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How to Convert Any Recipe to Gluten-Fee: Your Handy Guide

Sarah grew up in Monterey, CA and now lives in Los Angeles. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying a good book, fine wine, sunflowers and long walks on the beach.

Don't let your gluten-free lifestyle keep you from being a master in the kitchen

When you first go gluten-free, it's usually your baking that takes the hardest hit. How can you convert a beautiful layer cake recipe to gluten-free and still expect it to be good? Believe it or not, there are some easy recipe hacks that allow you to nix the gluten — and still keep your baked goods delicious.

Almost all recipes can be altered to be gluten-free. Give these tips and swaps a try.

More: 13 Things Vegans Can't Eat (Even Though They Seem Totally Fine)

1. Swap the flour

Substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose regular flour at a ratio of 1:1. Try Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour. If you are baking items such as cakes and/or breads, add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum.

2. Eliminate the flour

Try omitting the flour altogether. If you are craving peanut butter cookies, for example, try this simple recipe without the flour.

Don't let your gluten-free lifestyle keep you from being a master in the kitchen
Image: SheKnows

Simple gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe

Yields 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 – 2 eggs (depending on how moist you want them to be)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Blend the ingredients, and place the dough on a cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes.

3. Create a gluten-free flour mixture

In place of flour in a recipe, try this combination.

  • 3 parts white or brown rice flour
  • 2 parts potato starch
  • 1 part tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum for every 1-1/2 cups flour mixture

More: 21 No-Bake Chocolate Desserts That Are Totally Delicious

4. Consider arrowroot powder

Arrowroot powder can be used in place of xanthan gum if you are having a hard time finding the latter. As a general rule, use 1/2 teaspoon of arrowroot powder for each cup of wheat flour called for in any recipe. Note: Round up if the recipe calls for a partial cup.

5. Experiment with ingredients

Other ingredients in the recipe may need to be adjusted when trying new flours and flour combinations. For example, use 2-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of flour used in a recipe. Some flours may be a bit drier, so you may have to add additional liquid ingredients, such as water or oil, depending on what the recipe calls for.

A version of this article was originally published in October 2014.

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