Need a brunch recipe for a crowd? Or the perfect holiday breakfast? This fluffy gluten free cinnamon roll recipe is just what you need! Don’t think just because you are gluten free that you can’t enjoy a homemade cinnamon roll. This recipe yields 12 delicious homemade real food cinnamon rolls that are topped off with a dairy-free glaze made with honey and just 3 ingredients. There is no powdered sugar in these cinnamon rolls, but plenty of goodness to be enjoyed in this comfort food.
I used to make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, Easter morning and for brunch on Sundays. When I had to go gluten free 6 years ago, I still made them for the family. But when two of my four kids had to also remove gluten from their diets, I stopped. It was unbearable to watch their sad little faces, even tears from my younger one, as she wasn’t able to enjoy the delicious breakfast treats. Today’s recipe is dedicated to all of those who can’t have gluten but who still want to enjoy all of the foods that you miss! Fluffy Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls made with yeast and sweetened with a dairy-free glaze. Yum!
How do you make gluten free cinnamon rolls from scratch?
If you’ve ever tried making cinnamon rolls, either gluten free or non-gluten-free, you know that it’s a process – it’s definitely not the same as opening a can and popping them in the oven. But the end result is soooo worth it. So is knowing exactly what went into them! My first recommendation in making cinnamon rolls from scratch is planning ahead with time. You’ll need to give them time to rise, so allot for that. You can’t just whip these up in 30 minutes, but there is beauty in the process. The steps specifically:
- Add yeast to warm water – between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to gauge the water temp. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. Too cold and it won’t activate the yeast. You’ll need to add honey, too. A sweetener (such as honey) will help activate the yeast. You’ll let this sit for 5-8 minutes while the yeast “blooms” or froths.
- Meanwhile, mix together your wet ingredients – butter, eggs, dairy-free milk (sub regular if you’d like) and honey. Combine your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then mix. Add in the yeast to the combined roll ingredients and cover with a tea towel. Let sit to rise for 45-60 minutes.
- Make the filling (ingredients in recipe below).
- Put a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Dust with more gluten free flour. Place dough ball on the flour and press into a rectangle. Add more flour if dough is sticky.
- Spread filling mixture onto the dough, leaving 1” border on one of the long sides without any of the filling.
- Using the parchment paper, gently roll the dough from from one of the long sides towards the border without filling. Continue to roll the dough into a log using the parchment paper instead of your hands until you reach the bottom. Lightly pinch the seams of the dough together then slice the log into quarters
- Slice into 12 pieces. Let rise again for 30-40 minutes. Place into a greased baking dish. Rolls will be somewhat close, but not cramped.
- Bake 17-20 minutes. When it’s done baking, prepare the icing. Let rolls cool slightly and ice. Serve warm and enjoy.
What to add to gluten free flour to make it rise?
Yeast is going to help your gluten free cinnamon rolls (and other baked items) rise. If you are making your own gluten free flour blend, you must always make sure to add a suitable binder. The most common binders used are guar gum, locust bean gum, xanthan gum and arrowroot starch. I like to use King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour which has xanthan gum in it already – so no need to add anything. If you have a gluten free 1:1 replacer flour, read the ingredients and make sure it has one of the mentioned binders and you should be set!
How to make a dairy-free honey glaze
I first tried making this glaze with maple syrup, but the dairy free honey glaze hands down was the winner. You simply need 3 ingredients: honey, coconut butter and cinnamon. Coconut butter is a spread made from the meat of the coconut, very similarly to nut butters. It’s popular in paleo and dairy free diets. I’ve used it on a number of desserts including these Salted Caramel No Bake Sugar Cookie Bars. It’s an easy one to make, so I always have it in my pantry.
To make this dairy-free glaze (without powdered sugar), simply add 1/4 cup coconut butter and 1/4 cup honey along with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to a microwave-safe dish – I like to do it right in this measuring cup for ease. Microwave it for 30 seconds, stir, and heat for 30 more seconds. Stir and it should be completely ready to drizzle over your gluten free cinnamon rolls.
Need a brunch recipe for a crowd? Or the perfect holiday breakfast? This fluffy gluten free cinnamon roll recipe is just what you need! Don't think just because you are gluten free that you can't enjoy a homemade cinnamon roll. This recipe yields 12 delicious homemade real food cinnamon rolls that are topped off with a dairy-free glaze made with honey and just 3 ingredients. There is no powdered sugar in these cinnamon rolls, but plenty of goodness to be enjoyed in this comfort food.
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter , melted
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Heat ¼ cup water slightly to 110°. It will reach this temperature very quickly, so don’t overheat! If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast, so test the temperature with an instant read thermometer and allow to cool as needed until it reaches 110 degrees.
Sprinkle yeast on top of warm water and add 1 tbsp honey. Let this sit for 7-8 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, whisked eggs, dairy-free milk and honey. Slightly heat the mixture, but test the temperature to make sure it doesn’t go over 110°F. Add yeast mixture to the butter/eggs/milk mixture and whisk carefully to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl add gluten free flour, coconut sugar, and baking powder and stir to combine.
Slowly add wet ingredients to the flour mixture in 2 batches, stirring until flour is just incorporated before adding the next batch. Dough should be very soft but not overly sticky. Cover with a tea towel then set somewhere warm to double in volume, about 1 hour.
For the filling, combine the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, spread 1/4 cup additional gluten free flour on a large sheet of parchment paper. Place the ball on parchment paper, and press the dough into a ¼” thick rectangle, roughly 24x15”. Do not press this dough too thin. If dough is too sticky, add another 1/4 cup of gluten free flour until it's not sticky.
Spread filling mixture onto the dough, leaving 1” border on one of the long sides without any of the filling.
Using the parchment paper, gently roll the dough from from one of the long sides towards the border without filling. Continue to roll the dough into a log using the parchment paper instead of your hands until you reach the bottom. Lightly pinch the seams of the dough together then slice the log into quarters
Slice each quarter into thirds for 12 slices total then arrange the slices in a pie pan oiled with olive or avocado oil or spray.
Let rolls rise until puffy, about 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven at this point to 375 degrees.
Bake rolls for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. While this bakes, heat icing mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and heat for another 30 seconds until smooth.
When rolls are done, let cool for 10 minutes and then drizzle icing on top. Serve warm.
So there you go! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. If you are into gluten free baking, you should check out this collection of gluten free bread recipes. In addition, if you’re making brunch, this gluten free bread pudding is a winner as are overnight oats and chia pudding. Just some more ideas for you!