These crispy healthy Cinnamon Rolls with crunchy cinnamon-sugar glaze are perfect for a family breakfast on the weekend. The recipe also comes with a convenient overnight option.
We've had a few really rainy and chilly days here in Calgary. Weather like that calls for comfort food, and it made my mother-in-law crave cinnamon buns. She made a whole big batch that she generously shared with us.
I would have loved to share my MIL's (mother-in-law) recipe right away; the only problem is - she makes things like this from the top of her head. Isn't that crazy? She is good like that! I respect and admire this a lot.
But she was really intrigued by the interest in her cinnamon buns, that she made them again a few days later. This time she measured out carefully everything that she puts together and asked me to watch and help, so that I could write down the instructions. So now, thanks to our teamwork, you have her recipe right here.
Crispy Cinnamon Rolls
These are not your typical cinnamon buns. They have a bit of a crispier, heartier texture to them as she makes them healthier by adding a mixture of seeds to the cinnamon roll dough - specifically ground flax seed, chia seeds, sesame seeds and also some quick cooking oats.
The seeds and grains are optional, however I highly recommend using them. You can definitely substitute the varieties you have at home - try some poppy or sunflower seeds, for example. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can be flexible with it and it will still taste great.
The Healthy Cinnamon Roll Dough
These cinnamon buns are made from a yeast dough, which can scare some people - but please don't be scared! It still is as easy as throwing all ingredients together and kneading them into a dough. If you bought your yeast not too long ago, it should work just fine and there is no need for proofing (however, should proofing just be part of your routine for yeast dough, you certainly can still do it).
There is olive oil in the dough, but you can also use butter or coconut oil.
In place of the glaze, you can also spread a cream cheese icing on the baked and cooled cinnamon buns.
I love to cut my homemade cinnamon rolls in half and spread homemade roasted almond butter on the two halves.
How to make Healthy Cinnamon Buns
- Combine the dough ingredients either by hand or with a mixer to form a cohesive dough.
- Let the dough rise in an oiled, covered bowl until doubled. Then punch down.
- Roll dough out into a large rectangle.
- Spread with softened butter and cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Roll up the dough sheet.
- Cut into 12 cinnamon rolls using unflavored dental floss or a sharp serrated knife.
- Pinch together the bottom of each cut roll, then place in a greased or parchment paper lined baking pan and bake.
- Either brush the crunchy sugar glaze in the last 5 minutes of baking time. Or let the baked cinnamon rolls cool, then spread with the smooth powdered sugar icing.
Overnight Cinnamon Roll Recipe
You can also make these cinnamon buns fresh for breakfast without slaving away early in the morning. Prepare the cinnamon buns the night before, and once they are in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for the second rise (the cold fridge will slow down the rising process).
In the morning, leave the cinnamon buns at room temperature while the oven is pre-heating. Bake and glaze as directed above. And there you have it! Enjoy this fun take on healthy cinnamon rolls and get baking!
Original Images from 2013
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
Check out these similar recipes!
- Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
- Overnight Gingerbread Oatmeal
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Rolls Recipe
Crispy Healthier Cinnamon Buns
For the Cinnamon Buns:
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup milk or almond milk
- ¼ cup butter or olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup quick cooking oats
- 3 tablespoon ground flax seed optional
- 2 tablespoon chia seeds optional
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds optional
- 3-¾ cup all-purpose flour optionally, use up 50% whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
For the Filling:
- ½ cup sugar cane or brown sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk, or softened cream cheese for cream cheese frosting
In a large bowl of your stand mixer combine combine all ingredients for the cinnamon buns. Use the dough hook to knead into a uniform dough. Alternatively, you could turn the dough out onto the counter and knead by hand.
If the dough is still too sticky in the end, add either a tablespoon of olive oil or a few sprinkles of flour to make a smooth dough.
Place the dough ball in to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour).
In the meantime, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl for the filling.
Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a large rectangle with a rolling pin. Brush the dough with ¼ cup of very soft butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
Roll the dough into a log starting from the long side. Cut into about 12 buns with a sharp knife, serrated knife, or unflavored dental floss.
Grease a large baking dish (9x13 inches) with butter.
Pinch the dough at the bottom of each cut rolls, then place them in the prepared pan. Cover with a lid or clean towel and let the buns rise again until they are significantly bigger (about 45 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the cinnamon buns for about 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
Stir together powdered sugar, vanilla, melted butter and enough cream/milk to make a smooth glaze. Brush the glaze mix over the baked healthy cinnamon rolls after they have cooled a bit.
If you are looking for the crunchy glaze from the previous recipe version:
Combine ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoon melted butter, ¼ cup heavy cream and brush over the cinnamon rolls after 25 minutes bake time. Then return to oven for 5 more minutes.
Use milk + butter alternatives as mentioned above to make vegan cinnamon rolls