I adore my new home in Milwaukee, but sometimes, there are favorite places that can’t be replaced. I found a new dry cleaner and favorite yoga class, but one thing I miss the absolute most is the local coffee shop in my hometown. I grew up going to this lovely little place and have grown to adore the owners like surrogate parents. They are welcoming, loving, and most of all they make the best cinnamon rolls in the state.



I know other restaurants or shops might make them bigger or gooier (um what is the plural for gooey?) or with more frosting ( I’m looking at you Ann Sather’s), but the rolls at my favorite little coffee shop are one of those juuuust right foods that can’t be replaced. They are always warm, always have the perfect amount of icing, and seemingly always perfect. Also, when the perfect roll is served up by the sweetest New Orleans native woman you have ever met, it automatically becomes 100 times sweeter!



The banana in this recipe replaces the usual gobs of butter in the filling and, trust me, you won’t miss it. Also, you don’t have to toast the almonds, but puhhhlease do it, please toast your nuts! The toasty, crunchy almond flavor and gooey banana brown sugar combination is beyond any regular cinnamon rolls. I also used already prepared refrigerated pizza dough from my Italian market down the street, but you can feel free to make the dough from scratch, if you so desire. I found very little difference in the taste between homemade dough and already prepared dough, but make sure the already prepared dough is high quality since there are so few ingredients in these cinnamon rolls here.



A word on the icing, I think this simple icing is perfect, but the caramel sauce from my Apple Crisp Ice Cream would also be perfect on these cinnamon rolls too. Happy Wednesday, halfway through the week and it feels so good!



Brown Sugar Banana and Toasted Almond Cinnamon Rolls

  • Prep Time: 150 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 175 minutes
  • Yield: 8


  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2-3/4 banana (about 1/3 cup mashed, finely mashed)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup almonds (chopped and toasted)
  • For the icing:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Grease 9 inch round cake pan or 8 inch square baking dish, set aside.
  2. Roll out refrigerated pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches. If dough is too cold to roll out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Once the dough is rolled out, spread the mashed banana evenly over the rolled out dough, leaving an inch or so edge along the dough. Sprinkle with almonds, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg.
  4. Roll the dough towards you into a log, starting at the long side. Cut the rolled up dough into 8 even slices, each 2 inches thick. Place slices into greased baking dish or pan. The rolls do not need to be touching, so go ahead and spread them out to give them room to rise.
  5. Let rise in a warm spot for at least 2 hours. At this point, the rolls can be placed into the refrigerator to be baked the next day or a few days later.
  6. After the rise, bake the rolls at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
  7. For the icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Pour over the cinnamon rolls and serve.


  • Serving Size: 1