gluten free cinnamon rolls
My family loves cinnamon rolls. Growing up, we would go out to breakfast most Saturdays and my sister’s favorite thing to indulge in was a big gooey cinnamon roll smothered in frosting. But a few years ago she was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and put on a strict gluten-free diet. Sadly, she was no longer able to eat her favorite cinnamon rolls.
For the past few years, I’ve experimented with different recipes, trying to find a delicious cinnamon roll recipe that is also gluten-free. Through trial and error, I have finally perfected this one! They are fluffy and gooey, just the way she likes. And they don’t even taste gluten-free!
1 cup milk, or alt-milk (almond, oat, macadamia nut milk) warmed to 110°-115°
2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, melted & cooled to touch, 110°-115°
2 eggs, whisked
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 ½ cups of 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour (like Bob’s Red Mill or Namaste)
1 ½ tsp xantham gum (only if four doesn’t already contain it)
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream, or half and half
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp cinnamon
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Dash of vanilla extract
Cream Cheese frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
6 tbsp. butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Prep and Bake time: 2 hours
- Add sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and pour warm milk over it; stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over it and set aside for about 5 minutes, until it is bubbly or frothy (you will see a film form on top of the mixture).
- Add melted butter, warm to the touch but not hot, to the yeast mixture. Stir in whisked eggs and apple cider vinegar. Stir in gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt and xantham gum (if needed). Attach bread hook to mixer and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and is soft. It should not feel dry, but a bit sticky.
- Lightly oil or butter a large mixing bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour. The dough should be a bit puffier and leave an indentation when poked. It will not double in size.
- Meanwhile, make the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with softened butter or cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to about 12×18 inches and lay it on the counter. Gently scrape the dough out of the bowl onto parchment paper. Shape and roll it out to about 12×16 inches.
- Evenly spread the cinnamon filling onto the dough, leaving ½ inch bare at one end of the 12” inch side. Starting at the other end of the 12” side, use the parchment to fold over the first inch or so of the dough. Continue tightly rolling the dough to the other end, finishing with the ½ inch end with no filling.
- Cut the roll into 8 or 12 equal pieces. Starting in the middle, cut the roll in half; cut each of those halves into half; and continue to do this until entire roll is cut. Place evenly into baking dish. Pour the cup of heavy cream (or half and half) evenly over the rolls.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. They will not puff up like gluten cinnamon rolls, but they will become a bit fuller and should be golden brown. Do not overbake! Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) add cream cheese and butter; beat until completely combined—smooth with no lumps. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt; beat on medium speed until combined.
- Drop a good spoonful of frosting on each roll and swirl it around to cover the top. If you prefer a more frosted look, thin the frosting with an extra dash of cream; spoon frosting into a ziplock bag. Snip the corner of the bag (just a bit) and squeeze out frosting over the rolls. Enjoy!