Raisin Date Walnut Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Raisin Date Walnut Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

  • Makes: 2 dozen (12 Servings)
  • Ready In: 2 hrs 55 mins
  • Prep Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins

You can feel good about eating sweets that are made from whole foods. These beauties are filled with whole dates and raisins to give them natural sweetness and ample fiber. They take a little time – but don’t most good things?

The dates add whole food sweetness and moisture. These are  wonderful for holiday breakfasts or brunch.

    Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 238
  • Fat: 8g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 62mg
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 23g


  1. Dough:
    3 cups apple juice, divided
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 tablespoon dry yeast
    2 beaten eggs
    2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    1 cup unbleached white flour
    ½ cup butter, melted
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 tablespoon lemon zest


    1 ½ cup pitted dates
    2 cups raisins
    1 cup walnuts, chopped
    4-6 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar

    ½ cup sour cream
    2-3 tablespoons honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla


    1. Warm ½ cup apple juice and honey in a small pan.
    2. Transfer to large mixing bowl and add yeast. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes until mixture bubbles.
    3. Add eggs and enough flour to form a thin batter. Beat until smooth.
    4. Clean down sides of bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm spot until doubled; about 30 minutes.
    5. While dough is rising, prepare filling ingredients (dates, raisins, walnuts). Place dates in small pan and cover with 1 cup apple juice.
    6. Heat to a simmer, uncovered until liquid is absorbed; about 20 minutes. Let cool.
    7. Puree with immersion blender and set aside.
    8. Place raisins in a bowl and cover with 1 ½ cups apple juice. Soak at least 15 minutes to soften and plump.
    9. Return to dough. Beat in butter, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and zest.
    10. Begin adding flour to yeasted mixture.
    11. When it is too hard to stir, place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
    12. Clean and oil bowl. Place dough in it, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled; about 45 minutes.
    13. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    14. On a lightly floured board, roll out half the dough to a rectangle.
    15. Strain juice from raisins.
    16. Spread half of the date puree, raisins, and walnuts on the dough.
    17. Sprinkle with unrefined cane sugar and cinnamon.
    18. Roll up from the side like a jelly roll.
    19. Cut into 1-inch slices and place cut side up on an oiled cookie sheet or in muffin tins.
    20. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
    21. Bake for 15 minutes.
    22. While rolls are baking, place all ingredients for icing in a small bowl and whisk together well.
    23. When rolls have baked 15 minutes, spoon some of the icing on top of each roll and bake another 10 minutes.

Cynthia Lair

Cynthia is an Assistant Professor and Culinary Curriculum Director at Bastyr University. She is also the host of the online cooking show Cookus Interruptus featuring over 170 recipes and the author of Feeding the Whole Family and the new Feeding the Young Athlete. Watch her TEDx talk How to Cut an Onion!

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