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You know what I’ve been missing lately? Cinnamon rolls. Even though the weather has been insanely warm this week (60 degrees in February – what?!), I still love to warm up in the mornings with a steaming cup of coffee. There are a million and one things that go well to accompany it, but all month long I’ve been dreaming of having it with a great big cinnamon roll. This healthy cinnamon rolls recipe was just what I needed.
The challenge with creating gluten-free, low carb cinnamon rolls is that the texture doesn’t lend itself well to typical low carb flours. Without the gluten found in traditional wheat flour, a dough made with almond flour and coconut flour simply doesn’t hold together well enough to be rolled up. I knew I’d have to experiment with some kind of binder.
After debating whether I was going to use psyllium husk powder, gelatin, protein powder, or mozzarella cheese, I settled on the first option. Psyllium is a soluble fiber that comes from plantago ovata, an herb plant, and the powder is the husks in ground up form. Like other soluble fiber, psyllium is beneficial to the digestive system. Having heard that it works exceptionally well as a binder, I have been wanting to experiment with it.
Needless to say, it took several tries for psyllium husk powder to work the way I wanted in my healthy cinnamon rolls. I had attempts that had too much psyllium, resulting in a strange texture. When I tried reducing the amount too much, my rolls fell apart. Mixing the powder with water prior to adding other ingredients made the dough difficult to mix, so that method was out, too.
Between my experiments, I stumbled across a psyllium cinnamon rolls recipe from Keto Adapted. It looked amazing, but I wanted my own version for more tender rolls and a less chewy texture. With that inspiration, I landed on this final recipe for healthy cinnamon rolls.
These low carb cinnamon rolls do have a more cake- or muffin-like texture than wheat rolls. I brought them to a few gatherings and felt the need to add a disclaimer that they’d be a little different from traditional cinnamon rolls. Still, they’re sweet and cinnamon-y, and have a yummy glaze.
I made the glaze with coconut oil and coconut cream, to also be able to call them paleo cinnamon rolls, but you don’t have to. Any version of a glaze that you like would be amazing. Cream cheese frosting tends to go really well, too, if you don’t mind the dairy.
In the end, I was pretty happy with my healthy cinnamon rolls adaptation. The flavor is exactly what you’d expect from a cinnamon roll! And, they stay together well enough to eat with your hands. That’s pretty amazing when it comes to gluten-free cinnamon rolls. Even better, I can enjoy them as a treat with the knowledge that I’m eating natural ingredients with no sugar. Will you give them a try?
Tools To Make Low Carb Cinnamon Rolls:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Parchment Paper – Parchment paper is recommended for this recipe to keep the cinnamon rolls from sticking to the pan. It also makes clean up so much easier.
- Bowls – These glass bowls are the ones I always use in my kitchen.
- Baking Sheet – This is my favorite baking sheet. It’s great for this low carb cinnamon roll recipe.
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Healthy Cinnamon Rolls (Paleo, Low Carb, Sugar-free)
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Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
- In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, psyllium husk powder, erythritol, baking powder,and salt. Stir in the egg whites, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Add the warm water and mix well.
Place the dough between two large pieces of parchment paper. Roll out into a 12x8 in (31x20 cm) rectangle, about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick (press to form the four corners as necessary).
- To make the filling, melt the coconut oil together with the cinnamon and erythritol in a small bowl in the microwave (or on the stove if you prefer), and mix well. The mixture will be crumbly. Sprinkle the dough rectangle with the cinnamon oil mixture. Spread evenly so that there are no clumps, then press into the dough.
- Roll up the dough into a log (start with the long side, for a longer, thinner log). The dough will start to crack as you roll it. As you go along, just pinch the cracks shut, pull away the paper, and scoop up any dough that sticks to the parchment, pressing it back in place on the log. Freeze the log for 20-30 minutes, until firm (but not hard) and no longer sticky on the outside. (You can also refrigerate until firm, but it will take longer.)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the dough log into 12 slices. Arrange the slices on the lined baking sheet, about 1.5-2 in (4-5 cm) part. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. They will be a little soft and will firm up as they cool.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. Whisk the melted coconut oil, coconut cream, erythritol, and vanilla extract together. When the cinnamon rolls are ready, let them cool enough until they are firm, then drizzle the glaze over them.
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Serving size: 1 cinnamon roll
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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