The Best Gluten Free Cinnabon Pancakes


People often ask me, “how do you come up with your recipes?” My typical response is that my recipes are inspired by who I am, where I have been and my love for family. So when this recipe for gluten free cinnabon pancakes popped into my brain I took a personal look to see how it was born.


First and foremost I am NOT a gluten free girl. Over the many years of my medical practice I took care of a few patients with celiac disease and that illness is no trendy joke. Those afflicted really do suffer and I am thankful the disease is not all that common. Back then it was tough for patients to find delicious substitutes for every day foods like bread and pasta. Many of the products either tasted like cardboard or were quite expensive to purchase on-line. Luckily, much of that has changed.

Back to the original question of how this recipe came about:


my niece, Christy with my nephews Paul and Cameron

#1 I love my family. The only reason I had King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Baking Mix in my pantry is because I absolutely adore my niece, Christy. She is gluten free and came to visit me not long ago. I purchased the mix so she and I could bake biscuits together.


#2 It’s about being inspired by places I have been. A few weeks ago my husband and I took a ride to the Amish market. The place was filled with the enticing scent of cinnamon rolls. Completely sucked in we purchased a package and looked forward to the next mornings breakfast treat. Sadly, much like the old-time gluten free products, the cinnamon rolls were heavy and dense. BLECH! Of course, y’all remember my trip to the King Arthur Flour Baking School in Vermont.


#3 It’s about who I am. I was still craving a good Cinnabon, but something I could easily accomplish for breakfast on a whim. Pancakes it would be and gluten free to boot since that is what was on hand in my pantry and I wanted something quick and easy right now.


And while I am still waiting for baby grand-daughter to be born (any day now) this is how my recipes are born. I hope you like this one inspired by who I am, the places I’ve been and those that I love. These pancakes are light and luscious and will totally remind you of a perfectly baked cinnabon. Top them with a cream cheese icing if you dare or lots of butter and syrup. BTW, I am sure the recipe will work with any ready made pancake batter you like, gluten free or not.


Good Morning Sunshine

Gluten Free Cinnabon Pancakes

1-tablespoon sugar, divided

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

¾ milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

1-teaspoon water

In small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of sugar with cinnamon; set aside. Whisk remaining sugar and baking mix together in a medium bowl. Add egg, butter, milk and vanilla; blend well. Let batter rest for 10 minutes, so baking mix fully hydrates and batter thickens. Scoop out a level 1/4th cup of batter and place in a small bowl. Add water and reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture; blend well. Push cinnamon batter through a fine sieve to smooth out any lumps; transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Preheat a greased griddle. Spoon batter onto the griddle spreading with the back of the spoon into even circles. Pipe spirals of cinnamon batter on top of each pancake. Cook pancakes until edges look dry and the top is no longer glossy. They should be golden brown. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or until cooked through. Serve with your favorite toppings or try this cream cheese icing syrup. Makes 8 pancakes.

Cream Cheese Icing Syrup: in a small saucepan over low heat whisk ¼ cup of butter 2 ounces of softened cream cheese and 2 tablespoons real maple syrup until melted and blended and warmed through.


Joy To Daughters, Carrot Cake Pancakes & Buttermilk Syrup


Last weekend I enjoyed the pleasure of my daughter’s company. Selfishly, I love having her all to myself as we roam around Chester County (fabulous mani-pedis at Polished) and search for treasures at some of the local antique shops. The girl has an impressive decorator’s eye which most likely came from her Grandma Keys. Back home, in my kitchen, we cook a fabulous crab cake salad with a buttermilk ranch dressing using recipes from the latest edition of Cooking Light. She likes cooking healthy and has creative mad skills in the kitchen, too. It brings me back to younger days when the two of us would enter our art and baking projects at the Bethlehem Fair. It’s actually how we were first introduced to King Arthur Flour who sponsored the state level competitions.What I love about these fairs is NOT everybody gets a ribbon. The win actually means something. It signifies learning and hard work pays off. It’s a joyful and proud moment to see the blue on your kid’s entry.


1992 we each take a grand state blue rosette me for sewing and Caitlin for muffins

As we discuss the merits of buttermilk and value of USA wild-caught seafood, Caitlin mentions that lately she has been craving pancakes, but not enjoying them as she has cut back on carbs. Hmmmm,  I tuck that thought into the back of my brain only to pull it out this week with the caveat…life’s too short not to enjoy a delicious pancake.


Easter Sunday brunch is on its way and I thought I could come up with a holiday inspired menu that included healthy pancakes. I won’t lie…I was looking for a way to use up the rest of the buttermilk, too. I love you, dear daughter, thanks for ever inspiring me and very proud of the woman you have become. Joy to you always.


So, I never order pancakes unless the restaurant is offering real maple syrup to go on top. I am a syrup snob and refuse to eat the maple “flavored” stuff. However, this brown butter buttermilk syrup is a fabulous something different to pour over pancakes and French toast as well as ice cream or a cake. It’s like a luscious buttery light caramel.

Brown Butter Buttermilk Syrup

½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup sugar

1-tablespoon corn syrup

1/8-teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook butter, swirling pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until it begins to brown. Whisk in buttermilk, sugar, corn syrup and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mixture is a golden brown. Whisk in vanilla and baking soda (it will foam up). Remove from heat and keep warm while making pancakes. Can be made ahead and re-warmed. Also delicious over pound cake and ice cream.


Lightly spiced whole grain pancakes are a great way to get your little bunnies to eat and enjoy their carrots.

Whole Grain Silver Dollar Carrot Cake Pancakes

¾ cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur)

1-tablespoon ground flax seed meal (Bob’s Red Mill)

½ tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup grated carrots (use medium hole on box grater)

¾ cups buttermilk

1 egg

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In medium bowl, whisk flour, flax, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Spread carrots over a paper towel. Top with a second towel and gently press together. Microwave carrots on HIGH for 2 minutes to remove moisture and soften. In another bowl, combine carrots, buttermilk, egg, butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Spoon batter (about a heaping tablespoonful for silver dollar style pancakes) onto a lightly greased non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Makes 12 to 14 pancakes. Serve with buttermilk syrup.