Laissez les bon temps rouler with these tender and pillowy decadent rolls crowned in the regal colors of Mardi Gras. Gluten and Dairy Free King Cake Cinnamon Rolls will transport you straight to Bourbon Street without ever having to leave your kitchen.
The good times are always rolling when the day starts with cinnamon rolls. Whether they’re Gluten Free Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls or these festive and fun treats, there is nothing like that first bite of soft dough, perfectly sweet, begging to be shared with family and friends. With just a few simple steps it will be carnival season whenever the craving hits!
What is King Cake?
These Gluten and Dairy Free King Cake Cinnamon Rolls are inspired by the Louisiana staple King Cake. In its most classic form, it’s a ring-shaped pastry made from a cinnamon roll type dough. A delicate sweet glaze is resplendent in the colors of Mardi Gras. Purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.
Traditionally a small porcelain or plastic baby is hidden in the cake. Whoever finds the baby is responsible for providing the king cake for the following year.
While cinnamon is the common flavor you can also find king cake in other flavors such as strawberry, cream cheese, praline, or the Zulu King Cake which is a chocolate and coconut creation.
One of the great things about this king cake recipe is that it uses almost all pantry staples. If you have a well stocked baking pantry, this treat comes together with complete ease.
- Dairy Free Butter – Gives these cinnamon rolls their tender texture and also used to create the spiced pecan and raisin filling.
- Dairy Free Milk – Use your favorite such as oat milk.
- Sugar – Lightly sweetens the dough.
- Honey – Honey gives a delicate sweetness and helps feed the yeast and activate it.
- Water – You want to make sure that your water is warm 110 degrees, to help activate the yeast.
- Kosher Salt
- Dairy Free Greek Yogurt – Adds tang and moisture to the cinnamon roll dough. Use a plain, unflavored yogurt.
- Instant Active Yeast
- Gluten Free Flour – Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking flour is my go-to flour for both sweet and savory recipes. It makes it easy to measure for recipes without having to add any additional ingredients.
- Dairy Free Heavy Cream – This is added over the top of the cinnamon rolls before baking. It slightly caramelizes and gives the rolls even more fluff and moisture.
- Brown Sugar – Adds caramel sweetness to the pecan and raisin filling.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg – Gives these cinnamon rolls their warmth. I use Spiceology spices. You can receive 10% off your order with the code SALTY.
- Powdered Sugar – Easily dissolves into the glaze without leaving lumps or making the glaze gritty.
- Vanilla Extract – The higher the quality the vanilla extract, the more intense the flavor.
- Sprinkles – Get your kids in the kitchen and let them have fun decorating these cinnamon rolls. You will need red, yellow, and green sprinkles.
How to Make Gluten and Dairy Free King Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Skip the store-bought cinnamon rolls with mystery ingredients. These sweet confections come together is just a few easy steps.
Time needed: 3 hours
Pillowy cinnamon rolls are filled with a spiced raisin and pecan filling and crowned in the festive colors of Mardi Gras.
Add your warm water, yeast, half of the sugar, and honey to a bowl and stir to combine. Let it sit for five minutes until it begins to foam and bubble.
Pour the butter, milk, and remaining sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to cook until bubbles begin to form around the sides, letting it scald but not come to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to partially cool.
Add the yogurt and salt to a mixing bowl using a paddle. Mix to combine. With the mixer running slowly pour in the yeast mixture. Once incorporated pour in the milk mixture.
Keep the mixer running and add half a cup of flour at a time, letting it incorporate. Once it is fully incorporated let the mixer run for an additional minute.
Mix together the ingredients for the filling. Lightly flour your work surface and flour the top of your dough. Roll it out into a 9×12 rectangle. Spread the filling mixture over the dough and tightly roll into a log. Cut into 8 pieces.
Place the eight rolls into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set the dish in a warm spot. Let it rise until they are one and a half times larger.
Uncover the rolls and drizzle the heavy cream over the top. Let them bake for 30 minutes.
Allow your cinnamon rolls to cool. Mix together the ingredients for the frosting and drizzle over the top Sprinkle the colored sugar over the top and enjoy!
This recipe is completely Dairy Free and Gluten Free. However, you can replace the heavy cream, milk, and butter in this recipe with regular dairy products. The measurements are the same.
You will love this cinnamon roll recipe for it’s ease to make ahead and use as meal prep. They will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days. You can reheat them in the microwave or in the oven on a lower setting if desired.
The Secret To Cinnamon Rolls
Introducing heavy cream to your cinnamon rolls is like adding a secret ingredient that takes them to the next level. The cream brings a luxurious tenderness to the rolls’ texture, making each bite soft, moist, and incredibly satisfying. As the rolls bake, the cream works its magic, creating a golden, slightly caramelized exterior that adds a subtle richness to every bite. It’s an insider’s tip to crafting cinnamon rolls that are not just good but exceptional.
How much do we add?
When pouring heavy cream into the pan for cinnamon rolls, you don’t need to entirely submerge the dough. The goal is to provide a generous amount to ensure moisture and flavor enhancement, but not so much that it drowns the dough. Aim to cover about 2/3 of the dough with the cream, leaving some parts exposed.
Top Tip for Gluten and Dairy Free King Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Don’t skip the step of drizzling the Dairy Free heavy cream over the top of the cinnamon rolls before baking. This trick has gone viral and is used by bakeries and restaurants for a reason. Not only does the heavy cream slightly caramelize giving the cinnamon rolls even more flavor, but as it absorbs into the rolls as they bake, it causes them to puff up even more and become even more pillowy. This works with both Dairy Free heavy cream and also dairy heavy cream.
Gluten Free Flours
There are so many types of Gluten Free flour mixes, and also single source flours. Here are some of my favorites.
My go to for baking is Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. It is a blend of several different gluten free ingredients and I find it just works consistently well for what I need. I could blend flour myself but I choose to spend my time other ways and the 1:1 is a really good product.
Oat Flour can give you a chewier, more moist product. It can lend a nice sweet flavor to baked foods and is a flour I tend to mix with others if I want a lighter or fluffy result. I am always very careful to buy organic gluten free oats because they can be sprayed with nasty stuff and be processed in a way that they are no longer gluten free.
Almond Flour has a nice nutty flavor but can tend to dry out what you are preparing. I like to balance it with an extra egg if I am adding it to meatloaf for example and add banana or egg if it is in a sweet treat. Your end product could be a bit denser if you are using straight almond flour as well. I do like using almond flour as bread crumbs or a crunchy topping on savory dishes.
Arrowroot is my normal choice for a thickener in sauce or gravy. It is great for things you want a good crunch on that would normally be dredged in flour. Arrowroot can also be used to temper other gluten free flours for sweets and baked goods.
Brown Rice Flour can also be used in combination with other gluten free flours for baked goods. I like to use it when making a roux and brown rice noodles are a favorite.
More Gluten Free Flours
Amaranth is another gluten free flour that works well when blended. It has a nice nutty flavor that makes it good for crusts, tortillas and breads.
Coconut Flour has a bit of a sweet coconut flavor. It tends to absorb liquid so you will need to adjust your recipe but it does give a nice light texture.
Corn Flour is a great thickener, makes delicious tortillas and one of my favorites, corn bread. Just make sure the corn flour you are buying was proceed in a gluten free environment and from a clean source.
Cassava Flour is the most similar to white or all purpose flour but can be expensive if you are using it often and is high in carbohydrates.
Tapioca is a great thickener as well for soups, pies and sauces and works well when combined with other flours.
Chickpea or garbanzo is used often in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine… Think hummus, falafel, flatbreads. It has lots of healthy benefits and a mild nutty flavor. You can also use the water from the beans, called aquafaba, as an egg replacer or instead of cream for whipped cream. Crazy, I know, but it works so stop dumping it down the drain.
Gluten Free Grains
The gluten free grains we grab for most often are…
Quinoa- easy to make and flavor and is high in fiber and protein. It is actually one of the plant proteins that is a complete protein.
Oats are also good for fiber and a bit of protein but make sure they are clean and gluten free.
Buckwheat actually has no wheat in it but does have fiber, protein and trace minerals. I love buckwheat noodles. I also add them to salads and soups for texture and a bit of “chew”.
Gluten and Dairy Free King Cake Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 mixer/mixing bowl
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 saucepan
- 1 9×13 baking dish
- 6 tbsp Dairy Free butter
- 1 cup Dairy Free milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup warm water, 110 degrees
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz Dairy Free Greek yogurt, plain
- 1 pkg instant active yeast
- 3 1/2 cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour, plus 1/2-1 cup for working the dough
- 1 cup Dairy Free Heavy Cream
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup Dairy Free butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup Dairy Free butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp Dairy Free milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- purple, yellow, and green sprinkles for decorating
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
- Add the warm water, half of the sugar, honey, and yeast to a bowl. Mix to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes until it begins to bubble and foam.
- Add the milk, butter, and remaining sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Let it come to a simmer and allow bubbles to begin forming around the edges, but don't let come to a boil. This is called scalding. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Add the yogurt and salt to a mixing bowl with a paddle. Mix to combine.
- With the mixer running slowly pour in the yeast mixture.
- Slowly pour in the milk mixture.
- With the mixer continuing to run add 1/2 a cup of flour at a time until incorporated. Let it run an additional minute.
- Lightly flour your work surface. Pour the dough out onto the surface and lightly flour the top of the dough.
- Roll the dough out until it is approximately 9×12.
- Mix together the ingredients for the filling. Spread over the dough.
- Tightly roll up the dough into a log. Cut it into 8 pieces.
- Place the cinnamon rolls into the prepared baking dish. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Place it in a warm place and allow the rolls to rise until they are 1 1/2 times their original size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the baking dish. Drizzle the heavy cream over the top of the rolls.
- Let the cinnamon rolls bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- To make your glaze, mix together the butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Spread over the top of the cooled cinnamon rolls.
- Decorate with colored sugar sprinkles.
- Let the good times roll and enjoy!