Paleo Cinnamon Rolls (Nut-free)


Cinnamon rolls are a classic holiday treat. My family makes them every year on Christmas morning, but this year we’ll be enjoying this delectable grain-free version, instead.

Best-Paleo-Cinnamon-Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are almost too good to be true. They have a soft, bread-like texture with a warm and gooey center, just like the traditional recipe I love, but they are gluten-free and yeast-free– making them much faster to prepare. No need to wait for the dough to rise!

Of course, gluten-free and grain-free baking can be challenging. Even though I’ve tested this particular recipe nearly 20 times before sharing it here, I’d recommend testing this recipe ahead of time, before you serve it to guests, to make sure it works for you. Practice definitely makes perfect!

Topped with a dairy-free maple glaze, these cinnamon rolls are truly satisfying. They aren’t exactly the same as Paula Deen’s recipe, which is the one we’ve used for years, but they are close. And they are definitely better than the time I accidentally used whole wheat pastry flour to make Paula’s recipe. (The texture was awful!)

For best results, be sure to make these cinnamon rolls the same day you plan on serving them. You can make the dough and roll them up a day in advance, and you can make the icing ahead of time, too, but don’t bake the rolls until you’re ready to serve. I have a feeling they’ll disappear quickly!

Paleo Cinnamon Rolls (Nut-free)
Makes 6-7 rolls

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Rolls:

1 1/2 cups arrowroot starch
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour (level measurement)
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

1/3 cup coconut sugar
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

Maple Cashew Glaze*

3/4 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours and drained
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*The glaze isn’t nut-free. Feel free to replace the cashews with 6 tablespoons of sunflower butter or coconut butter for a nut-free option.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking dish with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the cinnamon rolls and stir very well to mix– there should be no clumps! Place the bowl of dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill and thicken.

Note: When working with coconut flour, it’s crucial that you measure correctly. Be sure to scoop the measuring cup into the bag of flour, then use the back of a knife to swipe off the excess for a level measurement. You don’t want any extra coconut flour in this recipe or it will dry-out the result!

Place the chilled dough on a large piece of parchment paper, and use your hands to press the dough into a 8″ x 12″ rectangle. (Alternatively, you could roll out the dough using a rolling pin over an additional layer of parchment paper.) Sprinkle the coconut sugar over the top of the dough, then top with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Use the parchment paper to help you roll the dough up, the way you would use a bamboo mat to help you roll up sushi. You want the dough to be rolled as tightly as possible. Seal the end, then slice the roll into 6-7 pieces. (Depending on the temperature of your dough at this point, they could be fragile.) Carefully transfer the rolls to the lined baking dish, and cover the top with foil.

*Note: I normally avoid using aluminum foil in cooking, but in this case the foil should not touch the rolls– just the pan– and it’s an easy way to prevent the rolls from drying out. If you’d still prefer to skip the foil, you could try covering the rolls with additional parchment paper, but the result may be drier and more biscuit-like in texture.

gluten-free-cinnamon-roll-recipe

Bake the rolls for 25 minutes at 350F, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the sides of the rolls are firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm with the Maple Cashew Glaze, if desired.

healthy-cinnamon-roll-recipe

To make the Maple Cashew Glaze, simply combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth and creamy. This recipe may make more glaze than you need, depending on how much icing you like on your rolls. (The extra freezes well if you want to save it for a future batch!)

Paleo-Cinnamon-BunThese rolls are best served shortly after baking them, but you can save the leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. Be sure to warm them again before serving for best texture. (We warmed ours for 8-10 minutes in a 350F oven.)

4.1 from 14 reviews
Paleo Cinnamon Rolls (Nut-free)
Author: 
Serves: 6-7
 
A soft and gooey cinnamon roll that is grain-free!
Ingredients
Cinnamon Rolls:
  • 1½ cups arrowroot starch
  • ½ cup + 2 T. coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Filling:
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
Maple Cashew Glaze*
  • ¾ cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours and drained
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking dish with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the cinnamon rolls and stir very well to mix-- there should be no clumps! Place the bowl of dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill and thicken.
  2. Place the chilled dough on a large piece of parchment paper, and use your hands to press the dough into a 8" x 12" rectangle. (Alternatively, you could roll out the dough using a rolling pin over an additional layer of parchment paper.) Sprinkle the coconut sugar over the top of the dough, then top with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Use the parchment paper to help you roll the dough up, the way you would use a bamboo mat to help you roll up sushi. You want the dough to be rolled as tightly as possible. Seal the end, then slice the roll into 6-7 pieces. (Depending on the temperature of your dough at this point, they could be fragile.) Carefully transfer the rolls to the lined baking dish, and cover the top with foil.
  3. *Note: I normally avoid using aluminum foil in cooking, but in this case the foil should not touch the rolls-- just the pan-- and it's an easy way to prevent the rolls from drying out. If you'd still prefer to skip the foil, you could try covering the rolls with additional parchment paper, but the result may be drier and more biscuit-like in texture.
  4. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes at 350, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the sides of the rolls are firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm with the Maple Cashew Glaze, if desired.
  5. To make the Maple Cashew Glaze, simply combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth and creamy. This recipe may make more glaze than you need, depending on how much icing you like on your rolls. (The extra freezes well if you want to save it for a future batch!)
Notes
*For a nut-free glaze, try replacing the cashews with 6 tablespoons of sunflower butter or coconut butter.

Notes:

Like I mentioned above, it took me nearly 20 attempts to get this recipe right– so experiment at your own risk! I have a feeling tapioca starch would work similarly to arrowroot, and chia eggs would work “okay” in this recipe, too. The vegan version isn’t as good as this version made with eggs, but if you’re okay with that, they’re not bad.

Reader Feedback: Does your family have a traditional recipe you make for Christmas morning?

Share:
Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

62 thoughts on “Paleo Cinnamon Rolls (Nut-free)

  1. ula

    thanx for this amazing recipe! can I substitute arrowroot starch with any other starch like tapioca or potato? πŸ™‚

    Reply
  2. Laura

    Christmas morning, we have a longstanding tradition of eating 1 whole pomegranate and Sponge Candy for breakfast. Basically chocolate covered sponge, difficult to explain on a blog, it’s a Buffalo thing. It’s amazing. Best stuff you’ll ever eat. Google it! But not vegan.

    Anyhow, I love how these are grain free and gluten free. So nice you don’t have to wait for dough to rise….and might usually doesn’t anyhow!! Inspired =)

    Reply
  3. Cassie

    This recipe sounds really good! Do you think the dough could be made a head of time and left in the refrigerator to chill overnight instead of just the 20 minutes? Wondering if you think this might have any negative effects. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Theresa

    I can’t wait to make these! I”m a little afraid of arrowroot flour, but willing to give it a try. Our Christmas traditions are breakfast pizza (basically crescent roll dough with eggs, sausage, and veggies on top) and of course…cinnamon rolls! Since going GF I haven’t been able to indulge in either tradition, but hopefully now I can indulge in at least one!

    Reply
  5. Sonya

    Do you think ghee would work in-place of coconut oil? I need to figure out where to get Arowroot flour in Canada….lol! Or even Tapioca Starch! Can the weekend come now so I can make these already!? YUMM!! BTW Thank You for your insight on Egg Yolks & their cholesterol benefit, I now feel much more confident adding them to coconut flour recipes (which call for so many!)

    Reply
  6. Tonia

    Hi Megan,
    I would really like to try these, they sound delicious! Do you think I could substitute the cocnut sugar with honey?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      I know this question was asked a long time ago, but yes! I used honey in the dough rather than coconut sugar since that is what I had on hand and they were fabulous. I did use duck eggs, though, which are not quite as wet as eggs since they have more yolk and less white. Maybe add less water if using chicken eggs and honey?

      Reply
  7. John O

    Hi Megan,

    Looking forward to making these. Just wondering if you ever post your ingredient measures by weight? This would avoid a lot of measurement errors and allow for easy substitution (eg: butter for coconut oil).

    Thanks and happy eating!

    Reply
  8. Susie

    Theselook SO yummy! Can I use a cup for cup gluten free flour instead of the arrowroot or tapioca or coconut flour or would that be a whole new recipe? I’m looking for a new cinnamon roll recipe for Christmas morning. Not having to use yeast and letting it rise is so great!

    Reply
  9. Megan

    I have been anxious to find a gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe for a long time and was so excited to try this one. I made them last night and they turned out perfect. Thank you so much for another awesome recipe, Megan.

    Reply
  10. Elena

    Made these yesterday with no substitutions or alterations. They were tasty but very dense and dry. Any idea what I might have done better? Thank you I do enjoy so many of your recipes.

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Did you cover them with foil for baking? They can dry out without being tightly covered. And since they don’t rise with yeast beforehand, they are a little more dense than a traditional cinnamon roll– but they should still be soft!

      Reply
  11. Michelle

    I used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot starch and they were good but kind of gummy. So, I decided to use the batter to make waffles and they were AMAZING

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    Oh my goodness. I’m going to have to stop checking your blog; my recipes-to-try list is getting too ridiculously long. !! Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you didn’t use your Maple Pecan Glaze? Did you feel the flavor wouldn’t go with these? Thank you for another amazing recipe!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I think the maple glaze would be delicious over these! I just wanted something a little whiter-colored for the photos. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        Hi! I just had to write back and let you know the following: πŸ™‚ Chanukah started two nights ago, so I made traditional donuts for dessert – my husband’s *favorite* food in the world – using “real” flour, yeast, etc! Then last night I made your Cinnamon Rolls for dessert, and HE LIKED THEM BETTER!! Than regular donuts!! πŸ™‚ Just wanted you to know! πŸ™‚ We used the maple pecan glaze and they were absolutely delicious. Thank you!

        Reply
  13. Marge Burkell

    I am new to arrowroot starch, having only used it in small amounts mixed with water as a thickener. Can you explain to me what purpose it serves when using it in such large amounts? It’s pretty pricey at Penzey Spices, where I usually get mine, I guess I will have to investigate other sources if I am count to use it by the cup instead of teaspoon!

    Thanks for the recipe, I have pocketed it for later!
    ~Marge Burkll

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      It’s part of the “binder” in this recipe– it gives these rolls their chewy, gooey texture, similar to using flour. I buy mine in a big bag at Whole Foods, which would be much cheaper than Penzey’s.

      Reply
  14. Tiffany

    I’ve made this recipe a few times and seriously love it, however, the dough always breaks. When I try to press the dough in a triangle position & then try to roll it up, it always breaks. Is there something else I’m missing? Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Have you ever rolled sushi before? That’s how I use the parchment paper to roll up these rolls– the parchment paper does all of the work, like a bamboo mat helps you roll sushi. When I try to roll the cinnamon roll dough with my hands it breaks, but if you pull the parchment paper evenly and firmly to help it roll, it turns out perfectly. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  15. kathy scott

    hI
    I am just making these now.. Could these be frozen before I bake them. Was wanting them for Christmas morning, but didn’t want to bake them now.

    Thanks

    kathy

    Reply
  16. Judy

    Your picture makes it look like these spread out a bit in baking. Mine stayed stiff as boards. Is this missing baking soda or something?

    Reply
  17. Heather @ Cook It Up Paleo

    I have tried time and time again to create the perfect paleo cinnamon roll. I almost gave up, and then I tried this recipe this morning. All I can say is WOW. My search for the perfect paleo cinnamon roll is over!! These are simply perfect! They are soft and chewy and cinnamon-y and sticky and everyone in my family loved them! Thanks for making our Christmas morning just a bit more special!

    Reply
  18. Brooke

    Made these this Christmas morning! Everyone loved them…they turned out delicious! I will definitely be making these again! : )

    Reply
  19. Lisa

    I made these and baked them on a cookie sheet not a round pan and they flattened out like pancakes? Could I have over mixed them? Has this happened to anyone else? They still tasted good with the cashew glaze but they didn’t look good.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Hi Lisa,

      I also had the same issue – mine turned into one giant swirled cinammon cake. Still tasted great, but it was a disappointment to the hubby who was really wanting a scroll!

      Reply
  20. Pingback: Paleo Cinnamon Rolls (Nut-free) - The Recipe Daily

  21. Suzana

    I just tried these. I have the same problem with rolling the dough. I used the parchment paper. The dough was sticking to the paper. Did I forget a step? At the end I left the parchment paper on and just baking it with the paper still wrapped around… I hope it comes off when they are ready!

    Reply
  22. Kathy

    Hey, these are great! The first time I made them they were perfect! The second, however they went flat? Any reasons why?

    Reply
  23. Jill

    This is the 1st time I made them and the flavor was great but they did not raise at all, not like the pics show they do. I had to bake them about 50 minutes just to get them not like the raw dough. Any idea’s on what I did wrong. Followed the recipe exactly. Thanks for any hints or idea’s. My DH is celiac so he was just thrilled to get cinnamon rolls but would like to get them to bake up a little better!

    Reply
    1. Cass

      I had the same problem. They tasted ok but they never changed shape as they cooked. I cooked them for at least 40 minutes. The picture on this page makes it look like they should rise a bit but without a rising agent I don’t know how that would happen. Is there an ingredient missing?

      Reply
  24. Cat

    I used tapioca flour instead of arrowroot and the results were pretty good. Kinda dense and eggy, but that’s paleo baking for you. However, they took about one full hour to bake (like the commenter above, mine were total dough for at least the first 45 minutes) and the dough was extremely iffy/delicate and hard to work with. All in all, way too much work for something that isn’t nearly tasty enough to beat “real” cinnabons, nor healthy enough to beat actual healthy foods (I mean these buns are essentially just nutritionally empty starch/carbs, sugar and oil, just like normal cinnamon buns – don’t think they’re really healthy just because they cost a lot more than “normal” starch, sugar and oil!).

    Reply
  25. ana

    TERRIBLE RECIPE!

    GET REAL THIS IS JUST SUCH A FAME MADE UO RECIPE BECAUSE THE DOUGH DOENST WORK AT ALL -YOUR PICTURES ARE FAKE OR YOU USED AL PORPOUSE FLOUR- CONFESS….

    Reply
  26. Elle

    I made these and they tasted soooo good….however, I really had trouble rolling the dough. Like, it kept sticking to the parchment paper and the result was not especially attractive! Next time, should I powder some arrowroot on the paper before putting the dough on it? Or should I refrigerate the dough overnight??

    Reply
  27. grace

    These did not work for us at all. The dough fell apart when rolling and became very hard in the oven. these were a fail for us

    Reply
  28. Lorraine

    Followed this recipe exactly and it did not work. Don’t go completely crumbled- would not hold at all. Really disappointing as it’s Christmas morning and this was supposed to be our breakfast. Something definitely needs to be adjusted for the dough to hold.
    All of the cookie recipes that I’ve tried from this website are great but this one was a big bummer. #nochristmasbreakfast

    Reply
  29. Casey

    BIG QUESTION????
    **I was just wondering if someone,(or possibly even Megan, since your the expert (lol)), could tell me why you can’t add yeast to this dough? Is it the paleo thing? And since I don’t follow that diet, I just try to stay away from dairy could I put yeast in this dough recipe or would it be completely off? Hope you can answer cause I would love to try these!! Thank you!!
    p.s. – And thank you for the recipe for the sweetened condensed coconut milk, life saver!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: