Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for Easter breakfast, Christmas brunch, or anytime you'd like a sweet treat! A soft, fluffy roll is layered with cinnamon, butter, and coconut sugar. Cream cheese frosting spread over the top takes it to a whole new level!
Keeping sugar in check is a challenge, but I've managed to keep this gluten free cinnamon rolls recipe free from refined sugars. There's a little honey in the dough and icing. Coconut sugar is rolled into the layers for a beautiful caramel-like sweetness!
- Potato Starch and Potato Flour are very different things, so pay attention to the amounts for each one.
- Tapioca Flour and Tapioca Starch are interchangeable.
- Coconut Sugar can be replaced with raw sugar or brown sugar, but I like the taste that coconut sugar adds.
Good gluten free dough is softer than wheat dough. So, how do you get a dough that you can roll out, spread with butter, roll up, and slice without having dry, hard buns? After much trial and error, I believe I've reached a happy medium. This is a roll that looks like a cinnamon bun with the iconic swirls of sugar and cinnamon, and yet it's light and fluffy - a true pleasure to eat! Let me show you how to do it!
Dissolve some honey in warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let that sit for a few minutes.
Whisk flours and other dry ingredients together.
Beat eggs and a little vinegar into the yeast mixture for a minute or two until it becomes foamy.
Add the flour mixture to the liquid and beat this batter for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the oil and beat some more until everything is very smoothly blended.
Spread out the dough onto a well-oiled sheet of parchment paper into a rectangular shape.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over it. Then, drizzle on melted butter.
Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log shape.
Cut across the log with dental floss to make 12 rolls.
Place the rolls, just barely touching, into a parchment-lined pan.
Cover with an oiled sheet of plastic, and leave this in a warm place to rise until about 50% larger (45 minutes to an hour).
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Let the baked rolls cool on a wire cooking rack for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting. Spread it over the cinnamon buns and enjoy them warm!
Recipe Tips and FAQ's
Gluten free flours take longer to absorb moisture than wheat flour does, so your dough will be sticky and moist, more of a batter, as you work with it. This isn't really a problem, because it doesn't need to be kneaded anyway.
Gluten free bread does not need to be kneaded. The purpose of kneading wheat bread is to develop the gluten. Where there's no gluten, there's no need to knead!
These cinnamon rolls will freeze well in an airtight container. If you'll be wanting to reheat them, save the frosting to add just before serving.
Looking for more gluten free recipes with Cream Cheese Frosting? Try these...
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
- Stand Mixer
- 9- X 13-inch baking pan
- Instant-read thermometer
- Dental Floss
- 1½ cup warm water 110°F - 115°F (43°C - 46°C)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- ½ cup potato starch
- 2 tablespoons potato flour
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter melted, but no longer hot
- ⅜ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup cream cheese,
- 2 tablespoons raw honey in liquid form
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine the honey and warm water, ideally in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over top, and let it sit 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all of the dry ingredients in another bowl.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Once the yeast mixture has set and the yeast is looking a little bubbly or frothy, give it a quick stir. Add the eggs and vinegar to it, and beat for a minute or two until the mixture is frothy.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-low speed with the medium mixing paddle of a stand mixer, if you have one.
- Add the oil, and beat another minute or two until you have a smooth, but moist batter.
Shaping and Filling
- Spread out the batter with a spatula onto a well-oiled sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle approximately 9" X 14" (23 cm X 35 cm).
- Sprinkle the coconut sugar evenly over it all. Then, sprinkle on the cinnamon. Finally, drizzle melted butter over the sugar and cinnamon.
- Very carefully, using the spatula to keep the batter scraped away from the parchment and starting on a long side, roll the dough into a log shape. Because this batter is so moist, this "rolling" really amounts to about three "folds."
- With a string of dental floss, carefully slice each of 12 rolls and place them, just barely touching, into the parchment-lined baking pan. They won't look quite as perfectly uniform as regular cinnamon rolls, but you'll be rewarded with lovely soft, fluffy, gluten free rolls!
- Cover the rolls with oiled plastic and let them sit in a warm room to rise until about 50% larger in volume, 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C).
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting according to Cream Cheese Frosting directions.
- Allow your cinnamon rolls to cool for about 10 minutes. Spread them with frosting and enjoy them warm!
- For optimal rising of yeast dough, 80°F to 90°F (27° - 32°C) is a perfect temperature range. If your room isn't that warm, it will just take a little more time. It's important to protect your rising bread or buns from any possible cold drafts.
- While yeast should be refrigerated to keep it fresh, it needs a warm, wet environment for activation. The temperature range of 110°F - 115°F (43°C - 46°C) is ideal for the liquid. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast, and it won't work. Honey is added to feed the yeast and give it something on which to grow.
- If you don't have a stand mixer, mix the batter very well by hand. Use a hand mixer for the frosting.
These flopped for me, but successfully (taste good!). I ended up w/cinnamon-swirl cake. I’ve gone over the recipe looking for my mistake and haven’t found one. 🤷♀️ Next time, I’ll cut the water way back until I gauge the thickness of the dough, and maybe sub milk. I am loving this site! Thanks for all the fun recipes!
Thank you for your great feedback, Whitney! I'm glad that you liked the taste of the cinnamon rolls/cake. Maybe there was a difference in flours. They can vary from brand to brand and even from batch to batch. Cutting back the water is a good idea. You can always add more at the end, as you see how the dough is looking. Just keep in mind that gluten free dough is wetter than wheat dough, so your end result isn't too dry and tough.
Thanks for your tips! I’ll bet it is a difference in flours. I think I’m getting the hang of this! If you have a moment, what would you substitute for the potato starch and flour? My husband is sensitive to it! I forgot.
Sure! I had to avoid potatoes for awhile myself. I have not tested this, but I would try more of the tapioca starch in place of the potato starch. So you would use 1 cup of tapioca flour altogether.
The potato flour is a little trickier. If he can have cornstarch, that might be a good replacement, 1:1. Otherwise, I would experiment with increasing either one of the rice flours to compensate, replacing the 2 tablespoons of potato flour with 2 tablespoons of rice flour, to start.
I hope this works for you. You'll soon have perfected your own individual version of the recipe!
Thank you! The substitutions worked great, and I’m so happy we’re enjoying these perfected cinnamon rolls!
Wonderful! Thank you for letting me know!
Joanna Orlowski says
Can gluten free all purpose flour mix be used in place of all the flours?
A gluten free all purpose flour mix might work in place of the flours indicated in the recipe. It depends on what's in them. I have not tested this recipe with any all purpose flour mix. If you find one with ingredients similar to the flours in the recipe, it may be worth trying.
Judy Watson says
Hi Cathy, This looks so yummy and am looking forward to making these when Aresia comes home. I am wondering, can butter be spread on the dough before adding the sugar and cinnamon? That's how I usually do it with gluten cinnamon rolls so thought I would ask. Have a great day. Judy
The reason I don't recommend spreading the butter is that this dough is very soft, giving you a softer, less dry bun in the end. Perhaps if your butter is very soft, it will spread. If it doesn't spread easily, drizzling melted butter is quick and easy!