You are going to fall in love with these decadent Gluten Free Cruffins. They are a delicious pastry hybrid, combining the flaky, buttery layers of a croissant or crescent roll with the shape and sweetness of a muffin. They have a distinctive spiral-like appearance, and I share several yummy flavor combinations to try.

A gluten free cruffin on a small white plate next to a platter of cruffins.

I am so excited about this gluten free cruffins recipe. While I am still working on perfecting a gluten free croissant recipe, this hybrid version is similar to my gluten free crescent rolls recipe. There are lots of buttery layers spiraled with cinnamon and sugar. Cruffins can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients, making them incredibly versatile. Below are lots of flavor ideas.

I have spent a lot of time reading how to make and shape non-gf cruffins and am sharing my simplified gluten free version. As much as I wish gluten free flour performed like real flour, it just doesn’t. The results of my shortcuts were almost the same as making a dough laminate with butter. My shortcuts help you save a ton of time in making this recipe.

I break down the recipe into easy-to-follow steps so you can enjoy them anytime! The way you roll these cruffins is similar to cinnamon rolls. If you are crazy for cinnamon rolls, I have seven incredible gluten free cinnamon roll flavors for you to try!

Allergen Information:

These gluten free cruffins are gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free. I have not tested a dairy-free alternative. See the Substitution section for a gum-free version.

Photos of the gluten free cruffins ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – As of now, I have only tested this recipe with Cup4Cup. Not all gluten free flour blends work with yeast! Please read which flour blends work in what types of recipes for more gluten free flour blends that work with yeast.
  • Sugar – I use cane sugar.
  • Xanthan Gum – Add one teaspoon if your gluten-free flour blend doesn’t contain a binder like xanthan or guar gum.
  • Salt
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter
  • Milk – I tested this recipe with whole milk. Low-fat milk should also work. I have not tested plant-based milk brands yet.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract.

Substitutions:

To make this recipe gum-free, use my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend. I haven’t tested it in this specific recipe, but my blend works in many of my other yeast recipes.

A batch of gluten free cruffins on a white plate.

Tips For Sucess:

  • Freeze the butter overnight. It will grate in a large grater much better and help build flaky layers in the dough.
  • Use a gluten free flour blend that works with yeast. Many 1:1 blends, including Bob’s Red Mill 1:1, King Arthur Measure for Measure, and Pamela’s GF Baking Mix, do NOT work in yeast recipes. See the linked article on gluten free flour blends that work in yeast recipes in the Ingredient Notes section.

Step-By-Step Directions:

Step 1: Warm milk to 110º F in the microwave. Add one tablespoon of sugar and the active dry yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it is frothy. Preheat the oven to 200º F and then turn it off.

Photos of steps 2 and 3 making cruffins.

Step 2: Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend.

Step 3: Use a large cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Stir as you go so the flour coats the butter shreds.

Photos of steps 4 and 5 making cruffins.

Step 4: Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix carefully.

Step 5: This is what your dough will look like. If you need to add extra flour to work the dough, do this 1 TBSP at a time. Every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio, which means you may need more or less flour to get a workable dough.

Photos of steps 6 and 8 making cruffins.

Step 6: Dust a silicone mat with flour. Remove the dough from the bowl onto the mat. Dust the top of the dough with flour if needed.

🔑 Sandi says: You only get one good rise with gluten free dough, so it is important to shape the gluten free cruffins before rising!

Step 7: Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangular shape with 1/4 inch thickness. Mix the sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl.

Step 8: Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the butter. Use a knife to cut the dough into strips.

Photos of steps 9 and 10.

Step 9: Roll each strip of dough carefully so the sugar mixture doesn’t spill out. Place in a greased muffin pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and put it in the warm oven to rise for 45 minutes.

Step 10: Remove the cruffins from the oven and remove the plastic. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Your cruffins should be double in size.

Photos of steps 11 and 12 making cruffins.

Step 11: Brush melted butter over the tops of the cruffins. This will help them get golden and slightly crisp on the outside.

Step 12: Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

A baked cruffin in a bowl of cinnamon sugar.

Step 13: Roll the cruffin in a bowl of cinnamon sugar while it is still warm. If you want more sugar to stick, brush the cruffin with melted butter first. I find when the cruffin is warm, the sugar sticks easily.

Flavor Variations:

  • Orange – To make orange-flavored cruffins, use 3/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of orange juice, and add 2 TBSP orange zest to the sugar that is spread over the flat dough. It is a variation on these Gluten Free Orange Rolls.
  • Nutella – Instead of sugar in the spiral, spread Nutella over the flat dough.
  • Pumpkin Spice – Add 2 tsp. of pumpkin spice to the sugar mix you spread over the flat dough.
  • Cinnamon Apple – Add finely diced apples (peeled) on top of the sugar and cinnamon that is spread over the dough. It is a variation of my Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Rolls.

Recipe FAQ:

What does a cruffin taste like?

Gluten free cruffins are a little different from regular cruffins because you can’t simulate the crispiness of flaky thin layers of a croissant with gluten free flour. These gf cruffins are flaky and have buttery layers from the spirals with crisp outsides, but they lack the thin layers.

Can you use salted butter?

Using salted butter will not change anything except the flavor of the cruffins. Salted vs. unsalted butter is more of a personal preference.

How To Store Gluten Free Cruffins:

Store your gluten free cruffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Gluten free tends to spoil quickly, so freeze any cruffins you don’t finish in the next 3 days. I freeze them in a freezer-safe zip-style bag.

Baked cruffins in a muffin pan.

More Gluten Free Yeasted Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Include which flour blend you used. This helps others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

A baked cruffin in a bowl of cinnamon sugar.

Easy Gluten Free Cruffins

Sandi Gaertner
A buttery, flaky, gluten free version of popular cruffins. It is a cross between a croissant, crescent roll, and muffin!
4.80 from 25 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 42 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Course Gluten Free Bread Recipe, Gluten Free Muffins Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 10 cruffins
Calories 331 kcal

Ingredients
  

Yeast Mix

  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast Or one packet. See note.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk * See notes

Rolls

  • 3 cups gluten free flour blend * See note!
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter frozen
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar layer

  • ½ cup cane sugar * See note.
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Sugar Mix for Rolling Baked Cruffis In

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
 

Yeast Mixture

  • Warm milk to 110º F in the microwave. Add one tablespoon of sugar and the active dry yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it is frothy. Preheat the oven to 200º F and then turn it off.

Cruffins

  • Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend.
  • Use a large cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Stir as you go so the flour coats the butter shreds.
  • Pour the yeast mixture and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients. Mix carefully.
  • If you need to add extra flour to work the dough, do this 1 TBSP at a time. Every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio, which means you may need more or less flour to get a workable dough.
  • Dust a silicone mat with flour. Remove the dough from the bowl onto the mat. Dust the top of the dough with flour if needed.
  • NOTE: You only get one good rise with gluten free dough, so it is important to shape the gluten free cruffins before rising!
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangular shape with 1/4 inch thickness. Melt the butter in one bowl for 20 seconds in the microwave. Mix the sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the butter. Use a knife to cut the dough into strips.
  • Roll each strip of dough carefully so the sugar mixture doesn't spill out. Place in a greased muffin pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and put it in the warm oven to rise for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cruffins from the oven and remove the plastic. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Your cruffins should be double in size.
  • Brush melted butter over the tops of the cruffins. This will help them get golden and slightly crisp on the outside.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Roll the cruffin in a bowl of cinnamon sugar while it is still warm. If you want more sugar to stick, you can brush the cruffin with melted butter first. I find when the cruffin is warm; the sugar sticks easily.

Notes

  1. I have only tested this recipe with Cup4Cup so far. Other blends should work, BUT it is critical to use a blend that works with yeast. Many 1:1 blends don’t, so you need to check the back of the 1:1 bag and the website to ensure it is an okay flour. I talk more about this in my article about gluten free flour blends.
  2. Note: every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio. You may need to add more flour, milk, etc., to make the dough workable. This is normal, so be prepared to adjust your amounts if needed.
  3. Add one teaspoon if your blend doesn’t contain xanthan or guar gum.
  4. Yeast – I used Fleischman’s Active Dry Yeast. Double-check that the brand you use is gluten free. Red Star “Platinum” is NOT gluten free!
  5. I have not tested this recipe with any dairy-free ingredients. If you try this, please leave a comment or message me and let me know how it worked out.
  6. You can also use brown sugar in the “swirl” instead of sugar if you prefer.
  7. Store leftover gluten free cruffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep fresh for up to 3 days. Freeze room-temperature cruffins in a freezer bag.

Flavor Variations:

  • Orange – To make orange-flavored cruffins, use 3/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of orange juice, and add 2 TBSP orange zest to the sugar that is spread over the flat dough. It is a variation on these Gluten Free Orange Rolls.
  • Nutella – Instead of sugar in the spiral, spread Nutella over the flat dough.
  • Pumpkin Spice – Add 2 tsp. of pumpkin spice to the sugar mix you spread over the flat dough.
  • Cinnamon Apple – Add finely diced apples (peeled) on top of the sugar and cinnamon that is spread over the dough. It is a variation of my Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Rolls.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cruffinCalories: 331kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 11mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 4gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 356IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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Recipe Rating




29 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    I’m not sure what went wrong but the dough was very crumbly and my yeast rose perfectly while it was in the milk and then when I placed the muffins in the oven to rise, they did not budge one bit even after leaving them in for longer. They did not bake well or taste good.

    1. Hi Kendra, I can’t help troubleshoot without knowing the flour blend you used, how you rose the dough, and if you substituted any ingredients. I am happy to troubleshoot. Crumbly means your dough was too dry. Let me know the flour blend and we can go from there to help you make them.

  2. Hello! I’m planning to try these for Christmas brunch. Have you ever made them the night before and baked the next morning?

    1. Hi Libbie, I haven’t tried to make them the night before. I am not sure how the yeast would do. I don’t have time to test this with the holidays, etc. I will try in the new year.

  3. I made them exactly as stated in the recipe. The yeast fermented beautifully but they didn’t rise well. They came out hard. Maybe next time I’ll bake them in a normal tray so they have more room to grow.

    1. Hi Kirsten, the weight will totally depend on the flour blend you use. EVERY single flour blend has a different weight. For Cup4Cup flour, that I used, it is 435g…but that is not the measurement for other blends. Every flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio, which affects the weight and moisture levels needed.

      1. Thank you so much for the reply. I totally agree with you that the weight varies by blend. I have about 6 blends I work with regularly and each have their own personality. 🙂 I wanted to be sure to use the right amount as I read how important using the right blend is for success with this recipe. Plus, when I try to measure by volume it’s almost like an internal contest for me. Recipes says: 1 cup packed brown sugar… challenged accepted!! and I pack in WAY more than intended. The grams measurements keep me on track and sane. Thank you!!

  4. 4 stars
    Looks amazing, but while xantham gum is mentioned on the preamble, it isn’t mentioned in the recipe. When does it get added?

  5. 3 stars
    Hi – I made these this morning. They were just okay. I feel like they needed an egg. I used to make mallorcas (before being GF), which are very similar, but are made with an egg. Have you tried this? Also, recipe instructions is missing when to add vanilla (not a big deal, but thought I’d point it out).
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Joan, it sounds like you used a flour blend I haven’t tested. Which did you use? It is hard for me to know how your recipe turned out because you didn’t describe how they turned out, and why you think an egg would have helped. I haven’t tested this recipe with an egg, but you are welcome to try it and compensate with a little less liquid or adding more flour.

      1. Hi. I used KAF gf bread flour. Texture wise perfect. Dough was easy to roll, rose properly, and cooked perfectly. It was the taste…which I think would have improved with egg. Will give it a try.