Cinnamon Rolls (gf + df option)


Confession: I’ve always been a little scared of baking with yeast. BUT, there’s nothing better than an ooey gooey warm cinnamon roll to convince me that I should give it a try.

In making this recipe, I realized that yeast is nothing to be afraid of! It’s actually super easy and straightforward. This recipe is my take on the classic cinnamon roll - true to its roots, with a few simple ingredient swaps.

I used a GF flour blend rather than typical wheat flour, I subbed coconut oil for butter in the filling, and I nixed the refined sugars by using agave and coconut sugar. None of these changes affect how the end product tastes, but they come from a place of being more mindful of the ingredients we use in baked goods! As always, my motto is that easy swaps make it easier to enjoy our favorite treats while also feeling good about the ingredients we use and what we’re eating to nourish our bodies.

Happy baking!


The Secret GF


⅓ cup + 1 tbsp agave

1 cup milk (regular or non-dairy)

¼ cup butter (or sub coconut oil)

1 packet active dry yeast ( I use Red Star)

1 egg

3 cups GF flour blend

2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your blend contains this in the ingredients)

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

⅓ cup coconut oil

½ cup coconut sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

½ cup coconut butter


  1. First, melt the butter.
  2. Whisk together the melted butter (or coconut oil), milk and ⅓ cup of agave in a glass bowl. Heat this mixture in the microwave until it reaches 110°F (I measured temperature using an instant read thermometer - make sure to stir the mixture before measuring so the heat is evenly distributed!).
  3. When the mixture is at the right temperature, sprinkle in the yeast and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Let this sit for about 10 minutes to let the yeast proof. You should see it start to bubble and foam, which means the yeast is working!
  4. While the yeast is proofing, whisk together the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  5. Once the yeast is done proofing, pour the flour mixture and the egg into the yeast mixture and stir with the wooden spoon until everything is combined, and a dough forms. Do not overwork it when you do this, or the dough will become dense.
  6. Cover the dough with a dish towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 1-2 hours. I turn my oven on for a couple minutes just to warm it up a little, then I turn it off and place the dough in. The dough may not double in size, but you should see a significant and noticeable rise.
  7. Once the dough is finished rising, brush a rectangular piece of parchment paper with a layer of melted coconut oil. Place the dough on here and use your hands to spread the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch thick.
  8. Brush a heavy coat of coconut oil on the flattened dough and sprinkle with coconut sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Using the parchment paper to help you, roll up the flattened dough so you have one long roll. Cut into about 7-8 slices and gently place in a cake pan that has been greased with coconut oil.
  10. Cover the rolls with a dish towel again and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  11. Bake the rolls at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
  12. For the frosting, melt the coconut butter and stir in 1 tbsp agave (or more to taste).
  13. When the rolls are done, cool for 15 minutes, drizzle the frosting all over the rolls and enjoy! These are best eaten right out of the oven, but leftovers can also be heated up in the microwave!