Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

We know of few comforts as rewarding as warm-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls. For those with a gluten allergy or sensitivity, that’s a tough experience to replicate. Enter these gluten-free cinnamon rolls. Enjoyed fresh from the oven, they rival many others in terms of cinnamon flavor and soft-bread texture. Plus they're simple to reheat, allowing for repeat cinnamon-roll comfort up to several days after baking.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
20 to 25 mins
Total
4 hrs 35 mins
Yield
8 servings
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, mixing on low speed to combine. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  2. Turn the mixer back on to medium-high speed and beat the dough for 3 minutes; don't take a shortcut here, beat for the full 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down again. Cover the dough and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until visibly puffy.

  3. To make the filling: While the dough is rising, put the melted butter into a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until the mixture is the texture of damp sand. Set aside.

  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.

  5. Turn the risen dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Wet your hands and gently press the dough into a 10" x 12" rectangle about 1/2” thick.

  6. Sprinkle the filling over the dough, covering all but a 1/2” strip along the long side farthest from you.

  7. Starting with the long edge of the parchment closest to you, roll the dough forward, allowing the paper to do the work for you. The dough should release from the paper as you roll.

  8. Put the log in the freezer (no need to cover it) for 20 to 30 minutes, to firm it up before cutting.

  9. Remove the log from the freezer and transfer it to a cutting surface. Using a sharp serrated knife or dental floss, cut the log into 8 slices. To use floss, thread it under the dough and pull each end simultaneously across the top to cut.

  10. Place the rolls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (you can use the same parchment you used to shape and cut the rolls), spacing them so they’re at least 2” apart. Alternatively, place the rolls into the lightly greased wells of a muffin pan. Allow the rolls to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until puffy.

  11. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  12. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're golden brown on top; a digital thermometer inserted into the center of one roll will read 205°F.

  13. Remove the rolls from the oven, place the pan on a rack, and brush the hot rolls with 1 1/2 tablespoons (21g) of the melted butter. Let the rolls cool for 10 to 15 minutes before icing.

  14. To make the icing: Combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (21g) melted butter with the remaining icing ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing with a spatula until smooth.

  15. Ice the rolls and serve immediately. If you’re planning to serve the rolls later, wait to ice them until just before serving. Store icing at room temperature, tightly covered, until you’re ready to use it.

  16. Store completely cooled rolls, un-iced and well wrapped, for a couple of days at room temperature; or freeze for up to 1 month.

  17. To reheat leftover rolls: Cover the rolls with foil and warm them in a 300°F to 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Spread with icing and enjoy.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make these cinnamon rolls using the tangzhong method: Begin by measuring out the flour and milk you’ll be using in the recipe. Now take 1/4 cup (39g) of the measured flour and 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (198g) of the milk; put them in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it forms a thick slurry; this will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer then combine it with the remaining dough ingredients in the order that they're listed, adding 2 additional tablespoons (28g) milk and 1 additional egg. Proceed with the recipe as directed. While the tangzhong won't necessarily extend the shelf life of the rolls after they've cooled, it does make the dough feel more like conventional yeast dough, and deepens the golden color of the baked rolls.

  • Want to make a savory version of these rolls? Prepare the dough as directed above, using just 1 tablespoon sugar. Make the filling from our Butterflake Herb Loaf recipe. Pat out the gluten-free dough as directed above. Melt the butter/herb filling, and spread half of it over the dough (reserve the rest for later). Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired. Roll the dough up the long way, and cut into 12 slices. Bake in a muffin tin, according to the instructions above. Remove the baked rolls from the oven, and dip the top of each into the remaining melted butter/herb filling. Serve warm.

  • Neat way to slice a log of dough into buns? Use unflavored dental floss. Tie a loop around the log, then pull it tight directly over the spot where you want to slice. The floss will cut through the dough easily without squashing the log like a knife might. For step-by-step photos see our blog post, A simple trick for cinnamon rolls.