Soft Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

If you think you can’t have a soft and tender cinnamon roll with whole wheat flour, think again!! These are rolls are sooo good. I have typically made cinnamon rolls using my bread recipe or my oatmeal dinner roll recipe and both are good. But I wanted to see if I could achieve a soft and tender cinnamon roll made with all whole wheat flour. And I do believe this is the ticket! Be forewarned.. these are not as healthy as they could be.. but they are a huge improvement over most recipes I see.. I did try to keep it as healthy as possible.. but what can I say..   I was in a cinnamon roll mood..

Here is the recipe with pictures as well….

Soft Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Crystal Miller

½ cup warm water
2T yeast
2 cups sour cream
¼ cup honey
4T butter
½ t baking soda
2 t salt
2 eggs
6 to 7 cups hard white (or red) whole wheat flour
*Brown Sugar or Sucanat

In a small bowl combine the warm water and yeast. Set aside. Heat sour cream in a sauce pan on the stove until warm but not boiling. In a mixer combine the warm sour cream, honey, butter, baking soda, salt and the water yeast mixture. Add half the flour and mix. Continue adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer. Knead the dough for 5 to 12 minutes (5 minutes with a Bosch type mixer and 10 to 12 with Kitchen Aids ). Let rest and rise (in the mixer bowl) until double in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour.

When the rising time is done, mix it again for a minute or so. Take the dough out of the mixer and divide into two pieces. 

Roll one piece into a large rectangle (approx. 15x18 inches in size).

Melt as little or as much butter as you want. I use about 6T. Spread the melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar or Sucanat over the top of the butter. The amount you put on is really up to your discretion. I don’t usually measure; I just put on a nice coating of sugar. Now sprinkle generously with cinnamon.

Roll up the dough from the longest side. When it is all rolled up like a jelly roll pinch the seam so it stays closed.

Now you cut it into slices. I use a pair of scissors. I have tried knives and even dental floss.. but really the fastest and easiest method for me is scissors. I cut the dough in half, then in half again and then start cutting each section into approximately 1 inch pieces.

Spray a large jelly roll size pan (or these can be made in 2- 9x13 pans) with non stick spray and lay out your slices on the tray.

Now repeat this process with the second piece of dough.

Let these rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

If you want to frost them, do so as soon as they come out of the oven. Warm cinnamon rolls will absorb the frosting and make for an ooey gooey cinnamon roll that is nearly impossible to resist.. haa..haa.. :)

Cinnamon Roll Frosting
Crystal Miller

4 oz butter (1 stick), softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 T coffee**
1 T milk
1 t maple extract or flavoring

Using a mixer combine butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, coffee, milk and maple flavoring. Mix well. The frosting will be somewhat thin and pourable. You can pour and spread this on the cinnamon rolls when the come out of the oven.

**note: The coffee in this recipe adds a little color to the frosting to match the slight maple taste. If you don’t want to use this you can substitute all milk instead.


This makes a big recipe. If this is too many cinnamon rolls for you then you can freeze some after baking, or you can cut the recipe in half. If you do half of a recipe bake them in a 9x13 pan.

Now grab a cup of coffee or glass of milk and enjoy a cinnamon roll!! 



  1. Oh, those look so tempting. I thought I might make a big pan for our Easter dinner at church. Thanks for sharing.



  2. did you use rapid rise or active yeast? Thanks (my mouth is watering!)


  3. donna www.merryheartcrafts.comMarch 29, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I have only attempted to make cinnamon rolls a few times. I am very excited to try these, especially using whole wheat. Thanks again. Take care and God bless.

  4. ProtectyourhealthMarch 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    These look really yummy. I think I will make them for Easter Breakfast.

  5. These look so good; thank you for sharing your recipe. I have made whole wheat cinn. rolls many times, but never have used sour cream. Now we know where the sour cream in my fridge will disappear to! ;)

  6. My kids have been on a cinnamon roll kick lately. They like the ones made at the natural food store. At $2.00 each it was a treat once in a great while but not as much as they were wanting them. I found a recipe and used 1/2 unbleached white flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour and they were pretty good. I am going to try your recipe with all whole wheat to make them a bit healthier.

    Crystal...thanks for all the information you offer in your blog. You have a wonderful family and you are a great Mom. I just really appreciate all that you do to help others. I have learned so much.

  7. The ingredients called for eggs, but I didn't see them mentioned in the instructions. I threw them in with everything else...hopefully that's right. It's rising now...I'm so excited!

  8. These are the best whole wheat cinnamon rolls I have ever made. The sour cream is the key ingredient. Thanks for posting this recipe and all your other great recipes. I have learned so much from you.

  9. Can you freeze the dough before baking?

  10. Hello, I've been keeping up with you through your website and news letter. Thank you for so much information! Everything from homeschooling to cooking- you've been so very inspiring to me! And by the way these cinnamon rolls were a hit!


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