The Ultimate Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls (SO soft)

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This recipe will yield the softest, yummiest cinnamon rolls with the quintessential cinnamon sugar goodness, and no one will ever think they are GLUTEN FREE! They are perfect for special occasions, like Christmas morning, or a slow paced Saturday morning. I have also included a “make-ahead” option so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, unless you want to! Darn I say, this is the BEST gluten free cinnamon rolls you will ever make and one the whole family will love!

Oh man, oh man how I have baked and tested and trialed and errored my fair share of gluten free cinnamon roll recipes! And my oven has produced everything from biscuit-like to gooey to crumbly cinnamon rolls. For Christmas morning this last year, I finally made a batch that made the heavens sing! But I like to complicate things (or better worded – I like to challenge myself) and I wanted to make cinnamon rolls with that quintessential soft texture WITHOUT using rice flour OR xanthan gum. Quite the challenge indeed! 

WHY no rice flour or xanthan gum?

I didn’t want to use rice flour due to the research and development on high arsenic levels found in rice. You can lower these levels by buying rice flour/rice from specific parts of the US (California) and by washing thoroughly. So if I do use rice flour, I make sure it is organic and grown in California. But I liked having another option to baking gluten free bread without rice flour altogether. Additionally, rice flour lacks high nutritional value, so I wanted to replace it with flours that added protein, vitamins and minerals into the bread.

As far as xanthan gum, there is quite a bit of research out there regarding its negative effects. It isn’t naturally occurring, and it can be difficult for individuals to digest. There are a loot of other findings still being researched, so again, I wanted to have options that didn’t depend on xanthan gum. This is the bread flour blend I use for all my yeast breads (and sourdough – but I’ll cover that in another post) – cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, sandwich bread (recipe below), focaccia bread, artisan loaves, etc. I love that it is universal like all-purpose but perfectly tailored for yeast bread which requires a different ratio of starches. 

Why this Recipe Works?

The integration of psyllium husk into gluten free bread baking started with America’s Test Kitchen, when the science of gluten free baking was really studied. Now you will see this ingredient used in recipes everywhere! My mom had purchased the first America’s Test Kitchen gluten free cookbook for me, the summer after I graduated college. I had moved back home to save money while teaching and that season holds so many sweet memories – many revolving around cooking in the kitchen. I had always loved cooking and baking, but when diagnosed with celiac disease, the options were limited and horrible. This first cookbook of America’s Test Kitchen really opened that love for me again. 

The other piece to the puzzle is using a bread flour. For best results when baking gluten free yeast breads (and sourdough – but that will be covered in another blog post), it all starts with a good gluten free bread flour blend. A lot of recipes use an all-purpose gluten free flour blend, but I have found to really develop a texture of bread that hits home, the ratios of starches needs to be different than that of an all purpose blend. This blend is a combination of tapioca starch/flour, ivory teff flour, sorghum flour and millet flour. 

Okay onto the reason we are here – THE ULTIMATE GLUTEN-FREE CINNAMON ROLLS! 

Processed with VSCO with q3 preset

Ingredients Needed:

Dough

  • 320 grams gluten free bread flour blend (recipe HERE)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15 grams psyllium husk
  • 180 grams warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (you could use instant yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 100 grams warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoons oil – I use avocado oil 

Filling

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. To begin, combine the psyllium husk and warm water and let it set for 5 minutes until it thickens. 
  2. While the gel is forming, combine the sugar, milk (warmed to 115 degrees) and yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can activate. 
  3. In a stand mixer, using the paddle with side scrappers, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the yeast mixture, followed by the psyllium husk gel. Then add the egg and the oil. 
  4. Set the mixer to medium speed and let it work the dough for 5 minutes. This really improves the texture of the dough once baked, ensuring a soft cinnamon roll dough texture. 
  5. Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. TIP: I have also used half brown sugar and half coconut sugar and it was equally delicious! 
  6. When the dough is finished, flour your work surface. The dough will be sticky so its easiest to work the dough on a floured surface and with floured hands. I never use a rolling pin, but you can. I just use my hands to flatten the dough and shape it into a 12″x10″ rectangle. 
  7. Make sure the butter is room temperature and very easy to smooth. You are going to dollop the butter on top of the dough rectangle. Using a slanted spatula, spread the butter in an even layer, completely covering the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter. 
  8. Starting on the short side of the rectangle, begin rolling the dough. Once you have made it to the other end, creating a log. Use a VERY sharp knife to section the dough into 8 equal sections. When cutting into the log, first cut in half. Then in halves again, and then again, to create 8 equal sections.
  9. Butter a pie pan or baking dish, then carefully transfer the cinnamon rolls to the pan. The dough will need to rise for an hour and a half in a warm place. I always place my dough in the oven with the oven light on and covered with a damp dish cloth. 
  10. Once it has completed the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The dough will continue to rise as it bakes!
  11. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the dough (not the sugar mixture) reaches 200 degrees. 
  12. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting by combining the butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and whisk the ingredients together until creamy. Sometimes if I feel the mixture is too thick, I will add a bit of heavy cream. I’ve also included a frosting recipe that doesn’t include cream cheese (my husband prefers this one!). In a stand mixer combine 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 stick of butter, softened. Using a paddle, beat the mixture for one minute until creamy. To the mixture, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium for 4-5 minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting!
the ultimate gluten free cinnamon rolls

Tips and Tricks:

  • When baking, it is always best when ingredients are room temperature.
  • I have not tried this recipe with other flour blends. For best results, use my bread flour blend, which you can find here!
  • It is VERY helpful to have a kitchen scale for the gram measurements – it makes all the difference! 
  • If you are looking for lower glycemic, you can substitute the brown sugar with coconut sugar, or do half and half. 
  • Don’t like the cream cheese icing?You can make a powdered sugar frosting with butter, milk and powdered sugar!
    • In a stand mixer combine 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 stick of butter, softened. Using a paddle, beat the mixture for one minute until creamy.
    • To the mixture, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium for 4-5 minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting!

Why You Will Love This Recipe:

  • It is EASY!
  • It truly replicates regular cinnamon rolls made with wheat flour – so soft! 
  • The dough is easy to work with!
  • You can make it ahead of time! 

Make-Ahead/Overnight Option:

  • Option 1 is to prepare the cinnamon rolls to the step previous to the dough rise/rising. Once you have prepared the dough, rolled it out, added the filling and created the rolls, place them in the pie pan and cover with plastic wrap. In the morning, take them out of the refrigerator and let them rise for 2 hours in a warm spot, covered with a damp dish cloth. When they have doubled in size-ish (they will continue to rise in the oven), you are ready to bake! 
  • Option 2 is to prepare the dough the night before so that in the morning you are simply rolling out the dough, letting it rise, then baking. To do so, store the dough in an airtight container overnight. 

Storage:

Of course these darlings are best when eaten warm and fresh from the oven! But because of the bread flour and the psyllium husk, they miraculously stay soft and fluffy! They can be storage in an airtight container for up to 2 days. It’s best to warm them slightly in the microwave before enjoying. 

Check out the recipe card below! Happy baking!

Raissa

the ultimate gluten free cinnamon rolls

The Ultimate Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Recipe

This recipe will yield the softest, yummiest cinnamon rolls with the quintessential cinnamon sugar goodness, and no one will ever think they are GLUTEN FREE! They are perfect for special occasions, like Christmas morning, or a slow paced Saturday morning.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:25 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Rise Time:1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Dough

  • 320 grams gluten free bread flour blend recipe HERE
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15 grams psyllium husk
  • 180 grams warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast you could use instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 100 grams warm milk
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons oil – I use avocado oil

Filling

  • 8 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Instructions

  • To begin, combine the psyllium husk and warm water and let it set for 5 minutes until it thickens.
  • While the gel is forming, combine the sugar, milk (warmed to 115 degrees) and yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can activate.
  • In a stand mixer, using the paddle with side scrappers, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the yeast mixture, followed by the psyllium husk gel. Then add the egg and the oil.
  • Set the mixer to medium speed and let it work the dough for 5 minutes. This really improves the texture of the dough once baked, ensuring a soft cinnamon roll dough texture.
  • Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. TIP: I have also used half brown sugar and half coconut sugar and it was equally delicious!
  • When the dough is finished, flour your work surface. The dough will be sticky so its easiest to work the dough on a floured surface and with floured hands. I never use a rolling pin, but you can. I just use my hands to flatten the dough and shape it into a 12″x10″ rectangle.
  • Make sure the butter is room temperature and very easy to smooth. You are going to dollop the butter on top of the dough rectangle. Using a slanted spatula, spread the butter in an even layer, completely covering the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.
  • Starting on the short side of the rectangle, begin rolling the dough. Once you have made it to the other end, creating a log. Use a VERY sharp knife to section the dough into 8 equal sections. When cutting into the log, first cut in half. Then in halves again, and then again, to create 8 equal sections.
  • Butter a pie pan or baking dish, then carefully transfer the cinnamon rolls to the pan. The dough will need to rise for an hour and a half in a warm place. I always place my dough in the oven with the oven light on and covered with a damp dish cloth.
  • Once it has completed the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The dough will continue to rise as it bakes!
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the dough (not the sugar mixture) reaches 200 degrees.
  • While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting by combining the butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and whisk the ingredients together until creamy. Sometimes if I feel the mixture is too thick, I will add a bit of heavy cream. I've also included a frosting recipe that doesn't include cream cheese (my husband prefers this one!). In a stand mixer combine 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 stick of butter, softened. Using a paddle, beat the mixture for one minute until creamy.To the mixture, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium for 4-5 minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting!
Servings: 8

This recipe will yield the softest, yummiest cinnamon rolls with the quintessential cinnamon sugar goodness, and no one will ever think they are GLUTEN FREE! They are perfect for special occasions, like Christmas morning, or a slow paced Saturday morning. I have also included a “make-ahead” option so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, unless you want to! Darn I say, this is the BEST gluten free cinnamon rolls you will ever make!

Oh man, oh man how I have baked and tested and trialed and errored my fair share of gluten free cinnamon roll recipes! And my oven has produced everything from biscuit-like to gooey to crumbly cinnamon rolls. For Christmas morning this last year, I finally made a batch that made the heavens sing! But I like to complicate things (or better worded – I like to challenge myself) and I wanted to make cinnamon rolls with that quintessential soft texture WITHOUT using rice flour OR xanthan gum. Quite the challenge indeed! 

Tips and Tricks:

  • When baking, it is always best when ingredients are room temperature.
  • I have not tried this recipe with other flour blends. For best results, use my bread flour blend, which you can find here!
  • If you are looking for lower glycemic, you can substitute the brown sugar with coconut sugar, or do half and half. 
  • Don’t like the cream cheese icing?You can make a powdered sugar frosting with butter, milk and powdered sugar!
    • In a stand mixer combine 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 stick of butter, softened. Using a paddle, beat the mixture for one minute until creamy.
    • To the mixture, add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium for 4-5 minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting!

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