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Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

These delicious homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls will warm up the coldest of winter days. Glazed in icing with a hint of espresso, these warm, fluffy cinnamon rolls are a family favorite at any breakfast, brunch or holiday gathering.

Keep this gluten free cinnamon roll recipe on hand this holiday season!

Two hands opening a gooey cinnamon roll above a pan of cinnamon rolls covered in an espresso icing.

Your wish is my command!

Cinnamon rolls are SUPER popular this time of year (but really, give me a time of year that is NOT good for cinnamon rolls) — and I’ve been getting tons of requests on social media for a gluten free variation. Now, while I don’t usually focus on gluten free recipes, I 100% believe that everyone, regardless of dietary choices or restrictions, should be able to enjoy this classic warm, gooey breakfast favorite. So today I give you a delicious recipe for gluten free cinnamon rolls just in time for the holiday season!

The base of these cinnamon rolls is actually super basic, like Cinnabon, but the icing does have an espresso flavor flare to it. If coffee isn’t your jam, though, the espresso can be easily omitted to taste just like classic cinnamon roll icing.

A pan of cinnamon rolls covered in an espresso icing.

Why you’ll love these cinnamon rolls:

  • They are a huge hit with the kids! Sometimes, it’s ok to get sticky, right? Whether you’re letting the kids help roll the dough, spread the icing, or just eat the warm and gooey final product, they will absolutely LOVE these gluten free cinnamon rolls. 
  • The holidays are all about nostalgia. Speaking of kids… Some of my favorite memories include waking up to the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Something about these fluffy frosted buns just really make you feel like a  kid again — especially if you’re in the “unroll then eat” camp like me!
  • They’re a crowd pleaser! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever met even a super picky eater that wasn’t excited to have a cinnamon roll. And with this gluten free recipe, everyone can enjoy!
  • It really is the ultimate cold-weather comfort food. Picture it: Comfy couch, fluffy socks, warm blanket, cup of coffee, your favorite movie, and THESE gluten free cinnamon rolls. Sounds amazing, right?

A dish of cinnamon rolls with a large dollop of espresso icing in the middle.

Pro tips:

  • Roll the right thickness. To ensure you have the perfect cinnamon rolls, it’s important to get the thickness of the dough just right! Try to roll out the dough to 3/4-inch thick for light, fluffy rolls and 1/4-inch thick for gooey, more chewy cinnamon rolls.
  • The more layers, the merrier! Spread the cinnamon filling from end to end and roll the dough as tightly as possible.
  • The gluten free dough doesn’t rise quite like regular dough. If you’re not used to baking with gluten free dough, it’s important to know that it does not rise as much as regular dough because it is thicker and more dense. Yes, it should rise some, but it will not double in size. It also may take a little longer to rise. You’ll know it’s ready when the dough is be a bit puffier and leaves an indentation when poked.
  • Check to see if your gluten free flour has xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a thickener and stabilizer that prevents ingredients from separating, and it’s often included in gluten-free products to make them taste more like the real thing. If your gluten free flour does NOT have xanthan gum, you’ll need to add it separately. 
  • Let your cinnamon rolls cool before icing them! Cinnamon rolls aren’t complete without icing, but nothing is more disappointing than all the icing oozing to the bottom of the pan. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 10 minutes to ice the rolls after taking them out of the oven.

Four by four image with steps to make cinnamon rolls; first image is dough spread out, second image includes cinnamon spread filling, third image illustrates rolling the dough; fourth image shows cinnamon rolls in dish waiting to be baked.

Ingredients for recipe Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls:

Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk, warmed to 110°-115°F
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp xantham gum (if flour doesn’t have it)
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Cinnamon filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Icing:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder

Cinnamon roll loaf cut into rolls on parchment paper next to knife.

How to make Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls:

  1. For dough: Add white sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and pour warm milk over. Stir to combine. Pour the yeast in and set aside until bubbly, about 5-10 mins.
  2. Add the melted butter to the yeast mixture. Stir in whisked eggs and apple cider vinegar. Add in gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, and xantham gum if your gluten-free flour does not contain it. Attach the bread hook to the mixer and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl and is soft. It should not feel dry but a bit sticky. 
  3. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and transfer dough to bowl. Cover and place in a warm, dry spot, I place mine in an unheated oven. Let the dough rise for 1 hour. It may take a little longer to rise, but the dough should be a bit puffier and should leave an indentation when poked. It will not double in size.
  4. For filling: In a medium bowl, add in brown sugar, cinnamon and softened butter to a small bowl. Whisk together with a small whisk or spatula until combined. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a 9×13” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  6. Lay a 12×16” piece of parchment paper on the counter. Scrape the dough on top. Press the dough to fit the parchment sheet; the dough should be about 12×16” as well.
  7. Evenly spread the cinnamon filling on the rectangle of dough with an offset spatula. 
  8. Carefully, use the parchment sheet to begin rolling the dough. Use the parchment to fold over the first 1” or so of the short side with filling all the way to the edge. Continue rolling the dough by folding the parchment over to the other side.
  9. Cut the roll into 8-10 equal pieces. Place evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. They will not puff up like regular cinnamon rolls, but will rise and puff and should be slightly golden brown. 
  10. For Icing: Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and beat until combined and smooth. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk and salt; beat on medium speed until combined. If desired, add in instant espresso powder for a smooth coffee finish. 
  11. Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before smearing frosting.

A dish of cinnamon rolls baked with no icing.

On hand holding a knife and spreading icing over cinnamon rolls in a dish.

Looking for more cinnamon roll recipes? Give these a try!

Other brunch recipes to try:

Print

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 1.5-2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 rolls 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These delicious homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls will warm up the coldest of winter days. Glazed in icing with a hint of espresso, these warm, fluffy cinnamon rolls are a family favorite at any breakfast, brunch or holiday gathering.


Scale

Ingredients

Dough:

1 cup warm milk, warmed to 110°-115°F

1 packet active dry yeast

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs, whisked

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 1/2 tsp xantham gum (if flour doesn’t have it)

2 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Cinnamon filling:

1 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp cinnamon

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Icing:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

3 tbsp butter, melted

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk

pinch of salt

2 tsp instant espresso powder


Instructions

  1. For dough: Add white sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and pour warm milk over. Stir to combine. Pour the yeast in and set aside until bubbly, about 5-10 mins.
  2. Add the melted butter to the yeast mixture. Stir in whisked eggs and apple cider vinegar. Add in gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, and xantham gum if your gluten-free flour does not contain it. Attach the bread hook to the mixer and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl and is soft. It should not feel dry but a bit sticky. 
  3. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and transfer dough to bowl. Cover and place in a warm, dry spot, I place mine in an unheated oven. Let the dough rise for 1 hour. it may take a little longer to rise, but the dough should be a bit puffier and should leave an indentation when poked. It will not double in size.
  4. For filling: In a medium bowl, add in brown sugar, cinnamon and softened butter to a small bowl. Whisk together with a small whisk or spatula until combined. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a 9×13” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  6. Lay a 12×16” piece of parchment paper on the counter. Scrape the dough on top. Press the dough to fit the parchment sheet; the dough should be about 12×16” as well.
  7. Evenly spread the cinnamon filling on the rectangle of dough with an offset spatula. 
  8. Carefully, use the parchment sheet to begin rolling the dough. Use the parchment to fold over the first 1” or so of the short side with filling all the way to the edge. Continue rolling the dough by folding the parchment over to the other side.
  9. Cut the roll into 8-10 equal pieces. Place evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. They will not puff up like regular cinnamon rolls, but will rise and puff and should be slightly golden brown. 
  10. For Icing: Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and beat until combined and smooth. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk and salt; beat on medium speed until combined. If desired, add in instant espresso powder for a smooth coffee finish. 
  11. Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before smearing frosting.

Keywords: gluten free, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon roll, breakfast, brunch, cinnamon, roll

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