I think part of what makes someone good at developing new recipes is the ability to notice the properties of one recipe and translate it into a whole different recipe altogether. This is a skill I seem to have developed over the past few years and I think I must have a mental filing cabinet in my head somewhere, where all the things I noticed while working with a particular recipe get tucked away, waiting to be useful again. I will notice the way a particular dough crisps up, or the way a batter thickens or rises (or sometimes fails to rise) and I will think “huh, okay, that’s interesting”. It’s the unexpected qualities of one of my baking experiments that are sometimes the most useful for future experiments. I will then find myself, a few weeks down the road, realizing that I can use this quality to my advantage in another way. And so it goes, I think, that I learn more and more how to coax alternative ingredients like almond flour and erythritol to do what I want them to do.
This recipe is really a case in point. I have long despaired of having anything really resembling a good cinnamon roll after being diagnosed with diabetes. I made one early attempt, with a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, back in the early days of this blog. They were…okay. At the time, I thought maybe they were the best I could do using low carb and gluten free ingredients. A little later, I did attempt a sweet roll using carbalose flour, but that does contain gluten and I am moving further and further away from using any gluten products at all. So for the time being, I gave up. I was very pleased with my Cinnamon Roll Scones and thought that they were an excellent replacement in taste, if not exactly in appearance and texture.
And then, when I was making another recipe altogether, I recognized something about the dough I was working with that I thought might make a good cinnamon roll. It was the way it both rose and spread during baking that caught my eye, and I thought that if I rolled it out carefully and filled it with melted butter, cinnamon and granulated erythritol, it might just do the trick. Now I will tell you that these are cinnamon rolls of the biscuit dough variety. I have never attempted a yeast dough with almond flour, or with any gluten free flour at all. But traditional wheat flour biscuit dough makes wonderful cinnamon rolls and I knew that if I could just nail an almond flour biscuit dough, I could make a decent low carb cinnamon roll. And so it was, a few weeks back, that a biscuit-y type recipe turned out well enough for me to think it might just translate.
The Results: I really loved these. They were tender and moist and perfectly cinnamon-y. Again, they aren’t like yeast dough, but very similar to cinnamon rolls made with biscuit dough. They don’t rise and spread all that much, but I am not sure I really care because flavour and texture were spot on. And my kids loved them too, which is always worth some bonus points in my eyes. To be able to have a cinnamon roll with my coffee in the morning was just heavenly.
Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls – Low Carb and Gluten-Free
- 2 cups almond flour
- 3 tablespoon granular Swerve Sweetener or other granulated erythritol
- 3 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar substitute I used Ideal
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon powdered Swerve Sweetener or other powdered erythritol
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325F and grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, Swerve, whey protein, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.
- Stir in eggs and butter until dough comes together. It will be quite sticky.
- Turn out dough onto a large piece of parchment, and then pat into a rough rectangle.
- Top with another piece of parchment and roll out to about 10x8 inches. Peel off top piece of parchment paper.
- Brush dough with melted butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar substitute and cinnamon, going almost right to edges.
- Starting with the far, longer edge of your dough, gently lift away from the parchment and roll up tightly towards you. Pinch the seam to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut into 8 equal portions. Place in prepared cake pan, just barely touching each other, and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until just golden brown. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
- For the Frosting, beat all ingredients in a medium bowl and then pipe or spread onto warm rolls.
Carolyn have you seen the trend all over Tik-Tok using canned cinnamon rolls and heavy cream? The premises you take a can of Pillsbury grand and bake them with a half to full cup of heavy cream and then ice as normal. I wonder if this recipe would work because it’s of the biscuit variety and those in the can or of the biscuit variety. What are your thoughts do you think you might try it for us?
I actually began reading this recipe to see how I could make orange rolls instead of cinnamon. While reading through your blog I noticed where you said it had more of a biscuit texture. My mind lit up at the thought of a LC biscuit! I left out the sweetener in the dough, scooped it out into mounds and baked per the instructions. Yay! It was as good as I hoped! Thank you for all the effort you put into your recipes.
Great recipe! As a dedicated cinnamon roll lover, for the cinnamon filling I added 2 Tbsp peanut butter (plus the 1 Tbsp butter-though I used ghee) and increased the cinnamon to 1 Tbsp. DELICIOUS! Thank you!
These were fantastic! I added an extra egg and an additional tbsp of the Isopure and they were soft and chewy! Not biscuit like at all. Loved this so much ! My husband was in heaven as he thought he’d never eat cinnamon rolls ever again.
Can I use chocolate flavored whey? That is all I have for now.
I can’t wait to try this out! Is there anything I can use to substitute the whey protein?
Egg white protein should also work.
Jackie McVittie says
I was very excited about this recipe but I’m really wondering how the nutritional information was calculated?? After making these (and thoroughly enjoying them), I entered the recipe into MyFitnessPal so I could log it. Much to my dismay, the calorie count alone came to 294 calories (plus 15.4g carbs and 24.8g of fat) for one little roll!! So then I did some calculations of my own. 1/4 cup of almond flour has 180 calories. This recipe calls for 2 cups of almond flour. That’s 1,440 calories alone or 180 calories per roll (without any filling or frosting)!! How are you coming up with 28.4 calories???
Hi Jackie… I am not coming up with that. This is an EXTREMELY old recipe and the recipe plug in I use added a random amount because I never specified the calories on this, I only specified the carbs.
I think I’ve found a couple discrepancies. I tried to follow your ingredient list brands as closely as possible since I haven’t baked with these sugar free sweeteners in the past. But some items I had trouble finding and I now see they are not all alike. I used Truvia brown sugar blend which I see has more carbs than Ideal. Also, I used a vanilla protein powder since I already had it. A few more carbs than the unflavoured. The almond flour really threw me for a loop though. Had no idea there were so many calories packed in there! Thanks for the response.
Oh yes, Truvia baking blend has a lot more carbs and if I am not mistaken, it even includes some sugar?
Almond flour is hefty but keep in mind it is far more filling than wheat flour. So these will be more satisfying AND they won’t give you a horrible blood sugar surge.
KIM Claus FRANKLIN says
Carolyn I realise this is an old posting…and am looking forward to trying these…but please update the nutrition. I think the calories are 284 rather than 28.4? Otherwise I think you’re brilliant!
No, they aren’t either of those things. My recipe card inserts weird numbers when I don’t put any nutritional info in. It shouldn’t be there at all.
Thank you for all your experimenting to make sure these cinnamon rolls were as tasty as they are. They were devoured by even my non-low-carvers in the house. Definitely going to make these again. Awesome job, thank you again.
Catherine Bartomeo says
Does the dough freeze well? Hoping I can make a week ahead and freeze.
I’ve never tried freezing it, sorry. I think so?
Easy recipe. I substituted granulated erythritol for brown sugar as I had none on hand. Also used vanilla flavoured whey.
I think I’ll use a silicon muffin pan next time so they’re not lopsided.
Great taste. Very much a biscuit type of roll vs the cinnamon bun. No complaints just statement. I love both types (:
I will make these again. Very calorific but worth it!
Glad you liked it!
This recipe is a phenomenal hit!!! I made a few substitutions to lower the amount of dairy: Egg white protein powder for the whey, coconut cream for cream and Kite Hill dairy free cream cheese! These are so good!
George G says
Great recipe. My wife developed an allergy to Almond Flour while on Keto. So, I used Sunflower Seed Flour/Meal instead, 1:1 ratio. Cut out the baking soda and augment the Xanthum Gum to 2 tsps (so as to avoid a greenish glow due to chemical interaction from sunflower seed flour and baking soda) and it is good to go. I also double the butter and cinnamon sugar for the filling and can cut out greasing the 8×8 pan that I used. Wife and mother-in-law absolutely loved them. So hard to not eat more than two in a sitting though. 😉
Jenny Grunke says
I just made these because I didn’t have the blanched almond flour that the cinnamon roll recipe called for in your cookbook (sweet mozzarella dough). I actually had extra dough after cutting a 10×8 rectangle and slicing eight rolls so I rolled out the extra dough again and got four more small rolls which I placed in a greased muffin pan. I liked how those four turned out in the muffin pan! They were a perfect round shape whereas the ones in the cake pan were misshaped triangles. They all tasted good, but I think next time, when I make the cinnamon rolls from the cookbook, I’ll use the muffin pan. Thanks for all your great recipes!!