On: Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Until last weekend, it had been approximately 5 years since I had eaten a cinammon roll-that is since I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue. My husband and I were in Seattle for a work conference and we ducked into my favorite Gluten Free-Vegan Bakery The Flying Apron in the Freemont District for breakfast. Their beatifully made cinammon roll reminded me how much I miss pastries as a rare treat. Thus, I came home and set about attempting to create my own cinnamon wonderfulness.

photo (81)


1/2 cup water

1 tsp sugar

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup rice milk (or your choice dairy free milk)

1/4 cup honey

2 tbs. coconut oil

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp. guar gum

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinammon

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 tsp vanilla

3 tbs. rice milk


Mix together the warm water, yeast, and cane sugar in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Let stand and meanwhile, in a small pot warm the rice milk, honey, and coconut oil. Do not allow to boil.  Add this mixture to the yeast mixture, combining well.

In a separate bowl mix together the brown rice and coconut flours, guar gum, and salt. Combine this mixture of dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in an electric mixing bowl and mix on a low setting until thorougly combined.

Remove dough and place onto a floured piece of wax paper. Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread a bit of coconut oil evenly over the dough rectangle, then sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon.

Next, carefully roll the rectangle from end to end, creating a large dough tube. Cut the dough tube at 1 1/2 inch intervals and place into a circular cake pan greased with coconut oil. Once the pan is packed, allow to sit for 45 minutes to allow the yeast to conintue rising.

20130921_212400_1My rectangle is a little jagged, pardon the edges


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and once dough has risen, bake for 35 minutes

Prepare the glaze by combining powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 3 tbs. of rice milk. Once rolls have finished baking, remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle glaze over the rolls and serve.

While your rolls bake, let us discuss the differences between Xantham Gum, Guar Gum, and Corn Starch. All three of these ingredients are used as thickening agents, commonly in gluten free recipes to replace gluten itself. Gluten, the springy, large protein molecule commonly found in wheat and other grains lends to that wonderfuly moist, chewy quality in bread and the wonderfully full bodied effect in soups and dressings. Thus for the gluten intolerant, we turn to the Gums and corn starches to recreate this effect.

Corn starch is generally cheap and easy to come by, yet many people exhibit sensistivity to corn, and thus experience gastro-intestinal disress similar to the effects of celiac disease and gluten insensitiviy. Xantham gum is a similar agent in the polysaccaride family (translated “many sugars”, this agent contains 5 different types of sugars), however it is often derived from common allergen proteins such as corn, wheat, dairy, and soy, it too can lend to gastro-intestinal disress. It has also not been recommended for use in infant products. Additionally, it was linked with respiratory issues in workers exposed to xantham gum dust.

Guar Gum is derived from the guar bean and has almost 8 times the amount of water thickening ability of corn starch. It can be used medicinally to treat constipation and flare ups in diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowl syndrome. It has also been shown to increase calcium absorbtion in the large colon, which lend to a more efficient storage of the important element. Due to the fact that it is not linked with derivation of common allergens, it is commonly more easily digested, and thus a more attractive choice when considering food thickeners.

So there you have it. A sweet breakfast treat, and all you ever wanted to know about food thickeners. Have a great breakfast!

Make your day great,



About runningyourbody

I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Certified Pilates instructor, and runner with celiac disease. I am passionate about educating people on running, pilates, and women’s health topics. I am trained in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as pre and post partum impairments. In my free time I can be found anywhere outside. I enjoy training for races with friends, cooking gluten free meals, and traveling with my husband. My goal is to share information with you in a lighthearted and enjoyable forum. I am always contributing fun and interesting posts on my blog. Feel free to check it out @ https://runningyourbody.wordpress.com/
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8 Responses to On: Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Whitney says:

    That was fabulous! I have used xanthum gum, and corn starch before, and when I’ve used both of these I didn’t care for the taste/ texture. So how is guar gum? Have u used it to thicken soups?

  2. Andrea says:

    If I can find coconut flour here, I’m so making these!

  3. Mallory says:

    Yum! totally want to try!

  4. kelsey says:

    I just made these this weekend, and I loved them! I did use xantham gum in place of guar gum because that’s all I had available. I’m not sure if it made a difference in texture or not, but regardless they tasted very yummy. Would you say that these are “healthy”, or rather something that could be eaten daily instead of just as a treat? I’ve been eating 1-2 a day for breakfast for the past 3 days!

    • I’m so glad you liked them Kelsey! They are certainly a bit more healthy than restaurant cinnamon rolls, however with the sugar in them they are not entirely as healthy, but a very good treat once in awhile.

  5. Pingback: Gluten Free Recipes for Holiday Entertaining | runningyourbody

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