Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient. #glutenfreecinnamonrolls #glutenfree #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreebreakfast #LifeAfterWheat

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!

The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient. #glutenfreecinnamonrolls #glutenfree #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreebreakfast #LifeAfterWheat

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.

The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient. #glutenfreecinnamonrolls #glutenfree #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreebreakfast #LifeAfterWheat

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

The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient. #glutenfreecinnamonrolls #glutenfree #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreebreakfast #LifeAfterWheat

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 

More information on flour can be found in the recipe notes below.

The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient. #glutenfreecinnamonrolls #glutenfree #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreebreakfast #LifeAfterWheat

Pair these gluten free cinnamon rolls with an easy-to-make homemade hot cocoa from Flippin’ Delicious for the ultimate weekend breakfast!

Looking for more breakfast inspiration? 

Try these!

 

The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient. #glutenfreecinnamonrolls #glutenfree #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreebreakfast #LifeAfterWheat

MAKING THIS RECIPE?? Snap a photo and tag @LifeAfterWheat on Social, then come back and leave a comment and/or rate the recipe!

Thanks for stopping by, ENJOY!

XOXO Celeste and the Life After Wheat team

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 1 dozen cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
The BEST Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat! Soft and fluffy thanks to a *secret* ingredient.

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH

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

Instructions

  1. In bowl of stand mixer, measure gluten free flour by stirring the flour, scooping into measuring cup, and leveling off with a knife.
  2. Add yeast, then salt on the opposite side of the bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Prepare cinnamon sugar filling by combining the butter, sugars, and cinnamon. Mix with a fork or pastry blender until combined and crumbly.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over your dough and press it down gently.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  14. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan and arrange your cinnamon rolls in 4 rows of 3.
  15. Cover your pan with plastic wrap or a light towel.
  16. 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.
  17. Let the rolls double in size. check them after about 20 minutes, sometimes that's all it takes.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Prepare the frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until creamy.
  21. 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.

Notes

FLOUR MATTERS

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cinnamon roll
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 456 Total Fat: 22g Carbohydrates: 59g Sugar: 28g Protein: 6g

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 21, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Can these cinnamon rolls be made ahead of time- like day before?

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 21, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Hi Lisa, I haven’t tried that yet. I think if you make and refrigerate, then let sit on the counter for 30 minutes (or more if they still need to rise) the next morning, that should work. If you try it, let me know how it goes! -Celeste

  • Reply
    Tricia
    December 22, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    HI there! I just tried the rolls and my two children love them. They were a tiny bit dense. I read on your site (not sure which section) that you live at a high altitude. We are almost sea level where we live and I am wondering what changes I should make. I am hoping that one of your followers may have written in about it. Thank you so much! I have ordered the flours you mentioned and can’t wait to try the cinnamon rolls tomorrow!

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 23, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Tricia! So glad the kids love them ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that with higher altitude you tend to need more flour, so try decreasing the flour by 1/4-1/2 cup next time for a wetter dough. Hope you love the cinnamon rolls too ๐Ÿ™‚ -Celeste

      • Reply
        Tricia Byrne
        December 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        I will try that! Do you think I should adjust the oven temperature and time as well?

        • Reply
          thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
          December 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm

          Honestly, I’m not sure but I would try with the original temp and maybe check 5 minutes sooner just to be safe. Hope you enjoy them! -Celeste

  • Reply
    Jon
    December 23, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Hi Celeste,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! In the ingredients section can you add a header to separate the ingredients for the frosting? We thought those were for the filling and accidentally combined all of them. Oops! Hopefully they will still turn out good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      So sorry Jon! Thanks for catching that and letting me know. I have updated the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ -Celeste

      • Reply
        Jon
        December 26, 2018 at 7:20 pm

        No worries at all. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got up early to make these for my wife’s b-day and wasn’t fully paying attention. They turned out AMAZING though!! The dough is super moist and definitely the best gf cinnamon rolls we’ve had. We will definitely be making them again. Going to check out your other recipes too. Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Reply
          thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
          December 31, 2018 at 8:09 am

          So glad you all enjoyed them Jon! Happy birthday to your wife! -Celeste

  • Reply
    Kellie
    December 24, 2018 at 2:15 am

    Hello, I plan to make these today for Christmas festivities after several failed attempts at other gluten free cinnamon rolls ๐Ÿ™ praying this is the one that works for me! I wanted to check out your video ahead of time but canโ€™t seem to find it. Where is it located? Any specific yeast or just instant? Any tips for dairy free also? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 26, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Sorry you had trouble finding the video, it is at the bottom of the recipe card. Instant yeast is perfect, just make sure it’s gluten free ๐Ÿ™‚ For dairy free, you can use a dairy free prepared pudding (we like Vivian’s Live Again…or you could probably make your own if it has a similar consistency. Sub your favorite dairy free butter substitute and you should be good to go! -Celeste

  • Reply
    What happened?!
    December 24, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Oh my gosh a sticky mess! Donโ€™t know what happened but I had to add over a cup of extra flour and they are so sticky that I tried to roll them and just got goop all over. They are rising at the moment look more like biscuits because they are a hot mess. Praying they taste like something good and wasnโ€™t a complete waste of time and ingredients.

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 26, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      Hmmm Alana, I have never had this happen! Be sure you measured all the ingredients correctly. Humidity and elevation can play a part, but you shouldn’t need that much more flour. I hope they taste OK! -Celeste

    • Reply
      Rhonda Wiscombe
      February 7, 2019 at 10:08 am

      Mine too were so sticky they ended more like muffins and then they were very dry. I too added about an extra cup . They turned out dry but tasty with a lot of butter!

      • Reply
        thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
        February 7, 2019 at 9:26 pm

        The dough is supposed to be sticky, more like a thick muffin batter, and then you’ll roll out onto a well floured surface to coat. the outside so it is workable. All gluten free dough is made this way because gf flours soak up moisture as your product rises and bakes.

  • Reply
    Amy
    December 25, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Iโ€™m so excited to try this recipe! Quick question about the yeast. What does room temperature yeast mean?

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 26, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Just yeast that is at room temp ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kristen Wood
    December 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Yum! These sound perfect!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    December 28, 2018 at 9:20 am

    oh wow, unique ingredient! these look amazing, I cannot wait to try!

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      December 29, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Hope you enjoy them Kristina! -Celeste

  • Reply
    Kortney
    December 30, 2018 at 4:39 am

    Your secret ingredient is so shocking and awesome! Seriously pudding is the best!

  • Reply
    Denise
    January 12, 2019 at 7:21 am

    If the flour blend I plan to use does not have xanthan gum, how much should I add? I really want to use this blend (from America’s Test Kitchen) as the ingredients are similar to Better Batter but I can mix it up myself.

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      January 13, 2019 at 7:52 pm

      As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to add 1 tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour in yeast bread recipes. Enjoy! -Celeste

  • Reply
    Cheryl Anders
    February 15, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    I m in Australia and can’t source any of the brand flours or pudding that you mention. Any idea what I could use here? We have Red Mill which produce GF flours as does White Wings but can’t find any pudding mix? โ˜น๏ธ

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      February 16, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      Do you have a favorite gluten free flour blend that works well in yeast breads? That same flour should work well in this recipe. As for pudding, the recipe calls for prepared pudding so any prepared pudding (including homemade) should work fine. Hope that helps! -Celeste

  • Reply
    Dawn
    February 17, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for this amazing recipe. Iโ€™d love to make a suggestion – can you please not have a five page recipe with huge ads and huge banners? Itโ€™s such a waste of ink. I mean I donโ€™t mind at all scrolling a million times to get through all the heavy ads on your page. I get it. You spend a lot of time doing this and would like to be paid for your efforts. But can you please make the recipes themselves less spammy? Thank you!

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      February 19, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      I’m sorry about your experience Dawn. Running a website costs money to build and maintain the website, purchase ingredients and equipment (camera, tripod, backdrops, dishes, etc), not to mention the part-full time work load each week. This recipe card is particularly long because it is a detailed recipe and I want to be sure you understand each of the steps so your cinnamon rolls turn out beautiful and delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ -Celeste

    • Reply
      Laurel
      March 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      Copy and paste into a document or e-mail, I do it all the time! Oh, and Celeste, I am so using this secret ingredient. I may just make a large batch of pudding and freeze it in 1 cup increments to use at will.
      Thanks.

  • Reply
    Briana
    February 22, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    How much yeast? Iโ€™m currently making these and realize idk if you mean one teaspoon or one tablespoon

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      February 22, 2019 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Briana! It is 1 Tablespoon yeast ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy! -Celeste

  • Reply
    M
    March 3, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Well… that was an unmitigated disaster. Couldnโ€™t find the stinking video anywhere to know whether my dough was too too sticky or not before this mess I now have to clean up and the absolute frustration of wasting good ingredients on what is reall just a mess of batter (not dough), cinnamon, butter and sugar.

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      March 6, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      I’m so sorry, I’ve been there and it is so frustrating when a recipe doesn’t turn out. The video is below the recipe card, I hope that will help! The dough is supposed to be sticky, but one coated in flour it should be pretty easy to handle.

  • Reply
    Bonnie Arneson
    March 11, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    I have been trying to make a decent loaf of bread for a year now ever since I found out I have Celiac. I am 79 yrs. old, have made hundred of loaves of bread in my time with wheat, but this gluten stuff is so difficult!!!! I live in Oro Valley, AZ, suburb of Tucson, we are at almost 3000 ft. above sea level, I have tried everything to get the bread to rise, so I thought I would try these rolls. Well, same thing happened. They raise a little bit, I gently put the pan in the oven, check them after 1/2 hr, they have fallen just like the bread does. Does anybody have some advice?

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      March 11, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      Hi Bonnie! So sorry you’ve had some bad experiences, that is frustrating for sure! A couple of ideas…I would suggest getting an oven thermometer and checking your oven to see what it’s doing. Also, are you making the recipe as written? What is the dough consistency like? Maybe I can help you pinpoint the problem. -Celeste

  • Reply
    Erin Dee
    March 12, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Love that these cinnamon rolls are gluten free! This a delicious breakfast treat to enjoy on the weekend with the family!

  • Reply
    Pamela
    March 25, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    No video that I can find. Not at the end of the recipe card! These look wonderful and I am anxious to give them a try, but would love to see it done first! Help? Thank you!!!!

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      April 1, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Hi Pamela, the video can be found at the top of the post on desktop. If you’re on mobile, you can click the video at the bottom of the recipe card to play it. -Celeste

  • Reply
    Noelle
    March 30, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I have always had a love for cinnamon rolls. When I was a kid they would use them to raise money at my church and they still do but being gluten free I can’t enjoy them anymore! Well with this recipe I can, looks great! Thank you

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      March 30, 2019 at 7:10 pm

      I love them too Noelle, so many memories! Hope you enjoy them every bit as much. -Celeste

  • Reply
    Erica D.
    April 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I’m so excited for these, I just need to pair it with the perfect gluten-free cream cheese!

  • Reply
    Margaret E Clegg
    April 17, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I recently made cinnamon rolls and replaced part of the cinnamon with Chinese Five Spice. They were amazing!

  • Reply
    Jessica Kendall
    May 14, 2019 at 10:32 am

    I’m afraid I can’t see a video either – at the top of the post or the bottom of the recipe card on mobile or on desktop. Can you post it to YouTube and link to it inside the recipe?

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    The โ€œsecret ingredientโ€ is not original. It is from another GF cinnamon roll recipe that I found and used five plus years ago. Please give credit where credit is due.

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      May 21, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Lisa, I wouldn’t know where to give credit because I have never seen a cinnamon roll recipe that called for prepared pudding, only pudding mix. I came up with the idea in my own kitchen, over dozens of hours of recipe testing to provide great-tasting recipes to readers like you for free. I hope you get a chance to try the recipe and that you enjoy it. -Celeste

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