Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

These Gluten-free sticky buns are soft, buttery rolls packed with cinnamon and the perfect sticky caramel pecan topping. It’s undeniably delicious! If you’re after a gluten-free, soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls recipe, you’ll love this one.

Three gluten-free sticky buns are on a plate. There's another plate of these rolls barely visible in the background.

I love my healthy breakfasts, like our daily Green Smoothies. But there are times when adding some indulgences makes it fun. That’s where these gluten-free sticky buns come in handy!

Cooking the rolls “upside-down” creates a gooey topping. That’s why I oftentimes refer to these as gluten-free caramel rolls, because of the caramel-like flavor of that baked-in topping.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  • Gluten-Free flour — see more on gluten-free flour options below
  • Ground Cinnamon — You can mix things up by using some Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
  • Almond Flour — I love adding Almond Flour to my baked goods, especially gluten-free baked goods. You can buy this at the store or make your own homemade.

Ingredient Spotlight

A pile of flour has been poured into a measuring cup.

What gluten-free flour is best?

I recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour because it’s been specifically formulated to work like regular, all-purpose flour. There are a lot of different gluten-free flours available these days, all of them with slightly different formulations. I have found Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 to be a go-to favorite.

How to Make Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

  1. Mix the yeast with the barely warm milk and sugar. Then stir in melted butter and some of the gluten-free flour. 
  2. Stir together the remaining dry ingredients and stir in with the yeast mixture.
  3. Mix on low until a sticky dough forms. Add more flour if necessary. Continue mixing 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Cover and let the dough rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Stir together the topping and spread it in the prepared pan.
  6. Roll out the dough and spread with softened vegan butter. Then sprinkle with brown sugar and then cinnamon.
  7. Roll the dough into a log, then use a knife to cut it into 10 pieces.
  8. Cover and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the rolls are golden brown on the edges. 
  10. Remove them from the oven, and let them sit for several minutes. Then invert them onto a pan to cool some before serving.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Step One: Make the Gluten-free Dough

  1. Mix the yeast with the barely warm milk and sugar.
  2. Then stir in vegan butter and one cup of the gluten-free flour. 
    Looking down on a mixing bowl full of a frothy yeast mixture with gluten-free flour added on top.
  3. Stir together the remaining dry ingredients. 
  4. Pour the remaining dry ingredients in with the wet mixture and mix on low. You should see a sticky dough form.
  5. Continue mixing to allow the mixture to combine.
  6. Cover and let the dough rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Step Two: Make the Topping

  1. Whisk together butter, brown sugar, syrup, and salt. Stir until smooth.
  2. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour the topping mixture into the pan. Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

Step Three: Fill, Roll, and Slice

  1. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it’s approximately 11 x 14″ rectangle. 
  2. Gently spread the softened vegan butter in an even layer on top of dough.
    Rolled out dough has a layer of vegan butter spread on top. It sits beside a rolling pin.
  3. Spread brown sugar on top.
    A hand holds a spatula spreading brown sugar over rolled out dough. There's a rolling pin on the right side.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with ground cinnamon.
    A hand holds a spoon sprinkling ground cinnamon over rolled out dough.
  5. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the dough up using the parchment paper to help lift and roll the dough.
    Two hands are using parchment paper to roll up dough into a log for cinnamon rolls.
  6. Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice the roll into 8 to 10 pieces, equal in size, and place them in the prepared pan. Cover and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
    A serrated knife sits below a log of dough that has been sliced into a number of rolls.
  7. Place the pan on top of the filling.
    A hand places a cinnamon roll in a white pan with more rolls. There are more cut rolls on the left.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until they’re golden brown on the edges. If your rolls are getting too golden, you can tent with foil at around 20 minutes and then bake for another 10 minutes or so.
  9. Once the rolls are done, remove them from the oven, and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting them onto a serving plate. Be very careful not to touch the rolls because the sugar will be very hot at this point. Let the rolls cool and then serve.
Looking down on three sticky buns on a plate. They're topped with chopped pecans.

Storage Tips

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. They can also be frozen in proper freezer containers for up to 2 months. To reheat, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds (if frozen it will take up to a minute to reheat).

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Adding the caramel topping in the bottom of the pan creates that classic “sticky bun” gooey topping
  • Using a high-quality gluten-free flour makes the perfect dough
  • Adding ground cinnamon to the filling creates that perfect flavor we all know and love
  • Chopped pecans add bits of crunch and texture to every bite!

Serving Suggestions

Serve these sticky buns with your favorite beverages, hot or cold, such as these:

Vegan Cinnamon Favorites

If you love the cinnamon goodness in these gluten-free sticky buns, here are even more vegan cinnamon favorites to enjoy:

A hand holds a gluten-free sticky bun hovering over a plate with more of them.
Three gluten-free sticky buns are on a plate. There's another plate of these rolls barely visible in the background.

Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

These gluten-free sticky buns are soft, chewy, and undeniably sweet! If you're after a gluten-free soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls recipe, you'll love this recipe with its sticky caramel-pecan topping.
5 from 3 votes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 390kcal

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup plant-based milk, warmed between 105°F — 110)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, melted
  • 2 ¾ cups gluten-free flour (1:1 baking flour)
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

For the Dough:

  • Mix the yeast with the barely warm milk and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl if using an electric mixer). Let it sit 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture gets bubbly.
  • Stir in the vegan butter and 1 cup of gluten-free flour.
  • Stir together the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Pour the remaining dry ingredients in with the wet mixture and mix on low. You should see a sticky dough form. Continue mixing to allow the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes to get air into the batter. Your dough will still be sticky but it will be thick. If it's not thick, stir in a tablespoon or two of additional GF flour.
  • Cover the dish and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

For the Topping:

  • Whisk together butter, brown sugar, syrup, and salt. Stir until smooth.
  • Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour the topping mixture into the pan. Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

For the Filling:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
  • Tear off a large strip of parchment paper. Either tape down the edges, or add a non-stick mat below it on a counter.  Place the dough on top of the paper and sprinkle with a bit of GF flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it's approximately 11 x 14″ rectangle. 
  • Gently spread the softened vegan butter in an even layer on top of dough, and then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar filling mix. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the dough up using the parchment paper to help lift and roll the dough.
  • Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice the roll into 8 to 10 pieces, equal in size, and place them in the prepared pan. Cover and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until they're golden brown on the edges. If your rolls are getting too golden, you can tent with foil at around 20 minutes and then bake for another 10 minutes or so.
  • Once the rolls are done, remove them from the oven, and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting them onto a serving plate. Be very careful not to touch the rolls because the sugar will be very hot at this point. Let the rolls cool and then serve.
  • Store rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To serve, cook in the microwave until heated through.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

Note for rising dough:  I like to heat a small mug of water in the microwave for about a minute or two. Then add the covered dough. It’s the perfect warm and dark environment! 
Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 646IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2011 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

Enjoy!

18 Responses to Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySMITH BITES Reply

    you are such a champion of cause Marly . . . one of the things i love most about you!! these look KILL-er!!!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStarvingFox Reply

    Hi Marly,
    My friend sent me a link to this recipe. Like you, I am sensitive to gluten and dairy. I cut out gluten first and then dairy and my whole system is so much more in balance! Amazing, right?!! Rock on! Thanks for the recipe- this reminds me of my Mom’s sticky buns from when I was a kid! 🙂

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJohanna GGG Reply

    I found out about your even through ricki’s blog and think it is a great idea. Your pecan scrolls look amazing. I’m a big fan of gf baking with buckwheat flour.

    I’ve never heard of panera bakeries but we have a big chain of bakeries in Australia (bakers delight) where my sister goes – she and her daughter are celiac but her other two daughters aren’t. They were told by their local bakers delight bakery that they had tried making gluten free products and a little girl with celiacs disease had had a terrible reaction because there is the cross contamination with all the gluten products about (thought I think they had been careful) and so they had stopped making gf products because it was too risky. Just thought this might be why panera don’t do gf products?

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlymarla Reply

    5 stars
    Marly, these came out fabulous! Though I have not entirely given up gluten (limit it though) I have given up sugar. Very freeing and life changing for me. Love that we are all in Dream Day together 🙂

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTrudy ~ Veggie num num Reply

    Yum! These look like perfect sticky deliciousness!! So very good!! It’s been so much fun checking out everyone’s posts today, thank you once again for all your great work putting this together and having Veggie num num along for the ride!!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNikita Reply

    What a great idea! Panera was one of my first jobs in high school… I used to love getting to take home all those mazing goodies at the end of the day. I also started having a lot of stomach problems around this time and gained about 10 pounds… Oops! I learned the hard way that Panera is not as wholesome as they pretend to be. That being said, they do have some tasty things. I look forward to trying out some of these revamped recipes!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlta Reply

    Wow, this looks great! I can imagine eating two and having to forcibly remove myself from the rest.

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRicki Reply

    5 stars
    These look totally irresistible–and I’m not even a cinnamon roll fan! Gorgeous, sticky, cinnamony, YUM. This was such a fun challenge and I am so delighted with all the entries I’ve seen! Thanks so much for dreaming it up and for allowing me to take part! 😀

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAngela (Oh She Glows) Reply

    Oh my goooosh I am actually apeechless. You have really outdone yourself Marly! Thanks again for putting together such a great challenge. I have learned so much about GF baking in just a month’s time. panera would be crazy not to feature your recipe!! Im sure it would sell out 🙂

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyHeather @ Multiply Delicious Reply

    Marly these look amazing! Like you I went on a 21-day cleanse and it really changed my life. The things I used to put in my body I have come to realize is what made me feel not myself. On my cleanse sugar was also placed on the moderation list, but I still have a mean sweet tooth. Ha! I like to think it’s ok in small doses. 🙂
    Thank you for letting me apart of this special Gluten-Free Dream Day!

Rate / Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.