Gluten-Free Buckwheat Cinnamon Swirl Biscuits with Cream Cheese Icing

It’s hard to find good gluten-free cinnamon buns. But this version, adapted from Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s cookbook Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours, does the trick. Be sure to use sweet white rice flour, which is starchier than regular white rice flour. If you can’t find it, try a GF all-purpose blend that contains sweet rice flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour.

1 from 1 vote

Buckwheat Cinnamon Swirl Biscuits with Cream Cheese Icing

MAKES 8 BISCUITS The amount of liquid needed varies depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen; add just enough to make a firm but hydrated dough. Don’t worry if the dough cracks a bit as you roll it out; everything will hold together when baked. Biscuits are best warm from the oven, when their soft layers unravel to reveal crispy edges and gooey icing. But extras keep, airtight at room temperature, for 2 days.
Servings 8
Calories 375 kcal


For the Biscuits:

  • 1 cup sweet white rice flour (such as Blue Star Mochiko brand)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, sliced, plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, plus more for brushing
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk, plus more as needed
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt


  1. Make the biscuits: In a large bowl combine the three flours with the sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the butter is the size of peas. Chill the mixture until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract and chill.
  3. Gradually stir just enough of the chilled milk mixture into the chilled flour mixture to form a dough that holds together when squeezed and is just firm enough to roll out. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl to bring it together into a ball (gluten-free biscuits require more kneading to bring the dough together). Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes or up to several hours.
  4. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
  5. Make the filling: Place the raisins in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to plump, about 10 minutes, then drain well. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  6. Lightly dust a large piece of parchment paper with buckwheat flour and place the chilled dough on it. Use your hands and a rolling pin to pat and roll out the dough into a 10 by 14-inch rectangle, dusting the dough as needed to prevent sticking. If the dough cracks or breaks, pinch it back together. When the dough begins to stick to the parchment, top with a second piece of parchment and, grasping both pieces of parchment and the dough, flip it over. Gently peel away the top piece of parchment and continue rolling out the dough.
  7. Brush the dough with the melted butter, distribute the raisins evenly over the dough, sprinkle all over with the brown sugar mixture, and press the filling into the dough with your hands.
  8. Starting with a wider side, use the parchment to help roll the dough into a log, rolling it as tightly as possible and ending with the seam side down. Use a sharp knife to assertively cut the log crosswise into 8 equal pieces. Place one biscuit in the center of the prepared pan and the others evenly spaced around it, using a spatula if needed. Slightly flatten the tops of the biscuits. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake the biscuits until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to warm, 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, make the icing: Use the back of a spoon to mash the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Whisk in the milk, a few drops of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, adding more milk as needed to make a thick but pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the biscuits.
  10. To serve, use a knife or offset metal spatula to coax the biscuits out of the pan.
Nutrition Facts
Buckwheat Cinnamon Swirl Biscuits with Cream Cheese Icing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 338mg15%
Potassium 360mg10%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 483IU10%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin

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13 Comments on “Gluten-Free Buckwheat Cinnamon Swirl Biscuits with Cream Cheese Icing”

  1. Avatar for Kay

    1 star
    These failed miserably. I love Alanna’s recipes and her cookbook – I question whether this recipe was approved by her, or just adapted from her work. I followed everything exactly, and the dough cracked and tore while rolling it up and basically fell apart. Tried baking it all anyway, and the dough didn’t rise at all and tasted like dry, powdery cardboard. Big disappointment and waste of ingredients, had to chuck it all in the garbage.

  2. Avatar for Erika

    Kay! This is very surprising and disappointing indeed. The recipe is by Alanna directly. We have made it multiple times, both during testing and because we love them. Can you share what brand of products you used?

  3. Avatar for Mona

    I am wondering, don’t we need some gum or flax in this recipe? That may be why Kay had no luck with this recipe?
    I want to try these real bad, but would like to know, if the baking powder in this recipe, plus only 2 eggs, can do the job?

  4. Avatar for Erika

    This recipe has worked every time for me. If you want more structure, feel free to add, but it’s not necessary.

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