Gluten-Free Sticky Buns! Light and fluffy yeast rolls covered in a decadent caramel glaze and chopped pecans. An EASY recipe that turns out every time!

These sticky buns are perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch or dessert. Try serving them with this Sausage Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole. For more gluten-free yeast bread recipes try this Gluten-Free Bread Recipe or these Gluten-Free Rolls!

close up shot of gluten-free sticky bun on white plate

Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

Is there anything better than a warm, gooey sticky bun hot out of the oven? My family usually made cornmeal pancakes on Christmas morning (with this gluten-free quiche), but my husband’s family tradition was always sticky buns. Before eating gluten-free I grew to love them! The toasted pecans and decadent caramel sauce all over a yeasted sweet roll is a heavenly combination.

I’m happy to say that these gluten-free sticky buns pass my husband’s sweet roll test with flying colors. They taste like traditional, old-fashioned sticky buns but are totally gluten-free.

gluten-free sticky buns on gray plate with serving spatula

Making Gluten-Free Sweet Rolls

Of all the baked goods, yeasted breads are the most difficult to make gluten-free. That’s because yeast breads typically rely on gluten for structure. As the yeast develops and releases air, gluten is what holds everything together while allowing the bread to be pillowy.

Without gluten you have to get creative on ways to give gluten-free sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls and sticky buns structure. This gluten-free sticky bun recipe relies on a few ingredients to achieve rolls that are soft, but still hold together.

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Yeast Bread

  • A high quality gluten-free flour blend. I like using a gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend like King Arthur Flour when making these rolls. It works best to use a blend that contains xanthan gum in this recipe.
  • Psyllium husk powder. Psyllium husk powder  is a great binder in gluten-free breads and adds structure.
  • Baking Powder + Apple Cider Vinegar. These might seem like strange ingredients to have in a roll recipe! Using a combination of baking powder and apple cider vinegar is a great trick to giving gluten-free bread recipes a little extra rise.
  • Use instant or highly active yeast. Unlike traditional bread recipes, gluten-free breads only require one rise, so it works great to use highly active yeast. One rise also makes these gluten-free sticky buns quick and easy!

step by step pictures of how to make gluten-free sticky buns

How to Make Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

These how-to numbered pictures match up with the instructions below.

  1. In a measuring cup, together the wet ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the dry ingredients.
  3. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  4. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 6 minutes. It will look like cookie dough when it’s all mixed. This is how it’s supposed to look so don’t worry! Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  5. Mix together the caramel and pour half into a 9-inch cake pan. Sprinkle with the pecans.
  6. Generously flour a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Using wet hands, press the dough into an even layer. Top with the remaining caramel mixture.
  8. Use the parchment paper to help you roll the dough into a log. Cut with an oiled knife then place in the pan, then bake!

shot of gluten-free sticky buns on plate

Tips for Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

  • The dough will be sticky when you’re trying to roll it out. To account for this make sure you generously flour the parchment paper before rolling out the dough. You’ll also want to use wet hands as you shape the dough into a rectangle. I usually have to wet my hands a few times while shaping the dough.
  • This recipe turns out best in a dark, nonstick 9-inch cake pan. It allows the caramel to get gooey and the buns to turn golden better than other pans.
  • Can I make these dairy-free? Yes! Simply substitute the butter for vegan non-dairy butter.
  • Can I prepare these in advance? Yes! Assemble the sticky buns as instructed then cover and place directly in the fridge. Bake the next morning as directed.

Looking for more gluten-free treats? Try these Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls from This Vivacious Life or this Gluten-Free Sticky Toffee Pudding.

If you try this recipe be sure to leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

close up shot of sticky bun on white plate
5 from 18 votes

Gluten-Free Sticky Buns

Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 8 servings
Gluten-Free Sticky Buns! Light and fluffy yeast rolls covered in a decadent caramel glaze and chopped pecans. An EASY recipe that turns out every time!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water about 110F
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted

For the Caramel Topping/Filling:

  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Instructions 

For the Dough:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients. Mix on low until combined.
  • In a measuring cup, mix together the wet ingredients.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high then mix for 6 minutes. This allows air to incorporate into the dough. The dough will have the consistency of cookie dough. (NOTE: If your batter is thinner than thick cookie dough, add a little flour at a time until you get this consistency. You may need a little more flour depending on the brand of flour you use or how you measure it.)
  • Scrap down the sides of the bowl and form into a ball in the bottom of the bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Assemble the Sticky Buns:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan (preferably a dark non-stick cake pan). Pour half of the caramel mixture into the pan. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
  • Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a clean counter and generously coat with gluten-free flour. Once the dough has risen, use an oiled spatula to turn it out onto the parchment paper. Use wet hands to smooth the dough out into an even layer (about 1-inch thick or 11x13 inches). You will have to wet your hands several times while doing this.
  • Pour the remaining caramel mixture over the dough and spread carefully with an off-set spatula. Roll along the long edge, using the parchment paper to help you lift the dough. Tuck the edges together to create a nice log shape.
  • Using an oiled knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. You will have to wipe off the knife and re-oil it between each cut. Carefully take one sticky bun at a time and shape it into a circle, then place in the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are golden and the caramel is bubbling. Let the sticky buns cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a serving dish. Enjoy!
  • These sticky buns are best served the day they're made, but any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and reheated for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.

Notes

A few notes about this recipe:
  • The dough will be sticky when you're trying to roll it out. To account for this make sure you generously flour the parchment paper before rolling out the dough. You'll also want to use wet hands as you shape the dough into a rectangle. I usually have to wet my hands a few times while shaping the dough. 
  • This recipe turns out best in a dark, nonstick 9-inch cake pan. It allows the caramel to get gooey and the buns to turn golden better than other pans. 
Can I make these dairy-free? Yes! Simply substitute the butter for vegan non-dairy butter. 
Can I prepare these in advance? Yes! Assemble the sticky buns as instructed then cover and place directly in the fridge. Bake the next morning as directed. 

Nutrition

Calories: 676.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.38g | Protein: 9.09g | Fat: 40.43g | Saturated Fat: 14.88g | Cholesterol: 94.2mg | Sodium: 573.32mg | Potassium: 291.07mg | Fiber: 5.83g | Sugar: 52.54g | Vitamin A: 688.22IU | Vitamin C: 0.19mg | Calcium: 111.92mg | Iron: 2.42mg

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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. 5 stars
    Made these for Easter Brunch. Couldn’t locate psyllium, so I used Xanthan gum. I prefer walnuts to pecans, so I subbed them. Used my good old cast iron skillet and lowered the temp to 350*. They turned out—AMAZING. Thank you Erin for the very detailed recipe instructions and the helpful hints. When I finished putting them all together, I did an internal shrug and thought “What’s the big deal?” They were the hit of the buffet table, especially for my 42 year old Celiac son, who hasn’t had a sticky bun in over 15 years. Thank you!!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’m so glad they turned out for you and that your son could enjoy them. Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

    2. THANK YOU for mentioning Xantham, Bill!
      How much did you use? Sticky buns are what I’ve so wanted a GF recipe for; and I was so excited to first find a recipe here; but since my husband and I are allergic to psyllium, this recipe has previously been a no-go. These sticky buns do look so good.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been making sticky buns for years (it’s our Christmas morning indulgence); this was my first attempt at GF sticky buns. They were great! I could not find psyllium husk powder so substituted same quantity of xanthan gum. Instead of using the caramel as the filling, I used brown sugar, cinnamon and finely chopped pecans and pressed it into the dough prior to rolling. I wish I could share a photo because they were gorgeous and were given a huge thumbs up by all. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Can I make cinnamon rolls out of the dough recipe? With a cinnamon sugar and butter filling? I’ve found several cinnamon roll recipes online but I love the texture of your sandwich bread, and I feel like the psyllium husk has something to do with it! I’m hoping to modify this recipe for cinnamon rolls!

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