Paleo Cinnamon Rolls II

paleo cinnamon rolls


This is my second Paleo Cinnamon roll recipe and by far the absolute closest to the real deal.    While I was eating this I kept thinking I was eating wheat.  I’m not kidding you.  You will be able to fool the most hardcore anti-Paleo, grain eating  person with this recipe.

Y’all stop messing about and get some Tapicoa Flour.    This is such a strange flour as it can be somewhat spongy before the baking process but it really makes the most “bread-like” recipes I have found.

paleo  cinnamon rolls


I have had numerous people try this recipe and it has been hit or miss.  Some people can make this recipe as is and it comes out perfectly.  Some need to add more tapioca flour to get it work.  Some need to use a food processor or a kitchen stand mixer to get the dough to come out.

There are a lot of factors that go into baking  for instance 1) your oven 2) your altitude and humidity  and possibly even the flour you are using.  I only use Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour  in all of my baking.    I would consider this recipe to be an advanced cooking level recipe.

Another tip: Read through the comments to see what others have done!

I am currently working on a video tutorial and will update with the link when it is finished.  Until then, please watch my Paleo Soft Pretzels recipe video as the technique is very similar.

4.8 from 28 reviews
Paleo Cinnamon Rolls II
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Paleo Dessert
Serves: 6
  1. Place the coconut oil, water and sea salt, maple syrup/honey in a small pan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 30 seconds.
  2. Remove from the stove and add the tapioca flour in to the pan and mix with a spoon until you have a sticky dough.
  3. Let this cool for 3- 4 minutes and then add in the coconut flour and egg.
  4. Mix with a spoon until you have a soft dough and then remove from the pan and place on a piece of parchment paper. Knead for 1 minute.
  5. Place a second piece of parchment paper over the top and then roll the dough into roughly a 7" x 11" rectangle that is ¼ thick.
  6. For the filling combine the maple syrup/honey, cinnamon and water in a small bowl. Toss in the coconut flakes, nuts and raisins until well coated.
  7. Spoon this mixture evenly over the dough leaving a ½" board from the sides.
  8. Now roll the dough into log and lightly press to pinch the seam.
  9. Cut ¼" off the ends of and then slice into 1" pieces.
  10. Place the slices and ends flat side down on to a piece of parchment paper and bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes.
  11. For the frosting mix the palm shortening, coconut milk, maple syrup and cinnamon with a hand blender.
  12. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and let cool for 3 - 5 minutes. Frost with the frosting and enjoy!!



paleo gluten free cinnamon rolls

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  1. Nessa says

    My husband is a big cinnamon roll fan, and every now and then I’ll make some gluten free cinnamon rolls for him. The gluten free flours always leave his stomach a little unhappy, though. (Though not as unhappy as the gluten-filled does!) I love the combination of tapioca and coconut flour, and I’ve used it to replicate bread-like products before, and when I saw your post today at work, I knew I had to go home and try it. I followed the recipe for the dough exactly, and for the filling I used a butter/coconut sugar/cinnamon/pecan mixture. I topped it with a caramel icing I made from powdered coconut sugar, butter, and a bit of heavy cream. My husband, who is picky when it comes to paleo breads/baked goods, came home and promptly ate four of them. They were very good, and I loved how the outside got crisp and the inside had the warm, gooey-ness of traditional cinnamon rolls without the cloying sweetness. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  2. Lynne says

    I love using tapioca flour for my cinnamon rolls too. (Makes good pizza crust as well.) Think I’ll try your recipe tomorrow! Thanks for sharing with everyone.

  3. Jen says

    Thank you!!! I have an amazing and totally non Paleo/Primal cinnamon roll recipe from my MIL – I loved them and now I can safely say I have found a wonderful alternative. I ended up cutting the dough in half and making 8 from each half, which worked out to 3 per person in my 5 person home with one extra for…..well, we shall see:) Thanks for the great idea! A wonderful way to help transition my family along with myself to the Primal/Paleo world.

  4. Miles says

    I made these a couple of days ago– they tasted very delicious, but we all felt like the dough was too gummy. When I added the 1 cup tapioca flour it basically turned into a giant glob which made incorporating the other ingredients nearly impossible, and the final result was rubbery. I rescued them a bit by drizzling some melted ghee on them. I’m thinking next time I’ll try 3/4 cup tapioca and 1 1/4 cup coconut flour, or maybe almond flour.

    • says

      Hrmm. .. when you add the tapioca flour to the water/oil mixture, it does get really gooey. The egg helps to break that up so you can mix in more ingredients. I hope that by making small tweaks it gets better for you!

  5. Vee says

    Sorry but these did NOT work for me. I hate wasting food. The “dough” was crumbly, I could not roll it out. I tried to save it by making little scones but it would not hold any shape, just crumbled. Disappointed :/

    • says

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that Vee. I hate wasting food also so I know how disappointing that is. I know when I’ve made someone else’s recipe and it’s crumbly, I’ve added another egg to try to help stick it together. I think I’ll work on a video tutorial to show how to make these.

  6. Monisha White says

    I just made these for breakfast today and they are absolutely INCREDIBLE. This is the first time I’ve fed my family paleo cinnamon rolls and everyone (including my non-paleo friend) agreed they were the best cinnamon rolls they’ve ever had (as in tastier than any we’d had from before going paloe). This is one of my new favorite sweet recipes ever now! Thank you SO MUCH! I am forever grateful =)

    • says

      Aw, I’m so glad you liked them :) I could not believe how much they reminded me of “regular” cinnamon rolls. It is one of my favorite recipes I have ever created.

  7. Erin O says

    :( Mine turned into a big glob of goo and I threw it away. Thinking I’ll try the same measurements as the garlic bread, which I have made 3 times and love love love.

  8. karen says

    I just trued these as well and had the same problem as a few others with crumbly dough. I tossed it out. If you do a video tutorial I will watch and try again. One question though… when adding the egg to the dough, how hot is the water/tapioca mixture? Your instructions say to let it cool for a few minutes but after only a few minutes mine was still so hot I couldn’t touch it and I worried I would cook the egg if I tried to move to the next step. Was I wrong? Thank you!

  9. Robin says

    Was just about to make these for my boyfriend when I saw I barely has 1/4 cup of tapioca starch left! How disappointing…will be reordering and trying this soon though! Kelly, is it good to refrigerate the dough for a bit so it’s easier to roll out?

    • says

      Hi Nick, honestly, I am not sure. So many people say you can but I’ve never made it with arrowroot and it is not from the same plant as tapioca. Most grocery stores have tapioca flour in the gluten-free section.

  10. Sarah says

    Just made these…and I’m only going to give them a “good”. I’m curious, why olive oil? I knew as soon as I mixed the dough it was the wrong choice. I’d use butter or coconut oil. With enough frosting you can kind of mask the olive oil taste…but the flavor of olive oil in a baked good if just weird. Other than that I liked them. Not my favorite paleo baked good ever…but I’d try again with a different oil.

  11. nikki says

    Would it be possible to refrigerate the dough overnight after rolling it up, so all I have to do is slice and bake in the morning?

  12. Christie says

    Hi! I don’t have any palm shortening on hand, do you think I could substitute butter or ghee or something else? thanks :)

  13. says

    Hey Lady!

    Just made these. I gotta say: they totally rocked. But I can see where some could find them a little challenging. The tapioca is tough to work with initially. I did make some changes, quite a few, actually, but used your dough base (I added coconut oil and more egg), and we had a lovely breakfast. Thanks for the idea!!


  14. laurel says

    These are GENIUS! Amazing! For those who had trouble with the dough, I mixed mine in a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment. (After boiling the oil, water, syrup mixture, I transferred it to my mixer and let it cool slightly before adding the tapioca flour.) Also be sure to sift the coconut flour when you add it. The dough worked beautifully- it was smooth and pliable; close consistency to gluten-y dough! And these baked perfectly. Instead of the frosting, I decided to top mine with some ghee and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. They made me deliriously happy this morning. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

  15. Tamra says

    These are amazing!! I have been Paleo for over 4 years and have not had a cinnamon roll since. I was craving one but most recipes sounded complicated. This was pretty easy and super delicious! Thanks!

  16. Jeannie says

    Nice! I had crumbly dough too, before reading the comments, and just squished it together after cutting the rings. (I only hand-mixed it, then was waylaid by burnt fingertips from the flat stove top (oops!). :( They just came out of the oven and taste great!
    By the way, are your icing photos without cinnamon? They look so white, so I’m just curious, but I really enjoy the cinnamon-y icing, in which I used butter instead of palm shortening since I had no palm shortening on hand.

    • says

      Yikes, I’ve burned my fingers a time or two on my flat top stove. I’m glad that you were able to get the recipe to work :) Also, yes there is cinnamon in my icing. It might be a little harder to since because of the light in the photo. Palm shortening makes the BEST frostings.

  17. Patrick says

    When measuring the palm shortening… should it be melted or “room temperature” which for mine is like a butter?

  18. julie says

    Mine did not come out as pretty as yours but they were still delicious. My dough was very gooey and was really hard to roll out. I ended up rolling it very slowly and baking it in log form first as I would never be able to cut it. I sliced it after 30 mins in the oven and then baked for another 5 mins. Any suggestions on the gooey dough? Should I add a little more coconut flour next time? Thanks!

  19. Erin Caldwell says

    These are really great. I used a mix of almond flour/cashew flour/coconut sugar/coconut oil for the middle. My kids eve ate these and they are picky, picky. Thanks.

    Also, your other recipes are inspiring. I’ve got kids who love breads/crackers/cereal/poptarts so I’m hoping I can replace some of that with your recipes.

  20. bianca says

    These look amazing. I’m doing the autoimmune paleo diet and there isn’t much treats you can make on that. Looks like I can make this minus the nut filling and egg. Could I replace the egg with something else?


          • amanda strand says

            thanks! for some reason my dough was wet so i added tapioca and then added too much and it got crumbly..then added some liquid then added tapioca again to finally get a dough ball (am i supposed to have that?) somewhat like the consistency of pamelas gluten free flour blend and i rolled it out..they were pretty crumbly tho..and baked and they ended up hard..what did i do wrong? thanks!

  21. Liz says

    Thanks for the recipe! I just made these and they came out great. I was a little confused because the dough recipe calls for coconut oil, but in one of the comments you refer to olive oil, and then in the pizza recipe video you used palm shortening I think. Anyway, I only had coconut oil so that is what I used. I think in one of your comments you mention coconut oil bleeds out of the dough. That happened to me while I was mixing the tapioca flour in. This was a big glob of goo almost impossible to mix, sitting in a pile of oil. I’m wondering if this is where some people get stuck? I just kept mixing away – or more like beating away at it. Then I let it cool and once I added the egg and coconut flour it was a bit easier to mix and the oil eventually blended in, but it’s still globby. Once I started kneading it it became more workable. I didn’t have palm shortening so I replaced with coconut cream concentrate (I had to add water). I wouldn’t suggest this as an alternative. It was ok, but I’m anxious to try palm shortening next time. Great recipe! Thanks!

    • says

      Sorry it was such a trial for you Liz. I’ve been testing and tweaking the recipe and coconut oil will work. Do you have a food processor? I’ve found that this is the best tool to make the recipe. Simply throw it in there with the dough attachment and let the machine do the work. Honestly, I love Palm shortening for any kind of frosting because it does not have any kinda of taste to it. Coconut cream is gritty as a frosting so I don’t use it often.

  22. Stephanie says

    I love these. I’ve made them 3 times so far. They always come out great and I really like the texture. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  23. mom2one01 says

    I planning on making these delicious looking rolls for Christmas! :) I know someone asked if you could make and then back the next day…but how about just making/baking them the night before (don’t frost) and then reheat the next morning? Just trying to find ways to keep my kitchen time to a minimum so I too can enjoy the festivities…right?! 😉

  24. says

    These look absolutely amazing! I was planning on making them for Christmas brunch. Would the recipe still work if I made the dough, then refrigerated them overnight so I could just pop them in the oven in the morning?

  25. holly says

    I notice that you call for 2T maple syrup in the roll mix but the directions never call for it to be added in. I added it after the coconut flour and egg. Perhaps this is why some people got a crumbly dough instead of a kneadable one?

  26. Sue Rasmussen says

    These turned out amazing! I admit I was skeptical when I was mixing the tapioca flour in with the water, etc. It was so odd, but once cooked, even my husband thought they were awesome. I highly recommend this recipe!

  27. Megan says

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made these this morning for Christmas brunch and they were absolutely AMAZING!!! People were raving about them- yum!!! We agreed to start a new tradition and make these next Christmas too. Thank you for sharing your recipe for such delicious Paleo Cinnamon Rolls!.

  28. WeNdy says

    I tried this recipe. The Dough was grainy and could not roll. I ended up making layered squares. Very disappointed. The dough is NOT elastic enough to roll. What did I do wrong?????

  29. Therese says

    I’m not normally one to comment or write recipe reviews, but this time I couldn’t help myself. These turned out PERFECTLY for me, and I have had a lot of coconut flour baking fails. My kids hardly ever get to eat treats because they are celiacs, and they went crazy over these. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try some of your others :).

  30. Deanna says

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been craving something bread-like!!! It’s been only a few months since I cut out all grains in hopes of healing a medical condition…and it’s been a long few months!!! I’m a little stumped as to how to adjust all these recipes for high altitude…only a problem with baking…but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. These were a little dry…next time I’ll add another egg or some more coconut oil.

  31. Nancy says

    I just made these and they were quite tasty! I actually just ate 4, even without the frosting 😛 #Ineedselfcontrol

    They rather chewy though, at least for me. I think they’d be a great base for substituting other fillings, such as scallions/garlic/chili oil for a savory version, or even paleo-friendly-nutella & bananas. YUM.

    I can’t find palm shortening here in Sydney. What could I use as a substitute to make the icing?

  32. Sherry says

    Kelly, I thought the Paleo diet didn’t include eggs? I have a friend who can not tolerate eggs. Would she have to substitute a flax egg in this recipe, and if so, would it still have the light texture?


  33. B. says

    Hey, Kelly!!
    I was wondering, what are some acceptable substitutes for the palm shortening in the icing?

  34. Melissa says

    Hi! My hubby and kids are gonna make this for me for Mother’s Day Tom! Any chance coconut yogurt or coconut greek could be a sub for the egg? Or is energy egg replacer the only option? Lmk, thanks:)

  35. violette says

    I made these tonight as a special breakfast treat for my son in the morning. Because we are trying to avoid added sweeteners in our diet i made a few modifications. I omitted the sweetener in the dough and for the filling i made a paste from dates, almond butter, coconut oil cinnamon. These came out perfectly! The centers are gooey and lovely and the dough worked out perfectly for me. I cant wait for my son to wake up tomorrow for his sweet surprise!

    I WILL be making these again !

  36. Amy says

    You need to revisit this post and add pictures at least and more specific directions. I stopped making this early on, after i added the tapioca flour to the boiling mixture and i couldn’t stir it any more, it just.globbed up on my spoon. You dont need to answer me as I will be finding a different recipe to use but here are some examples: how long does the mixture boil? Just starting to boil, one min, 30 secs? Do you transfer that mixture to a seperate bowl to stir in flour?
    Thats all i have.since i decided to save.the rest of my ingredients. Pictures, step by step are an excellent guide as well. Keep trying!

  37. gio says

    WOW! These are amazing! I just ate three! I followed the instructions to a T and had no problem. I will say that after I added in the tapioca and it turned into an alien blob, I was worried, but kneading brought to life such a ‘realistic’ dough!!!

    I don’t have palm shortening.. but let me save someone some trouble:
    I tried to use coconut butter, because you melted it’s so frosting-like.. I melted it with some coconut oil and vanilla and as soon as I added honey, a dough appeared.

    So, I melted just coconut oil with coconut butter and drizzled that on unsweetened.. but it’s just okay. I think it takes away from the flavor of the muffin. Real frosting maybe not.

    So, I drizzled half the batch with raw honey and it is like a sticky bun! So amazing!

    OH, one more important thing to mention. I was out of raisins, so I replaced with dates: pureed into paste with a little extra water, honey and I doubled the cinnamon. This was the spread I used. Gooey and and amazing.

    Great recipe, thank you!

  38. Lexie says

    First of all, I totally appreciate recipes like this! I followed the directions exactly & everything turned out as promised. I used EnerG tapioca flour.

  39. Yet says

    Hi. I made these and dough was gooey but he bread came out nice. My question is, how can I make the filling sweeter? I find the filling a little blunt, can I substitute Maple syrup with Coco Sugar? Or add some on top of the filling and the frosting? Thanks

  40. marisa says

    I’m not paleo, but I don’t eat grains, so I always turn to paleo recipes when I want to bake something. These just came out of the oven and they’re delicious! Will definitely make these again.

  41. says

    You, my Dear, are a Paleo Goddess!!! Thank you! I didn’t make the frosting but, IMO they didn’t need it. I’ve made the pizza crust and pretzels too and am SOOOO happy I found you!

  42. Katrina says

    I have made these twice and the paleo garlic bread many times now. I don’t feel like this is stressed in anyone’s comments or your recipe (although I could be wrong!), but the tapioca starch has to partially cook in order for it to activate to the correct consistency. For that, the water/oil/salt/sweet mixture can’t be too hot, but it can not be too cool either. If I accidentally cool it too much, I put it back onto the burner and stir for 30 seconds to cook it. Once you see it starting to come together, you can take it off. I’ve usually add more coconut flour to make it come together, or at times when I didn’t have enough tapioca I’ve added flax/chia seeds to the tapioca (maybe not strictly paleo…?) to create a similar texture. They always turn out and are amazing! In terms of texture, it really is similar to bread as opposed to many paleo ‘bread’ recipes out there. Kelly, you are a genius!

  43. amanda strand says

    thanks! for some reason my dough was wet so i added tapioca and then added too much and it got crumbly..then added some liquid then added tapioca again to finally get a dough ball (am i supposed to have that?) somewhat like the consistency of pamelas gluten free flour blend and i rolled it out..they were pretty crumbly tho..and baked and they ended up hard..what did i do wrong? thanks!

  44. Rivka says

    Girl, you are really so worth saving! Made those in a Sunday afternoon, they were an instant hit! Thanks for the recipe, turn out amazing!

  45. Sandy says

    Do you think it would be okay to prepare these the night before and bake in the morning? Was wanting to make these for Christmas morning.

      • Cindy says

        Confused. In one place, someone asks if these can be made ahead (sans frosting) and in the fridge overnight (already sliced) and bake in the morning. That place, the answer was that you tried it and it didn’t work out well. This most recent post asking the same thing says it is just fine to let them come to room temp before baking in the morning. Is there a difference in these questions that I’m missing?

  46. Kelly says

    I made these this morning – yum! Definitely the closest thing to “real” cinnamon rolls I’ve had! I’ll be honest, the tapioca mixture looked a little gross at first, and I didn’t think they would turn out, But after kneading the dough, it rolled out and cut perfectly! I added a tablespoon of ghee to the filling and also 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the frosting. My husband thought the texture was a bit gummy, but he did like the taste, and I will be making these again! Thanks!

  47. Shannon says

    I have to say, I wasn’t holding out much hope at the tapioca flour point. Kind of looked “like a big booger” according to my kids! LOL But after adding the coconut flour and kneading, it turned into a lovely dough that rolled like a dream. I used coconut oil as I had no palm shortening. They are baking as we speak and I cannot wait to try them!

  48. Cindy says

    Any chance this can be doubled without doing a separate, second batch? We are a family of 5 and I’m sure my 5 & 6 yr old girls would want 2, and probably my 14-yr-old-son will want 2-3, plus my husband and me… Just don’t think 6 will be enough?!

  49. Cindy says

    Ours is still a runny mess. I wonder if the tapioca flour coming straight from the freezer would be the problem? Was trying to have them for breakfast this morning but have almost given up…

    • Cindy says

      Also wonder – we used the MCT coconut oil – always liquid. I’m thinking that was a huge issue with these? I guess it depends on the recipe, whether that kind of coconut oil can work or not. Some it does, some it doesn’t. Any ideas if that would have helped – to use regular coconut oil, melted down, rather than the MCT oil?

  50. Kristina says

    So good subbed the tapioca for arrowroot! They turned out good now Im curious if tapioca would be even better.

  51. natgrrl says

    Has anyone else had trouble with recipes using Tapioca flour coming out dense and heavy?
    I’ve also felt they where a little heavy in the gut too!

  52. Michelle says

    This came out horrible. I tried my best to save it but it had the consistency of mochi. So frustrating.

  53. says

    Awesome recipe …..
    First i thought it won’t work …
    was very gluey but then i added an extra egg and put everything in my kenwood ktchenmachine and on highspeed for about 2 minutes and i had the perfect dough…. unbelievable and followed the instructions and we had the best cinnamon rolls . Even my husband loved them …he ate 4 at once…



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