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Gluten-Free Baked Goods without alternative flours?

I really hate the texture of rice/tapioca/gluten-free grain based flours and was hoping to find some recipes for baked desserts that don't use a whole lot to begin with. Things like macaroons and benne wafers.

To me there's nothing sadder than a Gluten-Free cupcake or chocolate chip cookie.

It doesn't have to be totally flour free. I know a lot of baked goods use flour as a binder rather than a main ingredient, I'm just drawing a blank.

So, basically, I'm looking for recipes that don't call for replacement flours, things that are either low-flour or gluten-free to begin wiht. Any suggestions? I

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  1. So, you want low-gluten or gluten-free? I don't know what you mean. Are you meaning "flour" to be wheat flour? Or other types of flour (non-wheat?)

    3 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      Well, I guess what I meant to say is that I want a gluten-free baked good that's low-flour, so it doesn't collapse like wet sand when you try to eat it.

      gluten-free, so no wheat flour.

      1. re: megarose

        You just need better recipes ;)


        Oh, I forgot to mention peanut butter cookies earlier...and they're even better if you make them into thumbprints and fill the center with ganache or jam.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Amen. There's always stuff like chocolate pudding, meringues and truffles, but gluten free baked goods don't have to be gross. Most taste better reheated rather than cold.

          And I'll toss my chocolate chip cookie recipe into the ring!

    2. You mean desserts like flourless chocolate cake, pavlova, cheesecake, angel food cake, etc.?

      3 Replies
      1. re: sedimental

        Pretty much. I want something new though, it seems like I get stuck on the same six things and their variations. I forgot about pavlova though...

        1. re: megarose

          I hear ya.

          I use almond flour for tart and pie crusts. I like almond flour crusts better than white flour crusts.The variations are pretty "uncountable" :)

          Oh, and dont forget sabayon... Although not a baked item, it is great for topping baked things :)

        2. re: sedimental

          Here's a new one that I really love: orange flourless cake, made with almond flour. This recipe is close to what I used http://www.martha-rose-shulman.com/re... except I didn't use 6 eggs cuz that seemed too eggy...I used 3. Also added some almond extract. You can find lots of recipes for this. Moist & delicious.

        3. Adding to sedimental's informative reply:
          sweet corn muffins/bread
          macarons (and macaroons)
          chocolate crackle cookies

          1. Does anyone have a good almond flour savory and/or sweet pie crust recipe? I had one that epically FAILED!

            2 Replies
            1. re: allieb2031

              I only cook with almond and coconut meal/flour now and I love it. There are several web sites that I find helpful. Against All Grain; Your Lighter Side to name 2. They have wonderful recipes for pie crust and a great deal more.

              Good luck!

              1. There are a gazillion ways to make great tasting GF baked goods, but you need to think out of the box. I made a list of grain, nut, and vegetable flours that you can use, there are more than 70 of them, and sometimes they produce a GF product that is much better than the original. But it does take experience, I have been baking GF for over 30 years now, and there are so many products that are available nowadays, it's overwhelming.

                First of all, I'd suggest you find one or two flour blends that you like, for the times when you really want to emulate gluten type baking. Usually I find that a mix of several flours works the best for me, since each flour has a different mix of starch and protein. So if I want crispy, for frying chicken, I'd use a mix of primarily corn starch or potato starch and rice flour. If I want chewy, I'd get GF oats and use oat flour (perfect for your chocolate chip cookies, but too heavy and too much flavor for some other applications.) I often add things that add viscosity or chewiness, like unsweetened coconut flakes or applesauce, as well as "standard" GF additives for gluten replacement, such as xanthan or guar gum, unflavored gelatin, ascorbic acid, pectin, or extra egg white. Use soy, nut, or bean flours to add protein and structure, starchier flours for lightness. Eggs can be used either way, depending on whether you stir them in or beat the whites for foam.

                One good mixed flour blend (somewhat "all-purpose") is the Wendy Wark blend, as follows:
                1 c. brown rice flour
                1 1/4 c. white rice flour
                1/4 c. potato starch
                2/3 c. tapioca starch
                3/4 c. sweet rice flour
                1/3 c. cornstarch
                2 t. xanthan or guar gum

                You can buy this pre-mixed, off the shelf, at:

                But I would say that it is only a starting point, there are a LOT of GF flour blends out there nowadays, and you can experiment. I use sorghum and oat flours a lot. There is way more on this topic than I can tell you here. A good grioup that discusses both medical issues as well as swapping lots of recipes is here:

                I bake GF for my non-GF friends, and I think they are often startled by the additional flavors I introduce to them. Their baking is simpler, but much more limited. Use this as an asset, and to add flavor! Crush stale GF cookies and cereal, put them in the food processor with your choice of nuts, banana chips, crystallized ginger, and coconut flakes, stir in a little sugar, if needed, and some melted butter. Press into a pie crust and par bake and fill it for flavor wow. Bake Indian style paratha bread (think flaky tortillas) using flour blends and garbanzo flour, all kinds of spices, grated radish or onion. So many textures and flavors! If you want to emulate regular French bread, rye bread, German pretzels, bagels, kaiser rolls, or other high gluten breads, there are sites that will help you do it. You can even get rye flavoring to replace rye flour, which is not GF:

                There are lots of sites where others have experimented and published their results, but basically I would say that you need to think about GF baking from a chemist's perspective. A recipe is a chemical prescription that has been tested for thousands of years by a lot of people, with the best methods saved and the worst tossed. So you are trying to engineer your own fast evolution project. If you want EXACTLY what you ate with gluten, it's a challenge, and you'll likely be disappointed. But sometimes the textures that you get with the new version can be BETTER.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lireland

                  Thanks but I don't eat any of the flours you listed. I have used guar gum as a thickener.

                2. If you have not made this cake yet, you are missing out! It is absolutely wonderful. The texture of pound cake, heavy and moist with a true orange flavor - perfect with tea or coffee.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sedimental

                    this is like nigella's clementine cake and i loved that long before i gave up gluten. it also works with other citrus fruits like grapefruit and lime.

                    also this:




                    nuts can all be ground up, mixed with butter and sugar to make crusts for pies. i always prefer that to traditional pie pastry.

                    nuts, oats, butter, brown sugar make great crumble toppings for fruit desserts too.

                    does angel food cake fit your parameters for not much flour?

                  2. Im not sure if you just want snacks, or some that are more bready. Sorry if these are unhelpful. Maybe one will spark something

                    Homemade Marshmallows
                    Flourless peanut butter cookies
                    Flourless hazelnut butter cookies
                    Macaroon (wikipedia has a bunch of the varients one with potatoe flour)
                    Flourless chocolate cake
                    (two types ive tried, ones mostly chocolate and heavy, lighter ones with a lot of eggs thats really light soft)
                    Pavlova (creamy in the middle)
                    Meringue (hard in the middle)
                    lemon meringue with almond crust (meringue should be very creamy)

                    Chocolate mousse
                    Fruit fooles
                    Fruit Soup with rice pudding
                    lemon curd
                    Carrageen Moss Pudding
                    Trifle (skip the bread fingers) Jelly/custard/cream
                    fruit Cranachan (skip/sub the oats if you cant handle them)
                    baked/stewed apple with cinnmon, butter, sugar
                    Rocky Road Chocolate Bars

                    1. These are fantastic, better than many gluteny brownies I've tried: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/08/...

                      They have 3 tbsp cornstarch; not sure if this fits within your guidelines.