Yes, healthy almond flour cinnamon rolls do exist! They're so tender and fluffy with a sweet cinnamon filling loaded with hints of pure maple and chopped pecans. Each one is smothered in a dairy free & vegan cream cheese icing and can be made in under an hour with no yeast!
Have you ever dreamed of a world with a healthy version of a warm, fluffy, cinnamon roll? (Me, just about every day for the past 10 years). Well, let me rock your world with these ooey, gooey, oh so fluffy cinnamon rolls that are perfect for the weekend, a holiday brunch, or just because!
They're made with almond flour and coconut sugar and dairy free cream cheese and even more wholesome, natural ingredients. Get your apron and rolling pin out because you most definitely need these in your life.
And don't let the words 'almond flour' deter you. These babies are insanely soft and moist just like the real deal!
- Dietary features - vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and paleo
- Made with almond flour and tapioca flour, not a gluten free flour blend
- Can be made in under an hour with no rise time
- Made yeast free
- Can be made ahead of time or frozen for later
Ingredients and notes
You need a few gluten free pantry staples to whip up these cinnamon rolls in under and hour! There are three components to these cinnamon rolls - the dough, filling, and icing.
- Almond flour - This is the best gluten free flour for cinnamon rolls. Almond flour maintains it's moisture better than other gluten free flours and is pliable enough to roll out with a rolling pin. If desired, you can substitute both the almond flour and tapioca flour with a gluten free 1 : 1 flour blend.
- Tapioca flour - This helps to achieve a super soft cinnamon roll. Almond flour can be dense once baked and the tapioca flour will cut some of that density to make it light and fluffy. Substitute with arrowroot starch if needed.
- Maple syrup - Used to sweeten the dough just a bit. Pure maple syrup is best and will provide a cozy caramel-ish flavor.
- Coconut milk - Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk. The cream on the top is what gives the dough some fat content so they rise in the oven and stay moist.
- Apple cider vinegar - Combined with the coconut milk, this is called 'vegan buttermilk'. No, you won't taste it but it is needed to help the cinnamon rolls rise as there is no yeast or gluten in this recipe. If needed, use lemon juice instead.
- Pecans - Sprinkled into the filling of the cinnamon rolls. Feel free to omit if needed or swap with another type of chopped nut like almonds or walnuts.
- Coconut sugar - Used to provide some sweetness to the filling. Combined with the cinnamon it's a classic cinnamon roll flavor.
- Coconut oil - Make sure to use melted coconut oil. When mixed with the coconut sugar and cinnamon, this will create a spreadable cinnamon roll filling mixture.
- Dairy free cream cheese - Make sure it's room temperature. It needs to be soft in order to mix well with other ingredients to create a silky smooth consistency. My favorite vegan cream cheese brands are Kite Hill and Daiya. If you aren't concerned about the dairy, feel free to use regular cream cheese.
- Almond milk
Step by step directions
To make these healthy cinnamon rolls, you will need a hand mixer and a bowl or a stand mixer, parchment paper, rolling pin, and a dish to bake them in.
Step 1 : Mix the wet dough ingredients
In a bowl, beat together the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and honey. Mix well until fully incorporated and smooth in consistency.
Step 2 : Add the dry dough ingredients
Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Continue to mix until a large ball of dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky at this point.
Step 3 : Prepare the filling
Let the dough rest in the bowl while you prepare the filling. In a bowl, add the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. Mix with a fork or a spatula until the the pecans are well coated in the mixture. Set aside.
Step 4 : Roll out the dough
On a flat surface, play down a long piece of parchment paper. This is key and will make rolling up the cinnamon rolls so much easier.
Sprinkle a little extra tapioca flour over the parchment paper and roll out the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch in thickness.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving some room around the sides to prevent it from seeping out of the cinnamon rolls. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon over top of the filling for good measure.
Step 5 : Roll up and slice
This is where your skills will be tested. Gluten free dough can be finicky (we know that). The trick is to use the parchment paper to help guide the dough into a roll - see image below.
Start with the long edge of the dough and pinch the edge of the dough tight with your fingers before rolling. This will ensure a tight roll throughout the cinnamon roll. Then use the parchment paper to help get the dough to roll into a log form.
Once yo get to the end, gently press down on the edge of the dough to seal it into the log shape.
The best and easiest way to slice the dough into individual cinnamon rolls is with a string or floss. If you use floss just make sure it's not mint flavored.
Wedge the string under the log about 2 inches from the end. Pull the string upwards, cross, and pull down slicing the dough into pieces. Repeat this process. You should be left with 11 - 12 2 inch cinnamon rolls.
Step 6 : Bake
Place each cinnamon roll into a baking dish leaving a little bit of room in between each one. I used a pie dish here but you can also use a square baking pan.
Bake in the oven until the cinnamon rolls have risen and are starting to turn golden brown on top.
Step 7 : Prepare the icing
Let the cinnamon rolls cool slightly before icing (about 3 - 5 minutes). Because we are using a dairy free cream cheese based icing, we don't want to immediately pour the icing over the cinnamon rolls or it will melt and go everywhere. Instead wait a few minutes for the cinnamon rolls to me warm but not pipping hot.
To make the icing, simply add the ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix well with a spoon or whisk until smooth. This is why room temperature cream cheese is important. It should seamlessly mix with the liquids to create a thick smooth icing.
Pour the icing over top of each cinnamon roll and let it run off the sides.
To save some of these healthy cinnamon rolls for later, place them in an air tight container where they will keep for 3 days out on the counter and 5 days in the fridge. If you chose to store them in the fridge, warm them up in the microwave in 10 second intervals when ready to enjoy.
You can store them with or without the icing. To store the icing separately, pour it into a glass jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge. Warm it up in the microwave for 15 seconds until it's thin enough to run off the back of a spoon. Then pour over your warm cinnamon roll.
- Review the ingredient list and make sure you are using the correct type of ingredients (ie full fat coconut milk and room temperature cream cheese)
- Be careful not to over-mix the dough. You want the dough to be soft and somewhat sticky so it's easy to roll out.
- Use parchment paper when rolling out the dough. Because there is no yeast or gluten in this dough, it's a little tough to handle with your hands. Parchment paper will help you roll up the dough nice and tight.
- Don't over crowd the baking dish. These cinnamon rolls will expand when baked and we want individual cinnamon rolls not a giant cinnamon pecan glob (although that does sound tasty). Leave a little space in between each one in the dish before baking.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! These cinnamon rolls are made with almond flour making them naturally gluten free and contain no dairy or eggs so they are vegan too!
Yes, the dough keeps well in the fridge so you can easily pop them in the oven in the morning and have fresh baked cinnamon rolls! Follow the recipe as directed, place them in a dish and wrap it tight with saran wrap to keep it air tight. Bake as directed in the morning.
Yes, you can freeze the dough once you have assembled the cinnamon rolls. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. When ready to enjoy, thaw out on the counter or in the fridge overnight until soft. Once soft bake in the oven as directed.
Unfortunately no, at this time Pillsbury does not have gluten free cinnamon rolls.
For more healthy baking recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Healthy Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls (dairy free, vegan, made in an hour)
For the Dough
For the Maple Pecan Filling
For the Dough
- Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and vanilla until thick and creamy.
- Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl and mix until a large ball of dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft at this point. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup until the sugar is almost dissolved. Add in the cinnamon and chopped pecans and stir to combine. Set aside.
- On a flat surface, place a long piece of parchment paper down (about 26 inches long) and sprinkle extra tapioca flour over top. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch in thickness. Gently spread the filling mixture on top of the dough leaving roughly an inch around the sides to prevent the filling from oozing out when you roll it up. Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired.
- Along one of the long sides, pinch the edge tight and use the parchment paper as a guide to roll the dough up tight into a log shape. Use a string or floss to use into individual cinnamon rolls. To do this, wedge the string under the log about 2 inches from the end. Pull the string upwards, cross, and pull down slicing the dough into pieces. Repeat this process. You should be left with 11 - 12 2 inch cinnamon rolls.
- Place each roll into a baking dish (I used a 9 inch pie pan but an 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 square dish will work too) making sure to leave some space in between each.
- Bake in for 15 - 20 minutes until the cinnamon rolls have risen and the tops are beginning to turn golden brown. Let cool slightly for 3 - 5 minutes before adding the icing.
- In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla with a spoon or whisk until creamy. Drizzle over top of each cinnamon roll and enjoy!