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Whole-Grain Lemon Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

These whole-grain cinnamon rolls rely on baking powder to rise rather than yeast, which means  no waiting around for the dough to do its magic. Almond flour, lemon zest, and chopped pecans add interest and flavor. A swipe of tangy confectioners' sugar glaze makes a pretty finish.

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 9 rolls
Calories 370 kcal
Author katiemorford


For the dough

  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups cold buttermilk

For the filling

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 firmly packed cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

For the glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 9 cups of a standard muffin tin.

  2. Put all the ingredients for the dough except the buttermilk into the bowl of stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment. Run the mixer until the batter forms a coarse meal. If a few bigger lumps of butter remain, press them between your thumb and fingers and mix again. (Note: If you don't have this type of mixer, you can pulse the butter with the dry ingredients in a food processor, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the buttermilk by hand). 

  3. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the buttermilk and mix just until the dough comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead it a time or two to incorporate any remaining bits of flour. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

  4. On a floured work surface, pat the dough (or use a rolling pin) into a 10x13-inch rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with the tablespoon of melted butter. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon and scatter over the dough followed by the pecans. Roll the dough up into a cylinder along the longer edge, tucking the brown sugar and pecans inside as you go. Use a sharp or serrated edge knife to cut into 9 rounds. Transfer to 9 muffin cups. 

  5. Bake until lightly browned across the top and no longer doughy inside, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Use a little knife to wedge the cinnamon rolls out to cool further.
  6. While the rolls cool for few minutes, make the glaze. In a small bowl blend the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon juice with a fork. Spread over the top of the cinnamon rolls. Enjoy while still warm.