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Date Sweetened Cinnamon Rolls

October 30, 2017 by pb&v

The weather is starting to get a bit chilly and I am craving ALL THE COMFORT FOOD. Gimme all the soups, pastas, and baked goods! While I really love comfort foods, I also love eating healthy foods and taking proper care of my body, which results in me coming up with slightly healthier versions of my favorite indulgences. The healthier versions are definitely still a treat to be enjoyed every now and then, but at least I don’t feel so gross after eating them!

Back in September a coworker of mine decided to give up processed sugar for a month, but that’s pretty hard to do when you work in a bakery. And are also diabetic. About halfway into the month I came up with the idea of date-sweetened cinnamon rolls and decided to whip up a batch before work to surprise my coworker. Her reaction made my entire day and I’m so glad I was able to create a treat she could enjoy while still avoiding processed sugars. The dough for the cinnamon rolls is sweetened with a touch of maple syrup, while the filling is a super sweet and creamy date paste. Top it all off with some cashew cream frosting and you’ve got yourself a delicious cinnamon roll.

Date-Sweetened Cinnamon Rolls

Just look at how gooey they are inside!

Just look at how gooey they are inside!

I posted a picture of the cinnamon rolls on my Instagram and Facebook page and got loads of people asking for the recipe. Now that it’s been a whole month since posting the picture, I’m finally getting around to re-testing the recipe for all those who have asked! These cinnamon rolls do take a bit more effort than the traditional version, but I promise they are so worth it. They’re super fluffy and gooey, sweet and cinnamon-y; everything you love about cinnamon rolls without all the yuck.

I honestly prefer these cinnamon rolls over the traditional roll. While I do have quite the sweet tooth, I find that many sweets, especially cinnamon rolls, are just way too sweet. I can usually only handle a few bites and feel like poo afterwards (not that this ever stops me…). I could probably eat the whole pan of these though…

Date-Sweetened Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 8-10 rolls


For the dough:

  • 1 Cup warm water
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 1/4 Tsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp salt


For the filling:

  • 1 Cup soaked pitted medjool dates
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Cinnamon


For the frosting:

  • 1/3 Cup soaked raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsp plant milk (I used homemade almond milk)



For the dough:

Combine the warm water and maple syrup (I usually do this in a 2 cup mason jar), then add the yeast and give it a good mix. Allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine 1.5 cups of the flour and the salt in a medium mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the yeast mixture is nice and fluffy add it to the flour and salt. Give it a good stir or mix until there aren’t any lumps. Gradually add the flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is tacky. It should be slightly sticky, but not stick to your hand when you pull it away. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then place it in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow it to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

For the filling:

The most efficient way to do this is to make the filling while the dough is rising. Simply combine all the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. I like to do this in the mini food processor that came with our immersion blender, but it works just as well in a regular food processor or blender. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times.

Date paste

For the frosting:

Blend all the frosting ingredients until smooth and creamy. Start with just 2 tablespoons of milk and add more to get your desired consistency. I like a thicker cashew cream, but you can add more milk to get a thinner, more glaze-like consistency. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble.


Date-Sweetened Cinnamon Rolls

Once the dough has doubled in size, flour your work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch in thickness. Slather on the date paste and sprinkle over as much or as little cinnamon as your heart desires. Roll the dough up starting at one of the longer sides. Cut the dough into 8-10 rolls and place them in an oiled or lined baking dish (foil-lined baking dishes = less clean-up!), cover with a towel, and let them rise for another 30 minutes. About halfway through the second rise, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Bake the rolls for 20 minutes until they are just starting to turn brown on the edges. Allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes, then frost with the cashew cream frosting and try not to eat all of them in one sitting.


  1. Keo says:

    How long do you soak the dates and cashews!

  2. pb&v says:

    The cashews ideally should be soaked overnight, but you can actually boil them in some water for about 5 minutes and they will be nice and soft. The dates should soak for about an hour, but you can do a similar soaking method to the cashews and soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes.

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