Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

paleo cinnamon rolls
I learned about cassava flour recently as our best chance in the paleo world of creating delicious baked goods. Ok, not exactly just delicious because theres lots of delicious things being created these days, but delicious in a gluten-tastic kind of way without the gluten.

I attempted biscuits earlier this week with my bag of cassava flour and those tasted like hockey pucks, but was determined to keep trying until I came upon something worth sharing. Cassava flour is almost all carbohydrates as opposed to wheat flour which is about 1/3 protein, so I made lots of tweaks in a traditional cinnamon roll recipe hoping it would turn out just the same. 

Let me preface this recipe by saying these did not turn out at all like I hoped. Since I used yeast, I hoped they would be light, fluffy and chewy. Well, these were anything but light or fluffy, but rather dense and chewy. I was originally a bit disappointed because they didn’t meet that expectation (don’t expectations just ruin everything?!?!), and deemed them my second cassava flour failure. 

But then something happened: I drizzle them with condensed coconut milk and mini chocolate chips and warmed them back up and they were so yummy. Not in a cinnamon roll kind of way exactly, but in a “this is just tasty and satisfying” kind of way. So now that you know that, I can share this recipe. 

Its also a rare baked treat without eggs, which will be pleasing to those who cant eat eggs. 

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 cups almond meal, finely ground

2 1/2 cups cassava flour, divided (plus more for dusting)

3 tablespoons Fit 365 Vanilla Protein powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 

Filling & Topping:

30 small Deglet Noir dates

2 cups raw pecans

1 cup salted Irish butter, melted (ghee or coconut oil works, too)

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk (here’s the brand I used or you can make it yourself)

1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, optional

 

Directions:

Soak pitted dates (for the filling) in hot water while you prepare the dough.

In microwave or small saucepan, heat coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla until warm. Sprinkle package of yeast over mixture and allow to activate for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and blend.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups cassava flour, almond flour, protein powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and blend. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine. Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rest on a warm, draft-free spot for 1 hour.

While the dough rises, make the filling.

Chop pecans in food processor and transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour excess water from the soaked dates, chop in food processor and add to pecans. Add 3/4 cup butter, maple syrup, cinnamon to the dates and pecans and mix well. If you are using chocolate chips, you can add them to the filling or sprinkle on at the end.

After an hour, the dough should nearly double in size. Add remaining 1/2 cup cassava flour with salt, baking soda and baking powder and blend.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle 1/4 cup butter into 3 pie pans (or a larger baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans.

Lay a large piece of parchment paper on a flat counter surface (about 2 feet long) and dust with a generous amount of cassava flour. Dump out dough onto paper and dust with more flour. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.

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Spread the filling in a layer over the dough and roll up.

Note: I didn’t use parchment, but it will make it much easier.

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Slice in 2 inch slices and arrange in your buttered dishes.

Note: My dough was a bit wet and made it a little gloppy looking, but the recipe has been adjusted for you and it should be less sticky.


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Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges and top are golden and the dough is cooked all the way through. Allow to cool slightly, drizzle with coconut milk and chocolate chips (if desired and didn’t put them in the filling).

If you’re not planning on eating all at once, I recommend refrigerating and drizzling with coconut milk when you reheat and eat. You can also freeze individually and have them for weekend treats, just reheat in a toaster oven and top with coconut milk once hot.

Here’s another couple pictures of mine alongside my adorable baby Orion, who’s almost 3 months old in these pics.

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Here’s another one of just him so you can see how cute he is 🙂

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