GF Burger Buns, so I don’t cry

GF Burger Buns, so I don’t cry

Easy Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

I have a soapbox. I stand on it. I make pronouncements.

I think people, like my husband, who have heard these pronouncements many a time, may secretly roll their eyes when I make them. There’s a good chance he thinks, “Again? You’re doing this again?”

Yes. I’m doing this again. So sue me. And if you do, I’ll meet you in court, and I’ll win. ‘Cause I’m a lawyer and stuff. Don’t be distracted by the details, one of which is that I don’t practice law any more. I don’t need to practice. I made perfect. And I’ll bury you in court, the court of public opinion. Or something. But we have a movement. At the heart of the movement is this, our mission statement:

To level the playing field. To give gluten-free a seat at the table. To drive it, kicking and screaming if may be, into the mainstream.

You say we’re weird, because we may have no gluten? What’s that? You say we should just be satisfied with a burger-hold-the-bun? Happy with expensive packaged buns that disintegrate upon being pressed into service as a burger delivery system?

Hell no! We are not happy as second class citizens! This Fourth of July, do me a solid, and make yourself a bun. This recipe is a yeast-free version of the brioche bread that is in The Cookbook, and after some trial and error, I was able to make it into easy, ready-in-a-flash buns. They’re light and tasty, and remind me of kaiser rolls, but with much, much less work up front. They’re super sturdy, so they can be used for everything from an egg sandwich to a hamburger {here at my house, we’ve done both of those and everything in between, with swinging success}.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 to 12 buns


2 1/2 cups (350 g) All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 cup (58 g) confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

5 tablespoons whey powder

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Finely grated zest of 1 medium-sized lemon (optional)

3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

5  eggs (300 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

12 tablespoons (168g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, whey powder, cream of tartar, and salt and whisk to combine (with a separate, handheld whisk). Add the lemon zest and whisk to combine with the dry ingredients. Add the cider vinegar, eggs, milk, and unsalted butter, mixing well on low speed after each ingredient. Once the last ingredient is added, turn the mixer up to high speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is pale yellow in color and thickened. The batter will be smooth and thick, but not super thick — not pourable, but not dense.

  • Divide the dough into 10 to 12 parts with a spoon. With very, very wet hands, shape each portion of dough into a round and then flatten until about 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. Place on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325°F, and bake for another 25 to 35 minutes or more, depending upon how brown you would like the outside. Rotate the baking sheet once during baking, and, when rotating, with a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut a small slit in the top of each bun to allow some steam to escape.

  • They will puff during baking, but we don’t want them to puff up really high like popovers because they will just fall and be mushy inside. Baking them again after cutting a slit in the top of each bun will help them keep their shape after baking. Allow the buns to cool for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer, before slicing them in the center and serving.

  • Notes: For best results, do not replace the eggs in this recipe. Nondairy butter can be replaced with vegetable shortening with good – but not perfect – results. The buns come out of the oven a little puffier than they will end up, but it shouldn’t be too much unless you have attempted to pile the dough too thick before baking.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without you!

Comments are closed.

  • May 29, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    I made these on Sunday!! But of a fail since I made them too flat, AND they browned too fast so they didn’t get a chance to puff up in the oven, but they still taste wonderful! And we used them for our hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, and they were yummy!!! Kind of more like a crumpet without holes, though… But that begs us to also eat them like crumpets. YUM!!

  • […] example, she currently posts an article called “Gluten Free Burger Buns so I Don’t Cry“. We’ve all been in this situation before. We are attending a barbecue and are faced […]

  • October 16, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    I just got turned on to your website and recipes! Wow! They look wonderful! I am the kind that is all excited about cooking until I do a flop. I like to experiment and often when I keep the basic recipe right, it all comes out well. But sometimes, when I think I have it perfected, and it worked the last couple times, I get a flop. One time, I followed directions, even used the box, for an angel cake. Flopped with a big BANG! And I hate to waste food, but there was no saving any part of that one! Oh my!
    So I go into this new gf life, ok, my husband’s new GF life, with nerves all worried, waiting for the big BANG flop. Anyway, I look forward to simple, less expensive cooking recipes that I see here.

    • Nicole
      October 17, 2011 at 8:18 AM

      Hi, Denise,
      I think it’s so important that the first thing you make in the kitchen, when you’re feeling vulnerable, but a guaranteed success. Otherwise, who can keep going? And unless you don’t follow the directions, a mix should never, ever flop. If it flops, and you followed directions, it’s the fault of the mix!
      Don’t worry. If you run into trouble, I’m here.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Susan
    October 13, 2011 at 5:49 PM


    If your are serious about “soapboxes”, I think we brothers and sisters in GF arms all have one, and rightly so. My soapbox begins with the healthcare system. For years I went from one physician to another trying to figure out what in the h… was wrong with me. My symptoms are atypical. I pretty much diagnosed myself, by the process of elimination. I have been diagnosed with IBS, rosacea, dermatitis, spastic colon, “it’s all in your head” (this on made me really mad), and been tested for Lupus. You know how it feels when they do not listen. I’ve had blood work done, numerous times, allergy testing, and nerve pills perscribed. They, doctors, say it can’t be gluten because I don’t have the RIGHT symptoms. WAKE up not everybody has the same reaction to gluten or medications for that matter. Isn’t that why the put the POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT section on medications. As for me, my main symptom is a rash, not on the elbows, knees, or glutious maximus, but on my face,bilaterally all the way from my eye lids and ears lobes to my neck. When full-blown I look like I have been stung by ants, and if I’m not careful these itcy, painful, blisters will get infected. I’ve been off the GF wagon for a while, thought I just HAD to have some real pizza, now I’m paying for it. Thank you for creating this blog and site, yesterday was bad, didn’t leave the house, that’s when I first found out about your book, after 2 failed attempts at bread making. The crust was good, made bread crumbs in the deyhdrater with the rest. What is so ironic is I’m in nursing school and they preach ‘LISTEN TO YOUR PATEINT”. Sorry for such a long rant, but it did feel good to blow off some steam. I need to feel like someone whould listen.

    Susan I.

    • Nicole
      October 13, 2011 at 6:17 PM

      Hi, again, Susan,
      I’m listening. I know where you are. I was there – with my son. And he was in middle infancy, eating all the time, but losing weight every day. They told me over and over that he was fine, that I must have been “afraid to feed him.”
      I get it. It is getting better. It has to get better still.
      Celiac disease is and remains a rich man’s disease. A very well-educated man’s disease. If you don’t push, you don’t find out. It will change. I won’t rest lest it stop changing.
      I’m serious about the soapbox. It means the world to me.
      I’m here, and I’m listening.
      And you are not the only one who cheated because she thought otherwise she couldn’t satisfy her heart’s desire to have good bread, good pizza. I won’t stop until everyone who needs to know does know that gluten-free food should not be sub par, and can take any form we need it to. It’s all possible. Stick around. You’ll see. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Marilyn
      October 15, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      I had no digestive symptoms either. I had rosacea, and TERRIBLE nerve problems. My left hip had arthritis and my left leg was pins and needles all the time. It also cramped like a charlie horse, and has spasms. Since my mother has celiac, they were will to test me for that when they did their 1,000 other tests and that was the only thing that came back positive. I’ve been on the diet since Apr. and most of my symptoms are gone or at least greatly lessoned. I’m hoping in time that they will all go away.

      • Nicole
        October 15, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        Hi, Marilyn,
        I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’m sure it will just get better and better.
        xoxo Nicole

      • Susan
        October 16, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        I am glad to hear of someone else having some of the same problems. I hadn’t thought about the arthritis in my knees maybe being associated with gluten, also I have tingling in my right hand. Not diabeties, been tested for that also. I am making a renewed effort to keep off the gluten now, I just got tired of struggling with my efforts to have some of the old family favorites. I am looking forward to better health and better food in the future. I wish you good luck, good health, and GOOD food.

        Susan I.

  • Marilyn
    October 5, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    When I am with my extended family, I DO NOT feel like a second class citizen because I am the BEST cook. So now that I am eating gluten-free all the best foods at the party are gluten-free and no one minds since they are all delicious. Thanks for your web site. It is my all time favorite. Marilyn

    • Nicole
      October 5, 2011 at 5:55 PM

      Hi, Marilyn,
      I love it. You’re the boss, and the boss is gluten-free. Proper. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 29, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    i made these today and they looked promising…. did everything as written, baked 15 minutes, pricked, baked another 25 minutes (rotating halfway thru and pricked) and they came out of the oven looking lovely. Then deflated. Sad.

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      Hi, Kristen,
      They do deflate a bit as they cool, similar to popovers. If you want them to hold their shape better, you can bake them more so the crust is stiff. They may blacken a bit because of all the sugar in them, but they shouldn’t taste burnt. Also, never slice until completely cooled, or they will deflate quite a lot. I hope that helps!
      xoxo Nicole

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