It's a Christmas Miracle! The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls... Dairy & Gluten-Free!
Everyone sit down. Seriously, this is one of the biggest food allergy wins of my almost decade-long journey in this world of ours. And, I can hardly believe that THIS recipe... the one that wowed me many moons ago when dairy allergies, in particular, weren't even on my radar... is just as delicious when made with dairy and wheat substitutions. I'm telling you, this recipe is the Pioneer Woman at her best, and it's a game changer. I love these cinnamon rolls so much that they've become my family's Christmas morning tradition. I also love to give them away as gifts, which has consequently won me friends for life (not exaggerating). But, most importantly, this is a recipe that I absolutely could not imagine the holidays without - it's that special.
Quick disclaimer: the process for making these cinnamon rolls is very time consuming. Yes, it requires patience... and yeast. Please hear me when I say "that's OKAY!" I know that baking with yeast worries a lot of people, but if you follow this recipe closely, you are going to be just fine. And, the good news is that after you've done it once, it's not nearly as intimidating of a process and goes much more quickly because you know what to expect. But, the best part is that this recipe makes a TON of rolls! So, all that effort has a huge pay-off. Whether you give your extras away or save them for later, you'll love having so many.
Finally, one note about using gluten-free flour in this recipe. I've always heard stories about how challenging it is to get gluten-free flour to behave in the same way as traditional flour when using yeast, so I've been skeptical - for years - about whether or not this would work. While a little more delicate to work with, I'm so happy to report that the dough rose great when using g-free flour! Just be careful when rollling and cutting, but the end product is truly fantastic (this is by no means a paid endorsement, but I want to tell you that King Arthur gluten-free all-purpose baking mix is my go-to with gluten-free cooking and worked extremely well in this recipe).
Dairy, Egg, Nut and Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
4 cups dairy-free milk (I use hemp for the dough, but have also used soy with great success)
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages of active dry yeast, which equal 4 1/2 teaspoons (I use Fleishman's brand, which is gluten-free)
8 cups of gluten-free flour, plus 1 cup extra reserved (I use King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspooon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
1-1 1/2 cup of melted dairy-free butter, separated (I use Earth Balance, soy-free)
2 cups sugar, separated
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
1, 16 oz. bag of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1/2 dairy-free milk (*do NOT use hemp milk in the frosting - it's too strong; I use soy, but you could also use rice or Ripple milk)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the dough, heat the milk, canola oil, and sugar in a Dutch oven or large pot to just below a boil. Set aside and let cool until warm to touch. Sprinkle yeast on top and let it sit on the milk mixture for approximately one minute.
Add 8 cups of flour to the milk mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover with kitchen towel and set in aside in a warm area of your kitchen for approximately an hour (the dough should rise significantly). After an hour, remove towel and add remaining cup of flour, baking power, baking soda and salt; stir thoroughly to combine. At this point, you may use the dough right away or *store in the refrigerator for up to three days (*chilled dough may be easier to work with).