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Homemade Cinnabons (Made With Real Food!)

When my friend Carrie Vitt sent me her new cookbook “The Grain Free Family Table”, I knew right away which recipe I was going to make first! She spent months perfecting this grain free cinnamon roll recipe to get it just right and boy did she! I thought this was going to be a difficult recipe to make at first but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought and the rolls turned out fantastic – everyone in my house loved them and they are already gone (story of my life!). I hope you’ll make this homemade real food version and never look at those terribly processed Cinnabons again!


Food Babe's Homemade Real Food Cinnabons

Prep Time:
1 hr
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 40 mins

Serves:  8


  • 6 tablespoons butter (grass fed is best)
  • 2 cups almond flour (nut allergy - use spelt flour)
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour (nut allergy - use spelt flour)
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
  • 6 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder (Aluminum free)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Spice Swirl:


  • ½ cup coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (get local if possible)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F and adjust the rack to the middle position. Using a pastry brush, coat a 9-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  2. To make the spice swirl, combine the coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture is damp. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar. In a measuring glass, whisk together the coconut milk, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until a rough dough forms. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of coconut flour onto a clean work surface. Place the dough on the surface and gently press it into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Pour the spice swirl mixture over the dough and gently spread it in an even layer. Carefully roll the dough into a 12-inch log (I like to use a bench scaler to lift the dough from the surface). Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. Place the pieces swirl side up in the buttered cake pan and gently press to flatten them to about 1 inch thick. Brush the rolls with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
  6. To make the icing, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut butter, honey, vanilla, and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Whisk until the icing is a warm, smooth glaze. Drizzle the icing over the rolls. Serve warm.


  • Dairy-Free Option: Use Nutiva palm shortening in place of butter.
  • Please use all organic ingredients if possible


 If you are looking for more grain free recipes, be sure to check out Carrie‘s cookbook “The Grain Free Family Table.”


These homemade Cinnabons are the perfect treat to enjoy with family and friends – they are too good to eat alone!






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74 responses to “Homemade Cinnabons (Made With Real Food!)

      1. Thanks! Can’t wait to try it. Made the Classic Real Ginger Cookies last night and love them! I think the next time I make them will try adding some raisins. Thanks, again!

  1. Could you sub brown rice flour for coconut? And coconut oil for coconut butter? Trying to work with my staples. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend brown rice flour as it won’t absorb as much moisture as coconut flour. You could try a gf flour blend, but I haven’t tested it this way so I can’t say for sure how they will turn out. The coconut butter helps take the place of the traditional powdered sugar white icing. If you have some powdered sugar you could make a quick icing by combining the powdered sugar with a bit of coconut milk. I hope that helps!

      1. Thank you, I was wondering about the coconut butter. I have all the other ingredients. This is the second time I’ve seen coconut butter in a recipe, gonna have to find it! Yummy, love coconut and cinnamon!

      2. As a side note for powdered sugar – I used my Vitamix to take the palm sugar and pulverize it down to fine, fine powder. Then added 1 tsp cornstarch for every cup of sugar and voila! Homemade palm powdered sugar! Worked like a dream!

      3. Coconut butter is super easy to make. – Blend 2 cups of dry coconut in your vitamin. Slow then faster, scraping as needed.
        I have not tried the recipe. Still trying to ditch those pesky Christmas pounds

      1. I was wondering the same thing. What about nut free, we have tree nut allergies…

  2. Can you add Pintrest pin it’s to your recipe pages. It would make it a whole lot easier to save for later. Thx!

    1. I just happened to notice that when I hovered my mouse over the review stars in the recipe box, there was a popup link for Pinterest. Hope you see it!
      Just as an aside, I’m sure this recipe is delicious, but before I read the words I thought the picture was of pizza! LOL.

  3. Has anyone actually made these? I see it has one star but it looks like the person didn’t even try the recipe. As for the negative comments. Peace.

    1. My thoughts exactly Sally. I was looking for someone who made them. I’ll try and give an honest opinion. I personally like most things Paleo.

    2. So, I’m a bit biased because I’m the author and creator of the recipe, but I’m pretty sure you’ll like these cinnamon rolls. 🙂 I tested the recipe over 40 times to get just the right combination of sweet, sturdy, yet gooey cinnamon rolls. Happy holidays!

    3. I just made these for Christmas morning! They are delicious! My only challenge was that the icing was not thick at all. Perhaps it asks for just a bit too much water, so I would add it in a bit at a time. I didn’t use the Food Babe substitutes but rather as the original recipe reads. I think as most are accustomed with grain free baking, they are not big and fluffy but they are packed full of good flavor. I love that it is minimal sugar yet still has the perfect amount of sweetness. Will be making these again!

  4. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m going to attempt them tonight in order to find out if they are Christmas morning worthy. I’ll let you guys know!

  5. I don’t have coconut butter, but have everything else. Can I use just plain butter you think? Thanks for all the great recipes!!! Keep up the great work!!!

      1. Thanks so much for the reply. I’ll look for coconut butter next time I’m at a place that sells it. I was just in a hurry to make these. Lol

    1. The coconut butter for the icing combined with the other ingredients helps take the place of the traditional powdered sugar white icing. If you have some powdered sugar you could make a quick icing by combining the powdered sugar with a bit of coconut milk. I know powdered sugar is more processed, but as a holiday treat, it might be a good option. I hope that helps!

      1. And dont forget the Best place to buy coconut manna (butter) at!!! Great website…GREAT prices!

      2. That helps me! 😉 thank you…i was wondering the same thing.
        Merry Christmas! 🙂

    2. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that if you take a can of coconut milk (the full fat stuff – not light) and refrigerate it overnight upside down, the next day you can flip it right side up, open the can, and all of the coconut butter essentially will be gathered and thick at the top. I’ve seen this used for various vegan recipes and was told at one time that is essentially coconut manna/butter. Perhaps a better authority can chime in, but that would be your easiest option since canned coconut milk is available everywhere (check the Asian cooking section in your grocery store if you’re having trouble finding it).

      1. Everyone gets coconut butter or creamed coconut (same thing, also the same thing as coconut manna), mixed up with “coconut cream”. They are two different things. Coconut cream is what you get when you chill the coconut milk as you describe in your comment. Creamed coconut uses whole coconut meat, and creates something akin to peanut butter, it has all the fiber and content of the whole coconut meat. Creamed coconut = “nut butter” Coconut cream = fatty part of coconut milk. Subbing one for the other is not the same. It would be like subbing heaving whipping cream for peanut butter.

  6. I’m having trouble finding coconut butter – brands to look for? finding many recipes calling for it- any ideas where to find it? Thanks!

    1. Artisana makes a good one that I see in many stores, including Whole Foods and other “health food” stores. I even bought in online from at a good price.

      Depending on the store they put it in different places. Sometimes it’s with the almond butter, sometimes it’s in the “raw” section, sometimes the organic aisle, I always keep looking and I almost always find it.

    2. I buy the “hard to find” real food items I need from Free shipping right to your door for any order over $49, and we all know how easy it is to spend $49 shopping for food. The prices I’ve compared against what it available at my local chain store are less. They have both coconut butter and coconut manna.

    3. Make coconut butter with organic coconut flakes in a food processor for between 5-10 minutes depending on the processor. Delicious! That’s what I did!

  7. Vani, Thank you for this yummy recipe and for all of the work that you do! You are a true inspiration. One request; PLEASE invest in a real camera and stop using instagram filters. “Nashville” does not do these cinnabons justice! 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  8. There is no way I could get coconut butter without having to travel 6 miles and i can’t do so in the next few days. Could coconut oil work?

    1. Coconut oil will not work as a substitute. The combination of the coconut butter and other icing ingredients take place of the traditional powdered sugar icing, so if you have powdered sugar on hand, you can make a simple icing with a bit of coconut milk.

  9. I cannot have nuts. What can I use in place of the almond flour? Would increasing the arrowroot or tapioca flour work? These look so delicious- I hope there is a substitute so I can try them!!

      1. Thank you for the reply! However, I cannot have seeds of any kind (autoimmune) , so any other almond flour substitutes?

  10. I love you and I’m die hard follower of yours. But why use canned coconut milk? You do know cans contain chemicals that leach.

  11. Can I use a gluten free flour in place of all those flours listed in the recipe I do not have the money to buy them separately

  12. For those of us who are allergic to almonds all of those recipes you supplied in your email about not poisoning Santa won’t work for us.

    Hopefully you will find alternatives in the future.

    1. LOL You left a 1 star rating because you’re allergic to an ingredient. I feel sad for your life.

  13. Would those of you with nut allergies be able to use chestnut flour? Chestnuts are not really nuts but more like a gluten free grain that grows on trees. I make chestnut flour from my own organic trees. Unfortunately I barely have a crop large enough to cover my own needs. It thickens much like wheat flour and has a delightful taste. Just search online for chestnut flour. Hope this helps.

  14. If i made these today, and put them uncooked,in the fridge overnight, could i bake them in the morning with the same results?
    just trying to make it as easy as possible for Christmas morning! 🙂

  15. OH YES! This is totally happening in my life!! But I have a feeling if I make it, I will become addicted. I am going to try with all coconut flour and stevia and see what happens! Thank YOU and merry xmas! 🙂

  16. Can I use vegan butter instead of coconut butter, regular flour instead of all those flours and almond/rice milk instead of coconut milk (would prefer to use stuff I already have on hand)

  17. 5 stars for flavor, 2 stars for looks and resemblance to cinnamon rolls. A bit difficult to roll and slices wind up looking less like cinnamon rolls and more like smooshed mounds. Still, for flavor, I’d make again. I used 2 teaspoons instead of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for more flavor. Loved the icing, even though it didn’t look very good.

  18. Is there another woman that is more daring, more dedicated, and more beautiful than this woman ??!

    I am inclined to think there is not.

    Vani , you are incredible , and I am fully intrigued by your work and influence.
    -GA, USA

  19. i wonder if baking powder can be substituted for lemon juice, i heard it was creme of tartar that they scrape from the inside of wine barrels what its doing is being an acidic agent to react with the baking soda to and so since any acid reacts with the baking soda you can replace the baking powder with something like fresh lemon juice

  20. What are your credentials? I just stumbled across your blog and was wondering. With all of this research and knowledge you have, you must have some credentials right? I’m not a “hater,” just curious! 🙂

  21. Coconut butter/ can be found at Trader Joe’s very inexpensively and it is organic and raw.

    @ Missy I don’t believe Food Babe has “credentials” but I would trust her word over most nutritionists. Have you seen the fare served to hospital patients lately under the supervision of their nutritionists?

    1. Seen hospital food – sure –
      Worse – I’ve had to Eat it…… & my last hosp stay was in 1998. – I can’t imagine it being much worse. – But wouldn’t be surprised.

  22. I used organic, full-fat cream cheese instead of coconut butter. I mixed it with a little bit of almond milk, more cinnamon, grade b maple syrup, and a little melted coconut oil. I then let the frosting cool in the fridge while the cinnamon rolls cooked. It was absolutely amazing! I also mixed it with chopped walnuts. I know most people on here are probably dairy-free, but if you can tolerate it- I would hands down use the cream cheese instead of the coconut butter! 🙂 Great recipe! Thanks!

  23. I just keep going back to the same question. I love all of your food information and I share it all the time. I lost 65 pounds in 2008 and have kept it off……but i watch carbs like a hawk.

    I need the total carb information and all the label information or I won’t eat it or make it.

    Just because it’s natural does not mean we can all eat it without all the nutritional information.


  24. Can I use organic blended coconut for the coconut butter (just put the coconut in the food processor until smooth and liquified)? Coconut butter is hard to find in my area and I’ve had a measure of success creating my own for making home-made chocolates.

  25. Gotta admit, they do not look appetizing or with particularly healthy amounts of ingredients. But for a whole food treat, definitely better than Cinnabons!

  26. I made this recipe today, but admittedly didn’t have all the ingredients – had to substitute low-fat coconut milk (added some coconut cream to try to remedy), used cornstarch instead of arrowroot powder, used baking soda instead of powder (out of baking powder) and used coconut cream (had no coconut butter) for icing. This necessitated a lot of cornstarch to get the icing thickened.
    These cinnamon rolls were quite good, but took a VERY long time to prepare. Upon making again, I would make or buy a gf or Paleo flour mix, because mixing and measuring these flours took so long.
    The spice mix was absolutely delicious! The frosting didn’t turn out very good, though… But that could have been because I used coconut cream instead of coconut butter.
    Overall this was an interesting recipe to make… I’m so happy to have had a cinnamon roll !!! I gf and can’t usually eat this stuff. My friends liked it also 🙂

  27. I made these tonight and followed the recipe as written. The dough was too sticky to roll. I wasn’t sure which flour to use to stiffen it a little. The flavor was pretty good. I’m not sure what I think about the icing. It was very runny, but the flavor was okay.

  28. Warning – these do not taste like, nor do they look like, cinnabon cinnamon buns. The only thing I changed was the frosting b/c I don’t have coconut butter but everything else was followed exactly. Are they good? Ummm … I guess?? The “bread” portion has a bit of an odd consistency to me. A bit on the grainy side or something. The filling tastes fantastic. I’m happy to see a healthier alternative to cinnamon rolls you buy in the store but I’m not sure I’ll be making this particular recipe again.

  29. What can I use instead of arrowroot flour? I have sorghum flour and xanthan gum. Will these work?

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