Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

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Pan of delicious homemade Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Friends, behold: The Gluten-Free Vegan Cinnamon Roll.

They’re like the unicorn of the gluten-free, vegan baking world. Many have attempted, few have succeeded. Yet I knew they existed and were possible if I just believed (and tried and tried again and again).

After 11 – read ELEVEN – attempts, I believe I’ve nailed it. Let’s bake!

Measuring glass filled with bubbling active yeast

These cinnamon rolls are surprisingly easy to make. They require just 10 ingredients you likely have on hand right now (!!) and come together using simple methods.

If you’ve ever been intimidated by yeast in baking, don’t be! I include my favorite yeast below, and as long as you don’t overheat your almond milk, you’re golden. It should activate right away and help your rolls rise to the heavens.

Using a pastry cutter to mix cinnamon roll ingredients

The cinnamon roll dough is kept light and fluffy with a blend of gluten-free flour and almond flour.

Vegan butter adds flakiness to the exterior and moisture to the interior, creating that perfect tender-on-the-inside, flaky-on-the-outside cinnamon roll. YUM.

Using a wooden spoon to stir Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll batter

The one part that looks intimidating (but totally isn’t) is the rolling-out process.

Simply line a cutting board with plastic wrap, dust with gluten-free flour, and plop your dough down. Then top with more plastic wrap and roll into a thin rectangle. And voila! You have a perfect cylinder for cutting your rolls. See? I told you we could do it.

Rolling cinnamon roll dough for simple homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Next is a short rise on a warm oven so the dough can expand. Once the rolls are almost touching, it’s time for a short bake in the oven.

We’re so close, friends. So close!

Pan of freshly risen Vegan Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls ready to go in the oven

Whoop! Behold: perfectly crisp and tender cinnamon rolls.

At this point, you can glaze or not glaze. But…glaze. I include two frosting options below so there’s something for everyone.

Pan of freshly baked Vegan Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls topped with icing

I hope you all LOVE these rolls! They’re:

Tender on the inside
Flaky on the outside
Cinnamon-spiked
Perfectly sweet
Easy to make
& Seriously delicious!

These would make the perfect lazy weekend breakfast or special occasion dessert (like the holidays!).

If you’re into cinnamon rolls, be sure to also check out my World’s Easiest Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, World’s Easiest Sticky Buns, Vegan Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls, and Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cookies.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers and happy baking, friends!

Plate of homemade Cinnamon Rolls topped with icing for a luxurious vegan dessert

*NOTE: Recipe updated July 10, 2018 for improved texture and taste.

Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Amazing fluffy and tender vegan, gluten-free cinnamon rolls! Just 10 ingredients and simple methods required for these insanely flavorful and delicious rolls!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Covering a batch of Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with icing
4.56 from 88 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 7 (rolls)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

WET

  • 3/4 scant cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)
  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter (We like Myoko’s brand or Earth Balance)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (~2 1/4 tsp as recipe is written // I like Fleischmann’s active dry original)

DRY

FILLING

  • 3 Tbsp melted vegan butter
  • 2/3 cup organic brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

FROSTING optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and use vegan butter oil to lightly coat a standard pie plate or round baking dish. Set aside.
  • Heat dairy-free milk in the microwave or on the stovetop to the temperature of warm bath water – approximately 110 degrees F (43 C). Be careful not to exceed that temperature or it can kill the yeast.
  • To the dairy-free milk, add the vegan butter and sugar and stir melt. Then add yeast and stir once more. Set aside (uncovered) to proof for 10 minutes, or until it appears puffy on the surface (this indicates the yeast is activating. If it hasn’t activated at this point, either your yeast was expired or the liquid was too hot or not hot enough).
  • Meanwhile in a medium mixing bowl whisk together gluten free flour blend (including xanthan gum), almond flour, cane sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. Then add cold vegan butter and use a fork or pastry cutter to mix or “cut” into the dry mixture. It should resemble the texture of wet sand (see photo).
  • To the dry ingredients, add the almond milk-yeast mixture a little at a time and stir. A dough that resembles moist (not crumbly) cookie dough should form (see photo). Add more of the wet mixture as needed. If it gets too wet and tacky (you should be able to form it into a ball when rolled), add more almond flour or GF flour blend. Set aside.
  • Get a large cutting board and wrap with plastic wrap (tuck the wrap down around the edges so it stays in place). Then dust the surface of the plastic wrap generously with gluten-free flour.
  • Add the dough in the center of the board and sprinkle with more gluten-free flour. Then top with another sheet of plastic wrap and tuck down around the edges of the cutting board (so it stays in place). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large, thin rectangle. The dough should be about 1/8th-inch thick.
  • Carefully remove the top layer of plastic wrap and brush on the vegan butter. Then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and spread gently with fingers to evenly distribute. Then, untuck the bottom layer of plastic wrap from the cutting board and use it to tightly roll the dough lengthwise into a cylinder (see photo).
  • Use a serrated knife or floss (my preferred method) to cut into even rolls (as the recipe is written, 7-8). Then carefully transfer to the prepared pie dish or cake pan (they can be fragile to transfer). 
  • Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set on top of the warm oven and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until the rolls have risen slightly and are touching (or close to touching) – they won’t get as voluminous as gluten-containing rolls, but they will puff up a bit!
  • Remove towel and plastic wrap and place rolls on the center rack of your oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and the rolls have risen/expanded quite a bit. While the rolls bake, you can prepare a frosting / glaze (optional).
  • Let the rolls cool at least 20 minutes before frosting (optional), then enjoy! Store leftover cinnamon rolls covered at room temperature up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. See notes for make-ahead cinnamon rolls to store in the freezer (unbaked).

Video

Notes

*Our DIY gluten-free flour blend is highly recommended in this recipe. We tested and perfected the recipe with this blend and can’t guarantee good results with store-bought (or other homemade) blends.
*To create a simple powdered sugar glaze, whisk 3 cups (300 g) sifted organic powdered sugar with 1 Tbsp (14 g) melted vegan butter and add 1-3 Tbsp (15-45 ml) dairy-free milk until smooth. To thicken, add more powdered sugar. To thin, add more dairy-free milk. Pour onto the rolls after cooling outside of the oven for 10 minutes.
*You can also make the dough ahead of time to the point of rolling and cutting the dough into rolls – at which point you would transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze, and then place in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze up to 1 month. Then, when ready to bake, place in a prepare baking dish, cover, and set on top of the oven to thaw for 1 1/2-2 hours. Then heat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and allow them to continue thawing / rising. Once they’ve thawed and visibly risen, bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and expanded/risen. Glaze as instructed (optional).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without glaze.
*Recipe and method loosely adapted from Recreating Happiness.

Nutrition (1 of 7 servings)

Serving: 1 Rolls without glaze Calories: 406 Carbohydrates: 57 g Protein: 6 g Fat: 19 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 361 mg Potassium: 217 mg Fiber: 5 g Sugar: 28 g Vitamin A: 75 IU Calcium: 154 mg Iron: 2.1 mg

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  1. Ashley B Hinton says

    This seemed quite dry to me. I realize gluten free is usually going to be more-so than regular flour, but it only lasted on the counter about a day before needing re-heated to be pliable enough to eat. I typically like minimalst baker recipes, but this one was a no-go for me and my family.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, Ashley! As you mentioned, they will be more dry than cinnamon rolls with all-purpose flour due to the nature of them being gluten-free, but keeping them covered should help. We hope you enjoy the next recipe better!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Trudie, Yes, that should work! But it will make the cinnamon rolls have a darker color. Hope that helps!

  2. Diane says

    I am unable to use xanthum gum as it is a corn product….not good for thyroid! Soo, what could I do to replace it, please!? Thanks! So excited to try this recipe…if possible!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rivky, Almond flour is pretty key for the right texture, but perhaps a lesser amount of oat, coconut, and/or cassava flour?

  3. Audrey says

    Thank you for your amazing recipe which worked really well. I switched almond milk for soy milk & a mix of erythritol and coconut sugar to lower the GI. Yummy yummy !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so happy you enjoy the recipe, Audrey! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  4. Fig says

    I have been DESPERATE for some cinnamon rolls, and only had half the amount of gf flour mix needed, so I got a little crafty!

    My edits:
    -Half 1:1 King Arthur gf baking mix, half chickpea flour, approximately 2.5 thick flaxmeal egg to replace lost xanthum gum
    -vanilla extract (to appease my ancestors)
    -Beetroot powder for a luscious colored dough
    -Half date syrup, half coconut sugar for each component requiring sugar
    -Toasted walnuts in filling
    -Double cinnamon. Half Saigon, half ceylon.
    -Glaze using homemade aquafaba, orange extract, maple syrup and date syrup

    I found I needed much less liquid, more flour (used more of almond and chickpea)

    Takeaways: desperation fuels creativity, this is a gorgeous combo of flavors, the dough turned out to be more biscuit-like and I look forward to trying it with the recommended flour combo! The aquafaba glaze begins losing just the right amount of bubbles when added to still hot rolls to create a creamy topper–not too soggy, substantial in form.

    Thank you for the inspiration and I look so forward to playing around with this one, again!

  5. Jenny says

    WOW! I made these yesterday morning, and we enjoyed them SO much! I shared them with a few gf friends and also cut them smaller to make more than 7. Thanks for a fun new recipe :D!

  6. Bacon says

    I just finished making this.
    I used red mills gluten free flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthum gum. Came out great. I have no complaints. I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls for a while and just did not want to deal with the hassle that can come with being gluten free and dairy free. This was a pretty straightforward recipe and not too intense execute.

  7. Brittney says

    Wow!! I honestly don’t usually comment on recipes but I made these this morning for Christmas. Soooo good. I’ve been GF for years and have been wanting to try a cinnamon roll recipe. These are it! I used Bob’s 1 to 1 and Fleischman’s yeast. For the milk, I used cashew milk that I had made yesterday. I also used Miyoko’s butter. Mine took about 33 minutes to bake. I frosted mine with maple cream. Omg! Divine! Thanks MB for always having the best recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, Brittney! We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe! xo

  8. Anna says

    This is delicious!!!! I did make the dough with dairy products but frosted with dairy free… I used pre-mixed flour blends from King Arthur and Trader Joe’s for baking, but also added extra xantham gum since it’s a dough based recipe. I think this helped texturally so that the dough was soft and more elastic! It’s been so long since I’ve had non-crumbly gf anything…best christmas miracle ever!!!!

  9. Tanya Davis says

    Hi there! I was gonna make these for Christmas, but I can’t find white rice flour for the gluten-free flour blend. I have been to 4 stores. Are there any safe substitutes for white rice flour in your gluten-free flour blend for these cinnamon rolls?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tanya, sorry it’s been difficult to find! Brown rice flour + more potato starch might work in place of white rice flour. Or a lighter flour such as sweet sorghum flour. We haven’t tested it though, so can’t guarantee it will be the same!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Taylor! Unfortunately the yeast is pretty essential for the right texture – it’s also part of what gives cinnamon rolls their classic taste! We have not tried this recipe without it and cannot guarantee results. Hope this helps!

  10. Juliana says

    This recipe is perfection! The only thing I need to modify is the amount of liquid, I usually end up needing a bit less than called for, but that’s also noted in the directions. Otherwise it is 1000% worth making! Thank you so much for this gem!!!

  11. Bethany A Butler says

    I used your GF flour blend. What a great blend! The only modification I made was baking them for 30 minutes instead of 35 and I only cooled them for 15 minutes before adding the glaze. My family of 6 devoured them, and I am the only one who is gluten-free/dairy-free. My husband is so picky and gives great feedback. His feedback was “They taste and smell like a cinnamon roll but the texture is almost like grits.” I mostly agree. The taste and smell were amazing! They were a little crumbly but perfectly moist. I couldn’t be happier with this recipe and pinned it. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and feedback, Bethany. So glad you enjoyed this recipe!