Gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls

Recently a co-worker of mine asked me to let her know if I ran across any tasty gluten-free brioche recipes. Not a week later, I picked up a copy of the January/February copy of Delight Gluten-free magazine and lo and behold there was a brioche recipe!

I hadn’t actually made the recipe, but I usually get pretty good results from the recipes published in the magazine. I whipped up a batch of rolls, and was a little disappointed – while they tasted just fine, they were pretty boring. I asked Michael M, another gluten-free foodie that works with me, for his opinion – we decided that the recipe was sound, it was just the application that needed fine tuning…enter yeasted cinnamon rolls!

I followed the same recipe, I just added some extra steps (and ingredients). The dough itself comes together in about 10 minutes, so it is very quick to put together. I thought that since the dough was so sticky that it would be a problem rolling it into a log like you would with any other cinnamon roll recipe, but I used a ton of flour on my work surface and didn’t end up having any problems at all (a bowl scraper comes in handy, though). I let the rolls proof for an hour in a warm spot, and then baked them at 350° for about 20 minutes. I whipped up a simple glaze and we were in business – hot, gluten-free, and delicious cinnamon rolls!

photo gluten free cinnamon rolls

Gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls © 2013 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 8 rolls


For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 c gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (with xanthan or guar gum)
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 t (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • generous 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1/2 c milk, warmed, divided in two portions
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 6 T butter, softened and divided into T portions

For the filling:

  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract


  1. Grease the bottom and sides of a cake pan with butter or oil and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Mix with paddle attachment until combined.
  3. Add 1/4 c of the warmed milk, eggs, and apple cider vinegar to the flour mix and mix on med-low speed until incorporated.  Scrape bowl with rubber spatula.
  4. Add remaining milk and mix until incorporated.  Scrape bowl with rubber spatula.
  5. Add butter 1 T at a time, making sure that each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next.  You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl periodically.  The dough will be soft and sticky.
  6. Make filling—melt butter and combine with sugar and cinnamon.
  7. GENEROUSLY flour your work surface.  Flour your hands really well and gently work the dough into a rectangle, about 12”x18” and just under a 1/2” thick, sprinkling flour over dough as needed.
  8. Gently spread filling in an even layer on the dough.  Carefully start rolling the dough from the long side—using a bowl scraper along the edge makes this easier—it will be a slow process, so don’t rush it or you will tear the dough.  Brush off excess flour as you roll.
  9. Once dough is rolled into a log shape, cut into 8 even pieces with a sharp (and floured) knife.  Move rolls to prepared pan, cut side down.
  10. Cover pan with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour, until the rolls are slightly puffed.  (this is called proofing the dough)
  11. Preheat oven to 350°F towards the end of the proofing stage.
  12. Remove plastic wrap.  Bake (see note) for 20 minutes at 350° or until golden brown on top and the rolls bounce back when touched.
  13. Prepare the glaze by whisking all ingredients together.  Drizzle over cinnamon rolls.  Serve warm for ideal yummy-ness.  Store in an air-tight container for up to three days.  Best when eaten the same day as you make them.

Sassy Sampler note — Oven temperatures vary, so you may need to adjust the cooking time.

Gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls PDF

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10 thoughts on “Gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Thanks for inspiring, but I wonder if others have contacted you about the consistency of the dough? Are your measurements correct here? I just followed the dough making recipe, and all I have is a big pile of glop that will not form into anything except a sticky soupy mess. Should there be more flour used as part of the dough, or is it meant to be used on the surface to roll the dough onto? If so that is not good, because I feel I’ve just wasted a lot of expensive gluten free all purpose flour to “dust” the dough with, and it is not forming a structure, therefor I must toss what I’ve just made. Looks like I’ll be trying GF Pilsbury ready made dough for a while till I figure this out, because I cannot be wasting precious money on GF flour that is going to waste.

    • I’m sorry you had that experience Kristen – it can be frustrating when working with gluten-free recipes because the ingredients do tend to cost a bit more! My best guess as to what happened is that it may have had something to do with the gluten-free flour you used? I’ve made these a couple times and haven’t had any problems at all, and no one else has contacted me about having any issues with the dough. I always use our Co-op’s gluten-free flour blend (sold in bulk) when baking so I would suggest either purchasing some of that or to making some from the recipe for it from our website or on the Recipes page on my blog – it works great for all of your GF baking needs (with the exception of loaf breads). We spent many months perfecting this blend and we use it in all of our in-house baked goods that we sell at our stores (we use Bob’s Red Mill brand GF flours and xanthan gum and it is GMO-free).

      My general rule of thumb when baking gluten-free is that if the dough is too goopy then I add more flour (usually about a Tablespoon at a time) until it reaches a consistency that I can work with (my recipes on this site are adjusted to the amount I actually put in a recipe, but again I always use our Co-op’s GF flour blend). You don’t want too much extra flour worked into the dough because the rolls will turn out much denser with too much flour added to the mix, so I’ll reiterate that it should be pretty wet but not so “fluid” that it won’t form any shape at all (it should be just “solid” enough to work with). I use about a cup of flour on the board to roll it and note to generously flour your work surface in the recipe. You can always use plain white/sweet rice flour (which is less expensive than most GF blends) for tasks like this (I commonly do, especially when I am making something sweet). I hope you try making them again, as they are very tasty!

  2. I had the same experience as Krksten. Not a good consistency at all! I actually scooped the gloppy mess back into my mixer and added about 2 more cups of flour. It was still pretty sticky after rolling it out but I was able to work with it and get them in the oven. I use Pamela’s GF Baking & Pancake Mix but have used many other blends including my own and have never had this experience.

    • I’ve had the same experience with Pamela’s GF Baking/Pancake mix – although it is super tasty, I always end up adding much more than the recipe calls for (even when making pancakes – I use about 1 1/2c of mix instead of 1 cup when I make them, otherwise they are super runny and not fluffy at all), so it could be the baking mix itself. I use our Co-op Bakery’s GF baking mix for most everything and have had to use a bunch (about a cup) on the board to “roll” the dough into the log, but generally only need the 1 1/2c called for in the recipe when I make these (it can depend on the humidity in your kitchen). The recipe for the baking mix I use is on the recipes/resources page of the blog and I would suggest this as a general all-around great GF mix – if you use Bob’s Red Mill GF flours/xanthan gum to make it then it will also be GMO-free!

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  5. Same experience for me! Blobby runny mess… My guess is that your mix is a bread mix? Maybe with protein type flours? Make sure you mention what is in your mix so we can use something similar. I added two extra cups flour, 1T extra sugar and 1t extra yeast . It was still to loose but I managed to make it work.

    • I’m glad you were able to get the recipe to turn out for you Kathleen! We don’t use a high protein GF mix (it’s pretty standard – 8c brown rice, 3c potato starch and 1c tapioca mix with 1/4c xanthan gum and we use all Bob’s Red Mill certified GF flours–the recipe is available on the Recipes/Resources page of the blog and also on our website) and I didn’t have any problems with the dough being too wet (aside from needing to add a bunch of flour to the counter so I could work with the dough). It isn’t the easiest dough to work with (it is very loose and sticky) and definitely isn’t the consistency of bread dough (it should be really wet otherwise they turn out a little dry) – more like really thick brownie batter – it should have just enough substance to allow you to spread the filling and keep shape while you roll it (that’s where a bowl scraper comes in really handy). Without knowing what flour blend you were using, whether or not you used a stand mixer, etc. it’s hard to tell what the solution would be.

      The original recipe is from Delight Gluten-free magazine, and while I added ingredients to turn the brioche into cinnamon rolls, I haven’t found any fault with the ingredient amounts when I have made this recipe…hopefully they turned out yummy for you in the end! Here is a link to the original recipe:

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