The last few years, I started the tradition of making cinnamon rolls for my family on Christmas morning. I like to have something quick and easy to eat, but also something special that we don’t have every day. This year, on Christmas Eve day, I set out making these Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. They were easy to make, with minimal work on my part, but tasted so good. (And they tasted just as good this morning too!!) In years past, I always purchased Pillsbury cinnamon rolls out of the can and thought those were ‘good enough,’ too…but, wow, what a shocker to check out the ingredient list in those! Enriched flour bleached, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, dextrose, corn syrup solids, DATEM, polysorbate 60, artificial flavor, potassium sorbate, propylene glycol, yellow 5, color added, and red 40! Of course, that’s not all the ingredients…but talk about unnecessary!!! I really can’t get over it. I honestly used to read labels and think, “Well, those ingredients must be necessary to make this.” No joke; I used to think that. Now I realize companies use these ingredients instead of REAL FOOD because they are CHEAPER (and because these ‘foods’ need to sit on a grocery store shelf for a long period of time). Making your own cinnamon rolls (with better-for-you ingredients) really isn’t all that difficult with just a little prep and pre-planning. Pretty sure this recipe will be used for many years to come! And, as a bonus, I’m using almost all organic ingredients now…so these could even be renamed to “Homemade Organic Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls” now!
These cinnamon rolls are yet another reason why I love having my own bread machine! Here is the one I own:
Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe adapted from Grain Mill Wagon)
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour (I’ve been using organic lately)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup warm organic milk (I use whole milk)
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white (pastured is ideal)
- 3 T coconut oil, melted
- 3 tsp. fast rise yeast
Add ingredients to the bread machine in the recommended order. Set to whole wheat, dough cycle. (My dough cycle takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.) When the timer beeps, roll out the dough into a 9 x 13 inch rectangle.
- 3 T super soft, almost melted organic butter (or completely melted)
- 1 cup organic brown sugar (something I reserve for special occasions only)
- 2 tsp. cinnamon (I’ve started buying organic in bulk from Amazon)
- 1/4 cup chopped raw pecans, optional
Spread the butter on the dough. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the butter and lightly press into the dough. Add chopped pecans. Roll up the rectangle and cut into 12 equal slices. Place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and cover. Place in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, let the rolls sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 22-25 minutes or until rolls just start to brown on top. Spread with cream cheese icing while still warm.
Organic Cream Cheese Icing*
- 6 oz of a brick of organic cream cheese, softened
- 3 T organic butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl until smooth. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until no lumps remain. Spread on cinnamon rolls while still warm.
*The recipe amounts have been lowered from the original version. The original recipe made way too much icing…even for someone who loves icing! This is still PLENTY to cover all of the cinnamon rolls, so I may even try reducing the amounts a little more next time. It gives our family a bit too much of a sugar rush these days, especially since we’re not used to eating sugar anymore.
The whole process was quite easy and took minimal effort on my part.
These cinnamon rolls could also make the perfect New Years Day breakfast, don’t you think???
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