Lighter Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon roll.

cinnamon rolls

For a novice baker homemade cinnamon rolls could seem intimidating and quite daunting and really not worth going through all the trouble when you could buy a can of Cinnabon at the store.

That’s exactly how I felt until last year.

And then one day last winter I decided to take on the challenge and make Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls.

My life changed…

and I never bought store-bought cinnamon rolls again.

Ree’s cinnamon rolls are indulgent, sweet and beyond heavenly, but I always felt extremely guilty after I had 1.

So here’s a lightened up version!

It still tastes sweet, cinnamony and fabulous but with fewer calories! 🙂

Here’s how 🙂

cinnamon rolls 2cinnamon rolls 3cinnamon rolls 4

Lighter Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Makes about 25 rolls

For the rolls:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast, 0.25 oz pack
  • 4 cups(+1/2cup extra) AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp melted light butter
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • lots of cinnamon

Directions: In a saucepan combine the milk, oil and sugar. Heat over medium heat until just under a boil. Set aside and let it cool until lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast and let it sit for 1min. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hr. After 1 hr stir in the baking powder, baking soda,salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour. Chill for at least 1hr before use. *At this point I divided the dough and half and stored 1/2 of it in the freezer to use for another time! 🙂 You of course can use all of it at once!

Once the dough has been chilled for at least 1hr and it’s easier to work with, roll the dough into a large rectangle about 30in by 10in until. It should be very thin! Brush (or spoon) the melted butter all over the dough, then sprinkle a generous layer of cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar. Starting with the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Roll it as tightly as you can. Put a cutting board underneath the roll and slice the roll into 3/4 to 1in thick slices. Transfer the sliced rolls into cooking spray sprayed baking dishes (do not overcrowd the pans) and cover with a towel. Let rise, covered, for 20 mins. Bake in 375F preheat oven for 15-18 mins or until golden brown. While the rolls are baking make the icing.

Cream Cheese Glaze:


  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3+ cups powdered sugar
  • milk, if needed

Directions: Beat the cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy about 3mins. Beat in the vanilla. Slowly 1/2 cup at a time start adding the powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. If frosting is too thick add 1 tsp at a time of milk to thin out. The frosting should be somewhat thick but spreadable.

Once the cinnamon rolls are baked, pour the glaze on top right away 🙂

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

cinnamon rolls



  1. I tried to like this post but it would not let me. But this looks delicious.

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