Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free) WIAW

Gosh, I really should have saved that time meme for today.


Good thing Pinterest supplies me with an endless stream of pictures.

I guess I just underestimated how busy I would be. Last semester I had one roommate. This semester I have FIVE. That’s five times the people to talk to. And three additional people who are always mulling around when you count some of their boyfriends. So really it’s nine times the people who I have compared to before to talk with.

On Sunday night when I should have been sleeping I instead stayed up until 11:00pm (REAL late, I know! πŸ˜‰ ). And what was I doing you may ask? Living the college dream? Partying it up? Gorging myself on 5 dollar pizzas and special delivery cookies the size of my head? Um, no, no and no.

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

We played Catch Phrase for about three hours straight.

And that’s what you get when you live with all Honors students. Ha.

With all of that insane “busyness” I haven’t had any time to bake. Actually, being away from home I probably won’t do any baking at college because I’d have no one to eat my grain-free, vegan experiments!

Thankfully I did a whole lot of baking the week before I left though so I have plenty to fill the empty (?) pages of my blog πŸ™‚

Exhibit A: A new take on my Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls!

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, No Refined Sugar, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes six cinnamon rolls

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)


Roll Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup to be vegan)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (butter/ghee works wonderful here too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (enough to cover the entire dough)
  • 1 large apple or 2 small apples, peeled and shredded

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Topping ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened

* You can use any kind of topping here. Greek yogurt + honey would be a good one. As would applesauce, nut butter, just a plain drizzle of honey or maple syrup. More cinnamon? You can never have too much cinnamonΒ :D

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flax seed and water together in a medium-sized bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until thick.
  3. Add the remaining liquid ingredients stirring well.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients until well combined. Add more coconut flour if necessary so the dough is not sticky.
  5. Spread out another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough into a large rectangle (I just used my hands and it worked fine!).
  6. Coat the dough with the 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp honey for the filling. Next layer with the shredded apple and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  7. Roll up the dough and cut into six equal pieces. Place each piece on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile make the topping out of the honey and coconut oil.
  9. When the cinnamon rolls are done let cool slightly before topping and enjoying!

Notes: Next time I may use less apple because there may have been just a *little* too much filling. My parents immensely enjoyed the overstuffed rolls though. They just used a fork πŸ™‚

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Have you all ever played Catchphrase before? It’s super fun, almost like another popular game but better because you don’t have to dance around and you can play sitting down. It’s like the lazy man’s charades.

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)


Question for you:

It’s moist, full of a delicious spice, extremely easy to make, and it’s calling your name. What is it? πŸ˜‰


Thank you Jenn for another lovely weekly round-up of the best food this blog world has to offer! Check out Peas and Crayons for this week’s top WIAW posts πŸ™‚

97 thoughts on “Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free) WIAW

  1. Um these look amazing! I need to make them. haha I loveee that you guys stayed up “late” (dont worry, its late in my books too) playing catch phrase! I was an honours student as well so I know exactly what staying in is like!

  2. I have a huge confession.. I kind of wish I was one of those 5 roommates you mentioned above. I would have you make batches & batches for the week πŸ™‚

  3. Oh geez… talk about throwing [a lot of] my favourite things into one delicious recipe. Apples, coconut, honey, and cinnamon? Be still my pounding heart. And chocolate chip pumpkin bread is calling my name. I know it’s still technically summer and all, but I’m more than ready to jump on board the fall flavours.

    • You’re right. There’s not a single ingredient to dislike in the recipe. They all go perfectly together! Let me know if you try it out πŸ™‚ Oh, and pumpkin + c. chips. There’s a brilliant idea for a cinnamon roll! πŸ˜‰ I’m totally ready for the fall flavors too πŸ˜€

  4. I have to echo Amanda here- so much goodness engrossed in one recipe! Living with honours students would make it much more fun and different perspective on college life!

    I’m interested to see how you’ll be eating while on college whilst workout out your food allergies!

    • It’s probably a lot different than what most people experienced/are experiencing in college, but I wouldn’t have it any other way πŸ™‚

      Oh, it’s pretty boring up here at college with my food! Food prep at the beginning of the week involving roasted/crock pot meat and broth, and the making soup for all of my meals with frozen veggies. The only thing my stomach can handle! Don’t worry though… Plenty of delicious sea salt is consumed daily here!

  5. Haha 11pm is late for me too!
    I used to stay up late with my uni friends when I was at uni and we’d watch back-tp-back episodes of Sex and the City…or play silly board games. They’re the best of times!
    That apple pudding looks amazing – anything with apple in rocks my world of course but that looks especially good!

    • Haha. Good to here.

      Last year for our group we stayed up watching superhero and Lord of the RIngs movies. Seriously, we’re quite the bunch πŸ˜‰ I’ve never seen Sex in the City but I think I would really like it.

      Being an apple lover you should give the cinnamon roll recipe a go πŸ™‚

  6. “And that’s what you get when you live with all Honors students” >> Haha LOVE it! πŸ˜‰ I never was like that but these days I’m such a study! If I’d go back in time I’d so be an Honors student & studying to become a doctor or something πŸ˜‰ Those rolls look yummy!

  7. Haha I totally had a Catch Phrase addiction at uni too! OK so those cinnamon rolls look insanely good – I might have to try subbing the flax for an egg or two, think that would work? Either way I’m pretty sure it will be a delicious mess!

    • I think that subbing a few eggs would work. I originally had eggs listed as a substitution on my other cinnamon roll recipe, but I removed it because I wasn’t positive on the amounts. I’d suggest a minimum of two eggs because the flax seed mixture is really what holds the rolls together. Let me know if you try it out and what you change. Hope you like them!

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  9. Can I come be one of your roommates? I love catchphrase and all the food you make πŸ™‚ I promise to let you win sometimes and help you eat all of your baking experiments!!

  10. Cinnamon rolls!!! I’ve been craving them for quite a while now, this recipe is definitely a keeper. Having roomates seems really interesting, I’m living at home during college, so I guess I’m going to be missing out on quite a bit. Oh well.

    • Thanks Shawn πŸ™‚ I thought that I wouldn’t like living with other people but it really does provide a different experience. I don’t think you are missing out persay, but I would really consider doing it at least once for the experience. My mom only lived on campus her senior year of college and she was really glad that she did because it put her out of her comfort zone I think.

      How are you liking college so far? I bet it’s probably a little easier to study at home at least without a gazillion people coming in and out of your room. Lol.

      • Maybe during grad school then? School hasn’t actually started yet here. Freshman orientation begins next week and the first day of school is the week after that. I guess I have just enough time to psych myself out. πŸ˜›

  11. It’s an apple cinnamon roll. Did I win? What’s my prize?
    I will be pinning these for when we get apples in the CSA share. It would be a great way to use that coconut flour and oil I bought so many months ago. Thank you!
    Onto to your rommates. I’m glad you have four new live in friend this year. Now the real question…will you be spendng your weekends at school?

    • So I think you are the only one who actually answered the question so far. Honestly, I’m happy it was you. Because now I don’t feel guilty about not having anything for the winner πŸ˜›

      Anywho, you really need to get on that coconut flour. It’s magical stuff Meghan. It’s like the sponge of the flour world.

      Good question. My plan is to be up at school every other weekend. I got permission this year to bring both a mini fridge AND a mini freezer to school. So food prep for two weeks. It’ll take a little while on the “every other” weekend but will be SO worth it. I feel like I missed out on bunches last year.

  12. I cannot wait to make these cinnamon rolls! What a perfect breakfast treat for fall with all the apples that’ll soon be in season! And catchphrase is my all-time favorite game πŸ™‚ Such fun family memories with that game!

    • I really hope that you get to make them soon so you can tell me what you think! πŸ˜€ Next up I want to try pumpkin in place of the applesauce for the dough. Now *that* would be the perfect fall treat! I’ve only played catchphrase a few times so I kind of forgot how it worked until this week. I’m not even entirely sure that we were playing it right but oh well because it was fun!

  13. Haha, 11:00 P.M. is about my limit for staying up “late” as well–I need my sleep! I recently read an article in a Psychology Today magazine about how some people can be sleep deprived but not FEEL as though they are, which explains why they are “fine” until they get the chance to sleep as much as they want. Then they realize what they are missing! I don’t think I’ve ever played catch phrase, but it sounds extremely fun.I love playing Apples to Apples, Taboo, and other related games, so I would probably enjoy it. Those apple chunk cinnamon rolls look delicious, and would be a great way to use up some of my coconut flour. I will have to try them out soon!

  14. It’s been a while since college, but we were always thrilled to eat homemade vs dining hall food…even if was something healthy. Don’t stop baking; your roomies will love you.

    • I totally know what you mean by that. I ate from the dining hall my first semester and my stomach just couldn’t handle the food (even though it was pretty plain, non-processed stuff like fruit, salads, rice, steamed vegetables, grilled chicken…) I have big hopes for some Christmas cookie baking this Winter with my roommates πŸ™‚

  15. Your roommate situation sounds fun, even if it’s making you go to bed too late! I lived in the Honors dorm my freshman year, but two (of my three) roommates were just awful, awful people. One even got kicked out after half a semester!
    These rolls look great! I’m pinning this recipe, too. Too bad we don’t live closer – I’d be totally willing to sample your baked goods. πŸ™‚

    • That sounds horrible! Last year in the honors dorm we had quite the few yelling yahoos running down the halls at all hours, but I think since this year we are in a different hall with suites vs. just two-to-a-room most of the craziness stays behind closed doors πŸ˜‰ I can’t believe one of your roommates got kicked out!

      Thanks for pinning the recipe πŸ™‚ I wish we lived closer too. We never ended up getting together this summer when we actually did live closer. Haha. Whoops.

  16. Madison, I don’t baked desserts much at all but after reading this I could easily change that! It looks sooooo delicious! And the doggie was very cute too πŸ™‚

    • I get stuck on staples too. These are my third or fourth variation on a similar type of recipe πŸ˜€ But when it’s good, it’s good and no need to change πŸ˜€ Hopefully you’ll have time to try them out this weekend- let me know how they turn out!

    • Mine too. Watching movies and playing board games… I could do this all semester! πŸ™‚

      Although I couldn’t try them myself, I can guaranteed that they smelled amazing, and my family can guarantee that for being grain-free they tasted amazing too.

  17. Um, these look DELICIOUS!

    Five roommates huh? No wonder you are so tired. All of your energy is going into socializing haha. But it still must be fun :)!

    • Aww. Thanks for the super sweet comment Davida. Glad you are enjoying all of my takes on the cinnamon roll. I have even more planned but those might have to wait a few weeks so everyone doesn’t get tired of them!

  18. Id like to make these but wanted to know how much banana to use? You mention that its mashed with the flax but its not listed in the ingredients. Thanks! They look so yummy!

    • Thanks for pointing that out Joanna. Sorry for the confusion. The banana in the directions is actually leftover from the directions of my original cinnamon rolls. In this version I replaced the banana with applesauce so the ingredients are right. I just corrected the directions. (If you only have banana though, you could always replace the applesauce in this recipe with 1 mashed banana). If you have any more questions just ask. And let me know what you think when you make the rolls πŸ™‚

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    • Definitely! They only lasted about a day in my house, but I think that as long as you included the sea salt (which would act as a preservative) I think they would last at least 4 or so days in the refrigerator. For the freezer I think that might work and you could just let them thaw out, but I’m honestly not sure what the texture would be like.

      For travelling I would recommend only making a thin layer of apple for the filling to ensure that they roll up well, and make sure that you bake them until they are fully cooked– just to ensure that they don’t fall apart while you’re on the move!

      I hope you have an awesome time on your trip! Let me know how you like them and what you did for storage πŸ™‚

      • I did not have time to take on our trip!!! But I tried these Sunday and THEY ARE THE BOMB! SOOO good! Caps are needed πŸ˜‰ Thank you! I used chia meal instead of flax πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for coming back to let me know that you made them. I’m so excited that the cinnamon rolls worked out for you and that you liked them! And thanks for the note about the chia meal. I’ll reference back here if anyone ever has questions about substitutes in the future.

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    • Great question! In my most recent cinnamon roll recipe I experimented with using eggs in place of the flaxseed here: I used 2 eggs in place of the ground flaxseed and water, and then increased the coconut flour up to 1 cup.

      As you can see from the pictures though the texture is a little different. Still good, but more crumbly when trying to roll as well as when they are done baking.

      A few ideas if you want to use eggs in this recipe: Replace the flaxseed mixture with 2 eggs, use a banana if possible instead of the applesauce (it will help to bind the dough together better), and increase the coconut flour as needed to make a mixture that is roll-able.

      Also- if you have ground chia seeds wendic22t above said that worked great!

      Let me know what you try and if you have any more questions πŸ™‚

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  26. Hi! These look fantastic and are on my list for Christmas treats. I’m very curious to know if you think they would hold together well if I prepared them the night before to be baked in the morning. Thanks!

    • Hi Karen! I think that they would probably do fine if you prepared them the night before and baked them the next morning. I would start off baking them for just 15 minutes first and then increase from there. Sitting overnight will probably dry them out a bit and (may) need less time for baking. On the other hand, maybe you’d need a few more minutes? Either way, just bake until golden brown and enjoy πŸ™‚ Report back after all of the Christmas festivities die down with how they go!

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