Gluten Free Baking

One of my favorite baked goods growing up were the Seven Layer Bars my mom used to make. I don't remember if she necessarily made them just around the Holidays -- or at other times of year. But every so often I get a craving, despite being the only one in my house that's a big fan of them. This past weekend I decided to make a big batch, which I then cut into squares and froze for future Holiday events we'll either be hosting or attending. It is SO easy to adapt the traditional Seven Layer Bar recipe to be gluten free. One ingredient that can present a problem is, of course, the graham cracker crust. But not to worry, as there are now many brands of gluten free graham crackers to choose from. This time, I used Pamela's GF graham crackers, but you can also use Kinnikinnick's S'morables graham crackers or Schar's variety. (These are all great for making traditional cheesecake crusts, too.) The other ingredient that you should be careful about when selecting a brand is butterscotch chips. Nestle's are NOT gluten free. I was fortunate to find Guittard brand at our local Whole Foods store, and... Read more →


It had been a while since I'd made scones, and since I had both buttermilk and gluten free cinnamon chips in the house (Hershey's brand is gluten free), I decided I'd whip up a quick batch earlier this week. Of course, you can customize these gluten free scones to your taste, using cinnamon chips (my favorite), chocolate chips (my husband and kids' favorite), or even blueberries or nuts. Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten free baking flour (choose your favorite blend -- I've used many different kinds over the years) 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup butter, melted 3/4 cup chocolate or cinnamon chips, berries, or nuts Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Melt the butter and then, once it cools a bit, stir in the buttermilk. Add the butter/buttermilk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients until combined. Add the chips, berries, or nuts. Scoop 12 large spoonfuls of the batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a scone comes out... Read more →


Every so often I like to share a recipe that I think will have wide appeal. This recipe, a combination of several different recipes I revised, is sure to be a hit at any summer gathering. I was a little nervous about how these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies would turn out, since I didn't follow any particular recipe exactly, but I have to say they were delicious -- and very well received by my relatives at a family get-together yesterday. As always, people were shocked they were gluten free. The blondies were made with chocolate chips (I used the new Simply Delicious ones from Nestle, which are made with only 3 ingredients and free of the 8 major allergens), but you can substitute gluten free vanilla chips, butterscotch chips, or even peanut butter chips. Always verify the gluten free status, because not all products are gluten free. Ingredients: 2 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted 2 large eggs, beaten 3 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups gluten free flour (I used Cup4Cup) 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt 2 cups chocolate chips Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease inside... Read more →


I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for REAL buttercream icing made with real butter. I hardly ever buy store-bought icing, unless I'm in an extreme time-crunch. I feel that real buttercream icing takes even the most average cake to delectable heights. Therefore, I want to share this old family recipe with you. There's nothing particularly special about it. It's probably similar to many buttercream icing recipes out there, but this is the one handed down to me by my mom decades ago. In fact, I have it typed up in an old (and lovingly chocolate-stained) booklet of recipes I put together for a Home Ec project in junior high! This is one recipe I have turned to again and again over the years (especially now that I have kids!). It's so good, you can make a batch just to dip cookies in. Or, use it to frost your favorite cake or cupcakes (or even as frosting inside whoopie pies). All it takes is one bowl and 5 ingredients (all of which you probably have on hand). Our younger son is gluten free due to Celiac, so I typically use it atop gluten free cakes, cupcakes, or whoopie pies (which I,... Read more →


I have a ton of cookbooks...and I tear out recipes from all the gluten free magazines I read each month. I also have several binders full of recipes, including a lot of old family favorites that I adapt to make gluten free (like my husband's and my favorite lasagna recipe). So another cookbook is not necessarily something I desperately needed. But am I glad to have gotten a copy of Carol Kicinski's new Simply Gluten Free 5 Ingredient Cookbook! The premise is that all the recipes include only 5 ingredients (not including things like water, oil, salt, and pepper) and take only about 15 minutes to make. For a busy mom juggling a business, that's music to my ears. I make dinner most nights, and sometimes it can take an hour or more to prepare. So I like the sound of easy, as long as it's healthy and my family will eat it! So I opened the cookbook and started paging through it. The difference between this cookbook and others is that I dog-eared about every third page! Everything sounded so delicious -- and there were some really cool and creative recipes. Since I wanted to enlist the help of... Read more →


I realize Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix has been around for years now, but I still felt it worthy of a Blog post. This continues to be my go-to base for any chocolate cake, cupcakes, or whoopie pies. I'd like to tell you I've found something better, after trying many gluten-free chocolate cake mixes over the years, including some "from scratch" recipes. But I'd be lying. I guess it's hard to compete with Betty Crocker's test kitchens! (Read on for my latest yummy adaptation using the mix...) Although I'm not by any means suggesting this is a "healthy" mix -- or that it incorporates any nutrient-dense flours like amaranth, teff, quinoa, etc. -- I do like the fact that it has fewer ingredients than most store-bought mixes. The ingredients are as follows: sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa processed with alkali, tapioca starch, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono calcium phosphate), salt, and guar gum. Again, this isn't anything special, but I like the fact that, unlike most store-bought "regular" cake mixes, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And they've clearly nailed the proper blend of ingredients in the right ratios. From the comments on... Read more →


My older son (not Celiac) loves making chocolate chip cookies. He has tried many different recipes but gravitates back to the traditional Nestle Toll-House recipe, using one of many of our favorite gluten free flour blends as a cup-for-cup substitute for regular flour (so our younger Celiac son can eat them, too!). There are so many wonderful gluten free flour blends these days that it's hard to pick a favorite. Ones we like and use cup-for-cup in both savory as well as baking recipes include Pamela's Gluten Free All-Purpose Artisan blend, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, Carol's Amazing All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour, and Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I've only purchased their Original Blend but am looking forward to trying their new "Wholesome Flour Blend"which incorporates healthy ingredients like ground flaxseeds and rice bran for fiber and healthy fats). Many of these flours are also non-GMO, which as you may know, is increasingly important to me. Last week, my son had the urge to make chocolate chip cookies, and he was planning to follow the Nestle Toll House... Read more →


Wow...I didn't realize it had been a month since I penned my last Blog post. November flew by, and with the Holidays already in full swing, I know things won't slow down anytime soon! Picking up on those particular themes of the Holidays -- and being starved for time -- I wanted to share a few easy seasonal favorites, both new and old. These are tried-and-true things you can serve up without spending hours in the kitchen. Over Thanksgiving, I used two gluten free products I'd tried before....Wegmans own gluten free Honey Cornbread Mix and Aleia's Savory Stuffing Mix. I love these two products -- for both their ease of preparation and for their delicious taste. This time, I cooked the cornbread a bit too long (set the timer, wanted to cook it for just an additional 30 seconds, and then forgot about it in the oven for several more minutes!). Fortunately, it was still decent, just a bit dry and crumbly. But providing you set your timer properly and follow the package directions, it turns out great (as it has for me in the past)...nice and moist. You'd never know it was gluten free. If you're looking for a... Read more →


We're always adding helpful content, updating resources, and improving the functionality of GlutenFreeTravelSite and our free companion mobile app, Dine Gluten Free. But for those of you who haven't visited for a while -- or may not be aware of all the ways these valuable resources can help you DINE & TRAVEL gluten free more easily, we thought it might be time for a reminder... First Stop (if you need it): An Overview Under the RESOURCES tab within the navigation bar on our website, there's a section of the site called About Celiac & Gluten Sensitivity that contains 12 "chapters" of information that are helpful to both new and veteran gluten free folks. And if you have friends or family members that need to understand your diet better, send them a link to this page for answers to the questions they may have (sometimes it's easier when it comes from an impartial source!). Also, if you have a friend that suspects gluten may be adversely affecting their health, by all means, pass along this information to them. It could provide the spark that leads them to get tested. We've tried to make the explanations about Celiac, gluten sensitivity, and a... Read more →


Earlier this summer, our older (non-Celiac) son who doesn't like pizza anyway was off to a camp with friends. It provided a great opportunity for me to have some in-the-kitchen bonding time with our younger son (who has Celiac) making pizza (which he loves!). We've tried all sorts of store-bought gluten free pizzas over the 10 years since our son was first diagnosed with Celiac, and we've also bought "naked" crusts to customize them ourselves. I've even tried various gluten free mixes and flours to make our own "from scratch" pizza when time allows. So I was particularly curious to try Cup 4 Cup's new gluten free Pizza Crust Mix. Surprisingly, this was my first Cup 4 Cup purchase. I know many of you swear by their all-purpose flour. I've been meaning to try it -- despite its high price tag -- but have been really happy with the other GF flour blends I use (King Arthur's all purpose GF flour and GF all purpose baking mix, Bob's Red Mill new gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, Pamela's GF All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend, Tom Sawyer gluten free flour, and gfJules Gluten Free Flour). But when I saw this new Pizza Crust... Read more →


Last week, I blogged with much excitement about Wegmans' launch of ready-to-eat gluten free bakery items. Back in early December, they launched two types of gluten-free cookies, gluten-free frosted brownies, and gluten-free cupcakes -- now available at all their locations. They are all made using Wegmans' gluten free boxed mixes, which have been available in their stores for a while now. At the time of the post, I had not personally tried the new ready-to-eat items, but that evening, I happened to be near a Wegmans, so I went in and bought one of everything. Over the next few nights, my husband, two sons, and I taste-tested each of the new items. Here's what we thought: Gluten-Free Cupcakes -- These come four to a pack, with two vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and two chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. Unlike the photo Wegmans had sent me, the gluten-free cupcakes in the store near us did not contain colorful "confetti" style sprinkles on top. That was actually GREAT with me, as I prefer not to give my kids things with artificial color or flavor, if I can help it. Perhaps they decided not to include these on the cupcakes after all...it... Read more →


My favorite posts to write are those in which I get the opportunity to share news about my favorite companies, stores, or restaurants introducing new gluten free items. Today, I'm thrilled to be able to share the recent news about the new gluten free bakery items avaialable at all Wegmans locations. Yes, you can now enjoy Wegmans Gluten-Free Frosted Pan Brownies, Gluten-Free Cupcakes, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies. I discovered this just yesterday, as I was perusing my Wegmans MENU magazine (free when you sign up for a Wegmans shopper loyalty card). There in the back of the magazine, on page 135 (almost missed it!), was a brief mention of their gluten free -- yes, gluten free -- desserts! What? When did this happen, and how did I miss it? I'd heard rumblings about this a long time ago, but each visit to Wegmans turned up nothing gluten-free among the amazing ready-to-eat bakery items (save for the supposedly Chocolate Dome in the bakery case, which is good, but still bears a risk of cross contamination, as it's displayed alongside everything else). Turns out, they just rolled out their gluten free cookies, cupcakes, and brownies in early December... Read more →