Growing up I remember waking up on Christmas morning at about 6 o’clock, running around the house and waking everyone up so that we could all open presents together.
My mom always allowed us to open our stockings while everyone else was waking up. While my brother and I opened our stockings, and everyone else groggily made their way to the tree full of presents, she would put in a cinnamon butter braid loaf in the oven.
We had a butter braid every Christmas morning, until I was about 20 or so. The taste and smell of butter braids always brings me back to happy and loving holidays with family.
Since we haven’t had butter braids in years, I decided to bring back a variation this year for my family to enjoy. I teamed up with Almond Breeze to debut their new Almondmilk Cashewmilk blend and decided I wanted to health-ify by cinnamon rolls since almost everyone in my family tries to eat pretty clean and healthy now.
While these cinnamon rolls are “healthier” they are still a special treat, and not something I would suggest having too often. They should be saved for special occasions! 😉
To make them a bit healthier, I used whole wheat flour as well as vanilla protein powder to form the dough. The protein powder not only adds in a bit of protein to these tasty rolls, but also helps to bring down the glycemic index.
And again, because these are a special treat for me, I splurged and used some grass-fed butter in the dough, however you can always use coconut oil too — it’ll still be just as tasty and would make these completely vegan!
For the filling, I swapped out brown sugar for coconut sugar, one of my favorite healthy substitutions. This also helps to keep the glycemic index a bit lower, which helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
I also use Blue Diamond’s Almondmilk Cashewmilk Blend in the dough as well as for the icing, which is also great if you’re vegan or dairy intolerant.
- 3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (or more flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup Almond Breeze Almondmilk Cashewmilk Blend
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/3 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons Almond Breeze Almondmilk Cashewmilk Blend
- Lightly grease a pie dish with coconut oil and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Add in almond milk and melted butter and mix until a smooth, thick batter is formed.
- Lightly flour a clean counter top, and with a rolling pin roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 18 inches by 12 inches.
- In a small bowl, combine the coconut sugar and cinnamon until combined.
- Using a basting brush, brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the dough.
- Sprinkle the coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough.
- Roll the dough lengthwise, creating a long roll, and carefully cut the roll into 12 equal rolls, about 1 1/2 inches.
- Arrange the rolls in the greased pie dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, remove from oven and set aside to cool 10-15 minutes.
- While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, prepare your icing.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of almond milk, until you have a smooth icing. If the icing seems too dry add another tablespoon of milk until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy!
Do you have any special Christmas morning traditions?
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Kitchen Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious Blendabilities at AlmondBreezeBlendabilities.com.