Tag Archives: xanthan gum

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes

Xanthan gum is a natural sugar derived from corn, and is used as a food stabilizer in gluten free cooking to bind, thicken and integrate ingredients. Xanthan gum is often used whenever a rich and moist quality is sought.

Use Xanthan gum to recipes such as bread, cookies and muffins to help gluten free recipes rise well and stick together.

Here are a few quick tips for using Xanthan gum:

  • Try adding ¼ tsp Xanthan gum for each cup of flour
  • Add Xanthan gum last to batter or dough
  • Limit stirring of Xanthan gum to 5-6 strokes

Common mistakes people have with Xanthan gum is caused by over mixing the gum. This will cause gluten free cakes, cookies and muffins to become tough and rubbery. Limit mixing the dough or batter to 5-6 stirring strokes, then add batter or dough to pan as directed.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes
Learn easy tips to convert your favorite recipes to gluten free.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes

Learning to cook gluten free can be a difficult and costly nuisance. Removing gluten from recipes causes cookies and muffins to turn out crumbly and dry. Currently there is no single flour that can completely copy what wheat does so well.

Thankfully, gluten free cooking doesn’t have to involve extreme changes. Transitioning to gluten free can be as simple as substituting the right ingredients into your old favorite recipes.

Here are some useful tips to converting a recipe to gluten free:

Double the baking powder – as the gluten based recipe directs.
Add xanthan gum
– Use ¼ tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour to recipes such as cake, cookies and muffins to help gluten free recipes rise well and stick together.
Add xanthan gum last
– After all other ingredients are mixed together.
Limit stirring
– of xanthan gum to 5-6 strokes.
Replace baking soda
– with baking powder in recipes without vinegar.
Use gluten free all purpose flour mix
– Replace traditional flour with a gluten free all purpose flour mix. This can be found in the health food section of many grocery stores.

Follow directions – Keep pan preparation, baking temperature and time as recipe directs.

Be sure to use butter, milk and eggs at room temperature – If the butter is too hot, it may cook the eggs. If the milk and eggs are too cold, then the butter may solidify. A quick option is to substitute canola oil for butter.

Converting recipes may take several trial and errors until you get it right. Although the recipes may not be identical to taste, they should be close. Good luck!

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes
Learn about Xanthan gum and quick tips for adding it to gluten free recipes.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.

Make Your Own Mixes

Save time and money by preparing your mixes ahead of time, and storing them in the refrigerator until your ready to use them.

Simply measure all gluten free dry ingredients, EXCEPT YEAST & XANTHAN GUM, into a sealed plastic bag or container. Be sure to label the bag or container as to the type of mix and date.

When ready to use, set the mix out on the counter for 30 min or until the mix is at room temperature. In large bowl, mix liquid ingredients as recipe directs. Then add dry mixture and butter or margarine. Add xanthan gum and yeast on top, if included in recipe.  Prepare pan and bake mixture as recipe directs.

Gluten Free Baking Tips
Check out useful gluten free baking tips for making gluten free recipes and converting old family recipes.

Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Check out tasty gluten free dessert recipes the whole family will enjoy.

Gluten Free Flour Tips

Many gluten-free flours are available in stores and online from a variety of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. However, purchasing gluten free flours can be an expensive and daunting task; especially if your new to a gluten free lifestyle.

Here are some tips I have found helpful:

Purchase gluten free flours, such as rice flour, at Asian Food Markets in larger cities for lower costs. Most larger cities and college towns tend to have Asian Food Markets. I’ve found gluten free flour blends for less than $1 per lb at these markets! My local grocer, Hy-Vee, sells gluten free flour for $15 per five-pound bag. Purchasing flours at Asian Food Markets keeps more money in your pocket, and allows more flexibility to try different recipes.

Experiment with different flour blends in recipes until you find one that works best. Also, try making your own gluten free flour blends. If you don’t have easy access to an Asian Food Market, then check out various health food stores and web sites online that sell gluten-free flour blends. However, be aware these flours can be considerably more expensive.

Store high fiber flours and high protein whole grains in the fridge for longer keeping. High protein gluten-free whole grains include: brown rice, flax seed, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, cornmeal, quinoa, popcorn, corn flour, millet and amaranth.  These flours also help add moisture to baked products.

Always read the labels! Manufacturers may change ingredients in a product from one purchase to the next. Be sure to always read labels on every brand!

Add Xanthan Gum in small amounts to gluten free flour mixes to increase the flour’s stickiness.

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes
Learn about Xanthan gum and quick tips for adding it to gluten free recipes.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.

Gluten Free Baking Tips


Baking is something I have always enjoyed.
Making old family recipes helps me connect with my past, and reminds me of the many people I love.  When I transitioned to a gluten free lifestyle, I struggled for a long time trying to convert my old family recipes to gluten-free.

Here are some useful baking tips I found helpful for making gluten free recipes, and converting old family recipes to gluten-free:

Increase either the eggs or the leavening agents to make a recipe turn out lighter – A general rule of thumb to remember is 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of flour. Baking soda and cream of tartar can also be used. Add an extra egg as part of the liquid for every 1 tablespoon of gelatin dissolved in the liquid of the recipe.

Measure liquids carefully – Be sure to use  standard liquid measuring cups.

Substitute butter and oil with applesauce – To help reduce the fat in a recipe try substituting 50 to 100 percent of the butter or oil with an equal amount of applesauce.

Level dry ingredients with a straight-edged utensil – It is usually not necessary to tap the utensil or pack, unless the recipe directions tell you otherwise. See more on How to Measure Dry Ingredients.

Maintain gluten free flours freshness – Keep gluten free flours in airtight containers or Ziploc bags and store in your fridge or freezer. Be sure to thaw completely before using.

Don’t allow batter to sit too long before baking – Unless directed in recipe’s directions. Allowing the batter to sit too long can cause products to not rise completely and appear flat.

Reduce thickness of the batter - If batter appears too thick; add 1 tablespoon of water until you reach desired consistency.

Make your own mixes – If there are breads you bake often, try mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time and store in Ziploc bags to ease the process in the future. This way when you’re ready to bake, you can just grab a pre-mixed bag from your cupboard. See more on Make Your Own Mixes.

Add moist ingredients - Gluten-free recipes tend to be more dry than wheat products. Try including fruit, vegetables or sauces to baking products to add moisture, such as zucchini and banana bread. My favorite converted family recipe is  The Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread.

Chill cookie dough – store cookie dough in fridge for 20-30 min to manage easier.

Separate eggs into yolks and whites – Beating eggs yolks and whites separately can improve leavening of a recipe.

Use smaller baking pans - Smaller pans work best for baking more evenly. There have been several times where I’ve baked with a 9×13-inch pan and the edges were well done, but the center was still full of batter. Try using cupcakes pans or two 8-inch round pans rather than a 9×13-inch pan.

Natural for batter consistency to appear thinner – If you are new to baking gluten free don’t be concerned about the consistency of rice batter when you begin baking. Rice batters tend to be thinner than wheat batters.

Convert recipes with same amount of flour – For converting batter recipes use the same amount of flour as directed, and add an additional 2-4 Tbs extra liquid per cup of liquid called for. For cookies, try adding an additional 2-4 Tablespoons of extra flour per each cup of flour requested.

Substitute water for milk – For a fluffier, moister product try using milk or milk substitute instead of water when requested.

Add xanthan gum to recipes - Xanthan gum is a gluten-free stabilizer that improves the texture of baked products made with gluten-free flour. Xanthan gum helps keep baked products from easily crumbling. For a more natural moist texture try adding 1/2 tsp per cup of flour in cakes. For breads, try adding 1 tsp per cup of flour. Even try adding 2 tsp per cup of flour to your pizza crust mix for a better texture to your favorite pizza crust.
See more on Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes.

Substitute evaporated milk – when baking, substitute evaporated milk with cottage cheese or yogurt to improve texture.

Add sorghum to recipes  - For better volume and texture mix tapioca flour with sorghum to baked goods. Also add slightly more oil and eggs to recipes with sorghum blends to improve moisture content and texture.

Double your recipes – Save time and money by doubling your recipe and storing the extra dough in the freezer. See more on Freeze Homemade Gluten Free Pizza Crust.

Gluten Free New York Checsecake
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Gluten Free JELL-O Cake
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The Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
This moist, rich pumpkin bread is truly one of the best gluten free recipes around.