Grain-Free Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Lately, life has been SO busy!  My 6 month old is getting more mobile, rolling and “pivoting” everywhere!  Oh, and he doesn’t want to let mama out of his sight!  My 2-year-old is all over the place as well, plundering through cabinets and climbing onto the tops of tables! 😉 They are both learning so much, getting into so much, LOL, but at the end of the day, I am happy that I am able to be with them and watch them grow.

This past month I have gone into fast-forward mode to finish up my second cookbook. The eBook is NOW ready and the spiral version will be ready in a few weeks (pre-order here).  This excites me, but I am exhausted at the same time! I know the finished product is going to be worth all of my efforts, and that everyone is going to love all of the new recipes! (Check out my first cookbook HERE.) The new cookbook will include more helpful tips, wonderful photos, nutritional information and much, much more!

Here is a preview of my new cookbook, Comforting Eats

cookbook preview1

Biscotti, Fried Cheese, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chocolate Graham Crackers, Custard Pie, Amazing Tomato Basil Soup, Short Bread Cookies, Hush Puppies, Macaroons, Green Bean Salad, Instant Marinara and Meatballs just to name a few!

Recipe development

It is lots of work, but I have loads of fun in the kitchen coming up with grain-free and sugar-free recipes. Sometimes recipes are just no-brainers or come very easy to me. For example, to make ice cream, just use dairy, sweetener and vanilla. Easy. However, making gravies, cakes and crackers without wheat becomes a little more tricky.  This is when I put on my Culinary Engineering hat (along with my Wonder Woman Apron)! 😉

Well, engineering these Cinnamon Rolls wasn’t an easy or cheap task, but it sure was yummy tasting all of the many attempts! Over the past three weeks, I have made eight batches of these rolls to get them as close as possible to real cinnamon rolls.  Making cinnamon rolls with wheat, sugar and yeast would be SO MUCH easier, but that’s not happening in my kitchen!  The biggest obstacle to creating this recipe was that the dough kept falling apart when I was rolling or cutting it. After MUCH trial and error, I found that starting with cold butter (which I have never done with any other recipe I have created), and keeping it cold throughout the entire process, allowed the dough to hold together while rolling and cutting.

Also, I started by rolling the dough out between two sheets of parchment, but I found that rolling the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap worked MUCH better. The plastic wrap allowed the dough to be rolled up pretty easily. I found that this recipe has possibly more to do with my method I used to construct it, and less to do with the ratio of ingredients I used. See, I’m a Culinary Engineer… my husband would be proud! 😉


Do you still have your pastry cutter?? Get it out because you are going to need it!


I tried using parchment to roll up the roll, but the dough still stuck. Plastic wrap did the trick!

NOTE: This takes a little practice to roll the dough up so that it doesn’t break. If it breaks, don’t fret, just transfer it to the pan, bake and eat.  It will be okay.  But if you follow my directions and keep the butter cold, this will help tremendously!

About the Sweeteners

I don’t use sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners because of adverse reactions from consuming artificial sweeteners, as well as tummy issues that can be associated with sugar alcohols. My 2-year-old (and soon my 6 month old) eats everything that I prepare, and I don’t want to give him these types of sweeteners.

As of 12/2014 my preferred brand of stevia is Stevia Select. I do use small amounts of organic coconut sugar or local raw honey when I need additional sweetness. In this recipe, I used a small amount of each in the filling.  The sweetness was perfect.  I used Stevia exclusively in the dough.  If you don’t wish to use stevia, be sure to use a granular sweetener in the dough so that you don’t add more moisture, which will make the dough harder to roll up.

Use whatever sweetener you are comfortable using, just be sure to taste your dough before you roll it out.stevia 1

Quality Ingredients

You can’t have good food without quality ingredients. Not only will using quality ingredients taste better, but it will be better for you. Beside most of the ingredients listed in the recipes, I have either indicated the brand that I use, or more specific instructions about the ingredient. Quality matters!

Tips for Success

Get out your pastry cutter or food processor! I used both methods to cut the butter into the flour mixture. I preferred the pastry cutter so I didn’t have to dirty my food processor (yeah, I hate to wash dishes if I don’t have to), but I was forced to  use the food processor once because my 2-year-old had hidden my cutter. Both methods work.

This recipe is GREAT to make ahead and freeze!  Just freeze the whole roll (still wrapped in plastic wrap).  When you are ready to bake, simply let it sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes (but no more) before slicing.

Note: The end pieces won’t be pretty but they will still taste great!

Dairy-Free Version

This recipe can also be made using coconut oil instead of the butter, and coconut milk instead of the sour cream. There would be no need to cut the coconut oil into the flour, but you still want to place the dough in the fridge to keep the coconut oil solid.  Because the coconut oil melts more easily than butter at room temperature, you could possibly have problems with the dough being more stick or breaking.  If this happens, just scoop it on to your pan and call them cinnamon biscuits!  Don’t fret, it will still taste delicious! Also, instead of the cream cheese frosting, eat the rolls plain or drizzled with extra honey! Delicious!

Other variations

Use whatever nuts or fruits that you like (or can have) in this roll. I used chopped apples in one with just a bit of fresh nutmeg and it was DELICIOUS!  Also, using chopped dried apricots in place of the raisins was yummy!

Feel free to omit the raisins if you so desire to lower the carb count. These rolls are considered a treat and shouldn’t be eaten at every meal.

Not only can you drizzle extra honey over the rolls, try topping them with a homemade pumpkin butter instead.

This will be one recipe I keep coming back to perfect, but I have it as close to perfect as I am going to get anytime soon!  I hope everyone enjoys the recipe!


Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 8 small or 4 large; 1 small: 190 Calories, 15 grams Fat, 9.5 Net Carbs, 4 grams Protein 

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  1. Roll


    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • Scant 1/8 tsp. Stevia Selet Powdered Stevia or sweetener of choice, to taste
    • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Directions

    In a medium bowl, blend dry ingredients for roll. I used my pastry cutter for this. Remove cold cubes of butter from fridge and cut butter into flour mixture with pastry cutter or food processor.  Add the vinegar, vanilla extract, sour cream and egg, and stir until dough forms.  Taste dough for sweetness and adjust sweetener if necessary. Place dough in refrigerator until ready to assemble rolls, or for at least 5-10 minutes. This is very important to keep butter from melting.

    Assembling the rolls

    Place 1 large piece of plastic wrap on your work surface and cut an extra piece (set aside). Remove chilled dough from fridge and place on plastic wrap.  Top dough with second piece of plastic wrap and quickly roll out dough into approximately an 11 X 8 inch rectangle, or till dough is around a little over 1/4 inch thick. Do not roll dough too thin. Carefully peel off top layer of plastic wrap.  Sprinkle dough with coconut sugar, cinnamon, pecans and raisins (or dried fruit of choice), being sure to go to the edges of the dough. Drizzle with honey.  If you prefer LARGE rolls, start at the corner of the LONG end and carefully roll up roll by folding (rolling) dough over and pulling back plastic wrap to roll dough over itself. If you prefer SMALLER rolls, start at the SHORT end and roll up by folding dough over and pulling back plastic wrap.

    Fold plastic wrap back over completed roll and freeze for 4 hours (or overnight) to make slicing easier. If freezing roll overnight, allow roll to thaw 30 minutes (no more) before cutting.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Carefully remove plastic wrap, and cut large roll into 4 pieces or small roll into 8 rolls. Place cut rolls onto a 8-9 inch ungreased cake pan. Bake until rolls are slightly brown and done in the middle, about 14-15 minutes for small rolls, and 16-20 minutes for large rolls.  

    Remove from oven and spread generously with Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below) or drizzle with extra honey. Serve warm or room temperature.

    Cream Cheese Frosting Directions

    Blend cream cheese, sweetener and vanilla either with an electric mixer or wooden spoon (I used a spoon). Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary. Spread over warm or cooled cinnamon rolls.

    Be sure to let me know how your rolls turn out! I know you will be amazed!

Satisfying Eats

** Nutritional information was obtained through

If you like this recipe, you will LOVE my two cookbooks, Comforting Eats & Satisfying Eats!

cookbook collage SE CE


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  1. Carmen says

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! I love that I can make the dough the night before and have warm rolls in the morning. I’m also really looking forward to the new recipe book.

  2. Carmen says

    I had these for breakfast today. They were very good! I use nunaturals stevia and have found that half the amount works for me. I used a tiny bit more honey but no raisins. I havd tried several grain free cinnamon roll recipes and these look and taste the best. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Tamara Hamilton says

    Made these & they are ahhmazing! I did leave out the raisins. Just because I’m not a fan of raisins. But I’m sure they would be good with them too.

  4. Myra Shinkman says

    Do you ever use xanthan gum in your baked goods? It keeps your dough from crumbling apart when you try to work with it. It’s all natural – you can get it at Whole Foods or order it from Bob’s Red Mill. I use it as a gluten replacement in certain recipes like those kinds of rolls, etc. You can even use yeast with it, if you ever want to use yeast in your baked goods.

    Love your cookbook and am looking forward to the new one!

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