Saturday, May 8, 2010

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Butter

Have you ever wondered how everything looks difficult before you try it?  When you look at something or someone in action, it is very common to think that the 'show piece' involves 'rocket science'. Some probably involve 'rocket science', but most don't. When we try and make it, the feeling is 'Why was I so afraid to try it before? It wasn't hard at all'.
I made Cinnamon rolls couple of years back for the first time. I had referred to couple of recipes and I even went and watched the videos of making cinnamon rolls. But when I did make them, it was so easy that I thought the 'home work' was unnecessary. I probably don't need to look at any cinnamon roll recipe any more.

If you have read couple of posts of mine on this blog, you will realize one thing. I am neither against using 'butter' nor I am a lover of 'butter' like Paula Deen is. I am alright with using butter in moderation. But, if there is a way I can get away from not using butter and still make the dish come out delicious, you bet I'll try it out. I had a bottle of 'Apple Butter' and I used that instead of part of butter and used whole wheat flour and made some healthy cinnamon rolls. Taste wise, these were awesome. I neither glazed the rolls nor did I use frosting since the apple butter made it gooey and sticky and very yummy I should add.

  • Whole wheat flour - 3 cups
  • Vital Wheat gluten - 3 TBSP (You can skip this if you use bread flour instead of whole wheat flour)
  • Active dry yeast - 2 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Apple butter - 1/2 cup
  • Warm water - 1/2 cup
  • Silken Tofu - 1/2 cup (blended)(You can use yogurt, sour cream or 2 eggs in its place)
  • Sugar - 4 TBSP or 1/4 cup
  • Butter - 4 TBSP or 1/2 a stick

For filling:
  • Apple Butter - 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar and raw sugar mixture - 1/3 cup or less (You could use just brown sugar and omit raw sugar)
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp (Go easy on this since apple butter already has cinnamon and cloves in it)

In a large bowl, take the warm water. Add sugar to it and sprinkle yeast on it. Let it stand till frothy about 10 minutes. Then add the blended silken tofu, apple butter, salt and room temperature butter. Mix well and slowly start adding the whole wheat flour and vital wheat gluten. Make a smooth dough and knead it about 10 minutes or till elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm place and let it rest till double about 45 minutes. Deflate the dough and on a lightly floured surface, start rolling the dough in a rectangle of 12 X10 inch size.
On the rolled dough, spread apple butter leaving 1/2 an inch on all sides. On apple butter, sprinkle the brown sugar, raw sugar, cinnamon mixture
Take a 13 X 9 pan and spray with vegetable oil spray. Now, from the long side of the rolled dough, start making a tight roll. Objective is to get the log of 12 " so that you can cut into 12 slices to get 12 rolls. When the whole dough has been rolled, slice into 1" discs. Best way to slice these is by using dental floss (non mint one) or a very sharp knife. Place the rolls cut side down so that you are seeing the spiral in the prepared pan. Place 4 rolls in each row and make three rows to get 12 rolls. Cover with an aluminum foil and let it rise for about 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes or till golden. The rolls look a little dark even when they weren't overdone due to apple butter in the dough and in the filling. But, man were they delicious.

For those who haven't heard of 'Apple Butter' before (I have used it in many recipes on this blog), it is very similar to applesauce. Process of making any fruit butter (ex: pumpkin butter) is to boil the fruit puree for a very long time to remove all the moisture and add sugar and spices. Apple butter usually has cloves and cinnamon and pumpkin butter might have ginger, allspice, cloves, cinnamon and possibly nutmeg. Many people use it as a spread on crackers, bread but I use it in baking. Go figure with my love for 'baking'.

I am submitting these rolls to 'Yeast Spotting' hosted here.

You can get 'Apple Butter' in most of the grocery stores in the same isle where you find applesauce.

Happy Baking!! Pin It


  1. This is awesome!! shall hv to hunt for apple butter and make these but I am going on a vacation so i can make it after getting back!! :( I guess till then i can drool over the pics here .....

  2. Wow these look amazing and so mouthwatering, I can almost smell the aroma of them.Is apple butter same as apple sauce??

  3. Harini, simplyfood, thanks for leaving a comment. Apple Butter is not the same as applesauce. It doesn't have water content like applesauce does. It is basically applesauce boiled for a very long time with sugar and spices.

  4. looks to try it out

  5. the rolls have turned out a professional baker..good work..


  6. Whoa !!! Champa !!! Real nice click and tempting :)

  7. That was an awesome prep. Loved the click and u made me drool. The perfect and a healthy version.Greetings on Mother's Day:)

  8. It's simply nice and beautiful using Whole wheat flour. I use Apple sauce in some baking recipe but didn't knw abt apple butter. Thanks for intro. :)

  9. They look tempting ...would love to try these..i have self rising whole wheat flour..can I use it for this?

  10. Happy Mother's Day!!!!
    Rolls look perfect and very tempting dear :-)

  11. Thanks everyone for leaving a comment and wishes. Faiza, I wouldn't use self rising flour since that has baking powder/baking soda and salt added into it. It is suitable for quick breads, but not for yeast breads. You can definitely make lot of things with though. Hope this helps.

  12. Thanks for your quick reply dear.

  13. Woww elegant and pretty tempting cinnamon rolls, just love them..

  14. Delicious and classy cinnamon rolls with applebutter.

  15. Hi first time in your blog..loved your space and the recipes.the cinnamon rolls look droolworthy:)

  16. I belong to that category who has not got into serious baking yet :(

    Loved the clicks... and the recipe sounds easy too.... Yum.....

  17. These Cinnamon Rolls are Awesome!!!! So damn tempting!!!! You tempt me to bake something whenever i open ur blog!!!! Keep the great work going!!!! Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes with us!!!!

  18. these look so good! I love that you used apple butter...and no frosting :) healthy, but taste oh-so-good! : D thanks for inspiring me for my own recipes..

  19. Can we substitute wheat flour with APF when recipe asks for later one? esp. In cakes and breads
    Thanks in advance

  20. Anonymous,
    Yes, but you will need to know that the texture will differ. When you use whole wheat flour in yeast breads, you can always use some vital wheat gluten to improve the texture so no problems there.
    But, when you are using whole wheat flour in place of APF in cakes and quick breads, the texture will be a bit denser. Hope this answers your question.

  21. Thanks for answering my question
    I also want to know what brand of whole wheat flour u use in breads and can we use chapati flour in that
    And also can we replace white wheat flour in cakes
    I don't want to use APF as my mil has constipation so that's why I am looking for some substitute without compromising in taste
    Again thanks in advance

  22. Anonymous,
    I use chapathi flour from Indian store since that is the cheapest. But you need to remember that every brand differs and it absorbs water differently. Apart from that they work just fine.
    In cakes, white wheat flour works well for the color part and since it is still a whole wheat flour, it will be a bit denser than all purpose flour cakes. But it will not alter the taste. A tip if you want to consider. If a cake recipe has egg in it, you could use part all purpose flour and use flax egg to increase the fiber content so that the problem of lack of fiber is not there.

  23. Hi again
    So flax egg is flax meal or flax seeds
    And will whole wheat cake taste differ from APF apart from texture??
    Thanks again for answering my questions

  24. Flax egg means - 1 TBSP flax seed meal (powdered flax seeds) mixed with 3 TBSP of warm water. This replaces one egg. Taste will not differ if you replace APF with WWF. Read the basics page (link on the top of the blog) to see the substitutes.

  25. Do you have the nutritional values for this recipe per serving?

  26. Anonymous,
    I can calculate the calories roughly. I will do that sometime later and update the post. Thanks for asking.


If you have a question and you leave it as a comment, I'll surely answer the question to the best of my knowledge. Thanks for visiting.