This Paleo Cinnamon Roll recipe is a sweet success! It's not easy for people to go completely gluten and dairy-free. It was frustrating at first because I like to bake, and I found most recipes didn't work out for me the way they were supposed to. I also don't like the gluten-free baked goods sold at stores as they contain a lot of gums (xantham gum, guar, etc.) in high enough amounts to cause me stomach problems.Traditional cinnamon rolls use yeast to make the dough rise, but not in this recipe. Eggs are used here to make the dough double in size.
Going Paleo and baking delicious foods is achievable, but just requires a little time. This recipe took some trial and error and I am so happy with how it turned out. My son loves it so much that he took most of them and ran off. His only tip was to add more of the sugar filling. I really hope you love these delicious Cinnamon Rolls. Also, these will not be identical to those rolls sold at the store. Gluten-free baking isn't the same - but I think it's better. These are made with better ingredients and from scratch! Let's get started!
Step 1: Ingredients for Your Paleo Cinammon Rolls
Before you begin making these delicious cinnamon rolls, I recommend gathering up your ingredients and just getting everything ready beforehand. I do that in the order below. Once you make this a time or two, it is very easy to make. I know this seems like a lot of steps and ingredients, but cooking without gluten and dairy is like that. It is 1000% worth the time and effort!
Disclaimer: Some people who are strictly Paleo, are not ok with the use of sugar. If that is use, and you are not ok with any sugar alternatives, then that is fine - you may omit it. Some people who eat Paleo, are completely fine with certain sugar substitutes - like real maple sugar (which is incredibly delicious) or honey. I personally use maple sugar. This recipe doesn't call for the use of too much sugar, by the way.
If you notice in my main photos, there are six decent-sized cinnamon rolls. It Isn't a lot if you have a larger family or end up loving these and wanting many more. So, please double the recipe if needed. Also, if you don't have any almond flour, you can use more coconut flour in its place. Please read through all the steps before you begin. And, this may seem like a lot of work for a small batch, so you can always make more and freeze them.
They can be taken directly from the freezer and put into the oven!
For the ingredients, I buy many of these on Amazon because the price is better than my local store. For those items, I will share some direct links for you below. Feel free to substitute with what you have already at home. Please ask if you have any questions!
Dry Ingredients (Place in a Bowl)
- 3/4 Cup Arrowroot Flour
- 2 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
- 2 Tbsp. Almond Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
Wet Ingredients (Pour into a Small Saucepan)
- 1/4 Cup of Shortening - I use Spectrum Organic Shortening
- 3 Tbsp. Water
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream & 3 Tbsp. of liquid (thick coconut water) from the can of coconut milk.
You can get all this from one can of coconut milk. I use Thai Kitchen Pure Coconut Milk here <- I will explain exactly what I mean in that step. Don't worry!
Ingredients to Be Mixed in with Batter (just set aside until you reach that step)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Filling for Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp. Maple Sugar (Some Paleo people are fine with the use of maple sugar. I use this one and it's insanely delicious. If more open, any substitute of your choice would work fine)
- 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon (or more, if you like)
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar, Paleo-friendly (instructions for making it are here, and require maple sugar & a little tapioca starch)
- 1/2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Milk (the cream part)
Before Baking Rolls
- Set aside a tablespoon or two of coconut oil. This will be drizzled or brushed onto the rolls just prior to going in the oven.
- Mixer with a Paddle
- Baking Pan (I used an 11 x 7 for the six large rolls)
- Parchment Paper
- Piping Bag & fairly wide tip (or you can use a lunch bag with the end snipped off)
Important Note About the Mixer: One important piece of equipment here is the paddle attachment (also known as a flat edge beater) for the mixer. If you have a Kitchen-aid Stand Mixer, it comes with that attachment. My concern is for those who don't have one. The eggs in this recipe are what makes the rolls rise. Using a regular beater attachment will cause these to be very flat and dense. I did some research online and found a couple of things. If you have something like a Ninja Blender, their sets often come with a dough paddle attachment and that might work well. Worst case scenario, you could use a hand mixer a bit (keeping the mixing to the absolute minimum to incorporate the eggs) and mix with a wooden spoon for the rest.
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Step 2: Dry & Wet Ingredients
Before You Begin:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and let them sit out, or place in a bowl of warm water.
- Take the vanilla out and place it near your mixer for later.
- Spray the pan you will be using and place some parchment paper on it (or a non-stick cooking mat).
- Get your piping bag ready and place near the pan. If your piping tips are too small, you can use the bag with an adapter piece on the end.
Place all of your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl:
- Take the arrowroot flour, coconut and almond flours, salt and sugar and place in that bowl.
- Mix it with a whisk or spoon, take it off the stand and put it near the stove-top.
For Your Wet Ingredients:
- Take out a medium sauce pan and measure out and pour all of your wet ingredients directly into it (except do not pour any eggs or vanilla in this - those are for later).
- You will be adding in the: shortening, water and coconut cream and liquid.
Coconut Milk Explanation: This is some extra information for those who haven't used this canned coconut milk before. You will need 1/3 cup of coconut cream (the thick white cream that you see in my photos). It's the top inch or two of the can of coconut milk and once you break through it, you will see a thick cloudy/clear liquid below it - this will be the coconut water of sorts (some people call it coconut milk). The terms are confusing. But, you need 1/3 C. of the super thick white coconut cream and 3 tablespoons of the liquid from the bottom of the can. I save the rest in a canning jar in the freezer.
Step 3: To the Stove Top
Take the room-temperature eggs and crack them into a bowl, whisk them and set them right near your mixer. I recommend that you make your sugar filling now before you start with the dough. It's super easy.
For filling: Just take the brown sugar (1/4 C + 2 Tbsp.), 1 Teasp. of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1/8 C of coconut oil and place all together in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave on a low to medium heat until the coconut oil is melted. Mix well with a spoon and set aside.
Finally, let's make these rolls! In this step, you will take your wet ingredients which are in the sauce pan and place the pan on the stove on a medium heat. Mix it around and break up the larger pieces of shortening or coconut milk as it melts. Keep it on the stove-top until you see bubbles forming in multiple places, but try to not allow it to come to a full boil. Once bubbles are breaking through here and there or in several spots, turn the heat off. Remove it from the stove and take your bowl of dry ingredients and pour the whole thing into your medium sauce pan of wet ingredients. Do not pour the wet ingredients into the medium dry ingredient bowl. It doesn't turn out the same.
Once the dry ingredients are in the medium saucepan, use a regular spoon or wooden spoon to mix it all together until you create some type of blob of dough. It doesn't need to look nice at this point and it's fine if it's chunky and dry.
Now, I take that saucepan and dump the whole thing of dough into the stand mixer bowl. I let it sit there for just a minute to cool off.
Step 4: Mixing and Dough
Once your dough is in the mixer, and you've let it sit for just about a minute, then put it on a low speed. Take your bowl of eggs and pour in about 1/4 of it (be careful not to put too much at once). Let the mixer break it apart and the dough will still be pretty dry and chunky looking.
See all images in this step for how mine looked during the egg-adding step. It doesn't need to be perfect or exactly the same, but a similar texture would be good. If needed, you can turn the dial up so it's on a medium speed, but be careful so pieces don't fly out. Turn it down low as you add in another 1/4 of the mixture, let it mix well.
The dough will break apart when eggs are added until enough are incorporated, so this is normal. Once you've added in all the eggs, you can turn the speed up to a medium briefly to make sure it is all incorporated. It should look something like my photos - somewhat thick, a bit sticky and something you can use a large spoon to scoop out. Next, we will put it in a piping bag.
Step 5: Piping and Baking the Paleo Cinnamon Rolls
Now, I take out a large wooden spoon. I also like to use a large glass to place the piping bag into. I then fold the edges of the piping bag over the edges of the glass so I can easily fill it. Fill the piping bag (or sandwich bag) with the dough.
As you can see in the photos, I used a textured piping tip. I used what I had on hand. But, I highly recommend using a larger tip than the one I did. Or, you can use the piping bag with only an adapter piece on it, but I found this too large and sloppy. Just play around with whatever works for you. I think if I had a slightly large tip, these would have also puffed up more. Basically, I did a circle shape with the dough and then place a drop in the middle of it, then went around the whole thing again. If you have a bigger tip, you only need to do one loop with the dough and I think it will help with its rise.
With standard (gluten and dairy) rolls, you will be rolling out dough with a rolling pin and then adding your filling. Paleo baking is very different. I did try numerous varieties of methods and the traditional one is not possible with Paleo ingredients. So, it seems tricky but there are always ways around issues.
This may seem weird, but to add the sugar filling in to these beauties, I used a plastic knife to create a bit of a deeper area to place the sugar along the insides of the dough. You should probably use more sugar than you see that I used in my photos, unless you're like me and don't want too much. So I just took the knife to the inside area, pulled back and placed a bunch of sugar in it.
You should have also had a small bowl with one to two tablespoons of coconut oil in it. Please place this in the microwave at low to normal heat to melt it. It may take 30 seconds, depending on your microwave. Take a spoon to this coconut oil and drizzle it over the buns.
Finally, place this in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes!
Step 6: Glaze for the Paleo Gluten & Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls
As this bakes beautifully in the oven, you should now make your glaze. It's super easy to make. Just take out a regular-sized bowl. Add in 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. Heat this up in the microwave on medium to regular heat until melted, in about 30 second increments. Take out a whisk. Remove from microwave and then you will need 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Add the powdered sugar to this hot mixture and whisk well. It will be fairly thick, and continue to thicken up a bit as it sits out. If it is not thick enough, just reheat it and add more powdered sugar. Some people do not consider powdered sugar as paleo - so you can omit it or make a version that works for you (I have seen recipes on making it from maple sugar and tapioca starch).
Once your cinnamon rolls are done baking, use a spoon to pour the glaze over the top of them. Let them cool in the pan or on a wire rack. I was able to lift the parchment paper up and onto the wire rack.
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Your family will love you for this! My son keeps asking for more of them.
PS - since you are here looking for paleo (gluten & dairy free) recipes, I also want to offer up a recommendation on my absolute favorite, life-altering paleo cookbook - it is called My Paleo Patisserie. I cannot recommend it enough!
Lastly, if you need a great paleo crepes recipe (that is super uncomplicated, easy to make), check my recipe out here.