My sister came to visit me and I really wanted to bake something with her. However she is without a doubt gluten-free (and she’s pretty adamant about it too, bless her soul).
I also really wanted a photo buddy (a more nicer way of saying photo assistant aka. let me take pretty photos of you handling food). Cause let’s be honest when I take pictures of myself it’s a little awkward, especially when you don’t have a tripod. And I have very week arms so trying to balance the camera while holding a spoonful of potatoes ain’t easy folks.
So my sister diligently helped me out and put on her little cute jean shorts and made these cinnamon rolls with me. Total sister bonding time.
Sometimes cinnamon rolls don’t have to be super decadent. I get it, that’s what gets your mouth watering and everyone’s favorite past time in dumping all those yummy ingredients onto the dough and drowning them in frosting once they are out of the oven. But I gotta think smart in these moments.
When I was spreading the sugar and butter onto dough I thought to myself, that’s A LOT of sugar. My sister and I refrained from adding too much and just stuck to a more modest amount. But then we made up for it with the glaze.
Gluten-free dough is definitely a challenge to work with. Instead of doing it the classic way, I treated the dough as if it was more delicate and less malleable. So I instead cut the dough in strips and individually rolled them up so I would have more control, like you would when making rugelach. Everyone has their own way of making things work in the kitchen. This just worked for me!
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
makes about 10-12 rolls
For the dough
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water, 110 degrees
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
3 ¼ cup gluten free flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp milk, warmed to 110 degrees
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, partially melted
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
For the Icing
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 mini cake pans (or regular muffin pans), and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together yeast, 1/2 tsp of the granulated sugar (from the 1/2 cup) and the water. Let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
To the proofed yeast mixture, add warm milk, the remainder of the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the canola oil and eggs and blend mixture with paddle attachment to combine. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients. Once dry ingredients have been incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium-low and mix 2 minutes.
Spread two long sheets of plastic wrap onto countertop one slightly overlapping the other. Dust plastic wrap lightly with flour then drop dough mixture onto plastic wrap. Sprinkle top of dough lightly with more flour then roll dough out into a 16 by 13-inch rectangle. Spread 4 tbsp butter over dough, then in a bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/8 tsp salt and sprinkle evenly over butter (leaving a small rim uncovered along all edges). Cut dough into 12 equal strips. Roll each strip of dough snuggly and carefully lift rolls into prepared mini cake pans. Bake until golden brown, about 22 – 25 minutes.
While rolls are in oven, prepare the icing. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, sour cream and vanilla and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes longer.
When ready, remove rolls from oven and cool slightly. Frost with cream cheese icing and enjoy. Best served day prepared.