Feeding Your Family: Fathers' Day Cinnamon Rolls

This traditional, decadent breakfast treat is usually a fast track to a major sugar crash. But reducing the sugar, adding nuts and seeds, and using some form of whole wheat flour can help even out that cruel aftermath. If your kids don't like chopped walnuts, you can grind them coarsely with the rest of the filling. Note: These rolls are best served on a tray by children who helped with the baking, accompanied by homemade Fathers' Day cards.


For the Dough:

  • 2 cups flour (either whole wheat pastry flour or a mixture of white and whole wheat)
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. saltFeeding Your Family Archives
  • 5 Tbs. butter (cold, cut into pieces)
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • For the Filling:
  • 3/4 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup combined: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, coarsely ground in a spice grinder or food processor
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 Tbs. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs. milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Butter and flour a 17-by-14-inch baking pan. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in bowl. Blend in butter with pastry blender or forks.

3. Add milk and stir with fork until shaggy dough forms. Knead dough for a few minutes, until smooth.

4. Roll out dough with a rolling pin, into a 13-by-11-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter evenly over dough and sprinkle all over with sugar and nuts-and-seeds mixture. Use your fingers (or your children's) to press the sugar into the dough.

5. Starting with the long side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll style. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 slices. Arrange slices 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes.

6. In the meantime, whisk together the milk, sugar and cream cheese. When the rolls have cooled, drizzle them with the glaze.

- Larissa Phillips

Larissa Phillips is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and food writer for Email her at