There’s nothing like waking up on a lazy Saturday morning to the smell of cinnamon rolls. It’s the same scent that makes passing Cinnabon in the mall a true test of willpower. And while they’re definitely not the picture of health (sugar and dough are the two main ingredients, after all), that doesn’t mean you have to totally write off cinnamon buns. We found vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and fruit-filled cinnamon roll recipes that make the treat a tad bit healthier. There’s even a Paleo version, proving anything is possible in the world of healthy eating. Go ahead and dig in.
Living the vegan life? Not a problem, you can still enjoy cinnamon rolls too. Dairy-free butter and almond milk are easy swaps here. Just make sure to start before you’re hangry… the dough takes an hour to rise before putting them together.
For those nights (or mornings) when you’re craving just a little something sweet, this cinnamon roll in a mug will save you from cracking open a tub of Pillsbury. Plus, it’s made with coconut sugar, so it’s at least a step above the canned stuff.
Yes, you really can eat cinnamon rolls on a Paleo diet. Crazy, we know! Fair warning, they do require three kinds of flour (almond, tapioca, and coconut), but if you’re a Paleo regular, you probably already have one or two in your pantry.
Apples and cinnamon are a great combo, so it’s no surprise these apple chai cinnamon rolls work so well. They use dates, chai tea, and a diced apple for the filling, and vegan cream cheese (like Tofutti or Trader Joe’s new version) and maple syrup for the frosting. The cream cheese frosting has our hearts.
This is the breakfast roll we never knew we needed. Bananas make the rolls extra fluffy, and the maple cream cheese icing is basically a gift from above. Whip these up for a holiday, brunch, or just a happy Sunday.
Pumpkin gets all the attention around Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit the flavor to fall. Especially since pumpkin purée is sweet on its own, meaning you can cut down the sugar and still feel like you’re eating a treat. Pecans add a nice crunch to the top too.
Sure, you can buy orange-flavored cinnamon rolls at the store, but these are made with fresh orange juice, orange zest, and tasty spices like cinnamon and cardamom. Plus, how pretty are they?! You’ll get major bonus points from the guests for making something that tastes as good as it looks.
If you’re trying to avoid a sugar crash, you could serve cinnamon rolls with a side of bacon or sausage, or you could add a dash of protein powder to the dough. Vanilla protein powder adds a little flavor and reduces the amount of flour you need.
Just like blueberry pancakes or waffles, blueberry cinnamon rolls add some natural sweetness and a pretty bright blue to your breakfast. These rolls are also gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, so if you’ve got friends/kids/spouses with allergies, they may be a good option.