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From the smell to the taste to the gooey pull-apart texture, everyone loves a warm cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting—but we don’t always want to make an entire tray when we only want to enjoy one.
Not only that, but the majority of cinnamon roll recipes use all-purpose flour, making it difficult for gluten-free people to indulge in this delicious dessert.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered on both fronts—this cinnamon roll recipe is single-serve, made in mere minutes, and is entirely gluten-free so that everybody can enjoy it!
Plus, no baking skills are required—if you have a microwave and a mug, you’re good to go!
How to Make Single-Serving Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
This single-serve, gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe could not be simpler.
There are just a handful of easy steps, starting with melting unsalted butter in a microwave-safe mug for about 20 seconds before whisking in half an egg.
Yep, you heard us—half of an egg! As this is a single-serve recipe, just half an egg is all you need.
To achieve this, crack the egg into a separate bowl and whisk it together on its own first before adding half of the whisked egg to the mug with melted butter. This ensures that you get equal proportions of the egg white and yolk.
From there, you’ll add the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon) and the vanilla extract and mix them well together.
Another round in the microwave—about 90 seconds—and you’re done! You definitely do not want to overcook this, as it can become dry. Therefore, start at the lower end (maybe 75 seconds) and check it partway through to ensure the cinnamon roll is still moist.
If you want a cinnamon sugar topping and cream cheese frosting (who wouldn’t?), there are a couple more quick steps.
The cinnamon sugar mixture is, well, just cinnamon and sugar! Easy enough.
For the cream cheese frosting, you’ll mix softened cream cheese with a splash of oat milk and some sugar.
To make this recipe the most reminiscent of a cinnamon roll, swirl the cinnamon sugar topping into the mug cake with the tip of a butter knife before glazing with the cream cheese frosting. Feel free to sprinkle it with powdered sugar if you want an extra bit of sweetness. Yum!
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls:
We all know that butter is delicious, but in baking, butter also adds structure and richness to the final product. Starting with melted butter (rather than softened or room temperature butter) allows the ingredients to be fully incorporated before cooking. Plus, melted butter does not hold onto air like room temperature butter does, meaning the cinnamon roll will have a denser, cakier texture. If you want to make this recipe dairy-free, feel free to use vegan butter.
Instead of using all-purpose flour, this recipe calls for almond flour to make the gluten-free dough. Although it’s a popular gluten-free flour alternative, almond flour can become dense and dry when overmixed or overbaked, so keep an eye on the microwave to help this cinnamon roll remain moist.
As with all baking recipes, baking powder helps the gluten-free dough to rise, increasing the volume and lightening the texture. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into the dough through an acid-base reaction, which causes bubbles in the wet mixture to expand.
Baked goods wouldn’t be baked goods without some sweetness! We used regular white sugar, but feel free to use coconut palm sugar, light brown sugar, or a sugar substitute like powdered monk fruit if you prefer. Keep in mind that brown sugar will make the cinnamon roll more golden brown in color and slightly alter the texture.
Eggs help to give cinnamon rolls a nice rise and a fluffier texture—but we only use half of an egg here. Check out the tips in the previous section for how to “make” half of an egg.
Vanilla and Cinnamon
Vanilla extract and ground cinnamon are two of the most beloved ingredients in baking—and for good reason, as they add an unmistakable warmth and depth of flavor to every recipe. Not to mention, they both smell amazing!
Any good cinnamon roll will have a sweet cream cheese frosting. We made a simple frosting by mixing softened cream cheese with a bit of sugar and oat milk to loosen it up a tad.
Any dairy-free milk you prefer will work here, as you just need half a tablespoon for the cream cheese frosting.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Recipe
- ½ tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1.5 tbsp almond flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ of an egg
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tbsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp sugar
Place butter in a microwave-safe mug and melt it for about 20 seconds.
Whisk in the eggs thoroughly.
Incorporate all dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon) and vanilla extract into the mixture and blend thoroughly.
Microwave the mixture for 90 seconds; ensure the cake remains slightly moist for optimal results (avoiding a dry texture).
Finish by topping it with the cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar mixture.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls FAQs
Are Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls Gluten-Free?
No, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are not gluten-free cinnamon rolls, as they contain bleached enriched flour (made from wheat).
Is Ground Cinnamon Gluten-Free?
Yes, cinnamon is gluten-free—both ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum genus tree, which is then ground into a powder.
Unless you use cinnamon mixed with something else (perhaps a cinnamon sugar mixture with wheat starch added as an anti-caking agent), pure ground cinnamon will always be gluten-free.
What Brands of Ground Cinnamon Are Gluten-Free?
All ground cinnamon should be gluten-free if cinnamon is the only ingredient.
If you are extremely sensitive or allergic to gluten, check that the spice company is certified gluten-free and tests for cross-contamination.
As a quick aside, Ceylon cinnamon is a better option than Cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is the type you’ll find for a few bucks at the grocery store, which is of lower quality and can be toxic to the liver and kidneys when consumed in large quantities.
This is because Cassia cinnamon contains high levels of the compound coumarin, and just 1-2 teaspoons could nudge you into toxic levels.
Conversely, Ceylon cinnamon (made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree) is considered “true” cinnamon—meaning it’s pricier, has a more delicate flavor, and does not contain high amounts of coumarin, making it a safer option when consuming larger quantities.
What Can I Use Instead of All-Purpose Flour in Cinnamon Rolls?
Gluten-free flours that can be used instead of all-purpose flour include oat flour (made with certified gluten-free oats), cassava flour, almond flour, or a gluten-free flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. The Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour is considered an all-purpose gluten-free flour, as it contains xanthan gum. Xantham gum is beneficial in gluten-free baking because it mimics the elastic properties of gluten, reducing the risk of a dry, crumbly baked good (which can, unfortunately, occur with many gluten-free recipes). Although tapioca flour is gluten-free, it should not be used for cinnamon rolls because it acts more like cornstarch.