These gluten and dairy free cinnamon rolls have truly been a work of heart. I’ve worked on perfecting this recipe for nearly an entire year! I started working on it when we first locked down for COVID during the second week of March in Texas. This recipe development has traveled across state lines and across three kitchens since we moved this year!
This recipe is the perfect thing to whip up with the cold temps and snowy weather that seems to be sweeping most of the nation. The first time I ever learned to make cinnamon rolls from scratch, my Grandma Schuman shared her recipe for cream cheese cinnamon rolls over the phone. It was one of the years we had a bad snow and school was canceled for weeks. We lost power at some point, and warmed cinnamon rolls on my dad’s wood stove in the “summer kitchen.”
If you’re not familiar with a “summer kitchen” they’re common in older homes like my parents’ and were used in the summer for canning and preserving so the heat of the process didn’t increase the temperature in the main part of the home during the already hot and humid midwestern summer.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted (use ghee for completely dairy free!)
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk, warmed slightly to activate the yeast
- 1 package gf yeast
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk of an egg
- 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla (I love HEB double strength vanilla if you’re located in TX!)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum if your flour does not have it already added*
- 4 cups gluten free flour (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill one-to-one in the blue bag)
- Additional flour for rolling out
- 1 stick butter, cubed (you can use 1.5 sticks if you want the extra ooey gooeyness like Cinnabon!)
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (ghee for completely dairy free!)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Warm almond milk to about 100* – you don’t want it to be too hot or it may burn the yeast instead of activating.
- Stir packet of yeast into warmed milk, it will foam just slightly.
- Add sugar, eggs, butter, and apple cider vinegar to the mixture, whisking until smooth.
- Gradually add and incorporate gluten free flour stirring until a dough forms. Smooth the mixture into a ball and allow dough to rise in a warm location for an hour. (Note: gf flour will not rise quite as much as you’d expect regular wheat flour to, but you’ll still see an increase!)
- While dough is in final stages of rising, add all ingredients for the filling to a food processor. Pulse or process until the mixture is small crumbles.
- On a lightly floured surface (dough will be stickier than traditional dough – it may be beneficial to roll it out on floured parchment paper), roll out dough until it is approximately 1/2 inch thick in the shape of a rectangle.
- Add filling evenly to the dough and carefully roll into a log shape. Have patience – gf baked goods do not maneuver as easily as regular dough!
- Cut into 10-12 even slices and place in a parchment lined pan.
- Bake for about 40 minutes at 350* until rolls are lightly golden brown.
- Stir together all ingredients for icing and top warm cinnamon rolls with the icing. It’s best to do this while rolls are still warm or hot so it will get perfectly melty and delicious!
Serve warm to the ones you love. Bonus points if you serve with milk or coffee and scrambled eggs – please balance the sweet with some protein, people!! 🙂
Please share this recipe with someone who would love it as much as my family has for the year!