Quick, Easy, and Healthy Cinnamon Buns

We ran out of eggs yesterday. This happens quite often between the two of us, since we both like to eat eggs on their own and we also both like to bake. Well, I like to bake, and Angus likes to eat baked goods. Anyway, we never got around to going to the grocery store to pick some more up, which left us brainstorming last night for breakfast ideas that didn’t involve eggs.

Perfect and golden-ish right out of the oven.

I found a recipe for Cinnamon Biscuits, which looked surprisingly like cinnamon buns, but only required 30 minutes of prep time instead of several hours, so my interest was piqued. I’ve linked to the original recipe on Taste and Tell, but I honestly didn’t think the recipe was very well-written, and I changed a bunch of parts of it, so what follows is my version of the recipe.

Are you dying seeing the sugary cinnamon? It’s making me hungry all over again.

Quick, Easy, and Healthy Cinnamon Buns (serves 2, but the servings are small)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Active Time: 20 minutes


For the dough:

  • 2/3c white whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling the dough later
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tsp safflower (or other neutral) oil
  • 1/4c lowfat buttermilk

For the filling:

  • 2 tsp butter or butter alternative (as always, I used earth balance), softened
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1 tbsp butter or butter alternative, softened
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a cookie sheet or baking pan.

2) Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the oil and stir until sort of combined (this is not enough oil to form a totally homogenous mixture, so it will have lumps and some extra flour).

3) Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined.

4) Put the dough out onto a very well-floured surface. The dough is EXTREMELY sticky, so get your hands nice and floured before you jump in. Knead the dough until it is smooth and no longer sticking to your hands like crazy. Don’t knead it too much though or you’ll risk incorporating too much flour, which can make the buns tough.

5) Roll out the dough until it’s a little less than a 1/4 inch thick. Any dimensions will do, in my opinion, but aim for some sort of rectangle that will be easy to roll up.

6) Spread the softened butter for the filling out onto the rolled dough. I only used about a teaspoon, but depending on the shape you’ve rolled you may use more, which is why I said 2 tsp in the ingredients list.

7) Mix together the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a separate bowl and sprinkle it lightly and evenly over the dough.

8) Roll up the dough. You can start at either side, but it will affect how large your cinnamon buns are when you’re done. For instance, if you roll starting on the short side of the rectangle, your buns will be fatter but you’l have fewer of them. If you start at the long side (which is what I did), you’ll end up with a skinnier roll and therefore smaller buns, but you’ll have more. So it’s a personal preference, I think.

9) While you’re rolling, try to keep the roll nice and tight. Once it’s all rolled up, cut up the log into little pinwheels (once again, size is a personal preference). Place them spiral-side down on the greased baking sheet. Pop them into the oven!

10) While they’re baking, you can prepare the frosting. I just mixed all the ingredients together with a spoon, but you can certainly use a handmixer if you’re feeling fancy. I also would have added some cream cheese, but we didn’t have any; still, if you have some and think that sounds lovely, I’d recommend you add 1 tbsp of softened cream cheese or neufchâtel and upping the powdered sugar until it’s a consistency you like.

11) Bake until they’ve firmed up and have just started to brown. For me, this was 10 minutes, but it will depend on the size of your buns. Serve immediately!

Topped with the gooey frosting mmm. It wears that frosting like a hat.

Angus really enjoyed this recipe! I liked it too, but he was particularly impressed. Normally when we eat breakfast (or any meal, really), we split the recipe 50/50, I clean my plate, he eats about 80% of his, and then I finish whatever he didn’t. But this morning we were switched and he actually ate my extras! We agreed that using whole wheat flour instead of white flour made this taste more like a breakfast and less like a dessert (which, if we were being truly honest with ourselves, it is).

The title of this recipe is a little deceptive. If I had to grade the healthiness of this recipe, I’d probably give it a B- or a C+. Since I used earth balance and safflower oil, it has only healthy fats. It’s also totally whole grain. But, it’s got a fair amount of sugar, not a bunch of protein, and no fruits or vegetables . Still, it’s leaps and bounds healthier than normal cinnamon buns, which is why I popped “Healthy” into the recipe title.

Leave a comment


  1. Oh HELL yes. I’m making these. Even though they aren’t the healthiest thing, you’re totally right, they’re wayy healthier than most of the recipes I see (and way easier!). I love love love cinnamon rolls and these look absolutely fantastic. I’m excited!

    • Awesome! Yeah most cinnamon bun recipes use yeast and take hours to make as a result. These were honestly just as good as yeasty ones I’ve made, if not better since they were so speedy.


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