Gluten-Free Recipes

Enjoy these featured recipes from The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook:

See the full list of 180 recipes included in the book.

The America’s Test Kitchen
Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Makes 42 ounces (about 9 1/3 cups)

Be sure to use potato starch, not potato flour. Tapioca starch is also sold as tapioca flour; they are interchangeable. See notes below about shopping for rice flours and substituting soy milk powder.

24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup) white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (1 1/3 cups) potato starch
3 ounces (3/4 cup) tapioca starch
3/4 ounce (3 tablespoons) nonfat milk powder

Whisk all ingredients together in large bowl until well combined. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Buying Rice Flours

We used rice flours made by Bob’s Red Mill during our testing process. We found some rice flours (including those made by Arrowhead Mills, another widely available brand) to be a bit coarser, which can negatively impact the texture of baked goods. We strongly recommend that you buy Bob’s Red Mill white and brown rice flours.

Using Milk Powder

If dairy is part of your diet, we strongly recommend adding the nonfat milk powder. (We use nonfat, rather than whole-milk, powder because it is more readily available.) If you prefer, use an equal amount of soy milk powder. You can omit the milk powder altogether, however baked goods won’t brown quite as well and they will taste a bit less rich, especially in recipes without a lot of fat.

Buttermilk Waffles

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Waffles

Why This Recipe Works: People often think waffle and pancake batters are interchangeable, and while we don’t agree with that in the test kitchen, we thought our gluten-free pancake batter would at least serve as a good jumping off point for a waffle recipe. Waffles made with this batter—which includes two whipped egg whites and multiple leaveners—came off of the waffle iron with a crisp shell and a hollow interior. Clearly we had too much lift, so we eliminated the baking powder and stopped separating the eggs and whipping the whites. For more structure, we increased the amount of flour. While these waffles were better, they were a little on the heavy side. Increasing the number of eggs from two to three fixed the problem, giving the batter the heft, volume, and richness it needed without making the waffles leaden. This batter baked up into waffles with a crisp exterior and a substantial interior that was moist, with just the right amount of chew. Buttermilk gives these waffles a nice tang and helps ensure a light texture. We prefer the crisper texture of these waffles when made in a Belgian waffle iron, but a classic iron will also work, though it will make more waffles.

Makes five 7‑inch Belgian waffles

12 ounces (2 2/3 cups) ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Whisk flour blend, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl. In separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter until combined. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture thoroughly until batter has thickened and no lumps remain, about 1 minute (batter will be thick).

3. Bake waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions (use about 1/3 cup batter for 7‑inch round iron and generous 3/4 cup for Belgian waffle iron). Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately.

Gluten-Free Flour Substitution

King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
12 ounces = 1 2/3 cups plus 1/2 cup

Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking Flour
12 ounces = 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons

Note that waffles made with Bob’s Red Mill will be somewhat darker and have a slight bean flavor.

Test Kitchen Tip: Buttermilk Substitutes

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, that’s not a problem. There are a couple of options for making buttermilk substitutions. For our waffles, mix 1/2 cup milk with 1 1/4 cups yogurt and substitute this mixture for the 1 3/4 cups buttermilk in the recipe. Both whole-milk and low-fat yogurt will work. While too thin to use in our waffle batter, a mixture of lemon juice and milk is often used as a buttermilk substitute in other recipes. For 1 cup buttermilk, mix 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits

Gluten-Free Light and Fluffy Biscuits

Why This Recipe Works: While gluten development is less important in tender biscuits than in chewy bread, our gluten-free flour blend still fell short. As we did with other breads, we strengthened the protein network with psyllium and added an egg to boost the overall protein content. The biggest challenge was the fat. A biscuit must be buttery, but gluten-free flours just don’t absorb fat all that well, and many early attempts were very greasy. A combination of butter and oil was key. Gluten-free flours don’t absorb liquid very well either, and we found that biscuits made with buttermilk spread way too much. Switching to thicker yogurt solved the problem. (We prefer whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt will work, producing slightly drier biscuits.) Tasters missed the tang of the buttermilk, but supplementing the yogurt with a little lemon juice fixed that problem. As with other chemically leavened quick breads and cookies, we found that biscuits were much improved by letting the dough rest for 30 minutes before baking. Not only did the resting time help to thicken the wet dough a bit (making it easier to shape), more importantly it allowed the starches in the flour blend to fully hydrate. If you skip this step the biscuits will have a slightly gritty, starchy texture. Placing the biscuits fairly close together on the baking sheet trapped a little extra steam, which made them just a bit lighter and more tender. Biscuits are best eaten the day they are baked, but they can be frozen.

Makes 6 biscuits

Do not omit the powdered psyllium husk; it is crucial to the structure of the biscuits. Do not shortchange the 30-minute rest for the dough; if you do, the biscuits will be gritty and spread too much.

9 ounces (2 cups) ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered psyllium husk
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4‑inch pieces
3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Whisk flour blend, baking powder, psyllium, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl until combined. Add butter to flour blend mixture, breaking up chunks with fingertips until only small, pea-size pieces remain. In separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg, oil, and lemon juice until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir yogurt mixture into flour mixture until thoroughly combined and no flour pockets remain, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside of second baking sheet. Using greased 1/3‑cup dry measure, scoop heaping amount of batter and drop onto prepared sheet. (Biscuit should measure about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches high.) Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1/2 inch apart in center of prepared sheet.

3. Bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Variation: Sweet Biscuits

Pair these biscuits with macerated fruit and whipped cream to make shortcakes.
Increase sugar in dough to 2 tablespoons. Sprinkle additional 2 tablespoons sugar evenly over biscuits just before baking.

Gluten-Free Flour Substitution

King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
9 ounces = 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons

Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Baking Flour
9 ounces = 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup

Note that biscuits made with King Arthur will be slightly sandy and a bit starchy and will spread more, and biscuits made with Bob’s Red Mill will be coarser and will spread more and have a distinct bean flavor.

The Gluten-Free Fix: Biscuits

We wanted a drop biscuit that would offer an easy and quick alternative to a traditional rolled biscuit, but with the same tender texture and buttery flavor. The classic recipe is nothing more than flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt mixed with butter and buttermilk. In order to produce an equally tender biscuit with a light, fluffy crumb we had to rework the ingredient list quite extensively.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits: Add Psyllium and Egg

1. Add Psyllium and Egg for Structure: While traditional biscuits rely on gluten for structure, we had to find another solution. Adding powdered psyllium husk (as we had done in bread recipes) helped strengthen the proteins in gluten-free flours so they could do a better job of trapping gas and steam during baking. However, using too much psyllium imparted an earthy flavor that was out of place in biscuits. An egg provided additional structure along with moisture and elasticity.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits: Use Two Fats

2. Use Two Fats: Butter plays an important role in making biscuits tender and tasty. A batch of fluffy drop biscuits typically relies on at least a stick of butter. We found that our ­biscuit dough could absorb only 3 tablespoons of butter (the rest just leached out and made the biscuits greasy). With so ­little fat in the dough, the biscuits were very tough and dry. Two tablespoons of vegetable oil added back some ­richness, as did replacing the usual buttermilk with thicker, richer ­whole-milk yogurt.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits: Thicker Dairy

3. Thicker Dairy Please: Biscuits are traditionally made with buttermilk. Because gluten-free flours don’t absorb liquid well, we found the dough was very liquid-y and spread too much in the oven. Using less milk didn’t work—the starches in the flour never hydrated, and they imparted a gritty texture to the baked biscuits. Switching to thicker yogurt (spiked with a little lemon juice for extra tang) produced a dough with the right consistency, and letting the dough rest for 30 minutes (as we had done with muffins and other chemically leavened bread) allowed the starches to hydrate before baking.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits: Double Sheet Pans

4. Double Up on Sheet Pans: A biscuit is typically baked at a high temperature for a short time to achieve a golden crust and nice rise. We struggled to get a nice color on the tops of the biscuits without burning the bottoms. Lowering the oven temperature seemed like a natural solution, but we needed to bake them so long that the inside dried out. We had better luck staying with the high temperature but using a second baking sheet as insulation to keep the bottoms from burning.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Why This Recipe Works: We started our testing by swapping in our flour blend for the all-purpose flour in a standard Toll House cookie recipe. It was no surprise that these cookies had problems: They were flat, sandy, and greasy. We’d discovered during our baked goods testing that gluten-free flour blends simply can’t absorb as much fat as all-purpose flour can, so cutting back on the butter helped to minimize greasiness. Less butter, along with some xanthan gum, also helped alleviate the spread issue, so the cookies didn’t bake up so flat. As for the sandiness, we knew from our gluten-free muffin testing that fixing this problem required a two-step approach. The starches in our blend needed more liquid as well as more time to hydrate and soften, so we added a couple tablespoons of milk and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. This resting time also had a secondary benefit: It gave the sugar time to dissolve, which led to faster caramelization in the oven. And that meant a cookie not just with deeper flavor, but also with a chewier center and crisper edges. Finally, we wanted our cookies to be less cakey and more chewy. We realized creaming the butter, as the original Toll House recipe directs, was aerating the butter too much. Melting the butter instead, and changing the ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar, gave our cookies the right chewy texture. The extra brown sugar also gave our cookies a more complex, toffeelike flavor. Bite for bite, this was a chocolate chip cookie that could rival the best versions of the classic. Not all brands of chocolate chips are processed in a gluten-free facility, so read labels carefully.

Makes about 24 cookies

Do not omit the xanthan gum; it is crucial to the structure of the cookies. Do not shortchange the 30-minute rest for the dough; if you do, the cookies will spread too much.

8 ounces (1 3/4 cups) ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
2 1/3 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
7 1/2 ounces (1 1/4 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Whisk flour blend, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in large bowl until well combined and smooth. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture with rubber spatula and mix until soft, homogeneous dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be sticky and soft.)

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 2 soupspoons and working with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough at a time, portion dough and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

3. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cookies are best eaten on day they are baked, but they can be cooled and placed immediately in airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

Gluten-Free Flour Substitution

King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
8 ounces = 3/4 cup plus 2/3 cup

Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Baking Flour
8 ounces = 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons

Note that cookies made with King Arthur will spread more and be more delicate, while cookies made with Bob’s Red Mill will spread more and have a distinct bean flavor.