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The World's Best Fluffy, Flaky Cinnamon Rolls (Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free)

The World's Best Fluffy, Flaky Cinnamon Rolls (Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free)

I'm all for eating healthy 90% of the time. But on some days - like Easter, Christmas, birthdays, Fridays, Sundays, brunch dates, etc. - cinnamon rolls are a necessity. (Okay, maybe not every weekend - but you get the picture.) 

The trouble with cinnamon rolls is: they're one of the worst foods for your waistline. (Like, a classic Cinnabon cinnamon roll is 830 calories and nearly 60 grams of sugar. You'd have to walk over 230 minutes just to burn that off. Yikes!) Anyway - these numbers just didn't do it for me. So I set out to create a healthier version of my favorite treat.

I knew the biggest challenge to my endeavor would be finding quality gluten-free flour that would bind the same way regular bleached flour does. (For those who may not know, gluten is a binding agent; it helps bread come together. So products that are gluten-free can sometimes end up being crumbly, dry, or chalky in texture.) 

I ended up trying 12 - TWELVE - different batches of roles, trying out different types of flour, additions, substitutes, etc. (Shout out to my husband who graciously taste-tested each batch!) 

Anyway, all of this testing led to a rather interesting finding... Are you ready to hear about the flour I settled on?! It's Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free PIZZA Crust mix! (Don't worry, your rolls won't taste like Oregano.) I settled on this mix because it's a stronger GF blend than most "All Purpose" GF flours. That means it binds more easily, and the rolls hold together much better than they did in other expiraments. 

What I ended up with will surely be a family favorite for years to come. These cinnamon rolls are fluffy, flaky, cinnamon-y goodness. And they're healthier than what you'd buy in the store or at the mall. I call that a win-win! - Can I get an amen!? 

All the food jargon aside, these rolls are easy and delicious! If you're looking for a way to WOW your tribe, or if you're in charge of brunch this Easter, give these a go! 

Cinnamon Rolls_Table to Soul

What You'll Need:

  • 1 package Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix with yeast packet included - available at Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, Safeway, and New Seasons
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted for 45 seconds in the microwave *Note: to make these 100% dairy free, substitute butter for a vegan alternative, like Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar

 

The Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F.
  2. Heat the almond milk for 45 seconds in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl. Temperature should be warm to touch (warmth helps the yeast grow). Then, sprinkle yeast packet over the warm almond milk and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and white sugar from "For the Filling" in a bowl. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine pizza crust mix and 1/4 cup sugar. Add in melted butter, eggs (one at a time), and yeast mixture. Blend until thoroughly mixed using a dough hook on your Kitchen Aid, with a handheld mixture on "low". (Try not to overtax, as this will make your rolls a bit tough.)
  5. Lay out a piece of wax paper, or clear a clean area of counter space. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp. melted coconut oil over a surface area of 16x9" and get hands wet to work with dough. Lay out the dough and use a ceramic rolling pin to spread dough until it is roughly 1/2-3/4" thick. Once dough is approximately 16" in length and 9" in width, drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. of the melted coconut oil over the upward facing surface area. Use a spoon to evenly sprinkle topping mixture over melted coconut oil, covering the entire surface area of dough.
  6. Carefully roll the dough at the long side until a "log" forms. Use a knife to cut the dough into 1-1/2" pieces. Place cinnamon rolls in a prepared 8x8 pan and let them rise in a warm place, covered with a dry clean towel, for 30 minutes.
  7. Just before putting them into the oven, drizzle with an additional 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil.
  8. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until edges are golden brown.. When cooled, frost and enjoy!

Frosting Options:

For a simple homemade glaze, I combined 2 cups organic confectioners' sugar, 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 Tablespoons warm almond milk. 


Photos courtesy of my good friend Jonathan Simons Photography

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