An ooey-gooey keto cinnamon roll that’s also gluten free and nut free too! These are the perfect addition to your breakfast table to share with family and friends!
This recipe for a keto friendly cinnamon roll has been a serious labor of love my friends. Typically, with most of my keto baking recipes, I never make them more than two times before I am happy with the outcome.
This recipe…. well, this one was extra special and needed three trials before I perfected it. A good cinnamon roll needs to be a balance of chewy bread like texture with that ooey gooey signature filling to make it worthy of the name. I believe that I found that balance, and made it keto too!
Did I mention that this is NOT a fathead dough either??? The majority of this cinnamon roll is actually coconut flour and psyllium husk powder. I actually got the idea for this recipe by adapting it from my Low Carb Naan Bread believe it or not.
Ok, who cares about anything else other than the actual recipe at this point, which you can find at the bottom of the page.
But, I do highly suggest that if you really want to make the BEST cinnamon rolls then read through the remainder of this post to get all the tips and tricks (disclaimer- it is a bit longer of a post than I normally write but there was a lot involved in making these and I wanted it to be as user friendly as possible).
- Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Small Mixing Bowls
- Rubber Spatula
- Rolling Pin & Parchment
- 9″ Pie Plate or Cast Iron Pan
The culinary teacher in me is coming out hard in this recipe, because the science involved in the baking process is important. So let’s dive in!
We need to first talk about the dough in this recipe, specifically how it rises. Traditional cinnamon rolls are a yeast bread, which is what gives them that bread like chewy texture. To achieve that without flour (aka gluten), I wanted to use two dry ingredients that absorb more liquid, but would not be dry and dense.
I opted for coconut flour and psyllium husk powder for these reasons. They act more like a sponge than say, almond flour which would possibly be too dense and crumbly for this recipe. Now, in order to incorporate yeast into this, we do need to “activate” the dry yeast first.
This is important to understand for a few reasons. The first, is because we will be adding sugar (don’t panic keto friends I’ll explain more shortly) to the yeast to get it to “activate” (aka produce C02 and thus helping it rise).
The second is, understanding temperature and how that could either kill the yeast starter or not activate it at all, resulting in what I call, a dead bread (one that will not rise and frankly is very sad). Yeast is technically a living plant cell organism and when you buy a packet of it from the store, it’s in it’s dormant stage.
In order to start the yeasts fermentation process, we add sugar (it’s food) and warm water that must be between 95 F- 115 F (it’s habitat). If the water is too cool, no activation results (aka no rise). If the water is too hot, well you killed and now its dead (aka no rise again). So don’t do that!
Now, let’s get back to the sugar that we use in this recipe. For the record, I use only 1/4 tsp of Maple Syrup. You could use honey or regular sugar if you prefer. I stuck to a natural sugar source to keep it less processed.
No sugar will remain in the final outcome for this recipe for one simple reason (so please don’t panic, have a heart attack, or send the dreadful keto police to my comment section), when you add the sugar and warm water to the yeast, it feeds off the sugar and converts it to C02. This is a form of fermentation.
If fermentation continues past a certain point, you then get alcohol… Trust me I know, I had bad experience as a first year culinary arts teacher, but I’ll save that story for another time. To sum it all up- NO, no sugar remains in the carb count of the end result of this recipe if you activate it properly. Ok, let’s move on to the rest of the dough making process!
How do I make keto friendly cinnamon roll dough?
I wanted to achieve a dough that would be fairly easy to work with. I adapted this recipe from my Low Carb Naan Bread for this very reason (the dough is not to sticky and was easy to roll out). I started by activating my yeast and allowing that to ferment for about 5 minutes or so. While the fermentation is happening, I mixed my butter and low carb sweetener together (I use Lakanto) in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Next, I added in my eggs one at a time (run them under hot water briefly if they’re just out of the fridge before cracking into the mixer). Incorporate each one so it is full mixed. Add in some vanilla extract or other flavoring you prefer. Finally, add the yeast starter and mix this in and prepare the dry ingredients.
For the dry ingredients, I like to first combine these all together in a separate bowl and make sure they are evenly mixed before adding to the other ingredients. Combine the coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Give it a quick whisk and then add it to the stand mixer.
Finish the dough off by adding hot tap water to the dough (we don’t want to kill the yeast but we need this for the psyllium husk to do it’s thing). I add about a 3/4 cup of water to the mixer while its on low speed. Turn it off once its all incorporated and scrape down the dough and form it into one ball.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. This helps the coconut flour and psyllium husk powder absorb more liquid. You will the notice the dough feels wet to the touch but really shouldn’t be sticky in any way.
Rolling, Rising, and Baking-
To roll the dough out and keep it as simple and as mess free as possible, I highly, HIGHLY suggest (not actually a suggestion), you roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. It makes life so much easier and you will thank me later when you’re not scrubbing down your counters, but instead eating a warm delicious 4 net carb cinnamon roll.
To roll a nice rectangle, I take the dough from the bowl and press it down slightly onto the parchment. Use your hands to shape it into more a of a rectangular shape and cover with the top piece of parchment. I like to roll the dough out to be around 12 inches long and 16 inches wide.
If it’s a little shorter that’s OK too. It will only be a struggle if the dough is too thin, because it tends to break a bit more when you roll it. Once rolled out (if not a perfect rectangle it’s OK, do your best so it’s even), remove the top layer of parchment paper and then brush on a little melted butter.
Add the low carb cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle generously across the top and lightly pat it down into the dough. To roll the dough up, utilize the parchment paper here as a tool to help! Gently lift the dough closest to you off the paper, and roll it slightly over itself.
Pretend you’re back in preschool and your making a playdough snake or something here. Once you get that first bit off the paper, use the paper to help you continue to roll it. Make sure you roll it evenly (I space my hands out so one hand is space near the middle left of the dough and one is spaced near the middle right of the dough as I roll) and roll it tightly.
To roll it tightly, go slow, check it occasionally, and press down very gently. Once you get to the end, roll it so its seam side down. If it cracks or breaks at all, don’t panic. You can salvage it after cutting when you go to place it back in the pan. Use your fingers to press the seams together if it ripped a bit.
I also sometimes like to trim the ends a bit before cutting them into rolls too (the ends may not be as tightly rolled and kinda flop around a bit).
To cut the cinnamon rolls, I cut directly down the middle first with a chef’s knife. Then, I cut each half into four even pieces. Place each roll in a buttered pan (I like using a cast iron pan for even baking, but a pie plate worked great too). I very gently press them down into the pan.
You want them to almost touch but not quite. Cover them tightly in plastic wrap and sometimes I even drape a towel over the top, because you want them to stay cozy and warm so they rise. If my house is extra cool in the cold weather months, I sometimes will place mine in the oven with a big bowl of warm water underneath it and keep the door shut (and the oven off) to help create a homemade “proofer” of sorts.
Anyways, let those babies rise for about 60-90 minutes or so. Remove the plastic wrap, bake on the middle rack of the oven at 350 F for 25- 30 minutes. They should brown on the top (but not get too dark) and spread out quite a bit as they bake. They come out perfect and your house will smell amazing.
Cream Cheese Icing-
The icing is clearly the most important part though, and must not be forgotten. While the Best Keto Cinnamon Rolls are baking away, make your icing so it’s ready to go when they come out. Combine very very softened cream cheese (I like to nuke mine in the microwave for 30-40 sec), almond milk or heavy cream, powdered low carb sweetener (or granulated if that’s all you have), and vanilla in a bowl.
Whisk till smooth and light. Let the cinnamon rolls rest about 5 minutes before adding the icing on. Spread a nice layer across the top, scoop one out onto a plate and dig in when they’re warm. I know many people on Instagram (who’ve been watching the cinnamon roll adventures) have mentioned wanting to make these for Christmas morning.
My suggestion is to make these ahead of time but do not ice them. Let them cool, cover them, and store at room temp. The day of serving, cover with foil and warm them a bit in a 225 F oven, then ice if you want to save time! I did eat these cool, several days later from my fridge, and after being frozen. It was still absolutely delicious and I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much and we did (even the non-keto eaters love em).
Damn, that was a long post. But, it was totally worth it. I hope you know how much a labor of love this recipe really was to achieve the Best Keto Cinnamon Rolls. Please let me know how they turn out for you (this also helps others too) by leaving a comment below or tagging me over on Instagram or Facebook! If you loved this recipe, be sure to check out all my other fun keto sweet treats too! Now, what are you waiting for? Go make the damn things!
If you like this recipe , give these other breakfast baked goods a try too!
- 1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast
- 1/4 cup water 90-115 F
- 1/4 tsp. Maple Syrup (or sugar of choice)- Please see the post above regarding this if you are keto!
- 1 cup Coconut Flour (I use Anthony's)
- 3 tbsp Psyllium Husk Powder (I use Anthony's)
- 1 cup Low Carb Sweetener (I use Lakanto)
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Melted Butter
- 3 Eggs
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 cup Hot Water (from the tap)
- 1/2 cup Low Carb Sweetener
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. Melted Butter
- 4 oz Softened Cream Cheese
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 2 tbsp Almond Milk or Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup Powdered Low Carb Sweeter
- Begin by activating your yeast to create C02. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup hot water (water between 90-115 F), and the 1/4 tsp maple syrup (sugar is converted to C02 so doesn't impact carbs please read the post above for more information). Stir it together and allow it to rest of 5 minutes. It should foam and bubble up (indicates activation). Read more in the post above to understand yeast fermentation.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the low carb sweetener and the melted butter. Whisk on low speed until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time until incorporates. Then mix in the vanilla. Finally, add in the activated yeast mixture until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add this all into the stand mixture and mix. Add in the remaining 3/4 cup of hot water slowly while it mixes on low speed. I use the hot water from my tap (too hot will kill the yeast in the dough so be careful). Scrape down the dough in the bowl and cover it lightly with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rest about 15-20 minutes.
- To roll out the dough, roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper. I pat the dough out onto the bottom sheet just a bit into a rectangular shape. Cover with the top piece of parchment and roll it out to be about 12 inches long and 16 inches wide. Brush melted butter over the top of the dough, then sprinkle on the low carb cinnamon sugar so the entire top portion is covered.
- Roll the dough by carefully peeling the dough closest to you off the parchment. Once you get that first bit rolled, continue to use the parchment paper to help you roll it up. Do this evenly, and tightly by going slow and gently pressing down a bit as you roll. You do not want the dough to crack so slow it key. The edges may not be as tight as the inside, this is ok. I usually trim those off as they are sometimes more uneven. Finish rolling until you get to the end and roll it seam side down. Trim the edges if necessary to even it up.
- Cut the dough in half down the middle. Divide each half into 4 pieces (total of 8 rolls). Place them roll side up in a buttered 9" cast iron skillet or pie plate. The rolls should not be touching but almost and gently press them down a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and then drape with a towel to keep warm. Let them rise for at least 60- 90 minutes. You should notice them get a bit bigger in size and rise before baking.
- Bake at 350 F in a preheated oven for 30 minutes uncovered on the middle rack. They should brown and rise while they bake.
- While baking, prepare the frosting. Use very soft cream cheese (or nuke yours in the microwave for 30 sec), whisk in the almond milk or cream, the powdered sweetener, and the vanilla. If you do not have powdered low carb sweetener granulated will be ok. Just whisk it all till smooth.
- Let the cinnamon rolls rest about 5 minutes before icing. Cover the top with a nice layer and serve warm! Store the iced cinnamon rolls in the fridge. They taste great lightly reheated and even cold from the fridge... ENJOY!
Freeze them un-iced individually and then let them thaw in a pan at room temperature before baking if you want to use these as a meal prep option too!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 18gNet Carbohydrates: 4gFiber: 14gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g