Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

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IMG_1777The weather is warming up and that means more folks are heating up their outdoor grills. Summer cookouts are just around the corner, and that means many gluten-sensitive folks will be sucking it up and going naked.

I’m talking about their hamburgers.

If you are sensitive to gluten, you’ve probably eaten your fair share of burgers sans bun. Although many grocery stores are expanding their gluten-free breads, it is still impossible to find GF hamburger buns in most towns (and the few that are offered may be near-unpalatable or over-the-top expensive).

But you don’t have to settle for a “naked” hamburger. These hamburger buns can be made in a pinch, or freeze them so that you always have a ready-made supply of buns for impromptu get-togethers.


Sprinkle these gluten free hamburger buns with sesame seeds before baking. Misting lightly with water will help the seeds stick.

Sprinkle these gluten free hamburger buns with sesame seeds before baking. Misting lightly with water will help the seeds stick.

These look like "real" hamburger buns to my family.

These look like “real” hamburger buns to my family.

Freshly roasted kale chips make a nutritious and yummy accompaniment.

Freshly roasted kale chips make a nutritious and yummy accompaniment.

This recipe is adapted from Annalise Roberts’ “Gluten Free Baking Classics” so that it is dairy free and GMO-free for my family. If King Arthur Flour gluten free products are unavailable to you, visit Ms. Roberts’ My Gluten Free Table for instructions on making your own flour blend.
Serves: 6

  • 1 cup almond milk, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast granules
  • 3 Tbsp safflower oil (or organic vegetable/canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour (see note)
  • 1½ Tbsp King Arthur Flour Cake Enhancer (optional; see note)
  • 1½ tsps xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 2 Tbsps granulated sugar
  • Sweet white rice flour (or any other GF flour for dusting pans)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease a hamburger bun pan and dust with rice flour.
  3. Proof yeast by adding it to warmed almond milk and mix well. Prepare remaining recipe while yeast is proofing. After 5-10 minutes, the almond milk/yeast mixture should foam and look bubbly; if it doesn’t, your yeast was dead (or your milk too hot).
  4. Whisk eggs and oil in small bowl. Set aside.
  5. Mix all remaining dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add oil/egg mixture and milk/yeast mixture. Mix until blended, scrape beaters and mixing bowl, and then beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Prepare a separate bowl with warm water while dough is mixing
  6. Divide dough among 6 wells in hamburger bun pan. Dip fingers in warm water bowl, shake off excess, and then use fingers to smooth and flatten the dough in each well. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm spot for about 30-45 minutes (or until doubled in size).
  7. Bake buns for 15-20 minutes, until golden-brown. Remove and turn onto a rack to cool.

Using cake enhancer will not only make gluten free breads softer, but extends their room temperature shelf-life (as gluten free goods tend to dry out and become stale much more quickly than wheat-based products). These buns are already soft to begin with, so don’t give up on trying them if you don’t have cake enhancer on hand.



  1. littlemountainhaven

    May 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I’m droooooling. We’ve been gluten free for only 3 weeks due to my spouse having a sensitivity and man oh man am I missing bread!! I use to make bread a couple of times a week, and have yet to venture into gluten free bread making.
    Thank so much for this recipe I’mm have to try it out, finding a veg substitute for the gelatin 🙂

    • Ma Hubbard

      May 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Make sure you try my focaccia recipe… it is probably the easiest, quickest bread to make, especially with olive oil and rosemary. From what I recall of the ingredients, it should be vegan. It’s the bread we make each week, and even Pa can make it well. Good luck!

      • littlemountainhaven

        May 4, 2013 at 11:49 am

        I will definitely try it thanks so much for the recommendation 🙂

    • Emily Miller

      April 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      They make several vegan substitutes for gelatin. I buy mine at kroger but I am sure you can find it on amazon.

  2. 808Momof3

    June 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Any suggestions for a substitute for the Almond Milk? My daughter has a nut allergy, and your recipe looks amazing.

    • Ma Hubbard

      June 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Rice milk should work fine, though you might want to slightly cut back on the amount. Whole or skim dairy would be fine, too, if she can tolerate it. I would be interested in how it turns out if you get the chance. Good luck!

    • Emily Miller

      April 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      I bet quinoa or coconut would work.

  3. Melissa

    June 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    These are the best I’ve had- hands down- homemade or store bought! Thank you!

    • Ma Hubbard

      June 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Wonderful! Thank you for the feedback!

  4. ShawnaW

    July 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Wondering how this might work with flax eggs – my son has dairy, wheat, and egg allergies and I am gluten-sensitive. Might have to try it this weekend!

    • Ma Hubbard

      July 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Great idea! Please let me know how it turns out.

  5. Pingback: Our Curious Home » Blog Archive » GF Hamburger buns that my kids wanted thirds of

  6. Lois Mackey

    July 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    My 30 year old son and I drooled when we bit into real bread for the first time in 7 months!!!! The recipe is easy and comes out perfect even without the flour cake enhancer. I’ve made 4 batches already. I don’t have a stand mixer so I bought a hand mixer with dough hooks and it works great. I can’t thank you enough for posting this recipe!

    • Ma Hubbard

      July 14, 2013 at 6:47 am

      Thanks so much for the feedback (and the big grin that it put on my face)! I’m so happy to hear that you can enjoy “real bread” again!

  7. Sheila Thirlwall

    August 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    We have tried these several times and they are GREAT. Thanks very much for sharing.

    • Ma Hubbard

      August 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m so glad you enjoy them!

  8. junebugbatticus

    August 12, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I finally got around to making this over the weekend. I was diagnosed with Celiac last month and am distraught because burgers are a part of my weekly diet since the cafe at my office makes them and the lettuce bun just doesn’t enhance anything! I used 2% regular milk and could not get the yeast to bubble/ferment. I tried twice, making sure it was at 110 degrees both times. The buns were delicious, but very dense, which I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to, as a lot of gluten-free bread seems to be, however they didn’t seem to rise appropriately. Any thoughts? I was wondering since proofing yeast often happens with sugar that maybe the almond milk would’ve had more natural sugars?

    As far as the taste goes, they were wonderful! I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks so much Ma Hubbard, for the recipe!

    • Ma Hubbard

      August 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Ah! I bet you are on to something with the sugar. Since you are using milk, you might try adding a Tbsp of sugar to the proofing mixture. Let me know if that helps — they won’t be as light as wheat hamburger buns, but they should not be dense. I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor of these buns… I know I do!

    • JM Breiner

      November 25, 2013 at 10:26 am

      I scald my milk first, let it cool to 110 degrees and add a pinch of sugar to proof the yeast.

      • Ma Hubbard

        November 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

        Great idea! Thank you!

  9. Melissa

    November 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Hi! I don’t have already made GF all purpose flour on hand, but I do have several flours. Any suggestions for correct measurements for a blend? Also, is the gelatin necessary? I don’t have that either.

    • Ma Hubbard

      November 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Hi Melissa. This is an adaptation of Annalise Roberts’ recipe for buns, and I provide a link to her fantastic flour blend in the recipe notes (use the Bread Flour Mix). You’ll want to lower the amount of water so that you have something between the consistency of a batter and a wet dough (KAF requires a little more water than most flour blends). The gelatin helps provide the texture and elasticity to these buns, and can be found in most any grocery store (it’s near the baking supplies, sugar, and Jello in my store). You could always try it without, but the buns will have a lower rise and be much more dense. If you are new to gluten free baking, it can be tricky, and I highly recommend Ms. Roberts’ book, “Gluten Free Baking Classics,” to set you on the right track.

  10. Marissa

    February 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    So grateful for this easy recipe, and although I used Bob’s Red Mill GF flour, grape seed oil (no safflower), and tapioca flour for the enhancer, and baked in five (not six) in soup bowls (vs. bun pans), the buns came out not just perfectly, but beautifully. And today I had one leftover and toasted half – made great toast too.

    During the put-together was surprised by how soft the dough was, but I trusted in the recipe and found the instructions gave me the guidance I needed. Very grateful for this recipe for our Superb Bowl burgers. And the Seahawks won so it was a great day in the Pacific NW.

  11. Craig

    March 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Great recipe. I have tried several others but this is the one! I used 1% milk and simply added some sugar to help the yeast proof. Like Marissa (previous poster), I use Bob’s Red Mill GF flour and tapioca flour for the enhancer and it worked out great. I just used canola oil also. Didn’t mess with a “bun pan”. Simply scooped out six even piles of dough on a sheet pan and with wet hands (continually needing to keep them wet) form the buns with my hands. The key is keeping your hands wet (this is true with most GF dough’s because the dough is so sticky.

    I fortunately can eat all the gluten I want but my girl friend can’t, so I have adopted the diet for her and this is the best bun we have eaten. Homemade or store bought. It isn’t that much work and I make them weekly for burgers, sandwhiches, etc. and store extras in a ziplock bag and they keep well. Glad I stumbled upon the recipe.

  12. mike poulos

    June 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Read your info. On the yeast package. Some yeast ferments in liquid while others call for being added to flour mixture before any liquid is introduced.

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