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.
People are totally price GOUGING on Amazon for yeast. It is in no way affordable
Hey Paola, your recipes are always so amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!
These cinnamon rolls are my favorite of yours 🙂 I do have a question, if you happen to have any suggestions?
I’ve made this recipe twice and for some reason, my sour cream mixture never rises or bubbles, even after I let it rest for 20 min.
I’ve used real white sugar and honey to feed the yeast, but it always is just a creamy liquid :/
Any advice you can give? I’d truly appreciate it! 🙂 Thanks in advance!
How lovely to hear Emma! What yeast are you using? It sounds like it isn’t activating at all…? Consider that perhaps it has ‘died’ (I store mine in the fridge!) and you might need to get a new one. Otherwise you could also be using the wrong temperature of water (too cold won’t activate and too hot will kill it instantly). I hope this helped! xo!
Oh. My. Goodness.
I have made countless internet recipes, hundreds, and never have I taken the time to comment on any of them.
You, good woman, have changed that.
These cinnamon rolls were incredible!!! My mother, who is anti-keto, even admitted they were good!! I generally do not care for keto desserts with almond flour, for the texture, but these tasted and felt like “real” cinnamon rolls!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 😀
I have made two of your other recipes, the chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon toast crunch, and was also thoroughly impressed by those.
You are my keto hero!! Best keto baking recipe I have found, hands-down!!
I will also remark that I took your advice and did not substitute any ingredients, and the only deviation I made was to add some of the cinnamon sugar mix to the dough before rolling it out.
Thank you for your lovely recipes!!
Does the whey HAVE to be an ISOLATE? Can it be a Whey Concentrate? I have a brand called Tera’s Whey and wondering if it will work?
It’s explained CLEARLY in the post Jennifer. No need to capitalize 😉 xo!
I wasn’t intending for it to come off in an aggressive way!!! I was just trying to highlight the specifics 🥰. I looked and read again and it does say specifically Isolate but I was just wondering if that would work instead if that is what I have? Maybe I’m missing something that was written about that?
Oh lol Jennifer… clearly I’m sick and taking things a bit too personal! :-S I’ve honestly never tried concentrate, but I just did some googling on Tera’s. In all honesty I cannot say for sure? I do know that a few of you guys have whipped up the sandwich bread with regular whey protein (not isolate) and said it was fine. Sorry I couldn’t be much help! xo!
I used plain whey protein powder and it worked very well so maybe you could just give it a try!
Hey there!! Love this recipe, but they keep falling. I think it’s because I don’t use the whey protein isolate. I’m badly allergic to whey protein. What can I use as a substitute??
These are Do incredibly delicious! Thank you Do much!!!!
Hi! I loved these and already made them twice. The second time I substituted erythritol with a liquid sweetener as I do not quite like erythritol (it upsets my tummy) and it worked perfectly!
I was just wondering, can they be frozen (without the frosting of course)?
Si je veux utiliser du Psyllium 5 cosses correspond à quel poids de poudre de psyllium?
Ils me tentent beaucoup ces rouleaux à la cannelle.
Merci pour la recette
Can you sub lupin flour in this recipe instead of whey protein isolate?
not sure what I did wrong. normally a great baker. complete utter fail! gooey. never did rise.
Same tried this recipe 3 times now..
These are so delicious!!
Never thought it’s possible to make keto friendly!
Thank you for sharing it, my entire family is in love.
Can you use liquid allulose
I wouldn’t tbh as you would change the liquid ratio Debbie xo!
All I can say is wow. Not that I’m surprised because every single recipe I have made from your site has been perfection. I commented a few months ago on your pancake recipe but I had not tried the reduced fat almond flour. I order it and made them yesterday and O-M-G! Thank you for your blog and recipes and please never stop!
When it says 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast, do you just take 1 tablespoon of yeast and put a small amount of honey in it? Or how do you use active dry yeast? Newbie here 🙂
dissolve the yeast in the water and add the sugar. Dc not Add the salt at this stage. it will kill the your yeast
Fantastic!! I’m only a couple weeks into my keto journey, and for the most part don’t crave foods from the past (so long as I keep my fat intake high enough – man is that important!!) – EXCEPT yeast-raised foods. After trying these out, I’m going to exploit your entire website 😀
I’ve had to cook hypoallergenically (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs…etc.) for a couple of decades, so the complexity of the recipe didn’t bother me (though I was astonished to see what was essentially BATTER, roll up so easily using oiled saran wrap as a tool – wow :D). Because of some substitutions/additions (I don’t handle gums well, so I use gelatin instead…but that takes water…and so I ended up with too much liquid), I had to add some coconut flour at the end to tighten up the dough – worked beautifully.
The rolls rose perfectly, baked to bread-y textured perfection, and I’ve been staggering around my kitchen eating mouthfuls between moans, I kid you not 😀 This is exactly the yeasty taste and smell and bread-y mouth feel I’ve been craving – perfect! Thank you!
The only sad thing is, I’m mildly allergic to nuts and eggs, so I’ll have to space out my use of all your yeast-bread-based recipes. But I’ll love them every time – and my ketosis will be preserved! Whoo!
Made these today. Delicious! They aren’t easy to make for a simple cook like me, but they are delicious.
is there a new link to a video? this didn’t quite turn out like i expected, and was hoping to watch a video to see where i may have gone wrong. flavor was great. but the dough was dense. the yeast was very bubbly and lively… they just didn’t rise. i didn’t use xylitol. can’t figure it out. it was a warm room and i gave it 90 minutes! i will definitely try again
I have the same issue! tried 2x now and same thing is happening to me. I did use xylitol so I dont think that is the issue.
I meant eryithritol not xylitol
I heated the oven to 200 degrees, turned it off and then let them rise in the oven for 3 hours. It worked much better and they actually did rise. I think they rose even more while baking this way too.
Same issues here. They weren’t huge but they finally budged after 2 hours of rising time. They turned out pretty good. I used the rapid-rise type of yeast because thats all I had on hand…. I wonder if it becomes extra slow when you use it with keto baking!
Hey val! In my experience the rising time when using keto flours has a lot to do with temperature (it really needs a little more warmth!). I hope this helps xo!
Has anyone tried to prep these the night before…all the way through proofing, letting them slumber in the fridge and popping them in the oven first thing in the morning?
I just did this, except I let it set at room temperature overnight. The kitchen was rather chilly and it didn’t rise much over the course of the hour, so I put it in the microwave (so it wouldn’t attract bugs) and didn’t look at it again until the next morning. It did rise overnight, although I think if it had been warmer it would have risen more. Even with the long rest time, it still rose more in the oven.
I did not have flax seeds or whey protein isolate on hand, so used psyllium in lieu of the flax seeds and collagen instead of the whey protein isolate. They still turned out pretty tasty!
First of all, you are my Keto hero! I cannot get over how amazing your recipes are! Thank you so much for all your brilliance!
Now to my question, do you have an alternative for this icing that does not have cream cheese? Was thinking of your icing you do on the chocolate glazed donuts?
Thank you so much!
mine did rise up a little, but the texture of the end result doesn’t look like what’s on the site. it’s more flat and gooey than fluffy. The glaze is everything though!!! With a lot of hard work this recipe comes with, I wouldn’t try to do this again, but I enjoyed how it turned out and happy I did. Thanks!! 🙂
Hi. Can I use whey protein in place of whey protein isolate?
Have you tried double proofing the dough? As in – proofing it before you make the rolls, and then again once the rolls are formed? I know most traditional cinnamon roll recipes are a two-proof process. Just wondering if it makes a difference with the dough rise since I plan to make them this weekend! Thanks!
How long would you process each step? I like that idea.
Made these today. The taste was spot on. It was the consistency. More like bread pudding. Still good though. Thinking it was the flax seed meal? I used Bob’s but they didn’t have “Golden”. It was premium whole ground flax seed meal.
I made this rolls Christmas morning. I was very satisfied with the results. I watched the video several times prior to Christmas morning. Using avocado oil and having a bowl of water handy was essential when it came to making the rolls. In the future I would give myself more time making these as it took me much longer than posted time. I am obviously not as proficient in the kitchen!
Where did you find the video? I don’t see a link anywhere. Can you post it? thank you
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I ate about a third of the finished product before they even cooled. The surprising thing is that it didn’t kick me out of Ketosis! Your yeast bread recipes are so amazing. You’ve got baking down to a science. Where did you learn your tricks of the trade?
I was so excited until I saw whey protein isolate. I can’t have dairy including whey & casein as I get severe migraines from it. Wondering if a vegan protein powder would work. Any ideas?
I have heard that pea protein powder is a good substitute for whey protein isolate in baked goods.
Try collagen peptide protein powder. Someone said it worked well. I need to avoid dairy as well and frustrated this recipe says paleo when clearly no suggestions from the author.
I’ve looked thru lots of comments, so if this has already been asked, I apologize! Whats the best way to re-warm the rolls? I’m serving them for Christmas morning but baking the day before. I plan on icing right before serving. Thanks!
Made these for keto family members this Christmas. Made them the night before and put them in the fridge. Took them out in the morning and popped them in the hour a couple hours later. Used erythritol.
Thank you for this great recipe! We looking for a non-Fat-Head dough recipe so that the dough wouldn’t just be cheesy cinnamon flavor. This recipe is fantastic.
These are amazing! Even after messing up the recipe in several places, they were still delicious. This was my first attempt at baking a keto bread recipe. They didn’t rise much (if at all) but I completely attribute that to my mistakes. I can’t wait to make these again. Going to give them as a Christmas gift to a keto relative. Thank you so much. I’m inspired!
I made these a couple of days ago.
They rose so nicely. Thought these would be “the answer” because I miss real cinnamon rolls. They are ok. Quite bitter tasting. Not sure if that is the baking powder?
I turned all the dough out onto a silicone mat, patted it in to a rectangle, and had no trouble rolling it up. I may try to make again, leaving out the baking powder, and see if they will raise. I would be happy with a smaller, denser roll if it didn’t have the bitterness.
Need to mix all your ingredients separate from wet to incorporate that baking powder.
These are proofing as we speak! Can’t wait to try them!! One question: can you use rapid rise yeast? If so, any changes in instructions?