Better-for-you Cinnamon Buns!

Better-for-you Cinnamon Buns!

After successfully completing our FIRST Whole30, I was REALLY looking forward to getting back into the kitchen to bake some of my favorite sweets. We thought the hardest part of the Whole30 would be doing without our old bottles of Italian wine, BUT the hardest part was most definitely eating low-to-no-sugar. You don't realize how addictive sugar is until you cut out ALL added sugars from your diet and forgo desserts. Yikes! There were a few bleak days in the beginning when I wasn't sure that John would make it. But we both survived AND a we came out the other side a few pounds lighter (John lost an amazing 15 pounds in 30 days!!!).

We want to continue reaping the benefits of the Whole30, so I don't think we'll ever be incorporating as much sugar in our diet as we did before, BUT we deserve something a little bit sweet every now and then. When I stumbled upon this recipe from my favorite food blogger (Paleo Running Momma), I figured it was something that my mother-in-law would love and seemed like an interesting new thing to try to make. I've never really liked cinnamon buns before, BUT my perspective on that changed after making these bad boys!

They take a bit of patience, but they are totally worth it. You can find the original recipe here!

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 6


For the dough:

  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups of tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

For the filling:

  • 3.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of chopped dates (you can also use raisins)

For the topping/glaze:

  • 2/3 cup of coconut cream
  • 4 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt


For the Cinnamon Buns:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine almond flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine melted coconut oil, water, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until well combined
  3. Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined
  4. Add egg and mix
  5. Add in the remaining tapioca flour and coconut flour
  6. Mix until well combined. Note that the dough will be sticky
  7. Chill the dough for 15 minutes
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and cinnamon and leave to the side
  9. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of tapioca flour over a cutting board and place the chilled dough in the center of the board
  10. Sprinkle more tapioca flour over your hands and shape the dough in a 10 x 7" rectangle. Use the heel of your hand to knead the dough (easier than a rolling pin!)
  11. Take the maple syrup + cinnamon and brush it over the top of the dough to cover completely
  12. Sprinkle more cinnamon and add the chopped dates
  13. Using the parchment paper to help, roll the dough from the longest side, as tightly as possible into a 'log' shape. If the dough is too sticky, you can chill it for a few minutes or try using a bit more tapioca flour. It doesn't have to be perfect. Trust me -- they'll be delicious no matter what
  14. Once rolled into a 'log', cover in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes
  15. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  16. After the dough has chilled, cut off the ends to have clean lines (about 1/2" on each side)
  17. Cut the roll into six equal pieces (~1.5 inches each)
  18. Place the cinnamon buns onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  19. Bake for 30 minutes or until they just start to brown on top

For topping/glaze:

  1. In a small/medium saucepan, bring coconut cream and maple syrup to a boil
  2. Lower heat to simmer and stir for 5-10 minutes until syrupy. Then stir in vanilla and salt. It will thicken as it cools. 
  3. Prior to serving drizzle the glaze on top of the hot cinnamon buns
  4. Enjoy!