low-carb cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork and frosting

keto cinnamon rolls {gluten-free, dairy optional}

With a sweet light dough, cinnamon filling swirl, and a rich, keto cream cheese frosting, these keto cinnamon rolls have all the makings of a classic, fluffy, gluten and sugar-packed cinnamon roll- without all the carbs and sugar, of course! And, unlike most keto cinnamon roll recipes out there, this one is entirely dairy optional- no fathead dough here, friends! This is truly a reason to celebrate! 😉

holding a cinnamon roll on a plate

This recipe for low-carb cinnamon rolls has been months- perhaps even years?- in the making. And here’s why. I LOVE cinnamon rolls. For breakfast, dessert, you name it. Fresh-baked, homemade cinnamon rolls are synonymous with Christmas morning, for me. And, cinnamon roll thoughts remind me of warm, sticky Cinnabons at the mall (take me back!). But since going low-carb, I have found that cinnamon rolls are by far, the number one TRICKIEST thing to make “keto.”

To be completely honest, it’s why I told my husband that I never wanted to share a cinnamon roll recipe here on my site. I’ve made countless batches over the years, some with mozzarella cheese (a classic fathead dough recipe), some without, but none came close enough to what I need a cinnamon roll to be. Until these…

keto cinnamon rolls (without mozzarella cheese!)

Why do I keep coming back to the mozzarella cheese, you ask? Most keto recipes that require a type of dough (think pizza or- you guessed it- cinnamon rolls), are made with “fathead dough.” It’s a combination of low-carb flours and a ton of melted mozzarella cheese. It’s heavy, dense, and full of dairy, so obviously not a good choice if you have a dairy sensitivity or you prefer to limit dairy.

This keto cinnamon rolls recipe contains ZERO cheese in the dough. It’s grain-free, gluten-free and dairy optional (you can easily use a vegan cream cheese alternative for the keto cream cheese frosting 😉 )

cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee

how to make keto cinnamon rolls

Just like a classic cinnamon rolls recipe, these keto cinnamon rolls are a little bit of a baking project. They’re not too time-consuming, but make these at a time when you can enjoy the process and you’re not rushed. It’s totally worth it.

the ingredients

  • coconut cream or unsweetened macadamia milk, luke-warm
  • maple syrup to activate the yeast (don’t worry- the yeast will eat up all the sugar!)
  • active dry yeast
  • eggs at room temperature (you can place them in a bowl of warm water to quickly take the chill off)
  • grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • vanilla extract
  • apple cider vinegar
  • superfine blanched almond flour
  • coconut flour
  • arrowroot starch
  • ground flax seed meal
  • xanthan gum
  • granulated monk fruit sweetener, preferably a “brown sugar” substitute like Lakanto “Golden”
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • For the keto cream cheese frosting:
    • cream cheese (or dairy-free cream cheese alternative like Kite Hill), softened
    • powdered monk fruit sweetener
    • vanilla or maple extract
    • grass-fed butter (or vegan butter)

Note: I recommend using parchment paper, as it will help you roll out the dough without it sticking. Parchment paper will make your life easier, ALWAYS. 😉

the process

These keto cinnamon rolls are not difficult to make, but they do require more steps in the process than most of my other recipes. For all the details, check out the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Activate the yeast. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm coconut cream (or macadamia milk), the maple syrup, and the yeast. Set it aside for at least five minutes. The mixture will get foamy (if it doesn’t, your yeast has gone bad).
  2. Mix ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter or coconut oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, then slowly pour in the wet mixture. Add in the yeast mixture, and stir everything until it is well combined and a dough forms. Use your hands to shape it into a ball.
  3. Roll out the dough. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of almond flour out across the paper. Place the dough ball in the center, and sprinkle some more almond flour across the top. Flatten it with your hands, adding more almond flour as needed to prevent it from sticking (the dough is on the sticky side, which is what you want). Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, using short, light rolls to prevent the pin from sticking (you can also place another piece of parchment paper on top). Form a rectangular shape, about 12-14 inches wide.
  4. Shape the cinnamon rolls. In a small bowl, mix the butter or coconut oil with the cinnamon and granulated monk fruit sweetener. Spread it across the dough in an even layer, about 1/2-inch from the edges. Starting from the bottom of the rectangle, lift the edge of the parchment paper and use it to guide the dough as you roll it, jelly-roll-style. The paper should easily peel away from the dough as you roll. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into eight cinnamon rolls, about 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide. Place them in a prepared baking dish (I use a round 9″ cake pan or a pie pan).
  5. Rise and bake. Place the cinnamon rolls in your oven at the lowest setting possible and let them rise for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, preheat it to 350°F and then bake the keto cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

make the keto cream cheese frosting

To make the keto cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla or maple extract, and powdered sweetener. Spread it across the warm keto cinnamon rolls, minutes after they come out of the oven.

about the ingredients

So, let’s break down what’s inside these low-carb cinnamon rolls and why they work. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list: the items are easy-to-source and most are keto baking essentials you may already have on-hand.

The flours: I use a combination of almond flour, coconut flour, and arrowroot starch (sometimes labeled arrowroot powder). Through lots of trial and error, I have found that this is the best combination to form a dough that is soft enough, pliable, and still holds together well. While arrowroot starch is not as low-carb as the other two flours, it lightens up the dough and the carb count is very minimal. A note about subs: Please don’t swap any of the flours for another- they are not interchangeable!

The sweetener: I use a granulated monk fruit sweetener blend (I prefer Lakanto “Golden” which resembles brown sugar) to sweeten the dough and make the cinnamon filling. If you prefer, you can use something like liquid monk fruit or stevia for the dough (sweeten to your liking), but a granulated sweetener is definitely a must for the filling mixture. Allulose or plain erythritol will work, if that’s what you have (keep in mind, allulose is not a 1:1 swap for sugar or erythritol).

Xanthan gum: This is essentially the gluten substitute that binds the dough and holds it all together. It’s sort of a must, here. And a little bit of xanthan gum goes a long way.

Flax seed meal: I love using flax seed meal in so much of my keto baking because it not only adds a nutritious element, but it also lightens up the dough and adds a nice flavor. Make sure you’re using finely-ground flax seed meal.

Leavening agents: This keto cinnamon rolls recipe calls for yeast, which results in a lovely “doughy” flavor. And I promise, you will see these beauties rise! Baking soda and baking powder also help give this dough a lift (remember, keto doughs are extra heavy!). You will need a touch of maple syrup to activate the yeast, but don’t worry, the yeast will eat up all the sugar!

four plates with keto cinnamon rolls and coffee

pro tips for low-carb cinnamon rolls

Since these are primarily almond flour cinnamon rolls, there are a few tips to keep in mind while working with the dough:

  • Do not over-mix the dough. Only mix until all of the ingredients are combined. The dough will be sort of sticky, but using parchment paper and almond flour on your work surface should help you roll it out with no issues.
  • Use ingredients that are at the right temperature. The butter and coconut oil in the dough should be melted, but not too hot (or you risk scrambling the eggs). Cool it slightly after melting. Use eggs at room temperature, otherwise they may leave the dough too cold and it won’t rise properly. As for the frosting, you’ll want to use butter and cream cheese that are at room temperature to make sure they whip up nicely.
  • Make your own powdered sweetener. If you don’t have powdered sweetener on hand for the keto cream cheese frosting, you can easily blitz some granulated sweetener in a blender until it becomes ultra fine.

Enjoy these keto cinnamon rolls, friends! This low-carb cinnamon roll recipe has been a long-time coming, and I hope you love them! They’re tender, packed with cinnamon, and the perfect low-carb fix for when you need a sweet, sticky treat.

you might also love…

low-carb cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork and frosting

keto cinnamon rolls {gluten-free, dairy optional}

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

These keto cinnamon rolls are light and tender, swirled with a sweet cinnamon filing, and piled high with a rich, keto cream cheese frosting! Best of all, this low-carb cinnamon rolls recipe is entirely dairy optional, and the dough contains ZERO cheese!

Ingredients

cinnamon roll dough

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or macadamia milk, at luke-warm temperature
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil, melted then slightly cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour 
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup granulated monk fruit sweetener, preferably a brown sugar substitute like Lakanto Golden
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

cinnamon filling

  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 6 tablespoons granulated monk fruit sweetener, preferably brown sugar substitute like Lakanto Golden
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

keto cream cheese frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (or dairy-free alternative like Kite Hill)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1/4 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the luke-warm coconut cream (or macadamia milk) with the maple syrup and yeast. Whisk together and set the bowl aside for at least 5 minutes. (Don't worry- the yeast will eat up all the sugar!). If the mixture does not get foamy, it's a sign the yeast has gone bad.
  2. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter or coconut oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Set it aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, flax seed meal, xanthan gum, granulated monk fruit sweetener, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, then add in the yeast mixture. Stir it all together until it is well combined and a dough forms. Use your hands to shape it into a ball.
  5. Prepare a baking dish (I use a round 9" cake pan or a pie pan but a square pan works well too) by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper or greasing it with butter/coconut oil.
  6. Place a large sheet of parchment paper across your work surface. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of almond flour on the paper. Place the dough ball in the center, and sprinkle some more almond flour across the top. Flatten it out with your hands, adding more almond flour as needed to prevent it from sticking (the dough is on the sticky side, which is what you want). Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, using short, light rolls to prevent the pin from sticking (you can also place another piece of parchment paper on top). Form a rectangular shape, about 12-14 inches wide and about 1/2-inch thick.
  7. In a small bowl, make the cinnamon filling. Mix the softened butter or coconut oil with the cinnamon and granulated monk fruit sweetener. Spread it across the dough in an even layer.
  8. Starting from the bottom of the rectangle, lift the edge of the parchment paper and use it to guide the dough as you roll it, jelly-roll-style. The paper should easily peel away from the dough as you roll. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into eight cinnamon rolls, about 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide. Place each roll in the prepared baking dish.
  9. Turn your oven on to the lowest setting possible (170°F for me). Place the cinnamon rolls in the oven and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Bake the keto cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.
  11. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the keto cream cheese frosting. With an electric mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese, butter, powdered monk fruit sweetener, vanilla extract and maple extract (optional).
  12. Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the warm cinnamon rolls and serve with more frosting on the side.

Notes

The cinnamon roll dough is sticky, so please be sure to use parchment paper- it's the easiest way to roll up the dough.

Make sure your butter and coconut oil are not too hot or you'll risk scrambling the eggs.

If you don't have powdered sweetener on hand for the keto cream cheese frosting, you can blitz some granulated sweetener in a blender until it becomes ultra fine.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 516mgCarbohydrates: 14gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 8gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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