sourdough cinnamon rolls healthy
Breakfast,  Desserts

Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls (Easy + Naturally Sweetened)

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The best sourdough cinnamon rolls I’ve ever eaten. Straight up the best cinnamon rolls ever! These cinnamon rolls are so fluffy and they melt in your mouth. They’re sweetened with just a touch of pure maple syrup and coconut sugar. Completely divine and easy to make.

best sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe

Can You Taste The Sourdough In These Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls?

NO WAY! These don’t taste sour in the least, yet they still give you all the amazing benefits of sourdough. How cool is that?! These Homemade Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls will blow you away at how easy they are to make, yet simply delicious in flavor and texture. You can check out my sourdough bread recipe to see all the health benefits of sourdough too! 

Despite their name, these sourdough cinnamon rolls boast a delightful balance of sweetness and warmth without any discernible sourdough flavor. Thanks to the natural fermentation process of sourdough, these cinnamon rolls offer all the benefits of sourdough baking – improved texture, enhanced flavor, and better digestibility – without overpowering the palate with sour notes.

Homemade Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

There’s something undeniably comforting about the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the kitchen. But what if I told you that you could elevate this classic treat to a whole new level of deliciousness? Enter: Homemade Sourdough Cinnamon Buns. In this blog post, we’re diving into the realm of sourdough baking to create the fluffiest, most irresistible cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tasted. Get ready to indulge in the perfect blend of sweet, cinnamon-spiced goodness and the subtle tanginess of sourdough. Let’s roll!

easy sourdough cinnamon rolls

Soft & Easy Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls: A Match Made in Baking Heaven

When it comes to baking, sourdough is a game-changer. Its natural fermentation process not only enhances the flavor and texture of baked goods but also offers numerous health benefits. If you’ve tried my healthy sourdough chocolate chip cookies, you know what I’m talking about! So why not harness the power of sourdough to elevate everyone’s favorite breakfast treat – cinnamon rolls? These sourdough cinnamon rolls would be the perfect addition to any Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, or any holiday morning! 

The Best Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Recipe: Fluffy, Sweet, and Irresistible

Our journey begins with the ultimate sourdough cinnamon roll recipe – a tried-and-true favorite that promises to deliver both flavor and texture. Picture this: soft, pillowy rolls infused with the warmth of cinnamon and just a hint of sweetness from pure maple syrup and coconut sugar. These cinnamon rolls are a true delight for the senses, melting in your mouth with every blissful bite.

Picture this: on Christmas morning, the scent of warm cinnamon rolls wafting through the house ignites a sense of joy and anticipation in many families around the world. This beloved tradition of indulging in freshly baked cinnamon rolls is cherished not only for their delicious taste but also for the memories and warmth they bring to the holiday season. 

From the moment the dough is rolled out and generously coated with cinnamon and sugar to the time it spends rising and baking in the oven, the entire process becomes a labor of love. Even though this sourdough cinnamon roll recipe is very easy, it’s still a small process because of the different elements that make cinnamon rolls… well… cinnamon rolls. And you just can’t rush a homemade cinnamon roll ya know?

As families gather around the table, eagerly awaiting the moment when they can sink their teeth into the soft, fluffy rolls topped with decadent cream cheese icing, it’s not just about the food—it’s about coming together to celebrate, share stories, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. In this simple yet meaningful tradition, the humble sourdough cinnamon roll becomes a symbol of love, togetherness, and the joy of the holiday season. I hope these sourdough cinnamon rolls will be that new staple in your kitchen this holiday season.

sourdough cinnamon rolls with yeast
after being refrigerated overnight and rising on the counter for 1-2 hours
sourdough cinnamon rolls 4
after being baked

Ingredients For Healthy Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

To start, we’ll need to gather our ingredients:

– Sourdough starter: active and bubbly sourdough starter sets the stage for that unmistakable sourdough flavor.

– Whole milk (or plant-based milk): adds richness and moisture to the dough. You can use any plant-based milk option as well.

– Instant yeast: helps our dough rise to fluffy perfection (I’ve tried a sourdough cinnamon roll recipe without yeast and they just took way too long to rise. Using yeast is way more predictable and easier to follow).

– Egg (or vegan alternative): contributes to the structure and richness of the dough. For a vegan option, you can use a flax egg (1 Tbs. ground flax + 2 Tbs. water).

– Grass-fed butter (or vegan butter): lends a buttery richness to the dough.

– Pure maple syrup (or honey): adds a touch of natural sweetness.

– Apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice): ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar activates the yeast and adds so much fluff to these sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Full measurements and instructions are listed in the printable recipe below 🙂

Can I Make These Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Vegan?

Yes, totally. I haven’t tested a flax egg yet, but I’m sure it will turn out great! So just use plant-based milk, a flax egg, vegan butter, and vegan cream cheese to make these sourdough cinnamon rolls completely vegan! How cool is that! Full instructions for this are in the recipe notes below. Let me know if you make them vegan and how they turn out 🙂

naturally sweetened sourdough cinnamon rolls

How To Make The Best Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

The full instructions are in the printable recipe below, but here is a general breakdown of the sourdough cinnamon roll process:

In a microwave-safe mug, warm the milk for 20 seconds until it reaches a temperature akin to warm bath water – not too hot to preserve the integrity of the yeast. Set the milk aside to bloom while we prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), combine all wet ingredients – except for the yeast-milk mixture – and mix until well combined. Gradually add the yeast-milk mixture, stirring until fully incorporated.

Next, add the dry ingredients – all-purpose unbleached flour and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt – and mix until a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or bowl cover and let the dough rise for the first time.

how to make sourdough cinnamon rolls
quick sourdough cinnamon rolls

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Filling: A Symphony of Cinnamon and Coconut Sugar

While our dough is undergoing its first rise, let’s prepare the filling that will take our cinnamon rolls to the next level. Here’s what you’ll need:

– Grass-fed butter or vegan butter: 4 tablespoons of softened or melted butter form the base of our luscious filling.

– Unsweetened applesauce: 3 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce add moisture and natural sweetness to the filling.

– Coconut sugar: ¼ cup of coconut sugar lends a caramel-like sweetness. You can alternatively use brown sugar. Brown sugar will give the sourdough cinnamon rolls more of a caramelized texture at the bottom.

– Cinnamon: 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon infuses our filling with its signature warmth and aroma.

In a small bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until well-mixed. The mixture should be soft, spreadable, and irresistibly aromatic – a tantalizing preview of the cinnamon-infused bliss that awaits.

sourdough cinnamon rolls 2
yes, it looks like ground beef 😂 just trust me the filling is delicious!

Shaping and Baking: From Dough to Delightful Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

With our dough risen and our filling ready, it’s time to bring our sourdough cinnamon rolls to life. Here’s how to shape and bake these irresistible treats:

1. Shape the dough: Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish and set it aside. On a generously floured surface, roll out the dough into a 17×16 inch rectangle. Alternatively, you can stretch the dough gently with your hands to achieve the desired shape and size.

2. Spread the filling: Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the prepared filling mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough, leaving a small border around the edges.

3. Roll and slice: With the filling evenly distributed, use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 1-inch strips vertically, yielding 8-10 strips. Carefully roll each strip into a tight spiral and place it in the greased casserole dish.

4. Second rise: Cover the casserole dish with a kitchen towel and let the cinnamon rolls rise for another hour, allowing them to expand and become even more irresistibly fluffy.

5. Bake to golden perfection: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them to prevent over-browning, as oven temperatures may vary.

sourdough cinnamon rolls easy recipe
Right after being shaped, before the second rise.
cinnamon rolls second rise 2
after rising for 1 hour on the counter.

Maple Cream Cheese Icing: The Perfect Finishing Touch To These Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

What’s a cinnamon roll without a generous drizzle of icing on top? Our maple cream cheese icing adds the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess to complement the warm, cinnamon-infused rolls. I use a similar recipe for my Healthy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars and my Holiday Vegan Brownies!

Here’s how to make it:

– Low-fat cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese): 3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese provide a creamy base for our icing.

– Grass-fed butter (or vegan butter): 2 tablespoons of softened butter add richness and flavor to the icing.

– Pure maple syrup (or honey): 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup lend natural sweetness and a hint of maple flavor.

– Vanilla extract: ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract rounds out the icing with its warm, aromatic notes.

best sourdough cinnamon rolls vegan

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Filling Variations

In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency by adding more maple syrup for a thinner icing or more cream cheese for a thicker consistency.

Once the sourdough cinnamon rolls are baked to golden perfection and still warm from the oven, generously spread the maple cream cheese icing over the top, allowing it to cascade down the sides.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Hacks

I include a few sourdough cinnamon roll hacks in this recipe.

1. We put the sourdough cinnamon roll dough in a warm bath of water to make it rise quickly.

2. I use a pizza cutter to slice the dough and then roll up the cinnamon rolls. This is much easier than rolling the whole dough up and slicing it. It also helps the cinnamon rolls keep their shape without smashing them down when you cut them.

3. Unsweetened applesauce in the filling cuts down on the butter we need to use and also adds beautiful moisture to the sourdough cinnamon rolls.

soft and fluffy sourdough cinnamon rolls

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls: One-Day vs. Two-Day Preparation

My quick sourdough cinnamon roll recipe offers flexibility to suit your schedule, whether you prefer to bake them in one day or spread the process out over two days. Here’s how to make them using either method:

One-Day Preparation:

– Feed your sourdough starter the evening before or in the morning if you plan to bake in the late morning or afternoon.

– Make the sourdough cinnamon roll dough and let it rest in a warm environment for 2 hours, stretching and folding the dough 2-3 times throughout this period.

– After the initial rise, shape the dough, add the filling, and shape the cinnamon rolls.

– Let the cinnamon rolls rise for 1 hour before baking to golden perfection.

– Bake and enjoy the warm, fluffy goodness of homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls in just one day!

Two-Day Preparation:

– Feed your sourdough starter the evening before or in the morning.

– Make the sourdough cinnamon roll dough and let it rest in a warm environment for 2 hours, stretching and folding the dough 2-3 times throughout this period.

– After the initial rise, shape the dough, add the filling, and shape the cinnamon rolls.

– Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate the shaped cinnamon rolls overnight.

– In the morning, allow the cinnamon rolls to reach room temperature for about 1 hour before baking.

– Bake and indulge in the warm, fluffy goodness of homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls, prepared with love over two days.

sourdough cinnamon bun recipe

Best Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Recipe

In conclusion, homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls are a true labor of love – a testament to the artistry and science of baking with sourdough. From their fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth texture to the irresistible aroma of cinnamon and maple, these cinnamon rolls are sure to become a beloved favorite in your household. Whether you choose to bake them in one day or spread the process out over two days, the end result is a decadent treat that’s worth every moment of anticipation. So roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience the magic of homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls – the ultimate comfort food for any occasion.

In this blog post, we’ve explored the art of making homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls, from the dough to the filling to the icing. With a little patience and a lot of love, you can make these healthier sourdough cinnamon rolls for any occasion and they will for sure be loved by all!

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sourdough cinnamon rolls pinterest save image

More Healthy Recipes

Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe (my favorite ever!)

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches 

Gluten-free Zucchini Bread

Yield: 8-10

Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls (Easy + Naturally Sweetened)

sourdough cinnamon rolls healthy

The best sourdough cinnamon rolls I’ve ever eaten. Straight up the best cinnamon rolls ever! These cinnamon rolls are so fluffy and they melt in your mouth. They’re sweetened with just a touch of pure maple syrup and coconut sugar. Completely divine and easy to make.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rest Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours

Ingredients

Wet

  • ⅓ cup whole milk (or plant-based milk)
  • 1 tsp. instant quick rising yeast
  • 1 large egg (see note 1 for vegan option)
  • ¼ cup sourdough starter (active and bubbly)
  • 2 Tbs. grass-fed butter (or vegan butter) melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

Dry

Filling

  • 4 Tbs. grass-fed butter or vegan butter (softened/melty and slightly cooled)
  • 3 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon

Maple Cream Cheese Icing

  • 3 Tbs. softened low-fat cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese)
  • 2 Tbs. softened grass-fed butter (or vegan butter)
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Make The Dough: Add milk to a microwave-safe mug. Microwave milk for 20 seconds on high (place your finger in the water to test the temperature. It should feel like warm bath water, not scolding hot. Too hot and your yeast will die.) Add the yeast, mix, and set aside to bloom and bubble.

2. To the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add all wet ingredients except the yeast milk mixture. You can also use a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. Mix until combined. Then mix in the yeast milk mixture until combined.

3. Add all dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms (the dough will be sticky).

4. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel or bowl cover (I love these ones from Etsy).

5. Dough 1st Rise: In a large microwave-safe measuring cup microwave 3 cups of water for 3 minutes until steaming hot or boiling (you can also use a tea kettle to heat the water). Fill an 8x8 casserole dish (something that’s at least 3 inches deep) with the boiling water and place your covered bowl of dough inside (see video for reference). 

6. Let rest on the counter like this for 1-2 hours until risen, stretching and folding the dough 2-3x within that time frame. Technique for stretching and folding: grab a portion of the dough, stretch it upwards, then stretch it toward the front of your bowl. Rotate your bowl and grab another section of dough, stretch it upwards, and then fold it over to the front of the bowl again. Rotate the bowl again and repeat stretch and folds until the dough is feeling tighter (3-4x total) (the dough will be sticky and tacky).

7. Make the filling: After the dough has risen, make the cinnamon roll filling by combining all filling ingredients in a small bowl and mixing until combined (it will be clumpy but spreadable).

8. Grease an 8x8 inch casserole dish and set aside. Generously flour a flat work surface. Place the dough on top of the surface and add a sprinkle of flour on top of the dough and your rolling pin. 

9. Shape the cinnamon rolls: Roll out the dough into a 17x16-inch rectangle. You can also lift the dough and stretch it out using your hands. It takes a little time for the dough to stretch out but just be patient and keep rolling and stretching it. Spread the filling mixture on top of the dough in an even layer.

10. Using a pizza cutter, slice 1-inch strips vertically in the dough until you have 8-10 strips. Roll each dough strip up into a tight roll and place in the greased casserole dish. 

11. Second Rise: Cover and let rise for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight to bake the following day (see notes 2 & 3 for baking the next day option and freezer option).

12. Once the cinnamon rolls have risen again, bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until sourdough cinnamon rolls are lightly golden on top (mine were perfect after 22 minutes).

13. Make the icing: While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the cream cheese icing by combining all icing ingredients in a medium bowl and beating with an electric mixer until very smooth (be sure your cream cheese and butter are softened).

14. Spread cream cheese icing on cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container on the counter if unfrosted for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before serving leftovers (they’re best when warmed up).

Notes

  1. Vegan option: use one flax egg in place of the regular egg. 1 Tbs. ground flax + 2 Tbs. water. Sit and let thicken for 5-10 minutes. I haven’t tested this but I’m sure it will turn out great. Let me know if you test this so I can let others know!
  2. Bake the next day: If you make the cinnamon rolls and want to bake them the next morning, simply cover the casserole dish with the shaped sourdough cinnamon rolls in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning let them rise on the counter at room temperature or in a warmer environment (like on a heat vent) for 1-2 hours until slightly risen. Bake as directed in the recipe.
  3. Freeze: you can shape these sourdough cinnamon rolls, place them in your greased baking dish, and then cover them in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until you’re ready to bake them. The night before you want them, take them out of the freezer and sit them on the counter overnight. In the morning bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden. 
  4. Coconut Sugar: You can alternatively use brown sugar. Brown sugar will give the sourdough cinnamon rolls more of a caramelized texture at the bottom.

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6 Comments

  • Liz

    These cinnamon rolls are so good! The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I did the overnight for a long ferment and they turned out perfect!

  • Stephanie

    Awesome cinnamon roll recipe! I have been looking for a healthy sourdough cinnamon roll recipie and this was perfect. I highly recommend! Super easy and yummy too! This is going to become a regular in my home. Thank you so much!

    • Claire

      I’m sooo glad you love this recipe Stephanie! Thank you so much for leaving your honest feedback. It means so much to me!

  • Whitney

    These cinnamon rolls are so yummy and so easy!!! Easy to whip up, freeze, pull out the night before you want them, bake and enjoy!! Will definitely make these again soon!!

    • Claire

      Whitney! I’m so glad you loved these cinnamon rolls and that you’re planning on making them again. This recipe is a staple for us now too 😍💯

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