Posted by: Hil | June 30, 2008

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

The recipe is here! These things have bit hits with everyone who has tried them so far. Just to be clear, these are not health food. They have quite a lot of sugar in them. But if you want the excuse to eat something sweet for breakfast, these are much more filling and sustaining than a standard cinnamon roll. And they taste delicious! The husband (aka the Lemonator) has kindly agreed to share his method. Enjoy!


Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted slightly from a recipe in the King Arthur Guide to Whole Grain Baking

1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
¼ cup brown sugar
3 ½ tbsp honey
1 egg yolk (save the white to use in the filling)
4 tbsp butter
3 ½ whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup rye flour
¼ cup nonfat milk
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

*[EDIT:  In later permutations, we reduced the sugar in the filling to 3/4 cup loosely packed and added a couple handfuls of finely chopped walnuts to the filling.  That is now our standard filling preparation.]
Yes, these are absolutely delicious. For years now, my dad has been making cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and ever since I moved out, I’ve wanted to figure out how to make something taste quite as delicious. So, On thursday, I tried it! The recipe I had called for a lot of things I didnt have, so I improvised a little bit, but it turned out nicely. So, without further ado, here we go!

Step 1. Mix the dough.

This step is… well… fairly self-explanatory. I generally, like all yeast/involving creations, add the water and yeast first and give it a few minutes to start multiplying before I add the other ingredients. I doubt its important, but next I added the sweet items, followed by the butter, flours and other ingredients. The rye flour was a substitution for potato flakes/flour, and I’m certain that you can substitute regular whole wheat flour (or something else), and it’ll turn out nicely.
At this point, we take the dough, knead it a little bit to get a nice cohesive ball, cover it and let it rise for an hour or two (I was in a hurry, so only did it for an hour).

Step 2. Make the filling.

While the dough is rising, we can make the filling, which is very thick and smells wonderful. This time around, we followed the recipe exactly, but in the future, we’re thinking of adding in some chopped walnuts and perhaps reducing the amount of sugar a little bit.

Step 3. Making the cinnamon rolls.

So, we take our dough, and we roll it out into a large rectangle. The recipe says to make it a 12” x 18” rectangle, but… I didn’t quite make it to that big. Rolling out a smaller, thicker square leaves you with thicker spirals. At this point, we get a spatula and slather the dough with the filling, making sure to leave a 1” border on at least one side to ensure that the rolls will stick together and not come apart in the oven. Because we had a smaller overall area, we had more filling than we needed (so watch out :)).

Following this, you want to roll them up. We rolled them along the long edge, which gave us fewer spirals, but more rolls in the end… you could of course do it the other way, too. Be sure to roll it loosely, otherwise all the filling will spill out as the rolls expand in the oven! Once the dough is rolled, take out a serrated knife and cut it into individual rolls. The recipe says you can get 16 rolls out of it, but we only got 12.

Step 4: Baking the rolls.

Arrange the rolls on a cookie sheet or some other large baking surface such that the rolls dont quite touch one another (maybe about 1” of separation). Cover them and let them rise for another hour or so (because what would baking a bready thing be if you didnt have to wait a lot!). Near the end of this second rising time, preheat the oven to 375. Once the rolls are ready to go into the oven (they should touch one another by the time the rising is done), put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes, remove, let cool, and enjoy!

These are absolutely delicious, as I said before, and… in fact… I think Im going to have one right now.

~The Lemonator



  1. Wow, these look great! Definitely much healthier than Cinnabon, but still a treat! I didn’t realize they were relatively easy to make – perhaps I can get up the motivation to try!

  2. those look amazing! i definitely want to give them a try one of these weekends!

  3. […] fridge.  When I got home from an afternoon shopping trip, the husband had made a batch of gorgeous whole wheat cinnamon rolls.  They were even better than last time.  He let the dough rise longer, rolled it out thinner, […]

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