These truly are the BEST gluten-free cinnamon rolls! They are soft, fluffy and so full of ooey, gooey deliciousness.
This is actually one of my favorite gluten-free recipes because they are so close to traditional cinnamon rolls that nobody will believe they are gluten-free. I promise you will never find a better gluten-free flour based recipe out there! Well, maybe you will in our gluten-free crescent rolls…
You guys, my mom has done it; she has truly achieved the best homemade gluten-free cinnamon rolls ever! While it’s hard to believe you could get a big, fluffy cinnamon roll like this gluten-free, it’s now possible.
What makes these gluten-free cinnamon rolls the BEST?
The secret lies in the technique of making these gluten-free cinnamon rolls so special. After many times of trial and error, we found that you just can’t get enough filling inside the rolls unless you first freeze the brown sugar and butter into a block.
It’s the same tried and true techniques that go into the BEST gluten-free crescent rolls and gluten-free sourdough crescent rolls you will ever have as well. They are so flaky and delicious! There is a bunch of rich, creamy butter grated onto the dough before rolling.
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As with all good things, they take a bit more time and effort. I recommend making them for special occasions like Christmas morning and Easter (along with our other gluten-free Easter recipes). These are 110% worth the energy put into them.
Can I make them with gluten-free all-purpose flour?
I am going to put this in all caps so there is no misunderstanding…
IF YOU WANT THIS TRUE CINNAMON ROLL RESULT, YOU MUST NOT EXCHANGE OUT THE INGREDIENTS IN THE RECIPE FOR A GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND.
These measurements have been tested over and over (and over and over and over again) to get the cinnamon rolls just perfect.
With that said, they do work with high quality gluten-free all-purpose flour, it is not quite the same as blending like we do here as flours vary so much by brand.
How to make gluten-free cinnamon rolls
The day before, combine 1 lb slightly melted butter (learn how to soften butter quickly for this step and these no-bake cherry cheesecake bars), 2 C brown sugar and 4 T cinnamon in the large bowl of a stand mixer then shape into a block that can be grated and freeze it. If you can’t get the butter frozen the day before, just make sure to freeze it at least 2 hours before you make them.
I like to line a square tupperware with plastic wrap before putting the mixture in so it pops out easily and the plastic can be peeled right off (shown in photos 3 and 4).
When you are ready to make your gluten-free cinnamon rolls, mix wet ingredients together (follow directions below for specific wet ingredient instructions) in a stand mixer with a dough hook or paddle attachment then slowly add the dry ingredients a cup at a time to make the cinnamon roll dough making sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl and then place it on a large white rice floured piece of plastic wrap (shown in photo 1).
It will be sticky, that’s how it is supposed to be. Otherwise, you will have overly dry dough once you bake it.
Pro Tip: Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray before removing the dough from the stand mixer. This will help keep your hands from sticking to the dough.
Next, place plastic wrap on the counter in one large rectangle. Then add some flour (white rice flour works best) to it and place the dough on top. Sprinkle with additional flour and roll it out into a rectangle shape about 18×24 inches (shown in photo 2). Next comes that ooey, gooey filling!
Remove your butter from the freezer and take off the plastic wrap if you used it. Begin grating the block over the rectangle rolled out top of though dough (shown below).
It takes some elbow grease but you can doooo iiiit! Make sure the grated butter is evenly distributed on the dough. It will be a large pile.
What a genius my mom is to come up with this method right? I mean, how else can you possibly get THAT much gooey filling in without it melting right out? It is an extra step, but it’s the key and totally worth it.
Starting at one end, roll the dough into a cylinder (shown in photos 5 and 6). As you go, tuck the edges in with your hands so it stays even. This will keep the dough from hanging out on the ends and gives you a pretty, even gluten-free cinnamon roll.
Slice the dough into 10 equally sized pieces (shown in photos 7 and 8). Round them out into nice circles with your hands (shown in photo 9). Place 6 in a greased 9×13 pan and 4 in a 8×8 pan (shown in photo 10).
Let the dough rise for 1 hour on bread proof or warm oven at 100 degrees Fahrenheit or in another very warm place. Once they have risen in that warm spot for an hour, bake them at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes.
While the gluten-free cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. Simply whip the butter, softened cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar together until smooth and creamy.
Remove from rolls from the oven and frost what you plan to eat immediately. Save the remaining frosting for the next time you plan to eat a cinnamon roll so that you are able to warm it slightly first. You can use ours or this cinnamon roll icing recipe.
Pro tip: After frosting the gluten-free cinnamon rolls, drizzle with the leftover brown sugar and butter sauce from the baking pan. This is, of course optional, but let me tell you, they make these gluten-free cinnamon rolls extra incredible!
What brand of individual gluten-free flours do you recommend?
I personally like Bob’s Red Mill sweet white rice, brown rice, tapioca starch, xanthan gum and arrowroot powder. They come in smaller, more budget friendly priced bags. They are also readily available at most grocery stores.
I also like Anthony’s brand of those same products on Amazon. He also has the potato starch that I use. Remember NOT to purchase potato flour, it is much heavier. You definitely want potato starch.
I recommend buying small bags of each individual flour until you know how much you will use in general gluten-free baking. Then you can purchase the flours you use more often in bulk.
Get all the flours and baking items I love HERE.
Many of our best gluten-free baking recipes including these peanut butter oatmeal bars use multiple flours to get that perfect taste and texture. But mixes work too like in our school breakfast pizza.
As you all know my mom (Tana Besendorfer) is an incredibly talented baker. I can’t say enough about how talented my she is! Once you make these just once, you will know exactly what I mean.
In our cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Budget, she created 70% of the recipes. This includes her famous flaky pie crust that can be rolled out and sliced into a lattice piecrust.
Can you make them dairy-free?
Yes, these can be made dairy free with vegan butter, full fat coconut non-dairy milk and vegan cream cheese. We’ve done it before and they are fantastic!
For best results, use the full fat coconut milk as it helps the recipe come together the same.
How do I store gluten-free cinnamon rolls?
These gluten-free cinnamon rolls are fantastic right out of the oven nice and warm, but they are also good at room temperature the next day.
Once they have cooled, you can store them in an airtight container. They are good for up to 5 days at room temperature on the counter but are best within the first 3 days.
What other gluten-free goodies do you recommend I make next?
If you want another incredible baked good recipe, I highly suggest this cinnamon roll cake from my friend Chrystal at Gluten-Free Palate. My friend Michelle or My Gluten-Free Kitchen also has a great pull apart cinnamon rolls recipe also.
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The BEST Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 T rapid rise active dry yeast
- 1 T sugar
- 1 C warm milk or 1 C water and 3 T buttermilk powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 C coconut oil
- 1/2 C butter
- 2 T ground or milled chia
- 1/2 C warm water
- 1 lb butter
- 2 C brown sugar
- 4 T cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, soft
- 1/2 C butter soft
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla
- The day before combine 1 lb butter, 2 C brown sugar and 4 T cinnamon well then shape into a block that can be frozen and grated then freeze it (if you cant do the day before, freeze for at least two hours)
- Place 2 T milled chia and 1/2 C warm water in a cup, let soak 2 minutes
- Meanwhile, dissolve yeast and 1 T sugar in warm milk, let sit to proof
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, sugar and gelatin
- In another bowl, mix the soaked milled chia and yeast mixture together with eggs, coconut oil, butter and apple cider vinegar then slowly add that mixture to the flour mixture in stand and combine until well blended
- Roll the dough out to a rectangle shape about 18x24 inches on plastic wrap that is heavily sprinkled with white rice flour and grate the frozen butter brown sugar mixture onto the dough evenly, it will be a large pile
- Starting at one end, roll the dough into a cylinder and as you go, tuck the edges in with your hands so it stays even (this will keep from dough hanging out on the ends and gives you an even roll)
- Slice into 10 equally sized pieces and round them out into nice circles with your hands
- Place 6 in a greased 9x13 pan and 4 in a 8x8 pan and let rise for 1 hour on bread proof or 100 degrees
- Once risen, bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by whipping the butter, softened cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar together until smooth and creamy
- Remove from oven and frost what you plan to eat immediately