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The Best Gluten-Free Baking Recipes, According to Eater Editors

From flourless chocolate cake to buckwheat cookies

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Peanut butter cookies on a baking sheet. Shutterstock

It’s still December. It’s still 2020. It’s still a pandemic. And so our home baking continues apace. Whether you’re baking for yourself or for friends, a need to or an interest in forgoing gluten doesn’t mean skimping on texture or taste. From pavlovas to brownies to so many cookies, these are the recipes we turn to when basic AP flour is off the ingredient list.

Gluten-free almond flour shortbread cookies: I traded my go-to King Arthur recipe — these chocolate chip oatmeal wonders — in for this almond shortbread for a cookie swap this year. The dough came together easily and in about eight minutes. They are crumbly and buttery when baked, completely reminiscent of Danish butter cookies. It’s also a great base recipe, one you can riff on by making thumbprints or by adding flavors to the dough like cocoa or orange. Note: I once made these with coconut flour, and do not recommend it! — Patty Diez, project manager

Easter egg nest cake: I know it says it’s an Easter cake, but I’ve made this flourless chocolate cake for Passover the past few years and it’s always been a hit. It’s rich but not dense, light but not insubstantial, and has the perfect balance between the crispy meringue-y edges and the soft interior. Plus, it somehow tastes just as good even after it’s been left out on the counter for a few days. You don’t even have to add the mini eggs, though why you’d skimp on those I’m not sure. — Jaya Saxena, staff writer

Salty buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies: The beauty of this recipe is that it is already half-adapted to a gluten-free lifestyle at inception: buckwheat flour, despite its name, has no gluten in it. Just sub in your favorite alt-flour for the all-purpose suggested (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, specifically the brand’s rice flour blend), for dappled, bakery-quality cookies with a firm hold, soft bite, and bountiful chocolate chunks. — Nicole Adlman, cities manager

Boozy cherry pavlova: I found this recipe after a meringue disaster that went down in history as the Year of the Grinch Poop (they were supposed to be Christmas trees!) This pavlova from Minneapolis-based pastry chef Zoë François is a stunner. It looks like a plush snow bank spilling over with boozy fruit. The juices soak into this crackly, crusty shell. It’s delicious and looks more like something you’d want to share with, rather than inflict on, your friends and family. — Joy Summers, Eater Twin Cities editor

Cranberry-glazed almond cookies: I landed on this recipe when I, an infrequent baker, wanted to bake something manageable yet impressive, and they did not disappoint. The cookies have a macaroon-like chewiness, and the glaze, which comes together easily (the cranberries only need to simmer for three minutes!), is almost Barbie Doll pink. — Emma Alpern, copy editor

Pumpkin tea cake: The internet is stacked with recipes for fantastic baked goods, designed to be free of gluten. This is not one of those recipes. But while this loaf calls for regular flour, I’ve adapted it over the years to the point where it is now a gluten-free loaf (and one made with sweet potato, not pumpkin). I’ve made this bread — cake, really — with a number of all-purpose gluten-free flours and they all work well in place of the regular wheat flour called for. I swap out the pumpkin puree for an equal amount of flesh scooped from a roast sweet potato, and use olive oil instead of vegetable oil (my apologies to the original recipe). My finished product is definitely not what the author had in mind, but to date, this wonky version is my very favorite loaf cake. — Elazar Sontag, staff writer

Salted peanut butter cookies: I am a relatively incompetent baker who loves nothing more than an easy dessert, and these salted peanut butter cookies could not be easier. You just stir together some peanut butter — the creamy kind with hydrogenated oils from your childhood PB&Js, not that freshly ground organic shit — with sugar, eggs, and vanilla, sprinkle some fancy salt on top, and bake until golden brown on the bottom. While obviously delicious fresh out of the oven, I actually think these cookies are better on the second day, after the soft and chewy center has had time to settle. — Amy McCarthy, Eater Dallas/Houston editor

Sorghum flour brownies: Liz Prueitt’s sorghum flour brownies from Tartine All Day are possibly the best brownies I’ve ever eaten, period. They’ve got that Platonic ideal combination of a crackly crust and fudgy interior, and — thanks to the roughly one pound of chocolate they contain — are extremely rich and flavorful. On top of that, they’re easy to make — basically dump and stir and voila, you have brownies. — Rebecca Flint Marx, features editor