“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!

Fat head dough

Fat head dough is the name given to dough typically made with cheese and low-carb flour such as finely-ground almond meal or coconut flour. It can be a strange concept to wrap your brain around until you try it yourself. But I am here to tell you it works. And tastes amazing. The resulting dough is indeed low carb, and also very rich and tasty. You don’t need a lot of it to satisfy.

The term ‘fat head’ comes from the movie of the same name. It came out ten years ago and is a documentary which tries to challenge popular opinion and nutrition paradigms regarding the standard North-American diet.

Fat head dough is a popular recipe for many following a ketogenic lifesyle. I make it for myself when our family enjoys a pizza night and my four year old has proclaimed she likes it better than the ‘real’ pizza. How’s that for an endorsement?!

The basic recipe I use is adapted from the site Ditch the Carbs and makes a good size pizza which I cut into six slices. I top it will low-sugar tomato sauce, pepperoni and/or salami, mushrooms, peppers, olives, or whatever I have for pizza that particular day. Since there is so much cheese inside the crust itself, I often just sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top or leave the top cheeseless.

Fat head dough can also be used for other savory dishes, and even for sweet baking. I have made fat head cinnamon rolls previously and recently made cinnamon cream cheese babka which was divine. It disappeared from my house within 24hrs of being made. It was so good! The recipe is from Keto Diet Channel and I can’t wait to make it again. I will note that the amount of butter the original recipe calls for is way too much. When I make it next I will cut the butter down quite a bit when mixing the cinnamon butter mixture. I also didn’t have any walnuts at home when I made it so I’m looking forward to adding those to my next attempt.

I also just found out a few restaurants locally are starting to offer fat head dough options. One location of Boston Pizza so far, and Pannizzaa. Haven’t tried but looking forward to having more options when out and about.

Do you like fat head dough? Have you made it or have a favorite method?

Dinner pic – egg roll in a bowl edition

Egg roll in a bowl.

No recipe per se. Sautéed mushrooms and onions with garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and added ground pork and a bag of shredded veg with broccoli and cabbage (it’s marketed as a type of ‘coleslaw mix’). Added in Konjac rice, and topped with peanuts, green onion, and hot sauce. It was perfection.

This is the konjac rice product. It costs more than regular rice but I pick it up when on sale (usually online). I like it better than the NuPasta konjac long noodles.

Keto-friendly chocolate chip cookies

I made this recipe recently and the resulting cookies were chewy and satisfying. The recipe is from the site Fat For Weight Loss. It’s a great one and the recipe page has various ingredient options with photos. I used regular almond flour (not fine ground) and added xanthan gum. I didn’t have grass-fed butter but did use butter, of course. The sweetener I had was Swerve, and the chocolate was my fav Lindt 78% cocoa chopped up into pieces.

The dough before baking didn’t look the same as the pic for the original blog recipe. But I kept going and things worked out.

I put small balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with a non-stick baking mat. That made 15 with some dough leftover. The original recipe said it would make 12 cookies so perhaps I made mine smaller and/or my ingredients made more volume. I did not smoosh or flatten them before baking.

These baked for about 15mins. The original recipe said to bake for 10mins but I kept checking mine and thought they needed more time in the oven. The cookies didn’t spread too much but flattened out to a nice cookie.

As with most keto and gluten free baked goods I found these were better a day after they were baked. The texture gets chewier which I love. Also as with most of my keto-friendly baking these cookies were gobbled up pretty quickly by me and my family. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe out again soon and see how it works next time.