Recipe Revamp: Cinnamon Rolls

Do you enjoy an occasional indulgence? We enjoy having a less healthy Saturday (and sometimes Sunday) morning breakfast.  I used to buy the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in the can, but since we eat them about twice a month I started searching for an EASY, healthier recipe. 

I also finally read all the ingredients on the Pillsbury can and I can't continue to serve that to my family. Confession Time - just between you and me: Sometimes when I know a food product is less than stellar I won't read the ingredient list until after I eat it.

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls with Icing Ingredient List:

Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dextrose, Wheat Starch, Baking Powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda), Palm and Soybean Oil, Whey, Salt, Cinnamon, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Monoglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Polysorbate 60, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Yellow 5, Red 40.

Yikes! I tell my clients to avoid hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives. These cinnamon rolls have all those things. But, most cinnamon roll recipes are labor intensive and that just isn't going to happen with our busy lifestyle. I stumbled upon this recipe and tweaked it a bit. 

This pan has a double recipe. I am still working on my food photography skills...but they taste great!

This pan has a double recipe. I am still working on my food photography skills...but they taste great!

My super easy, healthier cinnamon rolls, using a bread machine: 

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp warm water (about 80 degrees, to activate yeast but not kill it - approx. warm to my finger) 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (use orange infused olive oil for orange rolls)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed, ground
  • 1 scant Tbsp instant active dry yeast

For the Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

For the Icing:

  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Orange Glaze for orange cinnamon rolls:

  • 2 tsp orange juice concentrate 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp honey


Put the dough ingredients in bread machine in the order recommended by your bread machine model. Run the dough cycle. When the dough is finished, roll it into a large rectangle, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Try to get the butter and mixture evenly spread. 

Roll up the dough and filling mixture into one long roll.  Then slice into individual cinnamon rolls and place them onto prepared baking sheet. We fix ours on a half sheet pan and leave room between each roll. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes (if your rolls are grouped together/touching each other) you may need a longer bake time.

While rolls are baking, mix up icing or orange glaze as desired. Spread onto warms rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. 

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (per roll)

140 calories

4.5 g fat

350 mg sodium

23 g carb

1 gram fiber

2 gram protein

Homemade bread machine rolls (per roll)

233 calories*

6.8 g fat*

194 mg sodium

42 g carb*

3 g fiber

4 g protein

*I was very generous in icing amounts when estimating nutrients. Reduce or eliminate the butter in the icing to cut fat/calories. Reduce the amount of icing per roll to cut calories /carbs.

Here are some Amazon affiliate links to some of my favorite tools for making these cinnamon rolls. Read more about my affiliate relationships here. (The pastry roller pictured above is Pampered Chef and my measuring spoons and cups are from Williams Sonoma - below are links to very similar products on Amazon). Thanks so much for your support!

Hope you enjoy these easy cinnamon rolls! Do you have a recipe you'd like revamped? Contact me to get started.

Erin Marie










Posted on December 29, 2015 and filed under Recipe Revamp, Recipe.