As with many things gluten free, so many say “This is the best recipe I have tried!” or “tastes just like the original”. It is frustrating to say the least. I have tried close to a dozen different cinnamon bun recipes and this is the best one I have tried by far.
I then made this recipe a good 5+ times. I have altered it a little each time. I think that it is the best it is going to get at this point.
Several tips I have, do not lament if you think, there is no way this recipe is going to work, it is so loose. The first time I actually made it I actually made a different batch after because I thought there is no way this is turning out. However when it came out of the oven I was pleasantly surprised! It is quite soft and as you can see in the photo below, the sides collapse down a bit as it is so soft. This moisture helps the cinnamon buns stay fluffy after they are baked. Most gluten free cinnamon rolls are quite dry, so this is pleasant change of pace.
Use the plastic wrap to help roll it, otherwise it won’t turn out as nice spirals. In addition, don’t roll the dough too thin. I did this once and found it was more like a cinnamon spiral cake. It baked together rather than having distinct layers that you can pull apart, which is the best part of cinnamon buns! Lastly, enjoy!
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
These light, fluffy gluten free cinnamon rolls, can be prepared the night before.
2/3 C milk/milk alternative (I use coconut milk)
1 Tbsp butter/vegan butter (I use miyokos) (1)
1 packet (7g) yeast (2)
1/4 C granulated cane sugar
1/2 C potato starch
1/2 C brown rice flour
1/4 C fine ground almond flour
1/4 C tapioca starch plus more for flouring surface
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 T psyllium husk fibre (or 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum) (3)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder (or 3/4 tsp baking soda + 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar) (4)
1/2 tsp salt (5)
1 egg/flax egg – 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal, 2 Tbsp warm water (6)
1/4 C oil (olive oil, coconut oil etc)
1/2 tsp vanilla (7)
1/3 C butter/vegan butter softened (1)
1/2 C brown sugar/coconut palm sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 T butter/vegan butter (1)
1 C powdered sugar (8)
1/2 tsp vanilla (7)
1 1/2 Tbsp hot water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & lightly flour a pie plate (9)
- Make flax egg, if using. Mix 1 Tbsp flax seed meal with 2 Tbsp warm water, sit for 5 min.
- Combine yeast & sugar in a mixer bowl.
- Microwave/heat milk and 1 Tbsp butter to approximately 110-115 degrees. Whisk into yeast mixture and set aside to proof.
- In a small bowl whisk together potato starch, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, almond flour, baking soda, psyllium husk fibre (or xanthan gum), baking powder (or baking soda if using) and salt.
- Once yeast is proofed add in egg, oil, and vanilla (and apple cider vinegar if using). Mix for a moment, begin slowly adding in the flour mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Beating long enough is essential, GF flours are “thirsty”, the dough will thicken & lose it’s stickiness as you beat it. Note, it will still be quite wet and loose.
- Cover your surface with plastic wrap, coating lightly with tapioca starch. Place dough in center, sprinkling with more tapioca starch and another sheet of plastic wrap. Roll out to approximately 13″ x 10″. Carefully peel off the top layer of plastic wrap.
- Use a knife or spatula to gently spread the softened butter over the dough evenly, leaving 1/2″ space around the edges.
- In a small bowl combine brown sugar & cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the dough.
- Roll the dough: start on the shorter sides, gently roll your dough into a log form using the plastic to “lift & roll” the dough. Try to make it as tight as possible, however don’t try to unroll it and retry, it is too sticky for that.
- Sprinkle lightly with tapioca starch again. Dip a sharp knife into tapioca starch & cut into 8 pieces.
- Place the rolls, cut side down, in a prepared pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap and tea towel, placing in a warm spot, rising for 15 minutes. (10)
- Bake 22-27 minutes until tops are golden brown
- In a mixing bowl beat ingredients in a bowl. I use a hand crank whisk.
- Spread on top of cinnamon rolls 15-30 minutes after they are out of the oven. Enjoy
(1) Butter: Dairy & Corn Allergy – Depending on allergies use whatever butter you need. There are several options: MELT, Earth Balance, Miyoko’s, coconut oil, goat butter). Beware of salt in butter if corn allergic (look for sea salt/unsalted). Many of vegan butter have corn derivatives.
(2) Yeast: Corn allergy – avoid all yeast that contains any additives, most contain ascorbic acid, which is derived from corn. Red Star Active Dry Yeast is the only one that is free of any additives, it has to be the pack of 3 single packages.
(3) Xanthan Gum: Corn Allergy – xanthan gum is iffy with corn allergies due to how they make it. We made the switch to psyllium husk fibre in our house.
(4) Baking Powder: Corn & Grape Allergy – Baking powder is not corn free. Find corn-free if need be. Cream of tartar is made from grapes, if you have a grape allergy; you just need 1/4 of powder for baking soda and remainder in apple cider vinegar
(5) Salt: Corn Allergy – Many that are allergic to corn are sensitive to iodized salt as corn is used in the processing. Sea salt is better, but some are still quite sensitive.
(6) Egg Replacer: Corn allergy – I have found that many of the egg replacers out there use corn starch, so beware which one you buy. Bob’s Red Mill works as a great replacer, however it has a lot of cross contamination and isn’t recommended at all with corn allergies. You could also use a flax egg as an alternative.
(7) Vanilla: Corn Allergy – Vanilla is made with alcohol, often corn, you may need to make your own
(8) Powdered sugar: Corn Allergy – Powdered sugar/icing sugar contains cornstarch to prevent clumping. Wholesome Organic Icing Sugar uses tapioca starch instead. This is an ok option for corn lite, but trial carefully as there is a lot of cross contamination. It is possible to make your own. This is what we do, it is just time consuming.
(9) Grease: Corn & Soy Allergy – PAM is full of contaminated corn oils and soy oil. I use safe oil & grease with my hands or silicone brush. You can buy oil mister bottles and fill with your own safe oil as well.
(10) Night before preparation: Once the rolls are in the pie plate, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. In the morning set out at least 25 minutes before baking.