100% Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls

As much as I love pancakes, french toast, waffles, muffins, and all of those other carb-heavy, indulgent breakfast treats, cinnamon rolls are my ultimate splurge. Tender, fluffy yeast rolls with a gooey cinnamon filling and tons of sweet icing on top – it doesn’t get any better! Have you guys had the cinnamon rolls in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World? Oh my gosh, they are HUGE! I’m pretty sure each one constitutes a full day’s worth of calories, but we can never resist.

100% Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls

At home I try to keep things a little more reasonable. You may remember these lightened up cinnamon rolls I shared earlier this year. All the goodness with slightly less guilt, you can’t help but love that.

100% Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls

Today I’m bringing you a second option for healthier cinnamon rolls – you can never have too many, right? As you’ve probably gathered from the title, these rolls are made entirely with whole grains – a combination of white whole wheat flour and rolled oats, specifically. Baked goods made with whole wheat flour can sometimes end up dry or dense, but you don’t need to worry about that here. The rolls are soft and tender, and stay that way for days so you can keep enjoying the leftovers. Just pop them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to restore that fresh-from-the-oven gooey texture!

100% Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls

With fall weather rearing its head here recently, this is exactly the kind of comfort food I’m craving, especially on a lazy Sunday. Remember, you can always prep cinnamon rolls the night before, stick them in the fridge and then just bake when you wake up the next morning. The wonderful aroma that fills your house will be enough to get everyone out of bed and into the kitchen!

100% Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls
slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

3 1/2 cups (14 oz) white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (1 3/4 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (1 1/4 oz) dried potato flakes
1/4 cup (1 oz) nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 oz) warm water (about 100-105 F)
1/4 cup (2 oz) orange juice
5 tablespoons (3 3/4 oz) honey
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

1 cup (7 1/2 oz) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
pinch salt

2 cups (8 oz) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch salt
4 tablespoons half-and-half

To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, oats, potato flakes, dry milk powder, salt, and yeast. Mix on low speed briefly. Add the water, orange juice, honey, egg yolk, and butter, and mix until a rough dough comes together. Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough on low speed for about 5 minutes, or until you have a smooth, soft, and elastic dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk. (You can tell if the dough has doubled by pressing it with your finger – if it springs back, it’s not ready, if the indentation remains, you’re ready to move on.)

Meanwhile, making the filling by stirring together the brown sugar, egg white, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a 12×16-inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border along one of the long edges. Starting on the opposite long edge, roll the dough into a log, pinching the edges to seal. Turn the log so the seam side faces down, then gently cut into 16 equal pieces. (Some of the filling may leak out, just do the best you can – there’s plenty if you lose some!) Place the rolls in the prepared pan leaving equal space between them. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for about 1 hour, or until puffy and just barely touching one another.

Toward the end of the rise time, preheat oven to 350 F.

Bake the rolls for about 23-25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls cool slightly while you make the icing.

To make the icing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, butter, salt and 3 tablespoons of the cream. Add additional cream as necessary to achieve your desired consistency (I used all 4). You can pour the icing over the warm rolls if you want it to melt over the tops. Alternatively, wait until the rolls have cooled completely to top with the icing if you want a thick icing (which is what I did).

Store any leftover rolls covered at room temperature. I like to reheat them in the microwave for about 20 seconds before enjoying.

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