breakfast gluten-free rolls/scones the great valentine's day bake-off vegan

Banana Fosters Cinnamon Rolls

February 10, 2014

Growing up I was a weird kid. I ate peanut butter with rice, sugar with my grilled cheese and thought cinnamon had magical powers. I literally piled cinnamon onto everything I ate, from my morning cherrios to my chicken fingers (try it, it’s awesome) so much so that I came to believe cinnamon could cure anything. I was like the father in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” who is convinced that Windex can cure all woes.

banana fosters cinnamon rollsUnfortunately that belief was shattered when I tried to clean a cut with cinnamon thanks to a rolling blading accident that occurred when I tried to rollerblade down a hill wearing one rollerblade. Kids, don’t try that at home…

Regardless, my obsession with cinnamon is still strong enough that it deserves a dedicated Valentine’s Day post. For the record, I contemplated a way to bake pickles because they too own this foodie’s heart. Fortunately for you I went with cinnamon rolls instead.

banana fosters cinnamon rolls 2I’ll be honest, these are no cinnabon. Though if the Subway scandal was any indication, they are probably laced with yoga mat chemicals so I’m okay to part with them. However, these are still fantastic, gluten-free, vegan, somewhat lightened up and loaded with an excessive amount of cinnamon…they’re called cinnamon rolls for a reason!


Banana Fosters Cinnamon Rolls

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 16 rolls 1x


For the dough:

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
, warm
  • splash of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) quick-rise dry active yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend {or regular all purpose flour}
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum {omit if using regular flour}
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid and cold

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum (optional)
  • 1 ½ T cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

For the icing:

  • 1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 T unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Add a splash of maple syrup or honey to the warm almond milk and stir in yeast. Set aside until frothy (about 5 mins)
  2. Combine flour, xanthan gum, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cut in coconut oil until dough has a “pea-like” consistency.
  4. Stir almond milk-yeast mix into dry mix until a sticky dough is formed.
  5. Flour a clean surface and roll out dough to about a 1/2 an inch thick rectangle.
  6. For the filling melt coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  7. Add bananas and cook until they have browned and broken down (about 3 mins)
  8. Add in vanilla extract and rum (optional) and stir to combine.
  9. Spread out banana mixture onto rolled out dough.
  10. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans (optional)
  11. Roll up dough lengthwise and cut into 16 rolls.
  12. Spray a large baking pan (you may have to use 2) with non-stick spray or coconut oil.
  13. Add rolls so they fit tightly and cover with a clean dish-towel.
  14. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and while preheating place baking pan(s) on top of stove to rise for 30 mins.
  15. After 30 mins, remove dish towels and bake cinnamon rolls for 15 mins.
  16. While baking combine icing ingredients
  17. Remove from oven, drizzle with icing and serve warm.

banana fosters cinnamon roll 3

Did you/do you have a food you top on everything? Ever been sucked in by the Cinnabon smell…if so make a detour to my house instead.


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    February 10, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Oh my gee.

    I associate Cinnabon not with the upper hemisphere but actually Singapore airport….Way to spark a scent craving. Can you make this for me?

    You don’t eat NO MEAT? That’s ok. I make you cinnamon rolls!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      So funny cause cinnabon reminds me of the subway system here cause that’s where you can find them. I’d probably miss every one of my flights if it were in the airport…

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 5:40 am

    You’re telling me cinnamon doesn’t have magical powers?!? Those rolls look pretty magical to me 😉 Aaaand I may have to combine PB and rice at some point. Just to know.

  • Reply
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan
    February 10, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Ouch – cinnamon on a cut!? The dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was my fav character in that movie!

    When I first came to the US and I was at a mall – Cinnabon sure sucked me in – I had a small addiction to those rolls my first semester here! I put cinnamon in just about every sweet thing I make – I guess I associate it with everything and everyone nice and sweet – besides doesn’t it help blood sugar levels? Which would mean I could eat a couple of your cinnamon rolls and not fret 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      I can’t even imagine how many people just coming to NA must be sucked in by the smell of cinnabon!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 5:53 am

    As I’m sure everyone & their Mother are going to comment on how delicious these sound/look(no disagreement), I have to ask you why in the world you’d rollerblade w/ ONE skate? Ha Ha ha! I’m so sorry for laughing (please forgive me LOL), but I’m just imagining a mini you with an oversized helmet on flying down a hill w/ your arms going crazy trying to catch your balance…. and then BAM you wipe out. Poor thing 🙁 If it does make you feel better, I have a HUGE scar on my knee from roller bladding down our ROCK road @ my parents home. Guess that’s just as stupid, huh? 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 10, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Cinnamon rolls were one reason for my major weight gain when I was in the US for 4 months back in 1998. But these ones are obviously a better version – and they look to die for. Still up for the trade of beach/wine!!

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    February 10, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Cinnabon always looked nice in theory but never attracted me to buy one I think because indulgence to me means chocolate. I think they do make a chocolate cinnamon bun, right? lol. I loved pickles as a kid, the more sour the better.

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    February 10, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Cinnamon roll on the heart = SO MUCH CUTE! I love these girlfriend! Bananas foster and a cinnamon roll AND healthy? You win. At life.
    P.s Sugar on grilled cheese? That is either disgusting or amazing. I can’t decide.

  • Reply
    [email protected] and soda
    February 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

    these look SO GOOD. if you stuck one of these into my face, i might break my one dessert a year rule!

    and wtf – subway including ingredients used to make yoga mats?! precisely why i quit fast food ages ago.

    Vodka and Soda

  • Reply
    erin @ The Almond Eater
    February 10, 2014 at 7:07 am

    These look delicious Dav! I love banana foster sooooo much, so these would be perfecto. Hmmmm I think I put pepper on everything. Every dinner I make I sprinkle pepper on top for good measure.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    February 10, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Yessssss!! I love cinnamon, too. And I love cinnamon rolls that are not TOO sweet. The idea of adding the bananas foster is great! I’ve never had that (you know, bananas and I have a love/hate relationship) but man does it look good! I think my recipe isn’t going up until Friday because I have to travel AGAIN tomorrow (just found out), but I’ll do my best to post it! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      You would 100% get over banana aversion with these!!!

      Okay I need deets on your trip! Ignore the disconnecting rule for 2 mins k?

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    February 10, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Bananas, cinnamon, and icing – does it get any better??

    I ate weird food combinations as a kid too. I actually totally relate when you say that you ate sugar with your grilled cheese – I dipped mine in corn syrup! It was delicious.

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    February 10, 2014 at 7:22 am

    It’s a good thing I’m having cinnamon raisin toast for breakfast, or else I would be having some serious cravings for these. Although, I am still craving them anyway. 😉

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I’m with you…cinnamon makes just about everything better. These puppies look AMAZING by the way!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    February 10, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Am I a weirdo for thinking that baked pickles actually sound kind of fabulous? Probably. Okay.

    Cinnamon! I seriously adore the stuff, and yes… I put it on EVERYTHING. I didn’t bring a shaker with me on my most recent vacation, and it was probably what I missed the most about being away from home. Not my bed, not my bathroom, not my car… but cinnamon. That’s love right there…

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Deep fried pickles! Ever tried them? UNREAL. I bet there’s a way to bake them that would be equally as amazing.

      You’re gonna be the girl who gets stopped at security for cinnamon…

  • Reply
    Caitlyn @ City and the Cubicle
    February 10, 2014 at 8:08 am

    omg. davida these look insanely awesome. and perfect reference w/ “my big fat greek wedding”.

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    February 10, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Omg I want these in my face right now. They look heavenly and yoga-mat-chemical-free. Also I love that you were a weird kid. I’m still a weird kid… although I never tried to clean a wound with a spice 😉

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    February 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Wow I hadn’t heard about that Subway bread scandal….thank god I really haven’t eaten there a lot!

    This sounds so tasty! I have never made cinnamon rolls, they seem far too daunting! I think you should just come to my apartment and cater my weekend for me. Complete with elaborate breakfasts like cinnamon rolls 😉

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food
    February 10, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Wow, these look so good! I’m not nearly talented enough to pull them off, but you can definitely mail me some 😉
    I put sriracha on everything- eggs, stir fry, potatoes, etc. It’s so good!

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    February 10, 2014 at 9:05 am

    The Subway scandal… makes me want to cry. I can’t even. Ugh.

    BUT these cinnamon rolls look amazing and nasty ass chemical free. I was never a fan of Cinnabon, if I’m being honest, but I’m a sucker for Pillsbury.

    I, too, thought cinnamon had magical powers. Actually, I still do. I douse my food in cinnamon. Probably to the point that I counteract the health benefits.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      I’d douse my life in cinnamon if I could…and sriracha, but I’m not so sure how that combo would taste.

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    February 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

    These look so good! For some reason though, making homemade cinnamon rolls really intimidates me…one of these days.
    And it’s pretty much a requirement of an HLB to cinnamon all the things, isn’t it? 😉

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Are you kidding me right now with these?! I cant even come to your blog anymore girl…you are making me drool and hungry and crave things that I just shouldn’t! (or maybe I should….)
    I haven’t had a cinnamon roll in AGES because its just way too much sugar and crap that it sends my tummy into all sorts of panic. But these sound too good to be true!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      I knowwwwww same here! Making your own is a bit more of a hassle but so worth it! Plus this makes 16 of them so I’ve been eating cinnamon rolls for days 😉

  • Reply
    sara @ fitcupcaker
    February 10, 2014 at 9:46 am

    these look fab, seriously who doesnt love cinnamon rolls!

  • Reply
    Meghan @fitnesscrEATures
    February 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

    God I’m SO SO SO glad we are not friends in real life because I’d be a fat fat fatty eating all your delicious food. Seriously, is this even real life? SO GOOD!

  • Reply
    Jess @dearhealthyness
    February 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Bananas and cinnamon? Why we don’t live closer? I mean, I need a friend as you in my life soon!! I’m a huuuuuuuuuuge fan of cinnamon and bananas! They are my go to topping for almost everything I can add them to! 😉

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 10, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Haha. I love that you tried to clean a cut with cinnamon! Ouch!

    These look divine. We served bananas fosters at our wedding but I was so full I didn’t try any! This is a good excuse!

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    February 10, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Wow there are no words to describe how heavenly these look!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    February 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    WAIT. Cinnamon doesn’t have magical powers?!! I feel like my whole life is a lie. Okay these look ridiculous. I think I would feel SUPER accomplished if I whipped these up. I have so many ripe nanners so I think it’s fate!!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      I know…it was a huge disappointment to me to. That and discovering the Hanukkah Fairy doesn’t exist..

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    There is something about eating petrol-based products, isn’t there? I used to love Subway (I still kind of do… except not into eating my yoga mat) but then I thought “What is this meat/cheese/bread processed with?”. I just want to live in a world (LA) where I can get something quick and healthy that isn’t processed.

    And chocolate. I put chocolate on everything. It’s embarrassing. Cinnamon is a close second… cinnamon on chicken tenders sounds amaze, actually.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Mix the chicken fingers with some paprika and chili powder. It’s kind of WOW.

      So you can move to LA and I’ll move to SF and we’ll visit each other every other weekend. Sound good?

  • Reply
    Selena @
    February 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    So many reasons I’m loving this post right now! Before you even made the reference to My Big Fat Greek Wedding I totally thought of the dad from that movie while you were explaining your cinnamon obsession! Lol too funny!
    Like everyone else in the world, I put peanut butter on top of everything. I even had it in a chicken sandwich once and it was delicious!
    These cinnamon rolls look so delicious for being so healthy! Another great recipe, definitely pinning as usual! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      pb + chicken in a sandwich is so good! Throw some thai basil in there next time! It’s like a chicken pad thai sandwich!!! Thanks S 😉 You’re the best!

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    February 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I would demolish these cinnamon rolls! DEMOLISH! YUM!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    February 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Love that these include bananas! Yum! I love cinnamon too, but my love for it didn’t start until adulthood. I was really missing out. I think I could pretty much put nut butter on just about anything.

  • Reply
    Kristina @ Damn Ten Pounds
    February 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I love you even more for referencing My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And I’m kind of laughing at your cinnamon first aid attempt. Idiot.

  • Reply
    Shikha @ Shikha la mode
    February 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Ahhh these look so good. I’ve been o na banana kick lately too and I love this!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness
    February 10, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    These sound wonderful! I love cinnamon, I put it on everything. When I was little my mom used to make orange cinnamon rolls for me and my friends when we hAd sleepovers, they were always such a fun treat! These sound much better than those canned ones.

  • Reply
    Courtney @RunningforCupcakes
    February 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Oh my gosh those look soo good! If I had any baking talent at all I would make them, but it would end in a disaster. I understand your cinnamon obsession it is delicious and makes anything better. I love putting it in my tomato sauce with pasta.

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    February 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    If these were your nightmare, you have awfully lovely dreams, Davida! Bananas and cinnamon were made for each other. I put cinnamon on everything, so naturally, I’m pretty obsessed with cinnamon rolls. These look incredible!

  • Reply
    Jordan Lynn // Life Between Lattes
    February 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I had an entire year in my life when I refused to eat anything but hot dogs. And I had weird food habits like eating butter and sugar straight up. Obviously, I was a very healthy kid. I didn’t develop a obsession with cinnamon until two or three years ago, and now, I love it, and I want these cinnamon rolls asap.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      well my love of butter has yet to disappear. I’ve found substitutes for sugar but butter is butter!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    When I was a kid I ate the same thing EVERYDAY, cream cheese sandwich + tea with milk, then a green apple sprinkled with cinnamon! (I’m not a picky eater anymore!) … I will definitely try this recipe out sometime in the weekend and I will let you know how did my rolls turn out 😀

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      At least it was a healthy meal! You couldn’t pay me to eat apples growing up! Hope you enjoy the recipe Diana 😉

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Oh dear Lord…give me this in my face. All of it. This looks so freaking good, you are baking BOSS!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Just call me the cake boss. Omg worst joke ever. Please don’t judge me. Love me forever. k bye.

  • Reply
    Heather @ Run Like a G!
    February 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Yummy! I freakin’ love banana foster stuff – especially waffles!! YUM!

  • Reply
    Sarah Pie
    February 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Cinnamon totally cures all! Though I’m not sure about the chicken fingers, it’s the secret ingredient in my chicken noodle soup 😉

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Just creamed my pants.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Ouch – cinnamon in a cut?!
    I forgot about the Windex thing in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – that man made me laugh!!
    Now, I wish I had some cinnamon rolls!!

  • Reply
    Becky @ Olives n Wine
    February 10, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Ohmagawddddd – cinnamon in a wound?! You crazy kid! And ohmagawddddd to these cinnamon rolls too!! This is what I want for Valentine’s Day morning. Can you ever so kindly send these to Kyle? He won’t get the hint but we can try 😉

    Oh – and hydrogen peroxide is my cure all. Seriously heals everyyyyything!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      You’re basically a chemist in my mind. I bet you and kyle are doing science experiments in your spare time. Maybe you can make cinnamon rolls out of hydrogen peroxide. Let me know how it goes…

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Ahhhh cinnamon rolls….they always make me think of my grandmother. She makes the BEST. Literally. These look delicious though! Cinnabon ahhhghghh don’t get me started I could face dive into 10 Cinnabon’s and still need more….

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats Celebrities
    February 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I can see that you’re attempting to win my heart by making a slightly GIGI approved recipe for Valentine’s day. Well, the thought that you tried – even if unconscious – makes my heart melt like the coconut oil you used in this recipe.

    I should put a Craigslist ad out there so I can find my Valentine, this is what it will read: Will roll you in melted coconut oil and cinnamon and lick you off.

    Do you think I will get any takers?

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff
    February 11, 2014 at 12:29 am


  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    February 11, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I am also completely obsessed with cinnamon! I put it on everythingggg, and also am a banana lover. These cinnamon rolls look heavenly!!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
    February 11, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Bahah the yoga mat comment…I never trusted Cinnabon (or Subway) anyways. 😉

  • Reply
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.
    February 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Ask and you shall receive!!! I just responded to your comment on my blog, asking if you had a healthy cinnamon roll recipe and here they are!!! These look fantastic. Forget Cinnabon, I’m making these 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 12, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I associate Cinnabon with the airport because that’s the only time I really see them. Either way that smell is amazing. although I always resist because I suspect their baking with way more weird ingredients than subway. I don’t even want to know what’s in those rolls….yours on the hand look marvelous. Yes, I’m saying Mar-ve-lous with an accent.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      How cultured of you! Cinnabon reminds me of the subway system in Toronto cause they have them in every single smell. I blame cinnabon for the Toronto system being so damn slow…

  • Reply
    Madison @ Eating 4 Balance
    February 12, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I’ve never actually had a cinnabon before. The only time I ever ate cinnamon rolls was when we made them at home or when we’d get cinna minis from Burger King 😉 Plus, the closest Cinnabon store is 1.5 hours away and is right next to Dairy Queen. Cookie dough blizzard will always > than cinnamon rolls. Sorry 🙁

    But these fosters version sound incredible! The heart placemat is so cute. I need one of those. Haha.

    I’m glad you chose this over pickles 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      so funny cause I would choose a cinnabon bun over a blizzard any day! I’m not an ice cream person though 😉

      And thank you! The dollar store has all sorts of great finds!

  • Reply
    Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner
    February 13, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I love love love cinnamon, but I don’t think I’d take it as far as you did when you were a kid. Lol…too cute! I’m a sucker for a cinnamon roll but I never eat them because I feel too guilty afterwards. Now these I could eat and not feel so bad! Yummo. 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    February 13, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    WOW! These look awesome; its been ages since I’ve had a cinnamon roll!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    February 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Well pin my tail and call me a donkey!! Hot DAMN these look/sound/LOOK amazing! Insert heart-eyed emoji here! 😉

    I love the cinnamon story…you were just lightyears ahead of the curve with the fascination that seems to be the “thing” in food blogging! I swear I never looked at cinnamon the way I do now before I started my blog! Now, I really do put that shit on everything! In fact, it went quite nicely on my scrambled eggs, beet greens, and avocado that I had for breakfast yesterday! 😉

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