Easy, sort-of-healthy Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas morning deserves something special to go with the salted caramel coffee.  Most of the time we eat pretty healthy.  So I decided to take an easy cinnamon roll recipe and make it a least a little healthier.

I used half white whole wheat four (all whole wheat would not form enough gluten to rise well) and bread four to compensate for the lower gluten.  And cane sugar, which is processed less than regular white sugar.  A healthy dose of cinnamon for the benefits it offers.

The rolls came out fluffy and light, and tasted just like regular (non-whole wheat) cinnamon buns. We decided to just spread on a small bit of icing on to individual rolls rather than slather the whole panful, but feel free to spread it all onto warm rolls so the icing melts into the crevices!

cinnamon bun

Easy Sorta-healthy Cinnamon rolls

Classic cinnamon rolls made a bit healthier with some whole wheat flour and cane sugar

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls


  • 4.5-5 c half bread four, half white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 11/2 c warm water
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg


  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp butter


  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Combine 2 cups of bread flour, sugar and salt in mixing bowl.

    Mix yeast with water and a pinch of sugar to proof. Melt butter in the microwave until just soft (it doesn’t need to melt all the way). Add the water/yeast and butter to the flour, and mix; add in the egg.

  2. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer, scraping bowl as needed. Add 1 c of white whole wheat flour and incorporate, then continue to add white whole wheat four until a soft ball forms.

  3. Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth and elastic (or let the mixer knead with a dough hook). Put in a greased bowl, turning, and set aside for 10-20 minutes while the oven warms and you make the filling.


  1. Filling: combine the cane sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir well.

    Melt the 2 tbsp of butter in the microwave (30 seconds).

  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter all over the dough, then sprinkle with the sugar mix. Roll up from the long side, jelly roll fashion. Pinch edge closed.

  3. Place cut side down into a greased 13 x 9” pan. Space the rolls evenly, leaving space n between. Cover with a towel and let rise about an hour. The pan should be full.

    Bake 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Rolls should be golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes.


  1. Combine all frosting ingredients, adding just enough milk to make a thin frosting that will drip from a spoon. Spread over the rolls.

This is a basic, simple recipe that anyone can make!  Just use fresh active yeast, and white whole wheat flour.  Standard whole wheat four may be too heavy to rise well.

Please let me know if you try them!

cinnamon bun

easy cinnamon roll

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