Cinnamon Buns with Date & Fresh Fig Spread

VCinnamon bun cake w. fig spread & orange frosting

I am so fortunate that in only a few months I am going to be an auntie for the very first time, yay! I am so proud and I almost can’t wait to feel that little wonderful girl (oh yes it a girl) in my arms, it’s really truly amazing. My big sister, who is the one to be big, beautiful and pregnant right now, has had some food craving during her pregnancy. One of them which I have heard about and seen consumed smile have been cinnamon buns. Very precisely those who are soft, gooey and have a bread-like structure!
As the caring sister and auntie I made it into a very important project to make the perfect, goey, soft and yet healthy cinnamon buns, which my sister could crave and eat ‘almost’ as crazy as she wish to, whit out feeling too guilty about or getting too much saturated fat and simple carbs, which is no good if pregnant or not!

cinnamon buns w. fig & date spread and lemon frosting

I know most people would ague that you can not make cinnamon buns without butter and fat in general, because how can you get that goey and lovely messy structure without it? Easy, you always think in ‘natural terms’, meaning using fruit and whole grain instead. I always, always, always use fruit or even vegetables when I bake. E.g. banana in pancakes and muffins as here and here and this makes sure your baked goods never ever becomes dry, and you can use it as a substitute for both some of the sugar and butter you would have used instead. If you do not like banana then use applesauce (æblemos), carrot, dates, zucchini, pumpkin puree and even beetroot instead. You just need to find the perfect fit for your recipe and try your way out.

cinnamon buns w. fig & date spread and lemon frosting

In this version of cinnamon buns I had to be a little creative in order to find a substitute for the remonce (butter and sugar filling) used for the classic recipe. I came up with a fig & date spread, since dates are just awesome and figs are in season right now, and it turned out to be pretty good. It is both sweet, aromatic and adds a nice structure to the finished buns. For the dough I used kamut flour to give extra moisture and sweetness and the vanilla soy milk contributes with a fullness and a sweet vanilla hint, so good! And the fact that the buns are baked in a baking pan, placed closely together, makes sure that they keep being soft and moist. As a frosting I already had a orange theme going on in the fig & date spread, so I went all the way and made a orange yoghurt frosting, which is not too sweet and it compliments the flavors in the buns. Plus yoghurt frosting is nice in order to feel light and not too full and heavy after eating it, compared to if you added regular, sugar dense frosting.
Beloved big sister these are for you and I promise you to bake a dozen of these the next time I see you!

cinnamon buns w. fig & date spread and lemon frosting

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Cinnamon buns w. date & fig spread
Makes around 16-18 buns

3/4 cup/174 ml soy milk warmed
25 g yeast
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower, rapeseed)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 tsp cardamom
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 ½ cup/150 g kamut flour, whole wheat flour or another type of whole flour
1- 1½ cup/100-150 g unbleached all purpose flour /regular wheat flour

Raw fig & date spread
12 soft dates, pitted
2 ripe figs
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Juice and zest from 1/2 orange
1 pinch of salt

Yoghurt frosting w. orange
1 Cup yoghurt
Juice from ½ organic orange
1 tsp orange zest, grated
2 Tbsp powdered sugar or honey
1 pinch of salt

1. In a bowl add yeast in lukewarm  soy milk and let the yeast dissolve. The add egg, oil, spices, sugar and mix together.
2. Add all of the kamut flour and mix it into the dough. Now add a little white all purpose flour at the time until you reach a perfect dough. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Place it back in the bowl, cover it with a cloth and let it sit for 1-1 ½ hour, preferable a warm place.
3. Make the fig and date spread, by adding all of the ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to mash them well together. It is okay that the spread is a bit chunky. Place it in the fridge.
4. On a big flour covered surface, role out the dough into a rectangular shape about 1/2-1 cm thick. Spread all of the fig and date spread onto the dough, in an even layer. Starting at long side, tightly roll up. Use a knife to cut it out into 16-18 pieces (2-3 cm thickness).
5. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and place all of the buns together, it is okay that they touch each other. Heat the oven to 375 F°/175 C°. In the mean while let the buns rise for 30 min and afterwards bake them in the oven for 15-17 min.
6. While the buns are baking, you can make the yoghurt frosting. You simply add all of the ingredients in bowl and stir it together. Taste to see if you prefer it sweetener.

Serve the buns while still warm and with a nice dollop of frosting on top. Enjoy!

cinnamon buns w. fig & date spread and lemon frosting

  1. Iben Bjørgulf AntonsenIben Bjørgulf Antonsen09-19-2012

    Det ser så hamrende godt ud! It looks so damn nice my love… !!

  2. Victoria ThomsenVictoria Thomsen09-20-2012

    My dear sister.
    You are so perfect… :)

    Lots of love and many thanks,
    You know how much we’re looking forward!

    Big sis with girl inside


  3. PetePete09-21-2012

    Cool blog! And I must say that I LOOOVE the pictures!
    It looks like you know what you are doing, with setting, light, etc. looks very professional!
    Quick question: Which camera do you use?

    • Thank you big time! I use a nikon D3100, very basic but nice camera, and very importantly I always shoot in natural light :)

  4. BlandineBlandine09-21-2012

    I had been on the lookout for a cinnamon buns recipe with a healthier take: your recipe looks so delicious! It will make a lovely weekend breakfast treat :)

  5. KaseyKasey09-28-2012

    Love this healthy take on cinnamon buns! Figs are my favorite, especially at this time of year, so the combination is right up my alley. Love your beautiful blog and so happy I stumbled upon it!

  6. I too am very pleased that you found your way here! Glad you like it, hopefully you’ll love the finished results as much as I do :)

  7. AllisonAllison10-05-2012

    Hi Josephine, I just found your website and love it! I am currently baking the above cinnamon rolls and can’t wait to pull them out of the oven!

    • Uh that sounds amazing. I am gonna make a birthday batch tomorrow with a slightly different filling, pretty excited about that too :) Good luck!

  8. ErikaErika10-09-2012

    Omg these are so gorgeous! I just bought a giant bucket of dates–do you think these would be okay with the figs? So glad I found your beautiful blog :)

    • Oh yes, any sort of dates would be fine for this recipe :) I am really glad you found the blog as well.

  9. NoelleNoelle12-31-2012

    I love this so much I put it on my blog! Congrats on becoming an aunty!!!

  10. These cinnamon rolls look absolutely amazing!

  11. laurasmesslaurasmess04-16-2013

    Aw Josephine, you are so lovely. Your sister is lucky that you’ve developed a recipe especially for her! :) These buns look amazing… I love the thought that you can eat something so delicious, but still be consuming wholesome ingredients that are good for you! I’m going to give these a try. Love your beautiful blog… can’t wait to look through some of your other recipes xx

    • Thank you so much, she sure did appreciate this one :) It is a lovely cake, and yes I LOVE that you can bake with whole grain, in fact that you can make all special treats as healthy as possible – in order to actually benefit from all the food you eat!

  12. Talia KlundtTalia Klundt06-09-2013

    Hi Josephine! I made these last week and they were delicious! I almost ate half of the batch! Thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe, even my boyfriend thought they were amazing. A nice change from the kanelbullar I am used to here in Stockholm! : ) I will be making these again soon for sure!

  13. LL09-18-2013

    Well, I am hoping to try another one of your lovely recipes this week! Every single one has turned out so well! I have had my eye on this yummy looking cinnamon roll recipe…Do you think this recipe might work with a gluten free flour? I eat gluten free and have missed cinnamon rolls for 3 years straight! :)

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