Cinnamon Rolls

Cover recipe- Weight Watchers Day by Day,Copyright 2000: Cinnamon Rolls

Cover recipe- Weight Watchers Day by Day, Copyright 2000: Cinnamon Rolls

If you were ever on the Weight Watchers diet program back around the year 2000 or so, you might remember these magazine cookbooks.  They were only available at the meetings, and they were quite pricey- I think I remember paying $10 per cookbook.  Unlike the Weight Watchers magazine that is currently published, these magazine cookbooks do not contain articles or fitness tips of any kind- they simply contain recipes.  And lots of good ones, I might add!  I have a handful of these cookbook magazines and, believe me, they are treasured sources for lighter recipe ideas.  This particular one, Weight Watcher’s Magazine Day by Day, focuses on 130 Recipes to Simplify Mealtime.  Not to worry, you can still locate these cookbooks from sellers on Amazon.

I’ve been drooling at this recipe cover for years now, and was happy to finally have a reason to make it.  We needed Cinnamon Rolls to accompany our Christmas brunch and since the rest of the meal was going to be pretty darn decadent, we needed a cinnamon roll recipe that wasn’t going to be too over the top and fat-laden.  I remembered this cover and dug it out… perfect!  A warning is in order though- these cinnamon rolls turn out to be just as delicious as their evil counterparts, so you’ll want to have a lot of people to feed when you bake these up (or they may end up being your diet-buster!)

Weight Watchers Cinnamon Rolls

Print Print Recipe

Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 16 servings

Prep Time: 35 min + rising time

Cook Time: 20 min


One 16-ounce box hot roll mix (see notes below)
1 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons reduced calorie stick margarine, softened & divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
cooking spray
3/4 cup (sifted) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fat free milk


1.  Place contents of roll mix box (flour mixture and yeast packet) in a large bowl.  Add very warm water, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. margarine, and egg, stirring until moist.  Shape dough into a ball.
2.  Sprinkle 1 1/2 Tbsp. flour evenly over work surface.  Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
3.  Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons flour evenly over work surface.  Roll dough into a 16x10-inch rectangle on floured surface; spread remaining 2 Tbsp. margarine over dough to within 1/2-inch of edge.  Combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough.  Sprinkle with raisins. Roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion, beginning at 1 long edge; pinch seam to seal.  Cut roll into 16 (1-inch) slices; place 8 slices, cut sides down, into each of two (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
4.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
5.  Bake for 20 minutes or until rolls are golden.  Combine powdered sugar and milk, and stir well.  Spread glaze over warm rolls.


*Pilsbury makes a hot roll mix- you'll find it in your market's baking aisle close to other bread mixes
*I used my KitchenAid Mixer for the kneading and then tossed in the flour that is indicated in the recipe during the kneading process- worked perfectly.
*I didn't use stick margarine- I used I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Light, and it worked just fine.
*I'm quite sure that if you used 9-inch cake pans instead of 8-inch cake pans, they'd turn out just fine.
*If it's winter in your house and there isn't a place that is remotely close to 85 degrees, use your oven as a place for rising.  Turn it on briefly (1 minute) and turn on the oven light too.  Then turn the oven off and use that as a warm place to let your rolls rise.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 roll
Calories per serving: 191
Fat per serving: 3.4g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">142mg
Fiber per serving: .2g
Protein per serving: 3.8g
Cholesterol per serving: 16mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 36.7g

WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 5 Old Points Program: 4

The results:

See that gorgeous picture on the cover of their magazine?  There’s no way they achieved that oozy icing picture without using more icing than is instructed in the recipe (unless they put all of the icing on that one  cinnamon roll in the front there.  The recipe would still be good with just the amount indicated, but I did end up doubling it for the ones I did at home (we like our icing!) They were delicious- big hit with everyone who tasted them.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Absolutely!  These were dangerously delicious.  With one cinnamon roll being only 4 points on Weight Watcher’s points system, it definitely shows dieters that you can still enjoy fantastic, normal food when you’re watching what you eat.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

15 Responses to “Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. 1

    The Italian Dish — January 4, 2010 @ 9:59 am

    These look incredible, Lori! I made cinnamon rolls this weekend and everyone was yelling for more – I’ll have to try this lower calorie version – maybe we can have them more often then!

  2. 2

    Sonja @ ActiveFoodie — January 4, 2010 @ 9:59 am

    I have a weakness for cinnamon rolls, I wish I could be stuffing my face with one right now!

  3. 3

    Katie @ goodLife {eats} — January 4, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    I think it’s important to still allow yourself treats like them when dieting and it’s something I definitely plan on doing for #10in10. I don’t want to say “no sweets,” because I will surely fail at that. But I can say “less sweets” or “1 sweets recipe per week” and make healthier versions of them.

  4. 4

    Angie — January 4, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe you are keeping up with 2 sites, what an accomplishment. This recipe looks delicious, I love cinnamon rolls.

  5. 5

    Wendy — January 4, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    They are only 4 points?? Wow. They look great.

  6. 6

    BethieofVA — January 4, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    Oh-my-gawd! Incredible. I love carbs.

  7. 7

    Tracey — January 4, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

    Wow, they look terrific! Isn’t it wonderful when a lighter version of a recipe is just as delicious as the full-fat version?

  8. 8

    Peggy — January 7, 2010 @ 6:47 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! Never could tell if it was healthier for you!

  9. 9

    Ciaochowlinda — January 8, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    Could this be true? Only four points for those luscious cinnamon rolls? You made my day.

  10. 10

    grace — January 11, 2010 @ 3:45 am

    i find that in most cases, double batches of icing are necessary. :)
    your execution of this recipe looks masterful–i’m thrilled to find a recipe for my favorite breakfast treat that won’t kick start my day with a wad of guilt. :)

  11. 11

    Lindsey — March 11, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    I am so glad you put these on here. I just found this site today (first I found which I found through Gina’s WW recipe blog). I am so happy to see some recipes other than just the ones on the WW website. I’m on WW now and have been for a few months and although I love their recipes, I’ve been needing some variety. I can’t wait to try your butternut squash soup and your chicken, asparagus and lemon cream stir-fry recipes in addition to this one! Keep ’em coming!

  12. 12

    Teresa — November 7, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    Instead of buying the hot roll mix, are you able to tell me how much flour and yeast to use. Makes more sense just doing my own. Hope you can help me, Thanks

    • Lori Lange replied: — November 8th, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

      Teresa- I’m afraid I have no idea… just posted the recipe as it’s listed in the publication.

  13. 13

    Colby — March 7, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    Hi! these look great. Just a couple questions. Did you use the liquid I can’t believe it’s not butter and can you use almond milk instead of nonfat or will it alter the taste too much?

    • Lori Lange replied: — March 12th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      No, – not liquid. And I am not familiar w/ how well almond milk subs for nonfat, so I’m afraid I don’t know about that one!

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