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If I tell you that these homemade cinnamon rolls are easy, would you believe me? Admittedly, slightly (just slightly) more elbow grease will go into these gooey wonders than cracking open a tube of the Pillsbury laboratory project, but the taste is better here and these somewhat nutritious ingredients appear in a dictionary. And if you don’t want to be rolling out dough on Christmas morning while the kids missile lock onto a screen and dad searches for batteries, make the rolls ahead of time.


morning glory


I made these on a school morning…a school morning when I had to drive carpool – moms in Los Angeles you can attest to the crazy. But, the recipe from a fellow blogger boasted three little words: fastest – cinnamon – buns and the challenge was on. Take a look at the steps.


Start with a few special dairy products in your refrigerator:

the extra ingredients


Make the dough in a food processor, the fastest way to mix up anything. You want the dough crumbly with little chunks of butter that will melt into the dough during baking. Turn it out onto a floured board or cool stone surface that, in case you didn’t know, keeps those pieces of butter in pieces rather than blending them into the dough.


sticky, crumbly dough


Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape.


rolling out the dough


Add cinnamon mixture on top of the rolled out dough, leaving a slight border.


cinnamon filling


Roll up the dough like they do at this place.


rolling in the dough


Slice and put coiled dough end up into baking pan.




Indulge without too much guilt. This little precious is about 350 calories each.

cinnamon rolls made by you


Look for our real food diet coming in January – oh yeah. Until then…Happy Holidays!


bite it

christmas morning unwrapped: a faster healthier cinnamon roll

preptime: 30 minutes, that’s right bitches makes 8-12 rolls

baketime: 30 minutes

3/4 c part skim ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1/3 c low fat buttermilk
1/4 c sugar
2 oz. unsalted butter
1 t vanilla extract
9 oz. all purpose flour (about 2 cups) (1/2 whole wheat optional)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t. baking soda


3/4 oz. unsalted butter
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/4 t ground cardamom


2 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar, or to taste

1 tablespoons skim milk, or as needed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 8 or 9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the ricotta cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (don’t overprocess). The dough will be soft and moist.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth (it really only takes 4-5 times).
  5. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×15-inch rectangle. DFD blogger discovered that 12×15 is exactly the size of my flexible plastic cutting board, so that’s a quick and easy way to size it.
  6. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border unbuttered around the edges.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and press gently into the surface.
  8. Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal, and leave the ends open.
  9. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into equal pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry if there are small gaps.
  10. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 to 28 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the softened mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla to make a smooth glaze. Add milk as needed to achieve desired consistency.
  12. When the rolls are finished baking, set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the rolls, and transfer them to a serving plate.
  13. Spread or drizzle the glaze onto warm rolls. Let stand 10 minutes (or as long as you can stand) and serve with fresh berries and a big glass of milk.

crunchtimewarp (faster version)

  • The process is nearly as fast as can be, but you can do all or parts ahead of time. Prepare and freeze the rolls ahead of time. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and leave the baking until morning. If you’re more ambitious but still want to save morning minutes, combine ingredients for each mixture the night before. Leave the butter mixture out of the refrigerator for easy spreading, but the dough & glaze should be refrigerated.

recipe adapted from don’tforgetdelicious.com who adapted it from fine cooking and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


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