Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonrolls 004.resizedMy infatuation with cinnamon rolls began when I was in grade school. My mom adored cinnamon rolls, whether they were made fresh from a bakery, purchased from a store or even baked at home from a Pillsbury can. I think it was one of her favorite treats, and it became one of mine.

Later, when I lived in Chicago as a young college student, I was turned on to Ann Sather’s incredible cinnamon rolls. I lived down the street from their first location (before they expanded into other locations around the city). Ann Sather’s is a fantastic Swedish breakfast and bakery place, and has become a fixture in the Chicago area for making THE BEST cinnamon rolls. In fact, instead of putting bread on the table, Ann Sather waiters bring out piping hot cinnamon rolls to the table to munch on while diners wait for their breakfast. It is pure heaven.

For years, I thought making homemade cinnamon rolls was something that only should be attempted by professionals in a bakery kitchen. Of course, my perspective changed on a lot of things when my son was diagnosed with food allergies. I thought, why not give it a shot? The end result is the recipe below. It is a very simple, straightforward cinnamon roll that easily rivals any professionally made cinnamon roll in even the best bakeries. I delighted seeing John eat this cinnamon roll, just like he would have if I ever took him to Ann Sather’s. The best part is that he loved it, along with my entire family. I think my mom would have been a fan too… 🙂


1 c. soy or rice milk

1/4 c. dairy free shortening

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 T. water

3 1/2 – 4 c. unbleached all purpose flour (divided)

1 package active dry yeast


1/4 c. dairy free margarine, melted

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. raisins (optional)


1 c. confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 – 2 T. Soy or Rice Milk

(Combine ingredients in a small bowl until mixture is of desired consistency.)

In a small saucepan, heat soy milk, 1/4 c. sugar, shortening and salt until just warm, about 115 degrees (use an instant thermometer).  Meanwhile, combine 2 c. flour and 1 package active dry yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. When soy milk mixture is warmed through, add to flour mixture and mix on low for a few seconds. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and add 2 T. water. Mix on high for 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 – 2 c. flour ( a little at a time) and mix on low until dough is somewhat stiff. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a bowl sprayed with dairy free baking spray. Cover and let rise about an hour.

Punch dough down and divide into two balls. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest about 10 minutes. Roll each dough ball into a 12 x 8 rectangle. Brush each half with melted margarine and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar mixture. Add raisins if using. Starting with the long side, roll dough up and seal edges with a little bit of water. Make sure the seam is closed tight. Trim ends with serrated knife and cut each roll into 10-12 rolls, depending on how big you want them. Place rolls, cut side down in 9-inch cake pan sprayed with dairy free baking spray. Cover with kitchen towel again and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake risen rolls for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the rolls are still warm, drizzle confectioners’ icing over the top with a spoon. These are best eaten the day they’re made. Reheat by placing in microwave for about 10 seconds.

Happy Baking!

39 Responses

  1. My recipe is similar (I use egg replacer – maybe it’s not necessary!) but I “cheat” – I use my bread maker set on the dough cycle to take care of of the work up to the first rise step. I’ll be making these soon

  2. Yum! Wondering if these can be made ahead of time and then put in the fridge until baking time? Overnight even? Or perhaps that is not a good plan? Either way, can’t wait to try this.

  3. Ha!! I’ve been thinking about cinammon rolls! I had thought I would try to come up with an egg-free recipe for them, but I’m glad to see you just did it!! I also used to eat Ann Sather’s cinammon rolls when I went to college in Chicago. The church I went to provided them between services. I think perhaps that was one of the reasons I went to that particular church!!

  4. I was wondering the same thing about making the dough ahead of time. This would be a great Christmas morning breakfast treat!

  5. Kelly,
    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I am slowly making all of your cookie recipes and they are delicious. For the first time, my son can participate in class parties and have the same cookies as everyone else. You are an answer to my prayers and I hope God blesses you because you have changed our lives and we love you and your recipes!!!!

  6. These sound delicious, but I’m not surprised because we have really enjoyed all the recipes of yours that we have tried ( I just made your red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a Christmas party yesterday and they got rave reviews.) Thank you!

  7. Thank you so much for all your wonderful and very sweet responses! I am SO EXCITED for you guys to make these for your families! Yes, definitely serve these Christmas morning. Just make recipe through the part where you slice the rolls and place in pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave overnight in fridge. In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and let them come to room temperature, about 30-45 minutes. Bake as directed, perhaps adding a few minutes. It is a wonderful tradition and your kids go crazy opening all their presents!!!

  8. I make a similar recipe, but it is a bit easier.I also use a bit of egg replacer.

    I preheat the oven to 170, turn it off leaving the door open a bit, then begin making the rolls. I make the dough, put it in a greased bowl in the warm oven for a few minutes while I prepare the filling. I roll out the dough, fill it, roll it up, cut…and put each slice into one section of a 12 muffin pan. I then put it in the warm oven to rise for about 45 minutes. Then bake. The advantage is no punching down of the dough and the muffin cups hold the shape well.

    I freeze the rolls and defrost as needed(Keeps them fresh, and keeps me from eating them all at one sitting!)

    Honestly, they are the best cinnamon muffins I have ever eaten, gluen or otherwise.

  9. I made these for Christmas Morning and they were gone in a flash!! I got rave reviews, and made sure to tell everyone in our family that it’s Kelly’s recipe. Thank you, they taste incredible and are easy to make.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    • Thanks Noha! I love these cinnamon rolls, and in fact, as I’m sitting here poking around at FA blogs, I’m thinking I’ll make them again for New Years morning. I would love some today…but have a busy day downtown, with OB appt, etc.

  10. Delicious! I made them through cutting the rolled dough, and refrigerated them overnight, and when I woke up I baked them for a delicious New Year’s morning breakfast. Thanks, Kelly! We made many of your cookies for Christmas, and all were a huge hit! Happy 2010!

    • Katie, that sounds PERFECT! I was craving these cinnamon rolls in a big way yesterday, but couldn’t wait for them to rise, so I made the Emerald Isle Coffee Cake because I knew I could eat it in 40 minutes! How bad is that?? I’m thinking I HAVE to make these rolls this week though because my kids and husband have been begging for them. Maybe today…

  11. Confused.

    Am I going to have about 24 rolls to fit into one 9 inch pan or do I need two pans?

    • Hi Liz, I trim the edges of the log (because they aren’t filled with a ton of filling) and fit the rest snugly in one 9 inch round cake pan. Good luck!

  12. Oh my goodness! I think I’m going to cry! AWESOME rolls! My son has wanted these forever but I could never make them right-THANK YOU so much!

  13. Wow, these cinnamon rolls look amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe. I just bought your book, and thanks to you, my two daughters (5 1/2 yr. old allergic to dairy, eggs, and nuts and 3 3/4 yr. old allergic to nuts) just ate their first ever donuts. I made your Apple House Cinnamon Doughnuts and they are so yummy! We also can’t wait to try the Irish Soda Bread (as my husband is 100% Irish… born here, though), cheesecake, and key lime pie. So many great recipes I am looking forward to trying! And as a photographer, I am loving the images in your book as well : ). Thanks soooo much for sharing your gift of baking dairy, egg, and nut free!

  14. Just made these this morning for an Easter treat and as of this evening there are FOUR left – so the four of us in my family polished off the whole batch that quickly – thumbs up and definitely a “do over!”

    Thanks Kelly! Hope you had a great Easter.

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  16. My daughter and I both have to avoid dairy, eggs, and soy; I never thought we’d be able to have cinnamon rolls! I can’t wait!

    • Hi Paige…a few things could be happening: your yeast is old and not rising properly, or your water is too hot or cold to properly activate it. The temperature must be precisely between 110 -115 degrees. Good luck!

  17. Do you think I could use gluten free flour? I’m wondering if I use a wheat free flour if I will get the same tasty results.

  18. I have tried several different cinnamon roll recipes. I am on the hunt for the best that I can find. I am waiting for the rolls to double in size right now, but I can tell from the ‘yeasty’ smell of the dough that these are gonna be great! I just happened to NOT have any eggs in fridge today when I stumbled across your recipe & I am so glad I didn’t have any! Granted, I used evaporated milk & regular butter, no one in my family has a food allergy. I have some friends who are lacto-free vegetarians & I can’t wait to share this with them!! Thank you!

    Also, to the previous post…I have had problems in the past with getting dough to rise. I don’t use a thermometer to gauge temp…I just take it off the heat as soon as the shortening/butter melts, only put it on a medium temp too!! My house isn’t very warm so I have experimented with putting dough in a hot car, on the back porch, but I have found that my attic is the best place!! The humidity & warm help it rise beautifully!! Hope all this helps!

    Can’t wait to get these in & out of the oven!!!

  19. My daughter has an egg allergy and I was searching for a perfect recipe for Xmas morning compared to our usual tater tot casserole which is obviously filled with eggs. These look delish and I can’t wait to try them….thinking of some cream cheese frosting…and perhaps some diced apples instead of raisins. Mmmm!

  20. This was a real hit with my daughter who is allergic to egg, milk, and tree nuts/peanuts. We passed Cinnabon last night and she commented about the good smell. I knew that you had a recipe so I tried it this morning. She is very happy and so am I. Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe. Next I’ll try your chocolate chip cinnamon rolls from your new book.

  21. I made these for the first time last night, refrigerated overnight and baked this morning. One word: YUM! These were some of the best cinnamon rolls, and so easy to make. To make the glaze, I used sweetened vanilla coconut milk plus we added about 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, and I made the dough with unsweetened coconut milk. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your wonderful recipes. I would be lost in the world of food allergy cooking without you, your blog and your books! Thank you!!!!

  22. Have you ever tried using coconut milk in place of the soy or rice milk? I’m curious if the results would be similar. You may not if your son can’t have coconut. Thank you for sharing your great recipes with us! It is so helpful!! My son is also allergic to eggs, milk, and peanuts. About to try vegan cinnamon rolls for the first time!

    • RachelB,
      I make everything for my son using coconut milk and I never have problems. I use So Delicious coconut milk in cartons, not canned coconut milk. For sweet things, I use vanilla unsweetened and for savory I use regular unsweetened. Hope your family loves these cinnamon rolls as much as mine!

  23. There is a discrepancy in your flour amounts. In the ingredient list you wrote almost 4 cups but in the description you put 1.5-2. I’m figuring it will be obvious when I start making these, but I was confused at first.

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  25. I have a friend who is soy/egg/corn allergic. Regular dairy is safe for her. Can i use regular milk in these? or do i need to find rice milk? and whats the difference between confectioners sugar and powdered sugar?