Gluten-free Buns

When you live a gluten-free life, there are times when you feel a void. Sometimes it’s a simple thing, like being able to eat your ice cream from a cone, being able to order take-out on a rough day, or being able to pay only $2 for cereal when it’s on sale. But for me, the other day it was being able to eat some Sloppy Joes on a bun. Yep, simple things. That’s when I decided to play in the kitchen a bit, and made these delicious “whole-wheat like” (but totally gluten-free) buns. We always ate whole wheat bread before going gluten-free, and the taste and texture are similar to what I remember. So, after 4 years of having to eat Sloppy Joes without a bun (blech), I got to top my bun with the messy, beefy mixture, some ketchup and mustard. And let me tell you; it was grand. :)


The Sloppy Joes recipe that I enjoyed can be found over at Mommy Moment, where I am a monthly recipe contributor.


  1. Elaine says

    They look great, Jeanine ~ I have a question that maybe you could answer for me. I see many of the GF bread/bun recipes call for “cider” vinegar. The first loaf of GF bread I made for my son called for it and I followed the recipe and used it. He didn’t like it at all because of the strong vinegar smell and flavour. Since then I only use the regular white vinegar and he seems okay with that. Is there a particular reason that GF bread recipes call for the cider vinegar?? Thanks!!

    • Jeanine says

      Thanks, Elaine!
      Interestingly enough, I don’t know. I’ve never been able to taste the apple cider vinegar, since it is usually only 1 teaspoon in the recipe, but I ‘think’ that using regular vinegar would give the same results? I’ve seen some recipes that have used lemon juice as well, I assume it is the acidity of it that adds something to the texture of the bread. Good question, now you have me thinking…

      • Elaine says

        Someone told me that it was because apple cider vinegar was “healthier” than white vinegar. Not a good enough reason for me to use it if it means my son won’t eat the finished product ~ in my humble opionion! LOL

        • Jeanine says

          lol, I don’t think a teaspoon distributed through a whole loaf will make anyone healthier. If white vinegar works for you, go for it! :)

          • Kathryn says

            I think the vinegar issue is because regular vinegar is made from wheat grain. Supposedly the gluten protein is destroyed in the distillation process (therefore it’s gluten free) but people probably opt for the cider vinegar just to be on the safe side. I find rice vinegar works well too.

          • Jeanine says

            I think you may be right, Kathryn! Vinegar is one of those ‘debatable’ items, and only in the last few years have they said a definite “YES” to it being safe. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!

  2. says

    Can you provide the dimensions of your pot pie pans? I have been struggling with hamburger buns and trying to figure out what kind of pans would provide enough structure — pot pie pans! Brilliant! I bought english muffin tins and the sides just weren’t high enough to give the necessary structure. I’ve been making dinner rolls in muffin tins but would love to be able to have a hamburger bun success. Thx!!

    • Jeanine says

      The tins I used are 4 3/8″ x 1 3/16″, they are labeled as “extra-deep pie plates”. PERFECT size for hamburger buns. I’ve tried english muffin rings as well, and they didn’t work for me. This works perfectly though, gives you a nice wide bun, that isn’t too high, since a thick bun isn’t what you want when you’re having burgers or sandwiches.

    • Jeanine says

      for real! The only mess I made while eating them was BESIDE the bun, from the sloppy joes falling out. I’ve baked them again since, and the whole family (not gluten-free) loved them to!

  3. Marilyn says

    These look wonderful! Is there anything I can substitute for the flax seeds? Thanks for posting this recipe.

    • Jeanine says

      You could try using another 1/4 cup of sorghum flour, but I think that will change the texture of the buns. If you do try to substitute, let us know how it went!

      • Marilyn says

        Hey Jeanine – thanks for the quick response! I’m going to try 1/4 cup of almond meal in place of the flax & see what happens. Flax just tears my stomach up for some reason. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  4. Tamar says

    Just wondered if anyone has tried using empty tins such as the large size tuna cans to make buns. With the bottoms on and straight sides, set them on a cookie sheet, seems it should work????

    • Jeanine says

      Yes, Tamar! It does work! :) An older friend of mine, who has been GF WAY longer than I, used to use tuna tins when baked herself buns. They work great! Just be sure to wash well before using. 😉

  5. Annette says

    Hi Jeanine: Early on in this journey, I really missed having hamburgers so tried using my bread recipe in small ramekins and baked them for 15 minutes. They were really nice, but fell apart while trying to eat them with a meat paddy. I look forward to trying your recipe. It has been a long hot summer, missing having a hamburger or hot dog with the grandkids.

    • Jeanine says

      Good luck, Annette! Another thing is to make sure that your bun isn’t too thick, because then it has at tendency to fall apart more easily when eating it as a burger too. :)

  6. Terri Davila says

    Yesterday was football Sunday at my house so we made burgers. I made your gf buns & thank goodness I made 3 batches, enough to freeze, but the buns never made it to the freezer. My non gf friends chose your buns over the gluten full buns hands down! My son was impressed since the buns did not crumble nor were they hard. These were soft, but sturdy enough to hold lots of man-folk toppings, & boy did they pile it on. My son is happy & to me that’s all that matters. Thanks so much!

    • Jeanine says

      Woohoo!! TOUCHDOWN!! :) So happy to hear that, Terri! And that’s hilarious that the gluten-eaters were picking the GF buns over the regular. How awesome is that?!? :) Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • Jeanine says

      I found mine at the dollar store, you can very often find them at the grocery store too. They are the size of pot pies. :)

  7. Carol Leitz says

    WOW! These are awesome. I only made a single recipe as you never know about GF recipes, but I will double it in the future. They refrigerate and freeze well. Toasted or not, you can’t lose. Thank you for posting this recipe and giving us hope of having something that not only tastes, but also feels like bread. I’ve already passed this on. :-)

    • Jeanine says

      Is your yeast fresh or have you had it for a long time? Did you have the buns in a warm, draft-free place to rise? Those are the only trouble shooting things I can think of off hand. I’ve made these numerous times. By making 6 buns, they are fairly thin, perfect for putting something like sloppy joes or a hamburger on. If you want the buns to be thicker, you can make 4 instead of 6.

      • Darlene says

        Thank you for your help…l have had the yeast for a few months and is quick rising.anyway after 1.5 hrs it did rise ….they were greatand thin but l like a thin bun…this is the first hamburger in 1yr.Pot pie tins were alittle bigger l think… your site..

  8. Sherry Webb says

    I can hardly wait to get off work….rush over to the dollar store for pot pie tins, to the bulk store for some more brown flour rice…rush home and bake up these buns. When they are done and cooled to just warm, I am going to put some real butter on one…sit down and eat it. If they are as good as they look I just may cry and then tomorrow I am going to have a GIANT cheeseburger and if anyone gets between me and my plate I may bite them.

  9. Jools says

    These were on my to-do-list for quite some time and today I had a day off from work and finally found the time to make them. Making the dough was a breeze, I spent more time converting the quantities of the ingredients into the metric system and cycling through my town in a vain effort to find the right pie tins! I ended up lining some ramekins (thanks @Annette for this clever idea) with cupcakeliners just adjusted the time a bit. And I put a baking dish with some hot water right below the tray with the buns. I learned this trick once from a French chef, makes a lot of baked things more moist and the crusts crispier. They looked a bit like bready muffins when I got them out of the oven, but that didn’t spoil the fun at all. Because o joy, o joy, o joy these were GOOD!!!
    In our family of 5 we all eat GF (although it’s just my daughter who is the Celiac), except for bread. My husband who was at work while I baked them, couldn’t believe that they were:
    A. glutenfree
    B. this good
    C. homemade
    He concluded: ‘You probably picked up a recipe again from this Canadian woman’s website, didn’t you?’
    They were moist, not crumbly at all, had a very good texture and no peculiar taste whatsoever. And the best thing: they really absorbed the juices of the meat very well. And that does not happen often with GF bread. The only thing that worries me now the most: where do I find the time to make all these gorgeous things? My family, friends and neighbours are requesting more and more cinnamonbuns, monkey bread, pancakes, sugar- and swirlcookies (none of them are Celiacs). Best not to let them try these buns, otherwise I probably have to give up my job and start fulltime baking!
    I do apologize, this comment turned out way too long. I am not trying to take over your blog, it’s just that I am super enthousiastic, I learn a lot from baking your recipes. Loads of thanks Jeanine!

    • Jeanine says

      haha, that is wonderful!! Love it, thanks so much for the long response, Jools, gives me something to read. 😉 Haha, that Canadian woman’s website – 😀

  10. Stephanie says

    If I don’t have tapioca starch, can I use something else? I have everything else. I’m new at this GF baking so don’t know quite yet what I can substitute.

    • Jeanine says

      Stephanie, you could use cornstarch in place, it’s only 2 Tbsp, it should still work quite well. :) Welcome to the GF journey!

  11. Stephanie says

    Just wanted to say these are amazing. It wast first time GF baking and these were great. I didn’t have the proper tins so I used a muffin tin & baked for 22 min. Excellent !

    • Jeanine says

      Ah, that’s awesome!! Muffin tins work fine, just not for hamburgers (unless you’re making sliders? Hmmm….) :)

  12. Tina Stalter says

    What I found that worked effectively for the tins were the 2 cup clear glass pyrex dishes. I had them anyway to make the 5 minute recipes from Roben Ryberg’s book.

  13. patricia says

    This page was very helpful to me. I never knew you could replace tapioca starch with corn starch . I will try this. Thank you for the information.

  14. Andrea K. says

    I made these yesterday, and they were wonderful! I had no flax seed on hand so I used ground almonds instead, as a previous commenter suggested, and it worked great. Thanks for another super recipe!

  15. Steph says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My husband was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago and I used to bake buns for him and so that is something that he has really missed. I have tried other recipes but nothing has come close. These buns were soft and didn’t fall apart and smelt amazing while baking!! Thank you!!

  16. Jill says

    Couldn’t have been more easy! Used my muffin tins and cooked for 20 minutes. Will look for the deep dish pot pie tins as I can’t wait to have sloppy-joes as well. Loving this website! I’ve been cooking up a storm all weekend from this site. I’ll be back often! Thanks Jeanine

  17. Brenda Benson says

    Thanks for the delicious bun recipe. It’s the best recipe that I’ve found and very easy. The buns are very soft and tasty. This recipe makes 6 nice size buns. I did use 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast instead of the 1 tsp instant yeast (which was listed in the recipe). They turned out great.

    I actually think these buns could be formed & baked on a cookie sheet with great results.

    This recipe resembles the “Canyon Bakehouse Buns”, which is a favorite of mine that I purchase at the local health food store.


  18. Jenny says

    I really want to make these today but don’t have sorgum flour or flaxseed….. do i dare try it with anything else?

  19. Alice Theofan says

    Hi Jeannine,
    Even though your Wonderful Bread Recipe works perfectly for the buns that make ever week, I am still going to try these for the Pulled Pork Sandwiches on Canada day! I don’t think the recipe looks too different from the bread except for the Sorghum flour I think. Should I make them on the day that I need them or are they just as tasty if they are day old? I know for sure that if its a recipe that you post its going to be good either way. Thanks.

  20. Anna says

    I tried this recipe for the first time tonight. I always try to stick to the recipe exactly as it is written (at least the first time I make it), so I can understand how the recipe is meant to turn out by it’s creator. I was BLOWN AWAY! This recipe is hands down the best gluten free bun recipe I have found to date. They were VERY light (so much so that I was shocked), SUPER fluffy, Had an AWESOME and PERFECT bread texture and flavor, They are TOTALLY DELICIOUS! It’s like eating a really good whole wheat / whole grain bread. This is how bread is supposed to be. Not heavy, crumbly, dry, or gummy at all. I will admit that I didn’t find any pot pie tins. So, I cooked my buns in over-sized egg rings that I purchased at Cash & Cary for the specific purpose of making man sized gluten free hamburger buns. It worked perfectly. So, instead of 6 buns I ended up with 3 large hamburger buns. The perfect size for a manly burger. My family (both gluten and non-gluten eaters), thanks you so much for sharing this recipe. Have a blessed day.

  21. Laurence says

    Hi Jeanine, thank you for sharing this recipe with us – So many people who tried them are so enthousiastic that I decided to give them a go this week.

    I don’t have sorghum flour, so how could I substitute it? You said millet or oat, but there is gluten in them, isn’t it? (well not 100% sure for millet, but I prefer to avoid both of them anyway). Any other suggestions? I have brown rice flour, tapioca flour, buckwheat flour, potatoe starch, corn starch, quinoa flour and quinoa flakes in my cupboards. Does one of them work well for this recipe?

    Also I don’t have a tin for buns, so what could I used instead to bake them properly (without having to go shopping for any special tins, if possible!!!!)?

    Thanks a lot for your help!!
    Laurence x

    • says

      Hi Laurence! Millet flour is gluten-free, and as long as you buy certified gluten-free, or pure oat flour, it is gluten-free as well. You could try using additional rice flour, and maybe the buckwheat flour, but I’m not sure what that might do to the taste. If you don’t have the tins, you can use a muffin tin, they just won’t be very big then.

  22. Shelley says

    HI there,

    They sound delicious. Do you think they could be made without eggs? I’ve heard I could use oil/flax to mimic an egg, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. Just wondering if anyone on your blog has. Thanks for sharing. I’m really struggling with no gluten, no tapioca and no egg yolks. I can switch the tapioca for potato starch, but otherwise I am stuck. Any suggestions?

  23. Dawn says

    Thanks so much for this tasty bun recipe! This was my first try at GF baking so I was a bit intimidated but they came out so well & I was so glad my husband was so happy with the results. They are much better than anything we’ve found in the stores by far..both texture & taste were awesome! I can hardly believe I made them & have shared the recipe with many friends already.
    Being new to GF baking & researching all the various recipes it made me wonder something I’m hoping you can answer for me..many recipes call for 1 tsp baking powder..why do these not have baking powder? As I say they were fantastic but I am curious. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • says

      No reason behind it, Dawn. :) Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. If you like these ones, you should try the Hot Dog and Hamburger Bun recipe I shared here – it’s my new favourite. So glad that your husband enjoyed them! That’s awesome!


  1. […] We always ate whole wheat bread before going gluten-free, and the taste and texture are similar to what I remember. So, after 4 years of having to eat Sloppy Joes without a bun (blech), I got to top my bun with the messy, beefy mixture, some ketchup and mustard. And let me tell you; it was grand.  […]

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