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.
Hi, somehow my question ended up on the wrong recipe. Sorry, what can I sub for whey protein isolate? more almond flour? would a vegan protein shake work? What does it do in this cinnamon roll recipe?
Paola, just saw this on a website that is for info on cooking with xylitol (which is my preferred sweeterner…no pups in our house). Thought this may be of interest re. recipe using yeast (as in the cinnamon rolls). It may account for issues some folks are having with rising after the dough is formed and the filling added.
FROM COOKING WITH XYLITOL:
In baked goods that require yeast to make the dough rise, xylitol cannot be used because it is anti-fungal, but it can be used in a glaze or as a filling for the recipe. This property is beneficial, on the other hand, because it acts as a preservative, greatly increasing shelf life without the addition of artificial preservatives.
Another quality of xylitol is that it will not caramelize (brown) like sugar for making caramel-flavored desserts like flan, candy, frostings, or peanut brittle, for example. This is due to the fact that xylitol is very heat and acid stable, and does not undergo the “Maillard Reaction” that causes sugar to caramelize in the presence of heat and amino acids. Xylitol melts at 2010F (930C) and boils at 4210F (2160C).
First.. oh. My. Goodness! These were absolutely amazing! Even my non keto 16yo loved them! I’ve been wanting to make these for a few weeks but I kept putting it off because I would start to read the recipe and my eyes would roll back in my head due to my own personal overwhelmedness (not a word but I don’t know how else to say it🤣). Anyway, I was making bargains with my maker and cursing under my breath a little.. but they turned out great.. lol. I’ll make them again now that I know what I’m doing.. lol. Oh, also, I used black strap molasses to proof the yeast. Gave them a lovely color and nice depth of flavor. Thanks for another great recipe!
Hi, for the flaxseed is it 6T before or after grinding? I used 3T and it turned into 6T Ground but then had trouble with the dough/ had to cook it almost double the recommended time…
After! I’m not sure if you ended up measuring before or after?
Has anybody tried to use vital wheat gluten?
I just made these. They’re absolutely delicious no eggy taste at all. I had vanilla flavored whey protein isolate. Worked well. Will definitely recommend them. I truly love this site. The keto treats really do taste great.
Has anyone tried to freeze them after baking? Are they just as yummy as they are fresh?
I have (during many trials!). They’re always going to be beat super fresh, but also freeze very well (without frosting) xo!
Good! I’m going to need to freeze a few dozen before our son and family come on vacation in June! Our house is just right for two of us but with seven, I don’t think I will get much room to move (and I am a kitchen tornado and that’s best kept to myself). I made 12 rolls from the 9-roll recipe this morning and I think I could probably get 15 small ones. When our kids arrive, I can just whip up a batch of glaze, defrost and warm up the rolls, and watch them disappear!
If i wanted to freeze and bake later – should i freeze before they proof or after?
Keto doughs don’t work so well at freezing (or refrigerating) without baking. They just never rise again 🙁
Amazing. Scaled mine down to three but I accidentally cut them the wrong way lol. So I ended up with 6 mini buns. I’m not complaining. It’s a bit labour intensive especially because I had no sour cream and my yeast was a bit old, it had trouble proofing. I used yoghurt instead. And experimented with mayo. Both worked but needed wayyy more time to start bubbling. Came out soft and gooey but a bit claggy. Put em back in for 4 minutes and they were bready, soft and delicious. Sooo gooooddd.
I’ve been thinking I could make different fillings too. Dry berry jam with lemon frosting. Keto nutella style with dark chocolate or even cheese and onion with herb butter on top? Great dough!!
Btw I preheated my bottom oven and then placed the buns in the cupboard above the top. So it had the warmth rising.
What happened to the eggs in the ingredient list? Need the details. Tks!
It says 3 eggs at room temp in ingredients list then Step 6 tells u when to add the eggs not sure why u ask this unless they have added it to recipe at a later date
I’m allergic to milk proteins (and soy proteins). Is their any good substitute for whey protein isolate? FTR, the whey protein isolate makes this not paleo.
Yes, can someone give a substitute for the whey protein please
Hemp protein powder,rice protein powder or rice protein powder
Would collagen protein powder work for paleo?
I read someone had success with collagen protein powder which is dairy free which is what I’m looking for to actually make these Paleo, but if course not protein free
I made these today for the second time. I love love love them! My kids loved them as well and asked me to make them more often. It’s hard to believe there’s no gluten in these cinnamon rolls. They are so soft and gooey. Unbelievable!
I made these today and they didn’t rise at all. I proofed the yeast and it all looked good. But when I let them sit… nothing 😟. And then I put them in the oven, and they didn’t rise even a little bit. Any ideas where I may have gone wrong?
If the yeast proofed properly, it sounds like you just need to place them in a warmer spot (keto yeast doughs need more warmth than regular ones… you get most of the rise from the proof not the baking) xo!
Thank you Paola!
Can I skip the whey protein or is there a substitute.
Made these this morning and they are pretty delish. One substitution is the psyllium/flax, I used coconut flour. Turned out great but didn’t quite rise as much. Still pretty delish! Wish I could post a pic for you all!
Made these for the first time this morning. They are sinful and taste just like real cinnamon rolls. They are almost too good, I feel like I’m cheating. 😆 I particularly liked using the Lakanto sugar replacement. Much better than Swerve which has that weird aftertaste. Really looking forward to trying your other breads. I just hope I don’t gain weight! Thanks Paola!
Great job on this recipe, Paola! Made last night (I m NOT a skilled baker) and they came out just right – hey, we had to sample one before bed:) Had them again for breakfast and I was so scared they would be “gummy” today as so many grain-free breads are. They were exactly the same, once toasted up in the oven for 6-7 mins, tented w/ foil. And served with crisp bacon & coffee – Mmm-mmmm!! I am amazed at how almond flour can be transformed into a crumb that resembles wheat flour/yeast dough with your additions of special additions (whey protein, xanthan gum, etc..). Finally, a guilt-free cinnamon bun that doesn’t kill my Keto:) I feel full and great – not ready to take a nap like with sugar and simple carbs! Thanks again.
hey paola, please help me…i dont know why but every bakery product i try to make from your site just doesn’t work out! be it cookies or breads or these cinammon rolls…its always just really kinda ugh tasting, like it’s dense and even slightly savory rather than sweet?! and my cookies always have an artificial sweetener taste or they get burnt and really brown, the shortbread cookies i tried for example were really burnt and too sweet and the cinammon rolls were not fluffy at all. i followed everything super accurately!
Ladies ~ I think with all the work Paola puts into these recipes ~ she experiments, she writes them out, step by step for us! That’s a blessing! We need to read them…to get the recipe right! Also, I’ve found that weighing the ingredients, as she’s states multiple times, is truly key! Cooking, baking on the newer Keto, paleo, gluten free, dairy free is a whole new world than how our moms cooked…baking has always been much more precise…to get the desired outcome! All in all our kitchens are like our own mini labs! These recipes have been tried and profected for us…all we need to do is read the instructions! And ~ enjoy!
the video gone?
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Hello, what’s the best way to store these?
We just left them (no icing) on the countertop overnight, woke up, popped 2 in the toaster oven for 6 mins (w/ foil tented on top) and they were just as delish as fresh! They can be stored at room temp for 4 days (they will not last that long, to be assured:))!!
Just wanted to let you know I laughed out loud when the video music changed from tango to strip tease as you sensually smoothed the frosting over the cinnamon rolls!
Do not like it when people rate recipes they have not made; so will do so when I make them.
Thanks for the laugh and the smile I will carry with me today 😁
Texture wise this was great but I may have gone wrong somewhere with the flavor- the frosting was okay but it had an overpowering eggy flavor to the buns 🙁 I will definitely give this recipe another shot with another sweetener perhaps
Can you please get the conversions from Grams 2 cups on your recipe? I have had to Google everything…..so far I have not been able to come up with the protein isolate information. Is the conversion of 35 is the conversion of 35 g of protein isolate to US cups? It it 1/2 cup? Thank you
You have to go to the bottom of the recipe just before the recipe notes. The word metric is highlighted. Click on US Cups and the measurements will change as stated in the recipe description.
Can you substitute the Whey for something else? I have dairy issues and cannot have whey
Someone noted they had success with collagen peptide protein powder. I’m gonna give it a try
I’ve made these a couple times and each time the dough is super super wet. The rolls won’t even stand up on their own in the pan. I’ve tried smaller eggs. I’ve tried grinding all my flours. I’ve used a KitchenAid and a hand mixer. Same result every time. Anyone else have this issue?
Tried them this morning and same thing happened to me. Super wet, like a cake batter. They’re a big mess, rising, so I guess I will have cinnamon coffee “swirl” bread. Perhaps I made an error in measurement. I weighed everything. But I missed something! Will try them again and report back! Thank you Paola for the recipes!
Has anyone tried making the filling dairy free? I noticed there’s a dairy free alternative for the rolls, but the filling calls for butter. I’m wondering if coconut oil would be ok. Dairy doesn’t seem to agree with me, even if it’s baked in. LOVE this site. The waffles are my favorite.
Coconut oil will be just fine.
What about the whey, though, that is definitely not dairy free. Was thinking of trying powdered egg white and see if that works. Would love to make these for my girls.
I have little packets of yeast that say they don’t need activating and can be added dry to the flour can I skip the insulin/sugar step?
These. Are. Amazing!!! I make your bread and tortillas all the time and have tried several other recipes on your site. They are all the best Keto Recipes online.
Mine was really wet. I mean worse than cookie dough. It didn’t hold form and was really hard to work with. It took me 3 hours and alot of wasted money on ingredients. I was really pissed
Where does the filling part go ? Am I missing part of the recipe???