Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Today started out pretty crappy. Serafina would not nap all morning and I felt at times like pulling my hair out, as I watched the girls play mess expanding and I was trying to eat my bowl of soup left-handed while nursing my baby. Life is CRAZY around here most times and I do keep my sanity pretty well. Yoga is of course extremely helpful, but I didn’t even get a chance to hit the mat today like I usually do every morning with “Screamy McGee” refusing to be put down and making that really clear. She is either teething or a serious breast-a-holic. All she likes to do is nurse, all day long.

After a draining morning I decided to take the girls out for a walk on this absolutely gorgeous spring-like day. Finally, Serafina fell asleep in the stroller and when we got back home I collapsed onto the ground next to my girls and got to just lay in the snow, feeling exhausted, but totally alive and appreciative of the moment. I watched as they played in the snow together. Kesa found a stick and made a snow marshmallow on the end of it and was eating it, exclaiming that it was, “so yummy!” Autumn was busy making snow pops on sticks, pulling them around on her sled, trying to sell them to her imaginary customers for $10.00 a piece.

I love those moments when my mind rests and I am actually awake and aware of how beautiful life is and how much I have to be grateful for. I love learning from my kids to just let go, relax and have fun. I learn so much from their worry-free, fun-filled, perspectives. I suddenly felt a whole lot more positive and energetic as I watched them just be present and have fun, enjoying the day that they have been given without reserve. Soon Autumn had the idea that we should making a snowman. One snowman quickly turned to five snowmen because they told me that I couldn’t just make a snow man, I had to make a whole snow family! A daddy, a mommy, an Autumn, a Kesa and a Serafina snowman too! So I did.

I haven’t made a snowman in years! It was a lot of work, but so much fun! I am so glad that I got that opportunity to spend that time with my girls. So often I feel sad and even guilty that I don’t have enough time to spend one-on-one with Autumn and Kesa since Serafina has been born. I am so split between the three of them, never mind time for myself or together with Craig. Like I said, life is CRAZY around here.

After the snow family making adventure, we were hungry and went inside to fuel ourselves with some of the yummy cinnamon buns we made together last night.

Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 6 cinnamon rolls


For the apple cinnamon dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cups Eden organic apple butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the pecan/cinnamon filling

  • 1/4 cup non-dairy margarine
  • 1 cup sucanat or organic brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans


Prepare the pecan/cinnamon filling by combining the sucanat (or brown sugar), cinnamon and pecan pieces together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the yeast, warm water and maple syrup and let sit 5 minutes, until foamy. In a separate smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the apple butter, milk and sunflower oil until smooth. Add the apple butter mixture to the yeast and water in the large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the rest of the ingredients 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead a few minutes until a nice ball of dough forms. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover and let rise 45 minutes.

Once the dough has rested and risen a bit, roll it out into a 12 x 6 inch rectangle. Spread the 1/4 cup of margarine evenly onto the rolled out dough with a spatula. Sprinkle with the pecan/cinnamon/sucanat (or sugar) mixture. Reserve 1/4 cup or so of the pecan/cinnamon/sucanat mixture for sprinkling on top of the rolls. Slice the dough with a pizza cutter lengthwise into long 1 inch slices. Roll the edge of each slice of dough into a cinnamon bun, tucking the last 2 inches underneath your formed roll. Place the rolls into a baking casserole, sprinkle with the reserved pecan/cinnamon/sucanat mixture and let rise another 20 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes. The buns are ready when they are slightly browned.

These were sooooo good! I actually doubled the recipe and made 8 larger cinnamon buns, so you could do that too by just rolling out the dough into a 2 ft x 1 ft rectangle and slicing the dough 1 1/2 inches wide.We have 2 left and I am trying to be nice and save them for Craig to take to work.

I love cinnamon buns! I love my recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls and wanted to try a cinnamon bun with apples and pecans. I didn’t want to put chopped apples in them, so I thought, “why not apple butter?” These were perfect warm from the oven with a bit of margarine melting on them and a glass of almond milk to go with them.

One more picture.

Did I just make you drool on your keyboard?