“Fat head” dough cinnamon rolls

These cinnamon rolls are low carb, gluten free, and can satisfy your desire for yummy baked goods. When living a ketogenic lifestyle it can be rare to have the classic baked goods you used to crave, like cinnamon rolls, donuts, muffins, etc. These baked goods are everywhere in our society. And though keto makes you have way less cravings and know sugar is just plain bad for you…you may still want a taste of something nostalgic or classic. This is the recipe for just those occasions. It is perfect for a weekend baking session and ends up making enough to share or bring to a gathering. 

The initial recipe is similar to most ‘fat head’ dough and uses coconut flour. Because of that, it’s also safe for anyone avoiding nuts which is a great alternative as some related dough uses almond flour. 

I got the idea for making these from a post by Keto Diet Channel for cinnamon and cream cheese babka bread. I tried that recipe and did like the addition of cream cheese laced with the cinnamon filling.

For these cinnamon rolls, once the dough is formed and chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper (helps with it not sticking to surfaces). Then this recipe takes a turn from classic ‘fat head’ dough as you spread a cinnamon, butter, sugar (well, sugar alternative) mixture over the dough. Using the parchment paper to assist, roll the dough over itself trapping that amazing sweet cinnamon butter inside. Chill the dough again to make cutting and forming easier. 

Let the dough chill all rolled up and covered in the parchment paper for 15-20 mins in the fridge. Take it out and cut the roll into 1-2 inch sections. I find it best to cut the long roll in half first, then cut each half in half, and keep going like that. This technique produces the most uniform rolls. Or you can experiment with some larger and some thinner rolls to see what you like, like I did below. I ended up with 15 rolls total time time, and average about a dozen to 15 rolls each time I make this recipe. 

Bake the rolls for 30 mins at 375F. Check to ensure they’re not browning too much and that they’re not too soggy or uncooked in the middle. If you have larger rolls, you may need to put them back in the oven for a few more minutes. It’s my experience that this dough can’t go longer than 30 mins without burning. So if you decide to put them back in the oven for a few more minutes make sure you cover them with foil. 

And here they are! Super cute, satisfying, tasty. The coconut flour makes these have a nice texture that’s not mealy or crumbly. The cinnamon butter rolled throughout the dough does emulate a classic cinnamon roll. These should cool on the pan and then can last up to 5 days though I find they are eaten pretty fast! If you have an older roll, microwave it for a few seconds to bring some life back to the dough and make the cinnamon mixture nice and warm. 

Additionally, you can mix up a quick glaze for the top if you’d like but of course that’s optional. I don’t typically don’t keep powdered sweetener so didn’t go with this option. And I like they just fine plain and with a cup of coffee. 

“Fat head: dough cinnamon rolls

Dough ingredients:
+ 2 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
+ 3 oz cream cheese
+ 2 eggs (large, room temp)
+ 1/4 cup sweetener** (I use Swerve erythritol)
+ 45g coconut flour (it really should be weighed)
+ 1 Tbs baking powder
+ 1 tsp xanthan gum powder (option but really helps hold the dough together and gives better texture)
+ 1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the cheeses in the microwave and stir together. I do this in a large 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup and use that as the ‘bowl’ for adding the rest of the ingredients later on. I do this in 30-second increments and stir between each one until the cheese is mealty. 

Take the cheese out of the microwave and mix together with a fork. 

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, xanthan gum, and baking powder. Whisk or stir with a fork to ensure well-combined and set aside. 

Crack the eggs into a smaller bowl (I use a ramekin)  and break them up a bit with a fork. Now that the cheese mixture is cooled a little and then add in the eggs. Mix together with a fork. If you’re new to making ‘fat head’ dough, this is where the recipe will seem to be falling apart and you may feel like something has gone wrong. Nope. It’s just difficult to mix melted cheese with egg. Keep going and you’ll be find!

Mix in the vanilla extract and sweetener. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together. This is when you will see the dough start to come together (hopefully!). When the dough comes together, you can empty it out onto parchment paper and work it with your hands a bit. If it is really sticky, wait a minute or so to see if the dough changes after the wet get absorbed better. If still too sticky, add a little bit more coconut flour to it but go little by little. Coconut flour soaks up moisture super quickly. It’s easy to add too much if you’re not used to working with it. 

Once the mixture is in a dough and can form into a ball, you can then place another piece of parchment paper over it and roll it out between the paper. I find this dough to be less like a traditional all-purpose flour dough and more like a sugar cookie dough. 

Try to roll the dough into a large rectangle shape (longer on two sides, and shorter on two sides. Don’t roll it too thin (about 1/4″ thick is good) and use your palm to smooth over the paper to ensure the dough is of even thickness all over. 

Then pop this into the fridge while you make the filling mixture. 

Cinnamon filling 

+ 1/3 cup butter, softened (at room temp)
+ 2-3 Tbs cinnamon (depending on your preference for cinnamon!)
+ 1/3 cup sweetener (I use Swerve again. I have also done half Swerve and half Splenda brown sugar and love that combo)
+ 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional but yummy. I didn’t add them for this particular post’s pictures but I like to when I have the nuts on hand) 

Mix the ingredients together and get the dough back out of the fridge. Spread the cinnamon filling mixture over the dough, leaving a gap of about 1 inch on all sides. I like to leave a larger gap on one of the long sides of the rectangle of dough. Then using the paper to assist, and starting at one long edge (the one without the larger gap of no filling) roll the dough up and over itself into a log. Wrap in the paper and place back into the fridge to chill for about 15-20 mins. 

This is when I start to pre-head the oven to 375F. I get the dough out of the fridge, and cut it into slices which will be the cinnamon rolls. I place them on a baking sheet (which is lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone sheet). I find leaving a 2″ gap or so between each is sufficient as they don’t spread much in the oven. Bake for 30+ mins depending on how big your rolls are and your desired done-ness. Take out of the oven when they’re golden brown but before they’re too dark or burning. Let cool and enjoy!

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