Breakfast/brunch is my favorite meal of the day. And brunch doesn’t have to be between the hours of 10am and 2pm. I enjoy breakfast foods anytime of the day. Cinnamon rolls. Scones. Caramel rolls, banana bread, apple crumble. Oats, granola, tofu scramble, waffles. You name it, I love it. That’s why I’m thrilled to share this healthy vegan whole wheat cinnamon rolls recipe.
I know, I know. There are already too many vegan cinnamon bun recipes to count. Why does the internet need another one? Well, the internet needs a vegan cinnamon roll recipe that doesn’t include oil (or butter) and lots of fiberless (i.e. refined) sugar. Try as I might, I can’t find a recipe that suits my health-conscious needs.
There are others out there that feel the same way. Not everybody wants to eat refined sugar and (vegan) butter. Unfortunately, the popular recipe sites don’t cater to people like me. And maybe to someone like you either.
Vegan oil free cinnamon rolls inspiration
Inspiration for this recipe came from Hungry Haley and Lindsay-Jean Hard.
Haley helped last Christmas 2018 when I wanted cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. I’m a great chef (and a devout Great British Baking Show fan), but I’m not a natural baker. I don’t know the first thing about making a yeasted bread recipe from scratch. Thus, that meant using another recipe for inspiration. I searched the internet and gained insight from other well-known recipe bloggers.
I ultimately went with Haley’s 100% whole wheat cinnamon rolls recipe. Despite the small amount of sugar and butter, I ended up using her recipe as is. The amounts each per serving was minimal. Plus, it was Christmas! It was OK to indulge a little, since my dinner selections were über healthy.
Since then, easy whole wheat cinnamon rolls have been on my mind. I wanted to go an extra step to reduce (or eliminate) the sugar and butter. I ended up adding a little bit of sugar (which you can replace with more Splenda or dates), but I’m happy to say this is an oil free vegan cinnamon rolls recipe! The reason I use the sugar is to give an instant feed to the yeast. The rest of the recipe is sweetened with zero-calorie sweetener or natural sugars, like dates and banana.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was on a YouTube binge watching cooking videos from Food52. I stumbled across a banana peel cake video. To say I was intrigued is an understatement. I’d never heard of using banana peels in baking before. I had to check out the video.
The technique was easy. Peel banana, boil peels, blend. In my next iteration of vegan whole wheat cinnamon rolls, I decided to give it a try.
The idea of using banana peels resonated with me. I buy and eat many bananas to begin with and I’m passionate about reducing food waste. I’m looking forward to implementing this idea with more baked goods. Both the filling and dough got a turn at using banana peels.. However, in the end it made more sense to use the peels in the dough and the fruit in the filling.
Now let’s get to the recipe, shall we? I’m excited to share with you vegan whole wheat cinnamon rolls that are…
100% whole wheat,
Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Looking for vegan whole wheat cinnamon rolls that are oil free? Then get a load of these vegan cinnamon scrolls. They’re packed with plant-based goodness of flax milk, sweet date paste, moist bananas and spicy cinnamon. You’ll enjoy this vegan cinnamon bun recipe because they’re not sickly sweet or tough.
Vegan, low fat and free of added salt, oil. Nut free and/or seed free options available.
Yields 6-9 rolls (depends on cut). Ready in less than 3 hours.
Adapted from Hungry Haley’s Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Cream Icing.
- 7/8 c non-dairy milk (I use homemade flax milk)
- 65 grams date paste or dates, divided
- 100 grams boiled banana peels
- 30 grams tahini (or peanut butter), divided
- 1 T Sugar
- 2 T Splenda or 2 packets of your favorite zero calorie sweetener
- 7 grams (around 1 packet) dry yeast
- 360 grams (3 cups) whole wheat flour, plus extra for rolling
- 100 grams fresh, ripe banana
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t each cardamom, fenugreek, ginger
- 2 T water
- Combine 25 grams of dates with milk in microwave safe bowl. Warm in a microwave or on the stovetop for a 2 minutes to allow the dates to soften.
- Add the soft dates, milk, banana peel and 15 grams tahini to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Next place the flour, yeast, sugar and Splenda in a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Briefly mix.
- Turn the stand mixer on medium-low and slowly pour the blended yeast mixture into the flour.** If necessary, use a scraper to scrape any excess flour into the dough.
- Turn the machine to medium-high. Allow the machine to knead the dough for around 5 minutes, scraping down the dough as needed. After 5 minutes, the mixture should be stringy, glutinous and slightly sticky. If the mixture seems too sticky, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour, flax or potato flakes.
- Use the spatula to shape the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow to proof; they should 1 1/2 to double in size in an ambient place for 60 minutes.
If you’d like to proof the cinnamon rolls in the fridge, check my notes below.
- Chop up the remaining dates (40 grams) into medium-fine pieces. Combine with 2 tablespoons water and microwave for 1 minute.
- Mash banana, spices and remaining tahini into the dates to make a thick mixture. Set aside until the dough is ready.
Preheat oven to 180 C Fan (350 F).
- Use a rolling pin (or empty glass bottle) to roll the dough into a large rectangle, around 1 1/2 inch thick. My size is usually around the size of a half sheet pan.
Tip: I like to do it on parchment paper. It makes rolling easier.
- Evenly spread out the filling mixture across the entire dough.
- Use hands to tightly roll the dough into a swirl from the longest side. Don’t squash it. Slice into 6-9 rolls.
- Transfer the cinnamon rolls into medium baking dish. Allow to rise for a final 20-30 minutes, until puffy and slightly expanded.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and firm.
Allow the rolls to cool for 5 or more minutes before eating. I recommend blended bananas, dates and/or peanut butter for a sauce. Enjoy!
You can proof these slowly in the fridge overnight. To do so, immediately roll the dough out when it’s done kneading and spread with the filling. Slice into individual rolls, cover with plastic and refrigerate. When you’re ready to bake them, remove them from the fridge while the oven preheats. Bake as normal.
This recipe hasn’t been freezer-tested.
* If you’d rather avoid banana peels, you can swap them out with more banana.
** If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can try a food processor or kneading by hand for 10 minutes.