Gluten Free Mince Pies with Damson and Cobnut

7 easy gluten-free baking recipes for Christmas

by Great British Chefs 19 November 2018

Following a gluten-free diet doesn't mean you have to miss out on all those tasty Christmas bakes! From cakes and figgy puddings to festive biscuits and sausage rolls, take a look at our favourite gluten-free bakes for Christmas.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Many of us enjoy cooking and baking year-round, but Christmas is when we pull out all the stops. There are parties to cater for, guests to feed, kids to keep happy and the withering stare of grandparents who will raise an eyebrow at anything that isn’t made from scratch. That’s what makes it such a great time of year for keen home cooks – there’s ample opportunity to get stuck into some classic dishes which are often only made during the festive season.

Baked treats make up a big part of Christmas – filling the house with the aromas of brandy, dried fruits and festive spices instantly conjures up a little seasonal serenity. But if you’re gluten-free or catering for those that avoid gluten, it can feel like a bit of a spanner in the works. Christmas puddings, cakes, biscuits and canapés can suddenly become unknown territory, as you worry about different flour blends, textures, quantities and whether you should just give up and buy something in.

Of course, there’s no need to worry. Gluten-free baking has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and it’s now incredibly easy to make gluten-free versions of pretty much anything. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our best-ever gluten-free baking recipes for Christmas. They’re all incredibly simple to prepare, taste just as good (if not better) than their gluten-filled counterparts and will be happily eaten by everyone – whether they’re avoiding gluten or not. Take a look, get out the mixing bowls and set a weekend aside for some fantastically festive baking.

1. Gluten-free Christmas cake

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a cake, now, would it? Bursting with boozy, fruity and nutty flavours, Karen Burns-Booth adds a twist to the original recipe by including an array of tropical fruits which work in perfect harmony with the dark rum. Using gluten-free self-raising flour alongside ground almonds gives the cake a wonderful texture, while the dried mango and pineapple on top adds a sense of occasion.

2. Gluten- and dairy-free Armagnac Christmas pudding

Preparing desserts that are free from both gluten and dairy can be tricky, but Howard Middleton’s Christmas pudding shows you how to do it right. Using rice flour as the base, he adds all sorts of wonderful spices (including Chinese five-spice powder) alongside vanilla, seasonal rhubarb, prunes and stem ginger. The generous amount of Armagnac adds an incredibly rich and fruity flavour, which gets deeper and more complex as the pudding matures.

3. Gluten-free cranberry and white chocolate star biscuits

These colourful gluten-free festive biscuits taste as good as they look, combining the classic flavours of white chocolate and cranberry. Once you’ve got your biscuits baked, let your creative streak shine by using the melted chocolate and cranberry powder to jazz them up. We guarantee these star-shaped bakes will be snapped up instantly – and the crunchy texture means they taste exactly like their gluten-containing counterparts.

4. Gluten-free mince pies with damson and cobnuts

Nothing tastes of Christmas more than a mince pie, and while there are plenty of gluten-free pies in the shops they’ll never taste as good as homemade. After making a gluten-free shortcrust pastry from scratch, Victoria Glass peps up her mincemeat by adding seasonal damsons for fruity depth and cobnuts (a more flavourful alternative to hazelnuts) for crunch. Make the mincemeat in advance and store in a sterilised jar before using it to fill your pastry cases for a truly fuss-free Christmas.

5. Gluten-free florentines

Florentines aren’t your average biscuit – the sweet flavour and slightly chewy texture of the biscuit combined with rich dark chocolate results in an incredibly moreish treat. Making them gluten-free is simple and adding ingredients such as stem ginger, mixed peel, glacé cherries and desiccated coconut adds an unmistakably festive twist.

6. Gluten-free chocolate Christmas pudding

Not a fan of the traditional flavours found in figgy pudding? Not to worry – this gluten-free alternative is packed with decadent chocolate for a very fine finish to any Christmas dinner. Made in the same way as the classic pud – just with added dark chocolate and cocoa powder – it benefits from being aged for a month before eating, so it’s something you can make well in advance.

7. Gluten-free sausage rolls

Christmas bakes aren’t all about satiating sweet tooths – there’s plenty of scope to whip up homemade versions of everyone’s favourite savoury snacks. These sausage rolls couldn’t be simpler to prepare and mean those following a gluten-free diet can tuck into one of the best culinary inventions Britain has ever come up with. The dough for the pastry can be made up to a week in advance – just remember to bring it up to room temperature before rolling. This recipe includes paprika and cayenne pepper for a little smoky heat, but feel free to experiment with sage, dried fruit and other festive flavours for a real Christmas treat.