Cinnamon rolls are the all-time favourite at breakfast or any occasion really, but what makes these extra special is the wonderful cinnamon buttery aroma that sends everyone crazy! I remember finding it so cruel walking past Cinnabon or other bakeries, smelling the freshly baked cinnamon rolls and not being able to buy one due to them being all gluten. Thankfully, this recipe does the trick, and I can indulge from time to time with a gluten-free custom-made cinnamon roll that makes my home smell so similar to a bakery.

I have used this recipe for years using store-bought gluten free plain flour and find that it needs extra flour compared to my homemade blend. Recently, I introduced a new blend that omits cornflour. This blend really agrees in this recipe and makes a perfect dough that isn’t too sticky or runny. If you can source all the ingredients from your local shops, the blend can be found here: homemade gluten-free no-corn plain flour

Otherwise, don’t be alarmed if you need to add more flour if using other blends or store-bought gluten-free flours. Just keep adding more than the 600g of flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers and you can roll it easily.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough:

  • 500ml milk, warm to the touch
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 600g store-bought or homemade gluten-free no-corn plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or 3 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:

  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon powder

For the frosting:

  • 120g plain cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted

Step by Step Instructions

1. Start by preparing the dough: Whisk together the warm milk, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. If you have a food thermometer, the mixture should ideally be between 38-44 C/ 100-110 F.

2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir well.

3. Cover with plastic film and allow it to rest in a warm, drought-free place for 10 minutes.

4. Add only 450g of the flour to the yeast mixture. Leave the remaining 150g in another small bowl and set aside.

5. Stir the flour in well, cover and allow the flour-yeast mixture to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.

6. Butter a 27cm-round baking tin (or a square tin with similar measurements). I used a removable collar-style pan for easy removal.

7. Prepare the filling by blending the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon together. Set aside.

8. Add the remaining flour, xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder, baking powder and salt to the flour-yeast mixture, folding and stirring in well.

9. Using a wooden or silicone spoon, stir for roughly 5 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky, add more flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your spoon or hands.
10. Lay a large sheet of baking paper on your kitchen counter.
11. Roll the dough out on the paper into a large square shape, roughly 1 cm thick.

12. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture all over the top of the dough by using a spatula. Leave a small gap at the dough edges.

13. Start rolling the dough away from you into a log.

14. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, evenly slice the log into 5 cm thick pieces.

15. Place each roll into the prepared baking tin, with the cinnamon butter part facing up.

16. Cover and set aside in a warm place for a final rise of 30 minutes.

17. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

18. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, until golden brown.

19. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or long bamboo stick in the centre. If it comes out clean, the rolls are definitely ready.
20. Allow to cool and gently remove the rolls onto a serving plate.
21. While the rolls are cooling down, prepare the frosting by blending together all the listed ingredients. It is important to sieve the icing sugar. Don’t miss this step or your frosting will look lumpy.

22. Using a spoon, drizzle the frosting all over the cinnamon scrolls. There will probably be some excess frosting, keep this to one side to drizzle more on later as the frosting can soak into the rolls and will need more.

23. Serve immediately or store at room temperature by covering with an upside-down mixing bowl. Reheat in a low oven if you like your rolls warm.
Keeps for 2 days
If you would like to add some nuts in the rolls, add roughly chopped walnuts or pecans to the cinnamon butter.