Cinnamon Rolls for the New Year

The last six weeks of 2012 came and went.  Endings and beginnings hit with a bang all at the same time.  Several life changing decisions presented themselves.  Amongst the craziness, time was carved out on New Year’s day to start on a fresh, healthy and taste-so-good-you-can’t-eat-just-one note.  That note was a high cord belting out outrageous cinnamon rolls.

You may be thinking how can these be healthy.  They mostly defy the norm. The less healthy part will put a smile on your face.

There are cinnamon rolls with more of a croissant like dough and a sugary icing drizzle.  Then there are whole grain health foodie kinds that omit icing, replacing it with lots of raisins and nuts.  Then there are these with gooey goodness, thanks to a friend who raved about them and shared her handed down recipe.  I hate to tell you they’re gluten free because that tends to turn up noses. But not these.

I’m thankful to not have problems with gluten, a good thing being the bread monger I am. But stepping back and changing things up is a good thing.  You know that “anything in moderation” mantra?

The first bite came just ten minutes out of the oven.  Soft, gooey on the bottom with walnuts followed by cinnamon and sweetness.

This recipe makes 12 to 16 rolls, depending on your size preference. They keep quite well wrapped in foil on your counter for a few days.  Just takes popping them into a 350 degree F oven for ten minutes to make them taste like they were just baked.  Or wrap any leftover in foil and freeze for a cold winter weekend morning.

Although this recipe is longer, it’s fairly easy. After making them once, you”ll get the hang of it then they’re a breeze!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 - 16
  • 1½ cups water (115 Degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1¼ cups almond flour
  • 3¼ cups gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup powdered milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • Filling:
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ stick Earthbalance
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ½ to ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins, optional
  1. Bring 1 cup water to 115 degrees F. Mix water, yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium sized bowl. Let stand fifteen minutes for the yeast to bubble and bloom.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients by combining the almond flour, GF flour blend (1¼ cups sorgum flour, 1¼ cups tapioca flour, ¾ cup potato starch or cornstarch, for a total of 3¼ cups), xanthan gum, brown sugar, powdered milk and salt. Use a whisk to combine.
  3. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs then add them to the mix. If the dough feels too dry, quickly bring the additional ½ cup of water to 115 degrees and add it to the dough, little by little as needed. You want a soft, slightly shaggy and not soggy dough.
  4. First Rise: Place the dough in a oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Roll Out Dough: Divide dough in two. Lay half on wax paper and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out dough to ⅓-inch thickness. Remove plastic and add ⅓ of the filling to the surface. Roll dough towards you by pulling the wax paper edge toward you while rolling the dough neat and tight. Do this with the remaining dough.
  6. Cut Into Rounds: Using dental floss, slide the piece under the dough log and bring the two edges together to cross over the top. This results in slicing a piece of dough off the log. Slice the pieces about 1½-inches thick.
  7. Second Rise: Pour remaining filling on the bottom of a rectangular pan (I used 10x8). Put the dough rolls in the pan on the filling, making sure to keep the rolls tight. Cover with a towel and let rise 1 hour in a warm place.
  8. Baking: Preheat oven to 350 degreed F. Bake rolls until golden brown on top and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cook then invert onto a plate.
If you don't like raisins and nuts, don't add them. If you do, add them in any combination.




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