Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls-2

Hold on to your hats, folks. These gluten free cinnamon rolls are about to change your life. After posting our cinnamon roll cake a few months ago, we received several requests for the cinnamon roll recipe I mentioned. I’ve had this recipe for a few years, but I hesitated sharing it on our site because it is more involved than our typical quick-and-easy gluten free recipes. In fact, I usually only make this once or twice a year because it usually takes a few hours from start to finish. BUT it is soooooo worth it. I once took these to a friend whose husband was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and later she told me they were the best cinnamon rolls she’d ever tasted. She also asked me about 1000 times, “…and they’re really gluten free?!”.  They taste just like a cinnamon roll should taste: gooey, soft and buttery.

This recipe is adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s famous cinnamon rolls. Her recipes never disappoint me and many can be made gluten free by simply substituting an ingredient or two. It took me a few tries to get these cinnamon rolls as soft and beautiful as they should be, so I have included copious notes in the recipe on what you should do for each step. But don’t be intimidated; this recipe is really simple despite the fact that it is a bit time consuming. Also, this recipe makes a huge amount (about 36 rolls), so it is definitely worth the time you put into it. I usually put my cinnamon rolls in 6 disposable pie tins and give them out to friends or hoard them in my freezer for the holidays.

A few tips:

  • For this recipe it is key to use the best quality gluten free flour blend. Not all flour blends are created equal, so we recommend choosing one that has multiple flours (like a mix of corn and rice) and that contains xanthum gum. (We use Auntie’s  and it is the absolute best.)
  • Because the gluten free dough is more delicate than normal cinnamon roll dough, make sure to roll it out relatively thick. If you’re worried about this, test the dough by rolling it toward you a bit before you put the filling on. If the dough sticks to the counter or tears at all, you probably want it to be thicker.
  • I added my own cream cheese icing recipe, but the Pioneer Woman uses a maple icing which looks great too.

So there it is, folks! You will laugh, you will cry, you will eat 16. Enjoy!

Rachel

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gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Serves 36

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 packages)
  • 8 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (we use Auntie's)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (heaping)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (scant)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar

Icing

  • 8oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2lb powdered sugar

Note

This recipe makes about 36 rolls, which I usually place in 6 disposable pie tins so I can easily give them away to friends or store them in the freezer to take out later!

Directions

Rolls
Step 1
For the dough, heat milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is warm and frothy. (Make sure not to let it boil.) Set aside and let cool to lukewarm.
Step 2
Sprinkle yeast on top of the lukewarm mixture and allow to sit for 1 minute. Add 8 cups of the flour and mix until just combined. Set aside and let rise for 1 hour.
Step 3
After the dough has risen, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of flour and stir until just combined. (At this point you can store the dough in the fridge for up to three days before proceeding)
Step 4
Split the dough in half and place the first half on a well-floured surface (enough flour is key, so don't be afraid of using too much!). Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 24 x 10 inches. Be careful not to roll the dough too thin or it will tear when you try to roll it. I try to roll mine about 1/2 inch thick.
Step 5
Pour about 3/4 of a cup melted butter onto the dough and spread evenly with your fingers. Sprinkle 1 cup of the sugar and 1/8 cup of cinnamon over though evenly.
Step 6
Starting at the end farthest from you, roll the dough toward you. Make sure to go slow and to roll as tight as you can. Cut this "log" into 1 1/2 inch slices, and place each slice in a baking pan that has been greased with melted butter. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough.
Step 7
Preheat oven to 375 F and allow the rolls to rise for at least 20 more minutes. Bake for 13-15 minutes. The rolls will be just barely golden brown on the top when ready.
Icing
Step 8
For the icing, blend the cream cheese and milk until smooth. Then, add vanilla and powdered sugar and blend until smooth. Pour over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. (The frosting should basically smother the rolls and gather at the bottom of the pan. Trust me, it is delicious.) You can freeze these rolls and reheat them in the oven (at 250 F for 15-20 minutes) or individually in the microwave later.

 

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49 Comments

  1. Stacy · November 5, 2013 Reply

    Yay!! I always make the Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Buns to give away to our neighbours at Christmas, my husband had said that it is worth cheating in order to have one this year – now I can make gluten free ones (hopefully!)!!

    • Rachel · November 5, 2013 Reply

      You will love them!! I give them away every year too, and so far no one has suspected they are gluten free! I always tell people after they tell me how good they are, and they are usually shocked!

  2. Laura · November 6, 2013 Reply

    When do you freeze them? After you put icing on them or before? Do you go ahead and bake them in the 6 pie tins? I am very excited to make these this weekend!

    • Rachel · November 7, 2013 Reply

      Great questions! I bake them directly in the 6 pie tins, then I add frosting, then I cover them with foil and put them in the freezer (frosting and all). You will love them!

  3. Chaney · December 22, 2013 Reply

    I was just wondering if you think I can do all the way up to the last rising the night before, then take them out to rise and bake that morning. Or do you think I would be better off baking them all the way and freezing? Planning on having these Christmas morning, but don’t want to do a lot of work that morning. Thanks!

    • Rachel · December 24, 2013 Reply

      I’m not positive because I’ve never tried it, but you could at least put the dough in the fridge before you roll it out and put the filling in. That would keep fine till morning, then you could roll, fill and bake from there. Hope that helps!

  4. Pame · December 28, 2013 Reply

    Hi Girls!

    This is Pame in Houston – I gave you the Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe. I was going to try the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe this year and I just read this – how did you have to adapt the recipe?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel · January 4, 2014 Reply

      Hi Pame!

      Basically after a lot of trial and error, I reduced the dry ingredients, and I learned you have to handle the dough differently. Both of those changes are outlined in our recipe!

      Rachel

  5. Stacey · January 19, 2014 Reply

    Can these be made dairy free.,,,rice milk in place or the milk? I am fairly sure the butter can be replaced withou any problem.

  6. BJMarley · January 19, 2014 Reply

    Has anyone tried making this recipe and adapting it to be dairy-free? I will try it as it is, but my daughter can’t have dairy or gluten.

  7. Kristy · April 7, 2014 Reply

    I tried to use coconut milk for this recipe & I have a disaster on my hands. Is it because I used coconut milk???

    • Rachel · April 8, 2014 Reply

      Definitely because you used coconut milk. This recipe needs regular milk for sure…it’s one of the main ingredients that gives it the cinnamon roll texture.

    • Lyndi · April 15, 2016 Reply

      I think I would try replace it with almond milk. Usually the closest to regular milk. Or some people can have goats milk if they can’t have cow milk.

  8. Carrie · April 11, 2014 Reply

    Would it be fine to half the recipe? any experience with? I know sometimes with baking halving is discouraged!

  9. Roberta Oden · April 19, 2014 Reply

    Made these dairy free today with unsweetened almond milk. Used earth balance in the Pioneer Woman frosting recipe. They turned out awesome. The dough was too sticky at first – we ended up adding an additional cup all in all. Beautiful dough. Nicely done. Thanks!

  10. marisol · October 22, 2014 Reply

    Buenísima receta.Gracias.

  11. Holly · October 30, 2014 Reply

    Is the powdered sugar measurement in this recipe correct? It says 2 lbs.

  12. Danielle · November 8, 2014 Reply

    Does anyone know if I can make the dough using my bread maker instead of mixing it by hand. My non-GF recipe is made this way, so I was wondering if it would work for this one too? After it’s done rising in the bread maker, I take the dough out and proceed by hand. Thoughts? Thanks!

  13. Mindi · November 16, 2014 Reply

    I just made the dough – huge FAIL!!! It was crumbly so it wouldn’t roll up.. any thoughts??

    • Rachel · January 30, 2015 Reply

      What flour blend did you use? It’s super important to use a high quality blend in this recipe, if not it will definitely be crumbly!

  14. Cathy · December 13, 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much! These just came out of the oven and they are amazing! I halved the recipe so I could do a practice run for Christmas morning and they turned out perfect. All the Celiacs in our family are in for an extra magical Christmas thanks to you :)

  15. Kim Rapp · December 21, 2014 Reply

    This didn’t work for me. The dough never rose, and it was way too salty. It seems like 1 Tablespoon of salt is a lot. Any suggestions?

    • Rachel · January 30, 2015 Reply

      Hmmmmm…I haven’t run into either of these issues! If your dough isn’t rising, perhaps it’s too cold when you add the yeast? You still want the mixture to be somewhat warm before you add it. Also, sometimes I use a warm, damp towel on top of the bowl which seems to help.

  16. lovetocook · December 21, 2014 Reply

    Went online to get pioneer woman’s cinnamon roll recipe so I could convert it to gluten free and came across your recipe. Thanks for doing the work! Just a side note – when I make gluten free cinnamon rolls I flour a piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out on that. Then I use the parchment paper to help roll up the cinnamon rolls. Works great!

  17. Suzanne · December 26, 2014 Reply

    The dough was a messy, sticky and wet like batter, so the rolls looked awful; when cooked they were dry and sandy, which is odd considering how gooey it was. Will not use this recipe again, unfortunately.

    • Rachel · January 30, 2015 Reply

      Hi Suzanne! What kind of flour blend did you use? I find that’s the key to this recipe. If you’re confident with that, my next suggestion is to make sure to roll them out thick and use plenty of flour on your board so they’re workable. If they’re too thin, the cook time will be too long and they will certainly turn out dry. I’ve noticed that gluten free baked goods get sandy SO easily, even if they are just slightly overcooked.

  18. Molly · December 31, 2014 Reply

    Oh my goodness! I have had this pinned for awhile now and soooo wish I would have read it a week ago! I made the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls for Chirstmas using gluten free flour. I had the worst time rolling them without a HUGE mess. I’m looking forward to trying again using your helpful notes! Thanks :)

  19. Laurie · January 7, 2015 Reply

    I’m confused on one thing. Do you mix this in a standing mixer? Spoon? Hand held mixer? I can picture it up until the point where you add 8 cups of flour to the milk mixture. Am I supposed to use a sauce pan big enough for all that, or do I add the milk mixture to a mixing bowl with the flour? Sorry, just so excited about this, I wanted to know your exact method. :) If you could email me that would be wonderful. But I’ll check back here and see if you’ve answered. Thanks so much for your recipes!! thinkpink09@yahoo.com

    Thanks!
    Laurie

    • Rachel · January 30, 2015 Reply

      Great question! I think you could do it either way, but I generally poor the mixture from the saucepan into my stand mixer THEN add the flour. Hope that helps!

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  21. Jenna · January 28, 2015 Reply

    I have a gluten free flour blend I make myself that doesn’t have xanthum gum. Do you know how much I should add to the 8 1/2 cups so it will be the right ratio?

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  23. Madison · March 16, 2015 Reply

    What is the least amount time you have to leave the dough in the fridgerator?

  24. Brooke · September 10, 2015 Reply

    I’m so excited to make these, I have “better batter” flour I like, but at nearly $6 a lb. I don’t want to waste it. Has anyone tried it with that blend?

  25. Jamie · March 28, 2016 Reply

    I can’t wait to perfect these! I like to use my own DIY all purpose flours and am excited to find the right one for some amazing cinnamon rolls! So far I’ve rolled one batch out too thin (they were amazing but too small), and the other was just a crumbly mess (that’s what I get for trying too hard). Third time’s a charm, right? 😀

  26. Shannon · May 21, 2016 Reply

    I just tried this recipe…I’ve used about 9 cups of flour now and the dough is still more cookie dough than bread dough like…and I’m out of flour…FAIL! I used what is supposedly a quality gluten free flour blend, so I’m not convinced by this supposedly amazing recipe…

  27. Rachel · May 29, 2016 Reply

    Hey!
    I eas trying to do this for mother’s day… but the milk/sugr/oil mixture wasn’t enough at all for all that flour /:

  28. Anonymous · June 6, 2016 Reply

    Can goats milk or soy or almond milk be used for this recipe? Also, what about dairy free butter?

  29. Jamie · June 9, 2016 Reply

    Can I use butter or coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil?

  30. Menda · October 20, 2016 Reply

    Any thoughts about making dough in the bread maker?

  31. Heather · November 8, 2016 Reply

    Do you use a specific flour blend or make your own? I have Robin Hood gf blend and bob redmil 1 on 1 blend. Do you think either of those will work?

  32. EmCor · December 16, 2016 Reply

    I made these with Pillsbury All Purpose Gluten-free Flour, and they turned out fabulous! You really wouldn’t know they are gluten free unless you’re told. Thank you!

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