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.
The secret lies in the technique of making these gluten-free cinnamon rolls so special. After many times of trials 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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What makes these cinnamon rolls the best?
- Made with a special blend of gluten free flour, you seriously cannot tell that they’re gluten free.
- It’s a recipe that’s been in my family for years so it’s safe to say that it’s perfected!
- They’re packed with more than enough ooey gooey filling that will make your taste buds dance.
- You can make them dairy free and/or vegan.
- They keep well and can also be frozen.
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 as we do here as flours vary so much by brand.
How to make gluten-free cinnamon rolls
Step 1: Prepare
The day before, combine 1 lb slightly melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Shape it into a block, then freeze it.
Step 2: Make the dough
When you are ready to make your gluten-free cinnamon rolls, mix wet ingredients together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the dry ingredients making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 3: Flatten it out
Place plastic wrap on the counter in one large rectangle. Then add some flour to it and place the dough on top. Sprinkle with additional flour and roll it out into a rectangular shape.
Step 4: Add the filling
Remove the frozen butter/sugar block from the freezer. Evenly grate the mixture over the dough.
Step 5: Roll it up
Starting at one end, roll the dough into a cylinder. As you go, tuck the edges in with your hands so it stays even. Slice the dough into ten equally sized pieces and make them into nice circles.
Step 6: Bake
Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased pan and let them rise for one hour in a very warm place. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until golden brown.
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.
- Sticky dough – The dough will be sticky; that’s how it is supposed to be. Otherwise, you will have overly dry dough once it’s baked.
- Soften butter – Learn how to soften butter quickly for this step.
- Rice flour for surfaces – When flouring the counter and rolling pin, rice flour works best.
- Save frosting – Only frost what you plan to eat immediately. Save the remaining frosting for the next time you plan to eat a cinnamon roll.
- Extra filling -After frosting, drizzle with the leftover brown sugar and butter sauce from the baking pan for extra flavor!
- Don’t overfill the pan – Don’t try to place all the cinnamon rolls in one pan. Place 6 in a greased 9×13 pan and 4 in an 8×8 pan for best results (Shown below).
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 pie crust.
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.
Storing – 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 three days.
Freezing – These freeze well in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To unthaw, let them sit at room temperature in the airtight container. When you are ready to eat them, warm them in the microwave for 45 seconds, then spread cream cheese frosting on thick.
What other gluten-free goodies do you recommend I make next?
These Gluten-Free Raspberry Toaster Pastries are also incredible! Our big, Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits have pockets of soft butter throughout and they are always a hit on our dinner table.
My husband always asks for these Gluten-Free Belgian Waffles, and he isn’t gluten-free, so I would say they are really good. They go great with my friend Abbey of The Butter Half’s baked frittata.
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 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup white sticky flour sweet rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour or starch (they are the same thing)
- 1 cup potato starch
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 3 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1 tablespoon rapid rise active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup warm milk or 1 C water and 3 T buttermilk powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons ground or milled chia
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 pound butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese soft
- 1/2 cup butter soft
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon 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 18×24 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 9×13 pan and 4 in a 8×8 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
Victoria Scott says
Is there really a whole cup of sugar in the dough? Why does it say divided?
Yes 🙂 Sorry, it is not divided. I will fix that.
Carol Ann Rickard says
I’ve made these many times. I have tried to reduce the sugar for a diabetic, celiac grand child. You can get away with less sugar but the final product will be drier. They are truly the BEST if made as the recipe instructs for the dough. You can get away with less butter in the filling though if that helps. I only use 2/3 cup, with the sugar and cinnamon.
I hope this helps in some small way!
Am I able to make these and freeze before baking? Defrost and rise then bake? Just wondering if they would taste more fresh instead of baking first and then freezing for up to three months.
Thank you for your help
Yes, you can absolutely do that! 🙂
Haven’t tried these yet as I would like to know the gram weights for the recipe. I have the best consistent results baking by weight and with the price of flours skyrocketing lately I’d hate to make something I’d end up throwing out.
Hi Terry, I am so sorry but I don’t have those yet. I would love to get them for you next time I make them though. 🙂
Any idea why these just MELTED in the oven? I’m so sad. My partner is gluten free and it’s been a big running joke what they miss the most is cinnamon rolls and if I could make them gluten free and good we would get married. Welp, I spent hundreds on getting all these ingredients that I didn’t have and hours on figuring this all out. Even had to drive two hours out of my way for one of the flours. And they just melted. I’m crushed. This was going to be a Christmas present.
I am so sorry to hear that… tons of people have made them with no problem. Yes, the filling and butter melt out some but if you let them sit after baking, they reabsorb it all and they are gooey deliciousness. Did you follow all the directions correctly?
I can’t find potato starch. Can I substitute for cornstarch? I really want to make for Christmas morning!
Thanks for your help!!
Potato starch is best but if you can’t find it, you can just use more tapioca starch.
Alyse Freeland says
Any suggestions for a sub on the sweet white rice flour? I’d planned to make these Christmas morning and am surprised to be having a hard time finding it… I have found every other type of flour without issue, I’m in Southern California where it’s usually pretty easy! I’m out of time to order for shipping 😞
Alyse Freeland says
Update! Was able to find it at a Japanese market 🙂 crisis averted!
Excited to make these for Christmas for my newly GF husband.
Just a few questions though – Do you only make 10 cinnamon rolls total? And do you use the entire block of butter/brown sugar mixture for the 10?
Yes and yes but they are HUGE!! 🙂
Carol Ann Rickard says
I’ve made these twice now. They truly are delicious!! Plan to make this Christmas Eve, let rise in the fridge and bake Christmas Morning. Fingers crossed it goes well. I look forward to trying some of your other recipes. Thanks so much!!
Awww thanks Carol! So glad you love them 🙂 I hope you can try our crescent rolls as well!
Carol Ann Rickard says
I did make the crescent rolls yesterday! 🙂 They were amazing!!! My hubby ate 2 and didn’t know they were GF. haha I did reduce the grated butter because of my severe lactose intolerance so I didn’t have to take too many lactase tables. LOL
I loved the flavor that the coconut oil adds, however can that ingredient be replaced with something else (all melted butter) etc. for more savory rolls? Also would reducing the sugar significantly cause any issues other than aiding the yeast? I have a grandchild who is celiac and diabetic.
I do believe you could reduce the sugar. I haven’t tried swapping out the coconut oil but I’d love to hear if using all butter works for you. So glad you loved them! 🙂
Carol Ann Rickard says
My questions for sugar content and coconut oil are for the crescent rolls. Thanks!
Carol Rickard says
I reduced the sugar to 1/16 C added 1/4 C Splenda for the cinnamon roll dough, reduced the brown sugar and butter in the filling. They still turned out amazing. I tried rising in fridge. DOES NOT WORK! I think once the butter and coconut oil in the dough get cold and hardens it prevents the dough from rising. I did a batch, let rise normally, then refrigerate over night, based in the morning, adding 15 minutes to bake time and they turned out perfectly! That’s what I’ll do for my family today so they can have fresh baked cinnamon rolls Christmas morning.
Thanks Carol, I am so so happy you loved them so much!! 🙂
Carol Rickard says
For the crescent rolls, I did use all melted butter, reduced the sugar as with cinnamon roll dough and they were perfect. Also, I used this dough to make regular dinner rolls, adding 1/2 tsp yeast, and again, perfect!!
Awww thanks Carol, that means so much to me!
Brenda Pearson says
I see you said you are lactose intolerant and have to limit dairy. My daughter is allergic to dairy so I use a dairy-free butter called “Earth Balance.” Most grocery stores sell it— even Walmart. It is DELICIOUS! In fact, we prefer the taste over real cow’s butter. Just thought I’d let you know.
Awesome, thank you so much! 🙂
Carol Ann Rickard says
Thank you! I will definitely seek out that product!
What can I sub for the arrow root flower?
Arrowroot is a great binder. I wouldn’t recommend substituting but if you absolutely have to, sweet white rice flour is ok.
Holy cow, I haven’t had a decent cinnamon roll in 12 years when I became gluten-free. When I found this recipe I was a little intimidated and had to go buy a couple ingredients I don’t use, but I tell you what- it was totally worth it! I can’t even believe how fluffy and chewy and amazing these are. They are definitely worth the effort.
Awww thanks so much Jennifer, this totally made my day! So glad you loved it as much as we do.
These really are the best cinnamon rolls! You can’t even tell they are gluten free. My father in law claims he can tell if foods are gluten free, so I served him one of these cinnamon rolls (and didn’t tell him they were GF) and he loved them! Jokes on him hehe
Thanks Brittany, this makes my day!
Connie Smith says
I am planning to make these for a baby shower this weekend. I need to double the recipe and make the day before. Would it be better to refrigerate raw and then bake the next day, or bake then keep in an airtight container until the next day? You suggest warming in a microwave but could I warm the whole batch in the oven?
Hi Connie! I would refrigerate raw then give adequate time to rise in a warm place before baking. You can heat in the microwave after they are baked if you want leftover cinnamon rolls later. I always pop them in for 60 seconds.
Thank you for this recipe. Is the chia and the gelatin added to make this dough rollable?
It gives it the incredible texture it has that is usually missing when you make gluten-free items. Definitely worth it…
Barb Klein says
Can the rolls be refrigerated overnight to rise and baked the next morning?
Hi Barb, yes absolutely, just give them a bit more rise time.
Such a delicious recipe for a weekend brunch!
I love the idea of freezing the butter/inside mixture and then grating it over the dough. I have never it this way before, but I love it!
Thanks Liz, it gets the MOST filling inside which we love! 🙂
Rachel Kowalchuk says
I LOVE how well these instructions are laid out. Like, omg, the step-by-step photos are so incredibly helpful for a novice kitchen mom, like myself! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am SO excited to make them again and again because they are DELICIOUS!
What a fun comment to read, thanks Rachel! I am so glad your family loves them. 🙂
For years I have been looking for Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls, especially to make for the Holidays so everyone can enjoy a magic breakfast treat. I came across your recipe last week and test it out on my kids before I made it for my guests. OH! MY! This recipe is DELISH. They devoured in no time and ask for more. The best thing now is our young guest who needs gluten-free recipes was able to enjoy very tasty special treats like everyone else. Thank you!
Awww thanks Karina, that means so much to me to hear! I love that everyone could enjoy them together. 🙂
Jeremi Carswell says
Hi Chandice! Any substitutions for the coconut oil?
Hi Jeremi, you could try shortening or butter but I haven’t done it myself…
These are now my cinnamon-roll GO-TO! They were so easy and INCREDIBLE! My kids already told me they want them again for Christmas morning! Thank you!
Awww thanks, that means the WORLD to me! They are our favorite too. 🙂
Has anyone tried with a milk substitute? We can handle butter, but not milk. Was going to try with coconut milk (not canned ).
Yes, but use full fat canned coconut milk. The fat helps them work better. 🙂