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Monday, January 16, 2012

Adventures in Gluten Free Cooking: Cinnamon Rolls

One of the hardest parts for my hubby about eating gluten free happens every time we go to the airport or the mall. We will be walking along, and suddenly we will get a whiff of that heavenly smell. You know the one...sweet and cinnamon...CINNABON! Just the slightest sniff will start the saliva (sorry, is that TMI?!). You may or may not know, but Cinnabon is NOT gluten we summon all the will power we have and keep on walking (it is very hard!). We have tried several different GF cinnamon roll recipes and this is the one we have found to work the best:

Gather following ingredients:
1 1/4 c white rice flour
2/3 c tapioca starch
1/3 c potato starch
1/3 c corn starch
1/4 c sweet sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp unflavored gelatin*
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c buttermilk* *
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp melted butter 

1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1 tbst cinnamon
4 tbsp melted butter (yes, you read it right, more butter!)

A few quick notes: 
* Unflavored gelatin is my new best friend! I have started using it along with the xanthan gum in lots of my GF recipes and it has been working great for me. 

** If you dont have buttermilk, don't worry (i normally do not have buttermilk in my frig, and didn't have any on the day I made these cinnamon rolls) you can use slightly less than 1 cup of milk and add some vinegar to make your own buttermilk. Thats what I did! Just FYI when you try this for the first time, the vinegar will make the milk a little um, gloppy. That is normal :) 

***I almost forgot the most important part of the recipe! 
A nice, hot cup of coffee to sip while you are baking!

Ok, now we are ready to do some baking! Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients for the rolls together in a bowl. I like to give mine a sift just to mix the different flowers well, but you don't have to. In a separate bowl (I used the bowl for my kitchen aid mixer) mix together melted butter, egg, and vanilla~ make sure you cool the butter slightly after melting it or you will get scrambled eggs. Add the buttermilk (or your milk + vinegar) and mix. 
Slowly add dry ingredients 1/4 c at a time, mixing well between each addition. 
This is what the dough looks like with about half of the dry ingredients added in...

By the time you all all the dry ingredients, the dough should be pretty thick, but it will not form a ball like regular roll out dough would. The picture above is what my dough looked like with all of the dry ingredients mixed in.

I have found that the best thing to roll (or I guess press is the better work) GF dough out on is plastic wrap dusted with some kind of GF starch (I used tapioca starch). Press the dough into a large rectangle. Every so often while I am pressing, I will pause to check if I can still peel the dough away from the plastic wrap. I will even flip the dough onto another piece of plastic wrap half way me, making sure your dough is not to sticky will make you life in a few minutes much easier!

Melt the other 4 tbsp of butter and spread over the dough

Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon + sugar filling over the buttered dough...
Ok, another note: for the filling I used turbinado sugar because we had some, and I like using it. So if you look closely at the picture below, you can see the sugar crystals. 
You can use regular sugar.
 It will be the same. 

Next, working with the longer side of the rectangle, peel up the plastic wrap and begin to roll the dough. Now, if you checked a few steps ago to make sure the dough was not sticking to the plastic wrap, this part should be a breeze...if it is sticking, you may have to make cinnamon blobs, and try for rolls next time....



Next comes the can use a knife. Or I like to use floss/fishing wire/thread to cut with. This next part is very hard to photograph because it requires both hands! Slide a piece of string under the roll and brings the ends up on either side of the roll.
Cross them at the top and pull them tight. This will cut the dough with out smushing it down. Cut the roll as think or thin as you would like, I usually do about 1 - 1 1/2 inch rolls. 
Place the rolls swirl side up in a greased pan. Don't worry if some of the cinnamon sugar mix falls out into the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 25 - 30 min in 425 degree oven. The tops will be golden brown.

Depending on how you like your cinnamon rolls you might want to make some cream cheese frosting to put on top, or just a little more butter :) 

Please let me know if you make these or any of my recipes :) I love feed back on how other people think these taste...most of the time I just have my hubby's feedback and while I appreciate it greatly, he usually LOVES anything I make (even when the recipe is a big flop!) 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!


  1. Thanks for linking up to Tuesday Talent Show, because that's where I found you! We are slowly decreasing our gluten, so some of these recipes look awesome.

  2. Oh I have TWO boys on a GLUTEN Free diet and they will go BONKERS over these... I will have to show this recipe to them... I would LOVE for you to share it here

    Just became your newest follower... :)

  3. Um YUM!! My mouth is watering!! I love cinnamon rolls! Thanks so much for sharing at Oopsey Daisy!

  4. Cinnamon rolls that are good for you? My sister needs this recipe for sure!!! Thank you for sharing these amazing treats with us!!!!

  5. these sound wonderful and I totally know the feeling, we race pass them in the mall. Too good!

  6. I have a gluten free daughter that never gets the treats - she will love this!

  7. Thanks for this! After two years of cooking gluten-free, I still haven't found a cinnamon roll recipe that I'm satisfied with.
    I'm going to try making these for breakfast tomorrow!

  8. Oh Yum! These look amazing! Thanks for linking up to the Tuesday Talent Show! I hope to see you again next week!
    Chef in Training

  9. Thanks so much for linking up this weekend @ CountryMommaCooks Link & Greet party..Have a wonderful week!

  10. I just finished making these and I LOVE THEM!! Thank u for sharing!!

  11. Thank you! I added a little cardamom to the dough and a bit of ginger and cloves to the sugar mix. My boys loved them and one even said he would have them in his lunchbox next school year. Yay for a new idea! I'll add some flax to the sugar mix to make them a little more nutritious if he's going to take them to school. ;-)