Friends, behold these gluten-free cinnamon rolls.
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 8 – read EIGHT – attempts, I believe I’ve nailed it. Let’s bake!
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.
The cinnamon roll dough is kept light and fluffy with a blend of gluten-free flour and almond flour.
Coconut oil (or 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.
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.
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!
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, but I highly recommend the cream cheese frosting. Something about it feels indulgent and pairs perfectly with the rolls.
I hope you all LOVE these rolls! They’re:
Tender on the inside
Flaky on the outside
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!
Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp (24 g) organic cane sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp // I like Fleischmann’s active dry original)
- 3 Tbsp (42 g) melted coconut oil or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks // or sub coconut oil, but I found that it tends to melt down into the dish more than the vegan butter)
- 1/3 cup (33 g) organic cane sugar (I subbed half coconut sugar)
- 1 Tbsp (7.8 g) ground cinnamon
- Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Simple Powdered Sugar Glaze (see notes)
Heat almond 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 almond milk, add 1 Tbsp (15 g) coconut oil or vegan butter and stir melt. Then add yeast and sugar. Stir briefly to mix. Then set aside (uncovered) to proof for 10 minutes or until it appears puffy on the surface (this indicates that 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, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt until well combined.
Add scoopable (not melted) coconut oil or 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.
To the dry ingredients, add the almond milk-yeast mixture and stir (see photo). It should form a dough that resembles cookie dough. If too dry, add more almond milk a little at a time until the proper texture is achieved (we didn't find we needed any). Set aside.
Get a large cutting board and cover the surface with plastic wrap (tuck the plastic wrap around the edges so it stays in place). Then dust with gluten-free flour.
Place the dough on the center of the cutting 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 3 Tbsp (45 ml) melted coconut oil or vegan butter. Then sprinkle with organic cane sugar and cinnamon. 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 8 even pieces. Then carefully transfer to the prepared pie dish or cake pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, set on top of the warm oven, and let rise for 15-30 minutes or until the rolls have risen slightly and are almost touching - they won’t get as voluminous as gluten-containing rolls, but they will expand a bit!
Place rolls in prepared dish on the center rack of your oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and the rolls have risen/expanded quite a bit (see photo).
While the rolls bake, you can prepare a frosting / glaze (optional). Follow the link above for cream cheese frosting or refer to the notes for the powdered sugar glaze.
Store leftover cinnamon rolls at room temperature up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. (If they are glazed with cream cheese frosting, they need to be stored in the refrigerator, which is why I prefer frosting them at the time of serving.) See notes for make-ahead cinnamon rolls to store in the freezer (unbaked).
*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 1-3 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 for 1 roll (of 8) without glaze.
*Recipe and method loosely adapted from Recreating Happiness.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 8)
- Calories: 289
- Fat: 16.3g
- Saturated fat: 12.1g
- Sodium: 198mg
- Carbohydrates: 35.2g
- Fiber: 4.1g
- Sugar: 6.9g
- Protein: 3.7g