Homemade Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls are easy to make and super delicious. This recipe calls for rolled oats and whole wheat flour, making the classic baked goodie just a little bit better for you.
Sweet baked goods are a dime a dozen, are they not? It seems that everywhere you turn you can easily find a cookie, donut, or candy to satisfy a craving.
Sweets come cheap, to be sure.
And often, as a result, lack the quality and substance that can really satisfy. A fiber-filled carb — even a sweet one — can provide more satisfaction than that cheap white flour tidbit that tastes good going down, but later fills you with regret.
If you’d like to enjoy your baked goodie and still feel good, try these Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls.
Cinnamon Rolls have long been a regular weekend treat at our house. A family favorite, if you will.
For many years, I would whip up the dough in the bread machine on Saturday night. Then fill and slice the rolls and let them rise overnight in the fridge. After a few minutes of resting on the counter in the morning, they’re ready to bake and be devoured.
Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls
While I love my carbs with the best of them, more and more I find myself reaching for fiber-filled carbs like whole grains or fresh fruit. They taste great and feel substantial.
After we got out of debt about a decade ago, there was a lot more wiggle room in our budget for me to work quality ingredients into my pantry. While I still use white flour, I work to add some kind of whole grains into our favorite baked goods.
Case in point: our weekend cinnamon rolls.
I’ve tried this recipe with rolled oats (both quick and old-fashioned) as well as All-Bran cereal which I got for free awhile back with a good sale and coupons.
I’ve increased the amount of whole grains as well as decreased the amount of butter and sugar you’d normally find in a cinnamon roll recipe.
I feel a little better feeding these Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls to my kids, knowing that some of their carbs are a little more complex than plain ol’ sugar and white flour.
They’re also super cute made into Cinnamon Roll Turkeys for Thanksgiving!
What goes well with cinnamon rolls?
We love to serve cinnamon rolls as part of a brunch with an egg dish and fresh fruit, but they are just as good on their own alongside a good cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.
Can you freeze homemade cinnamon rolls?
One of the beauties about cinnamon rolls is that you can easily freeze them! Learn how to make cinnamon rolls to freeze, making them super convenient without buying the canned kind.
Can I use quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats in this recipe?
While I recommend old-fashioned rolled oats for their better nutritional content, you can use quick oats instead if that’s what you have.
How do you make whole grain cinnamon rolls?
Cinnamon rolls aren’t difficult, but the process will take a couple hours from start to finish.
- Gather your ingredients.
- Warm the milk and melt the butter. Add the sugar and vanilla and yeast to this mixture and allow to rest five minutes. The yeast will start to bubble up.
- Add the flours, oats, and salt. Knead for several minutes until a smooth dough forms.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to double in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 12×18-inch triangle. Spread softened butter over the surface.
- Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and spread this mixture over the butter layer, leaving a margin on one long end.
- Starting with the opposite long end, roll up the dough, jelly-roll style. Crimp the edge to seal.
- Use unflavored dental floss to cut the rolls into thick slices.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place the sliced rounds in the prepared pan. Allow to rise 30 minutes.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a rack and allow to cool. Glaze if desired.
How to make this good and cheap:
You know I don’t typically want to make something if I can’t make it good as well as cheap. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour, butter, and sugars can help keep the price down.
- Buying in bulk – It’s rare that I would buy a small bag of flour. I hedge my bets by buying in bulk. I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill or VitaCost so that I always have baking supplies on hand.
- Load up on post-holiday clearance specials. You’ll find great deals on baking ingredients after holidays. There are lots of ways to use holiday baking items creatively.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- stand mixer or bread machine – Either of these tools make quick work of making the dough. You can do it by hand, but I prefer a machine.
- unflavored dental floss – A must-have for cutting cinnamon roll dough easily.
- parchment paper – I hate washing pans. Parchment paper makes clean up a breeze.
- sheet pans – I LOVE my set of steel sheet pans. They make such a difference in baking.
Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough
- 2 cup milk
- 4 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 to 3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
For the filling
- 3 1/2 tbsp butter softened
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the glaze
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 - 2 tbsp milk
To make the dough in a bread machine:
- Combine dough ingredients in the bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Use 4 cups of flour to start. Add more flour in case the dough is too wet. Program for Dough and allow the machine to do its magic.
To make the dough by hand:
- Warm the milk slightly and melt the 4 1/2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar, vanilla, and yeast, stirring to combine. Let that rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the flours, oats, and salt. Stir until you have a sticky dough but all the flour is incorporated. Turn it onto a floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Set into a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
To make the dough in a stand mixer:
- Warm the milk slightly and melt the 4 1/2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Transfer this mixture to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the granulated sugar, vanilla, and yeast, stirring to combine. Let that rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the flours, oats, and salt. Stir until you have a sticky dough but all the flour is incorporated. Turn the machine to the next notch and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Set into a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
To form the rolls:
- When the dough is ready, roll out on a lightly floured surface until you have a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread the 3 1/2 tablespoons softened butter over surface.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this over the over butter, leaving a bare margin on one long end.
- Roll up the dough, jelly-roll fashion, starting from the opposite long edge and pinching the seam to seal.
- Slice the roll into 12 equal portions and arrange evenly in a greased, 9 x 13-inch pan. You can use unflavored dental floss to neatly cut the rolls.
- Allow the rolls to rise another 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Bake rolls until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Combine the powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons milk in a small mixing bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined. Glaze baked rolls with icing.
This post was originally published in October 2009. It has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.