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Feb 16, 2014

Perfect Cinnamon Rolls {top 8 + gluten free}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #cinnamonrolls

While I thought I'd found my favorite dairy-free, gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe awhile ago, I decided that anything can be improved. So I set to work trying to perfect it. It can be tricky to get gluten-free baked goods to come out perfect. They're often too dense or crumbly. It took several failed attempts and many taste-testing sessions, but it's finally just right!

I'm so excited to share this NEW and improved version with you! This particular recipe calls for ripe bananas in place of eggs. You can also make them with pumpkin puree like I did in my Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll recipe!

Cinnamon Rolls {Top 8 & Gluten Free}

Makes about 18 rolls                                                                                        

  • 1 1/2 cup lukewarm dairy-free milk                                                              
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups gluten free all purpose flour            
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 medium-sized, ripe bananas, mashed (I peel and freeze mine in a large bag, then thaw when ready to use)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted dairy-free butter substitute (I use Earth Balance Soy-free)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup softened milk-free butter substitute (I use Earth Balance Soy-free)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon

In a measuring cup, measure out the dairy-free milk. Microwave in 30 second intervals until it is lukewarm. Add the contents of the yeast packets plus 1 Tbsp sugar and set aside. 

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mash the bananas. Add the granulated sugar, melted butter and vanilla and mix well. 

Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the wet ingredients, the gradually add the dry ingredients while mixing on low speed until just combined. Once combined, turn mixer speed up to medium-high and  allow the mixture to beat for about 2-3 minutes. (I do this in place of kneading the dough.)

Lightly spray a 9x13" glass baking dish with non-stick spray, or coat with coconut oil; set aside.

Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

(Tip: Lay a long piece of freezer paper out waxy side up, then tape the corners down to your counter top. The waxy surface helps to keep the dough from sticking and you can use less flour!)
Starting at one end, begin rolling up the dough. You will want to try to keep the roll as tight as possible. Once it is rolled, using a sharp knife, cut into 1-inch thick sections. Place the rolls into the pan, leaving a little bit of space between them to allow for rising. 

Cover the pan with a light towel and set aside to rise for about one hour.
(Tip: For quicker rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place an oven-safe dish filled with water inside. Once the oven reaches 350, turn the heat OFF. Place pan with rolls into the oven for 20-30 minutes. The heat and moisture will help the rolls to rise faster. When risen to desired size, remove pan from oven and proceed with next steps.)

After rising, the rolls can be frozen for later use. Just lay a piece of plastic wrap on top, touching the rolls. Cover with a piece of foil then freeze. All you will need to do is let them thaw before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-17 minutes. 

Top with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, or some icing. My favorite icing consists of powdered sugar, maple flavoring, a pinch of salt and some dairy-free milk. 
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