Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cinnamon No-Rolls

Home with the kids this weekend, I found myself mourning the lack of oats.  I never remember to buy these kinds of things.  (That would be why I've been out of powdered sugar for a month.)

Six cans of fire roasted tomatoes?  Of course.  Seventeen thousand pounds of dried beans?  Shelved neatly in the freezer.  But, nooo, I can never remember things like powdered sugar. 

Or oats.

Darn oats.

But, when you think about it, it really isn't about the oats.  It's not about the apples, either.  

For me...

it is all about the cinnamon.

I adore cinnamon.  Vietnamese cinnamon, to be precise.  Don't have a favorite cinnamon?  For shame.  Go to Penzey's as soon as you can and smell the little jars.  You'll be able to pick a favorite.  (One of my friends is my Penzey's Partner - her favorite is korintje cinnamon - another good one and it's readily available.  I have a jar from the supermarket here in town.)

My nine year old's love of cinnamon pretty much only extends to cinnamon rolls.  Cinnamon rolls were my Everest for the longest time and I've finally found a recipe that we love.  That said - I may have a new favorite.

Gluten-Free dough is sticky, by nature.  It's workable, don't get me wrong, and when you adjust to wetting your hands and utilizing parchment or a silpat, it's much easier.  But, it's still a pain.  Heck, it was a pain to make regular cinnamon rolls.  It's a labor of love.  I'm willing to do it... twice a year.  But, it isn't something I really enjoy doing.  

I mean, how do you think Cinnabon got so popular?  Because a good cinnamon roll is rare enough.  But even if you have an amazing recipe, you still have to do all that work - in all those steps.  

So, I set out to eliminate some of that.  Udi's has a pretty good little product that they call a cinnamon roll, but the textures not quite right.  It's more of a cinnamon muffin.  And when you're all about the cinnamon, there's a significant lack of gooey, sweet, buttery cinnamon swirl.

Let's see if we can fix that!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Cinnamon No-Rolls

Base layer
3 Cups Flour (as always, I use Pamela's
1 cup sugar
4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk of your choice (we like Silk coconut milk)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil
(you could technically use an equal amount of applesauce, but we're about to get butter loco)

Top layer:
1 cup of Earth Balance (or nondairy margarine or butter)
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
2TBSP flour
1 TBSP cinnamon

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans or a diced green apple 
(I added the latter since my daughter doesn't care for pecans.)

You can figure this part out, right?  Mix stuff until it's dough.  Awesome.  Good job.

Spread it in a 9x13.  You can use a spatula/spoonula or just moistened, clean hands.

Make the top layer by combining the earth balance, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Drop by spoonfuls on top of your base layer, or spread.  Whatever makes you happy.

With the side of a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, swirl spirals into the dough to give it that cinnamon roll look.  (I mean, let's be honest, you don't have to.  It's going to taste just as good.)

It will look something like this (minus the green, if you don't have apples in yours.)

Yum, right?

Preheat the oven to 350° and bake for about 40 minutes.  It will puff all the way to the top of the pan, then fall a bit as it cools.  Don't sweat it.

You can top with a cream cheese frosting (nondairy for our crew) or an easy powdered sugar glaze (just thin out some powdered sugar with a few teaspoons of "milk" and drizzle over the top)

Sorry I had to zoom in on one swirl.  I swear it's not because the corner was missing at this point.

I also swear I didn't burn my fingers on hot sugar.  Or something.

With glaze added (honestly?  Unnecessary and a tad too sweet with glaze, for my liking.  But that gooey cinnamon butter stuff you see right there at the top?  Oh yeah. You need to taste that.)

Cinnabon, who?!


  1. A friend led me to your blog and I made the sticky cinnamon rolls last week - so delicious after a 2-year dearth of chewy baked goods! :) I love this idea even more - it's definitely on my list of g-f recipes to try!

  2. Found your blog through a link on Pinterest & so glad I did! It's so easy to get burnt out dealing with food sensitivities & I appreciate all the great info and ideas. Will definitely be coming back for more ;-)

  3. I'm so glad it has helped others with the same sensitivities!!! Let me know if you have any suggestions for new recipes or adaptations. :)

  4. I am so excited to try this! I agree with you that rolling the dough, especially a GF dough is a pain! I love the no-roll idea. I'm going to give this a try tomorrow! Thank you for sharing!

  5. I made this over the weekend so that I could feel "included" , when all the family sat down to yummy Sunday morning "goodies". It was divine. I use BetterBatter AP GF flour and regular butter, but other than that made no changes. Even my kiddos ate it and that is saying something since I am the only one who eats GF. It was very hard to walk away and not eat the whole thing in one sitting.
    Can't wait to try more of your recipes :)

    Thanks for sharing.