Hahaha!!! Ya, they are pretty messy to make. I hope you enjoy them though!

  2. graciouspantry says:

    Oh no!!!!!! I’m so sorry!

  3. graciouspantry says:

    Sounds like a plan! And yes, a change in flour will affect how sticky the dough is. Glad you enjoyed them!

  4. graciouspantry says:

    You can try, but you may have to make a slight adjustment to the liquid content. Whole wheat flour soaks up a lot more liquid than white flour.

  5. graciouspantry says:

    Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them!

  6. graciouspantry says:

    You can’t make regular whole wheat flour into whole wheat pastry flour. They are two different types of wheat and have different gluten levels. The pastry variety is also a finer “grind”. If you can’t find it, the next best thing is WHITE whole wheat flour.

    Just leave the molasses out if you don’t want to use it. No subs.

  7. can you make the rolls and refrigerate overnight before baking? I would like to make them and have them ready to bake for breakfast in the morning.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      You could try it. I haven’t tried it myself, but it should work.

  8. They look wonderful, but do you know that your printer friendly version prints all the photos? That’s a lot of ink and a lot of wasted paper.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Not if you click on the photos. Anything you click on after clicking the print butter will delete so you don’t have to print it. 🙂

  9. Yum! I have to try these soon! Can you freeze the leftovers?? (if there are any left… 😉

  10. Has anyone tried using the bread machine for this recipe? I have a cinnamon roll recipe that you use the bread machine for the first rise. So curious if it would work for this one too! That would be awesome!

  11. I want to try these and I’m going to try them in my bread machine. I make non-clean ones and use the bread machine. My idea is to sub one cup of white whole wheat and do the rest whole wheat pastry. The white whole wheat should add a good amount of gluten. I’ll have to try these soon. I’ve got to buy some honey though, as my honey is raw and I hate to use raw honey in a recipe that’s cooked. Seems like a waste.

  12. I made these- so yummy! Thank you!

    I did make some alterations though! To make this more like the recipe my mom makes I wanted to use a sweetener closer to brown sugar. For my filling I used coconut oil mixed with coconut palm sugar and cinnamon. I smeared it on the dough and proceeded with the recipe. Much less messy as there was no liquid pouring out of my dough!

    I also mixed maple syrup with greek yogurt as a glaze for my buns (got the idea from your pop tart recipe)!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Meagan – That’s awesome! So glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

  13. Can you let these rise longer (overnight?) or is that too long? I want to make them for breakfast, but am afraid of the 3 hour wait period. Thoughts?? Love your website! Thank you for all your hard work!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lydia – I have had people put them in the fridge AFTER they let them rise, and they said it turned out okay. I don’t know for sure though as I’ve never done it myself. I believe there is some info in comments below.

  14. I wanted to try these tonight as a trial for Christmas. I tried another clean recipe and they turned out crunchy and hard. Are these fluffy or hard?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Heidi – These are more bready. Not hard or fluffy.

  15. I can’t wait to try these! My husband is trying to do the clean eating thing so I think these will be a hit!
    Oh and another thing…i have that same spatula! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tina – Haha! Awesome! Let me know how he likes them!

  16. I made these for Christmas and was pleasantly surpised! They were just perfect and such a treat. My buns looked nothing like yours, not sure what I did differently but they were fluffier for some reason.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Heidi – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! LOL!

  17. My mom and I just made these last night! Wow! They are gooey, chewy and delicious! Try making a little extra filling to pour on top…I think it will add a little “sticky bun” texture to it. Thanks Gracious Pantry for this recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hannah – My pleasure! 😀

  18. Oh Wow…I’m so making these this week!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Monica – I hope you enjoy them!

  19. I made them today, ended up with 15 of them. Froze half of them. We couldn’t wait for breakfast so we split one for dessert tonight! 🙂 I used parchment paper to roll out the dough on. When I rolled the dough up into a giant roll, it was much easier than wax paper, which everything sticks to. I used the extra filling that seeped out to pour back onto the rolls as well. The only other thing we may try, when re-heating to moisten them up, we may put a little extra milk on them or some earth balance butter.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Monica – Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

  20. I must say–I am IN LOVE with your recipes! Whenever I see your thumbnails on Pinterest I always save them for later.

    I did try these are they are amazing! Thank you for the recipe! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Baylee – Thanks so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed them! 😀

  21. Made these for today and they were good but sooo sweet. Can I reduce the honey?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nikki – Absolutely!! In fact, you could try using maple syrup as it usually doesn’t have that sweet, sweet flavor. But yes, you can reduce it.

  22. Hello, is there anything else that I can use isntead of Molasses? It’s just that it’s a bit hard to find :/

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Emilia – You can leave it out. I just added it for more of a “brown sugar” flavor. But it’s not necessary.

  23. Hi!
    I’m very excited to try this recipe although I was wondering if I could use a different type of flour like gluten-free baking flour or whole wheat flour?!

    Thank you!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Becky – You need gluten for this recipe. Whole wheat flour will work just fine, but the end result will be rolls that are more coarse or “bready”.

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