Pumpkin Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

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Contributor post by Sweet Marybeth! 

September is here and it feels like everybody north of the Mason Dixon Line is pulling out their sweaters with pumpkin spiced lattes. While us southerners are trekking up to the pool to make it through what is typically the hottest month of our year, we are making it feel like fall in creative ways. It may be in the high 90’s, but we are going to pick pumpkins and make pumpkin gluten-free cinnamon rolls till winter shows up. We are also going to crank up that AC and pretend the breeze outside our windows is a fall nip blowing through. I’m Mary Beth, mom of four, writer, and southern expat. After transplanting to the south 15 years ago, I’ve learned some tricks to making September work when you’re still in a tank top.

Trick your senses with fall aromas

If it doesn’t feel like fall outside, you can certainly make it feel like fall on the inside. One of my favorite tricks is to bake something that doesn’t keep the oven on for too long and also fills the house up with autumn aromas. Last week, after a discouraging weather forecast in the 90’s, I decided to rally and make pumpkin gluten-free cinnamon rolls. The house began to smell amazing and it was an instant mood-lifter. If you’re short on time, you could also throw your favorite autumn essential oil blends into a diffuser and fake fall till you make it.

brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices mixed with wooden spoon for pumpkin cinnamon roll filling

Practice gratitude for every season

One of my favorite parts about the transition from summer to fall is the Thanksgiving tradition for us Americans. There’s just something about a collective spirit of thankfulness that turns the world right side up. I want to acknowledge that this time of year can also be difficult for those of us who are walking through heartache, loss, and trauma. I’ve learned that there is space for both joy and sorrow. Practicing gratitude can be a powerful tool for shifting perspective. It can be as simple as making a mental checklist of everything you’re thankful for in the carpool line, on the freeway, or in yoga class. Or, you can write a list in a journal before bed. In hard times this task may feel daunting, but as Oprah points out, “I went through the day looking for things to be grateful for and something always showed up.” 

Create new memories – make pumpkin gluten-free cinnamon rolls!

Every new season brings new challenges. Kids clothing bins need to be rotated. Routines shift and change. Allergies kick in with a vengeance. The pumpkins on the front step start prematurely rotting from the heat. (Oh, is that just us?!) Yet, new seasons also bring opportunities to step outside of the ordinary and create new memories. Here are a couple things I’ve done (as a mom of four) to create new memories when fall rolls around…

  • Visit an apple farm
  • Pick up apple cider donuts (get extra and share with the neighbors)
  • Pack a lunch and visit the pumpkin patch
  • Plan a family halloween costume
  • Check out a cozy novel from the library (currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert)
  • Go on a family hike
  • Bake fall recipes (like the pumpkin gluten-free cinnamon rolls below)
  • Go on a bike ride or run through a pretty neighborhood (even though it’s still hot out in September, often the mornings and evenings become much cooler in the south)
  • Drive north to see some changing leaves and listen to a favorite podcastcream cheese frosting slathered on gluten-free pumpkin cinnamon roll

How to make diet changes work for the season

There are so many wonderful treats this time of year brings, but if you’re like me and have recently made changes to your diet, this season can feel daunting. If you’re feeling alone with your health journey, get connected with other people who are making similar changes and can offer you support and resources. Find Instagram accounts, Facebook groups, and blogs who are offering recipes that accommodate your lifestyle choices. I’ve been gluten-free for almost a year and I could not have done it without the support of friends who have shared recipes and answered my many questions. I’ve also found that there are many workarounds with food I thought I would have to give up. For example, I used to make amazing cinnamon rolls in the fall and winter. I thought those days were over. Now, I substitute gluten-free flour (I like the King Arthur brand) and have been able to make lots of my favorite recipes with a few tweaks. These pumpkin gluten-free cinnamon rolls are now a possibility thanks to this wonderful recipe. So, without further ado, let me show you how to make them.

gluten-free pumpkin cinnamon roll on neutral plate with cinnamon sticks and mini pumpkins


September 13, 2019


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