Drizzle date-infused caramel sauce over rich apple pie cinnamon rolls for an irresistible, gluten-free treat.
If you’re looking for an indulgent Paleo breakfast or dessert to serve to a crowd, this cinnamon roll recipe is one to keep handy. It’s made with warm, fluffy dough and stuffed with fresh apples and walnuts. Each bite is bursting with apple pie flavor and best served with warm coffee or Paleo hot chocolate!
The base of the dough is made with gluten-free almond flour and cassava flour to keep food sensitivities at ease. Blanched almond flour creates a fluffy texture, while cassava flour helps bind the ingredients together.
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The date caramel sauce is the star of this recipe, keeping it perfectly indulgent and Paleo-friendly. Since dried dates are naturally sweet on their own, this recipe doesn’t require any added sweeteners. Adding a bit of canned coconut cream will help turn the softened dates into a gooey sauce, without watering down the flavor. Use this dairy-free sauce to top anything from coconut flour waffles to Paleo ice cream.
To get started, combine the ingredients for the date caramel sauce in a food processor. Pour into an eight-ounce jar and set aside at room temperature. Begin making the dough by combining flours, sea salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Next, begin heating the coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat until warm, about 110ºF. Remove from heat and whisk in one teaspoon of coconut sugar, plus the yeast. Set aside for five minutes so that the yeast can react with the sugar and properly froth up.
Next, whisk in the egg and a ¼ cup of melted ghee. Gradually pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Form the dough into a large ball and set it into the center of the bowl. Lightly grease the bowl to help prevent the dough from drying out. Cover with a damp clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a dark, warm spot for one hour.
Line a clean surface with a large piece of parchment paper and dust with extra cassava flour. Use a rolling pin to smooth the dough onto the parchment paper and form it into an 11 x 13-inch sheet of dough. Brush with one tablespoon of melted ghee and sprinkle with ¼ cup of coconut sugar and cinnamon. Evenly spread out the chopped apples and walnuts, leaving two inches of empty space around the perimeter of dough. Drizzle with half of the caramel sauce and reserve the rest for later.
Then, carefully roll the dough lengthwise into a log and use the parchment paper as a guide to lift. Slice the dough into 1½-inch rolls and place them into a greased round baking pan. Bake for 22 minutes, or until rolls are fully cooked. Remove from oven and use a spatula to spread the remaining caramel sauce on top. Garnish with additional chopped apples and walnuts, if desired.
Tip: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze up to two months in an airtight container.
Caramel Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Almond Flour
Caramel Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Almond Flour
- Food processor
- Small saucepan
- 8 oz jar
- Large mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- 9-inch round baking pan
- Rolling pin
For the Caramel Sauce:
- 1½ cups pitted dates, soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained
- 1 cup hot water
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 t vanilla bean powder
For the Dough:
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1½ cups cassava flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 t sea salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 t active dry yeast
- 1 t + 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup + 1 T ghee, melted and divided
- 1 large pasture-raised egg, at room temperature
- 2 T cinnamon
- 1 cup green apple, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- To Make the Caramel Sauce: Add the pre-soaked dates to a food processor and blend with coconut milk for 5 minutes, scraping the sides with a spatula as needed. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over low heat, then stir in the vanilla and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Pour into an eight-ounce jar and set aside.
- To Make the Dough: Combine the almond flour, cassava flour, sea salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Stir well and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, warm the coconut milk for about 2 minutes on low heat. Whisk in the yeast and one teaspoon of coconut sugar, then set aside for 5 minutes. When mixture becomes frothy, add in a ¼ cup of melted ghee with the large egg. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir until well combined.
- Form the dough into a large ball and lightly grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with a clean, damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for one hour at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a round baking pan. Line a clean working surface with a large piece of parchment paper and dust with remaining cassava flour. Use a rolling pin to smooth the dough onto the parchment paper and into an 11 x 13-inch sheet.
- Brush the dough with one tablespoon of melted ghee, then sprinkle with ¼ cup of coconut sugar and cinnamon. Evenly spread out the chopped apples and walnuts, leaving two inches of empty space around the perimeter of the dough. Drizzle with half of the caramel sauce and reserve the rest for later.
- Carefully roll the dough lengthwise to form a log, then slice the dough into 1½-inch rolls. Place the rolls onto a prepared baking pan and bake for 22 minutes, or until rolls are fully cooked. Spread the remaining caramel sauce on top and serve warm.
Looking for Paleo ingredients? Here are a few we’d recommend:
Coconut milk (Native Forest)
Vanilla powder (Gold)
Almond flour (Hodgson Mill)
Coarse sea salt (AztecSeaSalt)
Baking powder (Hain)
Ghee (Pure Indian Foods)
Ground cinnamon (Simply Organic)
Raw walnuts (NOW Foods)
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