Homemade Cinnamon Buns
I guess I’ll just admit it.  I’m a total newbie when it comes to baking with yeast (kind of like how I’m an amateur at baking cookies!).  The only yeasted recipe I have had success with are these Dinner Rolls, so I guess it didn’t really make sense for me to give cinnamon rolls a try…  especially gluten free cinnamon rolls.
Just a fair warning:  the cinnamon roll recipes I am providing here in this post are not those giant and super sugary things you see at Cinnabon.  You can definitely tell these are gluten free and reduced sugar, I’m sorry, but it’s true.  So while these cinnamon roll recipes aren’t “home-runs” or anything I would run down the street with to share with every person I meet, they are definitely better than no cinnamon rolls… which is where I found myself last week and then again just the other day  ;)
Homemade Cinnamon Buns
So first, I’ll give you the recipe for the first cinnamon rolls I made.  The cinnamon roll itself wasn’t very sweet, but with the frosting it was just like the cinnamon rolls you would find at a bakery.  The texture was… different.  Not bad, necessarily, just different.  It wasn’t poofy and light, it was more dense and rich.  Kind of like chocolate cake vs. brownies — one is fluffy and the other is compact, but both are totally delicious.
Homemade Cinnamon Buns

Version #1: Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Yield: 8 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Instructions

    For the Dough:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water and set aside to gel up.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the almond milk and sucanat. Microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each one, until warm (not hot). Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl with dough hook attachment, add the oil and extracts. Add the flax gel and yeast mixture.
  4. Turn the stand mixer on low and add the sorghum flour. Add the oat flour and salt. When all the flour is incorporated, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly knead for ~5 minutes, or until dough can form into a ball and isn't super sticky.
  5. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 1 hour (it won't rise like regular dough, just get a little bit puffier than before)
  6. For the Filling:
  7. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, until 1/4" thick.
  8. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the shortening and applesauce. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until shortening is melted. Stir in the sucanat and cinnamon. Microwave the mixture for 20 seconds, stir, then spread onto the rolled out dough close to the edges.
  9. Roll the dough, then slice into 8.
  10. Spray a 6" cake pan with cooking spray. Add the sliced cinnamon rolls to the pan and cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 1 hour (it won't rise very much)
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for ~19 minutes, or until the edges of the rolls spring back when tapped. Let cool in the pan.
  12. For the Frosting:
  13. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients and scoop/pour over the cooled cinnamon rolls.

Notes

These are delicious when popped in the microwave for 10 seconds!

This recipe is: low sugar, gluten free, vegan!

Recipe adapted from: Naturally Ella

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/cinnamon-rolls-with-vanilla-bean-frosting/

I decided to compare the nutrition labels of Cinnabon’s Minibon cinnamon roll to my cinnamon roll [version #1], since they are similar in size.  The Cinnabon label is on the left,  the DWB label is on the right:

Healthy Dessert Blog  Healthy Dessert Blog

Okay, first off, can you believe Cinnabon’s MINIbon roll has 350 calories, 14g fat (with 7g sat fat and 2g trans fat) and 24g of sugar?!  That’s insane.  I used to buy Cinnabon Minibon’s every time I went to the mall, oh gosh, I feel so terrible about consuming all that trans fat.  But now that I have made these healthified cinnamon rolls, I can now get my cinnamon roll fix without the guilt!

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Homemade Cinnamon Buns Homemade Cinnamon Buns

Now it’s time for the second cinnamon roll recipe!  These cinnamon rolls taste very similar to the first version above, but had a fluffier texture as they rose more during the proofing stage.

Homemade Cinnamon Buns Homemade Cinnamon Buns

I decreased the salt from 1+1/4 tsp to 1 tsp, added some baking powder and increased the yeast for a fluffier texture, and added 1 tsp of cinnamon to the filling because…  I love cinnamon!  I used brown rice flour in this version instead of sorghum flour because I find sorghum flour to be a bit bitter, and used date sugar instead of sucanat.  These cinnamon rolls are best the day they are made because they stay together pretty well.  The next day they turn a little bit crumbly since there is no gluten or xanthan gum.

These cinnamon rolls are incredibly delicious and packed with cinnamon flavor.  Even though they may not be an exact replica of a Cinnabon cinnamon roll, still, they are just as addicting!

Version #2: Cinnamon Rolls with a Special Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

    Dough:
  • 7g (1 tbs) Ground Flaxseed + 3 tbs Water
  • 180g (3/4 cup) Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 13g (1 tbs) Date Sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)
  • 2+1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 28g (2 tbs) Grapeseed Oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp Butter Extract
  • 1 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 97g (1 cup) Oat Flour** (plus ~3 tbs for folding)
  • 160g (1 cup) Brown Rice Flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Filling:
  • 24g (2 tbs) Butter Flavored Spectrum Organics Shortening
  • 2 tbs + 1 tsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 48g (1/4 cup) Date Sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tbs + 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Frosting:
  • 3 scoops Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder Isolate (I used Growing Naturals)
  • ~1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 20 drops Stevia Extract

Instructions

    For the Dough:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water and set aside to gel up.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the almond milk and date sugar. Microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each one, until warm (not hot). Stir in the yeast and set aside for 8 minutes.
  3. Measure the oat flour according to the note (**) below, then add to a small bowl. Whisk in the rice flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a stand mixer bowl with dough hook attachment, add the oil and extracts. Add the flax gel and yeast mixture.
  5. Turn the stand mixer on low and slowly sprinkle in the dry ingredients. When all the flour is incorporated into the dough, the mixture should look a little bit sticky.
  6. Take the bowl off the mixer and gently fold in the oat flour one tablespoon at a time (I needed 3 tbs, just enough to make the mixture a little less sticky and scoopable).
  7. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and scoop in the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for one hour (it won't rise a lot, just a little bit)
  8. For the Filling:
  9. Put a Silpat on your counter and put a sheet of parchment paper on top. Sprinkle the paper with a tablespoon of oat flour and turn out the dough.
  10. Sprinkle another tablespoon of oat flour over the dough and top with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll the dough to 1/4" thickness.
  11. In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the shortening and almond milk. Microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the shortening is melted. Stir in the date sugar and cinnamon (mixture should be spreadable and not too thick)
  12. Spread the mixture over the rolled out dough until very close to the edges. Roll the dough and slice into 8.
  13. Spray an 8" cake pan with cooking spray (I used a 6" cake pan and two silicone cupcake molds) and add the sliced rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for one hour.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for ~19 minutes, or until the rolls are slightly firm when tapped. Let cool slightly in the pan, then transfer onto a wire cooling rack.
  15. For the Frosting:
  16. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients and scoop over the cinnamon rolls.

Notes

**I ran out of oat flour so I made my own by grinding gluten-free oats in the food processor for a few minutes. I spooned the oat flour into the measuring cup, keeping it light and fluffy... do not pack it into the measuring cup.

Recipe adapted from: Naturally Ella

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/cinnamon-rolls-with-vanilla-bean-frosting/

I wanted to compare the nutrition label of this cinnamon roll recipe, too.  The Cinnabon label is on the left,  the DWB label is on the right:

Healthy Dessert Blog  Healthy Dessert Blog

The discrepancy between these two labels is unbelievable, especially when they are basically the same size.  The Desserts With Benefits version has:

  • 140 less calories
  • 6g less fat (with 5g less saturated fat and zero trans fats!)
  • 16g less sugar
  • 2g more fiber

:O

*makes shocked face*

Homemade Cinnamon Buns Homemade Cinnamon Buns

Yeah, I know they aren’t very pretty, but that’s what the frosting’s for!  ;)

Homemade Cinnamon Buns

Ah, guilt-free cinnamon rolls.  Oh yes.

I will keep trying to perfect this gluten-free/vegan/low-sugar cinnamon roll recipe so that it looks and tastes like an exact replica of Cinnabon’s, just with some added health benefits on the side!

Labels: Applesauce, Breads-and-Muffins, Brown-Rice-Flour, Brown-Rice-Protein, Date-Sugar, Eggless, Erythritol, Flax, Gluten-Free, Icings-Frostings-and-Spreads, Low-Sugar, Nutrition-Label, Oat-Flour, Sorghum-Flour, Sucanat, Vegan, Yeast

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Healthy Holiday Recipes from Main Courses to Desserts! – Black Beauty Fitness Club on December 2, 2013
  2. Pingback: Desserts With Benefits on January 8, 2014
  3. Pingback: Desserts With Benefits on February 7, 2014

Comments (8)

  1. Kayle (The Cooking Actress): February 12, 2013

    I don’t even care—these look like their own amazing gorgeous deliciousness, whether they taste exactly like normal cinnamon rolls or not!

  2. dessertswithbenefits: February 12, 2013

    Haha thanks Kayle! I feel better now ;)

  3. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan: February 13, 2013

    Ohhh my goodness, that frosting is calling my name!

  4. Mila @ Simple Harmonic Motion: February 13, 2013

    Yes! Another something off your to-do list! Waiting for an excuse to make these :)

  5. dessertswithbenefits: February 14, 2013

    Haha, do you really need an excuse! ;)

  6. Sarah O.: February 15, 2013

    Haha, I completely love your honesty about their qualities, and I actually think they look pretty delicious. Your beautiful photos don’t hurt, either.

  7. robyn: March 1, 2013

    Hi, i just discovered your fantastic website (thank you so much by the way) and i was just wondering if i can use coconut sugar as a substitute for the date sugar?
    thanks again :)

  8. dessertswithbenefits: March 5, 2013

    Coconut sugar can definitely substitute for the date sugar in the filling, but I’m not sure if it will activate the yeast… I heard somewhere that honey doesn’t activate yeast to its full potential, and coconut sugar is similar to honey in that it is low glycemic, however I’m not sure if that is the reason why honey doesn’t work well. You can definitely give it a try! Good luck :)

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