The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe {Gluten Free, Dairy Free, With Paleo Option}

cinn rolls!
cinn rolls2!

 *This is a re-post, but it’s just so good I couldn’t help but post it again :)

*CLICK HERE for this recipe made Paleo!!!!

I’ve been working on a cinnamon roll recipe for quite awhile (more than a year!!!) and I finally got them exactly perfect. Then, hoping it wasn’t just chance, I made them again and they turned out exactly perfect again! I wanted bakery-like cinnamon rolls – cinnamon rolls that are big, fluffy, gooey, and that are just as good as any other gluten and dairy filled cinnamon roll. Period.

I recently saw an episode of Top Secret Recipe where he tried to taste and mimic the appearance of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and I learned a few things that were lacking in my recipe.

The first problem I had was proofing the yeast. I was using the scorched milk method to proof my yeast (heat milk on stove, set aside, and add yeast when warm) but I could never get my milk the perfect temperature for my yeast to get foamy (or proof). I would try sometimes two or three times before getting the milk the perfect temperature… it was very frustrating. Another problem was the filling. While it was good, it oozed all out when I baked them leaving hardly any filling in the roll!

When watching Top Secret Recipe I learned to proof my yeast in the oven with boiling water after they had been rolled – a no fuss method, and to add xanthan gum to the filling to make a nice gooey filling that actually stays in the roll! So after learning a few tricks of the trade and after many trials, here’s my perfect cinnamon roll recipe. It’s not hard, but it is well worth the time and effort. Trust me, you’ll be glad you made them!!!

I’m going to make these next week when my husbands family comes to visit, along with my pecan pie recipe (with revisions to be paleo friendly!) and this fudge recipe MMmmmm….

 

Helpful Hints:

-The dough needs to sit in the the fridge 6 hours to overnight, so plan ahead :)

-I haven’t experimented with freezing these or making the dough ahead of time. I’m going to try this method: 1) Bake as directed then let rolls cool 2) Freeze 3) Heat in 250 degree oven for 15 minutes 4) Ice while rolls are hot…. I’m really thinking it will work perfect.

-Here’s Todd Wilbur’s version of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls

-Instead of the powdered sugar frosting below, sometimes I use my Paleo “Cream Cheese” Frosting and thin it out with a non-dairy milk as needed, it’s awesome too :)

-To make your own unrefined powdered sugar: Add Truvia baking mix into a coffee grinder and blend until it’s a fine powder. Stir in 1 Tbsp or arrowroot per cup. I’ve used this homemade powdered sugar with the frosting recipe below and we LOVED it! I’ve heard you can also use xylitol or erythritol but I have not tried either of these. Coconut palm sugar does not work well with this recipe – trust me!

 

4.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe!!!
 
Ingredients
For The Dough:
  • 3 C blanched almond flour, Honeyville brand
  • 2½ C tapioca flour + more for rolling dough (I've also successfully used arrowroot)
  • 2 tsp. pectin (on the baking aisle)
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 1 C SO Delicious cooconut milk, or preferred milk alternative
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla, gluten free
Filling:
  • ½ C Earth Balance butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ C brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
Frosting (or try my dairy, soy, & refined sugar free cream cheese frosting, link above):
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • ¼ C Earth Balance butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. SO Delicious coconut milk, or milk alternative
  • 1 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee, optional
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the milk alternative with the vinegar (we're making buttermilk). Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, pectin, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, soda, and yeast... all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the eggs, butter, and vanilla to the milk mixture and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and knead with a dough hook until it comes together, scraping down bowl as needed. If you don't have a dough hook, mix together with a spoon the best you can and then use your hands to knead the dough until it is very well combined. Batter will be thick and sticky.
  4. Scrape/pour batter into plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Place in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight.
  5. Tear out a piece of parchment paper that is at least 20 inches long and sprinkle generously with arrowroot or tapioca flour. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough 17 inches tall (the height of the parchment paper) and 20 inches long. Use tapioca flour as needed to help prevent sticking.
  6. Bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil... we'll come back to this :)
  7. Melt the butter and spread over the dough, leaving the bottom 1 inch dry.
  8. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and xanthan gum. Spread evenly over the butter.
  9. Starting on the side farthest away from you, start rolling the dough tightly making at least 4 or 5 rotations. You can lift up the parchment paper to help get the dough up and rolling. When you come to the end, pinch the bottom edge of the dough into the log so it creates a seal.
  10. Using a very sharp knife, cut the log in half. Then, cut each half in half. Then cut each roll in half again. You should have 16 rolls.
  11. Transfer rolls to the baking dish and slightly press down on each roll.
  12. Place rolls in center or top rack of oven with the boiling water on the bottom rack and allow to proof for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. I covered mine with a clean, damp kitchen towel.
  13. Remove rolls and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  14. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes, rotating half-way through to ensure even baking. Make sure they are very nicely browned so the centers aren't dough-ey. I know. I know. It's not a word, but you know what I mean.
  15. Whisk all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Icing will be thick. Pour over hot rolls.

Here are my picts :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Fat Tuesday and Gluten Free Wednesdays

Comments

  1. WOW! Your Cinnamon Rolls look absolutely amazing! We’re going to try making them with an egg substitute, and see what happens! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and for all the helpful hints!

  2. your favorite mother-in-law says:

    I am so happy you are going to spoil us next week. The food is going to be amazing. And you know you are making your father-in-law’s absolute favorites. Every time you post I love your site more.

  3. Gail- Thanks! Let me know how they turn out with the egg substitute.

    My favorite Mother-In-Law Jeanie- Thanks for the nice comment! I can’t wait to serve ya’ll some of my favorite desserts :)

  4. VERY PROUD MOTHER…
    These look fantastic! They look like they are in 3-D, like I could just reach in the computer and grab one and eat it, Yummy! You did a great job and keep up the good work. I can just imagine Lances face as he was eating these, Ha!

  5. To my very proud mom…
    Thanks! I’ll make you some too so you don’t have to try and eat through the computer :)

  6. I can’t believe my good luck-my inlaws arrive tomorrow, and I have all the ingredients for this on hand, so I can actually make the dough tonight (this never happens!)-you made my day!

  7. I tried this, but ended up throwing the whole thing away…just could not get the super sticky/wet dough to roll. Not sure what I did wrong, I love the idea of this! I’m not sure I can bring myself to waste such expensive ingredients again, but I may give it another try sometime.

  8. Karen-
    So sorry this didn’t work for you!!! Did you use tapioca when rolling the dough? My dough is always very thick and sticky but I cover my rolling pin and parchment with tapioca, then add more as needed if it starts sticking… and I don’t add a tiny amount. I use this method for my cinnamon rolls and pizza crust and it always works perfect. Also, you used the Honeyville almond flour right? Otherwise it probably wouldn’t turn out. Again, I’m really sorry.

  9. No need to be sorry! It looks like the recipe is easily halved, so I’ll give it another shot with a smaller batch and roll it with more tapioca this time! By the way, I luckily had thrown the dough still wrapped in parchment paper into a fresh garbage bag-so I came to my senses, retrieved it and put the whole thing into a pan. Proofed it as directed and we had a very tasty coffee cake!

  10. I have a new website, http://www.glutenfreedomblog.com that I am trying to spread the word about! I love yours! I am having huge giveaways from many wonderful gluten free companies soon and was wondering if you would help me get the word out?! Thanks!

  11. DANA-
    I loved your website!!! I subscribed via e-mail and I’m anxious to see some of your recipes and participate in your giveaways! Feel free to post on my Facebook page about your new site and giveaways, and on an upcoming post I’ll mention your site.

  12. Do you think I could use AP flour in place of the almond flour? We are dairy/soy free but don’t have a problem with gluten. I’m excited to make these for Christmas, I haven’t had cinnamon rolls in SO long!

  13. Kate-
    Sorry, I don’t think all purpose flour would work in place of the almond flour, the 2 are quite different. I would recommend using the recipe I adapted this from (link just before recipe) but replace the 1 C water and 1 Tbsp buttermilk with 1 C homemade buttermilk (let 1 C SO Delicious milk with 1 tsp vinegar sit for a few minutes). Then, use Earth Balance butter and use my frosting instead of his cream cheese frosting. Hope this helps!!!

  14. OK, I have been cooking GF for 13 years, and have made many batches of cinnamon-type rolls…and these are by far the BEST! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe! I wasn`t really sure about all that almond flour, but it works like a charm. No grittiness at all.

    Merry Christmas!
    Lisa R.

  15. Lisa R.-
    I’m so glad you liked them!!! Thanks for such the nice comment :)

  16. I have been GF for just over a year, I would pay good money for some of these! I hate baking I dont have time or patience for it LOL You should totally take orders online and ship them!

  17. AmberSunrise-
    If I had the time and I knew they would keep, I would so take orders and ship these!

  18. I’m going to try making these this week, although my son seems to react to almonds, so I’m thinking about substituting sorghum for the almond flour. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  19. Annaliese-
    Sorghum flour and almond flour are quite different so you may need to use less sorghum flour. I hope the sorghum flour works for you – let me know!

  20. I made these and froze them for Christmas morning and they were awesome! Thumbs up by all in the family. We used egg replacer and it worked great. I followed your suggestion on reheat, and had to double the time to 30 min at 250-but they were in a deep freeze. Sooo good! Thank you!

  21. Jen-
    Yeah- I’m happy you liked them! It’s nice to know that the egg replacer worked and the re-heat method worked :) Thanks!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I love the idea of eating these and have 2 questions.
    1)As I am sensitive to eggs and need to do someingredient swapping to make tem allergy friendly, do you think this recipe will turn out better if I use a boxed Egg Replacer powder, or would it work better with ground flax seed or chia seed “eggs”?

    2) As I am also sensitive to nuts, do you think Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour mix could be swapped out cup for cup for the almond flour for equally delish results? Its the only ready made flour mix out there I can use as I’m also allergic to rice.

    3)Why do you use the pectin in the dough? (and if I switch to Bob’s AP GF flour, would I still need to use it?)
    What does it do here in this recipe?
    And just super bakery curious, :) how did you even figure out that pectin was a necessary ingredient for the cinnamon rolls?
    I’ve only ever heard it used in canning, and jams and jellies and fruity stuffs.:)

    Thanks much!! alli

  23. Hi Anonymous-

    I can’t say anything for sure…

    But if you have to use Bob’s Red Mill, I would recommend using 3 C to replace the almond flour AND the tapioca flour. And then if it seems too wet add small amounts until it reaches a good consistency.

    I started adding pectin to my baked goods after noticing that Better Batter contains pectin. I think it gives it a good texture and helps it hold together, but the latest thing I’m on to are psyllium husks… they are my new favorite. I used them in my flatbread recipe :) If you use the Bob’s Red Mill you probably don’t have to add it, but it might give it a little somethin’ extra :)

    And I have no idea about the eggs! We never use egg replacements so I couldn’t tell you :( But I’ve heard good things about both.

    If you make these please let me (and everyone else)know how your replacements turned out. I’ll be anxious to hear!

  24. Hi, just stumbled upon your blog and have to say these look GREAT! Being such a fan of cinnabon I was crushed when I had to go gluten/grain free. I’m so glad to have found these and many other recipes of yours. :) Quick question though…

    Does the flour brand HAVE to be Honeyville brand of almond flour? Will Bob’s Red Mill work alright?

    Oh yeah, and one more thing… what the heck is pectin? Is it a grain or something?

    Looking forward to trying these! :)

  25. Hello :)

    The Honeyville brand is ground finer than the Bob’s Red Mill, so if you decide to use Bob’s Red Mill you may have to increase the amount, or you could grind it in a coffee grinder to make it more like a fine powder. If you use the Bob’s Red Mill let me know how it goes!

    And pectin is found on the baking aisle in almost every grocery store and is very similar to gelatin.

    Thanks,
    Cassidy

  26. Ahh, ok thank you! Bob’s Red Mill is the only brand that is available at our local Whole Foods, unfortunately. However grinding it could work… hmmm..

    I shall now have to see if we can grab some pectin at the store now. I NEED THOSE ROLLS! Lol! ;)

  27. Hi! I hope this doesn’t appear twice…my last post vanished :o

    Could someone let me know how these turned out with egg-replacer??? I’m not good at winging-it and would like to make these this weekend. :D

  28. Anonymous says:

    Just one question … you mean pectin like you use in jelly right?

  29. Anonymous-
    Yes, it can be found on the baking aisle. Hope you like it!

    Cassidy

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi, love your blog. Everything looks delicious, including these! :)

    My grandmother is coming today to spend the week, and I can’t really spend a lot of time making rolls for breakfast when everyone is hungry! Making them the night before would be easier, however i’m not sure if it would work or not.

    Do you think it would work if I put together the whole cinnamon roll the night before and then cook it for breakfast the next day? Would I let it rise before putting it in the fridge, or should I do it the next morning, and would it even work at all?

    Thanks! :)

  31. Anonymous-

    Sorry it took me so long to respond… You could bake the rolls the night before, freeze, then heat for 15 to 20 minutes at 250 the next morning or you could completely (rise and all) make them, freeze, then bake as directed but increase bake time.

    I haven’t tried either of these methods so I can’t tell you for sure. If you try it let me know how it works! Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    Thanks,
    Cassidy

  32. These look just lovely! I think I’m going to try them when I visit my mom next week. We’re both gluten free and she’s been craving some cinnabon-style goodness.

    My one question is about the flavor lent by the almond flour. I haven’t been wild about my previous experiments with it because of the almondy aftertaste it can have. Does using the tapioca flour as well lessen that problem?

    I’ll probably give it a go either way – I’ve got some almond flour in the freezer I need to use up!

  33. Jamie-
    I have’t noticed any flavor left by the almond flour, but that’s just me.

    Cassidy :)

  34. WOW – love your work!!!

    I’ve been mad keen to bake cinnamon scrolls for ages but haven’t gotten around to it. Yesterday I started a detox under my naturopath’s guidance so I’m delighted to have stumbled upon your blog as I am BRAND NEW to cooking witout gluten, dairy etc. Can’t wait to try these.

    Thank you so much

  35. These are awesome! The dough turned out just perfect. Thank you so much!!! One tip that might help people…..I’ve always done this with cinnamon rolls, even pre-gluten free days….use dental floss to cut the rolls. You just slide the floss under and around the roll and then cross the ends and pull tight. It cuts it so slick…..especially with this dough that is a little stickier.

  36. Hey, it’s me again! :) Months after I ask my last question, I finally am making these rolls! Figures life gets in the way. ;) The rolls are proofing in the oven as I speak.I used Bob’s Red Mill and the dough turned out great! Doesn’t look like I need to change any measurements. It worked out fine and the dough rolled beautifully!

    I do have one question though, you said to use 1/2 a cup of butter to spread on the dough. I hardly used any of it! I spread the butter onto the dough until all but the last inch was covered, and now I have a bowlful of butter left! Did I do something wrong? Should I have used all the butter? :/

    Can’t wait to test these!

  37. This is exactly the recipe I was looking for for Christmas, and I can get all the ingredients in France, so – yay!

    Going to pin it and make it.

  38. :)-
    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back with you! As far as the butter is concerned… did you roll the dough out large enough? I admit I do use a lot of butter, no biggie if you didn’t use all of it :) How did they turn out?

    Lady Jennie-
    For sure let me know what you think!!!

  39. Cassidy, you mentioned proofing the yeast and the boiling water, and someone else mentioned it in the comments, but I don’t see where that step is. I’m sure I’m blind! I’ll check back tomorrow to see if you commented.

    I’ll make the dough tomorrow, then perhaps bake and freeze the next day and try your method for warming up and icing on Christmas morning. That way there’s no work on the day itself. Do you put your frozen pan straight into the oven too? Does it harm it?

    PS Is almond flour the same as ground almonds? That’s what I was planning to use because we can’t get the brand you mentioned here. I use ground almonds a lot in baking.

    Okay that’s enough questions. ;-)

  40. Hi Lady Jennie! I hope this helps answer some of your questions:

    -You start heating the water to boil on step 6 then put the boiling water and the rolls in the oven together on step 13… sorry I wasn’t more clear.

    -Almond flour is the same as ground almonds, just make sure it is ground super fine!!! And I used blanched (skin removed) almonds.

    -I’ve never actually frozen and reheated my rolls in the oven, but I’ve gotten comments saying they put the frozen pan in the oven and it worked great!

    Hope this helps! Let me know how you like them :)

    Thanks,
    Cassidy

  41. Haha, I rolled out the dough so largely, it took up the majority of my countertop! :P Even so, I still had a bowlfull of butter left. Would it perhaps be alright to coat the dough so much that it’s literally soaking in butter? Maybe I should use more as I did notice my filling was a tad dry. :P

    The rolls were WONDERFUL btw. My entire family wouldn’t back off long enough for me to actually make the rolls! They were all too busy smelling the dough, lol! These truly are the BEST recipe I’ve ever tried, no doubt about that!

    I’m making them again tomorrow, at least the dough.. and putting them together Christmas morning. :D

    Happy Holidays!

  42. I am trying your recipe but used flax seed meal instead of the xanthan gum and pectin. I also am using gf flour mix instead of the almond flour. The dough was tighter than I think yours was but I put it in the frig for the night. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow! Thank you for sharing.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Having been an major baker before Celiac, I am a picky GF woman. There are several things I’d rather go without than have a yucky GF version….BUT, your cinnamon rolls tempted me and after making them 3 times (just as written but using almond milk instead of coconut) I must say a huge THANK YOU! My family loves these! These are just perfect.
    Once out of time restraints I did make them without letting the dough sit in the fridge for the recommended 6 hrs and they still turned out wonderful.
    Thank you for such an amazing recipe!! Can’t wait to try others on your blog. I appreciate all the time you take to share!!!

  44. I just wanted to say that these are fabulous. We are not dairy free in our house though so I just used regular whole milk when making the rolls though. However, by the time I was getting around to making the frosting I was feeling a little unmotivated and lazy so I just used some apple butter I have and that made a great frosting alternative. I think pumpkin butter would also be quite tasty as well.

    • Cassidy says:

      Hi Sharon, I’m so happy you liked them! I like your frosting alternatives, I’ll have to try them :)

      -Cassidy

  45. Lindsey says:

    Is the pectin liquid or powder?

  46. Honeybee says:

    I made these today, i had been craving cinnamon rolls for almost a year ever since i had to go gluten and dairy free. I modified the recipe a little bit, since i didn’t have enough almond flour and tapioca flower, so i put 1cup almond flour, 3 cups Bob’s red mill all purpose mix, 2/3 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup arrowroot. They turned out good, they didn’t rise as much as i would have hoped, but the taste was great. I had a lot of icing so i tried to use it all but it was too much though so we have to scrape half of it off LOL
    But overall they’re good, not sure if they’re going to stay long ;) thanks for the recipe!

  47. Oh my, I am totally going to make these. They look so amazing – and your instructions look so easy to follow. Thank you!

    – Chrystal

  48. Featuring your recipe this week Cassidy!

  49. We love cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I haven’t tried making a paleo version yet, but I might this year. Yours look great! I wanted to let you know that when I try going to your home page I get nothing–it’s completely blank. I tried it a couple of days ago and the same thing was happening. You might want to look into that.

    • Thanks so much Linda, I hope you like them! …thanks also for letting me know about the blank home page! A few people have recently told me about the problem, and I would have never known because it doesn’t do it when I’m log in! I just finished e-mailing Hostgator to see if they could fix it for me, so hopefully it’s fixed soon :)

      -Cassidy

  50. vegetarianmamma (Cindy) says:

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can’t wait to see what you share next time!
    -Cindy

Trackbacks

  1. […] turned to my trusty ‘ol cinnamon roll recipe that I always make but this time I made a yeast-free version. Most cinnamon rolls that aren’t […]

  2. […] makes me want to cry I’m sure I will be using this recipe for all sorts of things – cinnamon rolls, yeast free cinnamon rolls, cinnamon roll cupcakes, pumpkin spice […]

  3. […] fantastic recipes!!! I think the only other recipe that I claim to be “the best” is my cinnamon roll recipe. And even that recipe I revised to also be a yeast free […]

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