These Gluten Free Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with brown butter throughout are the softest, fluffiest, most pillowy cinnamon rolls you'll ever have!
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OH.MY.GOSH y'all! If you make no other recipe of mine, just make this recipe. You will feel like you've died and gone to pastry heaven. Because I'm here to tell you that these cinnamon rolls are not just the best gluten free cinnamon rolls I've ever had, they're the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had PERIOD!
why you'll love this recipe
- The sourdough starter and tangzhong both make the dough incredibly soft, like you've never had before in gluten free breads.
- There is browned butter in not only the filling and the frosting, but the DOUGH as well!
- It's easier than you'd think.
- Because of the sourdough and tangzhong, the rolls last much longer than normal rolls.
- They're the perfect make-ahead breakfast or brunch option.
- Kim's gluten free bread flour blend - as I always advise, please use my bread flour blend to make any of my bread recipes. If you don't, I can't help you with anything that may go wrong (as most likely it will be related to the flour blend).
- Browned butter - this is what I thought of when I wanted to add the "wow" factor to my regular cinnamon rolls recipe. Nothing amps up the flavor like browned butter does.
- Easy gluten-free sourdough starter - the sourdough does not make the cinnamon rolls sour tasting. It is used mainly for the really soft texture it gives. It is a replacement for commercial yeast.
- Tangzhong - this is a little bit of the flour from the recipe mixed with boiling water. More on this below.
What is Tangzhong?
Tangzhong is an old Asian bread baking technique in which a partial amount of the flour from the recipe is cooked with a partial amount of the liquid in the recipe. Why do this? Because it pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour, meaning they can absorb more water or liquid. What does all of this mean?
- The bread or rolls that are baked with tangzhong will be more moist and will stay fresh much longer, staving off staling.
- The dough is less sticky when kneading.
- The bread or rolls may rise higher, due to the extra water in the dough creating more steam.
how to make sourdough cinnamon rolls
Feed your gf sourdough starter so that you have 100 grams.
Make the tangzhong by pouring the boiling water over the flour in a small bowl and quickly mixing until all of the flour has been well hydrated. Cover and cool to room temperature.
Brown the butter and cool to room temperature.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and knead on medium high for 5 minutes using the dough hook.
Cover and let rise until doubled in size. This may take 6 hours or longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Brown the butter for the filling and mix it with the sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Roll out into a large rectangle.
Spread filling on the dough and roll up as tightly as possible, jelly-roll style.
Cut into 2-inch thick rolls and place in greased baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled in size.
Right before baking, pour cream over rolls and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Brown butter and mix with cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
Using half of the frosting, spread it over the hot rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. It will melt into the rolls and keep them extra squishy.
Spread the rest of the frosting over the rolls once they've cooled to lukewarm. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls FAQs
Sourdough is NOT gluten free if it is not made with gluten free flours. This sourdough recipe IS gluten free because the starter is made with brown rice flour and the dough is made with a gluten free flour blend.
There are a few factors that affect how long gluten free sourdough recipes rise. First, recipes made with sourdough always take longer to ferment. If they're sourdough AND gluten free, they take even longer. But in my opinion the most important factor is rising temperature. If it is cold when you are making it, it will always take longer to rise. Try to pay attention more to the visual clues than the clock. It is not uncommon, for instance, in the winter months for gluten free sourdough recipes to take upwards of 8 hours OR MORE to rise. If you don't see much change in your dough after the initial 4-6 hours, you can put it in a warm, draft-free area to help it along. Or you can wait longer.
With the addition of sourdough AND tangzhong in the dough, these rolls will still be soft days later, up to 5 days! They can also be frozen after baking (or before).
Why is this recipe in grams only and not cups?
I am American. And in America we have been taught in baking to measure by volume and not by weight. In the past 10-15 years, I've found, like the rest of the world already knew, that measuring by weight is the ONLY way to bake. It is the most accurate and leads to the most consistent results across the board.
When baking sourdough, especially gluten free sourdough, accuracy is key to success. That's why I will only offer my sourdough recipes in gram (weight) measurements and not cups. I'd like to eventually switch all of my recipes to grams because of the above reasons, but also because if you're making my flour blends you should already have a scale and already know how to use it.
More Gluten Free Breakfast Recipes
- gluten free orange rolls
- gluten free brioche au chocolat (chocolate custard rolls)
- fluffy gluten free buttermilk pancakes
- gluten free quiche lorraine
- fluffy gluten free yeast donuts
- gluten free Mexican conchas
- gluten free buttermilk biscuits
Gluten Free Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- 60 grams boiling water
- 40 grams Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- entire tangzhong, cooled
- 100 grams gluten free sourdough starter active
- 405 grams Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 1¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 10 grams whole psyllium husks* (or 7 grams psyllium husk powder)
- 6 grams kosher salt
- 320 grams whole milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 183 grams butter, browned and cooled to room temperature (weighed before browning)
- 141 grams butter, browned and cooled to room temperature (weighed before browning)
- 200 grams dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp (8 grams) ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) heavy cream
Add before baking
- 80 grams heavy cream, warm
Brown butter cream cheese frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 141 grams butter, browned and cooled to warm or room temperature (weighed before browning)
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Feed your Sourdough Starter
- Remove your sourdough starter from the fridge and feed it with 50 grams of a wholegrain flour of choice (see sourdough starter post for those options) and 50 grams of water. Replace cover and allow to ferment (rise/proof) until doubled in volume, at room temperature or in a warm location. If your house is cold, this could take several hours.
Brown the Butter
- Begin melting the butter over medium heat in a skillet or saucepan (I prefer skillet because you can see what's going on a little easier--light colored skillet at that). As butter melts, it will start to foam and sizzle. Stir continuously until the milk solids turn brown. Immediately remove it from the heat, pour into a bowl (making sure to get those browned bits as well), and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Make the Tangzhong
- Pour boiling water over flour blend in a small bowl and quickly mix so that all of the flour is well hydrated by the water. Cover and set aside to cool to room temperature. (This can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge).
Make the Dough
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the ingredients in the dough (including the active sourdough starter and the cooled tangzhong). Mix on low until fully combined and then increase the speed to medium to medium-high and knead dough for 5 minutes. Scrape into the center of the bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until doubled in size. THIS MAY TAKE UP TO 8-10 HOURS!!! In the winter months, I leave my dough on the counter overnight. Pay attention to the visual cues more so than the clock.
- Once dough has doubled, place it in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, or until cold enough to knead.
- Brown the butter (as above) and allow to cool to warm. Add the butter to the brown sugar, followed by the cinnamon. Stir until a smooth paste forms. The paste will thicken slightly when the butter cools.
Knead Dough and Shape Rolls
- Remove dough from refrigerator and knead briefly on lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out to roughly ¼-inch thickness into a large rectangle. Spread filling all over the top, leaving a ½-inch border at one short end. Roll up dough as tightly as possible, starting with one of the shorter sides.
Cut Rolls and Proof
- Use a bench scraper to mark where to cut out 12 equal-sized rolls. Using a long piece of dental floss (or a very sharp knife), cut rolls and place in two greased baking dishes (about 7 by 11-inches). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until nearly doubled in size. AGAIN, THIS MAY TAKE SEVERAL HOURS (8 OR MORE).
- About 10-20 minutes before rolls are close to being done proofing, preheat oven to 350° F. Pour warm heavy cream over and around rolls and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, puffy, and bubbly.
- While rolls are baking, brown butter for frosting and cool slightly. Add cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. As soon as rolls come out of the oven, spread half of the frosting on the rolls, which will melt into them, making them even gooier. While still warm, spread the rest of the frosting over the rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.