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Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls made dairy-free are perfectly sweet and cinnamony. These soft yet crispy sweet rolls taste rich with layers of cinnamon-sugar fluff. 

This no-knead cinnamon roll recipe is a fun baking project and is loved by even those who eat gluten and dairy. 🙂

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with easy frosting - a healthier cinnamon roll recipe

My favorite part about baking cinnamon rolls is the way the yeasty dough smells. That warm fermented scent is so inviting and brings life into the kitchen! The process of yeast consuming, reproducing, and growing is an incredible symphony that is easy to take for granted.

Having grown up in a household where my mom was constantly baking fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, or some sort of pastry, the scent of yeast working its magic is one of the most comforting smells.

In fact, cinnamon rolls were often our special holiday breakfasts when we were growing up.

Full disclosure: cinnamon rolls require a bit of time to prepare.

The good news is, you won’t need to do any kneading as there is no gluten to knead!

So put on some of your favorite jams or a podcast, get those fuzzy socks on, sip some hot cocoa, and rejoice in the beautiful art of baking!

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with easy frosting - a healthier cinnamon roll recipe

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls:

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk: In order to make these cinnamon rolls dairy-free, I use full-fat canned coconut milk. It is imperative that the coconut milk be full-fat, or else the fat content of the cinnamon rolls won’t be right and the bake will be off. 

If you do dairy, you can replace the coconut milk with 1 cup of whole milk and ¼ cup of melted butter in the cinnamon roll dough.

Sugar: We use three types of sugar in this recipe! Regular granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and brown sugar are needed to make these cinnamon rolls. You can do as I did and use sugar-free granulated sweetener, sugar-free brown sugar, and sugar-free confectioners sugar to keep the sugar content low, or use regular sugars. 

I haven’t tested the recipe using coconut sugar, but I’m confident it will work for the cinnamon rolls, and you can use pure maple syrup and coconut milk for the glaze. 

Yeast: Yeast makes the rolls rise and gives it that cozy fluff! Be sure you use active dry yeast that isn’t expired. If the yeast doesn’t bloom when you mix it with the coconut milk (i.e. doesn’t appear foamy or smell yeasty), it is likely that your coconut milk wasn’t warm enough and you’ll need to start over. The recipe simply won’t work unless the yeast is active.

Egg: Used for binding and for fluffing the rolls, we need an egg to ensure the rolls rise up and hold together.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: Making cinnamon rolls gluten-free is actually very simple using a gluten-free flour blend. I use Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which can be used as a 1:1 replacement for regular flour. Various brands have different absorbencies, but King Arthur’s Measure for Measure and Pamela’s should work with the same quantity.

Baking Powder: Used for leavening the cinnamon rolls, baking powder ensures it all holds together.

Sea Salt: Sea salt brings out the sweetness of the rolls and enhances the flavors for a well-rounded experience.

Cinnamon: The star of the show! Cinnamon is what makes cinnamon rolls ultra cozy with layer upon layer of gooey, soft, fluffy bliss.

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with easy frosting - a healthier cinnamon roll recipe

Recipe Tips:

Read all the instructions before you start. Because there are multiple parts to this recipe, it will save you time in the long run if you know how it will all play out before you begin.

Be sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the coconut milk before adding the yeast. It must be between 110 and 120 degrees F. If it’s too cool, the yeast will not activate, and if it’s too warm, the yeast will die.

If you have a bread proofing option on your oven, use it for allowing the dough to rise. This shouldn’t be any hotter than 120 degrees F. 

As an alternative, if your home is on the cooler end, you can put the dough in the oven and preheat it to the lowest heat setting (usually 170) just for a couple of minutes as the oven heats up. Turn off the oven before it gets to 150 and allow the dough to sit in the warm oven.

The coconut oil will need to be very soft and easily spreadable for the filling, but not melted. If your coconut oil is solid, microwave it for 10 second increments until it has softened to a spreadable consistency.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cinnamon - an easy and delicious cinnamon roll recipe

How to Make Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls:

Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough:

Get out a large mixing bowl – you will use it  for the cinnamon roll dough. Heat the coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to about 110 to 115 degrees F either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Transfer the coconut milk to the mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Whisk well until incorporated into the coconut milk. Allow this mixture to sit for 8 to 10 minutes, until the yeast is very fragrant and the mixture appears foamy.

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

While the yeast is blooming, add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and sea salt to a separate bowl and stir until well-combined.

Whisk the rest of the sugar, melted coconut oil, and the beaten egg into the mixing bowl with the coconut milk-yeast mixture and mix until well incorporated.

Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and stir well. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture, and mix until a thick dough forms. The dough should feel moist but not be overly sticky. If it is too sticky add more flour, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

Spread the dough into an even layer or form it into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap then a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm part of your house for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

The amount of time this takes will be dependent on the temperature of your house. If you keep your house warm, it will take about an hour. If you have a bread proof function on your oven, you can use it!

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

Roll the Cinnamon Roll Dough:

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on your counter and sprinkle it lightly with gluten-free flour.

Transfer the cinnamon roll dough to the center of the parchment paper, and roll it into a rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick. (note: if you don’t own a rolling pin, you can use a wine bottle or jar of peanut butter to roll the dough).

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

Prepare the Filling:

Measure out ⅓ cup of coconut oil – if it is not very soft, place it in your microwave and hit the defrost button and set the timer for 15 seconds. Keep repeating this until the coconut oil is very soft but not melted. In a mixing bowl or measuring cup, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Note that it won’t mix together very easily…it’s okay!

Spread the coconut oil over the cinnamon roll dough. You may not need to use all of the coconut oil, but be sure the dough is very generously coated. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture over the dough, leaving about ½-inch around the edges.

Press the cinnamon and sugar into the dough gently with your hands.

Roll the Cinnamon Roll Dough:

Assertively roll the dough into a log shape. The easiest way to do this is to use the parchment paper to help roll the dough onto itself, then gently pressing the dough over the parchment paper to ensure it holds together. Note: you may need to press the dough together if it begins to break apart in any areas.

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

Once you have your log of dough, use a serrated knife to cut it into 10 to 12 equal-sized pieces, about 1-inch wide each.

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

Grease a 9-inch round or 9-inch square baking pan with a generous amount of coconut oil (or butter if using).

Transfer the raw cinnamon rolls to the greased pan. Cover and allow rolls to sit and rise another 30 to 40 minutes.How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

After this period, there shouldn’t be any wide gaps between the rolls as the rising should fill them in. If desired, melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (or butter, ghee, or vegan butter spread) and pour it evenly over the cinnamon rolls before baking.

 How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they barely begin to turn golden brown. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and prepare the frosting/glaze.

How to make dairy-free gluten-free cinnamon rolls

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with easy frosting - a healthier cinnamon roll recipe

Are These Exactly Like Regular Cinnamon Rolls?:

No. The gluten in regular all-purpose flour creates a tightly bound stretch, which results in fluffy airy texture, which simply is not present in gluten-free flour. These gluten-free cinnamon rolls are fluffy and cake like, but the texture is more crumbly than regular cinnamon rolls.

In addition, the fact that the cinnamon rolls are dairy-free means they don’t have an unmistakable butter flavor, however, they do have creamy rich flavor from the coconut milk and coconut oil.

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Roll Recipe - gluten-free cinnamon rolls made dairy-free

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Replace the coconut milk with eggnog
  • Add ¼ tsp nutmeg to the filling if you like a festive spice
  • If you do dairy, you can replace the coconut milk with 1 cup of whole milk and ¼ cup of melted butter in the cinnamon roll dough. Swap the coconut oil for softened butter in the filling, and replace the coconut milk for butter in the icing.
  • Use sugar-free brown sugar instead of regular brown sugar to make cinnamon rolls lower carb.

Dairy-Free Cinnamon Roll Recipe - gluten-free cinnamon rolls made dairy-free

My Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls , Almond Flour Coffee Cake, and Snickerdoodle Paleo Pancakes are also great ways of getting that sweet cinnamon fix.

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with easy frosting - a healthier cinnamon roll recipe

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Sweet, fluffy cinnamon rolls made dairy-free and gluten-free

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Rolls:

Filling:

Frosting:

Instructions

Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  1. Heat the coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to about 110 to 115 degrees F in a large mixing bowl (you can do this either on the stovetop or in the microwave). Transfer the coconut milk to the mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Whisk well until incorporated into the coconut milk. Allow this mixture to sit for 8 to 10 minutes, until the yeast is very fragrant and the mixture appears foamy.
  2. While the yeast is blooming, add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and sea salt to a separate bowl and stir until well-combined.
  3. Whisk the rest of the sugar, melted coconut oil, and the beaten egg into the mixing bowl with the coconut milk-yeast mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and stir well. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture, and mix until a thick dough forms. The dough should feel moist but not be overly sticky.
  5. Spread the dough into an even layer or form it into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap then a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm part of your house for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough has about doubled in size.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on your counter and sprinkle it lightly with gluten-free flour. Transfer the cinnamon roll dough to the center of the parchment paper, and roll it into a rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick.

  1. Spread the coconut oil over the cinnamon roll dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the dough. Press the cinnamon and sugar gently into the dough using your hands.
  2. Roll the dough into a log shape. The easiest way to do this is to use the parchment paper to help roll the dough onto itself, then gently pressing the dough over the parchment paper to ensure it holds together.
  3. Use a serrated knife to cut it into 10 to 12 equal-sized pieces, about 1-inch wide each.
  4. Grease a 9-inch round or 9-inch square baking pan with a generous amount of coconut oil (or butter if using).
  5. Transfer the uncooked cinnamon rolls to the greased pan. Cover and allow rolls to sit and rise another 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they barely begin to turn golden brown.
  7. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, stir together the ingredients for the frosting. Use more or less coconut milk or water depending on your desired thickness. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls and serve.

Notes

Nutrition Facts calculated using cane sugar and not including frosting.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 of 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 45gNet Carbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g
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Meredith

Monday 19th of April 2021

Hi! Where is best to store these? Fridge? Or covered on counter?

Julia

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

Hi Meredith! I cover the dish in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator :D xo

Lianne

Monday 28th of December 2020

Wow, I had to add so much more flour to make it less sticky. Not sure why? I had to add almost about 3/4 cup more flour. The dough was extremely sticky. I'm positive I measured correctly.

Brendan

Sunday 14th of February 2021

@Julia Mueller, same issue as Lianne and we use Bob's 1:1. I added 2 heaping tablespoons and thought it could use a little more but wanted to stay truer to the recipe.

Julia Mueller

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

@Lianne, What brand of gluten-free flour did you use? There's a big difference between brands in how much liquid they absorb.

Jodi

Monday 28th of December 2020

I can't do the yeast. Would these be almost as good without it using the baking powder and soda combined?

Julia

Monday 28th of December 2020

Hi Jodi,

I haven't had success replacing yeast with baking soda and baking powder, but if you have in other recipes, it's worth a try. Let me know how they turn out!

Jayne Galaris

Sunday 27th of December 2020

A egg is dairy

Abc

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

@Jayne, Eggs and dairy are not even from the same class of animal. Eggs come from chickens which are birds. Dairy is milk from classically a cow (bovine) that is a mammal. Mammals by definition do not lay eggs. Sixth grade education stuff, or first grader of a farmer's kid.

Julia

Sunday 27th of December 2020

Eggs are not dairy. Dairy is milk (or milk products). Eggs are not milk. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-eggs-dairy

JOYCE CARR

Sunday 27th of December 2020

Can you replace the egg,making this vegan?

Julia

Sunday 27th of December 2020

Hi there! I haven't tested the recipe yet using an egg replacer, but I imagine it will work. I do like the idea of using aquafaba, the way Sally recommended. :D Let me know if you try it!

Sally

Sunday 27th of December 2020

@JOYCE CARR, I've not made these yet but I'll be trying them with Aquafaba (liquid from a tin of chickpeas) instead of egg. 3 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 whole egg.

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