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.
Tender, moist, and perfectly cinnamon-y with a biscuit-like texture, these cinnamon rolls are a sweet keto treat!
- 1 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tbsp brown sugar substitute I used Ideal
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener or other powdered erythritol
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp 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.
Serves 8. Each serving has 7.1g of carbs and 3g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4.1 g