In this post, I'm sharing my top five tips for gluten-free baking so you can create recipes with confidence!
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Gluten-free baking can be so challenging!
Has the above picture ever happened to you?
My friend, you aren't alone.
Baking normally is an exact science and method that requires practice.
But gluten-free baking can be even more complicated!
Due to the lack of gluten, gluten-free baking requires patience, proper methods, and using the right products for the job. Otherwise, it can get really scary, really quick.
Plus, the variety of gluten-free products on the market today can give you different results!
Here are my top five tips for gluten-free baking so that you can have successful gluten-free baked goods right at home, like this!
Five Tips For Gluten-Free Baking
- Five Tips For Gluten-Free Baking
- Follow the gluten-free recipe carefully.
- Eggs Are Your Friends.
- Add more liquid/fat to gluten-free recipes.
- Measure your ingredients carefully.
- Not all gluten-free flours are the same!
- BONUS TIP: Let batters rest before baking.
- Tools For Baking Gluten-Free
- Gluten-Free Baking Recipes To Build Your Confidence!
- Want to bake gluten-free with success?
Follow the gluten-free recipe carefully.
If you are following a recipe that is specifically written as a gluten-free recipe, do NOT and I repeat, do NOT change anything! You are setting yourself up for failure if you change it.
Gluten-free recipes are specifically formulated using certain ingredients, measurements, and methods. If you modify it at all, it can ruin the entire thing, and your efforts will be in vain.
Follow. The. Recipe.
Once you've made it once with success, then consider modifying it.
For example, these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are flourless and are super soft when they come out of the oven. Leaving them to continue cooking on the baking rack is crucial for their structural integrity. If you move them too fast, they will fall apart and be too soft.
Eggs Are Your Friends.
To improve the fluffiness of muffins and quick bread, try adding 1 additional egg. The egg can provide more lift which would normally be gluten's job. And since we don't have gluten to work with, an egg can be a good replacement.
When recipe testing these gluten and dairy-free zucchini muffins, I found that adding an additional egg gave them the right amount of fluffiness and texture it had been lacking on previous recipe tests.
So Is Baking Powder.
Growing up, my Dad and I always made Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. Coming from an Irish family, I wanted to continue this tradition in a gluten-free way once I was diagnosed with celiac disease. And even though the recipe only called for a litttttle bit of baking soda, every time I made the same recipe I had baked growing up, only with a gluten-free flour blend, it fell flat.
After doing more research, I found out that sometimes gluten-free baked goods need a little help to rise, and that's where baking powder can come in handy. Be sure to use a gluten-free baking powder and add slowly - a ½ teaspoon at a time.
Since using both baking powder and baking soda in my Irish soda bread, the bake now looks like this:
Add more liquid/fat to gluten-free recipes.
Have your gluten-free baked goods ever been dry or super crumbly? Gluten-free baked goods can be dry and crumbly without any gluten. When you are adapting a recipe that calls for regular, all-purpose flour to a gluten-free version, most of the time, there's a need for more liquid or fat.
Some alternatives you can try here are to add additional fat, like butter or oil, or liquids such as water or milk. Greek yogurt or sour cream can also help keep the batter moist. Go slow, as ¼ cup at a time, until you get the texture you are looking for.
Measure your ingredients carefully.
Is baking by weight the most accurate and precise way to bake gluten-free?
But is it realistic?
In my experience, most people don't have the time or even a kitchen scale to bake this way. If you do, that's awesome! Good for you! In my experience, it's not the baking that most people do.
And if you are a typical, every day baker like me, and you are NOT measuring for weight, then be sure to spoon your flour into your measuring cup, then level off with the back of the knife. This makes sure you get an accurate amount.
Not all gluten-free flours are the same!
Gluten-free flour mixes use different ingredients to create a gluten-like product. They are not interchangeable and can have a huge impact on your final results.
Here are my go-to gluten-free flours. I recommend the ones listed here as the composition of each of these blends are very similar. They use the same base ingredients and what varies are the extra ingredients to give it that next level texture or consistency.
The gluten-free flours listed below ALL CONTAIN:
- White rice flour
- Tapioca starch
- Potato starch
- Xanthan gum
Extra Ingredients in Each Blend
|Cup4Cup||Bob’s Red Mill 1:1||Better Batter||GF Jules|
|Brown Rice Flour, Cornstarch, Milk Powder||Brown Rice Flour, Sorghum Flour||Brown Rice Flour, Potato Flour, Pectin||Corn Flour, Cornstarch|
That means that switching from one blend to another will yield similar results in your final bakes - not exactly the same, but similar. You may need to adjust the liquid or fat content if substituting.
My #1 gluten-free flour for all types of baking:
cookies, pastries, pies, cakes, breads, and thickening soups/stews
Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Multipurpose Blend (contains dairy)
Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour (Dairy-Free)
Other highly recommended gluten-free flour blends to consider:
Gluten-Free Flour Tips:
- Do not substitute a single gluten-free flour for a gluten-free flour blend. I've seen this mistake in my recipes before where someone tried to use a single gluten-free flour, such as almond flour, as a replacement for a gluten-free flour blend. Don't do this! It will not come out the same.
- Be careful of what you are buying. Whether it's a single gluten-free flour, a gluten-free flour blend, or a gluten-free baking mix that may already contain a leavening agent (such as baking powder, like Pamela's Baking Mixes tend to have), pay attention to what you buy! Each could give you a different result.
- If you are frustrated with your gluten-free baked goods, try a different gluten-free flour blend! They all produce different bakes. Take a look at these examples to show you how making the exact same recipe but with different gluten-free flour blends yield different results.
BONUS TIP: Let batters rest before baking.
According to America's Test Kitchen, a good tip to help prevent grittiness in quickbreads, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc. is to allow the batter to rest before baking. Once your batter is prepared and ready to go into the pan, allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. This helps your final product have great texture. Don't go beyond that timeframe though, or the consistency can suffer. This has helped me immensely when baking gluten-free!
Tools For Baking Gluten-Free
KitchenAid: This is an investment, but will last you for years. It makes baking a breeze and so much easier than using a handheld mixer. Pro tip - you can get them renewed through Amazon for a cheaper price!
A ruler or tape measure: If you're doing something super specific, like these gluten-free croissants, you'll want to measure carefully.
Bench scraper: Super helpful tool for pastry, cookies, and breads. I use this one and love it!
Pastry brush: This is great for eggwashes or brushing gluten-free flour off breads and doughs.
Gluten-Free Baking Recipes To Build Your Confidence!
Feel like an easy quickbread? This banana bread with walnuts hits the spot.
Craving cookies? Indulge in chocolate chip cookies with cranberries and walnuts.
Looking for a savory scones recipe? Bake this version with bacon, cheddar, and chives.
Want to practice your pie making skills? Check out this gluten-free peach pie with lattice design.
Ready to take your baking skills to the next level? Try these delightful, buttery, and flaky gluten-free croissants.
Want to bake gluten-free with success?
Are you struggling to bake gluten-free recipes with success?
Are you tired of wasting your money on products that don't work?
Wish someone could tell you what you're doing wrong?
I've got good news friend. I can help!
Book a FREE 15-minute call with me to learn how I can help you overcome your baking challenges with 1:1 coaching.
Here's what a client had to say about working with me for recipe help:
Don't waste your time or money on recipes that come out bad. Let's make them taste amazing and wow your friends & family - together!
What gluten-free baking tips would you add to this list?
Let me know in the comments!