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100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I modified an old church-cookbook recipe to make these 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls.  I use all organic ingredients, but I've listed the recipe just as noted in the book - I'll let you decide how organic you want to make it.  
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Sponging and Rising Time1 hr
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Cinnamon Rolls, Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Servings: 30 Rolls
Author: Don Herman



  • 1/3 cup Warm Water 110F
  • 2 pkg Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 lg Eggs
  • 6 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour


  • 8 tbsp Butter, divided
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon

Frosting (Optional)

  • 8 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk or cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or Maple, or Orange
  • Water for thinning


  • Combine the warm water and yeast in a bowl
  • In a saucepan, heat the sour cream until warm and smooth, but not bubbling.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon until blended.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • Combine the honey, butter, baking soda, salt, and eggs with a mixer in a large bowl.  Add the sour cream and mix until it cools to lukewarm.  Add the yeast water.  Add half the flour and mix to form a medium batter. 
    Bread dough ready for the sponge stage
  • Switch to a dough hook, if you have one - the paddle will grind too hard for your mixer.  Otherwise, add two more cups of flour and mix with your hands or the hook.  Continue to add remaining flour just until you form a dough that pulls clean. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Place the refrigerated dough in your mixing bowl or on your counter. Knead the dough for about 6 minutes on the mixer, or 10-15 by hand until it's soft and elastic. 
  • Split into two equal pieces.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Roll one piece into a rectangle about 13" X 18" in size.  Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and spread evenly over the dough.  Sprinkle the brown sugar filling over the dough, coming to 1/2" of the long edge but overflowing on the short edges.  (We'll roll up the long edge and the filling will bubble out the top of the cut rolls.)
    Cinnamon roll dough, rolled and ready for butter
  • From the long side, roll up the dough delicately, starting with just your fingertips - no pulling or stretching.  Once you get it started it's much easier to roll it all the way to a long cylinder.  Pinch the seam closed tightly.  
  • With kitchen shears or a dough scraper, cut the cylinder in half, then half again, and then cut the individual rolls at about 1".  Place the rolls in a greased 9"X13" pan.  Leave a little room to expand.
    Cinnamon rolls ready to roll
  • Repeat with the second lump of dough.  Let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.


  • Mix the butter and cream cheese until blended.  Add the flavoring, then the sugar with the milk or cream. (I drape a very light tea towel over the mixer to keep the powdered sugar from coating my kitchen.)  
  • Finally, add water a tablespoon at a time just until the frosting will barely pour from a spoon - about 3 tablespoons.
  • When the rolls are done baking, let them cool for about five minutes, then pour the icing generously over the rolls