Wonder Buns


gluten free wonder buns photo by lsimon

Five minutes, start to finish. No big scary commitment of time or ingredients. No need to hope, just hope for edible results.

You are assured of gluten free whole grain goodness, light texture, and a perfect size for a burger or sandwich. Cook it lickity split in the microwave in 90 seconds. These truly are a wonder!

I found several versions of this on the Celiac.com forum. And it appeared in the Celiac Sprue Association newsletter. I have altered it a bit, and make it successfully with several different flours.

Many whole grain gluten free flours work

Yeah, no refined starches. Sorghum is pictured. Teff gives it a deeper brown color and rich flavor. Millet yields a light colored bun.

Size matters

Make this in a 10 oz custard cup for a burger or sandwich size bun, as pictured.

For two small dinner rolls, use the same recipe and divide the batter into two 6 oz custard cups. Microwave these together for only 80 seconds total.

Or double the recipe below and put into two 10 oz custard cups.  Microwave each for 90 seconds, one at a time.

I use inexpensive Pyrex custard cups, available in my regular grocery store.

Molasses instead of sugar

Molasses give a bit richer color, more antioxidants than white sugar, and the bun is a bit moister.

Cocoa for color

You will not taste it, but it makes the buns brown. And adds its own antioxidants. I leave it out of the millet version.

Nut meal

No need to buy nut meal if you have nuts and a spice or coffee grinder. Whiz them in the grinder for just a few seconds and you get light, fluffy meal.


Without the seeds, the sides and bottom of the bun looks steamed rather than baked. Adding seeds all around looks very inviting. I like sesame, caraway, millet, poppy and whole cumin seeds. They add flavor, fragrance, and crunch.

Wonder Bun

yield: one 3 ½ inch bun

ingredients metric measures
1 large egg 50 gm
¾ teaspoon molasses 4 ml
2 tablespoons sorghum flour 18 gm
1 tablespoon almond meal 5 gm
1 tablespoon ground flax seed 5 gm
½ teaspoon baking powder 2 gm
½ teaspoon cocoa powder 1 gm
a pinch of salt, optional pinch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds 2 gm

In a small bowl, beat the egg and molasses with a fork, for about a minute.

In another small bowl, add the flour, almond meal, ground flax seed, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add a pinch of salt if you like. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed so you do not see little balls of cocoa or bitter baking soda.

Add the eggs to the dry ingredients, stir until smooth.

Oil a 10 oz Pyrex custard cup and sprinkle sesame seeds on the bottom and sides.

Pour the batter into the cup. Top with more sesame seeds.

Microwave for 90 seconds.

That is it! A ready to eat, tasty bun. A wonder bun!

Try these and tell us how you make them. What flours and seeds? I think other nuts would be grand. And herbs or cheese. How about cinnamon and raisins?

Let your imagination go wild. You can have so much fun with just a little investment in time and ingredients.

Added 9-8-2009.  Please visit the pantry to view a couple of free videos, including Wonder Buns.  We are just starting to stock the pantry, there is much more to come. We invite you to become a member,  help yourself to the free pantry, and stay tuned for new content. Thanks!

Added 10-2-2009 Wonder Buns were included in the October edition of the gluten free lifestyle blog carnival. This informative event was started by Kim of The Food Allergy Coach. This edition was hosted by Gluten Free Gidget, and it included product reviews and tempting recipes!

23 thoughts on “Wonder Buns”

  1. I tried the recipe this morning and it turned out beautifully! Just wanted to stop by and say that if you don’t have fresh almonds almond butter works just as well. I whisked a tablespoon in with the eggs and molasses, and it didn’t seem to negatively effect the recipe in any way.

    1. Hi Hungry,
      We always appreciate when people share their variations of any of our recipes. Thanks! A tablespoon of almond butter might make the bun moister with a smoother texture. I’ll have to try that.

      And you have one gutsy gluten-free dieting blog, posting your weight. More power to you!

      1. Hi rdlinda,

        Thanks for the reply! I try to be brave, but you notice it’s an anonymous blog. 😉 I plugged all the ingredients into fitday and came up with a nutrition estimate. Those are some nutritious buns! (If a little high calorie.) I still can’t believe they work, it’s like a little gluten free miracle.

  2. Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I LUUUUUUV it! Just had a hamburger at a restaurant this evening complete with Wonder Bun!

    I also have dairy and egg allergies so I made the buns without the egg. I just add a teaspoon of Ogran “No Egg” Egg Replacer and 3 Tbsp of water instead of an egg. This is also a neat way to have “Just Add Water” Wonder Buns. I keep individual servings in sandwich bags (all the dry ingredients and egg replacer) ready to mix with water and nuke!

    I also find that 90 seconds in my microwave is a bit too long and can make the bun too chewy in the middle. I micro for 70 seconds, pop it out of the Pyrex dish and toast the bottom of the bun under the broiler for a minute.

    Thanks again!
    = D

    1. Wow Alli, thanks for sharing your successful substitutions. I am sure everyone appreciates this!!

      I love the just add water idea. And you can easily give a Wonder Bun kit (with custard cups, the recip, and a link to the video) as a gift.

      Did you bring your own Wonder Bun to the restaurant? Or did they make it?

      1. I brought it to our Mighty Fine Burgers (a local chain). They fry only potatoes in their fryers (no cross-contamination) and specially prepare my “burger” with new gloves in a different station.

        If I want to bring my own bread or chips to a new restaurant, I usually call first to see if it’s OK. I haven’t found any problems, but I know every state is different. Usually people are very understanding. I say, if they’re not, that’s not a place I want to eat!

        Hope that helps! =)

        And what a great idea for a gift! Thanks!

  3. Is there any version that anyone has done without any nut meal? What flour/meal did you substitute? I have tree nut allergies, and almond is the worst, so I def can’t make it with the nut meals…but I’d love to try it a different way! Thanks!

    1. Hi Austria,
      On my to do list:
      Make Wonder Buns many more ways. To go nut free, I’d try sunflower seed meal first. Just pulse shelled seeds in a spice mill for a few minutes.

      Subbing flour for the nuts might work too. It may need more liquid though. Doable, but it may need several tries to get it right.

      I’ll post when I have some results.

      1. I’ve tried these with honey, instead of molasses, and carnation milk instead of Flax and white rice flour instead of almond. I’ve also used Bette Hagman’s rice blend instead of almond. I’ve made it in small ramekins (for giant muffin shapes), as well as my small Fiestaware bowls for a bun-type shape. I think this is the best recipe EVER and I can’t believe I’m only finding out about it now. We’ve been GF for over 2 years now. This is my idea of a perfect recipe, because I’ve made dozens and they’ve all turned out – I think it might be full proof!

    1. Hi liz,
      I haven’t done it, but I have thought of trying this in the oven. Mostly to do a bigger batch, say making a dozen at a time.

      I am guessing, but you could try a 400-dgreee oven for 8 minutes? Please let us know if you try it. And I’ll post when I try it.

      1. Cooking Wonder buns in the oven is now crossed off the to do list. I tried a wonder bun in the oven, and I didn’t care for it. It was dry and tough. I tried to replicate the fast cooking of the microwave, cooking it at 400-degrees. It took 15 minutes to be done in the middle, and had a huge crack in the middle.

        As I think about this, steaming may be the way to go microwaveless. That could be done in on the stovetop. I’ll post when I have tried it. Or if anyone else has tried it, please let us know.

  4. Hi Lucy and Fiona,
    I love the differences in our English. It keeps things interesting. Here is a link showing what I used to make the buns.
    I have also used a large coffee cup, one that is big enough for soup. And I use ramekins for all sorts of things too. My ramekins have straight sides. It does not look like a bun to me, but it works just fine.
    Please let us know how the recipe turns out for you. Do the metric measures work? Are you weighing ingredients? Or using the US measures? And I have no idea if microwaves are comperable in other parts of the world.

  5. I was just going to say exactly the same thing Lucy! Definitely will be trying this one out, so I suppose trial and error with cup sizes, but I don’t mind – quick rolls will become a staple if I can get it to work…

  6. A minute and a half in the microwave? That sounds like a miracle, and something we must try out. There are always little bread-emergencies in our house…

    But I am slightly puzzled, and it’s the transatlantic thing: what is a custard cup? Would a ramekin work? “10 oz” … it would have to be a big one. Perhaps I could use a tea cup! (How very British of me)