Vegan and gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Yes, you read that right. I made it. Finally. After countless failed attempts of making vegan AND gluten-free cinnamon rolls, this recipe turned out pretty great. I thought it was impossible to get the recipe right because let’s be honest, it’s damn hard to make vegan + gluten-free cinnamon rolls but I am super happy how these came out. So let’s get the party started with these delicious Apple Cinnamon Rolls.
Vegan + gluten-free cinnamon rolls can be challenging
As mentioned before it’s difficult to make a yeast-based dough fluffy and soft without eggs and without gluten. But it is possible. Are these gluten-free cinnamon rolls perfect?! I am not sure, I would need to make at least 100 more attempts to find out if I can improve the recipe. I tried so many different versions, with different gluten-free flour ratios, and this version is by far the best one so far.
A gluten-free dough that will rise
Most gluten-free yeast recipes do not rise very much. But this one will. It won’t double in size like a regular wheat-based dough (which contains gluten) but it will rise considerably. The hardest part was to get the cinnamon buns soft and not hard as rock. And I love how soft these apple cinnamon rolls turned out. They taste best when they are still warm. However, please keep in mind that they won’t stay soft after you put them in the fridge. They will dry out a bit and you will need to reheat them in the oven the next day to make them soft again. This is normal since the recipe doesn’t contain eggs and the dough is furthermore gluten-free.
Since this recipe is gluten-free I thought it would be amazing to make an “apple cinnamon raisin filling”. Gluten-free doughs tend to dry out fast but the apples make the cinnamon rolls so much softer and enjoyable! And who doesn’t love apples? Just think about apple pie or apple filled crepes. I just love the apple + raisin + cinnamon combo, it’s simply delicious!
You can freeze the cinnamon rolls, baked but unfrosted. You will need to let them cool after baking and then you can put them in the freezer (best is to use freezer bags). You will need to let them thaw a bit before you reheat them in the oven.
These apple cinnamon rolls are:
- Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
- Can be made refined sugar-free
- Soft and lush
- Much healthier than other cinnamon rolls
- Great for breakfast and dessert
Should you recreate these gluten-free apple cinnamon rolls, please leave a comment below and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan because I love to see your remakes.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 cup white rice flour (120 g)
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour (120 g)
- 3/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch (90 g)
- 3/4 cup tapioca flour (90 g)
- 3 tsp psyllium husk powder (*see recipe notes)
- 2 tsp dry instant yeast
- 1 cup plant-based milk, lukewarm (240 ml)
- 3 1/2 tbsp vegan butter (margarine), softened (50 g)
- 6 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar (60 g)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a small pot, dissolve the 2 tsp dry yeast with 1 tsp of the sugar in the lukewarm milk (about 95 degrees F / 35 degrees C). Let the yeast proof for 10 minutes. It should get frothy and rise. If this doesn't happen you will need to buy fresh yeast.
- Put all flours and starches into a bowl, add the psyllium husk powder, the coconut sugar, salt and stir with a whisk.
- Now add the softened vegan butter + yeast mixture and knead the dough with your hands for about 5-10 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest at a warm place for about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, you can prepare the filling. Chop the apples and put them to a bowl. Add all other filling ingredients and stir. Set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, put it on a floured parchment paper. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a rectangle, about 1 cm thick.
- Spread the apple filling over the dough but leave about 10 cm on the top blank.
- Carefully roll up the dough with the help of the parchment paper. Since the dough is gluten-free and egg-free it can be a little bit tricky to roll it up. Gluten-free doughs always tend to be a little bit brittle and can burst easily so roll it up carefully.
- Cut the dough into 9 equal pieces and put them into a greased baking dish.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees C (356 degrees F) for about 25 minutes.
- If you want to add a delicious frosting, simply mix about 70 grams of icing sugar (or powdered Erythritol) with a little bit of plant-based milk until you have a runny paste.
- Let the apple cinnamon rolls cool a little bit, then add the frosting and enjoy!
- The cinnamon rolls taste best right out of the oven when they are still warm, soft and fluffy. You can store leftovers in the fridge but they will become a bit drier after a while. That's why you should put them again in the oven for a few minutes when you eat leftovers the next day. Please read the text of the blog post to find out how to freeze them.
- Do not omit the psyllium husk powder. It's very useful in gluten-free yeast doughs. Psyllium husk is a fiber which soaks up a lot of liquid. Ground chia seeds are similar (soaking up some liquid), however, psyllium husk adds some elasticity and bounce to the dough, and furthermore also acts like a gum replacer.
- I had the best result with the flour mixture stated in this recipe. If you use a different flour mixture the result will be different since different gluten-free flours absorb a different amount of liquid. You might have a similarly good result with another flour mixture but at the same time it can also end up in a failure. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which other flour mixes might or might not work in this recipe.
- If you are not gluten-free you can use regular all purpose flour, however, you will most likely need a little bit less plant-based milk. Just add enough until you have an elastic dough.