Healthy Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Please note that the Prep time does not include the two rising times. Cinnamon rolls may look daunting, but the steps are quite simple and this recipe makes enough to enjoy for breakfast throughout the week!
Serves: 12 Big Cinnamon Rolls
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk beverage (I used Silk), warmed
  • 2 + 6 medium to large pitted soft dates*, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons (1 .25-ounce packet) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups white-wheat flour**, plus more as needed
  • 1½ tablespoons vital wheat gluten**
  • 1 teaspoon + ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup rice bran, grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread***
  • 3 to 3¼ cups finely diced apple
  1. Place the warm milk beverage and 2 of the pitted dates in your blender and blend until the dates are mostly pureed.
  2. Add the milk beverage mixture and the yeast to a large bowl. Let proof for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of the flour with the gluten, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and salt. Add this flour mixture to the large bowl with the yeast mixture, along with the applesauce and oil. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. Gradually add the remaining 2 cups of flour, bringing it together with your hands as it gets doughy. Continue to knead the dough for about 7 to 8 minutes, sprinkling on more flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough should be a little tacky, but shouldn't stick to your hands.
  5. Cover, place in your cold oven with the light turned on, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes, or until roughly doubled in size.
  6. While the dough rises, place the water in your blender with the remaining 6 dates (about ⅓ cup packed). Blend until smooth.
  7. Melt the buttery spread in a skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add the apples and the remaining ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, and saute for 1 minute.
  8. Add the date mixture (get it all in there!) and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the date sauce is quite sticky. You don't want any watery pools remaining. This takes about 5 minutes.
  9. Punch the dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes while you dust a work space with flour and grease a 9x13-inch or larger baking pan.
  10. Roll the dough out to a large rectangle, roughly 11x14 inches. Spread the apple mixture all over in a single layer, leaving a 1 inh margin on one of the long sides.
  11. Starting from the long side that is fully coated in the apple mixture, carefully roll the dough up. Because it is a chunky mixture, you aren't trying to roll it really tight. Roll it relatively close while lifting slightly as you roll to ensure it all gets in there. Seal the dough, and give it a roll to make sure it's good.
  12. Using a serrated knife, gently cut the roll into 12 slices. Carefully transfer the rolls, cut sides down, into your prepared baking pan. You can reshape them once there and press in any apple escapees, if needed.
  13. Cover and let rise in your oven with the light on for 45 minutes or until close to double in size.
  14. Remove the rolls from the oven, and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Once fully preheated, uncover the rolls and bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  15. Serve as is or use one of the topping ideas in the post above. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator (the flavors actually deepen overnight!) or individually wrap and freeze.
*Date Alternative: You can sub coconut sugar or your granulated sugar of choice for the dates. Simply use 2 tablespoons in the dough in place of the 2 dates. For the filling, saute the apples and cinnamon in the buttery spread, then spread on your rolled out dough. Sprinkle evenly with ⅓ cup of the sugar before rolling up.
**Wheat Note + Gluten Alternative: White-wheat flour is actually 100% whole wheat flour, it's just a lighter grain than traditional "red" wheat flour. If you don't have access to gluten, swap all-purpose or bread flour for half of the wheat flour.
***Buttery Spread Alternative: If preferred, you can swap 2 tablespoons coconut oil for the buttery spread, but add a generous pinch of salt to the apples, too.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Cinnamon Roll Calories: 251 Fat: 7.2g Carbohydrates: 43.1g Sugar: 13.6g (0g added sugars) Sodium: 219mg Fiber: 11.0g Protein: 5.0g Cholesterol: 0mg
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at