These soft and fluffy gluten free cinnamon rolls are the real deal thanks to a secret ingredient! Complete with flour recommendations and easy step by step instructions.
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Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls. This is a recipe that has been requested dozens, if not hundreds, of times from our readers. Our family loves cinnamon rolls, and we wanted the gluten free version to be just as good as the regular recipe we used to enjoy.
As you might already know, gluten free yeast breads tend to be tricky. This is because gluten is a protein that is also a binding agent – it is what gives elasticity to baked goods holding them together and allowing them to rise.
Even when using xanthan gum as a binding agent, gluten free yeast breads can be dense and have a gritty texture. No one wants a dense and gritty cinnamon roll, and we don’t think that should be your only option!
This really is the BEST gluten free cinnamon roll recipe, here’s why:
Here in the Life After Wheat kitchen, we have been baking yeast breads and rolls for over 6 years. We know a lot of tricks to make those taste super good, and wanted to make a gluten free cinnamon roll that also didn’t disappoint. And we did it thanks to a secret ingredient that we are soooo excited to share with you!
This recipe is a combination of many different recipes, ingredients, and techniques. There really isn’t a single recipe that inspired this, and the secret ingredient? That’s completely original.
After trying a few versions of these gluten free cinnamon rolls, I had one of those AHA! moments. A couple of years ago, we cracked the code on a soft and fluffy gluten free sugar cookie recipe by adding prepared pudding and I thought, Hey! Why not try adding prepared pudding to the cinnamon roll dough???
And it worked.
Prepared vanilla pudding gives these gluten free cinnamon rolls a sweet vanilla flavor and the perfect soft and fluffy texture – with no gritty texture or funky aftertaste.
To clarify, you’re not using pudding powder straight out of the box. You’ll buy a package of your favorite gluten free pudding and make it according to the package directions, then measure 1 cup of that prepared pudding and add it to the dough.
Jell-O Instant pudding is generally considered safe by the gluten free community because Kraft is pretty strict with their labeling. We also like Vivian’s Live Again, which is a dairy free and gluten free pudding option. It is harder to find in stores but easy to order online.
If this is your first time making gluten free cinnamon rolls…
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions PLUS a video so you can see exactly how to make them. We know gluten free baking can be intimidating, so we’ve tried to make this as easy as possible and set you up for success.
Please read through the recipe and recipe notes, and comment below if you have any questions. We work hard to answer every question that comes through.
Keep in mind that the brand of gluten free flour you use absolutely matters. We don’t know how all the different flours will perform in this recipe, but we can guess because we regular test many of them. We have only used Better Batter for this recipe because it always performs well in yeast breads, so we knew it would work for gluten free cinnamon rolls, too 🙂
More information on flour can be found in the recipe notes below.
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Thanks for stopping by, ENJOY!
XOXO Celeste and the Life After Wheat team
FOR THE DOUGH
- 3 1/4 cups high quality gluten free flour (We used Better Batter)
- 1 T gluten free Instant Yeast, room temp
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup prepared gluten free vanilla pudding (make according to package directions)
- 1/2 cup butter, room temp and cut into pieces
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 3/4 cup milk, warm
FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash salt
- In bowl of stand mixer, measure gluten free flour by stirring the flour, scooping into measuring cup, and leveling off with a knife.
- Add yeast, then salt on the opposite side of the bowl.
- Add prepared pudding, butter, eggs, and milk and mix on low-medium speed until dough is smooth. This should take 1-2 minutes. Don't mix on high.
- At this point, your dough should be quite sticky - see the attached video. If it is too think and not sticky enough, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it's the right consistency. If it is too wet and sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Keep in mind that your dough needs to be quite sticky - much too sticky to handle. In the next step, you will coat the outside of your dough with flour so you can roll it out, but you want the dough itself to be nice and wet so that it will rise.
- Prepare cinnamon sugar filling by combining the butter, sugars, and cinnamon. Mix with a fork or pastry blender until combined and crumbly.
- Now it's time to roll out the dough. If you have a silpat or baking mat, that will make nice, non-stick surface to roll out your dough. A counter-top will work fine too.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of gluten free flour or starch on your surface, put your dough on top, then sprinkle another tablespoon of flour or starch over it.
- You want your dough to remain nice and wet/sticky because gluten free dough soaks up a lot of moisture when it's baking. So try not to work the flour/starch into your dough, just coat it so you can roll it out.
- Once you have dusted your surface and dough, roll it out to about 16" by 11". If the rolling pin sticks to the dough, sprinkle a little more flour on.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over your dough and press it down gently.
- Starting at the longer end, roll the dough, trying to keep your roll as tight as possible. Once it is in a nice log, press down on the edges to seal them.
- Now it's time to slice. There are many methods, feel free to use your favorite. I have a dough scraper that I LOVE and use all the time (there's a link to it below). It does a great job and slicing the cinnamon rolls and is quick and easy. Some use floss, and that works well too.
- You're going to make a slice right in the middle, then cut each of those halves in half so you have 4 pieces. Next, cut each of those pieces into 3 slices. Now you'll have 12 cinnamon rolls of equal sizes 🙂
- Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan and arrange your cinnamon rolls in 4 rows of 3.
- Cover your pan with plastic wrap or a light towel.
- Allow the cinnamon rolls to rise in a warm location. I heat my oven to 120 degrees F, turn off the oven, put the pan in, and close the door.
- Let the rolls double in size. check them after about 20 minutes, sometimes that's all it takes.
- Once the dough has risen to double its size, or almost double, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pan from the oven before preheating.
- Once the oven is preheated, put the rolls in and bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine take the full 30 minutes. Your rolls should start to brown on top and be done in the middle. Once they're done, remove from the oven to cool in the pan.
- Prepare the frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until creamy.
- Frost the cinnamon rolls and serve! They are great warm, and best served the day you make them. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container and warm them briefly in the microwave before serving.
All gluten free flour mixes behave differently and will yield different results. I have only used Better Batter for this recipe because it performs very well for yeast breads. It's fairly inexpensive (especially when you catch one of their sales-follow them on FB to catch the sales) and works well for just about every recipe. They in no way sponsor this post, I just like the flour 🙂 You can find an Amazon affiliate link below.
GF Jules should also work well with this recipe, and Cup4Cup or Namaste might work as well.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cinnamon roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456Total Fat: 22gCarbohydrates: 59gSugar: 28gProtein: 6g