When I told my 17-year son, Blake, that I was going to attempt to make a clean dairy free/ gluten free cinnamon bun recipe, he looked at me and said “Mom, there are just somethings that will just never taste good if you try to make them too healthy, and cinnamon buns are definitely one of them.” I thought about that for a minute and almost decided to scratch the whole idea. But then I decided it was worth giving the recipe at least one shot.
I used to love cinnamon buns so much and hadn’t had one in probably twenty years, so I REALLY wanted the recipe to work. However, I promised myself that if it didn’t taste good the first go-round that I would not be spending hours and hours in the kitchen trying to perfect it (and yes, I have been known to do that with recipes like the Gluten Free Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes. )
So here’s what happened….
The Clean Dairy Free / Gluten Free Cinnamon Bun Recipe Worked On Round One!
Once again, I think the star ingredient that enabled me to make the cinnamon buns gluten free without sacrificing taste OR nutrition was cassava flour, a grain-free root vegetable flour made from yucca. I know cassava flour is probably a relatively new ingredient for many of you, but I talk a bit more about it in my clean eating grocery list.
Cassava Flour is a Nutritious Gluten-Free Ingredient that Bakes Like a Dream
If you have our Clean Cuisine book then you know our family is not gluten free and certainly we are not grain free. However, I always like to broaden my food horizons and include as much variety as possible in my diet. Cassava flour is a great ingredient to use as an alternative to conventional whole grain flours such as whole wheat or spelt flour and in many recipes it can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for whole wheat flour. It’s also a great source of vitamin C (1/4 cup has almost 20% of your Daily Value), folate, magnesium, potassium and many additional nutrients. So whether you are gluten free / grain free or not, you may want to consider adding cassava flour to your clean food pantry staples.
Clean Cinnamon Bun Recipe Is Dairy Free Too!
Thanks to coconut butter (see photo on left), I was even able to make a rich and decadent dairy free frosting for my gluten free cinnamon bun recipe. If you haven’t heard of coconut butter yet, it’s an incredibly nutrient-dense food made from the “meat” or flesh of coconuts. In fact, because it is a “whole fat”. coconut butter has the same health-promoting qualities as coconut oil, and then some. For example, coconut butter (but not coconut oil) contains both iron and fiber.
Cinnamon Date Paste Takes the Place of Refined Sugar
And finally, thanks to cinnamon date paste, I was even able to make the gluten free cinnamon bun recipe free of refined sugar!
Most cinnamon bun recipes call for sugar (and LOTS of it!), but by combining dates, a little extra virgin coconut oil, raw honey, water and cinnamon in a food processor you get a nutrient-dense but decadently sweet cinnamon date paste.
I know my gluten free cinnamon bun recipe clearly won’t taste like what you might get from Cinnabon, but I promise it won’t disappoint 😉Print
Nobody (and I mean nobody!) will believe these sweet, sticky, ooey-gooey cinnamon buns are both dairy free and gluten free with no refined sugar.
Cinnamon Roll Dough:
- 1 cup warm “whole” almond milk, such as New Barn, Elmhurst or Malk brands (see notes below)
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 3 organic, pasture-raised eggs
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2 1/4 cup cassava flour
- 2 cups almond flour
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot
Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 8 medjool dates
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 teaspoons water
- 3/4 cup chopped raw pecans
Cinnamon Roll Frosting:
- 1 cup coconut butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Roll Dough:
Add yeast and sugar to warm milk in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine and allow the yeast to foam to proof. Once the yeast has proofed, stir in melted coconut oil, salt, eggs, flours and arrowroot into yeast mixture. Gently mix until well-combined.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes. Form the dough into a large ball and place into a large lightly oiled glass bowl. Cover lightly with a damp towel and set aside while you work on the filling.
Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- Add the cinnamon, oil, dates, honey and water to a food processor and process into a thick, smooth paste (Note: if cinnamon-date paste is a consistency that would be too thick to easily spread, simply add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency.) Set cinnamon-date paste aside.
Place dough on a large lightly floured surface, knead gently with hands and use a rolling pin to roll to a 1/4 inch thickness. Spread cinnamon-date paste evenly over the top of the dough.
Scatter the pecans evenly over the cinnamon-date paste.
Tightly roll the dough, beginning at the long edge, until a log of dough has been formed.
Cut the dough into 3/4-inch to 1-inch slices and place onto a lightly oiled sheet pan.
Baking & Frosting:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place rolls into oven and allow to cook until lightly browned and cooked through, but not overcooked, about 23 to 25 minutes.
While cinnamon buns are baking, prepare frosting: in a mini food processor, add the softened coconut butter, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix together for 1 full minute, or until smooth, creamy and lump-free. Transfer the frosting to a zip top bag and cut a small hole from the corner (learn more about how to make a Ziploc Frosting Bag HERE.)
- Remove the cinnamon buns from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.
- To frost, begin piping a thin swirl on top of the cinnamon buns. Serve at once. (Note: leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.)
To avoid a watery consistency, make sure the almond milk you buy is “whole” and not excessively filtered. You can learn more about “whole” almond milk HERE. I like New Barn , Elmhurst and Malk brands.
Keywords: cinnamon buns