Light and quick… whole grain pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Twice now I have asked readers to divulge what recipes they would like me to post. While I have fulfilled many of the requests, there has been one that has been haunting me. More than any other baked good, dessert, entree, drink, or snack, you people have been wanting… cinnamon rolls.

you would never, ever in a billion years think these were healthy

At first, I didn’t know what to do with that request. How can I make a juicy, sugar-laden cinnamon roll fit into my healthy living blog?

Well. Apparently, one can make a cinnamon roll whole grain, sneak in some flax, shove in some veggies, decrease the sugar and butter (although there ain’t nothin wrong with butter), and still have it taste a m a z i n g . Furthermore, to indulge in my laziness, I used zero yeast and didn’t have to wait around for the dough to rise. Or whatever?

These were so good that I brought a couple over to my neighbors (who were born during the Mesolithic era) as an apology for Nina barking at night a couple weeks ago.

So good that my room mates swarmed them as soon as they came out of the oven.

So good that I shamelessly sequestered two from the pan and am hoarding them in my freezer for… later…

Whole grain pumpkin cinnamon rolls

very low sugar and fat and all whole grain!

Recipe: Makes ~16 cinnamon rolls


  • 1  + 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 2 tablespoons NuNaturals stevia baking blend (or sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk (mine had gone bad so I used 1/4 cup half and half and 1/2 cup almond milk)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (or sugar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or more baking blend)
  • 1/4 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash salt
Directions – 
For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a pasty mixture. Using your hands is helpful. Set aside.
For the dough, combine all of the ingredients except the milk  in a large bowl and mix well. Add the milk and mix until a soft dough forms.
Lay down a sheet of wax paper and cover with a decent layer of flour. Scoop half of the dough onto the paper and roll out so that it is about 1/4 inch thick and in the shape of a piece of paper. Spread half of the filling over the dough. For mini buns, roll the dough hot dog style. For full sized cinnamon rolls, roll it the other direction (so that the roll is thicker, not longer). Slice the roll as thick as you want the cinnamon rolls to be. 
Repeat with the other half of the dough. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. ENJOY!!!!!!!


Flax seeds * are loaded with omega 3′s (specifically alpha linolenic acid) which can reduce inflammation! Omega 3s are also used to prevent blood clots and increase cell plasticity (which can help diabetics). Daily flax consumption can lower cholesterol levels and also provides a healthy dose of fiber in every tablespoon!

Whole wheat flour * The outer bran layer in whole grains is where the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are, which is why you should ditch the white.

Pumpkin * An impressive source of vitamins A and C and iron, manganese, and riboflavin! Also is high in fiber ;)

Cinnamon * The coolest thing about cinnamon is its ability to control blood sugar. Meaning, within reason, that if you use a fair amount of cinnamon in a dish that has sugar or another fast digesting carbohydrate, it will help prevent the blood glucose spike that you would normally get. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat.


28 thoughts on “Light and quick… whole grain pumpkin cinnamon rolls

  1. I really like how you break down the nutritional benefits of key ingredients in your recipes!
    Pumpkin & Cinnamon great combo (cinnamon makes everything taste delish)

  2. Ohmygoodness. You had me at pumpkin. And cinnamon. And rolls. But whatever, let’s just talk about how yummy this looks.

  3. these look AWESOME! perfect for the autumn. seriously makes me miss having my kitchen. and i miss you! sorry i missed your call that other day. def hope i pick up on your next one 😉 loved that it was a random and unexpected call! cook for me!!

  4. I made these this morning on a whim! They were so fast and easy, and tased fantastic. I ended up making 2 batches! The first the dough was really moist- a little too much. I used freshly ground white wheat berries that was a little more course than whole wheat pastry flour, which could have caused the dough to be more moist? They still turned out oh so good (my husband had a total of 4 of them today!) My second batch I decided to up the pumpkin to 1/2 c. and lower the milk to 1/2 c. I also used regular whole wheat flour. They turned out great! They stayed together much better and had more vegies. I will call both sucesses. Thank you so much for this great recipe, it is a really great one have on hand for a food storage recipe as well.

    1. Oh my gosh, I am SO stoked that you tried them!!!! And even more so that they turned out well! I did have to use a bit more flour while rolling because the dough was too wet – I should definitely add that to my recipe post. Thank you so much hun, you made my day! Lauren

  5. I just made these. Very tasty! I used whole wheat pastry powder and decreased the milk to 1/3 c. I think when I make them again I’ll use less regular sugar, maybe 1/4 cup. But they were so good. Thanks!

  6. these were AMAZING! i topped them with some of your pumpkin cream cheese and couldn’t contain my excitement! the hubby loved them too…and didn’t even know they were good for him! thanks a million for this A+ recipe!

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