Alternative name for this recipe: Easy, Healthy, Rustic, Gluten and Yeast Free Mini Cinnamon Roll Cookies. I know, I know… that title is ridiculous, it doesn’t even mention anything about how they’re sweetened or if they’re nut free or not! The answer to that is naturally, and yes, if you so desire. Also they’re oil free. I have a real way with words, don’t I? Well given my inability to be concise and to the point when it comes to writing and speaking (and choosing recipe titles), these little cinnamon rolls are comparitively simple.
As my alternative title suggests, they are yeast free, so no proofing and waiting around for dough to rise and all that jazz. Also, they are indeed rustic. I mean just look at them. (FYI “rustic” is the word I use to describe anything that doesn’t turn out looking perfectly symmetrical and precious, in other words everything I make). Their wonky appearance simply adds to their appeal. Besides, these aren’t meant to be “stand in the kitchen all day cinnamon rolls.” These are meant to be “let’s quick use up those last two spoonfuls of pumpkin puree before it goes bad because I can’t stand to waste even a tiny bit of pumpkin” cinnamon rolls.
My daughter went understandably ga-ga over these little cinnamon buns. First of all they’re cute, second of all they’re small, so perfect for sneaky little hands, and third they are a cross between a cinnamon roll and a cookie. What could be more fun??
To make the dough, I used a combination of oat and almond flour (though you could use all oat flour, if you like) and pumpkin puree and nut or seed butter. Placing the dough in the freezer makes it much easier to roll out, as does using parchment paper, so don’t be tempted to skip those or you will have one sticky countertop and rolling pin. A sprinkle of cornstarch (or arrowroot, tapioca, or potato starch) keeps things from sticking as well. As for the filling, I used my Slow Cooker Apple Butter with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut sugar. Date paste or another fruit preserve (or even pumpkin butter) would all make yummy filling alternatives.
If you have a little pumpkin puree left at the bottom of your can you just might need to make these tasty little cinnamon rolls. If not, they are definitely worth opening a new can for 😉
Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Naturally Sweetened
Makes about 10 mini cinnamon rolls
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal (or more oat flour)
- 1 – 2 tbsp coconut sugar (I used 1, but you may want it sweeter)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp almond butter (or sunflower seed butter for nut-free)
- 2 tsp dairy-free milk
- 3 tbsp apple butter, pumpkin butter, date paste or filling of choice
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and whisk the wet ingredients separately in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix mix mix until a sticky dough forms. Put the bowl with the dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on your countertop and spinkle the parchment with cornstarch or arrowroot powder. I powdered up my hands a bit too. Place the dough on one side of the parchment and fold the other side over it and roll the dough into a square about 1/4 inch thick. Carefully remove the top layer of parchment and spread on the filling. Sprinkle the coconut sugar and cinnamon over it. Start rolling, very carefully.
Once rolled up, use a sharp knife to cut into small slices, about 8-10 slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet and gently press together to make a cinnamon roll shape (some will come out quirky, and that’s ok!) and bake for about 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon before serving, if desired.