Gluten-free Cinnamon Buns 2.0

They say good things come in threes.

Over the course of last 6 days, I’ve developed two different cinnamon bun recipes yielding over 65 individual cinnamon buns, a stuffed freezer, and a very, very happy cinnamon bun loving boyfriend.

I think it’s safe to say that good things can come in twos as well and end it there before anyone gets hurt.

Remember the part in Fantasia when the brooms keep multiplying over and over?

Pretend the brooms are cinnamon buns and the buckets glasses of almond milk. That was the scene of our kitchen as I finished my 5th batch of rolls on Sunday.


Oh, and Mikey Mouse down there? He’s the gluten being trampled by the awesome gluten-free cinnamon roll.

You don’t need gluten to make a good cinnamon roll, Mickey. Get with the times!

Kevin loved last week’s batch of rolls so much that he said if I didn’t post the recipe on the blog I’d be knowingly letting down everyone, so I went for it. As time passed all I wanted to do was get into the kitchen to take another crack at perfecting the recipe to the soft, melt in your mouth, gooey, liquid bottom I’ve dreamed of all these years on a gluten-free diet.

And crack I did.

Twice just to make sure the recipe was right.

Then again for good measure.

Oh my gosh I’m so happy my freezer is full of these things. And even happier that I get to make yet another batch on the weekend for my Mom.

I’ll be a pro cinnamon roller in no time.

Hire me?

Inspired by my gluten-free cinnamon buns

View Nutrition Information (once on page, scroll down)

Gluten-free Cinnamon Buns 2.0
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Corn-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 buns, 12 servings
Melt in your mouth gluten-free cinnamon buns. Serve for Mother’s Day with a side of fresh fruit and a pot of rooibos tea.
Cinnamon sugar
Gooey bottom
  • 1-2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoon tapioca starch + more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup soy milk powder
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground chia seed
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. For step by step photos on how to make cinnamon buns, check out this post.
  2. Prepare cinnamon sugar by combining ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Prepare gooey bottom ingredients in a small pan but do not heat. Set aside.
  4. Whisk all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. In a microwave-safe dish, combine non-dairy milk and extra virgin coconut oil. Microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes, until the oil is melted. If you do not want to use a microwave, place in a small saucepan and heat on low for 45 seconds, just until oil is heated. You do not want this mixture too hot, about 115F and no higher.
  6. Add egg, vinegar, apple sauce, water and vanilla to the milk and oil mixture. Once combined, add to the dry ingredients.
  7. Mix until fully incorporated, then place in the bowl of your food processor or stand mixer and mix with dough blade for 3 minutes. If sticky, add a bit more tapioca starch. In total, I usually add 1-2 tablespoons of starch during the process.
  8. Meanwhile, heat gooey bottom ingredients in the small saucepan until oil is melted. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of a greased 8×8 baking pan.
  9. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter. You’ll want the plastic wrap to be about 8″x 16″.
  10. Lay the ball of dough on top of the prepared plastic wrap and cover with a second piece of the same size. Use tapioca starch for extra dusting as needed.
  11. Pat the dough down to a rectangle shape before rolling out with a rolling pin and getting it to about 8″x16″.
  12. Remove the top plastic wrap and spread cinnamon sugar across the surface. Leave 1″ of one of the long edges free from cinnamon sugar.
  13. Begin rolling the rectangle into a long cylinder shape by starting with the long edge that has the cinnamon sugar to the end.
  14. Seal using the end section that doesn’t have cinnamon sugar on it.
  15. Using a long piece of thread, cut the cylinder into approximately 1.5″ wide rolls by sliding the thread underneath the roll, lifting it over the top so that both ends of the thread meet, crossing them past one another and pinching the dough with it. Repeat so that you have 12 rolls when all is said and done.
  16. Place rolls cut side up and squish slightly with your hands so that everything touches and rolls are about 1″.
  17. Cover with a clean cloth and place in a warm, draft free place for 30 minutes. I placed them in the oven with the light on. Just remember to remove them before you start the preheating!
  18. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Mine were perfect at the 22 minute mark.
This new version of gluten-free cinnamon rolls have 200 less calories per serving than my original gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe, less fat, 9g less sugar, and half the overall carbohydrate count.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)

Gluten-free Cinnamon Buns 2.0 (15)

Once the buns have had the 30 minutes to rise in the pan, they should look something like this.

Resist the urge to poke your finger into the sauce.

Don’t do it!

As they’re baking, the smell of cinnamon will dance through your house and may even get the neighbors curious.

Maybe make a second, third or fourth batch for your neighbors. You’re going to want a whole pan just for yourself.

If you’re in need of a healthy meal after scarfing back a half dozen cinnamon buns over the weekend like me, or aren’t in a cinnamon bun mood today – how could you not be in a cinnamon bun mood? Be sure to visit me over at the Colourful Palate where I’ve shared a new Indian recipe, potato and cauliflower curry. Yummm.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Swoooooooooon. I’m sure you could sell these in the mall and put Cinnabon out of business! I want to make them not only because I love cinnamon, but because they would make my house smell incredible. Have fun working your way through that freezer stash…. I’m sure it won’t be too difficult! ;)

  2. Help!! I think I mismeasured. The dough looks like cake batter. What do I do?

    • Oh no! I’ve done that many times! If you’re willing to make the buns a bit harder in texture, add brown rice flour and tapioca starch until the dough is no longer sticky.

      • I made the most of the batter and turned your rolls into a cinnamon cake. Good save!

        • Nice work! So sorry it didn’t work out for you. Any idea what might have happened? I tested the recipe a bunch of times so would love to know what caused the mishap. Cinnamon cake though, good idea!

          • Mine came out like batter as well. Did you use xanthum/guar gum in your recipe?

          • Hi Stephanie – I did not use xanthum gum or guar gum as I am sensitive to them, so used freshly ground chia seed instead. Another reader ran into the same consistency problem but realized she forgot to add the tapioca starch! Are you sure you added all dry ingredients? I’ve made this recipe multiple times and haven’t had an issue yet, please let me know if you figure out what could have happened!

          • Hmm just reviewing the recipe over and over to see what could have happened. Do you by chance see the 1 2/3 cup and believe it was only 2/3 of a cup? I just made them again, just now to make sure that I wasn’t totally out to lunch the last couple of times I’ve made them and the dough was perfect. I really don’t know what could be happening!

          • I am sure I added the full amount of flour. I had to add 1 extra cup of tapioca and an extra 1/2 cup brown rice flour in addition to a full tsp. of guar gum before the dough was useable.

          • I’m really sorry this happened, Stephanie. I wish I could figure out what happened. Like I said, I made them again today right after your comment and they were fine. Again, I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you and hope the changes you made managed to yield a tasty breakfast!

    • My parents bought my friends and I cinnamon rolls for our sleepovers, too. Great memories :)

  3. holy sh** I’ll try this this weekend (or attempt something like it)….hope it will improve my mood after failing my AP exam today :(

    • Oh no, I’m sorry you didn’t do well on your test, Stephanie… are you able to take it again?

    • Enjoy :) There was a typo on the recipe yesterday. I’ve since updated it, but wanted to give you the heads up just in case you printed off the recipe your the family. Have a fabulous weekend!

  4. This does look delicious, I think you’ve finally persuaded me to try a more complicated baking recipe. :D (Simple muffin recipes tend to be my favourite.) I did used to love cinnamon buns and haven’t had them in years. Thank you for sharing this!

    One daft question, how do you create fresh ground chia seed? I think I have whole chia seeds, which I’m going to try reducing in a pestle and mortar. If anyone has a different method they use, please let me know! (Note I don’t have any sort of spice mill/coffee bean grinder set-up though.) Otherwise it’s elbow grease time!

    • Hi Caroline – I use a coffee grinder but you could also try your blender or food processor. You’ll just need more than 1 tablespoon to successfully grind the seed. Enjoy the rolls!

  5. hahahaha, I wish I could post a picture. I used hemp protein powder so 1. they’re green & I clearly needed to add more tapioca starch so 2. they were a goopy mess!! I had a good time making them though & I’m sure they’ll be tasty (: just waiting for them to pop out of the oven!

    • Oh my gosh… you could remake them for St. Patrick’s Day! I usually add about 1-2 tbsp of starch while I’m making the buns so I’m hoping they aren’t too goopy. Enjoy!

  6. I just made these this weekend and they turned out amazing! I added raisins to them as well…incredible! A recipe that i will be making again for sure! Thanks for posting it!

    • Why I haven’t thought to add raisins to mine is beyond me. Good call! Glad you liked them, Alys ;)

  7. OMG. I just made these. There are the first cinnamon rolls I’ve had since going gluten, soy, corn, and dairy-free. DELICIOUS. My boyfriend, who has no dietary restrictions, licked his plate clean. Thanks for perfecting this beautiful treat! :)

    • I’m glad you liked them, Jenny! Kevin (who can eat just about everything) did the very same thing :)

  8. Hi Leanne,

    These look wonderful. You referred to your freezer stash – did you bake and then freeze or freeze, thaw, then bake? I’m wondering if/how I can prepare these ahead of time for a function.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Hillary – I baked and then placed in an air-tight container, then froze. Just a bit of defrosting and warming in the oven or microwave did the trick!

  9. Are these safe for my girlfriend who is allergic to gluten to eat? They look very tasty and I look foreword to trying to make some

  10. Help!! I tried making these for my gluten allergic kiddos and they turned into a soupy mess….. what could have gone wrong?

    • Hi Samantha – a lot of people have misread the 1 AND 2/3 cup brown rice flour and just done 2/3 cup brown rice flour. Are you sure you added the 1 cup? I’ve tested this recipe about 6 times and have never had issues with it. I hope I’m not too late in replying to you!

  11. Is there anything I can replace the protein powder with? I am allergic to almonds so can’t so almond flour.

    • Hi Rita – you could try to add white rice flour or sweet rice flour. Enjoy!

  12. Oh dear! Don’t know what I did wrong but Xmas morning my attempt transferred from the table to the bin (it tasted dreadful lol.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that they didn’t taste right to you, Jo. I’ve had lots of people tell me that they’re delicious and that the recipe worked well for them, so I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps too much leavening agent? I hope you were able to save Christmas breakfast and that you and your family had a good day regardless of the outcome of breakfast…

      • Thank you Leanne! I will try again – I was in a holiday unit – there is nothing like cooking in your own kitchen :)

    • Hi Catherine – you could try arrowroot starch or tapioca starch but I haven’t tried it with either. Hope that helps!

  13. Hey Leanne,

    Any thoughts on what could use I stead of apple sauce? I’m fructose intolerant and GF but I really want to try these!


  14. Cam you make these to the dough stage and leave a day before baking, as you can with ‘normal’ cinnamon scroll recipes. Anyone tried it?

    • Hi Kate – I haven’t tried… but I’ve heard of others doing it and it worked out okay!

    • Hi Kate – I definitely would not recommend that. You could try a butter substitute!

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