Recipe: A healthier take on cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls are a truly indulgent treat, but this recipe includes some clever swaps without sacrificing flavour

Cinnamon rolls

Danish pastries, like the name suggests, are made from pastry, so they’re high in fat and saturates. In particular, we should reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diet as it’s not good for heart health. Often the pastry is combined with heaps of sugar and is finished with icing or a syrupy topping. Instead, this recipe uses a lower-fat enriched dough rather than the customary pastry, which is filled with cinnamon and topped with an icing that’s made from a light cream cheese. Opting for a lemon-flavoured cream cheese topping instead of icing or syrup means these cinnamon swirls have less sugar too, and a lovely zesty flavour.

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

Makes 10


For the dough:

  • 500g plain flour
  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp caster or coconut sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250ml semi-skimmed milk, warmed
  • 50g butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 25g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp white or coconut sugar
  • 20g cinnamon
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Milk, for brushing

For the icing:

  • 6 The Laughing Cow Lightest Cheese Triangles
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp caster or coconut sugar


  1. Using a dough hook in a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and pinch of salt. Add the milk, egg and yolks. Finally, add the melted butter and mix together for about 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky but pull away from the side of the bowl.
  2. Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased mixing bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size.
  3. Roll out the on a lightly floured surface to about 30 x 25cm.
  4. Brush the dough with the melted butter for the filling. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the buttered dough.
  5. Roll the dough up tightly lengthwise to make one long roll. Cut the dough into 10 slices and place with the swirl facing upwards on a baking tray. Cover again and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Brush each cinnamon roll with milk and bake for 20 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  7. For the icing, mix The Laughing Cow Lightest Cheese Triangles with the sugar and lemon juice. Then, spread the icing over the cooled cinnamon rolls and enjoy.