Banana Nut Cinnamon Rolls – Fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls are filled with the perfect mixture of sliced bananas, brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts. It’s the breakfast treat you never knew you needed!
No matter what I make for my husband, I can never seem to top my apple pie cinnamon rolls. If anyone ever asks what’s the best thing I’ve ever made, he almost immediately names them. He’s obsessed! I can’t say I blame him – they’re the fluffiest, chewiest, gooiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had.
Instead of trying to beat the recipe, I’ve learned to embrace it. I’ve adapted it into other recipes like this salted caramel apple pie dip or this cinnamon roll wreath. And today I have another adaptation for you…
Banana Nut Cinnamon Rolls!
If you’ve never made cinnamon rolls from scratch, I know they can seem intimidating. Anything with homemade dough is intimidating. I avoided making my own dough for YEARS. But I recently learned the keys to making killer dough and they’ve gotten me through all my bread, pizza dough, and cinnamon roll recipes the last few years:
- Use fresh yeast! If you keep yeast in your pantry for too long, it could deactivate. Make sure you see foam in the proofed yeast before using so you know it’s fresh.
- You gotta knead the dough. If you don’t knead the dough enough, it will be tough and won’t rise as much during the proofing time.
- Proofing time is important! Make sure you give the dough enough time to proof and grow. This will yield ultra-fluffy cinnamon rolls.
Now that you know the keys to great homemade dough, you can feel better about tackling these banana nut cinnamon rolls. As I stated above, I used the exact recipe for my apple pie cinnamon rolls, with a few alterations:
- I replaced the egg in the dough with a banana for added banana flavor. This is common with vegan recipes so I knew the banana could be swapped in without missing the egg one bit.
- I omitted the cooked apples (duh) and replaced them with sliced bananas and finely chopped walnuts. Since the bananas are soft, there’s no need to cook them first.
- I replaced the apple pie spice in the filling with nutmeg.
- Finally, I topped the banana nut cinnamon rolls with more chopped walnuts. There are no nuts in the apple pie cinnamon rolls.
So there you have it – the newest addition to my cinnamon roll creations. I hope you love these as much as we do! I mean bananas, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon – how could you not love them?!
What cinnamon rolls should I try next?? Let me know in the comments below!
Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!
Banana Nut Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup water lukewarm
- 1/2 cup sugar divided
- 1/2 cup milk scalded
- 1/3 cup butter unsalted, melted
- 1 large banana mashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading + rolling)
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 bananas
- 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
For the icing:
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk (as needed)
- 1/4 cup walnuts finely chopped (optional)
For the dough:
- In a small bowl, add yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar to the lukewarm water and let it sit until it dissolves, about 10 minutes.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, (or a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer) add scalded milk, melted butter, mashed banana, remaining sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until combined.
- Add half of the flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and continue to mix on low. Slowly add the remaining flour until fully incorporated.
- Remove dough from mixer bowl and then knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Make sure you knead for the whole time. Remove dough, place in a greased bowl, cover, and set aside on countertop or warm place (I put in my microwave without turning it on). Let it rise until it is double in size, about 1.5 hours. Not a minute less!
For the filling:
- When dough has risen, remove cover and, using your fist, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll out on a well-floured surface into a 16x24 inch rectangle and spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter almost out to the edges, but not quite.
- Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly across the butter. Slice the bananas and layer evenly over the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the bananas.
- Roll into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches. Using a serrated knife, gently cut 2 inch slices with a sawing motion (try not to push too hard to pinch the dough), this will give you 12 cinnamon rolls. Quick tip: if you don’t want to measure 2 inches out for every roll, cut the log in half, then cut each piece in half again. You have 4 pieces now. Then cut each fourth into 3 pieces. Now you have twelve even slices.
- Butter a 9x13 baking pan. If you want your cinnamon rolls in a round shape, place the cinnamon roll slices close together, but not touching, in the pan. I like mine to be squished together so that they become a rectangle. So I let them touch. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is doubled, 1 -1½ hours. When the rolls have 20 minutes left to rise, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for about 22-24 minutes, or until they are deep golden brown on top. If you like them more doughy, you can remove once they begin to get lightly golden brown on top.
For the icing:
- While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt together with an electric or stand mixer on medium speed and set aside. Slowly add milk to mixture, a couple tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired thickness. We don’t like it too runny so just eye-ball it to see what you want.
- When cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for 10 minutes. Pour the icing over the top and spread over all the rolls. Top with more walnuts, if desired. Serve warm.