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.

Paleo Cinnamon Rolls with glaze on top

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.

making cinnamon rolls

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.

baked cinnamon roll with glaze on top

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!)

Cinnamon roll on a plate with a forkThese 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.)

4.15 from 14 votes
Print
Paleo Cinnamon Rolls (Nut-free)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
A soft and gooey cinnamon roll that is grain-free!
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 6
Calories: 546 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
Cinnamon Rolls:
  • 1 1/2 cups arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T. coconut flour
  • 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:
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
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!)
Recipe 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?

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Comments

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.

    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!

Kat

can’t have arrow root or tapioca or any starch, can this work with jelatin and almond flour or something else?

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!

Kathy

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

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!

    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?

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!).

Shawn

Followed recipe completely and mine fell apart when I went to roll them in wax paper 🙁

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….

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??

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

    Lorraine

    Same. Wish I read the comments before trying these on Christmas morning.

Dr. K.

This looks so yum!! Can’t wait to try it out!

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

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so sorry to hear that! Sounds like this one needs to be reworked since it’s been hit and miss for others.

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!!

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