Friday, May 11, 2012

Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns

Every time I walk through a subway station with a Cinnabon, I take pause and actually consider cheating  with gluten just for the pleasure of one bite.  You know exactly what I’m talking about, that amazing smell of baking bread mixed with cinnamon and sugar.  The only words I know to describe it are mouth watering.  

I have to confess, even with all of my baking experience, I’ve always been a little afraid of yeast.  After a few bad experiences with it that I can now only attribute to old (inactive) yeast, I think I’ve hit my stride.  If you’ve never worked with it before, it may take you a few attempts to get the temperature of the milk right, know how long to let it sit and what it’s supposed to look like when it’s ready.  You’ll get there, just make sure you are working with fresh yeast (there is an expiration on the package) and have a little patience.

As a gluten free eater, I don’t have the luxury of cracking open a tube of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls when I have a craving so I set out to find a solution.  After a few attempts at recipes I found online with imperfect results, I did my standard “pick and choose” bits of each recipe that I like and mash them together.  I have to say, I’m incredibly pleased with the results... I’ve just eaten 3.

Give them a try!


2/3 cup milk or substitute (I used almond)
1 tbsp yeast
2 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

¼ cup potato or tapioca starch
¾ cup cornstarch
½ cup millet flour
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt

Dough Directions

1.       Heat milk until warm, not hot (slightly warmer than room temperature is fine).  Add the yeast and stir gently until it is moistened.  Keep an eye on it, within a minute or so it will start to bubble.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.

2.       Add the sugar, butter and oil to the milk and stir gently to combine. Add egg and vanilla and combine.

3.       Whisk together dry ingredients until completely combined. 

4.       Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.  You may need to add a bit more millet flour if the dough is super sticky.

5.       Transfer dough to a large oiled, container with a lid.  Cover and place in a warm spot to rise for 45 minutes to an hour. For this I usually turn my oven on to it’s lowest temperature (175 degrees on mine), let it warm up and then turn it off, place the dough in to rise and prop the door open a little with a wooden spoon.  It will double in size and be springy but still sticky.

Preheat oven to 400F

6.       Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter and sift some millet flour evenly over it.  Dump the dough onto the floured surface and sift more flour on top of the dough.  Place a second piece of parchment on top and roll out into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick.


1 ¼ cup brown sugar

3 tbsp cinnamon

½  cup butter, softened

7.       You can either mix all of these ingredients together and crumble over the rolled out dough or melt the butter a little further and brush onto the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the buttered surface.  I did the former this time because I couldn’t find my basting brush but it doesn’t seem to matter.

8.       Holding the edge of the parchment paper closest to you, lift slowly and use it to roll the dough into a log.  It should come off of the bottom parchment without sticking. 

9.       Using a bread knife, slice the log into 10 even pieces and transfer to buttered spring form or cake pan.  Be sure to leave a bit of space between rolls for expansion.

10.   Bake for 20 minutes until rolls start to brown.  You can test if they’re done by sliding a butter knife between rolls in the center of the pan.  If the dough doesn’t stick, they’re done.


1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup cream cheese, softened

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp milk

11.   Remove the rolls from the oven and drizzle frosting while still hot. 

Allow to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

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