I make cinnamon rolls on the regular. They are one of my all time favorite pastries that I really enjoy spending extra time making, and of course eating! I love their fluffy texture, sweet insides, and the icing on top is my favorite part!
These homemade Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing came to me when I had started to make traditional cinnamon rolls one day, and ran out of flour. It is rare that I run out of flour too, but sometimes it happens. I was part way through my recipe and didn’t want to run to the store. But, I realized I had whole wheat flour in the pantry, so I figured I’d give it a try. And, to my surprise (and Delaney’s) these are one of our favorite cinnamon roll recipes!
I used a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour so these homemade Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls are still fluffy and chewy like a traditional cinnamon roll, but with a hearty flavor. I also used less sugar in the inside filling so they wouldn’t be as sweet, to compliment that hearty whole wheat flavor. And, then I decided to top them with a maple cream cheese icing as this also has less sugar as well – but tons of flavor! I am not one to shy away from sugar ever, but I saw this recipe for whole wheat cinnamon rolls as an opportunity to make a healthier, yet equally delicious, cinnamon roll that naturally had less sugar than most. And I succeeded, because I still want to eat them! They are so good!
Tips for Making Homemade Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
• Make sure your yeast is good. When you add the yeast, sugar, and water together it will start to bubble after a few minutes. If it doesn’t do this, then the yeast has gone bad. There is no point to continue on with the recipe if the yeast is bad, as the dough won’t rise. And the dough needs to rise in order to make fluffy cinnamon rolls!
• The water should be warm, not boiling. I just run the hot in my sink and grab it there. But, if the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast, which will also make your dough not rise. Do not use boiling water from your kettle or hot water system, that is too hot. If water is 120°F it starts to kill yeast, 140°F will kill all the yeast. Water boils at 212°F at sea level (around 195°F up where I am at 8,000 feet). Your latte you get at the coffee shop is served to you at 160°F. So there’s some references for you to give you an idea of how warm the water should be! It should just be warm, not hot.
• I use both all purpose flour and whole wheat flour in these homemade whole wheat cinnamon rolls to make them fluffy and hearty! Make sure to use organic flour for the best results. You can find my top picks for organic all purpose and organic whole wheat flour in my Amazon shop here.
• Make sure to buy pure organic maple syrup. I’ve linked one of my favorite maple syrups here. But, if you are buying at the grocery store, just make sure that you buy a pure organic maple syrup. I usually go with grade A for baking and eating on waffles.
Why use organic ingredients in my homemade Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients.
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for these amazing homemade Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 8 cinnamon rolls
1/4 cup warm water
7 grams (2 teaspoons) organic dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon organic cane sugar
1/4 cup (57 grams) organic salted butter
3/4 cup organic milk
340 grams (2 cups) organic whole wheat flour
95 grams (3/4 cup) organic all purpose flour
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 organic large egg
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
1/4 cup (57 grams) organic salted butter, softened
Maple Cream Cheese Icing
106 grams (3/4 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
57 grams (2 ounces) organic cream cheese
44 grams (2 tablespoons) organic maple syrup
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast, 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar, and warm water. Stir to combine and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly.
In a medium pot over medium heat, add the butter and milk. Stir until completely melted, remove from heat.
Add the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, remaining 57 grams cane sugar, and salt to the mixing bowl in that order. Add the egg and milk mixture and knead on speed 2 to 4 for 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, add cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the filling: In a bowl, add the dark brown sugar cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix to combine completely.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle that is about 12 x 16-inches. Using a butter knife or spatula spread the butter all over the rolled out dough.
Sprinkle the brown sugar and spice mixture to completely cover the butter. Starting at the larger side, fold the dough over and start to roll the dough until it is completely rolled into a log. Trim off each of the ends, then cut the dough log into 8 cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased baking dish.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the icing: In a mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and maple syrup and whisk until you have a smooth glaze. Pour the glaze over the top of the warm cinnamon rolls, about 10 minutes after coming out of the oven.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
High Altitude –– Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until golden brown.