Something about the chilly weather makes it cinnamon roll season! Luckily, these perfectly fluffy Paleo Cinnamon Rolls will hit the spot. These gluten free cinnamon rolls are an easy weekend breakfast treat suitable for a variety of diets, including dairy free and nut free. Enjoy on a winter morning!
Are These Paleo Cinnamon Rolls Healthy?
These gluten free, Paleo Cinnamon Rolls are a healthy alternative to the classic canned kind. Lower in sugar, grain free, and dairy free, these cinnamon rolls are a wonderful treat. It’s all about balance–cinnamon rolls for breakfast, greens for dinner! Here are some of the healthy swaps in these Paleo Cinnamon Rolls:
I use coconut milk as the dairy free milk in these cinnamon rolls. Coconut milk adds a rich flavor and moist texture like dairy milk does. Be sure to grab a full-fat, canned coconut milk, ideally without any additives, and shake to combine the cream and water.
Cassava flour is the swap for traditional white or pastry flour in this recipe for Paleo Cinnamon Rolls. Cassava is actually a tuber, rich in fiber and thiamine. I used arrowroot powder alongside this flour to give it more of a traditional texture.
Sure, sugar is sugar. But not all sugar is created completely equal! Coconut sugar isn’t stripped of its trace nutrients like white sugar is, and offers a dense, caramel-y taste that pairs perfectly with the cinnamon in these rolls.
I use coconut cream for the icing on these gluten free Cinnamon Rolls. When warmed and thinned with maple syrup and vanilla, coconut cream turns into a sweet icing!
How to Make Paleo Cinnamon Rolls
Don’t be intimidated by gluten free cinnamon rolls! I recommend reading the instructions and notes all the way through, pulling out your ingredients, and having fun with it. They’re actually super simple to make, but they take a little dedication to making sure you're following instructions. These rolls have some hands-off time, so be sure to budget your time accordingly. Ready? Let’s bake!
These rolls have three components: the pastry, the filling, and the icing.
For the pastry, you’ll combine your yeast mixture with your flour mixture and allow it to rise until it has increased 25-50% in size, about one hour. Make your cinnamon filling while you’re waiting. The image below shows what you can expect your dough to look like after 1 hour.
After your dough has risen, you’ll flatten it into a rectangle on a sheet of parchment paper until it’s about ¼ inch in thickness–be careful not to roll it too thin! Spread your filling mixture on it and use the parchment paper to help roll into a log. You’ll roll from the longer length, so it stays long. Now it’s time to slice!
The best way to slice these is with a sharp knife, but you can also use the dental floss trick. When using dental floss, slide a long piece under the log and ‘cut’ the log by pulling the floss through. Alternately, use your knife to make a single slice through (avoid a sawing motion.) Add each roll to your pie pan and allow to rise slightly another 30-40 minutes. The bottom image shows how much you can expect your rolls to rise during this time.
Bake for 17-20 minutes at 375 degrees, rotating halfway, until the tops are golden brown. Make your icing while the rolls cool, then drizzle on top.
How Do You Store Paleo Cinnamon Rolls?
These Paleo Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect holiday treat! They’d be great to make as a family on Christmas Eve, then baked the next morning. Rolls are best the day they're made, but can be made 1 day in advance and baked the next day. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a week and microwaved for 20 seconds to warm back up. Fair warning, the texture changes the longer they sit. They’re still tasty, but they get a bit more crumbly 1 day post bake. I suggest leaving the icing off the rolls until ready to serve.
You’ll also love:
- Paleo Apple Crisp (AIP & Gluten free)
- Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits (AIP & Paleo)
- Apple Pie Protein Bars (AIP & Paleo)
Paleo Cinnamon Rolls
- For the dough:
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2-1/4 tsp 1 packet Bioreal Organic Dry Active Yeast (any Paleo yeast will do)
- 1/4 cup palm shortening, melted
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 1/2 cups cassava flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the filling:
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup palm shortening, melted
- For the icing:
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 3 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- Heat ¼ cup water slightly to 110°. It will reach this temperature very quickly, so don’t overheat! If you get the water too hot it will kill the yeast, so you want to test your temperature with an instant read thermometer and allow to cool as needed until it reaches 110 degrees. Remove from heat.
- Over the top of the mixture, sprinkle yeast and let it bloom for about 8 minutes. See notes if your mixture doesn’t foam and get thick.
- Meanwhile, combine the melted palm shortening, whisked eggs, and coconut milk. Slightly heat the mixture, but test the temperature to make sure it doesn’t go over 110°F. Add yeast mixture to the shortening mixture and whisk carefully to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add cassava flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar, and salt then stir to combine. Sift to make sure any large clumps are broken up.
- Slowly add wet ingredients to the flour mixture in two batches, stirring until flour is just incorporated before adding the next batch. Dough should be very soft but not overly sticky. Since this is a gluten free cinnamon roll, you’ll need to form it into a ball. It won’t work it’s way into a ball on it’s own like a gluten cinnamon roll would. Cover with a tea towel then set somewhere warm to double in volume, about 1 hour. I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there. If the oven is too warm, leave the door cracked open It normally takes about 60 minutes for the dough to rise. You can also place the pan on a heating pad to keep warm.
- For the filling, combine the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and palm shortening in a small bowl then set aside.
- Once the dough has risen (it will likely have cracks in the dough), place the ball on a large sheet of parchment paper, and roll the dough into a ¼” thick rectangle, roughly 24x15”. Do not press this dough too thin.
- Spread filling mixture onto the dough, leaving 1” border on one of the long sides without any of the filling.
- Using the parchment paper, gently roll the dough from from one of the long sides towards the border without filling. Continue to roll the dough into a log using the parchment paper instead of your hands until you reach the bottom. Lightly pinch the seams of the dough together then slice the log into quarters (see notes for slicing tips).
- Slice each quarter into thirds for 12 slices total then arrange the slices in a pie pan oiled with palm shortening.
- Place rolls back on the heating pad or in the warm oven to rise until puffy, about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the rolls from the oven, and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Let rolls cool for 15 minutes in the pie pan, then make the icing. Add ingredients for the icing in a bowl then whisk until smooth. Spoon icing on top of the rolls and serve warm.