Amazing Grain-free Cinnamon Rolls with Coconut Glaze
These cinnamon rolls are grain-free, yeast-free, gluten-free and you can make them vegan by using coconut oil or non-dairy butter instead of ghee in the filling. Don't let that long list of "frees" trick you into thinking that these aren't going to be good, though, because these simple cinnamon rolls are amazing!
One last recipe for 2017! And it's a really, really good one. A few week's ago, I started craving cinnamon rolls. My usual go-to recipe is a yeasted pumpkin version (yes - pumpkin - I tend to only make them in the Fall/Winter!) however I had just purchased some cassava flour for tortillas and so instead, I casually threw together ingredients thinking I would get a starting point underway for a yeast-free and grain-free version that would be quick and easy. I just had a feeling that I could work out a grain-free version using cassava flour, because it's kind of light and fluffy. I'm so glad that I followed my impulses on this one, because that first attempt was unbelievable. Doughy, but held together perfectly. Sweet but not over-the-top sugary. Feeling super impressed, I continued to experiment, adjusting the dough just slightly each time. The first trial was almost perfect, but just slightly dry because I had used extra cassava flour to roll it out. The second version was really good, but I missed the doughy texture of the first batch because I had increased the almond flour. The third batch was essentially the same as the first, just a little sweeter and without the extra flour I used to roll out the dough (which also took care of that slightly dry texture). My fourth batch included a bit more vanilla and a little bit more cinnamon in the filling. This fifth batch was exactly the same, but with a bit more baking powder and honestly, I'm in love. My husband and friends have been sampling these along with me these last few weeks, and my husband suggested we have these Christmas morning. They're that good.
Have you tried making gluten-free cinnamon rolls before? I've tried a few of the recipes floating around the internet ... recipes that are yeasted, yeast-free, gum-free. So I get it if you've been looking for a good cinnamon roll and have been duped into thinking that you've come across something good that just turns out to be disappointing. I tend to be pretty picky with my gluten-free baking, a tendency that was born out of high expectations and years of following recipes that promised me results but didn't deliver. All that to say that I don't share my gluten-free baking unless it meets my own standards ;) These are the best cinnamon rolls made without yeast that I've tried, so I'm especially excited to put this one out into the world. Since these are made without yeast, they don't have that yeasty flavour obviously, but they have a wonderful texture. I hope you give these a try! And if you do, it would make my day to hear so please let me know!
I'm planning on spending the next couple days getting myself ready for the new year with time off work, lots of rest and quiet time to reflect on what I want out of 2018, and to really just take care of myself after the busyness of Christmas. Sending you all so much love and gratitude for stopping by. I wish you the most wonderful send off for 2017, and a 2018 full of all the good stuff! xo!
Grain-free Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 9 rolls. I've made several "half-batches" of these rolls and if you do that, roll the dough out to be about 11"x8" and cut the dough into 6 rolls, then bake in a smaller dish - I use a 7"x5" glass dish for a smaller batch, and bake them for 20 minutes.
2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp organic ghee, coconut oil, or vegan butter, softened
Combine the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small dish, and set aside both the cinnamon mixture and the ghee until you're ready to use it.
1 cup cassava flour
1 cup finely ground almond flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
2 tbsp psyllium (husk or powder)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tsp ground chia seeds
1 cup cashew milk (or other plain unsweetened non-dairy milk)
2 tbsp olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
Maple syrup, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a baking dish and set it aside (I use an 8"x8" square dish).
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: cassava, almond and arrowroot flours, psyllium, sea salt, baking powder, coconut sugar, ground chia, cinnamon, vanilla bean powder. Make a small well in the middle of the bowl, and pour in the cashew milk, olive oil, and vanilla extract (if you're using that instead of vanilla powder). Begin to whisk the wet and dry ingredients together, slowly working more of the dry ingredients in. When it becomes too thick to continue whisking, switch to a spatula or clean hands and continue to work the ingredients into a smooth and fully-combined dough. Set the dough aside as you prepare your work area for rolling out the dough.
Tear off a large piece of plastic/cling wrap or parchment paper and place on a clean flat work surface. Tear another large piece of plastic/cling wrap or parchment paper and set aside. Place the dough in the centre of the first piece of plastic wrap and use your hands to shape into an oval. Lay the second piece of plastic wrap on top, and use a rolling pin or a large cylinder (I used a wine bottle because half our kitchen is still packed up from the renovation!) to evenly roll out the dough into a large rectangle approximately 1/4-1/2" thick, 16" long and 10" wide. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Trim the edges so they are even and straight.
Gently spread the softened ghee/coconut oil/vegan butter evenly across the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly overtop (right to the edges).
Starting at a short end, tightly roll the edge over itself using the plastic wrap underneath to help it along. Continue to roll the dough, trying to keep it tight and even. Use a sharp knife, slice the roll of dough into 9 equal pieces. Carefully transfer each roll into the prepared baking dish. Place the filled baking dish into the hot oven, and bake for 22-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle a little maple syrup over each roll, if you're using it. To serve, drizzle with coconut glaze if you like. Keep leftover rolls (unglazed) in a sealed dish at room temperature for up to 3 days. To serve, reheat gently and top with glaze.
The coconut glaze seeps into the cinnamon roll, making it a bit more gooey inside while adding a bit of sweet tang.
8 tbsp full fat coconut milk (the creamy part that separates from the liquid in a can)
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
a pinch of fine sea salt
Whisk together all the glaze ingredients. Drizzle glaze over warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.