How To Make Gluten-Free Baked Goods

By: Stacy Fraser

No-Sugar-Added Oatmeal Cookies

Pictured Recipe: No-Sugar-Added Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten—a combination of proteins found in wheat, rye and/or barley flour—gives structure and elasticity to baked goods. When you remove gluten, the support needed to lift and lighten the treats during baking is missing. The results can be dense, gummy or crumbly. The best gluten-free (GF) baked goods are made with a blend of GF flours, starches and often natural “gums,” such as xanthan gum, to replicate a traditional texture.

Related: Totally Satisfying Gluten-Free Cookies

gluten free flours

You can make your own GF flour blend or keep it simple and choose one of the blends already on the market. We swapped four different GF flour blends for the wheat flour(s) in our Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes, Banana-Blueberry Muffins and Bev’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Each one produced a slightly different texture compared to the non-GF versions, but all received two thumbs-up in our taste tests. When buying a GF flour blend, check the label. Those labeled “flour” are formulated to swap for an equal amount of wheat flour. Those labeled “baking mix” can only be used in place of other mixes (like Bisquick) or in the manufacturer’s own recipes.

Tips for Gluten-Free Baking

Gluten-Free Crumb Cake

Pictured Recipe: Gluten-Free Crumb Cake

1. To Reduce Crumbliness

Check your blend. If it’s formulated without any “gums,” add 1/4 to ½ tsp. xanthan gum for each cup of flour.

2. To Get the Best Rise

Dissolve baking soda and/or baking powder in liquid instead of combining with the dry ingredients.

3. To Eliminate Grittiness

Let batters rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator) to hydrate the flours.

4. To Keep Fresh Longer

Store GF baked goods airtight in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature.

Related: Luscious Gluten-Free Cake Recipes

Watch: How to Make Gluten-Free Blondies

Related Recipe: Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies