The ultimate recipe for Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls and no yeast is required. Soft, tender, extra fluffy gluten-free cinnamon rolls with the perfect crumb and you can make them in less than 2hrs. Top them with cream cheese frosting and you will be in heaven. (And I promise they won't look anywhere near the "ugliest cinnamon rolls" someone ever saw on my Instagram story)
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls are hard to come by. Let me rephrase this: GOOD gluten free cinnamon rolls are hard to come by. I worked on this recipe for 6 months. Tested 17 different approaches. Countless variations of flour until one day I realized the yeast was giving me a hard time. I eliminated the yeast, changed the leveling agents, and here we are: soft, tender, delicious, and fluffy Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls. So good, you won’t believe they’re gluten-free.
This recipe is perfect for those Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls - I provide instructions on how to make them ahead of time. Unlike yeast breads, you don't need to wait for the dough to rise. Make sure to check out my Gluten Free Sticky Buns - topped with a delicious brown sugar caramel sauce, they are irresistible.
I will provide substitutions for some of the ingredients and highly recommend taking the time to actually read this entire post and not just "jump to recipe".
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- What is Psyllium Husk and what does it do in gluten free baking?
- How to make the dough for Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls without Yeast
- How to prepare Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Dough for rolling Buns
- How to roll, shape and bake Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
- How NOT to roll Yeast Free Cinnamon Rolls
- How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Making Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls Ahead
- Ingredient Substitutions to make Cinnamon Rolls
- FAQ about Yeast Free Cinnamon Rolls
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: Surprisingly this recipe did indeed work the best with Cup4Cup. The addition of the cornstarch gave the dough a lighter crumb. Combined with the Whole Psyllium Husks and baking powder this results in a higher rise of the dough. I understand Cup4Cup is not available in many countries outside the US (or you have a corn allergy/dairy allergy). So here is a list of flour mixes with some minor adaptions you can use in the recipe for Gluten Free Yeast Free Cinnamon Rolls. All gluten-free flour blends recommended do contain xanthan gum.
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: This may seem like an unusual ingredient but the instant pudding helps with the texture, moisture, and flavor of the cinnamon rolls. Make sure you use Instant Pudding Mix - not cook & serve! I use the Instant Vanilla Pudding found at Aldi (it is Gluten Free) but have used Jello Instant Pudding in the past (which is gluten-free as well).
Baking Powder: Please make sure your baking powder is NOT expired before using in this recipe. Or your gluten-free cinnamon rolls will be very flat.
Whole Psyllium Husks: This ingredient helps to reduce the crumbly structure often found in gluten-free baked goods. It also gives the dough a wheat-like texture. I have only tested this recipe with Whole Psyllium Husks. This product can be found in your local health food store as well. Not all whole psyllium husk products are created equally. Aside from NOW Foods I also recommend the brand Organic India (I have NOT tested this recipe with Psyllium Husk Powder). 5 grams of Whole Psyllium Husk equals roughly 3.5 teaspoons. Don't overfill the measuring spoon!
Milk: I have successfully made this recipe with dairy and non-dairy milk. I recommend using a product with a slightly higher fat content such as whole milk or cashew milk.
Vinegar: I use white vinegar in this recipe since this is the "basic" vinegar I have in my cupboard. You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar.
What is Psyllium Husk and what does it do in gluten free baking?
Psyllium husks come from the seed of the Plantago plant, a native of India and Pakistan. It is naturally gluten free. It is known as a source of soluble fiber which loves to absorb moisture. This ingredient helps reduce the crumbly structure often found in gluten-free baked goods. It gives the dough elasticity and flexibility and makes it workable. This is why the dough for Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls has to rest twice (once for 10 minutes and once for 15-30 minutes). The Psyllium husk will absorb some of the liquid used and makes the dough workable.
Psyllium husk is especially useful in gluten-free recipes which rely on the structure gluten provides. Psyllium interacts strongly with the proteins in gluten-free flours, creating a sturdy enough structure to support highly leavened bread once the bread cools.
You may be tempted to skip this ingredient but I highly recommend adding it to your cinnamon rolls.
How to make the dough for Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls without Yeast
You may have heard me say this before but especially with this recipe: Please trust the process. We all know gluten-free baking requires sometimes extra steps we don't need to worry about when baking with all-purpose flour. I highly recommend using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or a hand mixer fitted with dough hooks for this recipe. Mixing the recipe by hand may be possible but a workout for sure.
Milk, Butter, and eggs must be at room temperature. While I normally prefer butter at around 65F (cold but soft), for this recipe I recommend the butter being softer than that so it can be fully incorporated into the dough.
Step 1: In a small bowl or pitcher combine the whole milk and vinegar (apple cider or white wine vinegar). Combine the milk and the vinegar, give it a quick stir and allow it to sit for 10 minutes until it appears to be curdled. (If you have buttermilk on hand you may use it instead. But combining milk and vinegar works perfectly in this recipe)
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, or medium bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients: Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour (I recommend Cup4Cup for best result), powdered sugar, instant vanilla pudding powder, baking powder, psyllium husk, and kosher salt.
Step 3: Turn the mixer to a low speed and add the milk/vinegar mixture and soft butter and mix for 1 minute until all the liquid is absorbed. I recommend cutting butter into smaller pieces so it will incorporate easier. Do not worry if your dough looks very dry and rough. It's part of the process.
Step 4: Once a dough has formed, add the room-temperature eggs, one by one. Your dough may look like it has been separated/curdled but it's totally normal. When the eggs have been added, turn off the mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Make sure to get the bottom of your mixing bowl as well.
Step 5: When all the wet ingredients have been added, turn the mixer to a medium speed, and mix the dough for 5 minutes. It should turn from a lumpy mess, into a soft dough that looks like it could use a LOT more flour. DO NOT add any flour!
Step 6: After 5 minutes of mixing, the gluten-free cinnamon roll dough should be soft and smooth. If you still see little lumps of butter, do not worry about it. Leave the dough in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle with 20 grams of additional gluten-free flour. The added flour will make removing the dough from the bowl a lot easier. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes. During this time the gluten-free dough absorbs some of the liquids and will start to build the structure.
How to prepare Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Dough for rolling Buns
Step 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with some additional gluten free flour. The flour will help the dough from sticking to the parchment paper.
Step 2: Using a flexible spatula, give the gluten-free sweet dough a quick stir and then transfer it to the parchment line baking sheet. The dough will look very soft.
Step 3: Gently, with your hands, pat the dough into a rectangle - around 12 x 8 inches (30 x 20cm). It should be around 1.5cm/0.5 inches tall. Only use as little flour as possible. The more flour you add, the tougher and denser your cinnamon rolls will become. So please trust me here and only use as little flour as possible.
For best results place the rectangular gluten-free cinnamon dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Skipping this step will make rolling the cinnamon rolls a challenge. Resting the dough is mandatory.
Step 4: After allowing the dough to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes, it is time to flip the dough over (which might be the scariest part of this recipe).
Step 5: Using a pastry brush, gently brush off all the extra flour on top of your dough. Cover the dough with a piece of parchment paper and flip it over. You can use a second sheet tray for this. Whatever you choose, be careful not to drop the dough. Carefully remove the parchment paper which might stick to the dough. Remove any extra flour with the pastry brush.
At this point, you can refrigerate the Gluten Free Sweet Dough for up to 24hrs or freeze it for 7 days. Leave it on the sheet tray to ensure it will stay flat and even. I like to use a Plastic Lid especially made for half-sheet trays. Freezing the dough for Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls for an extended period of time is not recommended since the Baking Powder will lose its strength.
How to roll, shape and bake Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
Just like my Gluten Free Sticky Buns, the gluten free cinnamon buns are rolled individually.
I use a 9" spring form lined with parchment paper to bake my cinnamon rolls but a 9-inch lined pan works great.
Step 1: Before you start shaping the cinnamon rolls, make sure to preheat your oven to 425F. This can take up to 20 minutes.
Step 2: Melt the 20 grams of butter using a pastry brush, and spread the melted butter over the gluten-free dough using a pastry brush. Combine the ground cinnamon and brown sugar in a separate bowl and sprinkle it over the butter leaving about ½" inch on the top and bottom of the dough (wide size facing you). Using your hands, press the sugar into the dough.
Step 3: Using a sharp knife, cut the sweet dough into 8 strips using a sharp knife. Make sure the wide side is facing you. I recommend using a ruler for this to make sure you have even wide cinnamon rolls (which all will bake at the same time). Should the dough stick to the knife, pop the dough in the freezer for a few minutes. If you use a square pan, I recommend cutting the dough into 9 strips.
Step 4: Using some egg wash, brush both ends of each dough stripe. Carefully roll them into rolls and place them in the prepared baking dish. One roll in the center and 7 rolls around the edges. (3 rows of 3cinnamon rolls if using a square pan).
Step 5: Once your oven is fully preheated, brush them with the leftover egg wash, place them in the oven and bake at 425F for 24-26 minutes. Should they start to become brown too quickly, you may cover them with a piece of foil. The foil will avoid further browning and give the buns time to bake fully without the sugar burning. The gluten-free caramel rolls are ready when they are golden brown and have an internal temperature of at least 200F. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack.
Frost the gluten free cinnamon rolls with a generous dollop of cream cheese frosting or eat them plain. Those buns are the best when they are still slightly warm. Make sure to store any leftovers you may have in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze any leftovers you may have up to 3 months.
How NOT to roll Yeast Free Cinnamon Rolls
This is what happens when you roll the dough like "a regular" cinnamon roll dough. It does not work because it is too soft to roll up and hold its shape. To avoid this dilemma (and create the "The most disgusting cinnamon rolls someone ever saw on an Instagram Story") I highly recommend rolling each cinnamon roll individually.
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
By popular demand, I am adding a simple cream cheese frosting to this recipe. If you are not a fan of cream cheese, you could glaze them with my vanilla maple glaze or leave them plain.
Make sure to use room-temperature cream cheese and butter and sift your powdered sugar if it is very lumpy.
In the bowl of your stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine room-temperature cream cheese, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla until smooth and slightly fluffy. Turn off the mixer and make sure to scrape down the sides and the paddle. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high until the frosting appears light and fluffy.
Cream Cheese Frosting can sit at room temperature for up to two hours but if you are making this ahead of time, make sure to keep it refrigerated until you are ready to frost your rolls.
Store any leftover cream cheese filling in your fridge for up to 7 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow for it to come to room temperature before using (you may need to re-whip it)
Some fun recipes to use up any leftover Cream Cheese Frosting:
Making Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls Ahead
I understand no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, Christmas Morning, or any other day making Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
Since brown sugar tends to absorb the moisture in the fridge or freezer after some time, I do not recommend rolling the buns and refrigerating/freezing ahead of time (up to 4hr of refrigeration is fine). The brown sugar may melt and dissolve.
To make gluten free cinnamon rolls ahead of time, I recommend making the dough as directed. Shape it into a rectangle, refrigerate, flip, remove all the flour with a pastry brush, COVER IT and then refrigerate it for up to 24hrs. You may also freeze it for 7 days. Leave it on the sheet tray to ensure it will stay flat and even. I like to use a Plastic Lid especially made for half-sheet trays. I don't recommend freezing Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Dough for an extended period of time since the Baking Powd er will lose its strength.
Once ready to bake, fill, roll and bake the cinnamon rolls as directed. Should your dough be frozen, make sure to allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge. If your kitchen is very warm, you may also thaw it at room temperature.
Ingredient Substitutions to make Cinnamon Rolls
Please be aware that changing several components of this recipe will most likely cause a different result when it comes to the taste and looks of Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls. It took me 17 tests and tweaks to have this solid recipe for yeast-free sweet roll dough to make gluten free cinnamon rolls and gluten free sticky buns.
Gluten Free Flour Substitution
If you are using a product like King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, or my Gluten-Free Flour Blend: Please reduce the amount used to 320 grams of flour mix and add 80 grams of cornstarch to get even 400 grams of flour. I also recommend adding 2 Tablespoons of Dry Milk Powder to your dry ingredients IF your blend does not contain it.
IF you live outside the US and do not have access to any of the mentioned brands above, here are a few brands I recommend using: Schaer Mix C (Kekse), Aldi Australia - White Mill Plain Gluten Free Flour.
I also recommend adding 2 Tablespoons of Dry Milk Powder to your dry ingredients IF your blend does not contain it. (So your total will be: 320grams flour, 80 grams cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of milk powder)
IF your blend does NOT contain xanthan gum already, please add 4 grams to the recipe.
Dairy-Free Gluten Free Caramel Rolls
The milk and the butter used to make this recipe can be replaced with dairy-free alternatives. Please be aware that the casein, the protein found in dairy products, will promote not only structure but also the browning of baked goods.
If you have a cornstarch allergy, please substitute the cornstarch in the flour mix with tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour) or potato starch (or a mix of both).
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix Substitute
To replace the Instant Pudding Mix please add an additional 10 grams of gluten free flour, 10 grams of powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding is vegan. So if you are dairy free, you can use this product to make Gluten Free Caramel Rolls.
Egg Free Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
I have not tested this recipe with any egg substitutions. The eggs give this dough its richness and also help with the rise.
FAQ about Yeast Free Cinnamon Rolls
Several readers have reported this issue and I have reduced the butter used for filling from 40 grams to 20 grams. Please melt and cool the butter, brush it on the dough and then sprinkle it with the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Use your hands and press the brown sugar mixture into the dough. Also, make sure the rolls are not being baked in a way too big of a pan. If they have too much room to spread, the filling will leak out.
Which flour did you use? Did you follow my recommendations? Have you added baking powder? Did you add a lot of flour when patting out your dough and shaping it into a rectangle? The more flour you add and the more you work this dough, the tougher and denser the cinnamon rolls will become. There is a lot to consider why your caramel rolls may turned out dense. Also - please make sure to check your baking powder. If it is expired, the buns will be flat.
No. Baking powder is a leavening agent which helps baked goods to rise while cornstarch would be considered a thickening agent. In a pinch, you can combine the following ingredients to make 1 teaspoon of baking powder (equals 4 grams)
Homemade Baking Powder Substitute
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Jell-O Pudding and Jell-O Instant Pudding are manufactured by Kraft Foods. The products are not specifically labeled as gluten-free but nearly all of them are made without gluten ingredients. The only flavor containing barley malt is Jell-O Instant Cheesecake Pudding & Pie Filling. This flavor is NOT celiac safe. The Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix sold by Aldi USA is certified gluten free.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. . For small amount under 10 grams I like to use this Precision Pocket Scale. Measuring cups are very inaccurate which can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
For the Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
- 400 grams Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour (I recommend Cup4Cup for best result)
- 60 grams Powdered Sugar
- 25 grams Instant Vanilla Pudding Powder
- 17 grams baking powder
- 5 grams psyllium husk (3.5 teaspoons!)
- 3 grams kosher salt
- 275 grams whole milk
- 15 grams white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 70 grams unsalted butter, soft
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 40 grams Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour
For the Filling
- 20 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 165 grams light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Egg Wash
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoons milk
For the cream cheese frosting
- 225 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- 30 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 grams kosher salt
How to make Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Dough
- Combine the milk and the vinegar, give it a quick stir and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. The milk will curdle which is what we want.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, or medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
- Turn your mixer to a low speed and add the milk/vinegar mixture and soft butter and mix for 1 minute until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Once a dough has formed, add the room temperature eggs, one by one. Once you have both eggs added, turn off the mixer, and scrape down the sides. Make sure to get the bottom of your mixing bowl as well.
- At medium speed, mix the dough for 5 minutes. It should turn from a lumpy mess, into a soft dough.
- Leave the dough in the bowl and sprinkle with 10 grams of additional gluten free flour. Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes. THIS IS MANDATORY!
- Once the dough has rested for the first time, transfer it to a parchment-lined sheet tray, which is lightly dusted with some gluten free flour (I use around 15 grams of flour for this)
- Gently, with your hands, pat the dough into a rectangular shape – around 12 x 8 inches (30 x 20cm). It should be around 1.5cm/0.5 inches tall.
- Place the rectangular gluten free cinnamon dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Skipping this step will make rolling the cinnamon rolls a challenge. Resting the dough is mandatory
How to roll, shape and bake Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
- Before you start shaping the cinnamon rolls, preheat your oven to 425F.
- Prepare your baking pan. I use a 9" spring form lined with parchment paper to bake my cinnamon rolls but a 9-inch lined pan works great.
- After allowing the dough to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes, it is time to shape the cinnamon buns.
- With a pastry brush gently brush off all the extra flour on the surface of the sweet roll dough.
- Cover the dough with a piece of parchment paper and flip it over. Carefully remove the parchment paper which might stick to the dough. Remove any extra flour with the pastry brush.
- Lightly brush the dough with the melted, cooled butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter and with your hands press the sugar into the dough.
- To roll the cinnamon rolls, cut the dough into 8 equal wide strips (or 9 if you use a 9inch square pan) Make sure the wide side is facing you. A sharp, clean knife works the best for this (if the dough is too warm it will stick to the knife. you may stick it in the freezer for a few minutes)
- To make the egg wash, combine the egg yolk and milk and whisk together with a fork.
- Using some egg wash, brush both ends of each dough stripe. Carefully roll them into rolls and place them in your prepared baking dish. One roll in the center and 7 rolls around the edges. (3 rows of 3 cinnamon rolls if using a square pan).
- Once your oven is fully preheated, brush them with the leftover egg wash, place them in the oven and bake at 425F for 24-26 minutes. Should they start to become brown too quickly, you may cover them with a piece of foil. The foil will avoid further browning and give the buns time to bake fully without the sugar burning. The gluten-free caramel rolls are ready when they are golden brown and have an internal temperature of at least 200F. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool on a cooling rack
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Make sure to use room-temperature cream cheese and butter and sift your powdered sugar if it is very lumpy.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine room-temperature cream cheese, unsalted butter, salt and vanilla until smooth and slightly fluffy.
- Turn off the mixer and make sure to scrape down the sides and the paddle.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high until the frosting appears to light and fluffy.
- Store any leftover cream cheese filling in your fridge for up to 7 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow for it to come to room temperature before using (you may need to re-whip it)
- Once the cinnamon rolls are at room temperature, frost them with the cream cheese frosting and serve
Storage: Store the gluten free cinnamon rolls at room temperature for up to 3 days. They are the best the day they have been baked.
Gluten Free Flour: Please make sure to read the section about substitutions regarding gluten free flours in the blog post.
Psyllium Husk: 5 grams equals 3.5 teaspoons
Filling: I received a few notes that the cinnamon roll filling is leaking out of the rolls. I reduced the butter being used and just brush the butter on the dough and then top it with the cinnamon roll filling. Also make sure the rolls are rolled tightly. (Updated - January 15th 2022)
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 463
It's cinnamon rolls.... who cares about calories?