Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 56 Mins
16 servings (serving size: 1 roll)

Everything you crave in a cinnamon roll, in a vastly lighter version. Brown sugar sweetens the filling of this breakfast treat, and powdered sugar dissolves into a milky glaze that's drizzled over the top of these delicious and good for you cinnamon rolls. Whole-wheat flour adds a healthy dimension to these tasty rolls.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm milk and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Add butter and next 5 ingredients (through egg white); stir well. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.

Step 2

Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; roll into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Coat surface of dough with cooking spray.

Step 3

To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; sprinkle over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle raisins over dough, pressing gently into dough. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam to seal. Cut the dough into 16 rolls. Place the rolls, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 5

Uncover rolls. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Step 6

To prepare glaze, place powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Add 5 teaspoons milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring to form a thick glaze. Drizzle glaze evenly over rolls.

Chef's Notes

This recipe was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.

Ratings & Reviews

heidicooks's Review

January 01, 2009
This is a time intensive recipe, but worth it. I added chopped walnuts to the cinnamon mixture and used cherry "craisins" instead of raisins. I cooked the rolls for less time, about 15 min. and they were perfect. I used a little reduced fat cream cheese and fresh squeezed orange juice in the frosting instead of milk and vanilla. Turned out great. Only 4 stars b/c I would have preferred them a tad sweeter. Maybe more icing!!

plummm's Review

July 22, 2010
These didn't take any longer than other yeast-dough recipes, and the end products were pretty much perfect. They were very soft and subtly sweet on the inside, and the filling and glaze added just the right amount of sweetness to the outside. My only modification was that I added more raisins, but that was personal preference, nothing more. I would definitely make these again, over the giant cinnamon rolls from Southern Living that I had tried before.

Instantpickle's Review

May 01, 2011
Not too sweet and perfectly portioned. Dough came out fine in a bread maker with no changes to the recipe

amateurcook's Review

April 20, 2013
made these and they were alright. 22 min. of cooking was too long and definitely needed the extra raisins and a cream cheese icing rather than the glaze. Not gooey like I was expecting. Too dry won't make again

tiggertoo's Review

April 19, 2011

TeresaLL's Review

June 12, 2013

ElinaS's Review

September 10, 2011
These rolls are outstanding!!!! I replaced glaze with half and half version :-)

Elaniah's Review

September 06, 2011
I loved the rolls themselves, but I wasn't a fan of the glaze. I replaced it with a homemade cream cheese frosting that I thinned out using the glaze. Turned out well. Also used dark brown sugar, probably best to use light instead. In other cinnamon roll recipes I've found that light yields a more traditional taste than the dark did.

Historic47's Review

April 01, 2013
Glaze wasn't stellar. I think that something with a subtle orange flavor would complement these rolls.

Vicuska's Review

May 15, 2013
Excellent recipe! I used a bit more raisins and cut the frosting to third, and it was the best cinnamon rolls I made. I won't use my old recipes any more.