These gluten-free French breakfast puffs are our favorite special occasion breakfast treat ever!

They are EASY to make and taste like mini donuts – coated in brown butter and cinnamon sugar!

This post was originally published in 2016 and continues to be a reader and family favorite! It was updated with new pictures in 2022.

A far out view of French breakfast puffs in a casserole dish

If you eat gluten-free and miss donuts, these delectable little gluten-free French breakfast puffs are for you! They might just be my favorite new breakfast thing ever.

They taste like little donuts, but are SO much easier to make than donuts! I like making these breakfast puffs in a mini muffin pan, so you get more coating and brown butter in every bite.

If you have to eat dairy-free, just swap out the browned butter for vegan butter and these are totally dairy-free!

My 4-year-old loves helping me roll these in the butter and cinnamon sugar. These are best right out the oven and make the perfect special breakfast treat!

You also might like these gluten-free ebelskivers!

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A bite taken out of a French breakfast puff

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy-to-make!
  • Tastes like mini donuts
  • Perfect texture
  • Delicious brown butter flavor
  • Great for holidays and special occasions!

For more gluten-free breakfast treats try these recipes for gluten-free baked donuts, gluten-free banana bread and gluten-free scones.

You also might like these favorite recipes for gluten-free buttermilk pancakes, gluten-free biscuits, gluten-free crepes and banana pancakes.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s are a few notes on the ingredients you’ll need.

Ingredients for French breakfast puffs on a counter top
  • Gluten-free 1:1 baking flour:  I like to use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour that contains xanthan gum. This is my favorite brand
  • Almond flour: Almond flour is a great option for gluten-free baking. I like to use it in combination with gluten-free baking flour blends for the perfect texture. You can easily make these nut-free by using more gluten-free 1:1 baking flour in place of the almond flour.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk adds moisture and a slight tang to these French breakfast puffs. You can also easily use 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to make these dairy-free.
  • Oil: Using oil instead of butter makes for a lighter, more tender crumb in gluten-free baking. I typically use vegetable oil for this recipe, but canola oil or another neutral oil could work, too.

Ingredients for Coating

Here’s what you’ll roll the puffs in once they’re baked:

French breakfast puff topping ingredients on a counter top
  • Cinnamon and sugar: Cinnamon and sugar are a classic combination!
  • Butter: You’ll melt the butter down until it browns slightly, for a nutty, rich flavor.

How to Make This Recipe

Butter browning in a sauce pan, and cinnamon sugar in a bowl

PREPARE THE COATING

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and continue to cook it, stirring frequently, until brown bits form on the bottom and it smells nutty, about 5-7 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside as well.

MAKE THE PUFFS

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 24-count mini muffin pan (preferred) or a 12-count standard size muffin pan with cooking spray.
Dry ingredients in a glass bowl, and eggs and sugar mixed into another bowl
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and granulated sugar. Mix on medium speedy until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
Vanilla and oil added into the wet ingredients, and then combined with the dry ingredients in a bowl
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly pour in the flour mixture and mix to combine, followed by the buttermilk (or almond milk/cider vinegar mixture). Mix to fully combine, scraping down the bottom/sides of the bowl in between mixing.
Raw breakfast puff batter in a mini muffin tin, and baked muffins in a tin
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling only 2/3 of the way.
  • Bake mini puffs for 15-17 minutes, or standard-sized puffs for 22-25 minutes. When finished, the puffs will feel springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Let cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
A hand dipping the puffs in brown butter and then rolling in a bowl of cinnamon sugar
  • After the puffs cool for 5-10 minutes, roll them in the brown butter (or dip the top) followed by the cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately. These are best hot, right out of the oven. Enjoy!

Storage Instructions

These French breakfast puffs taste best right after baking, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.

FAQs

What is the origin of french breakfast puffs?

Contrary to the name, French breakfast puffs aren’t French. They were first popularized in a Betty Crocker cookbook!

What are french breakfast puffs?

French breakfast puffs are like a baked mini donut crossed with a muffin. The vanilla dough is dipped in brown butter and cinnamon sugar for a tasty treat everyone will love.

What are french breakfast puffs made from?

French breakfast puffs batter is traditionally made using wheat flour, eggs, baking powder, vegetable oil, etc. This recipe uses gluten-free flour and almond flour to make a delicious gluten-free version.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: I make these dairy-free all the time! Use 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in place of the buttermilk. Use your favorite dairy-free butter in place of the brown butter (just melt it). 
  • Use a mini muffin pan: I like these best made in a mini muffin pan then completely rolled in the butter/cinnamon sugar. However you can also make these in a standard-size muffin pan. Just increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.
  • Eat them fresh: These are best eaten warm, right out of the oven!
French breakfast puffs stacked on a plate

More Gluten-Free bReakfast favorites

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try these French breakfast puffs, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

A side view of French breakfast puffs in a casserole dish
5 from 5 votes

Gluten-Free French Breakfast Puffs

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 30 mini puffs or 9-12 standard-size puffs
These gluten-free French breakfast puffs are our favorite special occasion breakfast treat ever!
They are EASY to make and taste like mini donuts – coated in brown butter and cinnamon sugar!

Ingredients

For the Coating:

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the Puffs:

  • 1 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or almond milk + 1 teaspoon cider vinegar) room temperature

Instructions 

Prepare the Coating

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and continue to cook it, stirring frequently, until brown bits form on the bottom and it smells nutty, about 5-7 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside as well.

Make the Puffs

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 24-count mini muffin pan (preferred) or a 12-count standard size muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and granulated sugar. Mix on medium speedy until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly pour in the flour mixture and mix to combine, followed by the buttermilk (or almond milk/cider vinegar mixture). Mix to fully combine, scraping down the bottom/sides of the bowl in between mixing.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling only 2/3 of the way.
  • Bake mini puffs for 15-17 minutes, or standard-sized puffs for 22-25 minutes. When finished, the puffs will feel springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Let cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  • After the puffs cool for 5-10 minutes, roll them in the brown butter (or dip the top) followed by the cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately. These are best hot, right out of the oven. Enjoy!

Notes

MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: I make these dairy-free all the time! Use 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in place of the buttermilk. Use your favorite dairy-free butter in place of the brown butter (just melt it). 
MAKE IT NUT-FREE: You can easily make these nut-free by using another 1/2 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour in place of the almond flour.
GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR:  I like to use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour that contains xanthan gum. This is my favorite brand
I like these best made in a mini muffin pan then completely rolled in the butter/cinnamon sugar. They taste like little donuts! You can also make these in a standard-size muffin pan. These are best eaten warm, right out of the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 24mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

    1. I haven’t tried this myself so I can’t say for sure! I think something like Bob’s Red Mill egg substitute would work best. Let me know if you try it!

  1. Erin,
    Thank you for listing dairy free substitutes in your recipes! We love all your recipes as they are ALL AMAZING, and with dairy free options it is even easier for me to bake and cook using your recipes.
    Gabby

  2. Looking forward to trying this recipe next! I’ve made a few of your recipes with excellent results!! But I don’t have almond flour, though. Could I use 1 and 1/2 cups of gluten free 1:1 baking flour and skip the 1/2 cup of almond flour? Or would that totally screw up the recipe? Thanks!

  3. Hi,
    Do you think that you could make the dough up ahead of time (like the night before) to make breakfast prep a bit faster, but still taste fresh out of the oven?

    1. Yes that would work great! I would scoop the dough into the muffin tin, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate the pan. Then you can bake the puffs straight from the fridge!

  4. 5 stars
    These were FANTASTIC. And they froze surprisingly well too. Wow, I will have to resist making these every weekend with how good they are

  5. 5 stars
    These are outstanding! I make these when we have weekend guests, because they don’t taste GF at all! The texture is amazing There are never any left!

  6. These look delicious! Since I need to avoid dairy, can I substitute Earth Balance for the butter? I’m not sure whether a butter subsitute would form the brown bits and develop the nutty smell after cooking it awhile.

  7. Can you use regular 2% milk? These look delicious and would like to make today. I have all the ingredients, just don’t have the almond milk. I look forward to your response.

  8. Hi cute cousin! Your website is my new favorite thing as I’m trying out a gluten free diet! Can I use coconut milk instead of almond milk in these breakfast puffs or will that mess them up?

    1. Hi Heather! So glad you’re here! When it comes to coconut milk boxed coconut milk (like the refrigerated kind similar to almond milk) and canned coconut milk are very different. You can use the boxed coconut milk that is similar to almond milk here just fine. I wouldn’t use canned coconut milk because it has a much higher fat content and is not as liquidy. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  9. These look SO good!! Can’t wait to try them out!! I’m starting that elimination diet that you gave me ages ago so I’ll have to wait a bit but they will definitely be on the list of things to add back in once I can. 🙂 I miss you!

  10. Hi Erin! these look great as always but I’m wondering what happened to some of your recipes on the blog? The breadsticks and chia dinner rolls are not here for one… 🙁 Will they be back??

    1. I cannot find the coconut milk yogurt recipe either…I’d like to make it soon hope it’s not gone forever 🙁

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