The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe {Grain, Dairy, & Gluten Free with Paleo Options}

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These grain & gluten free cinnamon rolls are big, fluffy, gooey, and are just as good as any other gluten and dairy filled cinnamon roll! 
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls - Close Up



cinn rolls2!

gluten free cinnamon rolls

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.


cinnabon cinnamon rolls

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 and this fudge recipe MMmmmm….


Helpful Hints and frosting options:

  • -The dough needs to sit in the the fridge 6 hours to overnight, so plan ahead ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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.
  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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!
Is Keto or Paleo more your thing? Check out my Big, Soft Keto & Paleo Cinnamon Rolls!!!

The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe!!! {Gluten, Grain, & Dairy Free}

These gluten free cinnamon rolls are big, fluffy, gooey, and are just as good as any other gluten and dairy filled cinnamon roll!*See above for instructions to make Paleo Cinnamon Rolls.
4.8 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, gluten free
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon rolls recipe, gluten free cinnamon rolls, gluten free cinnamon rolls recipe, paleo cinnamon rolls, paleo cinnamon rolls recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 16 rolls
Calories: 426kcal
Author: Cassidy

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For The Dough:

  • 3 C blanched almond flour Honeyville brand
  • 2 1/2 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
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance butter or ghee softened
  • 1 C Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla gluten free


  • 1/2 C Earth Balance butter or ghee melted
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/4 C Earth Balance butter or ghee melted
  • 3 Tbsp. Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee optional
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract


  • In a small bowl, mix together the milk alternative with the vinegar (we're making buttermilk). Set aside.
  • Whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, pectin, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, soda, and yeast... all the dry ingredients.
  • 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.
  • Scrape/pour batter into plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Place in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight.
  • 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 15 inches (the height of the parchment paper) by 20 inches long. Use tapioca flour as needed to help prevent sticking.
  • Bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil... we'll come back to this ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Melt the butter and spread over the dough, leaving the bottom 1 inch dry.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and xanthan gum. Spread evenly over the butter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Transfer rolls to the baking dish and slightly press down on each roll.
  • Place rolls in center or top rack of oven with the boiling water on the bottom rack and allow to proof for 1 hour. They won't double in size but they will rise. I covered mine with a clean, damp kitchen towel.
  • Remove rolls and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • 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.
  • Whisk all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Icing will be thick. Pour over hot rolls.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CassidysCraveableCreations or tag #CassidysCraveableCreations!
Nutrition Facts
The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe!!! {Gluten, Grain, & Dairy Free}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 426 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 189mg 8%
Potassium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 57g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 33g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 0.7%
Vitamin C 4.6%
Calcium 2.2%
Iron 7.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.


pin gluten free cinnamon rolls for later:

Cinnamon Rolls Pinnable Image

step-by-step pictures

Dry ingredients mixed together


Dough wrapped in plastic wrap


Spreading butter on dough


Dough with cinnamon before rolling


Lifting up parchment paper to roll cinnamon rolls


Cutting cinnamon rolls into fourths
Cutting Cinnamon rolls again


Cinnamon Rolls in Baking dish


Cinnamon Rolls after rising


Baked Cinnamon Rolls in pan before frosting



These grain & gluten free cinnamon rolls are big, fluffy, gooey, and are just as good as any other gluten and dairy filled cinnamon roll! Plus, I have instructions to make them Paleo too! #GlutenFreeCinnamonRolls

Posted December 8, 2014 by Cassidy in Breakfast & Muffins, Desserts / 81 Comments


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81 responses to “The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe {Grain, Dairy, & Gluten Free with Paleo Options}

  1. Kara Probst

    These were AMAZING!! Like unbelievable…. so easy and came out PERFECT!! Definitely will make again!!! thank you so much for this gift of a recipe on Christmas!

  2. Maya Houri

    Hi thanks for the data. I ordered pectin online! I could use it in other receipes as well. Iโ€™ll let you know what was the final result ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  3. Maya Houri

    Hi! Thank you for the exact receipe! I have a question, how crucial is the pectin? Itโ€™s hard to find in EU and wonder what will happen if I skip it or is there a substitute for it? Thanks again! Maya

    • Hi Maya! The pectin helps the dough hold together. While you could skip it, the dough might be harder to work with and turn out a bit crumbly. I’d try replacing it some gelatin (not collagen)! Let me know what you think!!!


  4. Erin Crocker

    I want to cry. My oldest went to college and misses my cooking. Only she has POTS and I’ve kinda figured out the gluten free baking thing but not the cinnamon rolls. Note: been baking my whole life I’m a farm girl. You just gave me the missing piece. Never occurred to me to proof a la Bain Marie how very fancy of you even not actually in the water thank you thank you!!! and we freeze regular abs gf and give as xmas gifts with frosting in frosting tubes with xmas ribbon.

  5. Stacy

    Greetings Cassidy!!!

    The pectin that you use, is it regular pectin or low/no sugar pectin, also the yeast that you use, is this an instant/fast acting?


  6. Jen

    Hi there. So far, I’ve really loved your baked goods. They are a far cry from most GF recipes and they turn out delicious; better texture and flavor. I’m in the process of making these and am wondering about the rise. While the dough did get a little lighter, they didn’t puff up much in the oven. I’m wondering how the yeast interacts with the gluten free flours? Does it actually create a rise? Or is it more about the flavor the yeast imparts? I’ve had similar outcomes with other GF recipes made with almond flour. Thanks.

    • Hi Jen, gluten free flours don’t rise the same as traditional baked goods but the yeast still makes them rise slightly and adds flavor which is why I still use it. I hope that answers your question and you liked the cinnamon rolls!!!!

  7. Julia

    “Roll the dough 17 inches tall (the height of the parchment paper)” LOL!!! I can’t believe no one caught that after all these years! It gave me a good laugh! I’m making these for Mother’s Day tomorrow, so we’ll see how they turn out! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for all your good recipes. I’ve tried several, and your website is the most dependable for paleo recipes!

    • Hi Julia! I can’t believe no one ever brought that to my attention sooner either!!! I changed it to 15 inches – the real height of parchment paper – LOL!!! I hope you like them, let me know how they turn out ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Julia

        These turned out really well and tasted great! They were a little dry though, so maybe I should tweak something for next time?

  8. HDogg

    I’m concerned. These didn’t rise in the fridge, and so far they look more like they are dissolving in the steamy oven than rising. I’m an experienced banner, and I double checked everything, so… Don’t know what’s up. I was worries about using only one teaspoon of yeast, but it seemed like it worked for the others who have tried it.

  9. Willow

    I’ve been searching for a paleo/primal sweet yeast bread recipe I could adapt to recreate my mom’s Christmas Bread (an enriched bread, flavored with cardamom, filled with whole pecans & candied cherries, then braided, or if a small amount, made into a rolled loaf, like cinnamon bread, then decorated with a glaze & more cherries). Since her bread dough recipe is similar to cinnamon roll dough, I think it just might work… with minimal substitutions. I’ll replace some of the almond flour and tapioca/arrowroot with some sorghum flour. I’ll skip the gum since I don’t do well with any of them. I’m also thinking I might reduce the milk & add another egg (thoughts?), since Mom’s recipe is really an egg bread enriched with a little sugar, and milk. I’ll probably still use vinegar to balance the ph, but won’t add it to the milk. I’m also not sure about the pectin (don’t have any)/gelatin (have a bunch) issue, but in either case, would you recommend an addition since mine will lack the gum?
    My mouth is watering just thinking about having Christmas Bread (slathered in butter!!!) again. A couple years ago, my mom sent a box of GF baking mix. That loaf turned out hard as a rock! A tasty, yet very ugly & disappointing rock. LOL It’s been a long time… You’ve given me hope!
    I’ll fill you in on results after Christmas.

    • Hi Willow! I really can’t tell you how the substitutions will work without trying it for myself, sorry. From other peoples comments though, it seems that the recipe is very forgiving and substitutions seem to work well ๐Ÿ™‚ Please come back and let me know how it turns out, I can’t wait to hear!!!


  10. laurie

    These look wonderful! Any suggestions if the rolls don’t proof? What kind of yeast do you use?

    Thank you for this recipe!


  11. emily

    What type (liquid/powder)/brand of pectin do you recommend for this recipe? I usually use Pomona’s Pectin for my canning. I was wondering if this would work. Do you think gelatin would work instead? I am excited to try this recipe!

    • Hi Emily, I think I used Sure Jell powder. I’m not familiar with Pomona’s Pectin, but I’d imagine it will work if it’s a powder. I’ve never tried gelatin in this recipe so I can’t say if it would work or not, sorry! If you try it let me know how it works!!!


  12. I made these today for my father-in-law’s birthday, and they were amazing. Definitely the best gluten-free/grain-free cinnamon rolls we’ve ever had! I used gelatin instead of pectin since I didnโ€™t have any, regular milk instead of coconut milk, apple cider vinegar instead of white, and erythritol instead of sugar. I also cut the amount of frosting in half and added a little extra milk as it was quite thick, and the rolls were still plenty sweet. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Will be making these again.

  13. My paleo recipe

    I made these this morning โ€“ yum! Definitely the closest thing to โ€œrealโ€ cinnamon rolls Iโ€™ve had! Iโ€™ll be honest, the tapioca mixture looked a little gross at first, and I didnโ€™t think they would turn out, But after kneading the dough, it rolled out and cut perfectly! I added a tablespoon of ghee to the filling and also 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the frosting. My husband thought the texture was a bit gummy, but he did like the taste, and I will be making these again! Thanks!

  14. these look awesome. I have made a paleo version that has almond flour, but a bit too tough and grainy for my liking. These seem much better and more light and fluffy, which I prefer.. I don’t have any pectin so I will have to pick some up before I give these a try. If I can’t find any, I might try to replace it with gelatin and see if it works out (will let you know if it does). Man, I haven’t had good cinnamon rolls in a long time, thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

    • Thanks Dana! Yeah, I’ve made my share of almond flour biscuits and thought they were too dry and grainy as well, that’s why I added starch to my recipe. I hope you like it!!!

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