Fathead Cinnamon Rolls (Keto & Gluten-free)
Move over, Cinnabon! There’s a healthier, tastier treat in town! These super easy keto fathead cinnamon rolls have the smell, texture and taste of the famous Cinnabon Classic Roll but are sugar-free, gluten-free, yeast-free and have just 3g of net carbs each!
The light and pillowy low-carb pastry is made from simple ingredients including mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, egg and almond flour and the whole recipe comes together in 40 minutes. This guilt-free pastry can be enjoyed warm or cold, as a dessert or even for breakfast. With 15g of fat, 3g of carbs and 9g of protein, the whole family can feel good about enjoying this treat any time of day!
Making these fathead cinnamon rolls is actually a lot easier and less laborious than you would think. From start to finish, the recipe only takes about 15 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to bake. There are three components to these keto cinnamon buns- the fathead dough, the cinnamon filling, and the glaze on top.
Roll the fathead dough to the right thickness
Start by melting the shredded mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Make sure you stir the cheeses the whole time they are on the stove- you want them to melt together evenly and slowly and they should never reach a boil. Note that it’s important to use pre-shredded mozzarella cheese for this recipe because it contains less moisture than a block of mozzarella you shred yourself. The latter would make your cinnamon rolls too soggy.
Once the cheeses are silky smooth, remove the saucepan from the stove and add the room temperature, beaten eggs, almond flour, Swerve, vanilla and baking powder. Mix with a fork to combine all ingredients- a sticky dough should start to form.
Using slightly wet or oiled fingers, remove the dough from the saucepan, form it into a ball with your hands, and plop it on to a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the ball of dough to roll it out. I like to roll the dough out by using the edges of my hands, but if you prefer to use a roller pin, that would work just fine!
Roll the dough out in a rectangular/oval shape to maximize the number of cinnamon rolls the recipe makes. When it comes to the thickness of the dough, you want to make sure it’s spread thin and even but not so thin that the counter begins to show through. A good rule of thumb would be to roll the dough until it’s roughly 1/8″ thick all around.
Spread cinnamon filling evenly over fathead dough
Once the dough is rolled out to a 1/8″ thick rectangle, leave it to cool slightly while you prepare the cinnamon filling. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the brown Swerve and cinnamon and stir until mostly dissolved. Remove the mixture from the stove and, using a spoon, begin to ladle and spread evenly over the dough. The cinnamon filling will start to harden slightly as it meets the dough, so you’ll need to work somewhat quickly to spread it out. Leave a bit of a border along the edges of the dough to make rolling easier.
Use the right size pan to bake fathead cinnamon rolls
Once you spread the cinnamon filling to cover the dough, it’s time to roll everything up into a tight log. It might be easier to oil or wet your fingers again for this step. Rolling along the long edge, begin to tightly wrap the dough like a burrito- tucking in any loose bits as you go. Once you reach the end, pinch the seam to seal the dough and prevent it from unrolling. Using a warm or slightly wet knife, cut the log in to 12 even pieces. When you pick them up to place them in the baking pan, give them a gentle squeeze all the way around to make sure they’re really wrapped tightly.
The best pan to use for this recipe is an 8″ cake pan lined with parchment paper. You want there to be a bit of breathing room around each roll but not so much that they’re able to spread out when baking. The rolls should all be touching, but not crowded (see picture below).
Add the glaze while the rolls are still warm
Bake the fathead cinnamon rolls at 375 for about 25 minutes- watching them closely at the end to make sure they don’t burn. You want the tops to be a light golden brown. Remove the cake pan from the oven and let them cool slightly while you mix the glaze. Some recipes call for thick cream cheese icing on top, but I prefer a cinnamon bun with a soft, sweet glaze. For this recipe I simply whisk together some confectioners Swerve and heavy cream.
While the cinnamon rolls are still warm and in the cake pan, spoon the glaze over the top evenly. Doing this step when the rolls are still warm will allow the glaze to get down in all the little crevices so you end up with delicious gooey glaze between the spirals of the roll. Allow the cinnamon buns and glaze to cool completely in the pan before lifting them out and separating with a butter knife.
According to the Cinnabon website, their classic cinnamon roll has a whopping 880 calories, 37g of fat, 125g of net carbohydrates (carbs minus fiber), and 58g of sugar. FIFTY EIGHT! That’s equivalent to five tablespoons of sugar… just visualize that for a minute. And 125g of net carbohydrates is roughly equivalent to eating seven slices of whole wheat bread. In ONE Cinnabon! Crazy, right?
By comparison, these keto fathead cinnamon rolls are just 225 calories each, with 15g of fat, 3g of net carbs, and just 1g of sugar. The choice between the two is a no-brainer!
My favourite way to enjoy these keto fathead cinnamon rolls is to zap them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. The dough returns to its pillowy texture while the cinnamon filling and glaze soften just enough to be deliciously gooey. That said, these cinnamon rolls are actually super tasty straight out of the fridge too. They have a much denser texture when cold and therefore, somehow, feel more filling…? Science.
Since fathead dough contains dairy, these keto cinnamon rolls should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh there for at least a week. If you have a ton of self-control and can somehow not finish all 12 cinnamon rolls in a week, you can wrap them individually and freeze for up to several months. Note that freezing and thawing these fathead cinnamon rolls slightly changes their texture to be a little less airy.
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Fathead Cinnamon Rolls (Keto & Gluten-free)
- 2 1/2 cups (300g) full-fat pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons Swerve granular
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup Swerve brown
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Swerve confectioners
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 8″ cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth but not bubbling; about 5 minutes. Remove from the stove.
- Add the beaten eggs, almond flour, Swerve granular, vanilla and baking powder to the saucepan and mix well until a ball of dough forms. With slightly wet fingers, pick up the ball of dough and place it on a big piece of parchment paper on the counter. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the ball of dough and begin to roll it out into a rectangle. Dough should be thin enough to roll but not so thin that the counter shows through (1/8″ is a good rule of thumb).
- Leave the dough to cool slightly while you prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the brown Swerve and cinnamon and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and spoon on to the dough, spreading it out as you go.
- Begin to roll the dough along the long edge, trying to keep it as tightly as possible. Pinch the seam at the end to keep the dough from unrolling. Cut the log of dough into 12 even pieces and arrange in the cake pan tightly so no space remains between each roll. This will help prevent the rolls from spreading out too much.
- Place cake pan in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the tops just start to brown.
- Mix the confectioners Swerve with the cream in a small bowl and set aside. Once the cinnamon rolls are cooked, drizzle the glaze all over and set the pan aside to cool to room temperature.
- Use a butter knife to cut between the rolls and separate them. Serve warm!
- *A bag of pre-shredded mozzarella contains less moisture than if you were to buy mozzarella and shred it yourself. Always use pre-shredded for this recipe.