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Cinnamon buns with coconut oil and macadamia nut frosting

This recipe for cinnamon buns with coconut oil is a very special treat in my house. It is not exactly a quick recipe as you have to let the dough rise twice. When developing this recipe I was inspired by a recipe from . The recipe I found duplicated across the web with slightly different instructions.


A healthier version of cinnamon buns

The first time I made them I could taste the butter in every bite. It was a little too rich for me. On me and my boyfriend’s first year anniversary he begged me to make it healthier. Mainly he wanted me to make cinnamon buns with coconut oil instead of butter. In this recipe I still use just a little bit of butter in the filling because I was scared it would not come out good. In the future I will probably try it with no butter, or maybe make like a nut butter filling instead of serving it with nut-based frosting.

This recipe also features a little honey instead of sugar in the dough so the dough itself is not overly sweet. Then for the frosting, instead of refined powdered sugar, I use macadamia nuts and pure maple syrup which gives the icing a dose of nutrition that you can feel good about slathering on to your buns.

Recipe for cinnamon buns with coconut oil and served with macadamia nut frosting

Yield: Makes about 12 rolls

Equipment: Bread mixer like a kitchen aid for kneading (otherwise a food processor or other heavy duty mixer) and a blender for the icing.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • dry ingredients:
    • 3 and ½ cups unbleached white bread flour
    • 1/4 ounce packet of active yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  • wet ingredients:
    • ¾ cup whole milk
    • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (4 tablespoons)
    • 1 medium-large egg
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1-2 tablespoons Big Island honey

Ingredients for the filling:

  • one cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (solid state preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 and ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water or less

Steps for the buns:

1) Mix 2 and 1/4 cup flour (reserve 1 cup for adding after wet ingredients).  ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

This recipe, and any other recipe where the dough must be kneaded, is best with a heavy duty stand up mixer that has both a paddle attachment and a dough hook. If you have one, use it and mix the dry ingredients briefly with the paddle. If not, you should be using either a hand mixer, other stand up mixer, or a large food processor will get you half way there.

2) Heat the milk until bubbly and add the 1/4 cup coconut oil

3) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 egg, 1/4 cup water, honey to taste, milk and coconut oil mixture.

4) Mix until incorporated. Slowly add the remaining 1 cup of flour to the bowl and when the dough starts to come free from the sides of the bowl you need to stop the mixer  and knead it by machine or by hand.

Kneading the dough

5) Kneading, if you have a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook, you can replace the paddle attachment now with the dough hook. Set to the lowest speed and let it knead for 5 minutes (do not over do it). If you do not have a dough hook, than turn it out on to lightly floured surface, and start kneading! Set a alarm for 8 minutes and don’t think about it until it goes off. If the dough is uniform and elastic it’s probably done.

6) Let rest for 10 minutes, place a towel over it for better rest.

7) Meanwhile mix the cinnamon, coconut oil, butter and sugar together.

8) Flour a large surface like a clean counter or large cutting board. Roll the dough into a large rectangle (about the size of a pan, 12X9 and about 1/3 inch thick).

9) Spread the cinnamon/sugar mixture with a rubber spatula or spoon evenly on the rolled out rectangle dough.

10) Starting at the longest side, roll the dough gently into a log.

11) You can try cutting with a knife, but no matter how sharp it is, it’s hard to cut without handling or deflating the dough.

Instead, you could be a pro and use a piece of unscented dental floss, placed under the roll to wrap around and cut off the perfect bun.  In some of the pictures below, you’ll notice I tried making heart buns. To do this just unroll the most forward side and curl it to the center to make a heart.

12) Place in 2 round cake pans oiled with coconut oil, slightly touching.

13) Then let these rise for 30 minutes until they are almost doubled in size.

14) Finally, bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Step for the icing:

1) While the buns are baking make the icing.

2) To do the icing add the mac nuts, vanilla extract, and maple syrup into a high powered blender and blend until smooth adding little bits of water as needed to make a smooth consistency.

3) When the buns are done, cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

4) Serve warm with frosting and love.