Start your day with these bakery-quality gluten free cinnamon rolls! They’re an extra fluffy, cinnamon sugar-filled, and cream cheese-frosted treat you can prep the night before, then bake the next day.
I consider myself a cinnamon roll expert, having tried almost every possible cinnamon roll from every bakery chain, pastry shop, or bakehouse worldwide.
Now, I’ve also tried plenty of gluten free baked goods (including cinnamon rolls!) and there was always something missing. I’m not sure if it was in the preparation or the flour mix used, but they just weren’t as good as I’d expected.
Luckily, my homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls recipe ticks all the boxes and honestly rivals any of the ones using the standard flour!
Table of Contents
The best gluten free cinnamon rolls
This gluten free cinnamon rolls recipe offers you the best of both worlds: bakery-worthy cinnamon rolls but without any of the gluten! The gluten free fermented dough is easy to work with and leaves you with soft and tender rolls bursting with cinnamon sugar goodness every single time.
- They are soft, fluffy, and sweet. Cinnamon buns, whether low carb or made in a mug, are known for being sweet, fluffy, warm, and soft. You get all of that and more in this recipe while still skipping out on the gluten.
- Seriously bakery-quality buns. Like my vegan version of these, the recipe is made from an instant yeast fermented dough. The dough is left to proof twice, leaving you with beautifully risen and extra fluffy cinnamon buns.
- The best gluten free breakfast. Besides some monkey bread, now you can treat yourself or your gluten free guests to a fluffy cinnamon bun first thing in the morning. It’s the best way to start your day!
How to make gluten free cinnamon rolls
Try not to be intimidated by this recipe, even though it calls for yeast, kneading, and proofing. A little patience and practice are all you need! These step-by-step instructions will walk you through it.
Also, remember: for the best results, make sure your milk, eggs, cream, and butter are at room temperature before you get started.
- Sugar. To help bloom the yeast.
- Milk. The milk is warmed to activate the yeast.
- Instant yeast. This is my yeast of choice because it’s easy to use and activates quicker than active dry yeast.
- Butter. For fat, flavor, and moisture.
- Eggs. To bind the dough.
- All purpose gluten free flour. I always have success with King Arthur gluten free flour but most other 1:1 gluten free flour blends will work well.
- Heavy cream. The assembled cinnamon rolls are brushed with cream before baking to help them turn golden.
Cinnamon sugar filling:
- Butter. Melted.
- Brown sugar. You can use granulated white sugar instead, or the granulated sweetener of your choice, like my keto brown sugar.
- Cinnamon. Because they wouldn’t be cinnamon rolls without the cinnamon!
- Vanilla extract. For flavor and balance.
Cream cheese frosting:
- Cream cheese. Remember to soften it beforehand by either letting it sit on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes or by zapping it in the microwave in 10-second increments.
- Butter. Use unsalted butter. If all you have is salted butter, omit the extra salt.
- Powdered sugar. To sweeten the cream cheese frosting. Use my keto powdered sugar if you’re looking for a low carb version.
- Salt. For flavor.
Step 1 – Activate the yeast
Whisk the sugar, warmed milk, and yeast in a bowl. Set it aside until the mixture is foamy.
Step 2 – Make the dough
Beat the eggs and melted butter into the yeast mixture until smooth. Next, fold in ½ cup of flour at a time.
Step 3 – Knead the dough, then let it rise
Knead the dough in the bowl until it’s tacky and soft. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then place it in a warm spot to rise.
Step 4 – Make the cinnamon sugar filling
Stir the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl.
Step 5 – Roll out the dough
Transfer the now-risen dough to a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough.
Step 6 – Shape the cinnamon rolls
Starting on the long side of the dough, roll it into a firm log. Cut the log into 8 rolls, then arrange them in a greased baking dish.
Step 7 – Rest, then bake
Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with heavy cream, then let them rest while the oven preheats. Afterward, transfer the cinnamon rolls to the oven and bake until golden.
Step 8 – Make the frosting
Beat the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and salt together until you have a creamy and smooth frosting.
Step 9 – Decorate, then serve
Once the baked cinnamon rolls are completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting all over the tops. Enjoy!
- Did your yeast mixture not foam up? This means that the yeast is dead and if you continue, the cinnamon rolls will not rise. It’s best to start over with fresh yeast.
- Resist the urge to add more flour to the dough, even if it feels sticky! The gluten free dough is naturally softer than traditional dough but will be easier to work with after a little more kneading.
- For the best results, measure all of your ingredients by volume with a kitchen scale.
- Let the rolls cool completely before adding the frosting on top. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a melted, gooey mess.
- Take them up a notch by decorating the rolls with chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or sprinkles after they’re frosted.
To store: The rolls are best when they’re eaten the day they’re made. However, if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze: Keep the baked cinnamon buns in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
Frequently Asked Questions
Once the rolls are cut and in the baking dish, cover the dish with plastic and leave it in the fridge overnight. Set them on the kitchen counter the next morning until they come down to room temperature. Bake as normal, then enjoy!
First of all, patience is key when waiting for the dough to rise! My dough took about 1 hour when it was left to rise in a warm spot, but every environment is different and will take various amounts of time. If your kitchen is cold, place the covered bowl with the dough in a preheated, then turned off oven to help it rise faster.
Yes, you can make gluten-free cinnamon rolls without yeast by using baking powder instead. However, the texture may be different from traditional yeast-based cinnamon rolls.
Adding a bit of moisture to the filling can help prevent cinnamon rolls from becoming dry. You can use melted butter, honey, or maple syrup instead of dry sugar and cinnamon. Also, avoid over-baking the rolls as they continue to firm up slightly while cooling down.
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
- Start by making the dough. Combine sugar, warmed milk, and yeast in a large bowl. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Once the yeast is activated, add eggs and melted butter and beat until smooth. Gradually fold in the flour, ½ cup at a time.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes. It will be tacky and soft but do not add more flour, as gluten free flour dough is softer than traditional dough. Cover the dough with a clean wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour in a warm spot.
- Make the filling by combining the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until creamy.
- Dust a kitchen counter or flat surface with gluten free flour. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
- Spread the filling over the dough. Roll the dough, starting from the longer side, into a firm log. Cut the dough into 8 large or 10 smaller pieces and arrange the rolls into a butter-greased baking dish.
- Brush the rolls with heavy cream and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
- Make the cream cheese frosting by beating together butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and salt in a bowl until smooth.
- Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled to room temperature, spread the frosting on top.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.