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Gluten Free Monkey Bread

gluten free monkey bread

Cinnamon rolls are by far the food I miss the most since going gluten free. Yes, I know you can make gluten free cinnamon rolls, I have tried many times, but they are one of those things that are just not quite the same.

I used to make those gooey, huge, cinnabon style, homemade cinnamon rolls. They were delicious! My whole family loved them. The gluten free version though is just not the same.

gluten free monkey bread___

Because gluten free bread lacks the gluten, that helps give cinnamon rolls that gooey delicious taste and texture, it is hard to get the exact same thing in a gluten free version.

The other thing I have noticed about gluten free dough is that it doesn’t absorb butter/fat as well. It just seems to run off of something like a cinnamon roll, so a cinnamon filling doesn’t work quite the same and your end result is not the same.

gluten free monkey bread -

I have also noticed that the dough often seems dry. This probably has to do with the fats not working quite the same, so the middle of the cinnamon roll tends to dry out. A dry cinnamon roll is not a good thing.

I found a gluten free dough that I really like and have been using a lot. I thought it had potential for a cinnamon roll type recipe, but I knew it would take some work. I talked to my sister about it and we discussed a few of the problems with gluten free cinnamon rolls.

gluten free monkey bread-

We talked about monkey bread and how it might work that way. I knew though that I did not want to roll the dough into butter like you do monkey bread, because the dough just doesn’t absorb that fat, they would not be the same.

My sister suggested a crumb topping, similar to what you would use on a coffee cake. I loved that idea and decided to give it a try.

gluten free monkey bread dough

It worked! It really worked to make it like monkey bread when I tweaked the sugar butter part. I added a glaze like you would put on a cinnamon roll and they were delicious! Seriously these were so good!

The butter from the topping dripped down between each ball of dough and gave it just the right amount of gooey texture without making it too much. The texture was perfect!

gluten free monkey bread dough topping

We managed to eat the whole pan in one day. And then two days later, I made them again so that I could photograph them to share with you all, we again ate the entire pan.

These satisfied my craving for cinnamon rolls. My husband, who eats gluten, said they were as close to the real thing as I have made. Even he loved them and said I could make them anytime I wanted.

If you having been missing cinnamon rolls since going gluten free, give these a try. I think you will enjoy them!

gluten free monkey bread_

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
Lynn's (Gluten Free) Kitchen Adventures

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  1. I was absolutley thrilled to see your recipe for monkey bread. This is our Christmas morning tradition and for the first time was grieving not having it Christmas morning since my daughter and I are gluten free.
    We just found out my daughter can’t do potatoes and corn. I have used both potato starch and corn starch for so many recipes! In the monkey bread recipe I will need to replace the potato flour…will using more of another flour and more tapioca flour work to make up for the 3/4 potato flour?

    • I think you could substitute some of it for more tapioca flour, but I don’t think all. Do you have sweet rice flour? I think you might try using some of that. So up the tapioca for part of the potato starch and the rest sweet rice flour. And you might want to do a half batch ahead of time to make sure it works, I would hate to have it not turn out for Christmas morning. I hope you enjoy them!

  2. Hi Lynn,
    Making these now! They are rising as I type. One question–sugar or brown sugar in the topping? Looks like brown in the pictures, but that could be from the cinnamon. Thanks!

    • It is regular sugar, it is just the cinnamon that makes it look dark. I would love to hear how you enjoy them.

      • Totally late in replying!!! I’m making this recipe into a bread loaf today, so it made me remember I was going to get back to you on the Monkey Bread. We loved it! Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh My Gosh Lynn! Thank you! This is the best Christmas present ever! Cinnamon rolls and donuts are my favorite sweets. You are the best with coming up with GF recipes for baked goods! You are a true blessing to our family. : )

  4. Thanks for flour suggestions, Lynn. I will try it with sweet rice flour and tapioca flour..I will let you know how it turns out.

  5. I am so excited to make these! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Missy Steiner says

    Do you think it would be possible to make the dough the night before and let it sit in the pan in the refrigerator overnight? Then I could take it out and let it rise in the morning before baking?

  7. I am thrilled to see this recipe! Monkey bread has been a tradition on Christmas morning, and now I have two eating gluten-free. I am also happy to see only one egg and no buttermilk or excessive dairy! I am trying these today!!

  8. Hi Lynn!! While we all enjoyed the recipe, the batter did not come together very well at all…it was very runny, and was never a “scoopable ball” of dough…it had chunks of flour? in it and ended up being more like an eggy bread/coffee cake. I wonder what went wrong?? I used the flours you said to use except I had to use 1/4 sweet rice flour for the remainder of the white rice flour. I also used a xanthan gum sub (glucomannan) so maybe that had something to do with it. Thanks for the cinnamon bread! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I have never used glocomannan, but I am guessing that may have been it. I really worked on the ingredients for this and changed the amount of xanthan gum around to get it the right texture. Sweet rice usually doesn’t alter a recipe that much, so I really think it may have been changing out the gum part. I am glad it tasted good for you though.

      • Thank you!! We seem to have a bit of a GI issue with xanthan gum, so I’ve been subbing the glucomannan for it in recipes and it has seemed to do well so far. I will just have to make as is next time!! Also, should you start to gradually mix in the flour mixture maybe and then add the gum after that is pretty well incorporated? I just dumped everything into the yeast mixture.

  9. Lynn, do you think these will work with butter as the oil in the mix? Or would olive oil work? I am making them in morning and I just realized I don’t have any other oil.

    • I don’t think the topping would be quite the same since the oil is a liquid not solid so you could not cut it in, but I think it might work ok, it would just be different. Do you have coconut oil? Since that is usually more solid, I might try that in place of the butter if you have some. I hope that helps.

      • Oh, I just meant for the actual bread part. I used melted butter…we will see how it turns out. Smells awesome and I can’t wait to bake them in the morning! Thanks Lynn!

  10. You mentioned in your story you found a GF dough that you like and use a lot. Have you used it in this recipe and could you please share the name of the dough.
    Thank you

  11. Can you use am all purpose flour in place of all the other ones listen. I found a really great all purpose flour and it makes great muffins and breads. Thank you

    • I am guessing you mean an all purpose gf flour blend. I have not tried it, but I am guessing it would work. Just make sure to add xanthan gum if the blend does not have it. What is the all purpose flour that you like? I am always looking for a new gf flour blends to try.

  12. Is it possible to use gluten free multi purpose flour in place of the rice flours and starches? If so,
    would I substitute it exactly in the measurements in your recipe? Ohhhhh how I miss cinnamon
    rolls too!

    • I have not tried it, and I worked to get this just the right texture etc with these specific flours, but I think it is worth trying and would probably work. Just be sure to add the xathan gum if your blend does not have it. And yes if you use a blend just replace the rice flours and starches.

  13. Hello!
    I am making these right now, but when I scoop my dough in to the pan, it is too thin and runs a bit and doesn’t stay in a ball. I added a little more tapioca flour, but still having the same trouble. Any suggestions?

    • It is a softer dough than a regular gluten filled dough would be. This is stickier and softer, you can’t really roll it in a ball, but it should not be thin and batter like. Is it really thin? I might add a little more rice flour to it and see if that helps. What brand gluten free flours and xanthan gum are you using?

      • I use Bob’s Red Mill flours, but I realized later that I used sweet rice flour instead of white rice flour. That substitution doesn’t usually make a huge difference, but it must have in this recipe. I ended up just making it as a coffee cake, and it was great. My family loved it! Next time, I’ll be sure and not make that substitution.


        • I love Bob’s Red Mill flours too. And yes I can see why sweet rice flour would make a difference in this. I am glad it tasted good and that your family loved it!

  14. Best Ever!!! My husband hasnt had a Cinabon in YEARS because of Celiac!!! He was in heaven and I was thrilled to bake it for him!

  15. Kristin Ann Dewey says

    I wonder if you could use Bob’s 1 to 1 gf flour blend in place of the xantham gum and flour? Have you tried anything like that with this recipe?

    • I have tried it with this recipe. You do still have to use some extra xanthan gum, because I think the Bob’s Red Mill blend doesn’t seem to have enough for yeast breads. Yeast breads do better with more gums than most things need. I will say that although the blend works ok, I think it is better with the individual flours and where you can control the gums. I hope that helps.

  16. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but Bob’s Redmill pizza crust mixed makes into some AMAZING cinnamon rolls! The texture is perfect, and they come out chewy and soft just like a cinnamon roll . I only have the Bob’s red Mill bread mix on hand at the moment, so I am getting ready to attempt the monkey bread with that and will let you know how it turns out .
    Also, when adding butter to crusts, rolls, or any other pastry that doesn’t contain gluten, it’s best to make a paste with a small amount of flour and the butter before blending it in. It helps it bind to the fats and makes a pie crust that doesn’t crumble when you roll it out ๐Ÿ˜

    • I tried Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust a long time ago, but I think they have changed it since then. I will have to try it for that! And thanks for the butter tip. I will have to try that one too!

  17. HI Lynn…just wondering if this could be prepared the night before and baked in the morning. Thanks!

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