Gluten Free Holiday Baking

If you’re preparing a Christmas Dinner Feast this year, there’s a good chance one of your guests will be allergic to gluten. Zach introduces Andy and Jennifer to four simple yet very tasty recipes that will help you bake for guests who are gluten, dairy, soy and nut free.


Candy Cane Cookies 

Courtesy Pamela’s Products. (

Yield: 18-20 six-inch cookies using Artisan Flour, 24 six-inch cookies using Sugar Cookie Mix


Using Artisan Flour Blend

  • 1-1/4 cup Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 drops to 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red food coloring

Using Sugar Cookie Mix

  • 1 bag Pamela’s Sugar Cookie Mix (13 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup butter or butter substitute, chilled and cut in small cubes
  • 1 large egg (or equivalent of 2 large eggs with egg replacer)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red food coloring
  • 2 drops to 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional, or you can use vanilla)



Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Mix butter in stand mixer with paddle with until soft. Add sugars and extracts and blend until soft and fluffy. Add egg, and blend until light and well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until a ball forms.


Place Sugar Cookie Mix in bowl of stand mixer, add butter and mix until pea sized pieces form. Add egg and extract and mix until well combined.


Remove half the dough, pat into a rectangle and wrap in plastic for 1 hour or until firm. Add food coloring to other half of dough and mix until color is well combined. Pat into a rectangle and wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Dough can be held at this point for 4 or 5 days as long as it is well wrapped and air tight.

When ready to shape candy cane cookies, unwrap and cut off 1/3 of each dough to use. Wrap remaining dough and refrigerate to keep cool while forming cookies. Cut into equal strips about 1/2″ wide, or chunks about 1″ square. Tape a piece of parchment on counter top (for easy clean up) or roll right on flat counter top. Roll individual dough pieces into long, thin log shapes about 1/4″ wide and 5″ to 6″ long.

Cover a cookie sheet pan with parchment for shaped cookies. To form cookies, lay a white log next to a red one and holding one end flat, start to twist. Once twisted, place on the covered sheet pan and shape top into bent candy cane shape. If dough cracks, you can gently spread it back together with your finger. Leave room in-between cookies as they spread. Refrigerate cookie sheet with formed cookies while working on the next batch.

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Bake with rack in top third of oven 8 to 10 minutes. Bottoms may brown slightly but not the tops. Once baked, cool on a rack. When completely cool, store in an air tight container. If left out over night the cookies will soften.

Chef’s Note: To bake fresh cookies at a later date, carefully place shaped candy cane cookies in a flat container between layers of wax paper and freeze. To bake at a later date, pre-heat oven to 350°. Place frozen cookies on parchment covered sheet pan, thaw 10 to 15 minutes and bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes as directed above.


This decadent, gluten free dessert comes from Betsy of Betsy Life. Betsylife is a sunny place that focuses on cooking, healthy living, and creating the life you crave. Betsy is all about making time for the things you love in life, expanding horizons, and enjoying the small things.


Gluten Free Gingerbread Layer Cake

Recipe found at courtesty of

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 2, 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream molasses, sugar, and butter until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add in the ginger.

In a separate bowl, sift together gluten free flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. ½ a cup at a time beat the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well combined. Meanwhile, whisk the baking soda into the boiling water. Mix water mixture into the rest of the batter (be careful of splattering!)

Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool entirely.  (We did this in one pan, not two.)

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (I have not tried this.)

  • 1- 8oz package Cream Cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter at room temperature
  • Zest from one Orange
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Extract
  • 2-½ cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add orange zest and extract. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until well combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whip heavy cream into stiff peaks. Fold whipped cream into frosting.

Five-Minute Coconut Fudge

Recipe from My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky

“Rich, thick, and creamy, this fudge is the real stuff. Even the smallest squares will satisfy the most dedicated chocoholics. Plus, it takes mere minutes to whip up, for an instantly gratifying, and heavenly, chocolate treat.”

  • 1 Cup Dairy-Free, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)
  • 3-1/2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (Or butter if you don’t have to avoid dairy)
  • 1/2 Cup Regular Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Flaked Coconut, Toasted

Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sugar, and cocoa. Separately, place the margarine and coconut milk in a small saucepan, and stir together over medium heat. Cook the mixture until the margarine has melted, and bubbles just begin to break at the surface. Remove it from the stove, and immediately pour over the chocolate mixture. Let everything sit for a couple of minutes, and then stir vigorously to melt the chocolate and incorporate the dry ingredients. Continue stirring until a completely smooth mixture forms. Mix in the vanilla, and quickly pour everything into your prepared pan. Smooth out the top and sprinkle the flaked coconut evenly over the entire exposed surface. Press the coconut gently into the fudge with the palm of your hand. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 32 Small Squares

Peppermint Fudge: Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract with the vanilla extract and stir in 4 smashed candy canes. Omit the flaked coconut and top the fudge with the crumbs of 5 additional crushed candy canes instead.

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