So this morning I was thinking about which recipe I should post here while I scrolled through my Instagram feed. I have a great number of drafts that are waiting for the right moment to see the light, but none of them seemed to stand out. Don’t take me wrong. I like all the recipes that I’ve saved in my blog’s files (otherwise I wouldn’t store them), but none of them inspired me today to sit down and write.
Not until I saw an image of a tray full of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. I don’t know why, but every time I see a photo of cinnamon rolls I instantly crave them. It doesn’t have anything to do with how beautiful they look in the photo. They have exactly the same effect on me. No matter they are yummy-looking buns or messy and poorly-lighted ones. My brain’s response basically goes like this. If they look good: “They look amazing, they must be delicious. I know how to make them. I’ll make some right away”. And if they look bad: “I have a great cinnamon rolls recipe. I should make it. And I should make it now”.
And this is what happened today. I saw some cinnamon rolls on my Instagram feed and I immediately knew it. I had to make my “quick cinnamon and coconut rolls”. I mean, I had to POST my cinnamon rolls recipe. But I had to make them first, just to get that extra dose of inspiration ;-).
Luckily, I had all the ingredients so I could bake in my pajamas —this is important. If you are baking on a Saturday, it’s always better to do it in your pajamas. It feels like being on holidays!
I used spelt flour but I guess you can substitute it for any whole-wheat flour. As for sugar, I used raw cane sugar for the dough and coconut sugar for the filling, but I think you can use any type of sugar of your preference. I had always made them with raw cane sugar before, and this time I just happened to have coconut sugar in the pantry. I also think that you could put a little less sugar and they will still taste great.
I put coconut oil and grated coconut because when I created this recipe I thought of the rolls my mom made when I was a child. She would always make two different batches: one with sugar and cinnamon and another one with sugar and coconut. I loved both, so I thought that I could combine them and make a cinnamon coconut version to enjoy the different flavors while keeping things simple.
She also used yeast for the dough, which I always did until very recently, when I decided I wanted to have homemade cinnamon rolls without waiting for them to rise. This recipe works equally fine with either yeast or baking powder. The ones from the photo, which are the ones I made this morning, are made with baking powder.
One last thing. These are vegan-friendly cinnamon rolls. They are made with some ingredients that might be considered healthy or healthier such as spelt flour, coconut oil, raw cane sugar or coconut sugar. However, these are NOT healthy treats and I would never recommend them as part of a healthy diet. It’s true that I love them and that I make them a few times a year, but I’m aware that I could totally do without them. And you could too. The same goes for any other pastries or sweets. It’s OK to have them once in a while, but please let’s stop calling them food because they are not.
Now go ahead and enjoy your cinnamon rolls!!! Seriously, if you are going to make them, you MUST enjoy them. Otherwise… what would the point be?
P.S: They don’t have any icing because I think there is no need for it. I used to make some, but the rolls taste so good that I realized that adding more sugar was only harmful and completely pointless in terms of flavor. Believe me!
Quick cinnamon and coconut rolls
Servings: 16 rolls
500 gr. spelt flour
1 package baking powder (16 gr. or 3 tsp.)
100 gr. raw cane sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
50 ml. sunflower oil
200 ml. lukewarm water
150 gr. coconut sugar
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
100 ml. melted coconut oil
50 gr. grated coconut
- Pre-heat the oven to 180º C. Grease a baking tray and set aside.
- In a big bowl; mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the wet ingredients and combine well with your hands.
- Use a rolling pin to make two thin sheets (I recommend to work on a silicon mat so the dough doesn’t stick or break).
- In a small bowl, mix the coconut sugar and cinnamon.
- Use half of the coconut oil to moisten the surface of one of the sheets. Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mix and spread evenly over the dough. Finally, do the same with half of the grated coconut.
- Carefully roll the dough and make a firm and even cylinder. Use a knife to cut the roll in halves until you have 8 pieces of approximately 3 cm. each.
- Repeat the process with the second sheet and arrange the rolls on the baking tray leaving some space between them.
- Bake for 20 minutes.