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(Properly Fluffy ‘N Gooey!) Cinnamon Rolls 🍥 gluten free, keto & paleo

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 with cream cheese glaze
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)

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!

Freshly baked paleo & keto cinnamon rolls freshly glazed
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)

The Deets

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

Comparison of keto cinnamon rolls before and after rise
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)
Freshly baked gluten free & keto cinnamon rolls without glaze
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)

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!

Smearing glaze on keto cinnamon rolls in gold baking pan
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)
Showing the fluffy and bread-like texture of the keto cinnamon rolls
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)

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.

A keto cinnamon roll on a plate with coffee on the side
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)

The Sweetener

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!

Cutting a fluffy Keto cinnamon roll with a fork
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls (With Yeast!)
Freshly glazed keto cinnamon rolls

Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls

Course: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free cinnamon rolls, keto cinnamon rolls, paleo cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 9 large rolls
Calories: 319 kcal

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!

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. 

Print

Ingredients

For the gluten free & keto cinnamon rolls

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

Instructions

For the paleo & keto cinnamon rolls

  1. See recipe video for guidance (VIP!), and check out the post for deets, tips and possible subs!

  2. 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).

  3. 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. 

  4. 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). 

  5. 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. 

  6. 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. 

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 

  9. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C while the dough is proofing. 

  10. 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. 

  11. 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. 

  12. 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!

  13. Keep stored in an airtight container (or tightly wrapped in cling film) at room temperature for 2-3 days, warming them up before serving. 

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*You can feed the yeast with either inulin or an actual sugar (thanks for the inulin tip guys!). And do 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.

**If paleo (or in keto maintenance), feel free to sub 6 tablespoons of almond flour with arrowroot flour for a lighter crumb. 

***Using psyllium husk instead of golden flaxseed results in slightly more 'whole wheat' rolls. 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per cinnamon roll, with the filling and the glaze (4g net carbs each!).

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 large roll)
Calories 319 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 531mg22%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 545IU11%
Calcium 108mg11%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

233 comments

  1. Dixie says:

    I made these last night; I watched the video numerous times which was extremely helpful. I was able to do it in one huge dough ball rolled out on the plastic. They came out excellent; I used unflavored collagen peptide protein powder. I only baked them for 19 minutes because I wanted them gooey. I am below sea level so they never did rise, but they were good anyway! The only comments were that I needed to add more sweetener to both the batter and the icing. I will adjust this next time. Thank you so much for this recipe; I am super grateful!

  2. Silva says:

    6 tbs of phillium husk was too much. Alltrought I followed recepet very closely, got yet another disapointment- hard dought and even harder rolls. 🙁
    Nothing av proved of keto bakery has become a success.
    I guess I’ll will stay to salted yums.

  3. Robin says:

    They were slightly undercooked this time around because I didn’t go the full 25 minutes but I will next time! They taste like regular cinnamon rolls! Yum!

  4. Carole Fehrman-Lopez says:

    Paola,
    You hit this one out of the park! These are delicious and taste just like non-keto cinnamon rolls…absolutely wonderful! Thank you!

  5. Lauren says:

    Would you be able to throw all the ingredients in a bread machine on dough setting and let it proof/knead the dough? Or is this a by-hand-only top of dough?

    Thank you! Excited to try!

  6. Dana Carper says:

    I noticed in a lot of recipes lately you toast the almond flour, should toasting the almond flour be a good option for these rolls? Just wondering if it would help with flavor? Thanks for your amazing recipes— you have saved me from my sweet tooth! 🙌🏻

  7. Linda Tenenbaum says:

    Mine aren’t quite as pretty as yours, but omg they are amazing!! Every recipe of yours is fantastic. Your directions and hints are so helpful! Thank you

  8. Nicolen says:

    I feel really silly because I added extra two tsp of acv to my sour cream cuz the way I read it said to. But now i realize that is for only coconut cream. I hope it doesn’t effect the outcome. Wish me luck. There going in the oven right now.

  9. Holly says:

    What is the whey protein’s purpose? Is it just to add protein for nutritional value or is it a texture thing? What would happen if I left it out? It isn’t something I usually have around in the pantry! Thanks!

  10. Ashley Quinones says:

    Tried this last night and they came out amazing! I almost gave up on keto baking but this changed everything lol I’ll definitely be going through your other recipes. Thank you!

  11. ALynn says:

    Every year for christmas I make my grandpa these amazing yeast dough cinnamon rolls that he loves and looks forward to all year. Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with a form of lukemia and is doing Keto to help with his health. I want to surprise him this year with a keto version and all of the other keto recipes I’ve found for this look small and sad, but these actually look amazing! I am not familiar working with a lot of these items, or with keto at all but I am a good baker and think I can find most of these ingredients reasonably priced. The only one I am concerned about is the whey protein isolate. I’m not familiar with this and seems like an expensive investment for a small amount from what I’ve seen online. Is there any substitutes I can use for this or anywhere I can get a small container for cheaper?

    thank you for your help!

  12. Sandra says:

    I read through list of ingredients twice. 2tsp ACV is second on the list. The last ingredient in the list for the rolls calls for 1Tbs ACV. Need clarification, please. These sound awesome; can’t wait to make them.

  13. Maria says:

    Hi Paola, I live in a tropical climate so while working with this dough the butter tends to melt quickly by the time I finish spreading it out. Can I omit the butter or use an alternative? This is the second time I’ve tried this and the same thing happened. Just so u know my home is air conditioned. Dough falls apart when rolling or cutting

  14. Minka Wallace says:

    Made these last night! Perfect texture. Next time I make them I will add spices to the dough like cardamon and cinnamon to kick it up a notch.

  15. Joshua Davis says:

    Did this recipe change recently? I swear it used to call for one cup of boiling water? Or am I just remembering incorrectly?

    Thanks

  16. Allie says:

    These are AMAZING! I have tried for years to make a proper cinnamon roll, but most low carb/keto recipes fall short. My grandmother made the best pecan rolls and the structure of these are very similar to hers when I use psyllium husk powder. I am not sure how they are if made with flax instead of psyllium husk powder, but mine turn out like a sturdy, bread-like, cinnamon roll. Maybe one day I will try out flax to see how the results differ, but I am quite happy with these. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe!

  17. Carol says:

    Definitely making these today!
    I was wondering about using a pan smear to turn these into sticky buns! I noticed they have a short baking time, so it just might work. What do you think?
    Also what is your preference in brown sugar substitutes?
    I tried just like brown sugar & although it was flavorful, I don’t think it suited the name. I like Lakanto, but have not tried the gold variety & i’ve Also heard good things about Sukrin Gold. Have you tested any of these in your recipes?

  18. Ellena says:

    I saw a few comments a while back talking about freezing these before or after proofing – did anyone try? I’d like to make these for Thanksgiving morning, but there is no way I’ll have time to do these day of…

  19. Marie says:

    Hi, this looks so good and I would really like to try it!!! However, I tried looking into the wheyprotein isolate (which is new to me and hard to come by in Denmark) and I am not 100 % comfortable with the production process/the fact that it seems so processed/my lack of knowlegde about this. So I am thinking, as I am not allergic to gluten (and do not eat it otherwise because of my keto diet), maybe I could use pure gluten instead of whey isolate and get the same result?

    • Debra Mellecker says:

      It can be that your yeast was old or the water was too hot. Did the yeast start to bubble when you put the water in with it? If it didn’t, then its one of those. Otherwise, it could be that where you proofed it was too hot or cold, or that the temperature fluctuated a lot. My oven has a proofing setting that I use which keeps the temperature constant. Also making sure not to disturbe the dough with a lot of bouncing on the floor near it or opening and closing the oven door helps.

  20. Arabella says:

    Just made them and they taste delicious 😊 Takes time to do it all and a bit of doing, but well worth it. I used minimum amount of erythritol for a sweetener and it tastes fine for me.

  21. Kate says:

    I made these a few days ago, and they were pretty good, but tasted a little “eggy” to me. Still trying to get used to almond flour though, and I forgot to grind the golden flaxseed. My biggest issue was that there was a metallic taste in the rolls..any idea what that could be? I plan to try and make them again, and I’m so excited for a low carb version of my favorite food! Your brownie recipe is exquisite, and I plan on making the almond cookies tomorrow!! I have diabetes and am breastfeeding a little one who doesn’t like dairy, and your website has saved me!!! Best low carb recipes/directions I’ve found. Thank you!

  22. Kara S says:

    These look amazing! My mother is on a spacial diet that is part paleo. I know you said that you need to use Whey Protein Isolate, problem is the only one I can find is has additive that my mother can’t eat. You had mentioned that readers have used hemp powder and collagen. Any idea on what a good ration might be to start? Could you blend them?

  23. Dharma says:

    Dear Paola,
    I’m celiac and have tried one after other but have never really found the right one.
    This is by far the best recipe I have ever tried. Tasty, fluffy, absolutely delicious.
    I’m a fan and can only say, yes, it is a lot of work to make these, but I found the dough to be so similar to other gluten-free options that it was really quite easy.
    Again, best recipe on the web.

  24. Nancy Price says:

    First, let me say these taste very good. But, I just finished making them and have a few issues maybe you could help with. My dough was very wet and soft. I was able to spread it, butter and apply the cinnamon sugar mixture. But that is when things started to go amiss. They were so wet, that after cutting them, it was a struggle to get them to maintain their shape when I put them in the pan. Then after 2 hours in my non-drafty and warm kitchen, they didn’t rise (FYI, the yeast/sour cream mixture proofed beautifully). Your thoughts?

    • Paola says:

      Oh no! Did you weigh the ingredients or use cup measurements? Any subs? Are your eggs extra large? Could you have missed an ingredient? (say the xanthan gum? what brand of xanthan gum?). There are a few things that could’ve altered your wet-to-dry ingredient ratio, so it’s a bit hard for me to say exactly as I wasn’t in the kitchen with you… but the general culprits are generally too large egg whites or simply missing an ingredient (I’ve done this before more times than I can count!). xo!

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