Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

November 4, 2019
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I love cinnamon rolls but since I can’t eat gluten, I don’t get to enjoy them very often.  Which is probably best.

However, I really wanted to start the tradition of homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  It just sounded nice, getting up early before the rest of the house got up.  Enjoying a cup of tea & popping them in the oven.  Everyone else would get to wake up to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking.  Doesn’t it sound glorious?

You should know my first job was at Cinnabon. I of course looked for copy-cat recipes & adapted one to be gluten-free.

If I do say so myself, you wouldn’t even know they were gluten-free.  I hope your family loves these as much as mine does!

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup scalded whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups gluten-free flour – I use Cup4Cup (plus additional as needed)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the Dough:

  1. Set the butter, eggs and cream cheese out to warm to room temperature. Place the milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. The moment it reaches a boil, remove from heat. (This process is called scalding, and it ensures the milk doesn’t affect the yeast’s ability to rise. Don’t skip!)
  2. Pour the hot milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and if you have it, use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.  You can add the yeast once the tempurature is around 100 degrees.
  3. Add 1/2 cup butter, to bring the temperature down. Stir and allow the butter to melt completely. Then stir in the sugar. Check the thermometer or touch the milk mixture to test the temperature. It should be close to luke warm. If it is not, add 1/2 cup flour and test again. Once it is just above room temperature, stir in the yeast and let it foam for approximately 10 minutes. (Too-hot liquid can kill yeast.)
  4. Heat your oven to the “warm” setting & then turn it off.  This is where I like to let my dough rise because my house tends to be too cold.  You want a place between 75 & 100 degrees. 
  5. Place the bread hook on the mixer and turn on low. Add the eggs, salt, and remaining flour up to 4 cups. Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough until it pulls away from the sides. If the dough seems too sticky after the first 2-3 minutes add an additional 1/4 cup flour. Cover the top with plastic, and allow the dough to rise until double in size, approximately 60-90 minutes in a warm oven (turned off) or warm kitchen.

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, softened butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
  2. Dump the inflated dough out on a well-floured work surface. Fold into thirds and press flat. Then turn and fold into thirds again and press into a rectangle. Roll the rectangle out into a large 16 X 20 inch sheet.
  3. Using a large flat spreader, spread the cinnamon filling over the sheet into a thin layer. Leave 1 1/2 inches bare (cinnamon-free) on one long edge. Be careful not to gouge holes in the dough. Starting at the cinnamon-covered long edge, roll the dough sheet tightly toward the uncovered edge to form a long tight log. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.
  4. Then cut the log into 12 equal rolls. I do this by first cutting it in half, then the halves in half & cut 3 pieces from each quarter.  It’s just easier to keep the rolls an even side that way.
  5. Tuck the loose end under each roll to secure it, and place them in the baking dish to rise.
  6. If you are baking these the next day, you can pop the rolls in the fridge at this point & do the secondary rise in the morning.  Otherwise…
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Allow the rolls to rise for at least 30 minutes while the oven heats. Then bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are barely golden and the center of each roll is puffed high up.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. While the rolls are in the oven, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until completely smooth. The moment the rolls come out of the oven gently spread half the glaze over the tops and allow it to seep down into the cracks.
  2. Five minutes later, add more glaze if desired.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  4. Enjoy!

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