Oh, cinnamon buns. Those giant rolls of flaky pastry, cinnamon sugar filling, and a sweet vanilla glaze… They are simply perfection. I mean, to this day passing Cinnabon in any mall or airport is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Seriously, the CIA should just force suspects to smell the cinnamon rolls and then deny them any. They will talk immediately.
Anyway, as good as cinnamon rolls are, they are so time consuming to make. Growing up, we would get those delicious Pillsbury buns that came in a can. A few times a year, but always on Thanksgiving morning, my sister and I would argue over who got the roll with the most icing. Once going gluten free, though, those pre-made cinnamon rolls were off the table. Two years ago I made them from scratch, proofing the dough, then rolling them out, then letting them sit over night. They turned out really well, but nobody has time for that, especially on Thanksgiving. This year I wanted our traditional Thanksgiving cinnamon rolls, but I didn’t want to do all of the work. The solution? Cinnamon roll muffins.
Unlike regular cinnamon buns, these are ridiculously simple to make. Within the time it takes to preheat the oven, the rest of your ingredients will be ready to go. But the best part is how tasty they are. They aren’t rolled up, but they taste like the middle of the cinnamon bun, which we can all agree is the best part anyway. The vanilla glaze is sticky and messy and sweet, just like it should be. By the time you’re done eating one of these muffins, you will be licking your fingers (and isn’t that how you want to finish a cinnamon bun?).
This version of the muffins is both gluten free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them. You really should whip up a batch of these this weekend! Or, better yet, email this page to your significant other with the subject line “hint hint.” With Valentine’s Day on Saturday, it just makes sense to have someone make you these delicious, addictive muffins!
Cinnamon Roll Muffins: Gluten Free & Vegan
- 1 ¼ cup gluten free flour with xanthan gum
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp finely chopped pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed, dissolved in 3 tbsp warm water)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 – 3 tbsp almond milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350, and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat together applesauce, canola oil, and sugar. Add in the flax egg and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in almond milk and flour mixture, alternating, until mixture is smooth.
- Scoop some of the batter into each of the muffin cups. Layer in the brown sugar and pecan mixture, and top with more batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean.
- For the glaze, stir together all ingredients until you reach desired consistency. Transfer to a piping bag (or Ziploc bag with a corner cut off) and drizzle.
- Serve hot.
- Leftovers can be saved in an airtight container, and reheated in a toaster oven.
Note: These can be prepared in advance, by prepping the flour mixture, brown sugar/pecan filling, and measuring out the applesauce and oil together. In the morning, it will come together really quickly.