My gluten free cinnamon rolls without yeast are the perfect treat, complete with a wonderfully gooey center and 3-ingredient icing!
I feel like cinnamon rolls are such a special treat to make for someone you love -- whether it's for a holiday, a birthday, or even just because! It may seem like a bit of an overindulgent breakfast option, but in my opinion, few things are better than that warm, gooey, cinnamon-y center.
When it came to developing a gluten free cinnamon roll recipe, I knew I also wanted to skip the yeast. It's just not something I would typically have on hand, and there's something appealing about easy cinnamon rolls without yeast that you can just whip up whenever you feel like it.
So I decided the best course of action would just be to skip the yeast altogether! The baking powder is what will give us the rise we are looking for here.
I'm not going to lie, this recipe took me a few attempts to get down. Lucky for you, I learned from my mistakes and am going to talk you through it!
My first attempt yielded a super wet and sticky dough, so I reduced the liquid. The second time, I was much closer, but rolled the dough out too thin which caused some breakage. The third time: perfection!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- If you bake even on a semi-regular basis, chances are you will have all of the ingredients on hand already.
- While it seems like a lot of steps, it's really very easy. I would just recommend reading through the entire recipe and preparing your ingredients and workspace before getting started.
- Just look at them! Between the gooey filling (which has the perfect mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla flavors going on), the soft dough, and the cream cheese icing... these are heavenly!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Gluten free flour: My favorite gluten free flour blend is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1. If you are using a different blend, just make sure it contains xanthan gum.
- Milk: While I recommend whole milk, you should be able to use a lower fat milk, like 2%, without any issues.
- Brown sugar: It doesn't matter if you choose light or dark brown sugar for this recipe.
- Cream cheese: Be sure to use a full-fat block of cream cheese, not the spreadable kind that comes in a tub.
What To Bake Cinnamon Rolls In
As I mentioned, I tested this recipe a few different times. In addition to making adjustments to the actual ingredients and measurements, I also was curious about the best way to bake these no yeast cinnamon rolls.
I tried a square baking dish but was underwhelmed with the results. Ultimately, I decided that using a standard muffin tin was the way to go. I love that each individual cinnamon roll fits perfectly in the pan, and I find it to be less messy, too. Just be sure to grease the muffin tin thoroughly before using.
Make the dough:
STEP ONE: To make these easy gluten free cinnamon rolls without yeast, start by whisking together the dry ingredients, which includes the sugar in this recipe.
STEP TWO: Mix in the butter. If your butter has softened enough, it will be easy to mix in by hand, but you may end up with some chunks here and there.
STEP THREE: Add the milk in and stir to combine.
STEP FOUR: Fit your stand mixer with the hook attachment, and transfer the mixture into the bowl of your mixer. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Once the dough has formed, turn off your mixer and flip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for another minute with your hands (flour your hands lightly if the dough is too sticky to work with).
STEP SIX: Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a roughly 9"x12" rectangle.
Make the filling:
STEP SEVEN: Mix all filling ingredients in a small bowl until combined and set aside.
STEP EIGHT: Spread the filling onto the dough, pressing it in slightly with your hands, and leave a bit of a border around the edges just to avoid any spillage.
STEP NINE: Starting with one of the short edges, gently roll the dough. Once you've rolled it all up, pinch the edges to seal them and use a knife to cut into 12 even pieces.
STEP TEN: Arrange the cinnamon rolls into a greased greased muffin tin and bake on 350ºF for about 25 minutes. You'll see that the rolls are gooey and slightly golden -- that's when you know they're ready.
Make the icing:
STEP ELEVEN: For the cream cheese icing, just mix the sifted powdered sugar with the cream cheese, then add the milk gradually. Wait about 5 minutes for the rolls to cool slightly before frosting.
- My #1 baking tip for every recipe is to use a scale to weigh your flour if possible. This is the best way to ensure accuracy, and too much (or too little) flour will really change the texture of your cinnamon rolls.
- I will say, using a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment makes this recipe SO much easier. But don't worry: it's still possible to make this recipe without one, you will just want to spend more time kneading the dough by hand.
- When rolling the dough out, don't stress too much about it. No need for it to be super precise or perfect, as long as you're close to 9"x12" and the dough is not stretched too thin.
- Once you have your filling in place, it's time to roll up the dough into a log shape. I'm not going to lie, this step requires patience. If your dough is sticking, sprinkle some flour on as you go. If the dough tears or some filling falls back, it's ok! The muffin tin can be very forgiving - and it's usually easy to gently piece it back together as you go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though it can be more convenient to prepare your cinnamon rolls in advance, I really think this is one of those recipes that's best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. You can prepare the filling and icing the day before, if you'd like.
While I haven't tested it, you can try to make these cinnamon rolls dairy-free by substituting your favorite non-dairy butter and milk. The icing calls for cream cheese. You can either skip the icing altogether, or try non-dairy cream cheese.
You can store these rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. If you have already applied the icing, then store in the refrigerator instead. Either way, you can enjoy as is or even warm up the cinnamon rolls a bit before serving again!
Did you make my gluten free cinnamon rolls without yeast? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog! And don't forget to subscribe to get new recipes directly in your inbox.
Quick Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast
- 2 ½ cups (370g) gluten free flour blend
- ¼ cup (25g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter room temperature, cubed
- ¾ cup (180ml) whole milk room temperature
For the filling:
- ½ cup (50g) brown sugar packed
- 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the icing:
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ⅔ cup (75g) powdered sugar sifted
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a standard muffin tin and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add the butter and stir to combine. Stir in the milk. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment and knead for about 3 minutes.2 ½ cups (370g) gluten free flour blend, ¼ cup (25g) granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, ¾ cup (180ml) whole milk
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for another 1-2 minutes. Roll dough out to a 9"x12" rectangle.
- To make the filling, whisk together the brown sugar, butter, granulated sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Spread filling onto dough in an even layer, leaving a bit of a border around the edges, and press the filling in with your hands.½ cup (50g) brown sugar, 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Starting with one of the short edges, gently roll the dough tightly. If the dough is sticky, add a sprinkle of flour to your hands to help with the rolling. Pinch the edges to seal. Use a serrated knife to cut into 12 even pieces. Arrange into your prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- To make the icing, stir the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, and mix to incorporate. Allow rolls to cool slightly before frosting and serving.4 ounces cream cheese, ⅔ cup (75g) powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons whole milk
- The rectangle doesn't have to be perfect, and it's OK if it's not exactly 9"x12".