Love a good cinnamon roll but don’t love the sugar coma after? Then these healthier Baked Cinnamon Rolls with Date Filling are perfect for you! Yeast still comes to the rescue to hep makes these rolls nice and fluffy, while the natural sugars in dates combine with just a tad of brown sugar to make these Baked Cinnamon Rolls with Date Filling a true delight!
What You Need to Make this Recipe
- You can use white whole wheat flour for an added nutrition boost as shown below, but really bread flour is a big winner for the added fluff! Or, try a 50-50 blend of each.
- Pitted dates are the easiest to work with! You can find them at most markets.
- I’ve also added a touch of brown sugar (not pictured) for those who prefer a bit more sweetness!
How to Make this Recipe
Start by heating the milk and letting it sit with the yeast and sugar mixed.
Steps #2 to 4:
Whisk in the egg after 5 minutes, then combine the bread (or flour of choice) until combined.
Steps #5 to 6:
Transfer dough to a stand mixer and using the knead attachment, knead for 8 minutes. Allow dough to rise in a. covered glass bowl for at least an hour at this point in a warm place.
While dough is rising, make the date filling.
Steps #7 to 8:
Heat the dates and coffee in the microwave, then process in a high powered blender or food processor.
Steps #9 and 10:
Then, add in the cinnamon, some vanilla, brown sugar, and butter. Process until smooth.
Once dough has risen, begin making the Baked Cinnamon Rolls.
Steps #11 to 13:
Roll out the dough on a flour surface, punching it down a few times. Use a rolling pin and lots of flour to prevent it from sticking to create a rectangle shape.
Steps #14 to 16:
Spread the date paste over the dough, then roll tightly into a long cylinder.
Step #17: Slice the rolls and place in a grease baking dish. Let rise again another 10 minutes or so. Preheat the oven. Then, set in the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Steps #18 and 19:
While rolls are baking, make the frosting.
Steps #20 and 21:
When baking completes, remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before frosting.
- To add a bit more pizzaz, you can sprinkle a few teaspoons of mini chocolate chips on top of the date filling when you slather it out on the dough. The coffee and chocolate hint combo is great!
- You can also sprinkle a tad more cinnamon and brown sugar over the date glaze before you roll if you want a strong flavor to come through (and more sugar lol!)
- If you aren’t into the powdered sugar frosting, feel free to make a traditional butter based frosting.
Other Lower Sugar Baked Goods You May Enjoy
- Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bread
- No Sugar Apple Muffins
- Sweet Potato Muffins
- Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
Baked Cinnamon Rolls with Date Filling
- 1 cup warm milk about 110*F
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 ounces cold brew coffee or alternative coffee liquor
- 10-12 each dates about 3/4 cup
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract divided
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup softened cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Heat 1 cup of milk in a microwave safe dish for 35 to 40 seconds. Milk temperature should be about 110 degrees F.
- Remove and add yeast and cane sugar to the milk; whisk together.
- Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the egg into the milk, then gently flour in the bread flour and salt. Mix together until combined with a wooden spoon. If dough is very sticky, add a tablespoon or two more of flour.
- Transfer dough to a stand mixer with the kneading attachment and set to low speed. Allow the machine to knead the dough for 8 minutes (if you do not have a stand mixer, you can manually knead the dough, but make sure to do so for at least 10 minutes then.)
- Once dough has been kneaded, spray a larger glass bowl with cooking spray and place dough inside. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 to 2 hours.
- While dough is rising, make date paste. Heat coffee and dates in a microwave safe dish for 25 to 30 seconds. Add to a food processor or high powered blender with the cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, brown sugar, and the butter. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go. Set aside.
- Remove dough from glass bowl and punch it down. Then, remove and set on a floured surface to roll out.
- Gently push down dough and begin to roll into a large rectangle using your rolling pin. Be sure to flip dough to help you roll it out without ripping. You may also need to and a little extra flour so it doesn’t stick!
- Once you get the dough to about 1/2-1/4-inch thick, slather the date filling all over the dough surface, leaving about 1/4-inch from the sides.
- Roll the dough tightly, lengthwise, until you have a long, rectangle formed.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 rolls.
- Spray with non-stick spray a square baking dish (an 8×8-inch pan will work), then gently transfer the cut rolls to the dish. Cover again with a towel and let rise one more time for about 5 to 10 minutes. While rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
- Remove and let cool on a wired rack in the pan.
- While cooling, mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla with cream cheese and powdered sugar.
- Slather the frosting on top of the rolls once they've cooled about 5 minutes post-baking and enjoy warm!
- Cinnamon rolls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
- If freezing, recommend to omit the frosting and make when ready to enjoy. Rolls will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.