Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
Gluten-free, very low lactose, FODMAP friendly
Decadent comfort food—nobody’s going to believe these are gluten-free. They’re yeasty and gooey, full of cinnamon veins that let you pull them apart. A special request for Christmas morning inspired me to create the recipe, and admittedly, they’re a bit of work (about 45 minutes prep time, 20 minutes to rise, 25 to bake, and 10 to cool before frosting). But just wait till the troops smell them baking.
This recipe makes six muffin-size rolls.
- 1/3 cup sweet white rice (sticky rice) flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour (tapioca starch)
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- ½ teaspoon egg replacer
- 1 generous teaspoon yeast
- ¼ cup and 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened, unflavored almond milk, divided 3 ways
- 5 Tablespoons butter, divided
- ¼ teaspoon vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons uncooked quick-cooking gluten-free oats
- 2/3 cups pecans
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons real maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
1. Grease six muffin cups with about a teaspoon (total) of butter or coconut oil.
2. In a medium bowl, mix well: sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt, unflavored gelatin, and egg replacer. If your flours have been refrigerated, warm them slightly. You don’t want to shock your yeasty beasties.
3. Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe cup. Add ¼ cup sugar and the cinnamon. Stir well. This will be your cinnamon filling
4. Chop pecans coarsely,* then mix them with the uncooked quick-cooking GF oats in another small bowl. These will form a bed for shaping the gooey gluten-free dough, as well as a delicious filling layer.
5. Now, make the dough. Warm about half of the 1/3 cup almond milk to about 100 F. Stir in 2 teaspoons of sugar and then the generous teaspoon of yeast. Let set at room temperature about 5 minutes, until bubbly.
6. Meanwhile, melt the other 2 Tablespoons of butter in another microwave-safe cup and add the rest of the 1/3 cup almond milk (save that final 2 teaspoons to make frosting). This will cool it slightly, again to keep the yeast comfy.
7. In small mixer bowl with the beaters running, pour in the yeast mixture and then the butter-almond milk mixture. Keep the beaters running as you add 2 lightly beaten eggs, ¼ teaspoon vinegar, and the flours mixture. Beat 4 minutes, scraping sides frequently. It will be sticky.
8. While the dough is beating, tear off a hunk of wax paper and grease it with another teaspoon of butter or coconut oil. (Keep that oil handy. You’re going to grease your hands in a minute) Spread the oat-nut mixture thinly and very evenly in an approximately 9-inch square.
9. If the butter-sugar-cinnamon filling mixture has cooled enough to harden, rewarm it slightly.
10. Using a spoon, spatula, or both, drop smallish blobs of dough on top of the oat-nut mixture, filling the square to its edges. Grease your hands. Pat and stretch it out so the blobs meet to form a single layer. Now drizzle that layer with the butter-sugar-cinnamon mixture, and swirl/pat that out evenly atop the dough with the back of a spoon.
11. Carefully lift one edge of the wax paper. Roll up the dough square like sushi, with butter-sugar-cinnamon tucked inside, oat-nut on the outside, and both mingling where the rolled layers meet.
12. Use a large, sharp knife to cut through the roll at about half its length. Clean the knife if you like, but it’s not necessary. Now slice each half into thirds. This roll will NOT slice cleanly, but you’ll end up with six roughly equal portions. Using re-greased hands, lift each portion into a greased muffin cup, tipping it so the “roll” surfaces face up and down as much as possible. Top with the reserved pecan halves, if you like.
13. Wash your hands and take a deep breath. The hard part’s over. Let the rolls rise 20 minutes at room temperature. Toward the end of this rise, preheat your oven to 375 F. Place a baking sheet on the lower oven rack to catch any cinnamon drips.
14. Bake 25 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are dark brown. Immediately, carefully, remove the rolls to a serving plate. Let them cool 5-10 minutes while you stir up the frosting:
15. In a small bowl or pitcher, sift 2/3 cup powdered sugar, then add 2 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk, 2 teaspoons real maple syrup, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy.
16. Drizzle the frosting over the warm rolls. Serve warm. Receive applause.
17. These rolls freeze well, even after they’re frosted. Still, you may thaw, warm and frost them just before serving.