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Better-for-you Salted Caramel Cinnamon Buns made with bone broth protein powder, whole wheat flour, and coconut sugar! These little buns are topped with a classic, dairy-free caramel and flakey sea salt for an extra indulgent bite – perfect with your morning coffee!
Salted Caramel Cinnamon Buns
These sweet, little pastries come together just like regular cinnamon buns, but they’re made better-for-you with white whole wheat flour, low GI coconut sugar, and Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein! I topped these healthier buns with my favorite dairy-free caramel sauce and flakey sea salt to compliment the Salted Caramel flavor of the protein powder.
You’ll make a soft, yeasted dough that will be rolled out into a large rectangle and topped with a spread of dairy-free butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Then you’ll roll it all up into a log, slice the little buns, and then let the buns rise a bit before baking them. Since we’re using white whole wheat flour here, which reacts less to the yeast, these buns won’t rise much while baking in the oven. And because they’re small, they bake up very quickly. While they’re still warm, you’ll top them with the homemade caramel and sprinkling of salt.
What is Bone Broth Protein?
Bone broth has been a popular and nutritious drink and soup additive for the past few years because of its many health benefits – it had a serious moment on Instagram. But if you’re like me, then you’ll like the convenience of the Bone Broth Protein from Ancient Nutrition, which requires no boiling of your own 😉
With sweet flavors like Salted Caramel, Chocolate, and Pumpkin Spice (during the Fall), you can get the benefits of bone broth in so many more ways with a powder that can be baked into muffins or cookies! Or stirred into your morning coffee! They also offer savory flavors that can easily be mixed with water to use a delicious base for soups. So you can get the benefits (gut, skin, and joint support!) of bone broth in so many more taste-bud-satisfying ways! I obviously chose the Salted Caramel flavor for these buns, but Chocolate or Pumpkin Spice would be delicious, too! You could even mix things up and add a melted dark chocolate ganache atop Chocolate Bone Broth buns!
Tips for Successful Salted Caramel Cinnamon Buns
- Only add as much flour and protein powder as the recipe calls for. The dough will be softer than what you’re used to. It won’t totally ball up on the dough hook, and this is okay! Resist the urge to add more flour.
- Make sure the place you allow your dough to rise is warm. This is very important for the yeast! If, after 15 minutes, you don’t see the dough rising at all, then you need to find (or create) a warmer environment. I like to preheat my oven to 200°F, turn it off, and then place the covered dough inside, leaving the oven door open a few inches.
- To get 24 buns from this recipe, you’ll need to roll the dough out into a large rectangle – around 12″x19″. That way, you can easily slice the long log into 24 pieces!
- For the caramel sauce, it’s important to follow the directions exactly. You will need to have a candy thermometer for this caramel to ensure you get it to “soft ball” stage – this allows for the caramel to be thick enough to hold its shape but soft enough to not turn into rock candy.
- As you’re topping the buns with caramel, sprinkle the sea salt every few buns instead of waiting until the very end.
Salted Caramel Bone Broth Cinnamon Buns
- 2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1 cup almond milk, warm (but not hot)
- 2 Tbsp coconut or cane sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 cup Ancient Nutrition Salted Caramel Bone Broth Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup plant-based (or regular) butter, very soft (but not melted)
- 6 Tbsp plant-based (or regular) butter, very soft
- 1/2 cup coconut or cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup room temp or warm water
- 1/2 cup thick coconut cream (the thick cream from a can of coconut cream)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
Make the Buns
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or other medium bowl), quickly stir together the yeast, warm almond milk, and sugar. Cover with a towel and allow the yeast to activate for around 10 minutes - you'll know it's ready when the mixture foams up and looks a bit bubbly.
- With the dough hook attached, attach the bowl to your stand mixer and set the speed to low. Add half of the flour and the bone broth protein powder. Increase speed to medium. Once it's well mixed, add the soft butter, continue to mix. Finally, add in the rest of the flour and allow the mixer to mix for around 10 minutes or until the dough comes together - the dough will be quite sticky and won't necessarily become a ball of dough in the mixer.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead a few times. Spray a clean medium bowl with non-stick spray and place the dough in it. Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm spot to proof for around an hour - the dough should double in size.
Meanwhile, Make the Caramel
- In a small bowl, combine the coconut cream and vanilla extract; set aside. Prepare a work space next to your stove with a wooden spoon and folded towel or hot pad holder.
- In a medium, heavy bottom saucepan, add the granulated sugar and then the water, dispersing the water over the sugar. Very lightly swirl the pan, if need be, to soak all the sugar in the water. Place on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, without stirring or touching the mixture, and cook until sugar is amber in color - this can take up to 15-20 minutes but it will burn very quickly once color starts to form.
- Immediately remove the sugar from the heat and place on your towel. Slowly add the thick coconut cream and vanilla and gently stir with a wooden spoon. The mixture will bubble up and be very hot, so be careful! Gently stir the caramel until it stops bubbling.
- Place the caramel/saucepan back on the heat and bring mixture to a boil. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. Boil just until mixture reaches 240°F-245°F (soft-ball stage). Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Pour caramel into a heat-proof bowl to cool.
Finish the Buns
- Make the filling by combining the softened butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle about 19"x12". Spread the filling over the surface of the dough. Begin rolling the dough inward, on the long side. Gently roll until you've reached the other end. Pinch the dough together.
- Slice the roll into 24 equal sized rolls, about 3/4" thick. Carefully place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2" apart (I used three half sheets, with eight on each). Cover the rolls with damp towels and allow them to proof in a warm spot for another 10-20 minutes. This final proof will show you how big the buns will be - these don't continue to proof much in the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and bake the buns for 10 minutes.
- It's important to proof the dough and buns in a warm spot. You may need to utilize your oven by preheating it to 200°, turning it off, and then placing the covered dough in the warm oven (and closing the door)
- Whole wheat flours react less to yeast, which is why these buns to rise a whole lot. If you use all-purpose flour, the buns will rise a bit more as they bake.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g
calculated nutrition information may not always be accurate