Steaming cups of coffee.. warm cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.. family gathered around the table talking about good times. That sounds like the perfect Saturday morning to me.
I have always had a special place in my heart for cinnamon rolls but I rarely make them because they are so heavy and weighted down with fat, sugar, butter and more butter. About a year ago, I found a wonderful recipe that mimics the saturated buttery taste of a ‘Cinnabon’ roll.. you know the ones that taste so delectable but they are so monstrous that you feel guilty after just one bite? This recipe was no exception, using almost a cup of butter, 2 1/2 cups of refined sugar, whole milk and lots of white flour.
After making the recipe only a hand full of times, I decided to alter it a bit. Specifically, I wanted to eliminate the guilt after splurging on a weekend cinnamon roll (or two) and incorporate more clean ingredients. I cut out half the butter, half the refined sugar, half the white flour and eliminated the dairy milk. It sounds like a lot, but to be honest they still taste delicious, especially knowing they aren’t too terrible for you.
I also cut out the icing because well, that is just melted sugar and your body can do without. That’s why these rolls are considered “Naked & Skinny.”
Before I begin this modified recipe, I’ll note that I left the filling as the original which does use butter and brown sugar. If you’re really motivated to cut out all the butter, I would suggest using mashed up bananas or something else entirely like a nut butter.
Original Cinnamon Roll:
- 472 calories
- 19 grams saturated fat
- 36 grams sugar
“Skinny and Naked” Cinnamon Roll:
- 252 calories
- 2.7 grams saturated fat
- 23 grams sugar
For The Dough (makes about 12-14 medium sized cinnamon rolls)
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (I used vanilla almond milk but you could also use plain)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup apple sauce (natural/no sugar added)
- 2 eggs
For The Filling
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter
- In a small bowl, combine the warmed milk with the active dry yeast. Whisk together until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for later use.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the salt and flours together. Mix together until incorporated.
- In the same mixing bowl, add the maple syrup, sugar, apple sauce and eggs. Mix on low until everything is evenly separated.
- While the mixer is still going, pour in the warm milk mixture and continue to mix until it forms a smooth dough-like consistency. Stop the mixture and scrape the sides making sure all the flour is incorporated.
- Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl and place a cloth over it. Let the dough rise for about an hour (or until it has doubled in size).
- While the dough is rising, combine the “filling” ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix on medium until it becomes crumbly.
- After the dough has risen, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, it should be rolled out more in a rectangular shape vs a square or circle.
- Dump the filling crumbly mixture on the dough. Using your hands, spread the mixture evenly, reaching out to the edges of the dough.
- Starting at one long end of the rectangular dough, roll it up like you would a sleeping bag.
- Using a sharp knife or wire, slice the dough into 1.5 inch sections. Pace the rolls (with the sides facing up) in a prepared dish or pan. I like to use a pie pan and have the rolls touching. Continue to let the dough rise for another 30 minutes with a cloth on top.
- After the dough has risen, bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes (bake time differs greatly depending on if the rolls are baked together or spaced apart)
This is an original Healthy Chew Recipe- all rights reserved
All photos in this article were taken by and for The Healthy Chew- all rights reserved
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