Rich & Spicy Chili With Cinnamon Rolls

For some reason, chili and cinnamon rolls go together beautifully. I’m not talking about canned chili and a cinnamon roll that came out of a tube either. I’m talking chili from scratch, and warm cinnamon rolls straight from your own oven that have come from the work of your hands.

When I first entered into the gluten-free world I was shocked by some of the baked items I found in the gluten-free freezer section of the grocery store. Seriously, who buys this stuff? On top of that, I’m also dairy-free, which adds another frightful dimension to trying to figure out what to eat. Don’t get me wrong, there are gluten-free choices out there on the shelves and in the freezer sections that are do-able. Some are even quite good. But, with that said, I typically prefer to do my own baking and cooking, control my own ingredients. And when I buy something packaged, I usually doctor it up with my own ideas.

Once I ventured out and learned the science behind gluten-free baking, it opened up a whole new world. I have always loved to cook and bake and was used to doing things a certain way. Gluten-free baking can be challenging. If you like to take gluten recipes and transform them, it can take a lot of trial and error before you come up with a satisfying recipe. But once you do, it’s incredibly rewarding! You can teach an old dog new tricks! Pat yourself on the back, do a happy dance, feed your friends and family… Anyone can throw together an easy wheat, sugar, baking powder, and butter recipe for crying out loud. It’s predictable. It does all the work for you. But gluten-free baking? It can be a wild card, it’s exciting, it makes you use your noggin’. That’s what this dinner is about. A reward for hard work and trying something new “ish”, and the great satisfaction it brings when you’ve created something special with your own hands.

Rich & Spicy Chili

1 lb. Ground Beef, I like to use extra lean

1/2  lb. Ground Hot Sausage, make sure it’s gluten-free

1 Medium Onion, diced

2 Stalks Celery, sliced down the middle & diced

1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper, diced

4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, smashed & diced

2 14.5 oz. Cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes

6 oz. Can Tomato Paste

7 oz. Can Mild Roasted Green Chilis

2 15 oz. Cans Kidney Beans

1 15 oz. Can of White Beans

15 oz. Beef Broth, make sure it’s gluten-free, you may need to add 1/2 cup or so more during the simmering process

3 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Dried Parsley

1/2 Tbsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. Dried Basil

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper Medley

1/2 tsp. Crushed Chili Pepper

Drizzle about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large Dutch Oven, heat on medium to medium high heat and brown the hamburger and hot sausage. While the meats are browning, prepare the vegetables, garlic, and gather the seasonings. Set aside.

Once the meat mixture is browned, remove from pot and set aside. Leave browned bits and drippings in pot. Add onions, pepper, celery, and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.

Drain the beans, set aside.

Pour both cans of roasted tomatoes and the tomato paste in a blender and puree until smooth, set aside.

Once the vegetable mixture is sautéed, add the drained beans, green chilis, spices, meat, and sauce. Stir until combined.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and slowly simmer for 4 hours stirring occasionally.

This is what it will look like after 4 hours.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Makes about 11 large rolls.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

(If you’re not dairy-free, you can use real butter. I haven’t tried it though, it may alter the outcome.)

For The Rolls:

4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Almond Milk,warmed but not hot to the touch

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

2 tsp. Pure Vanilla

1 1/2 Tbsp. Yeast, dissolved in the warmed almond milk

1 Cups Sorghum Flour

1/2 Cup Mama’s Almond All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

2 Cups Potato Starch

1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour

4 tsp. Xanthan Gum

4 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Sea Salt

Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer on high until thoroughly combined and fluffy.

Warm the almond milk lightly, not hot and add yeast. Stir and let rest while you’re measuring the flours, etc. Measure the sorghum flour, almond flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

To the creamed mixture, add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk/yeast mixture. Mix on medium speed scraping down bowl at least once, until combined. It will look curdled.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and scrape down bowl. Mix on high until thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes). Dough will be sticky.

Next, flour a piece of parchment paper and scoop dough out onto paper. Flour the top of the dough and pat down. Flour a rolling-pin and roll the dough into a 21×13 oblong “ish” form.

For The Filling:

4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread

1 3/4 Cups Dark Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon

Place the butter in a small dish and stir until softened enough to spread with the back of a spoon.

Once it is softened, spread carefully all over the rolled out dough.

Sprinkle the dark brown sugar over the entire surface. Smooth with fingers. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Using the parchment paper to assist you, slowly begin to roll up the long sides of the dough. As you go along, tuck the dough toward the paper so that the roll doesn’t end up too loose.

Once it is rolled up completely, pat the ends in so all of the filling doesn’t spill out and smooth out the roll a bit.

Cut into 1 1/2 inch slices and carefully place in a greased 9×13 glass dish, some of the filling will try to sneak out. Place a small dollop of dairy-free butter on each one.

Cover very lightly with sprayed plastic wrap, leaving edges loose, and let rest for 30 minutes on top of stove. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes or until lightly browned and when you press in the center it feels firm with just a little give. If you over cook them they’ll be dry, and if you under cook them they’ll deflate.

Remove from oven and allow to cool almost completely before frosting.

I like to frost mine when they are still just a little bit warm on the inside.

For The Frosting:

About 4 Cups Powdered Sugar

About 4 Tbsp. Dairy Free Butter

About 4-6 Tbsp. Almond Milk

About 2 tsp. Almond Extract

Melt butter in microwave and add to powdered sugar, add almond extract, and about 2 Tbs. of the milk. Whisk until completely smooth. Add more almond milk if necessary to make a good spreading consistency, but not too thin. Dollop onto cinnamon rolls and spread carefully with spoon. Make sure someone you love gets to lick the spoon!

10 Comments on “Rich & Spicy Chili With Cinnamon Rolls

  1. I will agree sweet goes along with a great bowl of chili! My husband makes a wonderful pot of chili & always make a coffee cake to go along with it. At first I couldn’t grasp the idea of eating chili without cornbread….until I tried it. I will never go back! The coffee cake recipe he makes (and now I do any chance I get!) is very very moist, not the typical dry traditional coffee cake. I have even found now that I convert it to gluten free it’s even better than before! Let me know if you’d like me to send you the recipe & I’d be happy to share, especially after all you’ve shared with me! xo


  2. Of course, I would lover for you to share your recipes with me! I’ll make it and post it and give you full credit. I have been thinking about choosing one day a month where I make and share my readers gluten-free recipes. I think it would be really fun! 🙂


    • how should I send it to you? Do you want me to send it thru Facebook as a message to you or post it here so you get it in your inbox? I’ll have to do it tonight when I get home. I think I’m gonna have to have chili this weekend so I can have this coffee cake for dinner & breakfast the next morning! It’s supposed to snow here in Seattle, which the entire city shuts down, so I may have some time to bake! yum!


    • Here is the recipe I promised that is delicious & goes very well with a nice hot bowl of chili.

      Double-Coffee-Coffee Cake
      6 tsp instant coffee crystals
      1 c chopped walnuts
      2 c granulated sugar
      1/4 c packed brown sugar
      2 tsp cinnamon
      3 c flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)
      1 1/2 tsp baking powder
      1 1/2 tsp baking soda
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum (added to original recipe to make it work with the gluten free flour)
      3/4 c butter
      1 – 8 oz carton sour cream
      3 eggs
      1/4 c buttermilk or sour milk
      1/4 c applesauce
      1 tsp vanilla

      Grease & flour a 10″ fluted tube pan; set aside. Dissolve 4 tsp of the coffee crystals in 2 tsp hot water; set aside. In medium bowl combine nuts, 1/4 c granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon & remaining coffee crystals; set aside. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt & Xanthan Gum; set aside.
      In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the remaining granulated sugar. Beat until light & fluffy. Add reserved coffee-water mixture, sour cream, eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, & vanilla; beat well. Add dry mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
      Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the nut mixture. Top with remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Bake in a 350* oven about 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan & serve warm ~ Enjoy!


  3. Kim, that sounds really yummy! Can’t wait to try it, might have to do it this weekend! I think I could change out the sour cream with dairy-free yogurt, as I don’t really care for the dairy-free version of sour cream. Also, for anyone reading this who is dairy-free, you can make your own version of buttermilk with almond, soy, or rice milk, by adding 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes.


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