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Fluffy Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

This gluten-free cinnamon rolls recipe makes big and beautiful traditional style cinnamon rolls. They are exceptionally fluffy, and have the most delicious dairy-free cinnamon swirl. Top your gluten-free cinnamon rolls with a light glaze, or dairy-free vanilla frosting – I’ve provided you with recipes for each below! 

It is no surprise that I am completely and utterly a fan of cinnamon rolls. I love making gluten-free breads of all kinds, so when you combine that love with dessert… well, double win! 

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Years ago I shared with you my original gluten-free cinnamon rolls recipe, that continues to be a reader favorite. That original recipe is absolutely delicious, but it makes smaller cinnamon rolls and only requires 4 cups of flour. 

This new recipe, requires 8 cups of flour, and makes bigger and fluffier cinnamon rolls. These rolls are double in size than the original recipe and average 5-inches each!

Also, with this new recipe, I’ve been able to omit some of the excess ingredients found in the original recipe, yet still maintain integrity of the rolls. 

How to Make Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Sometimes it can be intimidating to work with yeast, or to try your hand at making cinnamon rolls gluten-free. Let me assure you though, if you follow the instructions below and use the ingredients that are called for in the recipe, these dairy-free cinnamon rolls are actually very easy to make. 

So let’s get to it! 

  • Make the dough. The wonderful thing about this recipe – there’s no kneading involved! You simply add the ingredients to your mixer, and mix using the paddle attachment. It’s a very straightforward and easy dough to make. 
  • Rise. The dough might seem sticky and shaggy right after it’s mixed, but don’t let this worry you. As the dough rises, the gluten-free flours, starch, and psyllium husk powder absorb the liquid. The dough transforms, becoming pliable and easy to handle.
  • Form the rolls. Roll the dough into two 15×15″ squares (you can do this one at a time). Brush with melted vegan butter, and then evenly sprinkle on the topping. Form into cylinders, and cut 16 rolls total, 8 per cylinder. Place rolls cut side down in two 9×13″ greased baking pans.
  • Rise. Cover the baking pans with clean kitchen towels and let the formed rolls rise for about 1 hour.
  • Bake. Bake for 25-35 minutes, just until the rolls are set, and the undersides are golden.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Dry Ingredients

Brown Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch– Those of you who have followed me for any length of time know I don’t normally bake with gluten-free all purpose flour blends. This recipe is no exception.

This recipe has only been testing with the flours/starches listed. I don’t recommend substituting a gluten-free all purpose flour blend, as different flours/starches have different moisture requirements (and tastes).  

Psyllium Husk Powder– Psyllium husks are often sold as a fiber supplement, but you want to use the powder variety specifically for this recipe. Whole psyllium husks will not absorb as much liquid or provide as much structure within the dough as the powdered version.

If you can’t find psyllium husk powder, you can buy the whole psyllium husks (usually sold in the dietary supplement aisle) and grind them into a powder using a clean blender or coffee grinder. Blend until finely powdered, and then measure the amount you need after it’s powdered.

The brands of powdered psyllium husk I use and recommend are NOW Foods and Anthony’s. Other brands may possibly lend a purplish hue to your baked goods. There is no substitute for psyllium husk powder in this recipe.

Yeast

SAF Instant Yeast– SAF Instant Yeast (red package, not the gold one) yields very consistent results and does not require proofing before being added to the dough. You add it directly to the dry ingredients and it dissolves in the dough. It is designed to allow for many rises (unlike rapid rise instant yeast, that only allows for only 1-2 rises), and even performs well in cold-proofed dough (so if you’re planning to overnight your cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator, the SAF Instant Yeast really is ideal). In short, as long as it is fresh, it’s guaranteed to work. 

Are SAF Instant Yeast and active dry yeast are interchangeable? Yes, they should be, though SAF Instant Yeast seems to lend a stronger rise. Just remember, active dry yeast must be proofed first with sugar and water before being added to the dough. I recommend first swapping them at a 1:1 ratio. If you find you aren’t quite getting the rise needed, the next time you make the recipe, increase the amount of active dry yeast by 1/4 teaspoon. 

Wet Ingredients

Canned Coconut Milk (Full Fat)– Gluten-free yeast breads require structure in order to be successful. Canned coconut milk, because it is high in fat, aids in providing that needed structure. While I haven’t tried making this recipe using a substitute, I think hemp milk may possibly work well, as it is also thick and high in fat. 

Vegan Butter– I realize not everyone can use vegan butter, so if you need a substitute, I recommend using olive oil within the cinnamon roll dough, and melted coconut oil for the filling. Ghee, if it’s tolerated, also works well in both the dough and filling (ghee is what I use). 

Eggs– I have not tested this recipe egg-free, but suspect it would do well with a chia egg replacement. 2 tablespoons ground chia meal + 6 tablespoons hot water = 2 chia eggs. 

top down view of baked gluten free cinnamon rolls

Overnight Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls

You can easily enjoy freshly-baked cinnamon rolls in the morning without any a.m. fuss.

  • The night before, make the rolls as directed and place them in the pan to rise. Let them rise for just 30 minutes, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the rolls overnight.
  • In the morning, pull the pan out of the refrigerator and let the rolls warm to room temperature. This can take 1 to 2 hours.
  • Remove the wrap and bake the cinnamon rolls in your preheated oven as directed in the baking instructions.

Freezer Gluten-Free Cinnamon Buns

Once baked, these gluten-free cinnamon rolls freeze beautifully.

  • Let the rolls cool completely, separate them, and individually wrap each roll in plastic wrap.
  • Place the wrapped rolls in an airtight container (for an extra layer of insulation) and freeze. They should keep in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  • When cravings strike, let a roll thaw at room temperature, and then heat it for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave to soften. 

Important Recipe Note

As stated above: you need a mixer that can handle 8 cups of flour to make this gluten-free cinnamon bun recipe. Check your owners manual to be sure. If 8 cups of flour is too much for your mixer, try my original GF cinnamon rolls recipe. It only uses 4 cups of flour! 

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls Recipe: 

clear glass pan filled with baked gluten free cinnamon rolls

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: sixteen 5-inch rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

This gluten-free cinnamon rolls recipe makes big and beautiful traditional style cinnamon rolls. They are exceptionally fluffy, and have the most delicious dairy-free cinnamon swirl. Top your gluten-free cinnamon rolls with a light glaze, or dairy-free frosting, I've provided you with recipes for each below! 

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups millet flour
  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 2 cups tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup psyllium husk powder (NOT whole psyllium husks)
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups warm water (between 105°-115° F)

For the filling:

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer (that can handle 8 cups of flour – see recipe notes), use the paddle attachment to stir together the brown rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, psyllium husk powder, 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar, and sea salt.
  2. Stir in the SAF Instant Yeast.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, canned coconut milk, melted and cooled vegan butter, and vanilla extract.
  4. While mixing on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Now pour in the warm water. Continue to mix on low for about 15 more seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing on medium-high for about 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky and shaggy, but don't let this worry you. As the dough rises, the gluten-free flours, starch, and psyllium husk powder absorb the liquid. The dough transforms, becoming pliable and easy to handle.
  5. Place the dough in a well-oiled large mixing bowl and push the dough down into the bowl with oiled hands or an oiled spatula, so it’s spread out evenly. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Rise for an hour, or until double in size.
  6. Now make your filling. Mix together the organic cane sugar, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  7. Use a large sharp knife to cut the dough evenly in half while it is still in the bowl.
  8. Lightly mist a large work surface with oil or water and then carefully lay down 2 pieces of 20-22” long pieces of plastic wrap horizontal
    and overlapping slightly (the oil or water will keep the plastic wrap sealed to the work surface). Sprinkle the plastic wrap with 1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar.
  9. Place one of the dough portions on the plastic wrap and roll the dough into a 15”x 15” square (the dough should be about half an inch thick).
  10. Brush 2 tablespoons of melted vegan butter out evenly on the dough, leaving 1.5-inches of raw dough along the top edge – the edge furthest from you. This raw edge is where the rolls will seal shut. Now evenly sprinkle on half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  11. Starting at the edge closest to you, gently lift the plastic wrap and use it to carefully roll the dough away from you into a cylinder. While you roll the dough, use your hands to gently squeeze the cylinder to ensure it is rolled tightly. Use the opposite side of the plastic wrap, the side furthest from you, to roll the cylinder back towards you, so the cylinder is sitting in the middle of the plastic wrap with the seam at the bottom. Blunt or pinch the ends of the cylinder closed so filling doesn’t spill out.
  12. Use a 12-inch piece of unflavored dental floss (or thread) and very carefully slide it under the dough to the middle of the cylinder. To make your cut, pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough. Continue to cut the cylinder into 8 equal sized rolls.
  13. Repeat steps 8-12 to finish rolling out and forming the second half of remaining dough (I reuse the same pieces of plastic wrap).
  14. Place the rolls cut side up in two well-greased 9x13” baking pans (8 rolls to each pan); the edges of the rolls should have some space between them to leave room to rise and expand. Cover the baking pans with clean kitchen towels and rise for about 1 hour.
  15. Preheat oven to 375°(F). Bake for 25-32 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are very faintly golden brown.
  16. Now make the glaze or vanilla frosting (see recipes in notes).
  17. Frost the rolls with the glaze or frosting while they are still slightly warm. Consume within 2-3 days.

Notes

This recipe requires a mixer that can handle 8 cups of flour. Check your owners manual prior to making this recipe, otherwise, you could potentially ruin your machine. If 8 cups of flour are too much for your mixer, try my original GF cinnamon rolls recipe. It only uses 4 cups of flour! 

Don’t use additional flour to roll your dough. This dough is very easy to work with and shape. If you do struggle with rolling it out, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and roll the dough out between the layers.

I prefer to bake my cinnamon rolls in glass pans, that way it’s easier to tell when they are finished baking. The underside of the rolls becomes more golden than the tops do. If you do use metal pans, your rolls may bake quicker, as metal conducts heat differently than glass.

Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting Recipe:
1/2 cup palm shortening
1/4 cup vegan butter (or ghee if tolerated)
1 lbs. organic powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons water

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix all of the ingredients on low until just blended.
  2. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then whip on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes (continue to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed), or until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Glaze Recipe:
4 cups organic powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons water

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the organic powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more water, teaspoon by teaspoon, until it reaches the desired consistency.

*Did you make these gluten-free cinnamon buns? Please give it a star rating and leave an honest review below! 

Don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @allergyfreeak and #allergyfreealaska with your gluten-free dairy-free cinnamon roll pics!

pinterest pin showing iced gluten-free cinnamon roll. Text reads "Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls"

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Colleen Fowler

Monday 21st of December 2020

Megan, These are the most delicious cinnamon rolls I have had that are gluten free!! OMG!! I made a few changes but not in the flours. I didn't have vegan butter so used organic coconut oil. I also used coconut sugar for the bread and for the filling I used maple sugar and coconut oil. I also didn't have Instant yeast so used the regular. It made HUGE rolls...rose so well. Thank you so much for this recipe!! I plan to use the dough for base for kuchen. I have had such a hard time finding a dough that had mouth feel of "normal" raised sweet bread! You perfected it!!

Joani Rogers

Thursday 31st of December 2020

So , what if you don’t own a mixer? I only have my hands. What do you suggest?

Mēgan

Monday 21st of December 2020

That's such a high compliment - thank you, Colleen! I'm thrilled you enjoyed them so much!

Onesti

Friday 13th of November 2020

YUM!! I can’t wait to try these! I actually just tried out the original recipe from your cookbook a few weeks ago, using real butter and chia eggs. They were amazing! Every time I make one of your recipes my children say, “This is another Mrs. Ancheta recipe? She is a genius!” I agree.

Mēgan

Monday 16th of November 2020

Awe - your comment totally made my day, Onesti! Thank you so much! And so happy you liked the original gluten-free cinnamon rolls recipe!

Alene

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Could I just cut the recipe in half and use this recipe rather than the other one? And can I use fine ground brown rice flour? I find that easier to eat, as it doesn't taste crunchy. Thank you!

Mēgan

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Hi Alene, I don't see why you couldn't cut the recipe in half?

I do believe fine ground brown rice flour should work fine. :) Megan

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