Gluten Free Baking Substitutes

by Jennifer Bridgeman

Baking for people with gluten allergies or sensitivities can be overwhelming if you do not know where to start! I have been experimenting with gluten free flour for years and wanted to share some of my favorites that you can try to introduce into your kitchen!

Grain Free Flours

Some of the gluten free flours are called grain free because they are not made out of grains (grains may include rice, quinoa, millet, oats, ect). These types of flours are usually made out of nuts. People who have autoimmune diseases may try grain free diets to reduce inflammation in their bodies that may be caused by grains (even gluten free grains).

Almond flour

Almond flour has become very popular in the past several years as a paleo substitute in baked goods, pizza crusts, and breads. It is one of the more affordable gluten free flours. It is low in carbohydrates and higher in protein as compared to regular white flour. In addition to almond flour, almond butter is delicious in cookies and brownies. Some recipes also use arrowroot which given the item more “flexibility”

Use in: Cookies, cakes, biscuits, breads, pizza crust

Try It: Make Sweet Laurel’s chocolate cake by clicking here.

Coconut flour

Coconut flour is also a great substitute for gluten flour. It is often used with almond flour to add moisture to the baked item. Coconut flour is very absorbent and requires a lot of liquid (such as eggs, coconut milk, ect) in the recipes so it is not usually used on its own.

Use in: Cakes, muffins, breads (banana, zucchini)

Try It: Make Against All Grain’s coconut and cashew flour bread by clicking here.

Cassava flour

Cassava is a root vegetable that has been used in many cultures for ages. It has recently been introduced into American paleo culture. It is a great grain free and nut free alternative.

Use in: tortillas, chips, crackers, pizza crust

Try It: Make spinach tortillas with cassava flour by clicking here.

Gluten Free Flours

Most of the gluten free flours used are made from grains, including brown or white rice, sorghum, and oat, among others). These flours are also a great option for people looking to avoid gluten. Some of these gluten free flours may include soy or corn so always read ingredients to make sure you are aware of what you are putting in your body.

Gluten free flour (rice blend)

When you see the terms “gluten free” the item usually contains rice flour. For people with celiacs, this is usually a great replacement. Rice flour is a great substitutes. My favorites are: Bob’s Red Mill 1:1, and King Arthur Measure for Measure. If you can tolerate dairy, Cup for Cup has a great tasting flour as well. If you are looking to make your own, I would recommend a recipe. It will usually involve mixing rice flour with a starch (tapioca or potato), with xantham gum (a binder).

Use in: Cookies, cakes, breads, muffins, pizza crust

Try it: Check out Bob’s Red Mill’s site by clicking here.

Oat flour

Gluten free oats (gluten free because they are manufactured on gluten free factory) can be ground up to make a flour. Oat flour is not tolerated by all people avoiding gluten so make sure it is right for you before using it in your diet. Oat flour can be mixed with almond flour, sorghum, or protein powder. Oats have a great taste in baked goods.

Use in: cookies, muffins, energy bites.

Try: Oh she Glows Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins with oat flour by clicking here.

Other gluten free flours you may want to try:

  • Millet

  • Buckwheat

  • Amaranth

  • Sorghum

There are so many great recipes and resources on the web. You can google specific types of recipes on google or pinterest to find a recipe that is right for you. Comment below with your favorite flour or a flour you want to test out in your kitchen!

Happy Baking!

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


This year my goal is to share more information about my favorite products, substitutions for baking, and recipes with all of you! I am working on a lot of grain free (paleo) recipes that area also nut and egg free. Basically, I want my recipe to be the perfect fit for as many people as possible!

A tahini chocolate chip cookie reminds me of a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and an almond butter cookie. Tahini is ground sesame seeds and is used in hummus to give it a distinct flavor. Tahini contains magnesium, zinc, calcium, among other minerals, which give it nutritional benefits.

For this recipe you can either use store bought chocolate chips, or you can challenge yourself to try making your own! Making your own chocolate chips only requires three ingredients and the recipe is below. I recommend making the chocolate chips first so they can chill while you make the batter for the cookies.

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe makes 9 cookies

By Jennifer Bridgeman

(Updated 4-16-19)

Coconut oil (melted) 1/4 cup

Coconut crystals 2/3 cup

Maple Syrup 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon

Vanilla extract 2 tablespoons

Tahini 1 cup (I love the Once Again Brand)

Coconut Flour 6 tablespoons

Arrowroot 2 Tablespoons

Baking Soda 2 teaspoon

Sea salt 1 teaspoon

Chocolate Chips 1 cup

Using a handheld mixer, beat together the tahini, coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, add together all the dry ingredients. Mix. Add the dry into the wet ingredients and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until mixed evenly. You can use dairy free store bought chocolate chips or you can make your own (recipe below) Prepare your cooking tray with parchment paper. This helps prevent the cookies from sticking to the tray and is easier for clean up.

Using your hands, roll cookies into 1 inch circles. Place on the tray and press down to turn the cookie from a cylinder to a flat ball. This helps give the cookie a beautiful shape while baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes prior to removing with a spatula.

Let me know if you make these cookies and your thoughts! Happy Baking

Making your own chocolate chips

Making your own chocolate chips is easy and does not take a long time! I would make these prior to making your cookies so that they can chill in the freezer while you prep the batter.

1 bar of 100% Cacoa ( you can find in baking aisle sold as a chocolate bar)

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

3-4 tablespoons maple syrup

In a pan on the stove of a double broiler, add the cacoa bar (break into 4 pieces) and the coconut oil. Put heat on medium to medium low and stir frequently, as the mixture can burn easily. Once the ingredients are melted (should take a couple minutes), remove from heat and turn off your stove burner. prepare a baking tray with parchment paper. Let mixture sit for 7-10 minutes, then add in maple syrup and stir (if you add maple syrup while the mixture is too hot, it will get clumpy and thick). Pour mixture on to baking sheet in a medium thin layer (or how thick you want your chocolate chips). Then place tray in freezer.

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