Plain gluten free cinnamon rolls, freshly baked + without icing

Proper Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls That Taste Like The Real Thing

The moment I perfected my brioche recipe last week, my head started spinning with so many ideas of other breads and desserts that could use it as a base and so here I present you my latest creation: proper gluten free cinnamon rolls that are so incredibly soft. πŸ˜›

I shared a couple of recipes for easy cinnamon buns in the past, but never a proper yeast risen one like this that truly reminded me of the real thing. πŸ˜€ One thing to keep in mind guys is that I’m just a random gluten free girl sharing my experiments as I go along. Looking back now, I knew nothing at all when I started my blog compared to what I know now. So if you see that I’ve made the same thing a few times on my blog, always pick the one most up to date. πŸ˜‰

But if you can’t be bothered to put in this much effort (or don’t have these ingredients) and want an easy version, feel free to try my QUICK YOGHURT BASED RECIPE.

Gluten free cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting


Use bread flour / strong flour

This type of flour blend is higher in protein and ideal for baking bread. I used Freee Foods (Doves Farm) as this is what’s available to me here in the UK (and it’s fantastic!). If you don’t have access to a gluten free strong flour blend where you live, have a look online for recipes that teach how to make it yourself from scratch. It’s well worth it. Otherwise you can try using an all purpose flour blend, but the texture won’t be as good. Also, different flour blends require different amounts of liquid which can affect the consistency of the dough and make it harder to handle.

Don’t skip the tapioca starch

It has a uniquely elastic texture that is essential in this recipe. I know people hate having to source a bunch of ‘exotic’ flours, but believe me you won’t regret it! It’s the secret to great gluten free baked goods! You sometimes can find it in supermarkets here in the UK, but your best bet is Asian/Chinese shops which always stock it. Otherwise you can also order it online from sites like Sous Chef UK.

How to bake them

You can place them all together in the same pan (here I used a springform cake tin) or bake them individually in a muffin tray.

Add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth πŸ˜‰

I generally don’t like desserts to be too overly sweet so these are quite tamed in that respect (compared to a lot of cinnamon rolls out there). So feel free to add a bit more sugar if you’d like.

This is a small batch / multiply the recipe as needed! πŸ™‚

Just a disclaimer: this recipe yields about 6 small gluten free cinnamon rolls (as shown in the pictures made in the muffin tray). The batch made in the springform cake tin was part of a bigger batch!

Gluten free cinnamon bun with cream cheese frosting

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Proper Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls That Taste Like The Real Thing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make the softest gluten free cinnamon rolls! πŸ™‚
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Danish / Swedish
Serves: 6 small cinnamon rolls
For the dough:
  • 65g whole milk
  • 15g sugar (granulated or caster)
  • ½ tsp dry active yeast (I used Allinson)
  • 85g gluten free bread flour blend (I used Freee Foods/Doves Farm)
  • 15g tapioca starch/flour (also known as cassava)
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder (I use Dr. Oetker)
  • 1 egg (50g)
  • 25g butter (add ¼ tsp salt if using unsalted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
For the filling/cinnamon butter:
  • 40g sugar (ideally brown sugar, but granulated sugar will work too)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g butter
To brush on top:
  • Olive oil (second round of proofing)
  • Milk or beaten egg (before baking)
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • Plain cream cheese
  • Granulated sugar (to taste)

BAKING TIME: 20 to 25 mins

* This is a relatively small batch, feel free to multiply the recipe as needed.

* Reheat leftovers in the microwave to soften them up again


Frothy yeast activated in warm milk and sugar


  1. Mix the milk and sugar together and warm it upΒ in the microwave (in 10 seconds increments) or in a pan on low heat on a hob. Dip your finger in to check the temperature, ideally it should be somewhere between lukewarm and hot (if it’s boiling hot or too cold, the yeast won’t work). You can also use a food thermometer and aim for about 40C (104F).
  2. Then stir in the yeast and let it sit in a warm place for a few minutes, until it dissolves and becomes frothy. Note: don’t skip the sugar. This is what the yeast reacts with to bubble up and this is what lets you know that the yeast is working. If nothing happens, it means that your yeast may be too old or the milk isn’t warm enough.


On a nice warm sunny day, I like to place the bowl on a window sill directly in the sun. But on cold winter days, you can place it near a heater/radiator or switch on your oven to the lowest setting and place your bowl on or near the opened door.


Preparing and proofing cinnamon bun dough


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combineΒ the bread flour, tapioca, xanthan gum and baking powder together (as well as some salt if using unsalted butter).
  2. Then add all of your wet ingredients: the butter (melted in the microwave first, in 10 second increments), the frothy yeast mixture, vanilla and the egg and mix with a spatula until smooth.



  1. Wrap the bowl with cling film and place it back in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the yeast act and the dough to rise. Note: don’t skip this step as it’s essential for the recipe to work.



  1. Place the dough in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to rest some more. This will also help make it more solid and easier to handle.


How to make cinnamon buns - step by step


  1. Lay a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and sprinkle a generous amount of extra bread flour all over (to prevent sticking while flattening and rolling).
  2. Tip your dough onto it and sprinkle some more flour on top.
  3. Then carefully flatten it with your hands in a rectangular shape (until it’s about 0.5 to 1 cm thick), sprinkling extra flour if necessary (on any bits that are too sticky).
  4. Run a spatula underneath, on and off throughout this process, to make sure it’s not sticking to the baking paper and push some extra flour under if necessary.
  5. Prepare the cinnamon butter (soften the butter in the microwave and mix with the sugar and cinnamon) and spread it (or crumble it) evenly on top, leaving some spaces around the edges. Note: the first batch (in the cake tin) was made with dark muscovado and the second batch (in the muffin tin) was made using granulated sugar.
  6. Roll the dough, using the baking paper to help you. Sprinkle some extra flour on your rolled dough if there are sticky bits lacking flour and/or brush off any excess with your fingers.
  7. Slice your cinnamon rolls and either place them side by side in a oven dish (or as individual portions in a muffin tray) greased with butter or cooking spray. Tip: wipe the knife clean in between each slice to make the process less messy and be careful as you transfer them into the oven dish or muffin tray. It’s quite a sticky dough, which is unfortunately necessary to have a good texture. πŸ˜›


Proofing cinnamon rolls under a damp cloth / in a springform cake tin Proofing cinnamon rolls under a damp cloth / in a muffin tray


  1. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot and carefully brush a thin coating on top of your cinnamon rolls.
  2. Cover the dish with a damp cloth (make sure it’s resting on the cinnamon rolls) and let them sit in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C (356F). Note: what I do on a cold day is place the tray/oven dish on a chair near the pre-heating oven.



  1. Brush a bit of milk or or a thin layer of beaten egg all over your cinnamon rolls.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until they have reached a nice golden brown colour.
  3. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down for 10 minutes or so in the dish, then take them out and let them cool some more upside down (to avoid the bottom getting soggy).
  4. Add any icing or frosting of your choice. Here I used a simple mixture of plain cream cheese and sugar. Note: I recommend only adding icing/frosting to the cinnamon buns you’re about to eat. That way you can re-heat the leftovers in the microwave later on to soften them up again. πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoy them! πŸ™‚

Kimi x


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  2. I made these yesterday and they were delicious! my first attempt at gluten free cinnamon rolls was so disappointing, but this recipe completely restored my faith! The nicest cinnamon rolls I’ve had since I’ve had to go gluten-free! Will definitely be making this recipe again many times.

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