FeaturesOct/Nov 2014 Issue

Boo! 7 Gluten-Free Halloween Treats for Ghosts and Goblins

Creative goodies turn fright night into delight night—even for kids with special diet needs and food allergies.

Halloween sweets and treats

Tackling all of the recipes below will give you an impressive assortment of goodies disguised as ghosts, witches, skeletons, spider webs, and creepy-faced pumpkins. [Photo by Jeff Rasmussen ]

[Updated Oct. 30, 2015]

No child of any age should miss out on Halloween fun because of celiac disease or food allergies and sensitivities. It’s easy to create delicious, spooky gluten-free Halloween treats that everyone can enjoy. Within this story, we get you started by offering a host of gluten-free recipes; you'll find Halloween-themed sweets (gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, frostings), of course, as well as a  main course for trick-or-treat night (pizzettas—mini-pizzas perfect as individual servings).

Enlist your kids to help you create these goodies. Half the fun of Halloween baking, after all, is the special time spent together in the kitchen, designing funny skeleton faces and creepy-crawly spiders.

Crafting treats and sharing them with family, friends and neighbors, including all the resident little goblins, makes happy memories and creates lasting traditions.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies


This versatile gluten-free recipe is a favorite treat for any holiday. Easy and delicious, the dough can be rolled out and cut into any shape cookie and decorated to fit the season. Decorate with sprinkles or colored sugar.

Halloween cookies, cupcakes, and treats

The sampling of treats and sweets here will please even the most discerning of witches. [Photos by Jeff Rasmussen (cookies) and Shutterstock/Angela Luchianiuc (girl in costume)]

½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1 cup sugar or unrefined coconut palm sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup milk of choice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 drops food coloring, optional
2¼ cups Jules’ Homemade All-Purpose Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
-Gluten-free sprinkles or colored sugar, optional

1. Beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Add food coloring, if desired.

2. In another bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder and salt until combined.

3. Gradually stir dry ingredients into the sugar mixture to form a dough. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until very cold.

4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.Roll out half the dough on a surface dusted with gluten-free flour to form a large rectangle about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick. To make Spider Web Cookies, cut dough with Halloween-theme cookie cutters; gently transfer to prepared baking sheets. To make Witch Hats, use a circle-shaped cookie cutter; gently transfer to prepared baking sheet.

6. Place cookies in preheated oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browning around the edges. Bake less for softer cookies. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack.

Each cookie contains 123 calories, 5g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 9mg cholesterol, 83mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 8g sugars, 1g protein, 13 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Sugar Cookies, omit 1 egg. Combine 1 tablespoon milk powder of choice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons warm water. Use this mixture in step 1 to replace 1 egg.

Spider Web Cookies, Gluten-Free

Spider Web Cookies

These Spider Web Cookies are a breeze to make: five ingredients, four steps.

1 batch baked Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (see recipe above)
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-Milk of choice, as needed
1-2 drops black food coloring

1. Whisk together sugar, vanilla and milk. Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until a spreading consistency is achieved.

2. Remove 1/3 cup icing and add black food coloring. Place black icing into a squirt bottle or a small, round-tip frosting/pastry bag.

3. Spread a thin layer of white icing on each cookie. Then pipe concentric black circles on each cookie.

4. Using a toothpick, pull black lines from the center toward the outside of each cookie to form a web.

Gluten-Free Witch Hat Cookies

Witch Hat Cookies

Perfect for the witching hour: chocolate-topped Witch Hat Cookies.

1 batch baked Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (above)
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
-Hershey’s Kisses

1. Carefully melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. (Alternatively melt chips in a double boiler, stirring to keep from burning.)

2. Dip the top of each round sugar cookie into melted chocolate to cover. Place on wax paper with chocolate side up.

3. While chocolate is still hot, place 1 Hershey’s Kiss in the middle of each cookie.

4. Refrigerate cookies until set.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes


This gluten-free recipe is the basis for wonderful spider and skeleton cupcakes. Top them with marshmallow eyes, crooked teeth, top hats and gluten-free licorice legs.

3 cups Jules’ Homemade All- Purpose Flour Blend
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup powdered milk of choice
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter or dairy-free butter alternative
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups chocolate milk of choice
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with cupcake papers.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder, powdered milk, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat well with the paddle attachment until mixture is very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla with the last egg.

4. Combine the chocolate milk and chocolate syrup. Slowly add to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating with flour mixture and beating in between additions. Beat until smooth. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pans.

5. Place in preheated oven and bake 20 minutes or until done. To test for doneness, insert a cake tester or toothpick in the middle of a cupcake; it should come out clean or with very few crumbs attached.

6. Once baked, turn oven off and leave the door open about 5 minutes to let cupcakes slowly cool inside. Then remove to a cooling rack. After 15 minutes, gently remove cupcakes from the pans to cool completely on a rack.

7. When fully cooled, frost cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze. (Alternatively, wrap them unfrosted in wax paper or plastic wrap and then place in freezer bags and refrigerate or freeze until used.)

Chocolate Glaze, Gluten-Free

½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2-4 tablespoons chocolate milk of choice

1. Stir together confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Whisk in 2 tablespoons chocolate milk, adding more to achieve desired consistency. Glaze should not be drippy.

2. To frost gluten-free cupcakes, dip tops of cooled cupcakes in the glaze. If necessary, smooth with an offset spatula.

Each cupcake with glaze contains 211 calories, 5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 46mg cholesterol, 98mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 22g sugars, 3g protein, 23 Est GL.

For Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, omit 4 eggs. Combine ¼ cup flax meal or ground chia seeds with ¾ cup hot applesauce. Let sit 5 minutes to thicken. Add this mixture in step 3 to replace 4 eggs.

Gluten-Free Skeleton Cupcakes

Halloween cupcakes

These cupcakes are scary enough to... eat.

1 batch baked Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, glazed (recipe above)
24 regular marshmallows
24 Sun Cups
¼ cup miniature marshmallows
-Gluten-free chocolate sprinkles
-Brown M&Ms*
24 toothpicks

1. To make Skeleton Cupcakes, set aside frosted Chocolate Cupcakes until glaze forms a slight crust. Cut the top off a marshmallow at an angle, so the face of the marshmallow is still intact but the back is angled down to about half the height of the uncut side. (This allows the hat to sit on top of the marshmallow without obstructing the skeleton face.)

2. Place a small dollop of Chocolate Glaze on the M&M side of 2 brown M&Ms; stick them to the marshmallow face for eyes. Do the same with 2 equal-length sprinkles for the nose.

3. Lay the marshmallow flat with the “face” pointed up to let the glaze harden slightly. Place a larger dollop of glaze on top of a Sun Cup and stick that to the cut top of the marshmallow to form a hat. Stick a toothpick into the bottom of the marshmallow and affix it to the top of the cupcake.

4. Using kitchen shears, snip mini-marshmallows vertically and then in half horizontally to form teeth. Stick these to the marshmallow on the cupcake by placing the sticky inside portions of the cut “teeth” toward the marshmallow face.

Gluten-Free Spider Cupcakes

1 batch baked Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, just glazed
-Gluten-free chocolate sprinkles
12 regular marshmallows
-Candy eyeballs or mini M&Ms*
-Gluten-free licorice rope
12 toothpicks
1 straw

1. Before glaze on Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes hardens, quickly sprinkle with gluten-free chocolate sprinkles.

2. Cut 12 regular marshmallows in half horizontally with kitchen shears. Break a toothpick in half and insert one end of each half of the toothpick into the bottom of a cut marshmallow. Place a small dollop of Chocolate Glaze on the back of a candy eyeball or mini M&M. Affix it to the cut side of each marshmallow. Then stick the toothpick (with marshmallow attached) into the top of the cupcake for eyes.

3. Place an M&M between the two eyes for a nose.

4. Gently unwind licorice rope to create long lengths of individual strands. Cut the strands evenly to make 8 legs for each cupcake. Using a straw, poke a shallow hole in the top of the cupcake, close to the edge. Remove the straw and gently insert one end of a licorice leg. Repeat 3 times on that side and 4 times on the other side of the cupcake for a total of 8 legs.

*Depending on the product, M&Ms may contain dairy, nuts and/or soy lecithin. As a substitute, use allergy-friendly chocolate chips or Gimbal’s candies.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies


Chewy and delicious, our favorite  gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are re-imagined here with little spiders for Halloween fun.

Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies

Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies are the perfect party fare at Halloween time. [Photo by Brian Ambrose Photography]

½ cup (1 stick) butter or dairy-free buttery sticks, room temperature
½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2½ cups Jules’ Homemade Gluten- Free Flour Blend
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, more for “spiders”

1. Beat butter and shortening with brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and eggs until combined.

2. In another bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Gradually stir dry ingredients into the sugar mixture. Stir in chips.

3. Scoop dough into a container (metal, if possible) and cover tightly. Refrigerate until very cold (overnight is ideal).

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

5. Drop dough by measured tablespoons onto prepared pans, at least 1 inch apart. Insert a chocolate chip or two on top of each cookie, upside-down; these will be the bodies of the spiders.

6. Place in preheated oven and bake 8 to 9 minutes. Tops of the cookies will be lightly browned but they may look slightly uncooked in the centers.

7. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, drag a toothpick out from the center of each melted chocolate chip to form 8 spider legs. Let cookies stand 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Each cookie contains 77 calories, 4g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 11mg cholesterol, 57mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 6g sugars, 0g protein, 14 Est GL.

For Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Spider Cookies, omit 2 eggs. Reduce shortening by ¼ cup in step 1. Combine 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer with 4 tablespoons warm water or milk of choice. Let sit until cool. Add this mixture in step 1 to replace 2 eggs.

Gluten-Free Pizzettas


These yummy individual gluten-free pizzas are a guaranteed party hit. Use them as the basis for Mummy and Spider Web Pizzettas.

Halloween mummy pizzetta

Spook up your own personal pan pizzas with mummy and (below) spider web decorations. These treats shouldn't take much more than a half-hour to prepare and cook. [Photos by Jeff Rasmussen]

1½ cups Jules’ Homemade All-Purpose Flour Blend
3 tablespoons milk powder of choice
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
-Pinch garlic powder, more as needed
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for spreading on dough
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup warm water
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) rapid rise yeast
-Pizza sauce
- Cheese or dairy-free cheese, cut into thin strips
-Black olives, optional

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour blend, milk powder, oregano, garlic powder and salt until combined. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, olive oil and vinegar. Using a stand mixer on low setting, slowly add dry ingredients. Gradually add warm water to form a sticky batter. Add yeast and beat 2 minutes on high.

3. Cover 2 pizza pans or baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (Generously oil the foil).

4. Divide dough into 5 equal portions and drop each onto prepared baking sheets (2 or 3 per pan), leaving space between to spread into circles. Liberally oil the palms of your hands with olive oil and gently press each portion of dough into a 5 to 6-inch circle. Build up the edges to prevent the sauce from spilling off the crust during baking.

5. Cover the dough with oiled wax paper and let crusts rise 30 minutes in a warm spot (like a warming drawer or oven preheated to 200°F and turned off).

6. Preheat oven to 375°F.

7. Poke holes in the crusts with a fork. Place pans in preheated oven and bake about 15 minutes. Crust should have risen nicely and just begun to slightly brown. (Cooking times vary depending on the pan and crust thickness.)

8. Remove crusts from oven and spread with your favorite pizza sauce. For Mummy and Spider Web Pizzettas, top with cheese strips, as pictured. Then return to preheated oven and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Before serving, cut up black olives and arrange on top of pizzetta to make eyes or spiders.

Each pizzetta without toppings contains 202 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 8mg cholesterol, 229mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 4g protein, 19 Est GL.

Halloween pizza

Jules’ Homemade All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend


Refrigerate this blend in a large zip-top bag or a sealed container until used.

1 cup cornstarch, tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
1 cup potato starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
1 cup very fine white rice flour, sorghum flour or buckwheat flour
½ cup corn flour, millet flour, sorghum flour or brown rice flour
½ cup tapioca starch, cornstarch or arrowroot powder
4 teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum

1. Whisk ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy by Jules E. Dowler Shepard. Available from Da Capo Press, a member of The Perseus Books Group ©2010. Jules’ ready-made flour blend is available at gfjules.com.


Comments (2)

I followed the recipe, however my "dough" is very soft and not pliable. Any ideas?

Posted by: tinamariesmom | October 29, 2014 4:21 AM    Report this comment

What is non=hydrogenated oil?

Posted by: Matthew3 | October 21, 2014 10:25 AM    Report this comment

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