My mom always made her Cinnamon Rolls from a basic biscuit recipe and we all loved them. She never baked with yeast so I never had those soft yeasty-style cinnamon “buns” slathered with icing until I was older. Although I enjoy both of these treats I think the biscuit recipe is easier so today I’m sharing my recipe in the form of gluten free cinnamon rolls.
Binders in Gluten Free Baking
As you become more comfortable with gluten free baking and read more recipes you notice that some use binders and gums. I wrote a long blog post titled How To Use Binders in Gluten Free Baking but here are a few points that I think are worthwhile considering:
- The three most commonly used binders are xanthan gum, guar gum and psyllium husk. They are the glue that gives baked goods their structure.
- Although they sound like weird ingredients they are used in toothpaste, laxatives and all sorts of things you already consume.
- I resisted buying psyllium husk powder for years but it is readily available at health food stores and isn’t expensive. It is ideal for yeast breads which are always on my list of recipes to try.
My first recipe for gluten free buttermilk biscuits uses xanthan gum and calls for individual flours and starches. You can definitely use that recipe to make these cinnamon rolls. But over time people have told me they prefer the ease of using a gluten free flour mix. Although that adds another variable to the recipe I can appreciate how much easier it is. So this recipe is made with my gluten free flour mix and psyllium husk powder.
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Organize For Success – Dusting Flour
When you bake you always need a little bit of flour for dusting. Sprinkle some on pastry dough so it can be worked into a disk and then sprinkle a bit more onto the rolling pin so it doesn’t stick when rolling it out. The same works for rolled sugar cookies. To make biscuits I sprinkle the counter with a little flour before dropping the dough onto it, then I dust the dough with a bit more so I can form it into a ball with my hands. For gluten free bakers tapioca starch or sweet rice flour can be used as a dusting flour.
Kitchen Tip – Label a small jar of flour just for this purpose and keep it with your baking supplies.
Get The Tools
My mom always baked her cinnamon rolls in a metal 9-inch by 13-inch pan with a lid that slides over the top. Although I love that pan I’ve had better luck baking this recipe in a smaller 8-inch by 8-inch pan. In the smaller pan they don’t spread out and are nice and soft.
These biscuits can be made by patting the dough with your hands but I prefer to use a rolling pin. In my cooking classes students often say they like the weight of my heavy marble rolling pin but any kind will do just fine.
The Baking Challenge
Over the years my mom has made countless pans of Cinnamon Rolls and so have I. Now my son makes them too. So if you like this recipe keep making it until you have perfected the technique. Challenge yourself to make the same recipe three times within a few weeks. Then it will suddenly seem like an easy recipe that you can make over and over.
Let me know how in the comments below how your cinnamon rolls turned out. I have not tried this recipe using xanthan gum but if you’re adventurous you could. If you come to one of my baking classes I’ll send you home with some psyllium so you can try it.
More Recipes From My Class – Learn To Bake Gluten Free
|2 cups gluten free flour mix (I use my homemade mix)|
|2 Tbsp sugar|
|4 tsp baking powder|
|¼ tsp baking soda|
|1½ tsp psyllium husk powder|
|½ tsp salt|
|3 Tbsp butter, chilled and cubed|
|¾ cup plain yogurt|
|1 egg, lightly beaten|
|2 Tbsp vegetable oil|
|2 tsp lemon juice|
|½ cup butter, room temperature|
|1 cup brown sugar|
|1 Tbsp cinnamon|
- CINNAMON FILLING
- Beat all ingredients in stand mixer until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- BISCUIT DOUGH
- In a large bowl whisk together flour mix, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium husk powder and salt.
- Using your fingers rub the butter into the flour mixture until only small pieces of butter remain.
- In another bowl whisk yogurt, egg, oil and lemon juice.
- Stir yogurt mixture into flour until well combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
- Using tapioca starch to dust the dough, the counter and your hands, drop the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Work it into a rectangle shape. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and using your hands gently press the dough to about ¾-inch thickness. Continue with your hands or a rolling pin to form a rectangle 7 or 8 inches by 10 or 12 inches. Remove top plastic piece, sprinkle with a bit of tapioca starch then press the plastic back on the dough. Flip the dough using a flexible cutting mat or placemat.
- Remove plastic, blob cinnamon filling over biscuit dough and gently spread to cover.
- Using bottom piece of plastic gently roll dough lengthwise, pushing the dough and peeling away the plastic as you create a log.
- Cut log into 1½-inch thick cinnamon rolls and place cut side up in baking pan. Makes about 7 cinnamon rolls.
- In an 8” x 8” baking pan they will be close together, a little softer and will take 20 minutes to bake.
- In a 9” x 13” baking pan they will spread a bit and bake in 15 minutes.
- Cool slightly on wire racks before eating.