Gluten is most often associated with wheat and wheat flour but can also be found in barley, rye, spelt, and triticale – a wheat hybrid. Gluten proteins in wheat flours make dough elastic and stretchy, and trap gas within baked goods, providing a light, airy structure. Thus, gluten-free baking can be a challenge. But not an insurmountable one!
Whether you’re 100% gluten free due to a serious gluten allergy or intolerance, or just like to experiment with different grains, gluten free baking can be both a challenging and rewarding experience.
Although most people who have experimented with gluten free baking have had a couple of gummy, dry, or crumbly disasters, there are more products, tips and information available than ever before to make sure those baked goods turn out perfectly!
Although it can take a bit of experimentation, once you get the hang of the substitutions and settle on a good mix of flours, gluten free baking truly becomes second nature. Check out the tips below, and try them out in a few of our favorite recipes!
Gluten Free Baking Tips
- Use a mixture of flours in gluten free baking for ideal taste and consistency. For cakes, cookies, muffins, and bread, a ratio of 1 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 cup tapioca starch, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum works well.
- Avoid flours with strong flavors like fava or garbanzo beans, especially in sweet or delicately flavored baked goods.
- For a no-fail option, try a pre-mixed gluten free flour blend. Bob’s Red Mill, The Gluten Free Pantry, King Arthur, Pamela’s, and Namaste Foods all make great options that take the guesswork out of gluten free baking.
- To increase nutrition in gluten free baking, try substituting 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds for 1/4 cup of flour in recipes, and favor whole grain flours like teff, brown rice, and amaranth.
Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Newton Clones
Recipe by Lauren Goslin: Blogger, Oatmeal With a Fork
- 25 dried figs
- 2 T. neutral oil, I used grape seed
- 2 T. applesauce
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 6 T. coconut milk
- 1 c. oats (ground into flour)
- 1/4 c. raw buckwheat groats (ground into flour)
- 1/2 c. brown rice flour
- 1/4 c. chia seeds (ground into flour)
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. vanilla
- 15 drops liquid stevia, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a saucepan, cover figs with water (just enough that they are still poking out the top of the water). Bring to a boil, shut the heat off, but let pan remain on the stove. Let the pan sit on the burner for about 15 minutes, until cooled a bit. While the figs cool, begin mixing the dough. Mix the dry ingredients (oat flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, chia flour, baking soda, and salt), in one bowl. The chia seeds act as a binder in the dough, but if you prefer flax seeds, they will work as well! Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl (oil, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, and 8 drops of stevia). Mix all the dough ingredients together (it will be very thick…you will be thinking, ‘wow, I need more milk’, but this is not the case).
- Oil an 8 x 8 baking dish. Press half of the dough mixture into the bottom of the dish (you will need to use your hands). Add 7 drops of stevia to the fig mix, stir, and spread atop the bottom dough layer. Finally, dollop the remaining dough onto the fig layer, and, using your hands, carefully spread it out to cover the figs.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven heat, until it starts browning around the perimeter and a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the best taste, I would suggest letting them cool completely before cutting. They will then be the most reminiscent of the soft cookie bars you remember from days past.
- Gluten-Free Marble Cake
- Gluten Free Mocha Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Mousse Tarts
- Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
- Gluten-Free Blueberry Apple Pie Cake
- Gluten Free Coconut Lime Loaf
- Banana Gluten Free Scones
- Gluten Free Goji Muffins
Also be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Gluten Free Baking Mixes!
Have a gluten free baking tip or recipe you’d like to share? Send it in!