Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls: gluten-free dough is finally taking shape!

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What would you do for a warm, gooey cinnamon roll with sweet icing melting down the sides?

Before you were gluten-free, this may have been an easy fix: head to your local bakery, run to grandma’s house, or pop open the can, right? C’mon, nothing to be ashamed of, many of us have done it. No judgement here.

Waking up to a house filled with a cinnamon-sugar sweet dough aroma is rewarding in itself and is almost enough to satisfy the craving. ALMOST enough, but who are we kidding? Wafting aroma alone is just NOT going to cut it!

What? A gluten-free cinnamon roll, too daunting a task? Intimidated? Overwhelmed?

Naah! If I can do it, there are NO excuses for you. Sorry!

Having grown a little tired of working with the typical gluten-free batter, one specific goal for this recipe was to have a dough that could be rolled, shaped, and cut. Should we start the betting on whether or not I succeeded? Whaddaya think?

Cheer me on as we tour a fantastic photo voyage to sweet cinnamon nirvana!

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To make the dough you will need to start with:

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Combine all the dry ingredients in your mixer bowl.

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Add 4 tablespoons soft butter, blending on low speed until you have coarse crumbs.

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Whisk the following ingredients together:

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and add to the crumb mixture, mixing to combine at first and then

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increasing the speed to medium for about 1 minute, in order to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.

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You should end up with a soft, sticky dough that will need to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until visibly puffy.

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While the dough rests and rises, combine the following ingredients to make the filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter

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When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper, and press it gently into an 8″ x 16″ rectangle. I made the mistake of using plastic wrap here, thinking it would be easier to roll, but it was a wrinkly nightmare, so go with the parchment paper for sure!

You have the advantage of learning from my boo-boos instead of making them. I’ll make plenty of mistakes so you won’t have to!

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Brush milk over the surface of the dough to prevent the rolls from gaping and separating from the filling when they bake. Then, spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2″ to 1″ border of filling-free dough around the edges.

Speaking of errors, can you tell where I almost screwed up in the above photo? What fun it would have been to scrape all the cinnamon filling from the dough so that I could apply the milk? I caught myself JUST in time! A little sprinkle of filling, and no harm done.

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The actual recipe you are seeing makes double this amount of filling, but what you see pictured here is only a single batch. Cinnamon roll filling is ONE situation where less is NOT more!

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With the long edge of the parchment (or in my unfortunate case, plastic) closest to you, roll the dough forward allowing the paper to do the work for you.

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The dough should release from the paper as you roll …

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and be ever so cooperative.

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When the rolling is completed, cut the log into 8 equal rolls using a sharp serrated knife or dental floss.

To use the floss, draw it under the dough and pull each end simultaneously across the top to cut the rolls.

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Again, no need to weep at the sight of this shy helping of cinnamon goodness – remember, yours will generously be doubled!

This cross-section of dough reveals a successful rise, as you can see the holes and bubbles throughout the roll – EXACTLY what we want!

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For best results, place each roll into the well of a lightly greased muffin pan – the rolls will rise higher with the support of the pan.

Allow the rolls to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Toward the end of the rise, preheat your oven to 350°F.

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Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. While the rolls are baking, make the icing by mixing the following with an electric mixer until smooth:

  • 6 tablespoons soft cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

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Ice the rolls immediately and serve warm!

This smaller batch recipe will hopefully encourage these rolls to be eaten up quickly, as they won’t hold up for long at room temperature. If you plan to rewarm them for later use, keep them icing-free until you do so.

Our model above is laced with the icing drizzle, a bit dainty and still showing off the swirl of dark, spicy cinnamon; but by all means, slather the stuff on any way you like it – there will surely be plenty!

You’ve waited long enough – now indulge!

Please rate, bake, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls.

Print just the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Trage
About

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...

comments

  1. "Paul from Ohio"

    Gluten-free? We’ll I’ll be! Hey, I tried White Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls to great acclaim from family and friends – perhaps I’d better give these a roll!

    Let us know how the recipe works for you!-Jon

    Reply
  2. Sandy

    Wow…g-free cinnamon rolls!! I will make these for sure in a couple of weeks (got company coming and then going on trip right after they leave!). I am a voluntary recipe tester for a cooking magazine that is going to incorporate g-free recipes in the magazine. So I am looking forward to trying your cinnamon rolls. With 2 adult children and 2 grandkids who are Celiac, I am always looking for great g-free recipes. Thank you so much for including g-free recipes on your website and in The Baking Sheet!

    We are happy to provide as many gf recipes as we can; we only wish we could provide more!-Jon

    Reply
  3. kaf-sub-Melarynalb

    Can you use parchment Lotus cup papers instead of lightly greasing a muffin pan? These work great for your gluten free muffin mix by the way. Keeps them fresh and moist. Wondered if they would work for cinnamon rolls as well.

    Hmm, we haven’t tried to but you can certainly give it a try!-Jon

    Reply
  4. Amy

    In the spirit of saving others from making my mistakes… If you use dental floss to cut cinnamon roll dough, make sure it’s plain, unwaxed. Not mint flavor. Lets just say, been there, done that.

    Reply
  5. Julia

    Would almond milk and a butter replacement work in this recipe? My daughter can’t have dairy.
    those replacements should work fine! ~Amy

    Reply
  6. Meg

    My Mother is visiting this weekend, and I have always made her breakfast in bed. One of her favorite foods is cinnamon rolls, I would really like to make these for her- but do are they really best made all at once, and eaten fresh, or could I make them ahead to some point? At the very least, would they be happy sitting in the fridge (or freezer?) for a couple days and just warmed up? Thanks!
    Oh, she will love this! I like to make mine fresh but reduce some of the work by scaling all the ingredients the night before. That helps some. Take a look at this great blog by PJ called FREEZE! Timesavers for the holidays. Hope she has a great Mother’s Day! Elisabeth

    Reply
  7. Kristy B.

    I don’t know if anyone would be interested in this, but I have had success making gluten free cinnamon rolls without a muffin tin as long as by the time they’re done rising they’re touching each other. For those that like the kind of cinnamon rolls you can pull apart. And as far as keeping them soft at room temperature longer, a couple of teaspoons of potato flour (not starch) with the dry ingredients makes a huge difference. Also, while I’m making suggestions (lol) lining your pan with Reynolds wrap nonstick foil is amazing.

    Excellent ideas, Kristy! We appreciate the information and tips for other bakers out there. If you have pics of the rolls you bake at home, feel free to post them on our Facebook page! We love to know how things work for folks at home (and sharing recipes, too!). Best, Kim@KAF

    Reply
  8. Liz S

    I made these tonight and had a bit of difficulty with the dough. It was very fluffy and fell apart easily, possibly due to very active yeast. It rolled well enough when placed between two oiled silicon baking mats, but I couldn’t spread the butter/sugar/spice mix over it, and instead had to distribute it in chunks. I rolled the log and tried to cut it but it had already flattened a bit, more like strips than rolls. I put these all in a 9″ pie pan together (just a hair too small) and set to rise and later bake. While tasty for the sugary goodness, the texture was more like a yeasty coffee cake than the gluteny cinnamon rolls I remember.
    For the dairy free bakers, you should be able to use any protein-containing non-dairy milk (protein feeds the yeast; soy, almond, rice, hemp, oat) and coconut oil or butter substitute for the butter. I have done that in other cinnamon roll recipes and most of my g/f baking with good success.
    I’m glad you tried the recipe! It sounds like your dough may have proofed for too long, which would make it difficult to work with and give it a dry, crumbly texture. ~Amy

    Reply
  9. Matthew

    went to make this with the gluten free all purpose baking in stead of the GF multi-purpose but do not know how to adjust the recipe so they come out right. If you can help me that would be great .
    I’m so sorry, we haven’t tested this mix with the cinnamon roll recipe yet. There are ingredients in the baking mix that are not in the recipe, so it wold certainly alter the outcome. ~Amy

    Reply
  10. Dona

    Made these while at my daughters in July as she and her 2 children have celiac. We all thought they were good. Took more time than I was expecting so would start them earlier next time. Would like to try the added potato starch and put in a pan. Using the plastic wrap to roll on worked really well. Thanks for finally getting some good bread recipes that are closer to non g-free recipes.

    Great to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! We will certainly continue to make as many as we can!-Jon

    Reply
  11. Kate

    I was just wondering if I can replace the xanthan gum with ground flax seeds or chia seeds and if anyone has tried this?

    In our test kitchen and taste testing, we like the xanthan gum best for holding moisture in gluten free baking. This may be a good question to post on the Community section of our website. Some bakers use the ground flax as a substitution for eggs. Happy Baking – Irene@KAF

    Reply
  12. Bethany

    Just a quick question, thinking of making these for a girls weekend where half of the group is gluten free, but don’t have the time to make while there. What about making them and freezing? Should I bake them before or after freezing? Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I would suggest to bake first then freeze! The rolls can then be reheated in your oven for 10-15 minutes (or until warm) at 350. I would wait to glaze before serving.-Jon

  13. Meg

    THANK YOU!
    We were just talking about our Christmas morning tradition of cinnamon rolls and wondering if my husband would have to miss out once again due to Celiac. Udi’s has some but they are pricey and the shipping fee is very high.

    You may have just made it possible for him to enjoy our family tradition once again! I will definitely give this recipe a try! ~Meg~

    Reply
  14. LG

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve never done a yeasted GF bread, though I have made GF cakes and do lots of non-gluten-free bread making. I shaped the rolls the day before and held them in the fridge overnight and baked them almost 24 hours after shaping and they were fine. I don’t have a good muffin pan so I used a pie pan lined with the non-stick foil (like Liz above, though I hadn’t read the blog entry or comments). I think the middle didn’t cook properly but my nephew didn’t seem to mind! Next time, the muffin pan for sure.

    Reply
  15. Jan

    I found this recipe a little while ago and decided to make them tonight…. Problem is that the dough took way too long to rise and the dought to me was to soft almost like it was too much liquid in it. I made a new batch with more gf all purpose flour to make it thicker. Question is… How exactly is the dough surrpose to feel? And how warm must the milk be…? It turned out ok but fell to rise the second time. Thank you. Jann

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The mixed dough will feel sticky, but this dough is definitely thicker than most of our gluten free bread doughs (which are more batter-like). Please use body-warm milk for the dough; about 85 degrees – 95 degrees would be fine.~Jaydl@KAF

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