Lazy Gluten Free: Best-Ever Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Best-Ever Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

There are a few foods that I have yet to find a good gluten-free option for. I knew when I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease that the hardest thing was going to be giving up all the delicious carb-filled sweets that I love so dearly. Luckily, I have found good gluten-free alternatives for most of my beloved desserts.

It used to be a family tradition to have fresh baked Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning. That tradition has since been replaced with Yum-Yum Coffee Cake, which is very delicious, but not cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are one of those recipes that I had not been able to successfully satisfy with a gluten-free alternative, until now.

These cinnamon rolls were SO good. I was skeptical at first since I have only had weird tasting and dry versions, but my inhibitions were quickly diffused when these came out of the oven. They were moist, gooey, cinnamon-y, and well worth the effort. I am excited that our family tradition will resume this year, thanks to these little rolls.

Best-Ever Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

You will need (Dough):
2-1/2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon rapid rising yeast
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons guar gum
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (dry) OR dry milk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will need (Topping):
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whipping cream
pinch of salt

You will need (Filling):
2 tablespoons butter, very soft
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup re-hydrated raisins or pecans (optional)

Directions - Topping:
1) In a small saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vanilla, whipping cream, and salt. 

2) Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of the greased baking pan.

Directions - Filling:
1) Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl until well blended. Add raisins or pecans if desired.

Directions - Dough:
1) Mix all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until well-combined. Set aside.

2) In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave water and butter until butter is melted. Remove from the microwave and stir. Add the milk and stir. Add the remaining wet ingredients (egg, vinegar, vanilla, and oil) and stir. Using a thermometer, ensure that the wet ingredients are within the heat range recommended for the yeast. 

3) While the mixer is running, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl if necessary. Once added, continue mixing for about 3 minutes.

4) On a damp counter top/surface, lay out a piece of plastic wrap to cover an area larger than 8 inches by 16 inches. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on the plastic wrap.

5) When done mixing, remove the ball of dough from the mixing bowl and place on the center of the sugar-covered plastic wrap. Lightly place another piece of plastic wrap (same size as the first piece) on top of the ball of dough. Pat the dough in to a rough square shape. The more square you can get, the better. 

6) Roll out the dough, with the plastic wrap still on top, into a rectangular shape approximately 8 inches by 16 inches. 

7) Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the cinnamon filling evenly on top of the dough. Leave about 1 to 1-1/2 inches on one long edge without filling as this will be used to seal the rolls.

8) Starting with the long edge that has the filling on it (opposite of the edge without filling), begin to roll the dough into a long cylinder. 

9) Using a long piece of dark thread, cut the cylinder into 8 pieces. To use the thread, slide it underneath the dough, cross the ends at the top, and pull. This works much better than a knife since it won't squish your dough. 

10) Place the rolls cut side up in the prepared baking dish and slightly flatten the rolls down to about 1 inch thick.

11) Allow the rolls to rise in a warm, draft free location for approximately 30 minutes or until the rolls have nearly doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.

12) Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops start turning golden brown.

13) Allow the rolls to cool in the baking dish for about 5 minutes before inverting them onto a serving tray. This will allow the syrup to run over the rolls forming a nice glaze.

Serve warm and enjoy!!

Adapted from Jeanine's (The Baking Beauties) "The Best Gluten-Free Cinnamon Buns (or Rolls, if you prefer)"


  1. What gluten free flour did you use?

    1. Good question. I used King Arthur's Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour. It is usually my go-to GF flour, and I have had good success with it.