Gluten-Free Hamentashen

March 3, 2011

For many people food traditions are central to holiday celebrations. Whether it is matzah ball soup on Passover, turkey on Thanksgiving or hamentashen on Purim, sharing traditional foods is something we cherish. One of the hardest things about being on any kind of restricted diet is having to forgo the nostalgic food that everyone else is enjoying. This year I wanted to make hamentashen that everyone could enjoy, whether they eat gluten or not. A little bit of tinkering with my go-to hamentashen recipe and I came up with a gluten-free dough that makes hamentashen everyone is sure to love. I have been fighting off everyone who wanders through my kitchen to make sure that there are enough left for friends and family who really can’t eat gluten. It looks like I am going to need to make another batch.

A word about gluten-free baking. In my experience a kitchen scale is really a must for gluten-free baking. (I would argue that it also a must for standard baking as well, it is so much easier to measure everything by weight.) With all of the different gluten-free flours that need to be used in a single recipe it is quite tedious to measure everything out. With a scale you simply place the bowl on the scale and pour in the ingredients one at a time and tare the scale back to zero in between each one. Also, different flours weigh different amounts for the same volume. If you want to substitute one flour for another do it by weight not volume. That being said, I realize that not everyone has a scale so I have provided the ingredients in volume measurements as well. They are a very close approximation of the weights,  but if you have a choice the scale is absolutely the way to go.

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Ingredients & Quantities

  • 6 tablespoons (63g) potato starch
  • 6 tablespoons (60g) superfine brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) tapioca starch/flour
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (45g) sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (17g) potato flour (not potato starch)
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons (75g) sweet rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) xanthum gum
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz or 86g) chopped nuts
  • 1 cup (7.5 oz or 210g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz or 112g) margarine, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz or 112g) shortening, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2-4 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water, lightly beaten
  • Fillings of choice*

Preparation Instructions

  1. Pulse the flours, xanthum gum, baking powder, salt, sugar, nuts and orange zest in the food processor until well combined. Add the margarine and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add the beaten eggs and pulse until combined.
  2. Remove the mixture from the food processor and pour it into a large bowl. Sprinkle with two tablespoons of orange juice and mix until it comes together into a ball. If the dough seems dry add the remaining orange juice. Divide the dough into three pieces, form each piece of dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350

Cooking Instructions

  1. Roll out each section of dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Place the dough (still in the parchment) on a cookie sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove one sheet of dough from the freezer. Remove the top piece of parchment and cut into circles using a round cutter or the mouth of a drinking glass. Transfer circles to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  3. Fill each circle with a small amount of filling. (For 2 1/2 inch circles use about a teaspoon of filling). Brush each circle with the egg wash and fold two sides together, pinching tight to make a corner. Fold up the remaining side to make a triangle with the filling showing in the middle and pinch the other two corners well. It is important that they are well pinched, so that they do not come open in the oven. If the dough becomes too sticky, freeze it for a few minutes to re-chill it. Re-roll and freeze scraps. Repeat with remaining sheets of dough.
  4. Bake the hamentashen until they are slightly firm to the touch, about 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. *It is important that the fillings are not too runny. If using pie fillings or other canned fillings (like the Solo ones) the consistency should be fine. If using fruit preserves stir cornstarch into the preserves until they look slightly cloudy. Bake one test hamentash to make sure the filling doesn’t run out in the oven before filling the rest of the batch. If it runs add a bit more cornstarch and test again.

Recipe Times


1.5 Hours


11 Minutes


2 Hours

Recipe Yield

2 Dozen

Recipe Categories


    • Hi Sharon,
      It’s great to hear from you! I use only non-hydrogenated margarines and shortening (Earth Balance brand). I don’t know if those would work for you all. If not I imagine you could substitute coconut oil. You might need a slightly different amount but it could be worth playing with a bit. Sucanat or maple sugar should both work fine in place of the refined sugar, but I wouldn’t use a liquid sweetener because it would add too much moisture to the dough.

      I personally don’t use flour mixes because I prefer to have the control of mixing my own flours, but I see no reason the mix shouldn’t work. Just use 420 grams of the mix in place of all the flours. The flavor might different, however, since the bob’s mix has some bean flours in it, which I don’t tend to love in sweet baked goods.

      If you try any of these things let me know, I am always curious to hear how substitutions turn out.

      Love to you and your family.

  1. I also have a prepared Gluten free flour that I want to use in this recipe, should I add the Xantham Gum? Also, I can’t get shortening in Israel, can you recommend something else to use?

    Thank you!

    • It should work if you use the same amount by weight, but the finished texture of the dough might be slightly different. Look to see if the mix already has Xanthan gum in it and if it does, omit it from the recipe. If not you can follow the recipe as written but use your flour in place of the flours. For the shortening, can you get coconut or palm oil? If so that would be best, but if not you can use margarine for the whole amount and just use a bit less water. Hope that helps!

  2. I’ve been baking gluten free and I’ve used chia seed instead of xantham gum to give the dough texture. You substitute an equal amount of chia seed for the xantham gum, but before you add it to the mix you add boiling water, which is 2X the amount of chia, to the chia seed to make a slurry. So for 1 t of xantham you add 1 t of chia seed mixed with 2t of hot boiling water. It’s healthier and some people who are sensitive to gluten are sensitive to xantham. Plus, it’s not as messy as xantham.

    If you have any luck finding kosher for passover gluten-free flours, could you post it? I found some starches but am wondering if sorghum or amaranth can be kosher for passover.

    Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Thanks for the chia seed tip! I have been actually just leaving out the xantham gum in some recipes (not bread, but things like muffins and cookies) and it seems to work fine. I haven’t tested these without the xantham gum so if someone tries it please let us know!

      I haven’t seen any Kosher for Passover flours besides the potato starch and tapioca starch. While in theory amaranth is kosher for passover it is almost impossible to find it with kosher supervision (at least that I have been able to find). I tend to use a lot of almond flour based recipes (for things like crusts) because that is easily available for Passover, or just avoid flours entirely. If I find anything else I will be sure to post it, but please let me know if you find anything too!

      There is some great gluten-free matzah out this year. (Yehuda brand) I am going to be experimenting with it in some recipes and will post them in the next few weeks.

      Enjoy the hamentashen!

  3. Wow, I love this recipe. It looks like it holds together really well when shaping it.

    With Purim around the corner you should bump it up so it is front and center. You are very brave….I have yet to experiment about weighing my flours.

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