The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll





I know that some of you are afraid of using and proofing yeast and tend to avoid it but today I am going to hold your hand through this. Here’s my logic: If you are afraid of yeast then you can’t make today’s incredibly awesome recipe…and believe me when I say that this is the BEST gluten-free vegan cinnamon roll you will taste. Deep breath. (Side note: I know some of you can’t consume yeast so I got your back too–use this recipe instead)

The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Fork & Beans

There really is no big trick to yeast. Like most things, once you try it your fears will immediately wear off and you’ll become a yeast pro.  I’m actually writing a more detailed post discussing this issue but in the meantime, I’ve got your hand, friend. Here, take a look at these to motivate you:

The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Fork & Beans

Feeling better? Good.

So when you are heating your water and nondairy milk to “proof” your yeast in this recipe (which is just a baker’s fancy way of saying “making sure your yeast is still good”), simply place it in the microwave for about 25 seconds. You want this to be lukewarm so if you’d like, you can always stop the time at any point and check to make sure it isn’t getting too hot. All you have to do is stick your (clean) finger in the middle of the microwave-safe measuring cup and make sure the liquid is lightly warmed. That’s it. No need for thermometers (but if it makes you feel better, use one to measure your liquid to 100*F/38*C). Take your yeast, in this case it is 2 1/4 teaspoons’ (7 g) worth, whisk it around with a fork until nicely mixed in there and walk away.

The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Fork & Beans

No seriously. Walk away and watch “The Wendy Williams Show,” doodle, paint your nails, go on a brisk walk, or learn how to juggle. Just for 10 minutes though.  When you return you will find that your yeast will have frothed up like a beer poured out of a tap. Mmmmmm beer. That’s it! You have just ensured that your yeast is “active” and you are good to go! If it doesn’t froth up then your yeast is either bad (check the expiration date) or your liquid was too hot/cold. Rinse, repeat and try again. No fears, you have cinnamon rolls to make missy!

4.0 from 3 reviews
The BEST Gluten-Free Vegan Cinnamon Roll
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
Wet Ingredients:
  • ¾ c. nondairy milk
  • ½ c. water
  • 2¼ tsp. dry active yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. ground chia seeds (I used white, feel free to use black)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground psyllium husk (or use more chia seeds OR flaxseed meal)
  • 4 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
Dry ingredients:
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or omit)
  • 1 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Warm up your nondairy milk and water together until lukewarm or at 100*F/38*C. Whisk in your yeast and allow to froth up for 10 minutes. Add the chia seeds, pysllium, butter and vinegar. Whisk together and set aside so it can thicken a little.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Dump the wet ingredients into the middle of the flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon. Your dough will begin to look scrappy. That is A-Okay. When this begins to happen, ditch the wooden spoon and start kneading the dough in the bowl with your hands. That's right, you heard me correctly. Get those hands dirty! Play with the dough until it gets manageable and somewhat smooth. See the pictures below as to what the dough will look like.
  3. Roll out on your counter under a piece of parchment paper. This dough shouldn't be too sticky where you have to use another piece of paper to roll out. Roll into a large rectangle--not too thin however, thicker than ¼"/3 mm though. Combine the sugar filling in a small bowl and dump on top of the dough.
  4. Tightly roll the dough up (use the parchment paper to guide you if you need).Trim the edges and slice in half. Then slice those halves in half until you have eight pieces.
  5. Grease a pan of choice and place the rolls inside, cut-side up. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm, non-drafty space in your kitchen. These should rise enough to be touching each other in the pan now. They will not, however, double in size.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges have firmed up. Place the pan on a wire rack to briefly cool down.
  7. Whisk together the icing--you want this thick so if it's runny, use more sugar (or if it's too thick to mix, add a teaspoon of hot water at a time). Pour over the cinnamon rolls.
1. Tastes best when eaten warm and straight out of the oven.
2. Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3 days.
3. The dough can be made ahead of time. Simply place in fridge during the rise time and allow to sit overnight. Baking time might need to be longer.


 A tutorial photo shoot of the cinnamon roll-making process just for you: 

The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Fork & Beans

If you want to you use your own blend or mix up the flours, feel free to do so–always understand that your results might be different and the weight conversion will be different. Nothing is guaranteed in this crazy world of gluten-free vegan baking. Need help with substitutions? Check out this: Guide to Gluten-Free Flours.

I also thought it would be humorous to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the process of what happens when I take photos of the food I share here. While you are seeing this:

The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Fork & Beans

This is what is actually happening:

The Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Fork & Beans

Oh the trickery of food blogging…

Happy Baking, friends!




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  1. Very interesting reipce. I’m always trying new things and my daughter might get a kick out of trying this reipce. Do you eat something special with this type of bread or just alone? I’ll have to let you know how it comes out. I found your blog in Top Mommy Blogs. I’ll definitely follow and see what new things are happening in Cuddles and Bubbles. If you get a chance, check out my blog at and feel free to follow.

  2. these cinnamon rolls look delicious, however, when I made them today, the dough was extremely sticky. so sticky that I couldn’t even handle it properly. I had to add more flour just to roll it. I grounded up the chia seeds and I used ground flax. I followed this recipe to the T, and the dough just wasn’t right. I will try again and i’ll add a half cup more of flour. When rolling my dough, I was so disappointed because they didn’t come out as thick as your pictures. I have the cut up rolls resting right now. Hopefully they still taste good.

  3. Wow, these are scrumptious! And I cannot believe how easy they are to make. Compared to the ones I tried in my pre-vegan days, these are so quick and far more tasty. I have to say, though, that I doubled the amount of yeast, since I got that advice from a professional baker once and have gotten used to that little trick…
    I’ll also try the dough for sticky pecan buns. Yumm!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. These turned out better than my old wheat based recipe – I can’t believe how good these are, seriously. I subbed coconut oil for butter and used coconut Palm sugar just to make it a tad healthier and it still came out awesome!

  5. stephanie m rullan says:

    i saw this on a website, i need to use oat flour for this recipe, would following this portion & adding the extra baking soda work ?

    In April 2008 issue I found the following information about substituting other flours for white flour while baking. For 1 cup sifted all purpose white flour, substitute:

    1/4 cup soy flour plus 3/4 cup white flour
    1/3 cup wheat germ plus 2/3 cup white flour
    1/3 cup whole wheat flour plus 2/3 cup white flour
    3/4 cup coarse cornmeal
    3/4 cup rice flour
    1 cup rolled oats
    1.5 cups oat flour
    It was also mentioned that these substitutions may require additional leavening, so add 2.5 teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour to compensate. These alternatives to white flour will result in a heavier yeast bread product.

    My question, is it just 2.5

    Read More:

  6. KRistina says:

    hi! This looks really good, and possibly perfect for my friend who’s allergic to everything. However, he doesn’t do seeds, but can do eggs. How would you substitute eggs back into this, and possibly eliminate the chia and psyllium?

  7. Suzanne says:

    I noticed that the recipe does not call for any xanthan or guar gum? Is this an oversight? thanks.

    • No oversight, this recipe does not need xanthan, hooray! The psyllium husk powder performs in its place.

  8. Made these last night and then realized this morning that we never ground the chia

  9. I would love to make your flour blend but I’m allergic to rice what can I substitute. I am trying to come up with an all purpose baking blend.

  10. I just made it and it turnd out amazing though I used diffrent combination of flour but it was even better than that i used to make with white ( gluten) flour THANK YOU!!

  11. Perfect for this time of year. I feel a bowl of chili coming on … Pinned.

  12. these are the BEST cinnamon rolls ive ever had!!!!!wowww.sooo good. i actually forgot to put the oil in btw and they are still the best ive ever had!amazing job

  13. Do you measure out the chia seeds and then grind them or measure them after they’re ground? I struggled with another bread recipe and I think it was something to do with the chia.

    I really appreciate recipes like this since I can’t have wheat or eggs. Thanks!

    • Hi Jillian, you measure them after they are ground. What I like to do is just take a bunch of chia seeds, grind them, and then store them for future use. Hope this helps!

  14. My husband just dominated these! They were incredible — your blog is our new favorite website!!

  15. Laura Wagner says:

    Holy goodness, I see these in my very near future, like this weekend in mass quantity with lots of coffee!! I haven’t had a cinnamon roll since having to switch to gluten free over six years ago. I’m egg free now too, so these look perfect! Can’t wait to try them. Thank you!!!

  16. Can you make these a day ahead and just pop them in the oven the morning of your brunch for example?

  17. I made a new version of these on my blog and they were so delicious! Thanks for creating a really good recipe :) And of course I’ve linked back to your site because I really appreciate your work!

  18. I made these and they are delicious! The first time I made them with the icing sugar frosting but found the icing just too sweet. The next time I used cream cheese frosting – LOVE. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  19. Just so you know, men bake too. Its a little silly to assume only women are reading your website. Maybe leave out the parts that address the reader as “Missy”? I, for one, have a few extra “ingredients” that make me not much of a Missy.
    Regardless, im excited to try this recipe.

  20. I can’t even handle how amazing these are and although I’m not proud of it, I can honestly say I ate 3 rolls right away. Worth it going down, not so much after 20 minutes. I have to pace myself with how often I make these now, and whether I double the batch or not! But I’m attending a farmers market on Wednesday and am making these to bring and wow my friends :) Can not wait. Hopefully there’s enough left for everybody else! thank you so so much <3 xoxoxoxo

    • Okay, I absolutely LOVE hearing that Skye. Makes my heart so happy to hear that you love these!! xo

  21. Do you think these would work with straight flaxmeal? My sister’s allergic to chia :-(

  22. Cara, these are ah-maze-ing. I saw a recipe for sticky buns that were inspired by an “old fashioned” – the cocktail :) and I knew I could count on this roll base to make it. I try to make things without refined sugar, so for the dry ingredients I used coconut palm sugar. Then for the cinnamon filling I pureed medjool dates with almond milk and a bit of maple syrup and salt (and some bourbon/bitters), and for the top did the same mix but added pecans.

    I have to say, this bread base is PERFECT. They are so good that to keep my self from eating all of them within 24 hours I had to bring the rest to work!

    Thanks for the great recipes, I appreciate how simple they are compared to other gf/vegan recipes, and how easy it is to adapt them to other dietary needs.

  23. i WILL be trying these ;]

  24. Annmarie says:

    Do you think this recipe would work with almond flour or some other kind of grain free flour? I have celiac but I also react to other grains so I can’t eat them either :( Would love to try this recipe though! And if I did swap with almond flour, do you think I could sub it cup4cup or do you think I’d need to change the amount I use in it (I’m still learning this grain free baking thing… I thought I had the gluten free baking thing down pretty well and then I develop other allergies! sigh)
    haha thanks!

    • Hi Annmarie! Oof, I honestly don’t see that almond flour can work as the complete substitute for this recipe just because it is such a dense flour, it really needs eggs when you are using that amount. I wish I could be more of a help but the truth is that this is unchartered territory for me. I will look around and see if I can find any more info for you…xo!

  25. Great recipe! We are new to gluten free. My son was diagnosed with celiac disease and although I put him on gluten free, my family still ate the same old “crap” ((sorry for the language, but that’s the only way I see gluten now)). Well, as I said, I’m new to this so do I need to use xantham gum if I’m using a store bought all purpose flour that does not already contain it? I can’t wait to make these!!!

    • Welcome to the gluten-free train! 😉 No apologies for saying crap or being new to all of this. You are in a crap and newbie-welcoming zone. To answer your question, yes, if your store-bought all-purpose flour does not have xanthan gum in it, you will need to add it to your recipes that call for it. I hope that helps! Oh, and check out this post for more gluten-free flour help if you haven’t already:

      Let me know if I can help you with anything, Alyssa. For reals… xo!

  26. I substituted several ingredients and it turned out great. I love the chia/flax gel!
    I used kefir instead of soy milk, and grass-fed butter. Then I added 2 eggs and added some almond meal to compensate for the extra liquid. I also added 2t xanthan gum to the dough, and chopped pecans to the filling–yum!

  27. Wow! You weren’t kidding when you said “Best Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Roll”! These are amazing. I’ve made a couple recipes in the past, but none of them were that impressive. This one is a winner. Thanks!

  28. I absolutely love your site, recipes + photography, Cara! These cinnamon rolls look so delicious, and I love the tuturial photos. Gorgeous + mouth-watering!

    • You are so super kind for those sweet words Ashley–thank you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. Much love to you, xo!

  29. Can I substitute regular all purpose or whole wheat flour for this recipe?

    • You can definitely give it a shot Katie! It should be rather similar, however just know that I haven’t tried it yet so I am not 100% certain the measurements will be on point with regular flour. Then again, I’m ALL for experimentation! Let me know if it works, I’d love to hear back. xo

  30. I just made these, this is a great recipe! I was happy to find that the dough was very easy to work with. It didn’t crumble or tear or stick. It was fun to make. Some alterations I did included using coconut oil instead of vegan butter. And for the filling I made a poppy seed spread (like what is found in Polish and Hungarian poppy seed rolls and cookies). I didn’t use the icing, I thought the dough and filling were flavorful enough. I want to make this again and try a cinnamon, nut, and dried fruit filling. And I’d like to see if it would be good to add cinnamon or coconut or something else to the dough just for an experiment on flavors. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  31. Ok, these are siting on the oven rising (hopefully=). is the dough something that i could make ahead and refrigerate? Or could i freeze the unbaked cinnamon rolls for future use? I’m a year into the gluten free baking and i still have no clue what i’m doing haha

  32. If you don’t mind me asking Cara, what kind of a lens are you using? I love your photos!

    • Thank you so much Julie! I don’t use anything fancy–I have the basic Nikon base model (d3100) and I used the 50mm lens for most of my photos. :)

  33. These look amazing Cara! I can’t wait to give them a try soon, and bring cinnamon rolls back into my life: ) Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m telling you, they are super tasty (and it’s not just because I made them) ha I cannot wait for you to reunited with Cinnamon Rolls! 😉 xo

  34. Well they certainly look like the best cinnamon rolls in the world! Can’t wait to try. Thanks for the excuse to make more cinnamon rolls!

    • I like the way you see things (and no, it’s not just because I planted that seed in your mind that they are the best) :) Oh and you’re welcome! xo

  35. OMG how am I just now seeing these?! Yummmm!!! 😀 Definitely adding to the “MUST make!” list

    Love the sneak peak in to your creative photo styling techniques too – so fun! 😉

  36. Man, I could soooo go for one of these right now! I’ve not had much experience with gluten-free baking, but I should really pin this and make it my first yeasted gluten-free experience.

    • What’s that I hear? It’s the sound of Bianca breaking into this new world of gluten-free baking…and LOVING it. First up: Cinnamon Rolls! xo

  37. Hi Cara! Love your site- wonderful recipes!!! :) What are your thoughts on make-ahead tips for this recipe? Could I make the rolls through step 7 a day prior to baking them?


    • Hey Lauren, I say make them at night and allow them to sit in the fridge covered while they rise overnight and then bake in the morning. Hope that helps!

  38. I think I will love them since your other recipe w/o yeast was so fabulous! Can’t wait to try these too.
    ~ Bobbi

  39. I like my cinnamon buns with raisins….what quantity do you recommend I add?? Thank you!

  40. Love your behind-the-scenes :)

  41. Cara, I am A) Drooling and wanting to shove them all in my mouth immediately and B) really wanting to make asap, BUT I have high food allergies to both Bakers and Brewers yeast! Big sad face. Do you have any magical ideas/substitutes for the yeast? Pah-leeezzz say yes and send me your wisdom>>>yes, I have been up too long today and too much caffeine. Thank you, Heather

    • Like I’d leave you in the dark Heather, bshaa! < -you are own your own figuring out that sound :) I got your back, sister. Check the top of this post. I include a link to a yeast-free cinnamon roll recipe. Equally as good.

  42. I’ve been avoiding GF cinnamon rolls like the plague because I didn’t think they could rise enough. But these totally prove that wrong. Can’t wait to give them a try!

    • Trust me Nora, I avoided gf/vegan breads for a couple of years out of fear. Fear not fellow baking sister! Let us rise up and bake the heck out of some cinnamon rolls :)

  43. I think if you deliver some to my bedside I’d be nimble as a Spring lamb two rolls later. Girl, they look absolutely perfect. Well done. Again.


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