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Maple Sesame Cinnamon Rolls (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)

Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning was always a childhood tradition. We’d pop open some of those refrigerated doughy rolls and heat them in the oven, and get that icing melted over top right when they came out — mmmmm. As if opening presents wasn’t enough, there was that too. AH-Meezing. I haven’t really had a cinnamon roll in quite some time, but have fond memories of those little things. Well this year, I decided to give it a go by making my own with almond flour. I found manyyyyyy types of gluten-free cinnamon rolls out there, most include yeast which is traditional, but I have 0 luck with yeast. I sit patiently waiting for it to rise… and whomp WHOMP… barely ever does. I’ve gone through the “maybe it went bad?” thing… but it didn’t, it’s me. Alas, that’s not stopping me. I really liked the technique I found from The Urban Poser blog, so I referenced that a lot when putting my own spin on it.

So, I drafted up the recipe on what I’d use to achieve a slightly crispy on the outside, super soft on the inside, and gooey on top cinnamon roll. I arranged all my tools and ingredients… and WHAM.


Why would it ever go missing?

Who misplaces a big rolling pin?

This Girl, that’s who!

So I got creative, found my husband’s stick ball bat (just a long wooden bat, oh yes I did) AND GOT TO WORK. Literally nothing was stopping me from making these… and it actually worked quite well 🙂 I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my hunt for where in the WORLD my real one went.

So, if at any point, making these seems intimidating, remember that I used a stick ball bat to roll out the dough and they still turned out well. You got this.

Back to the rolls. You can easily grab this recipe and instead of making the maple sesame filling and topping, just use cinnamon with a sweetener of your choice. You can also add nuts or seeds or raisins if you’d like, it’s very adaptable. BUT. If you love sesame, tahini, and maple syrup – you’re going to want to try this. They remind me a bit of those honey sesame snacks – do you know the ones I mean? Plus cinnamon, plus on a hot delicious roll. So, yeah. It’s kinda a big deal.

I hope you make these and enjoy them as much as we did… I’ll be prepping the dough late on Christmas eve (among other things!) and will be ready to bake and slather first thing in the morning.

Happy Winter Solstice today and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Day Off (I hope) and everything in between. Wishing you and your families all the very best from my kitchen to yours… XO.


makes 9-10 rolls


Maple-Sesame Spread:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp water
  • pinch sea salt
  • cinnamon to coat


  • 1/2 of maple sesame spread above
  • sesame seeds
  • sprinkle of cinnamon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325f degrees and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 6 dry ingredients, in a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together and then pour the wet into the dry until the dough forms.
  3. The dough may appear sticky in the bowl, but should still come together overall – plate a ball of the dough on parchment paper and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest and help it come together more.
  4. While you wait, toss all the maple sesame spread ingredients into a food processor and mix until well combined and set aside.
  5. Take the dough out and place on a piece of parchment paper dusted with a little arrowroot powder, place another piece of parchment paper over top of the dough and roll with a rolling pin (if you haven’t misplaced it, that is!)
  6. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, approx. 9×13 inches and have the short end facing you. Spread a few tablespoons of the maple sesame spread using the back of a spoon and your hands until it’s thinly coating the dough. Reserve the rest of it later for the topping as icing.
  7. Next sprinkle cinnamon allover to coat.
  8. Now start rolling the dough, use the bottom parchment paper piece by picking it up and slowly roll (tightly at first) by pushing it forward. If it cracks a little at first, just patch it up with your fingers, but it should be fine after you find your rhythm.
  9. Once the dough is rolled, add the ‘log’ to the fridge for 3 or so minutes just to help it set again. Then you can cut with a bread knife or large serrated knife. I cut it in half first, and then each half can be cut into either 4 or 5 pieces.
  10. Place each roll onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the pan around and raise the heat to 350f degrees for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before adding the ‘icing’, sesame seeds and cinnamon over top. You can place them all in the oven finished for a few minutes before serving if you’d like the icing melted a little more.


Hope you enjoy!
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-Alison Marras
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  1. This recipe was just what I was looking for. Our neighbor had problems with gluten and I wanted to make something homemade in thanks for all the little favors she’s done for me. She loved the recipe. She couldn’t thank ME enough. I gave her the link to this recipe so she can make it herself.

  2. I’ve never had Tahiti and maple before . It’s a marvelous combination. Perfect for these fabulous cinnamon rolls.

  3. Oh yum! These cinnamon rolls sound amazing, especially with the homemade maple sesame spread. Such wonderful flavors.

  4. Gorgeous rolls. And I laughed at your yeast woes — I hear ya sister. I thought it was just me… worst luck ever with that stuff. I’ve been playing around with cinnamon rolls for some time now, and so far no dice, but I know I’ll get there one day 🙂

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