Spicy Good: Bunner's Gluten-Free, Vegan Cinnamon Buns

A Review of the Bunner's Bake Shop Cookbook

Spicy Good: Bunner's Gluten-Free, Vegan Cinnamon Buns

Bunner's Gluten-Free, Vegan Cinnamon Buns

I was surfing the net one evening when I came across the Bunner's Simple & Delicious Gluten-Free & Vegan Treats cookbook. Cue the singing angels.

Just reading the description for this book, I knew it was going to be different from other vegan-gluten-free recipe books. I love the fact that they are a Canadian small-business (their bake shop is located in Toronto and they are opening up a second location, you lucky Toronto residents). They try to use organic ingredients as much as possible and everything they offer is both vegan AND gluten-free. My kinda place.

The book itself is gorgeous. A picture accompanies every recipe (a huge plus), and the variety of recipes is excellent. It contains recipes you would expect in a book from a bake shop like cookies, muffins, donuts, cakes, and cupcakes. Then there are the things that you may not expect, like pies, tarts, holiday recipes, and even savoury recipes such as veggie pot pie, biscuits, and pizza pockets.

Vegan Kitchen Hacks: Make Heavy "Cream"

Since receiving the book, I've sorta been "Julie and Julia'ing" my way through it because all of the recipes look amazing! So far, I have made the following (and they turned out so well, they will all be made again!):

  Vegan, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Carrot Muffins

This was the first recipe I tried from the book. These muffins are spiced with the same spices you would put in gingerbread cookies with the added goodness of shredded carrots. My muffins did not turn out as large as the muffins shown in the book, because I have a non-standard size muffin pan. The muffins in the book are likely made using the larger bakery type tins. Despite the size, the flavour was all there. I will be making these a lot in the fall.

  Vegan, Gluten-Free Double Chocolate-Chip Cookies

These cookies reminded me of brownies. They are super chocolaty and are a bit dense—just like brownies. Not only are they delicious, they are easy to make and are just one of the many cookie recipes in the book. I am planning to try the oatmeal-raisin cookies next.

  Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

I've made and bought many vegan, gluten-free cakes and unfortunately did not like any of them. The cakes were all too dense and heavy, or weird tasting, or gummy. This cake and frosting, however reminded me of a regular chocolate cake. Chocolaty, fluffy, and delicious. I can't wait to try some of the other cakes.

I wish I could share all of the recipes above with you, but I do not have permission from the publisher to do that, so if you want them, you will have to buy your own copy of the book. However, I was given permission to share the award-winning Bunner's Bake Shop Cinnamon Bun recipe with you—and OMG, it's such a good one to share because the taste is so, so similar to a wheat flour cinnamon bun. Here is the recipe straight from the book, read through it before attempting and then see my notes below.

  Bunner's Bake Shop Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Sugar

1/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup Sucanat
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted


1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1/2 stick), melted
1/2 cup Sucanat
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt


3 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon regular active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1/2 stick), melted
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 batch cream cheese frosting (page 229)

For the cinnamon sugar:

  In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, Sucanat, and cinnamon. Stir in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside.

For the sauce:

  In a small bowl or measuring cup (with a spout for easy pouring), combine the remaining 1/4 cup melted butter, Sucanat, agave nectar, coconut milk, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.

For the buns:

  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have a 9-inch ungreased cake pan ready (the sides should be about 2 1/2 to 3 inches high).

  Melt all the butter for the recipe—a total of 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon. Set aside.

  For the buns: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.

  In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the yeast to the warm water (it should feel just slightly warmer than the inside of your wrist). Set aside to let the yeast proof—about 10 minutes or until the yeast is frothy and bubbly.

  In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, melted butter, applesauce, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

  Once the yeast has proofed, stir  the yeast mixture into the wet ingredients and then add the combined wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly with a spatula until a sticky but firm, well-blended dough is achieved.

  Grab two big sheets of parchment paper (about 12 inches long). Spray one side of each sheet with canola oil. Turn out the dough onto one of the oiled sheets, then spray the dough with canola oil. Form the dough into a rough rectangular shape. Place the other sheet of parchment paper over top, oiled side down. Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a rectangular shape, about 8 × 10 inches. Slowly peel back the top parchment paper and set aside.

  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar onto the dough and, using your hands, spread it out to cover the dough edge to edge.

  Using oiled or wet hands, slowly roll up the dough starting from a shorter side of the rectangle.

  Cut the dough roll in half using a sharp knife that has been lightly oiled with canola oil, then cut each half into three rolls. Place the rolls in the cake pan, cut sides up. Pour the prepared sauce evenly over top.

  Let the rolls rise for about 10 minutes (don’t worry if nothing drastic happens; gluten-free goodies tend to rise mostly in the oven), then bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are firm and a bit golden and the sauce is bubbly. If the sides of the cake pan aren’t very high, place a baking sheet beneath the cake pan to catch any sauce that bubbles over.

  Remove the buns from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes, then flip the cake pan upside down onto a baking sheet or plate. Using a thin, sharp knife, gently separate the buns. Place them on a serving plate before finishing with cream cheese frosting.

Makes 6 cinnamon buns


1.  I recommend making the cinnamon sugar and the sauce before making the dough. This way, you can keep going after putting the dough together and not be interrupted.

2.  The recipe says it is supposed to make 6, but I was able to slice mine into 8 well-sized portions.

3.  I am always curious before deciding to try a vegan, gluten-free recipe what the texture of the finished product will be like because if you are familiar with gluten-free recipes, you  know that the end product is always a mystery. I'm happy to say that the texture of these buns are fluffy. Here is a close-up so you can see:

4.  I've made this recipe twice so far. The first time, I followed the exact recipe you see above. The second time, I omitted the Earth Balance and replaced it with equal amounts of coconut oil. I preferred the coconut oil version better. Yum!

5.  I don't like icing on my cinnamon buns, so I opted out of topping with the cream cheese frosting mentioned in the recipe which is why you do not see the frosting in my pictures.

Looking for more gluten-free, vegan treat recipes? Try these vegan, gluten-free blueberry-coconut muffins or these vegan, gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.