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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ogilby

Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Squares That Are More Tempting than a Cinnabon

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Cinnamon rolls, meet cinnamon squares. These are less work than cinnamon rolls but just as yummy. Nom nom!

Inspired by cinnamon rolls from ChocolateCoveredKatie and Joanna Gaine's squares.

If you don't need to use gluten-free flour, use multi-purpose (or whole wheat) flour and omit the 5 Tbsps extra.

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Vegan, Gluten Free Cinnamon Squares

Makes enough for 8-12 people depending on how big you slice.

You need a blender or food processor (or a lot of patience to chop by hand!).

Dough Ingredients:

1 cup vegan milk

2 Tbsp sugar, honey, agave, or syrup

1 Tbsp yeast

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour

5 Tbsp Gluten Free Flour (separated)

2 Tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

4 Tbsp oil or applesauce

1 Tbsp oil (separated)

Spread Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

12 dates, pitted

1 cup pecans (walnuts can substitute)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon (if you like a lot of spice flavor, add a tsp of cloves, nutmeg, allspice, etc. too)

2/3 cup oil or applesauce

1/2 tsp salt

Frosting Ingredients:

2-3 Tbsp vegan milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar


Fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup milk. Heat in microwave until it is warm, but not hot... like a cup of tea that you forgot in the microwave for a while!

Add 2 Tbsp of sugar and 1 Tbsp yeast to the milk and watch for bubbles/foam. No bubbles? RIP. Write yeast on your grocery list and try this recipe again another time!

Add dry dough ingredients (except the 5 Tbsp flour) to a big bowl and mix. Stir your applesauce or oil into the measuring cup with milk, then stir it all into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir and mix until it loosely forms a ball (add the 5 Tbsp flour and use your hands if needed). Rub ball of dough with 1 Tbsp oil, cover bowl with a kitchen towel, and forget about it for an hour!

Gluten free flour tends not to rise as much as regular dough - no worries!


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Take all spread ingredients except the pecans and place in blender/food processor. Process/blend until you have a paste. Add the pecans and blend until they are just incorporated.

Clean up your kitchen mess while your dough rises, or throw in a load of laundry! You've got time to kill.

You can make the spread in advance and keep covered in the fridge for a few days.

After one hour:

Check on your dough (gluten free not might not rise - multipurpose dough should have risen). Knead for a few minutes. Break it into thirds and roll out each third into an 8" by 8" square, as well as you can.

In a greased 8" by 8"pan, pat down one third of your dough into an even layer. Spread half of your date-nut paste on top.

Press down a second third of your dough, followed by the rest of the paste.

Top with the final third of dough.

If you're feeling fancy, brush the top of the dough with a few teaspoons of vegan milk to make it shine.

Cover with foil to keep moisture in while baking. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until golden.

Mid process of layering the dough and spread

Pour 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar into a measuring cup. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and whisk. Add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, until you like its consistency. For a paste, add less milk - for a glaze (pictured), add more. Whisk.

Right before serving, drizzle over cinnamon squares and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Eat warm! Slice into squares and enjoy.

My husband couldn't resist grabbing a slice right away!

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