The Food Philosopher: Gluten-Free Recipes, Health and Nutrition, Diet and Weight Loss


The Food Philosopher: Our Gluten–Free Philosophy



Cinnamon Rolls

with gluten-free flours. After all, wheat has always been highly favored over other grains for its ability to produce a springy texture in baked goods. The problem seems to be compounded when we try to recreate sweet yeast doughs because of the extra fat and sugar.

But take heart, you can make homemade cinnamon rolls just like you remember them: small, warm rounds of springy dough bursting with cinnamon and topped with an old-fashioned sugar glaze. Please note, these are not the huge cinnamon buns you find at the mall, weighing in at more than half a pound and filled with several days' worth of fat and sugar. Ours are perfectly sized for comfort and so good you'll still be able to feel a little guilty. In order to come up with a soft dough, we've taken out some of the fat and sugar and used a bit of sweet rice flour. Follow the directions carefully, and you'll have everyone in the house swarming the kitchen waiting for you to pull them out of the oven.

Gluten–Free Archive




Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free


Makes 8 rolls


1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)


7 tablespoons skim or 2% milk (110°F)
1 tablespoon dry yeast granules (not quick rise)
¼ cup sweet rice flour, separated
¼ cup sugar, separated
1¾ cups brown rice flour mix
1¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (room temperature is best)
2 tablespoons Canola oil
Rice flour (about 2 tablespoons, used to flour board)
1 tablespoon melted butter


¾ cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine warm milk (110°F), yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sweet rice flour, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a measuring cup; stir until well blended. Cover with a towel and set aside to proof for 5 to 10 minutes (mixture should become foamy).
  3. Mix eggs and Canola oil together in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  5. Mix brown rice flour mix, xanthan gum, salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons sweet rice four and 3 tablespoons sugar in large bowl of electric mixer. Add warm milk/yeast mixture, egg, and oil to the bowl; mix until just blended. Scrape bowl and beaters, and then beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
  6. Liberally spread rice flour over surface of a wooden board and lightly flour hands. Use a spatula to move dough out onto the wooden board in a ball shape. Dough will be sticky. Roll dough around in the rice flour until it is lightly covered. Gently press into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle with your hands.
  7. Lightly brush melted butter over top of rolled dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Starting with 8-inch side, carefully roll dough jelly-roll fashion. Do not roll dough tightly; the individual rolls will rise better if they are more loosely rolled.
  8. Use a small, sharp knife to cut 8-inch roll of dough into 8 1-inch slices. (Don't worry if slices seem loosely rolled). Coat knife with rice flour if dough is sticking to it.
  9. Carefully arrange slices in prepared cake pan so that they do not touch (put six around the outside of the pan and two in the middle). Cover with a light dishtowel and let rise in a warm place until rolls have doubled or more in size and have filled pan (80°F is ideal and almost essential for this very heavy dough to rise in 1 to 1½ hours).
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F. Position rack in center of oven. Place rolls in center of oven and bake about 20 minutes, until light golden and cooked though.
  11. Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until smooth and creamy. Spoon over top of rolls. Serve warm.
  12. Cook's Note: Dry ingredients can be mixed ahead and stored in plastic containers for future use. But do not add yeast until just ready to bake rolls.

    Rolls can be prepared in advance: Bake according to directions. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan on a rack. Store in a tightly sealed plastic container in refrigerator for up to three days. Wrap well in plastic wrap and then foil to store in freezer for up to three weeks. Wrap in foil and rewarm in 350°F preheated oven.

    ©2006 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts