Monday, January 1, 2018

Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean Glaze (Dairy Free & Gluten Free!)

Prep time: 1 hour 50 mins (I skipped 45 minutes of the waiting periods steps and it turned out good!)
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins
Servings: Makes 12 rolls

Recipe found through a facebook Gluten + dairy free group, originally posted on Ambitious Kitchen. All of my revisions and comments are noted in italics and purple font color.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
1/3 cup granulated sugar*
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (use the fast rising kind)
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted coconut oil*
4 cups Pamela's Gluten Free Bread Mix (about 1 small package)
1 2/3 cups Pamela's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour - Artisan Blend, plus more for dusting (oops, I used gluten free corn flower and hey, the recipe still turned out good!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted*
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, depending on how thick you like your glaze
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
seeds from one vanilla bean
(this is the glaze the recipe called for. I'm not a big store bought almond milk fan, so next time I would like to try a glaze with perhaps soy milk or another alternative)


  1. Add milk, sugar and yeast to the large bowl of an electric mixer. It's important to make sure the milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. On the other hand, if the milk is too cool, the yeast will not activate. Let the yeast with the milk for 5 minutes, do not touch or stir. You will know if the yeast activated properly if by the end of 5 minutes, it has started to bubble or foam a bit.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together both flours and salt; set aside.
  3. Once the milk is a bit foamy, add in the eggs, coconut oil and half of the flour mixture; stir until just combined. Then add in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir again until just combined. Place dough hook on your mixer and run on medium-low speed for about 8 minutes. Alternatively you can knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic like but not sticky. Grease a large bowl with oil or cooking spray. Add dough and turn over, making sure to coat it all with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, then place in a warm place to rise for a little over 1 hour or until doubled in size. If you want bigger rolls, let it rise for up to 2 hours! (I got away with just keeping this in the oven for 45 minutes)
    Tip: I usually turn my oven to 200 degrees then immediately turn it off to create a little heat. After that I place my bowl of dough in the oven to help it rise. Works every single time!
  4. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil. Once the dough is doubled in size, punch it down! Sprinkle a little gluten free flour on your rolling surface, then roll out the dough into a 15x9 inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup of coconut oil all over dough (you'll want it to be easily spreadable so it's okay if it's a little melted). Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together then sprinkle all over dough. Use your hands to rub sugar/cinnamon mixture into the dough a little bit. Beginning at the larger end, tightly roll up the dough and pinch the edges together to seal. Use a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss to cut the dough into roughly 2 inch sections so that you have 12 rolls total; place rolls in pan. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and place on top of oven to rise again for 30 minutes. (I skipped this step and went straight to baking and it still turned out good)
  6. Once you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls in oven for 20-25 minutes or until a tiny bit golden brown on the edges. Mine were perfect around 23 minutes. Remember you don't want to over bake them or they'll turn rock solid. Once rolls are finished baking, set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes while you make the glaze.
  7. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, almond milk, vanilla and vanilla bean. Add more almond milk if you want a thinner glaze. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately! 

If you are not dairy free, you can use regular milk and butter in this recipe, if you so choose.

What can I use besides coconut oil?
If you aren’t dairy free, you can use butter. If you still want to make these dairy free, you can use a vegan buttery spread.

Can I sub something for the regular sugar and/or brown sugar?
Yes! You can use maple sugar or coconut sugar, if you prefer a refined sugar free treat. The filling might not necessary taste the same, but I’m sure they will still be delicious!

Can I make these vegan?
The only thing that is preventing these from being vegan is the egg. Unfortunately I had a reader report that using a flax egg didn’t turn out too well for them.

Can I make these the night before and bake them in the morning?
Yes! To make these into overnight cinnamon rolls, do not let dough rise the second time, instead place rolls in pan (after the first rising), cover with plastic wrap, then immediately place in the fridge. The dough will rise overnight again. The next morning take rolls out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature or in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes, then bake as directed. Ta-da! (But note - these also taste GREAT up to 2 days after so there's no need to make it fresh the day of if that's what you're aiming for, it tastes just as good when reheating a day or two later).