healthy & easy recipes • sugar free / gluten free / dairy free options

Healthier-ISH Cinnamon Rolls with Healthy Frosting {Refined Sugar Free}

This is my Holiday gift to you this season: FLUFFY DELICIOUS CINNAMON ROLLS WITH 0 REFINED SUGAR. And you don’t even miss it, I promise!!! There is also a dairy free option to these.
DISCLAIMER: I know the directions are a little lengthy, I just really want to make sure these come out well! I promise they are not hard to make, there’s just a lot to explain!
Arguably, almost the best part is what you DON’T NEED for this recipe. You will not need:

  • A mixer
  • A rolling pin
  • Refined sugar

So, in case you have ever been intimidated of making cinnamon rolls due to lacking fancy equipment, this is the recipe for you!
As for flour: I used white flour. Healthiest option? No. Butttt, I cut out the sugar and cut way down on the butter, so I had to draw the line somewhere on “healthifying” so these could still resemble a cinnamon roll, and still be delicious. If you are looking for a flourless/gluten free Holiday dessert, might I suggest my flourless ginger molasses cookies or healthified pecan pie bars
I’ve found a lot of Cinnamon Roll recipes are either excessively indulgent and packed with sugar, or on the flip side, healthy versions sound like they’d taste like cardboard and are super unappealing. I wanted to create a middle ground “healthiER-ish” recipe. So, these are not the healthiest treats in the world but they’re actually not half bad either….
The ingredient list is super minimal and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand:

  • Almond Milk
  • Butter/Ghee/Coconut Oil
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Yeast
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon

That’s it!
And for the TOPPING… after scouring endlessly for a sugar free frosting, I eventually gave up. I tried a creamcheese version and did not like the creamcheese flavor on my cinnamon rolls at all. Then I just decided to mix some Greek Yogurt and Maple Syrup together for the sake of taking some frosted photos, and it actually tasted SPOT ON! I am SO SO SO excited about it. If you have your own cinnamon roll recipe and don’t want to try this one, I would at least try this frosting…
Healthier-ish Cinnamon Rolls {No Refined Sugar}
By The Granola Diaries
For the dough:

  • 1 C Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter or ghee (or coconut oil for Vegan)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (or can sub white vinegar) (~1 tsp)
  • 1 packet Yeast
  • 2.5 C Flour (use GF if necessary)
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • ~1/2 – 1 Tbsp Ghee (Coconut oil for vegan)
  • 3 – 4  Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Spoonful coconut oil, room temp & soft

For the frosting:

  • ~3 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (Can try Coconut yogurt for vegan, but I prefer Dairy here!)
  • 1 – 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup, depending on taste preference

FULL Directions:
(Shortened directions below)

  1. Melt almond milk with 2 T butter in microwave in 30 second increments. Make sure it’s between 100 and 110 degrees. Add a splash of ACV, 3 – 4 T Coconut Sugar, stir, and then add in the yeast. Give it a stir, and then let it bubble and form for ~ 5 minutes.
  2. In a seperate large bowl, crack an egg and whisk. Add the yeast almond milk mixture, and then add flour, 1/2 Cup at a time, folding until just incorporated. You may find the dough becomes very thick and tough around 2 Cups, you can stop there! Let the dough rest for 5 minutes once all combined.
  3. After 5 minutes, flour and grease a large piece of parchment paper. Pull the dough out and “knead” with your hands for about 10 minutes. This basically means folding it over repeatedly, pulling it, pushing it, stretching it, etc.  You *can* use a stand mixer if you have one, but I like getting my hands dirty! (And I don’t have a mixer!) After ~ 10 minutes, dough should be very sticky but you should be able to get it into a ball.
  4. Spray the bowl & your hands with cooking spray and place the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and a warm, damp kitchen towel. Place somewhere warm for 30 minutes to rise. (PRO TIP: Keep it in the warming drawer of your oven while the oven is on, because you’re also baking cookies).
  5. After 30 minutes, stick 2 fingers into the dough. If it bounces back, you’re ready! If the indentation stays, punch the center of the dough and let it rise another 20 minutes.  If the dough is ready, roll out into a rectangle on a well oiled/floured piece of parchment paper. I was able to stretch it out with my hands and didn’t need a rolling pin.
  6. Brush the dough with enough ghee (or melted butter) to lightly coat. Mix the rest of the filling ingredients (not including ghee), and sprinkle the mixture all over, then dust a touch more cinnamon!
  7. Roll the dough up tightly, and then slice into 12 rounds, each about 1 inch thick. Place 12 rolls in greased 8″ baking dish, and any excess rolls in another baking dish.  Brush the top lightly with some melted butter/ghee, just enough to coat. Cover the rolls again with plastic wrap and a warm damp towel and place somewhere warm for another 30 minutes. (You can preheat the oven to 350 at this point, if you haven’t already, and then use the oven’s heat by placing them on top or in the warming drawer!)
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and towel and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and then top with frosting if you plan to serve immediately. If you want to save for another time, these keep well in the fridge for at least 5 days, and you can microwave or reheat in the oven!
  9. Don’t forget to show some love, tag me and use #TheGranolaDiaries in your recipe recreations! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more. Happy Holidays!!!

Shortened Directions

  1. Melt the almond milk, butter, coconut sugar, and ACV to 100-110 degrees. Add yeast and let bubble 5 min.
  2. Crack an egg and whisk in separate bowl. Add the yeast mixtute. Add the flour until just combined. Rest 5 minutes. Then knead by hand for 10 minutes. Add to greased bowl and let rise 30 minutes.
  3. Roll risen dough into rectangle, brush with ghee, then cover with cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll up into log and cut into 1″ thick rounds. Place rounds in baking dish, cover, and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, frost, and enjoy!

Pin the recipe for later!


Fluffy healthy and refined sugar Cinnamon Rolls! The ingredient list is super minimal and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand:  Almond Milk Butter/Ghee/Coconut Oil Coconut Sugar Yeast Flour Salt Cinnamon That's it!

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