Home » The Ultimate Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

This is the only gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls recipe you’ll ever need. These cinnamon rolls are PERFECT: pillowy-soft, fluffy and wonderfully squishy, you’d honestly never guess that they don’t contain any gluten, eggs or dairy. They’re also incredibly easy to make and the dough is a joy to work with. There’s also an overnight, make-ahead option, so you can prepare them the night before and have them for breakfast the next day! 

A hand holding a gluten free vegan cinnamon roll.

Let me start by saying that I still can’t believe that these are actually real. I never imagined that gluten free AND vegan cinnamon rolls could be this ridiculously soft and fluffy. I honestly had to pinch myself when they first came out of the oven, and then again when I had the first bite, because they’re just MIND BLOWING.

They’re pillowy-soft, fluffy and wonderfully squishy – just like any proper cinnamon rolls should be. The flavour is INCREDIBLE. They’re rich and indulgent, and you really can’t tell that they don’t contain any gluten, eggs or dairy.

And they’re ridiculously easy to make!!! The dough is a joy to work with: you can roll and shape it without any problems whatsoever, and also without having to chill it in the fridge. You can go straight from kneading to shaping without any extra steps in between.

Plus, they need just a single rise, which means that they’re relatively quick to make. You need about 45 minutes to make the dough and roll them up, about 1 hour to proof them and then 30 minutes to bake to golden brown, pillowy perfection. You also have the option to prepare them in advance, for example if you want to get everything ready the day before and then just bake them the next morning for the most amazing breakfast treat (more on that below).

So, without further ado: here’s how to make the most *spectacular* gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls.

Overhead view of the gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls, covered in the simple vanilla icing.

Close-up view of the gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls covered in the simple vanilla icing.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing gluten free AND vegan cinnamon rolls – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How to make THE SOFTEST gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls

You might thing that making proper cinnamon rolls that are both gluten free AND vegan would be super tricky and difficult, but that’s really not the case at all. In fact, making these is incredibly straightforward.

I recommend making the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. The mixer makes the process much easier and the final dough will be much smoother. However, if you don’t have a stand mixer (or you don’t feel like using it for whatever reason), you can also make the dough by hand. Just make sure to knead it thoroughly until smooth.  

Ingredients for gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls

  • Active dried yeast. This contributes a wonderful flavour and makes the rolls perfectly pillowy-soft. If using active dried yeast, you’ll need to first activate it in a bit of warm non-dairy milk – this also tells you whether or not your yeast is active. If you don’t see any bubbles or frothing appearing on top of the milk-yeast mixture after about 5-10 minutes, then your yeast isn’t active and you need to use a new batch of yeast. (If you want to use instant yeast instead, check out the substitutions section and the recipe below.)
  • Sugar. You can use either caster/superfine or granulated sugar for this recipe. The sugar plays two roles: firstly, it makes the roll slightly sweet and, secondly, it gives the yeast something to feed on, which in turn makes the yeast more active and the baked rolls even softer.
  • Warm non-dairy milk. You’ll use this milk to activate the yeast, that’s why it’s important that it’s either warm or lukewarm. You can use almond, rice, soy or oat milk (provided that you’re not sensitive to oats), but I don’t recommend using coconut milk as it can make the cinnamon rolls too heavy and dense due to its higher fat content.
  • Psyllium husk. This acts as a gluten substitute and it’s what gives the final, baked cinnamon rolls their pillowy-soft and slightly chewy texture. It also gives you a dough that you can actually knead, roll out and shape – without having to chill it in the fridge beforehand!! The dough is a real joy to handle, and it’s all thanks to the magical ingredient that is psyllium husk. You can’t substitute the psyllium husk with another ingredient. This recipe uses WHOLE psyllium husk, but you can also use psyllium husk powder. If you use the powder form, use only 85% of the amount listed in the recipe below. You can read more about the role of psyllium husk in gluten free baking here!
  • Warm water. You’ll use the water to make a psyllium gel: just mix the psyllium husk and water together until evenly combined. The mixture will form a gel within 15-30 seconds.
  • Tapioca starch. (For substitution options, check out the substitutions section or the recipe below.)
  • Millet flour. (For substitution options, check out the substitutions section or the recipe below.)
  • Sorghum flour. (For substitution options, check out the substitutions section or the recipe below.)
  • Xanthan gum. This also acts as a gluten replacement. In enriched dough recipes, such as cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls or doughnuts, I like to use a mixture of psyllium husk and xanthan gum (unlike with artisan loaves, where you can use only psyllium husk). Using the mixture of both binders gives a softer, more delicate crumb. In comparison, using psyllium husk only would give a more robust, hearty, chewier crumb. You can read more about the role of xanthan gum in gluten free baking here!
  • Salt. It’s important to add salt to any bread recipe, as it brings out all the flavours. 
  • Baking powder. Yes, we’re making *yeasted* cinnamon rolls – but we’ll still be adding baking powder. I’ll explain more about this below, but in short: baking powder makes these gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls much softer and fluffier, and therefore closer in texture to “regular” cinnamon rolls made from wheat flour.
  • Vegan condensed milk. This gives richness to the brioche-like dough. In a non-vegan recipe, the you’d achieve this richness with eggs. I used Nature’s Charm condensed coconut milk, but other vegan condensed milk alternatives will also work well.
  • Vegan butter. Just like the condensed milk, this also gives richness to the dough. In addition to using it in the dough, you’ll also use the melted butter to brush the rolled out dough before sprinkling it with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. 
  • Cinnamon sugar. This one really needs no explanation: after all, we are making cinnamon rolls!

In addition to the ingredients above that are required to make the actual cinnamon rolls, you’ll also need: 

  • Extra melted vegan butter for brushing the cinnamon rolls when they come out of the oven. This makes them extra rich.
  • Powdered/icing sugar and non-dairy milk for making the simple vegan icing.
  • Vanilla for flavouring the icing. I like to use vanilla bean paste (it gives the icing a wonderful intense vanilla flavour and also adds those little specks of vanilla) but you can also use vanilla extract instead.

Side note: baking powder in cinnamon rolls???

Yes, I know, cinnamon rolls don’t typically contain any baking powder – they rely entirely on yeast for their fluffy, pillowy-soft, squishy texture.

However, we’re in the realm of gluten free baking and, sometimes, in order to achieve a texture that’s virtually indistinguishable from that of a “regular” wheat-based equivalent… well, we need to “cheat” a bit. That’s where the baking powder comes in.

The baking powder helps to make the gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls even fluffier and softer, and therefore closer in texture to their “regular” equivalents made with wheat flour. It’s a small trick – but it makes a huge difference.

A gluten free vegan cinnamon roll on a small white dessert plate.

The gluten free vegan brioche dough

Making the dough for these cinnamon rolls is incredibly easy: just activate the yeast and make the psyllium gel (by mixing the psyllium husk with water), and then combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or just a large bowl if making them by hand) and knead everything together into a smooth dough.

The dough will be soft and very slightly sticky to the touch, but if you give it a quick, gentle knead on a lightly floured surface, you’ll see that it’s very easy to handle. Just make sure that your work surface and your hands are floured as you handle it.

Rolling & shaping the cinnamon rolls

My method of shaping these cinnamon rolls is slightly different from the norm, but it works like a dream. It’s become my go-to method when shaping cinnamon rolls made from gluten free dough, which tends to be somewhat more delicate than its gluten-containing equivalent. I find it much easier and more convenient than cutting the rolls with a knife or even with baker’s thread (or floss).

Here’s how to get gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls with the perfect swirl:

  1. Roll out the dough into a roughly 12×18 inch (30x45cm) rectangle.
  2. Brush it generously with melted vegan butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  3. Cut the rectangle widthways into twelve 1½ inch (3.8cm) wide strips, so that they’re 12 inches (30cm) long.
  4. Roll up each individual strip into a roll – this will give you the perfect swirl.
  5. Then, transfer them into a lightly buttered 9×13 inch (23x33cm) rectangular baking pan.

Gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls before proofing.

Proof until doubled in size

You’ll need to proof the cinnamon rolls in a warm place for about 1 hour or until about doubled in volume. Lightly cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap (cling film) to prevent them from drying out. If your kitchen is on the cold side, you can proof them in a lukewarm oven – the ideal proofing temperature is around 79ºF/26ºC.

As you can see below, the rolls initially only just touch each other. However, after proofing (as they double in volume), they will sit snuggled rather closely together.

Gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls before and after proofing.

Bake until light golden

Once proofed, bake the cinnamon rolls in a pre-heated oven, on the middle oven rack, at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 30 minutes until light golden brown on top. This gives cinnamon rolls that are perfectly baked through but are also perfectly squishy and soft.

Note that the oven temperature above refers to a conventional/non-fan oven. If you’re using a convection/fan oven, reduce this temperature by 25ºF (20ºC). This is a general rule of thumb that holds true for most recipes.

Immediately out of the oven, I like to brush the cinnamon rolls with a bit of extra melted vegan butter. This makes them extra rich and ensures that they have a perfectly soft exterior.

Gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls after baking.

The simple vanilla icing

The icing is just a simple mix of powdered/icing sugar, non-dairy milk (such as almond, soy or rice milk) and vanilla. Don’t be tempted to skip the vanilla!! It gives the icing a wonderful depth of flavour and makes the cinnamon rolls infinitely more delicious.

I used vanilla bean paste in my icing, as I love its intense flavour and also the little specks of vanilla that it adds to the icing. However, you can also use double the amount of vanilla extract.

It’s best to spread the icing over the cinnamon rolls while they’re warm but not super hot. I like to pour or drizzle it evenly over the cinnamon rolls, and then spread it out with the back of a spoon.

And then, all that’s left to do is to enjoy the warm, squishy, pillowy-soft cinnamon rolls… that just so happen to be gluten free and vegan. Seriously, how amazing is that?!

Overhead view of the gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls, covered in the simple vanilla icing.

Overnight option: is it possible to prepare these gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls ahead of time?

Yes!! You can definitely prepare them ahead of time. You have two options, and both work really well:

  • Prepare the dough and then keep it in the fridge overnight (in a closed container or in a covered bowl). You can then roll, shape, proof and bake the cinnamon rolls the next day.
  • Alternatively, you can make the dough and shape the cinnamon rolls, and then keep the tightly covered baking tin in the fridge overnight. The next day, bring the rolls to room temperature. If they haven’t doubled in size by the time they’ve reached room temperature, proof them for a while longer – and then, bake according to the recipe.

Note that I don’t recommend keeping the dough in the fridge for longer than one day.

How long do these gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls last?

Now, because these are gluten free *and* vegan, you might think that they would be rock-hard and dry about an hour or two after baking – but that’s note the case AT ALL!!!

In fact, these gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls are still perfectly soft even 6 hours after baking!

I do recommend eating them on the day of baking and they’re definitely at their very best still slightly warm, but you can keep them in a closed air-tight container at room temperature until the next day. Then, just before serving, re-heat them briefly in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. This will return them to their original pillowy softness.

A gluten free vegan cinnamon roll on a small white dessert plate.

Possible substitutions

Although all the ingredients in the recipe should be easily accessible either in your local grocery store or online, I still wanted to include a list of substitutions you can make. (NOTE: all substitutions should be made by weight and not by volume.)

  • Active dried yeast: You can use instant yeast, in which case you don’t need to activate it, but just add it straight to the dry ingredients along with the sugar. Add the milk that would be used in activating the active dried yeast to the dry ingredients along with the psyllium gel, vegan condensed milk and melted vegan butter.
  • Psyllium husk: YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUTE IT WITH A DIFFERENT INGREDIENT. But if you use psyllium husk powder as opposed to the whole psyllium husk, use only 85% of the weight listed in the recipe.
  • Tapioca starch: You can use cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot starch instead.
  • Millet flour: You can use finely ground/milled brown rice flour instead, but your cinnamon rolls might be slightly less fluffy.
  • Sorghum flour: You can use white teff flour, light buckwheat flour or oat flour instead (the latter only if you’re not sensitive to oats).

A note on measurements (tl;dr: if possible, use a scale)

While I’ve included the volume measurements (cups and spoons) in the recipe card below, if at all possible (and I really cannot overemphasise this): USE METRIC GRAM MEASUREMENTS IF YOU CAN.

They’re much more precise and produce more reliably delicious results. This is true for pretty much all of baking: a kitchen scale will invariably give better results than cups and tablespoons.

And that’s it! This is everything you need to know in order to make the softest, fluffiest and just the overall best gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls. I really can’t wait for you to try them – I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Close-up view of the gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls covered in the simple vanilla icing.

More gluten free bread recipes

If you’re looking for more amazing gluten free bread recipes (that are nearly indistinguishable from their “regular” equivalents made from wheat flour), you’re definitely in the right place!

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The Ultimate Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

This is the only gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls recipe you’ll ever need. These cinnamon rolls are PERFECT: pillowy-soft, fluffy and wonderfully squishy, you’d honestly never guess that they don’t contain any gluten, eggs or dairy. They’re also incredibly easy to make and the dough is a joy to work with. There’s also an overnight, make-ahead option, so you can prepare them the night before and have them for breakfast the next day! 
Note: You can halve the recipe to make 9 smaller rolls that fit perfectly in an 8 inch (20cm) square baking tin.
Print Rate
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook/Bake Time 30 mins
Proof Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients

Gluten free vegan enriched dough:

  • 12 g (1 tbsp) active dried yeast (If using instant yeast, use 10g.)
  • 75 g (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar, divided
  • 180 g (¾ cup) non-dairy milk, warm (You can use almond, rice, soy or oat milk (provided that you’re not sensitive to oats), but I don’t recommend using coconut milk.)
  • 30 g (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp) whole/rough psyllium husk (If using psyllium husk powder, use only 25g.)
  • 360 g (1½ cups) warm water
  • 315 g (2¾ cups) tapioca starch (You can use an equal weight of arrowroot starch, cornstarch or potato starch instead.)
  • 270 g (2 cups) millet flour, plus extra for flouring the surface (You can use an equal weight of finely milled/ground brown rice flour instead, but your cinnamon rolls might be slightly less fluffy.)
  • 50 g (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp) sorghum flour (You can use an equal weight of light buckwheat flour, white teff flour or oat flour instead. Use the latter only if you're not sensitive to oats.)
  • 10 g (4 tsp) xanthan gum
  • 10 g (2 tsp) salt
  • 12 g (1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 100 g (⅓ cup) vegan condensed milk (I used Nature’s Charm sweetened condensed coconut milk, but other vegan condensed milk alternatives will also work well.)
  • 70 g (½ stick + 1 tbsp) vegan butter, melted (I used the Stork baking block, but other firm vegan butter blocks will also work well.)

Cinnamon-sugar filling:

  • 70 g (½ stick + 1 tbsp) vegan butter, melted (I used the Stork baking block, but other firm vegan butter blocks will also work well.)
  • 100 g (½ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • tbsp ground cinnamon

Simple vanilla icing:

  • 180 g (1½ cups) powdered/icing sugar, sifted
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) non-dairy milk (You can use almond, rice, soy or oat milk (provided that you’re not sensitive to oats), but I don’t recommend using coconut milk.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

Instructions

Making the gluten free vegan enriched dough:

  • Activate the yeast: In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, 15g (about 1 tablespoon) sugar and warm non-dairy milk. Set aside for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture starts frothing.
    Tip: If using instant yeast, you don’t need to activate it. Instead, just add it straight to the dry ingredients along with the sugar. Add the milk that would be used in activating the active dried yeast to the dry ingredients along with the psyllium gel, vegan condensed milk and melted vegan butter.
  • Make the psyllium gel: In a separate bowl, mix together the psyllium husk and water. After about 30-45 seconds, a gel will form.
  • For the following steps, I recommend using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. You can also make the dough by hand, but the mixer makes it much easier and results in a smoother dough.
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk together the tapioca starch, millet flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and the remaining sugar.
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the vegan condensed milk, melted vegan butter, yeast mixture and psyllium gel.
  • Knead the dough until smooth and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated, then knead for a further 5 minutes (if using a stand mixer) or 8-10 minutes (if kneading it by hand). Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrape along the sides and bottom of the bowl to prevent any dry patches of unmixed flour.
    Tip: This extra kneading time will make the dough EXTRA smooth, which is the key to perfect gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls.
  • The final dough will be soft and very slightly sticky to the touch, but if you give it a quick, gentle knead on a lightly floured surface, you’ll see that it’s very easy to work with. Just make sure that your work surface and your hands are floured as you handle it.
    Tip: If the dough feels too soft to handle, you can chill it in the fridge for about 1 hour – but in my experience, that's not necessary with this specific dough.

Rolling out the dough & shaping the cinnamon rolls:

  • Lightly brush a 9x13 inch (23x33cm) rectangular baking pan with some of the melted vegan butter.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an approximately 12x18 inch (30x45cm) rectangle.
  • Brush it generously with melted vegan butter. You will probably have some butter leftover – you can use that to brush the baked rolls once they come out of the oven (see below).
  • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough.
  • Cut the rectangle widthways into twelve 1½ inch (3.8cm) wide strips, so that they’re 12 inches (30cm) long. I like to use a pizza cutter for this, but a sharp knife will also work well.
  • Roll up each individual strip into a roll – this will give you the perfect swirl.
  • Arrange the cinnamon rolls in the buttered baking pan, they should only just touch each other.

Proofing the cinnamon rolls:

  • Proof the cinnamon rolls in a warm place for about 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes or until about doubled in volume. Lightly cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap (cling film) to prevent them from drying out during proofing.
    Tip: If your kitchen is on the cold side, you can proof them in a lukewarm oven (the ideal proofing temperature is around 79ºF/26ºC).

Baking the cinnamon rolls:

  • While the rolls are proofing, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
    Tip: Note that the oven temperature above refers to a conventional/non-fan oven. If you’re using a convection/fan oven, reduce this temperature by 25ºF (20ºC). This is a general rule of thumb that holds true for most recipes. I don't really recommend using the fan oven setting for this recipe, so if possible, use a conventional/non-fan oven.
  • Once the cinnamon rolls have doubled in volume, bake them in the pre-heated oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 30 minutes until light golden brown on top. This gives cinnamon rolls that are perfectly baked through but are also perfectly squishy and soft.
  • Immediately out of the oven, brush the cinnamon rolls with a bit of extra melted vegan butter. This makes them extra rich and ensures that they have a perfectly soft exterior.
  • Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool until warm before spreading the icing on top.

Simple vanilla icing:

  • Combine all the icing ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together until smooth and no clumps remain.
  • You can adjust the consistency of the icing if necessary. Add more powdered/icing sugar if you want to make it thicker, or more non-dairy milk if you want to make it runnier/looser.
  • Pour or drizzle the icing evenly over the warm cinnamon rolls, and then spread it out with the back of a spoon.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Serving and storage:

  • These gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls are still perfectly soft even 6 hours after baking! I do recommend eating them on the day of baking and they’re definitely at their very best still slightly warm.
    However, you can keep them in a closed air-tight container at room temperature until the next day. Then, just before serving, re-heat them briefly in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. This will return them to their original pillowy softness.

Overnight, make-ahead options:

  • Option 1: You can prepare the dough and then keep it in the fridge overnight (in a closed container or in a covered bowl). You can then roll, shape, proof and bake the cinnamon rolls the next day.
  • Option 2: You can make the dough and shape the cinnamon rolls, and then keep the tightly covered baking pan in the fridge overnight. The next day, bring the rolls to room temperature. If they haven’t doubled in size by the time they’ve reached room temperature, proof them for a while longer – and then, bake according to the recipe.
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