These. Are. Pure. Gold! Actually fluffy, gooey, and ultra delicious… these gluten free, paleo and keto cinnamon rolls (with yeast!) are nothing short of spectacular!
Note: this recipe was first published in June 2018, and has since been updated to provide more deets ‘n tricks!
Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls
Properly Fluffy (‘N Gooey!)
In my humble opinion, these keto cinnamon rolls easily make the top 5 best bread recipes on the site (of all time!). Up along the likes of our famous keto tortillas and soft ‘n fluffy sandwich bread! And if anything, I found these guys are even truer to the original (i.e. gluten version).
They’re actually fluffy with ultra gooey centers, and have that awesome (and incomparable!) yeast kick.
Fact is, they get a beautiful rise with the yeast by actually doubling in size (!!). And they’re surprisingly easy to whip up too, just be sure to watch the recipe video for deets!
Oh, and if looking for a lazy and fairly instant version, do check out our 30 minute cinnamon roll knots!
As mentioned, making these paleo and keto cinnamon rolls is incredibly simple really. But, like with any yeast bread, it does require you take care of a few details to ensure the best possible outcome.
And the one thing to keep in mind is that your rolls will likely fall slightly post bake. Blame it on the lack of starch (keto flours are notoriously heavy and moist) and certain missing proteins (think gluten). Just keep in mind that I’m baking at ridiculously high altitude here, so if mine doubled in size- odds are yours will be even better!
You just must ensure your rolls do almost double in size while proofing. And this dough requires a little extra warmth. For instance, I place my tray on top of my oven as I heat it up (so my tray gets slightly warm and they rise beautifully).
But you must ensure you don’t overheat them or you’ll kill the yeast. Think a warm and humid day at the beach, that’s the ideal temperature.
Before ‘n after rise
The Tips ‘N Tricks 🔍
The yeast in this low carb and keto bread ensures a wonderful texture and taste. Now, how much your bread will rise (and fall!) post-bake depends quite a bit on your altitude. But note that you still won’t get that gummy and wet texture here of most low carb breads. Plus, as mentioned, I’m baking at over 7,000 feet (Mexico City here!!), so if we can make them work so can you.*
*Note, I’ve since made them in LA (i.e. at sea level!) and can indeed confirm that the rise is muuuuuch easier (and they brown much less too lol!).
Weigh your ingredients. This will forever be a staple recommendation for any sort of gluten free baking here at gnom-gnom. As aside from leading to less dirty dishes, it will ensure consistent results time and time again. Remember that gluten free (and particularly keto) baking is notoriously finicky, and measuring by cups is anything but accurate. And if you don’t own a baking scale, measure with cups by dropping the ingredients onto them rather than scooping them out (which often leads to overpacking).
Ingredients at room temperature. Self explanatory really, but incredibly important (particularly for the eggs). If you add cold eggs to the mix your bread simply won’t rise much (if at all).
Proof the yeast. This involves mixing dry active yeast with water that’s just warm to touch (between 105-110°F to be precise) and inulin or an actual sugar (think maple syrup) for 7 minutes until foamy. And before you scream sugar (!!) remember that the yeast will feed on such sugar to emit carbon dioxide, so it doesn’t affect the carb count. And yes, this is a scientific fact.
Avoid abrupt temperature changes and air drafts. Like with any yeast bread, you need to cuddle your dough. Make sure it’s able to rest undisturbed in a warm space.
Baking at high altitude? Yup, so am I (Paola here!!). No changes need to be done here!
The Ingredients & Possible Subs
These cinnamon rolls do have quite a few ingredients, but you’ll find that most are staple paleo and keto pantry ingredients. In the list below you’ll find details on several ingredients and possible subs. But if possible, please do try and make this recipe without any subs.
Also do note that a dairy free and paleo version is totally doable with these guys! And while my heart will forever be with butter, I’ve made this dough with ghee and coconut oil and they’re both delicious on their own right.
Almond flour. You truly need a super finely ground almond flour here, as if you use meal your rolls will turn out dense and oily. Super fine almond flour brands include Anthony’s , WellBees and Bob’s.
Now if paleo, or in keto maintenance, you can lighten up the bread even more by substituting part of the almond flour (6 tablespoons) with arrowroot flour.
Golden flaxseed meal. You’ll want to use golden flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s), and regrind the flakes in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until finely powdered. Great way to avoid slimy bread. You can substitute the flaxseed meal with psyllium husk powder (NOW brand as it doesn’t turn bread purple), but do note you’ll get more whole wheat results (delicious though!).
Whey protein isolate. This one is an absolute must, as it will ensure your bread doesn’t collapse post-bake. Keep in mind that this ingredient varies tremendously from brand to brand, and I’ve only tried (and are super happy!) with Isopure’s Zero Carb Unflavored. Update: I’ve since tried this grass-fed whey protein isolate and it also works the charm (a bit pricier, but undoubtedly higher quality)!
Xanthan gum. Borrowed from molecular cooking, xanthan gum is the binding agent which makes your toothpaste jelly-like (and your cream cheese, well cream cheese-like). And it’s also the most common gluten-replacer in gluten free baking. And while we do prefer the results with it, you can sub it with psyllium husk.
Now, the powdered ginger helps to condition the dough to get an even nicer rise. Though note that you can skip it without too much detriment to the final results.
These sticky buns work best with allulose (my favorite keto ‘rare sugar’) and erythritol (think Lakanto).
(Important note!) I recently made the connection (while at the dentist!) that xylitol inhibits yeast and bacteria growth (which is why it’s the sweetener of choice for dental products). So don’t use xylitol!!
Oh, and ‘brown sugar’ subs (such as Lakanto’s golden) work great here too. Or you can make your own by adding a hint of blackstrap molasses!
And… the video story!
Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (with yeast!)
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion. Though for best results we (highly!!) suggest you weight your ingredients here.
For the gluten free & keto cinnamon rolls
- 58 g sour cream or coconut cream + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water lukewarm between 105-110°F
- 1 tablespoon inulin or maple sirup (to feed the yeast!)*
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- pinch ground ginger
- 216 g almond flour **
- 45 g golden flaxseed meal or 5 TBSP psyllium husk, finely ground***
- 35 g whey protein isolate
- 4-6 tablespoons allulose or erythritol, to taste
- 2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum or 1 TBSP psyllium husk powder
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 21 g unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee/coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the cinnamon filling
- 42 g unsalted grass-fed butter softened
- 4-6 tablespoons allulose or erythritol, to taste
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the glaze (not paleo)
- 90 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 42 g unsalted grass-fed butter
- 3-6 tablespoons allulose or erythritol, powdered
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- heavy cream or almond milk, as needed
For the paleo & keto cinnamon rolls
- See recipe video for guidance (VIP!), and check out the post for deets, tips and possible subs!
- Line with parchment paper the bottom of a 9x9 pan. Set aside. Prepare a work station for rolling your cinnamon rolls, by placing a 9x9-inch place of cling film (saran wrap) on the counter. Leave handy a small bowl with water (to wet your fingers) and a touch of oil to spread the dough (avocado works great here).
- Mix sour cream, water and maple syrup (to feed the yeast, see notes) in a small bowl. Heat up over a water bath to 105-110°F. And if you don't have a thermometer it should only feel lightly warm to touch.
- Add yeast and a dash of ginger to a large bowl. Pour lightly warm sour cream mixture over yeast, cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 7 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly, if it isn't start again (too cold water won't activate the yeast and too hot will kill it).
- Mix your flours while the yeast is proofing. Add almond flour, golden flaxseed meal, whey protein powder, sweetener, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
- Once your yeast is proofed, add in the eggs, lightly cooled melted butter (you don't want to scramble the eggs or kill the yeast!) and vinegar. Mix with an electric mixer for a a minute or so until fully mixed. Add the flour mixture in one go, mixing quickly until thoroughly incorporated. The dough will become very sticky, so you want to work quickly to get it mixed properly. Use a wet spatula to gather the dough into a ball.
- Divide the dough in 3 so you work in batches, important if you've never worked with this dough (you can roll it all in one go after you get some practice!). Lightly oil the piece of cling film and place dough on top, spreading it with your wet fingertips onto a roughly 7.5x9-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to taste, leaving a 1 inch at the top untouched. Using the cling film as an aid, roll the dough as tightly as you can and sealing the edge with your wet fingertips. Carefully wet the blade of a sharp knife and cut into three if you divided the dough in thirds. Turn the rolls and lightly press them down with your palm.
- Transfer cinnamon rolls to prepared pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm draft-free space for 50-60 minutes until the dough has almost doubled in size. How long it takes depends on your altitude, temperature and humidity- so keep an eye out for it every 15 minutes or so.
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C while the dough is proofing.
- Make the glaze while the rolls are proofing by creaming together with your mixer the cream cheese, butter and powdered sweetener until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and adjust texture to taste with a teaspoon of milk at a time. Set aside.
- Place the pan over a baking tray and transfer gently into the oven. Bake for 17-25 minutes until deep golden, covering with a lose foil dome at minute 8 (they brown very quickly!). Just be sure that the foil isn't resting directly on them. You can do less baking time for gooey-er rolls and longer for more bready ones.
- Spread glaze on top right out of the oven (though skip the glaze for the ones you're not planning on eating on the same day!). Also keep in mind that some slight deflating is normal, don't sweat it!
- Keep stored in an airtight container (or tightly wrapped in cling film) at room temperature for 2-3 days, warming them up before serving.
These look sooo delicious!
Thank you!! 🙂
What are your thoughts on freezing some of the rolls before the dough rises?
In all honesty I haven’t tried it, but someone else asked this same question today so I’ll have to give it a go. I don’t see why it shouldn’t work (at least quite well), as the keto yeast breads get most of their rise while they proof. Interesting Rayan thanks for the challenge! xo!
Thanks Paola. I made these today. They tasted great. I totally messed up the part around making the roll. I might have mixed the dough for too long or added too much oil on the plastic wrap. I took the pieces that I could stick together and made what looked like a cinnamon roll. Turned out just fine : )
Wondering if black strap molasses or just regular sugar will work in exchange for honey or maple… don’t have either of those in the pantry anymore :-/
Guess what I don’t know?! I’ve never tried, but it’s a great question! It’s also perhaps an easy try as you can just try and proof some of the yeast with the molasses and if it bubbles up you’re good to go! It’ll also give it a nice brown sugar kick
Another amazing gem I am so excited to try! Quick question, do you think freezing them work work pre-proof? We used to proof frozen desserts at a bakery I used to work at… just let them thaw and then let the proof. What do you think?
Someone else asked this question today too! My thoughts are that I don’t see why it shouldn’t work (at least quite well), as the keto yeast breads get most of their rise while they proof. But I would actually try letting them proof and then freeze them. I haven’t been successful yet with yeast keto breads and refrigeration of any form, they just don’t rise again. Bull I’ll def give it a go soon, and if you experiment please report back 😉 xo Avalon!
We just made these after a serious craving for poppyseed rolls. Paola, what can I say?! You made me a pretty happy girl! 😉 Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes! Enjoy every single one!!!!
If anyone wants to try it, the poppyseed filling goes like that:
100g of ground poppy seeds, 50g melted cooled butter, 75g sweetener (I used Allulose), 1 egg, rum extract and vanilla extract to taste. Mix together and spread it instead of the cinnamon. I finished it with a frosting of icing sweetener, lemon juice, water and vanilla extract after baking. Yum!!!! 🤤
I’d never heard of poppyseed rolls! How AWESOME! Thank you Jasmin for sharing your filling, I’ll definitely be trying it! xo and it’s my absolute pleasure 🙂
Don’t you have to soak poppy seeds first before grinding? Also, poppy seeds sold in many stores are old and already turning rancid. I was at the bulk store today and took a whiff first – didn’t buy! You have to find an ethnic deli/store where the turnover is good. When you do find it fresh, it can be successfully frozen, either before or after preparing. Great idea using the cinnamon bun recipe, though! For now, I am going to make the pizza version this weekend.
Yes you do need to soak the poppy seeds in boiling water, then grind them twice.
It’s a little crazy how your bread recipes actually taste exactly like bread! I made these right after the success with your sandwich bread and WOW! I’m never baking from another keto website ever again
I absolutely love your recipes! I am a baker and have been successfully baking GF for about 10 years. Im new to KETO and its really easy for me.
I’m not sure what happened in your cinnamon recipe for me, but they totally flopped. I was so disappointed. The least is fresh, everything was temperature perfect and weighed in grams as I always do. The bread part came out exactly as described, and was easy to roll out in thirds as suggested. I let them attempt to rise for at least 75 minutes! I was hoping that the direct heat of the oven would make that extra push. Nope. It was if they never even cooked. I carefully tried apart of one and it was terrible. I always check off ingredients prepped and ready, weigh and measure…. did anyone else have this problem? Any pointers of any kind? I want these sooooo badly but need some feedback first as I really hate wasting food products.
I really enjoy your blog site, and sense of humor. Cant wait to hear from you.
P.s.-I made your “glaze” thicker into frosting and it was so very fabulous that I couldn’t quit sneaking dollops! Since I couldn’t use it on the rolls I tried by slathering fresh strawberries with it and was immediately transported to Shangra-La!!! I plan on devouring more of these later tonight, and I might let my husband try ONE. : }
I have a GF blog that I’d love for you to check out. I haven’t written anything for a while, but you’ve inspired me tremendously.
Finally made them! They ARE like “real”bread! 🙂 I live in Florida so heat and humidity helped them rise beautifully! I followed the recipe completely and mine turned out pretty salty and that’s the only thing I don’t like about them…with icing it’s not so noticeable but without it they taste quite salty unfortunately. My oven took forever (old oven) to make them nice and brown like yours in the picture so that might have dried them out a bit too. Next time I might leave them gooey and raw looking while cooling off on the counter – do you think that might help to keep them more juicy? Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Hi Toni! That’s awesome to hear lol! But not so awesome on the salt oops! Did you by any chance use salted butter? Or even different salts (think pink vs kosher) can vary A LOT in their seasoning abilities.
And regarding the texture, that’s super interesting because after minute 8 mine are already too brown (I’m high altitude so baked goods do tend to brown faster). So yeah, you definitely want to take them out earlier next time to make sure they’re still gooey! xo!
Omg Paola!!! These were lovely! Mine didn’t rise as much as yours and I’m not sure why? Proofed the yeast just fine, followed the recipe with no substitutions, preheated oven …etc. any ideas? Plan to make again in any event!
Hi Laura! That’s awesome to hear! And on the rise, maybe just play around with a bit more warmth and for a bit longer? Grain free yeast doughs need a little bit more cuddling than wheat ones to rise- so it’s a bit about finding your own sweet spot with your conditions. xo!
Hi Paola! Love your site and your recipes. I try making these today for Father’s Day and my rolls would not rise. I proofed the yeast, they are outside in warm humid weather, any tips ?
Hi Laura! I’m so sorry I missed your comment earlier! By any chance would there have been a draft outside that didn’t let them rise? Otherwise maybe try warming up the dish slightly (I put it over my stovetop while the oven is warming up so the dish becomes slightly warm and they rise beautifully). I hope this helps! xo
Thanks Paola !
They turned out amazingly! I made a double batch and everyone wanted more ! Even the non ketoers! You rock 🎸!
These were incredible thank you!
That’s awesome to hear Janine, so happy you loved them xo!
I somehow stumbled upon your website and THANK GOODNESS!!! I am going to prepare these tonight and pop them in the oven in the morning. We will see how they turn out. I have lost 24 lbs so far and these recipes make it possible to stay on track! Thank you!
GENIUS!!!! I just made these. Although mine look more like whole wheat due to the flax meal – even after grinding finer. They have the consistency of bread. They rose as promised, and have a yeasty satisfying taste. I thought that the frosting was too sweet with 5 T of erythritol. Next time I’ll cut way back. I used a whey protein isolate that was vanilla flavored and it worked just fine. Boy are these filling though. I accidently made 12 instead of 9, so I had to eat 2. LOL. So yummy. Keep the amazement coming our way.
Jenny this is so awesome to hear, and thank you for your in depth comment! Regarding the two hiccups you had, check that the flaxseed you have is of the golden variety. And regarding the sweetness, check that I generally give a range for the sweetener added in all the recipes (the lower amount is more for keto palates and the larger is closer to traditional sweetness). xo and thanks for you comment!
Oh dear god, Paola!!!! I am so excited to try these (if you couldn’t tell by the excessive use of exclamation marks ) It’s almost 2 am here and, if not for the fact that I’d wake up my other half, I would start to try making these instantly.
You’ve already made some of my keto dreams come true (tortillas, choc ice cream, cheesecake fudge brownies), and now this? Just stroopwafels left!
LOL! I’m honestly working on the stroopwafels! I got the ice cream cones done, so they’ll surely be possible 😉
YAY! Can’t wait for stroopwaffles recipe. Paola–youdo have The best keto recipes available; you are my go to site.
Many, many thanks!
These are legit! I live in Miami and left my rolls to rise in the patio outside as our house is too cool with the AC, and boy am I glad you said to check often because mine doubled in size in 40!!! I think the humidity and warmth here is the native climate of keto cinnamon rolls lol!
Dianne lol that’s so awesome to hear! And yup on the climate! I recently made some yeast doughs while at the beach here in Mexico and boy did they rise FAST and beautiful! Lucky you (it’s cold and rainy in Mexico City right now!). Thank you for reporting back constantly! xo!
Hi, I’m really excited to try these but am not a fan of sugar substitutes. I read in your deets about coconut sugar and brown sugar but don’t recall seeing how to use them. Can you help me? Thanks!
Hi Courtney! You just sub either in directly for the sweetener, yours will simply be darker in color 😉 p.s. keep in mind coconut/brown sugar is paleo, not keto xo!
Thank you so much for this recipes with a psyllium alternative. I am allergic! I can hardly wait to make these! 🙂
Hope you love them Shelley! xo!
What a recipe! You wouldn’t be able to tell these were keto at all! My kids and hubby all went nuts over them and finished the batch in one sitting….!!! Do you think the recipe could be doubled? We’re a big bunch 🙂
AMAZING!!! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they actually taste like cinnamon rolls! They’re lightly tangy and the texture is unreal, just like bread!! 10 stars!!
I honestly can’t wait to try them!!! Please tell me which brand to use for the psyllium husk. I have put so much effort in baking with it many times only to find my rolls purple and wet in the middle no matter how long I leave them in the oven. Any advice Paola? Really am hopeful these cinnamony heavenly pics will appear magically in my kitchen now😂
I believe I answered your question about the brand on the gram! I use NOW brand, but I also don’t know what recipes you’re using? In all honesty I don’t like to bake with a predominant psyllium mix as I find the breads to always come out too wet. Hope you love these! xo
I bought Now Brand specifically to avoid the purple outcome in my breads but it is still purple!!! Help please….
I had a couple people report on this recently (different batches?!). One of them said that she ran it through a blender and that made it stop turning purple… maybe worth a shot?!
In response to an intense out-of- nowhere craving, I spent half the day yesterday looking for a low carb cinnamon roll recipe and ended up underwhelmed. And then this happened. Super excited to try it out. Thanks!
OMG lol! Hope you love them Jeff, they’re so awesome! 😉 xo!
Paola, Paola, Paola. You said that you were going to give us a good and proper cinnamon roll recipe and it looks like you have done just that. Thank you! I was unable to get a video, it doesn’t seem to be attached (or working right now). I will be making these this weekend. Have been majorly craving cinnamon rolls! How did you know? XOXOXOXO Carol
LOL Carol! Took a little longer than I hoped but nailed them ;)! Could it be that you have an ad blocker on regarding the videos? My ad agency is hosting them so it’s usually that. xo!!
Paola the video just decided to put up for me. Go figure. 🙂 Thanks for all that you do for us !!
It’s my pleasure Carol, so fun 😉 xo!
I’m with Phillip, total keto hero! I haven’t made them yet but can hardly wait. I know my husband and I will love them. Thank you so much.
Totally blushing here Patti ;)! Hope you two love these too! xo!
I wish people would not give 5 stars or any rating until they have tried it. What if you make it and then decide that it is only 1 star? Then you have skewed the ratings.
I haven’t even made them yet, but I am already in AWE! I don’t know how you keep creating these absolutely MARVELOUS recipes, but I am glad you do!! Thank you, thank you for all the work to bring us such incredible GOURMET low carb delights!
Oh page thank you so much for your wonderful message! It makes me endlessly happy to see you guys enjoying the recipes so much :)!! Hope you love these too! xo!
Did you use granulated (I have Swerve) for the filling?
Hi Ronalyn! I used granulated xylitol for my filling, but you could def use Swerve! If you have a tendency of getting the crystals post bake, you can powder your Swerve in a dry blender/bullet until powdered to ensure you don’t get any crunchy sweetener left. xo!
Thank you for your speedy reply. I also have powdered Swerve on hand.
Awesome then! The cinnamon is generally enough to block out the cooling effects for most peeps xo!
These looks amazing! I’d love to make them today but I don’t have whey protein isolate. Is there anything I could use instead? Regular whey protein?
Yes try regular whey protein! I haven’t tried myself, but a couple readers used it for the sandwich bread and reported back with good results. Fingers crossed xo!
What if you have everything but not the whey protein isolate? What does it do in the recipe? I’m worried it’s something scientific and I can’t do without. I am just gluten free. Just wondering.
Hi Alene! Check out the section on ingredients in the post for more deets, but the whey helps them not collapse post-bake. You could sub it with more almond flour but they would mostly collapse as they lack structure xo!
Thank you for your quick response!
I’m literally drooling all over my keyboard! I can see the video just fine, and thank you for including it! These are going down this weekend 🙂
I’ve clicked on every pic, every icon and every text reference and can’t get anything to open a video. Can you be more specific about ‘upper part of the post’?
There’s a section titled ‘Recipe Video’. If you can’t see it, could it be that you’re running an ad-blocker? If you’re not, let me know your browser please and I’ll email my ad agency about this asap! xo
I saw the ‘recipe video’ and the camera icon, but nothing opened.
I’m running an ad blocker. Guess I’ll have to miss the video. Thanks for the recipe. It really looks good.
Oh man yeah that’s it! Unfortunately the only way I can afford to host videos right now is to have them with ads 🙁
Looks delicious but couldn’t find a link to the video.
It’s in the upper part of the post! I’m working on getting it to show in the recipe card too 😉
You are my keto hero!!