December 19th, 2012

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I’m feeling a bit hypocritical today.  I’m sitting here listening to an awesome lecture on raw foods and learning about the healing properties of super foods like reishi mushrooms, grass powder and maca, and I’m giving you another baked goods recipe (and taste testing it myself).

But I assume we’re all baking this time of year anyway, and if we can make it slightly healthier with less refined sugar and white flour, then that’s at least a small step in the right direction.  Right?

And of course, there’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and then, as long as the majority of what goes into our bodies is moving us toward better health.  Our bodies have a remarkable ability to handle the junk that we occasionally fill it up with.

So, here’s what I was baking yesterday:

Sticky buns? Cinnamon rolls? I couldn’t decide, so these are a cross between the two.  I grew up with sticky buns in PA Dutch country, but have since realized there is a difference between sticky buns and cinnamon rolls.

I decided to make these ahead and freeze them for Christmas morning.  Maybe we’ll add scrambled eggs on the side to add some protein and avoid sending our blood sugar into overdrive. :)

I wanted to experiment with coconut oil, honey, whole wheat flour and almond flour.  You could also use unsalted organic butter and white flour.

This is a yeast bread, so it takes some time to rise.  I haven’t found a good shortcut recipe, unless you use a store-bought dough, but then you have to be careful with the additives and preservatives… and the homemade ones are always better. It’s a labor of love.

Whole Wheat Sticky Buns (print recipe)

  • 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast, or one package
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 c. almond milk, or cow’s milk
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. almond meal (or bread or all purpose white flour)
  • additional flour up to 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon + 2 Tbsp maple syrup or sugar, combined in a small bowl
  • 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans

For syrup:

  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. raisins or chopped figs

Dissolve yeast in sugar and warm water (100-110 degrees) in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes (should be foaming/frothy).  Stir in melted coconut oil, milk, maple syrup and whole wheat flour.  Sift additional white flour or almond meal with salt and nutmeg and add to the dough, sitrring until a soft dough forms.  Knead lightly a few minutes adding additional flour as needed until smooth and elastic (should be slightly sticky but not wet).  Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top, then cover and let rise one hour, or until doubled.

Punch down and let rest for five minutes.  Combine cinnamon and maple syrup or sugar in a small bowl.  Roll dough out into a 12×16 inch rectangle on a floured surface. Optional: brush with 1 Tbsp melted oil or butter if desired.  Spread with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Roll up, starting with the long edge, pressing to eliminate air pockets.  Cut into 12-14 slices.

Grease a 9×13 pan and sprinkle chopped nuts on the bottom.

Prepare syrup by combining coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins and drizzle it over the nuts.  Place dough slices cut side up in the pan.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise again about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Bake at 375 in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden.


I’d like to start sharing “nutrition nuggets” on Wednesday’s WIAW posts…something I’m learning, reading, processing, whatever.  We’re researching raw food diets this week and are encouraged to experiment with some of the theories… should be fun.

Quick note for my running friends: Many of you have seen Miss Zippy’s 2012 survey questions, asking for a recap of your year.  I’ll share mine later this week, and will also have a link up for anyone else to link up their recap of 2012, either using Amanda’s questions or something else you’ve written. I’d love to read yours!

Do you know the difference between sticky buns and cinnamon rolls? What are your Christmas morning traditions?

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