Home >> Recipes >> Cinnabon® >> Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Low-Fat/Low-Calorie Copycat Recipe  
Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Low-Fat/Low-Calorie Copycat Recipe
Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Low-Fat/Low-Calorie
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Bread
Calories: 450
Cook Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.4 (7 reviews)

When The Dr. Oz show asked me to make a tasty low-fat, low-cal version of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, I wasn't sure it was possible. By reducing fat and calories in these awesome cinnamon rolls I was afraid we would lose too much of the familiar Cinnabon flavor we love. But I believe I found a good balance. See what you think. 

For this recipe, you’ll need a 9x13-inch pan and a 9x9-inch pan for baking these rolls, plus parchment paper to line the pans. Cinnabon uses Indonesian Korintje cinnamon (they call it “Makara”). Find that cinnamon if you want the best clone, but any cinnamon will still make great rolls. To keep the cinnamon from oozing out of the rolls a natural stabilizer such as xantham gum (or guar gum) works best, but you can also use cornstarch. You can find xantham gum at specialty stores such as Whole Foods. You’ll also need a ruler or yard stick to measure and mark the rolls for slicing, and a serrated knife, such as a bread knife, to slice them. The baked rolls can be frozen for several weeks and reheated in your microwave before serving.

Original            Todd's
880 calories    450 calories
36g fat              12g fat

24 ounces all-purpose flour (5 cups)
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 tablespoon buttermilk
5 tablespoons butter spread (Land O Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil)

Filling (Schmear)
½ cup butter spread, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons Makara (Indonesian Korintje) cinnamon
2 teaspoons xantham gum (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch)

¼ cup butter spread (Land 'O Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil)
6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cold
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop lemon extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix until combined.

2. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk in the water and buttermilk. Combine this wet mixture with the flour mixture, then add the butter spread and beat with a paddle until all dry ingredients are moist. Use a kneading hook to knead the dough for 15 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and place it in your refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours or until the dough doubles in size.

3. Remove the plastic and press the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough with your hands for a bit, then use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 20-inch-high by 22-inch-wide rectangle. Use your hands to stretch the dough as necessary to the proper dimensions.

4. Spread ½ cup of butter spread over the top of the dough, but leave the bottom 1 inch of dough uncoated with spread.

5. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and xantham gum (or cornstarch) in a medium bowl. Pour the cinnamon/sugar onto the dough and use your hands to spread it to the edges, except leave the bottom 1 inch uncovered with cinnamon/sugar. Run a rolling pin over the filling to flatten it into the butter spread.

6. Roll the dough tightly starting at the top. Stretch the dough a little as you roll it down, so that you have around 5 rotations by the time you get to the bottom. Brush a little water over the bottom 1 inch uncoated strip of dough and complete the rolling. Mark the approximate middle of the dough roll, then use a ruler to make 5 marks every 2 inches to the left of the middle mark, and 5 marks every 2 inches to the right of the middle mark. Use a serrated knife to cut at each mark to make 10 rolls (the ends are tossed).

7. Place 6 rolls evenly spaced out on parchment paper in a 9x13-inch baking pan and the other 4 in a parchment-lined 9x9-inch pan. Place the pans into your oven along with a large bowl or pan full of boiling water. Rolls should proof for about 1 hour or until nearly full size (touching) in the pan.

8. When the rolls have proofed to almost full size, preheat a convection oven to 325 degrees F (350 F if not convection). Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until light brown and rolls register around 170 degrees to 175 degrees in the middle. Spin the pans around 180 degrees approximately halfway through the baking.

9. While the dough bakes, make the frosting by whipping the butter spread, cream cheese, salt, vanilla extract and lemon extract for 5 to 10 minutes on high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, then mix again (slowly at first, then on high speed), for 30 seconds.

10. When the rolls come out of the oven, immediately cover each one with the frosting.

Makes 10 cinnamon rolls.

work loved them!
Submitted on: 03/01/15
Everyone loved these! I'm almost sorry I gave them to my work. I'm gonna have to make it again. Key about this recipe is letting them rise. I gave it a little more time. Big hit!
Reply to Shaun Grimshaw
Submitted on: 10/05/13
I used regular cinnamon and it still tasted like the real thing.
Submitted on: 07/24/13
It is an excellent recipe ! I've seen on tv also Todd Wilbur had given cinnabon neck to neck competition ....excellent !!
Shaun Grimshaw  
Submitted on: 04/01/13
This was GREAT!! @Malaena - the Makara cinnamon is the wholoe point of this recipe -- if you didn't use the correct ingredient, why would you expect it to taste exactly the original. Duh!!
excellent flavor and easy
Jenny T.  
Submitted on: 04/22/12
Absolutely loved this recipe and was pretty easy to make. I used regular butter instead of light butter spread and I used Madagascar cinnamon and it was excellent and the icing was PERFECT!!!!!! This recipe is GREAT for a Cinnabon fan.
Submitted on: 03/03/12
I followed the recipe exactly (had to use regular cinnamon though) and it didn't taste anything like a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. It didn't have any flavor whatsoever. It didn't really even taste like a cinnamon roll, it tasted like a piece of cardboard with frosting. I have made many of the top secret recipes and they have all tasted very close to the real thing but this wasn't even close.
Jean maxon  
Submitted on: 03/01/12
I made these tonight and they are great. Best cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Thanks for recipe