I live in a seasonal community. And once the warm weather hits, the Ditch Witch, a beach side food cart, opens for business. Since my older son Jack was little I have been taking him to this Montauk pillar, about once a week, to get a morning treat. Inevitably he selects a warm sticky bun. Hunter, my little one, has been gluten-free since age 2 and has become accustomed to watching his brother scarf down this hot gooey cinnamon roll always yearning to have one. While I have tried to satisfy his itch with everything from Udi’s gluten free cinnamon rolls to Chebe’s do-it-yourself bun mix, he balked at both. Sadly, I finally had to tell my blonde haired brown-eyed babe that the best I can do in the gluten-free cinnamon bun department is Kinnikinnick cinnamon sugar donuts. So every time we go to the Ditch Witch I pack a dunker in a bag for Hunter to enjoy. But the push for the real deal never ends.
Two weeks ago he marched into my office while I was on the computer and said, “Mom, can we please make sticky buns?” Just nearly Spring (meaning not Ditch Witch season) and my kid is still obsessing! Putting my work aside (and feeling a bit annoyed—I didn’t have time for baked goods at the moment), we searched the Internet high and low for the perfect fresh baked gluten-free cinnamon bun that I could simply re-heat (sadly, non-existent). The last thing I wanted to do was make, from scratch, anything requiring too many ingredients and perfected measuring. I am just not a baker.
Then we came across this—Gluten Free Cinnabon Copycat Cinnamon Roll Recipe (now with video tutorial)—and we watched. And when that face (see above)…asked if we could p-l-e-a-s-e make them. I caved and said, “yes!"
So all last week Hunter counted the days to Sticky Bun Sunday and when it finally arrived, we took a quick ride to our local health food store to grab the multiple gluten-free ingredients from potato flour to tapioca starch and xanthan gum and rushed home to bake.
I very carefully followed the recipe (only having to re-do once, I am a bit of a half-assed baker). There was flour everywhere (baking with a 5 year old is not neat) but after a good hour my son had his very first sticky bun and was elated (see below). I must admit that it was utter joy watching him finally have the chance to scoff down the warm sticky roll that he has been craving for years. I might add that I had a nibble or two (or three) and it was a serious home run.
So if you are gluten-free and want a sensational sticky sweet, then powering through this recipe is a must. Nothing too offensive other than lots of sugar and fat, but everyone needs an indulgence once in a while. And this one is well worth it!