My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


« Cocoa Goodness Cookie Dough Balls | Main | dinner, not cookies »

gluten free mandel bread

If you asked me how many sticks of mandel bread I’ve eaten in the past 3 days, I can only tell you that I have no idea.

Making 8 different trials, the taste testing was beyond countable.

Take a bite, think.  Take another bite of the same one, think again.  Jot some notes down.  Repeat for all trials, then add, take 1 bite of trial X, then take one bite of trial Y, and compare.  Then multiple all that by 10, because there is no way I only took 3 taste test bites of each batch.

The good thing about all 8 trials was that none were inedible.  Not even close!  I have a HUGE pile of mandel bread, sealed in containers on my counter.  They’re also perfect for the freezer, which is where they’ll be headed shortly.  Actually, they taste great right from the freezer!  No thawing necessary.  And now I have a stockpile big enough to last for the next month.  

(6 of 7)

The end result of trial 8 left me completely satisfied and surprisingly, not sick of baking or eating these cookies.  The color, taste + texture were about as close as they’re going to get, to their all-purpose flour counterparts. 

While it took me 8 trials to perfect, this is actually an extremely easy cookie to make!  Especially if you’re a newbie baker.  The only thing you really need to watch for is the end thickness of the dough.  You want it fairly stiff, but spreadable with a knife.  You don’t want it as stiff as chocolate chip cookie dough, that can be rolled into balls, but you don’t want it pourable either.  Right in between!

(1 of 1)-4

They hold together + crunch just like the original version and have a nice, light, nutty flavor.  While I had experimented using tapioca starch, I concluded it to be unnecessary for these cookies. 

There was no need for a thickening agent, and no need to make them chewy, which is what tapioca starch is typically used for.

I also concluded that sweet rice flour is quite different from brown rice flour.  Mostly in texture.  Sweet rice is ground much more finely than brown rice flour and is also much starchier.  Brown rice flour can leave baked goods slightly gritty, while sweet rice flour has never had that affect in my recipes.  If anything, sweet rice flour can tend to make a baked good too starchy in texture, which is another reason why I eliminated the tapioca starch.

Round TWO flour combinations:

  1. 1/2c + 3T GF oat flour + 3T sweet rice flour + 6T almond meal [slightly off]
  2. 3/4c GF oat flour + 1/2c almond flour + 3T tapioca starch [bland]
  3. 3/4c GF oat flour + 1/4c almond meal + 1/4c sweet rice flour + 2T tapioca starch [too starchy + bland]
  4. 3/4c GF oat flour + 2T sweet rice flour + 6T almond meal [winner!]

Mandel Bread [v. 8] yields ~48-60, 1” wide cookies

  • 2 1/2c GF oat flour
  • 6T sweet rice flour
  • 1c + 2T almond meal
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1c pure cane sugar
  • 3/4c sunflower oil
  • 1.5t vanilla extract
  • 1.5t baking powder
  • 3/4c walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350* and very lightly grease [or line with parchment] 2-3 cookie sheets.
  2. Sift the oat flour + sweet rice flour together in a bowl, then gently fold in the almond meal.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the eggs together with a spoon.
  4. Stir in the sugar.
  5. Stir in the oil.
  6. Stir in the vanilla.
  7. Stir in the baking powder.
  8. Add about 3/4 of the flour mixture and stir until just combined, then add more as needed to thicken the dough.  The texture should be spreadable with a knife, so it can be formed into a large oval on the pan.  Not as thick as chocolate chip cookie dough, but not pourable. 
  9. Gently fold in the walnuts, then portion out into 3 equal piles of dough on the baking sheets. 
  10. Shape the dough into an oval, with a knife or spatula, approximately 1/2” thick, 5-6” wide, and about 8-9” long. Leave about 2-3” in between.  *refer to photograph below.
  11. Bake for ~30min, until the edges are golden brown.  The middle will feel slightly soft to the touch.
  12. Carefully [very hot!] slice down the center, and then cut about 1-1.5” slices going the other way. 
  13. Turn up on their sides and bake for 5 minutes.
  14. Let rest for 5min, then transfer to a cooling rack and eat once cooled.

tips/substitutions:  For high altitude, set your oven to 365* and use 1 1/4t baking powder.  As mentioned, all of the 8 flour combinations worked, so feel free to use any of them if you have those flours on hand.  These freeze extremely well [for months!] in freezer bags.  No need to tightly wrap with anything else.  If you leave out the walnuts, you may need to add 1T extra oat flour, since the walnuts soak up some of the moisture.  If your dough is not thick enough, add 1T more oat flour at a time.  Try not to over stir.

[from last year]

(16 of 16)

Sidenote:  You may notice these look much lighter in color than the batches earlier in the week.  With the first trials, I was using sucanat sugar [evaporated sugar cane juice].  I ran out and it’s much more expensive than pure cane sugar [more finely ground, evap. sugar cane juice] which is what I used for the 2nd day of trials.  You are more than welcome to use sucanat, but realize it is drier than pure cane sugar and therefore will not need quite as much flour.  I suggest mixing together the full amount of flour and then start by adding 3/4 of the flour mix and then slowly add more until the batter is nice + thick.  It will probably require about 3-6T less flour total.

(1 of 1)-2

Did you really think I stopped at version 8?

Of course not.  There was a version 9 + TEN!

Chocolate Mandel Bread yields ~48-60, 1” wide cookies

  • 2 1/2c GF oat flour
  • 3T sweet rice flour
  • 1c almond meal
  • 6T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4c chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1c pure cane sugar
  • 3/4c sunflower oil
  • 1.5t vanilla extract
  • 1.5t baking powder
  • 3/4c walnuts, chopped
  1. Follow directions above, adding the cocoa powder in with the baking powder, and the chocolate chips at the same time as the walnuts.
  2. For high altitude, keep the oven at 350*, or they may burn around the edges.

(4 of 7)

So what was version 10?

Mandel Bread VEGAN + gluten free! yields ~48-60, 1” wide cookies

  • 2 1/4c GF oat flour
  • 6T sweet rice flour
  • 1c + 2T almond meal
  • 3T ground flax
  • 1/2c + 1T milk
  • 1c pure cane sugar
  • 3/4c sunflower oil
  • 1.5t vanilla extract
  • 1.5t baking powder
  • 3/4c walnuts, chopped
  1. Directions are all the same, except in direction #3.  Instead of adding the egg, add in the 3T flax + 1/2c + 1T milk [I used unsweetened almond, any should work] and stir until well mixed.  Proceed with directions from that point.  Baking time will increase by about 3 minutes. 

(3 of 7)

I will also tell you about my high hopes to use this dough as a soft cookie recipe.

I took 1 cookie worth of dough from the chocolate batch and plopped it on parchment, into this little baking dish.  After 15min I took it out of the oven to let it cool.

While the texture was incredibly soft + chewy, the taste was too bland. 

Way more bland then the fully cooked version above!

(1 of 1)

While I’ll continue to munch on + bake more mandel bread, I think the recipe trials have come to an end.  I’ll leave it to you guys to get creative with the mix-ins.

Can’t wait to take these to the family, to hopefully get the seal of approval!



Reader Comments (33)

There may be some drooling action happening over my computer right now - these look so good. Especially the chocolate!
I am definitely adding these to my "to bake" list. I've recently gone gluten free and your recipes have been so helpful with exploring alternatives to wheat flours. Thank you!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

I'm very intrigued by all this mandel bread! It looks really good, the chocolate especially.

You are so patient to try to make all these GF versions of your favorite desserts/baked goods. Way to go!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura (Blogging Over Thyme)

I love seeing how experiments like this turn out, with different variations. Now you must have a hearty supply of mandel! I like the chocolate version...yum! I can't wait to try -- I'm excited to try. Makes me miss my biscotti baking sprees that I'd go through!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren@spicedplate

Do you ever consider making gluten free bread without using oat flour, even though it may be gluten free? Many people with celiac, including me, have an intolerance to even gluten free oats! I would love to get some good ideas for gluten-free baked goods that don't use oat flour and rather use solely sweet rice flour, potato and tapioca starch, almond flour, chickpea flour, etc. Thanks for all your other gluten free recipes too!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

My hubs is Jewish and now I have absolutely no excuse to make mandel made it GF. You're a superstar at the sweets table :) And for helping me the shiksa cook up a little food my hubs will thank me for!

As always, I am amazed by your super extensive and diligent testing processes Ashley!! I've never had mandel bread before but now I really want to make some!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

You're such a committed recipe tester! Very impressed. I'm definitely going to make the vegan version :) Just one you know if sweet rice flour is the same stuff used to make mochi? I have a packet at home but the writing is in Japanese and I think it's the same but I'm not certain.

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

I believe it is the same thing! I checked on google and am pretty sure that's the same ingredient, also called "glutinous flour" even though it contains no gluten. :)

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Gluten Free is definitely a challenge, I give you a lot of credit! These look awesome!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

Thank you. Excited to try it!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

My goodness, they all look amazing! That's quite the dedication to recipe testing, good job :) I've never had mandel bread before, but you've certainly made me hungry...

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia

Thank you, thank you! This looks like a perfect early morning treat dipped in some warmed milk.

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasey @ Insatiably Healthy

I've never had mandel bread, but that is about to change. I will be doing some baking this weekend, and will be trying these out for sure. Yay, a baked good I actually get to eat!

As an extreme biscotti fan, I cant wait to try these out! Just wondering - how easily can one substitute all-purpose flour for sweet brown rice flour? I'm not GF, and fancy flours are kinda hard to find/expensive in these parts :S Can it be done?


December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIzzy

Thank you for making it through 10!! testing rounds. As I was reading I was looking for the vegan subs so was thrilled when I got to version 10. I'd really like to make a chocolate vegan version so I may attempt that. Any guesstimates on how much I should decrease the almond flour to compensate for adding cocoa powder? Also, do you think walnut oil would work instead? Now, I need to go purchase some sweet rice flour!! Thanks!!!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Paquette

Can I come eat leftovers with you? ;) I'll bring brownies!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly @ Foodie Fiasco

Can't wait to try the recipes! They look great, but I am most amazed by your patience...You would make an amazing food scientist! :) I mean, you already are.

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterselina

Yay, you did made a GF version! I tried a GF banana bread variation the other day and it was SO chewy..I am not ready to try it again yet! Happy Saturday!

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

I am allergic to almonds . . . what would you sub for almond flour?

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

I might suggest grinding walnuts and try using walnut flour, but I'm not positive. You can also try one of my previous trials that didn't use almond flour. They were definitely still really tasty! 2 1/4c oat flour + 1.5c sorghum flour + 3T tapioca starch. Hope this helps!

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I really need to make GF banana bread! The only quick bread like that I've made so far was zucchini bread. I'll get to it in 2012! ;)

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I used to LOVE the magazine COOKS Illustrated with all of the recipe trials. Maybe that's where the inspiration comes from? :)

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I have links on my recipe page for non-GF mandel bread I made last year. There is a vegan + regular version that use all purpose flour.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

The flours don't change at all from the non-vegan to the vegan version. Just the ground flax + milk. So, you can just follow the flour amounts that are posted for the regular chocolate version and add the ground flax + milk, specified in the vegan instructions. I don't think walnut oil is a good oil to use for baking. From what I understand it has a very low smoke point and should only be used as an oil on salads and things that aren't heated. Here's a guide to oils I found on the Whole Foods website A good sub, if you don't have sunflower would be canola or safflower oil.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You're so welcome Danielle. Hope you love these cookies!!

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thank you! I will check out that link right now. I do have safflower oil so I will use that instead. I just picked up sweet rice flour today so I plan to make these some time this week. PS, I'm still enjoying the pumpkin cornbread :)

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Paquette

Thank you! Yes, I think I will try making my own nut flour. Sounds ambitious :)

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

Just whirl it around in your blender or food processor in small batches, until crumbly and no large pieces are there. Should do the trick! Not sure if all nuts will work for making "meal," but I definitely think walnut would be a good option!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Sounds great!!!! :)

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Just made the vegan version - my first foray into gluten-free baking. I was nervous but they turned out perfect! I was going to share with my family, but now I may just keep them all to myself... I really like that your recipes don't require a lot of special ingredients (gums and such) and turn out so well- thanks!

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersal

Sal - I am so excited to hear that they turned out and you enjoyed them so much!! You're the first to let me know! :) I brought a bunch home with me to Ohio, to pass out to the family.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] experimenting at all.  It scares me!!  The only “cookies” I’ve made so far, are mandel bread + oatmeal trail mix cookies.  And I don’t really consider those true cookies.These however, [...]

[...] pita chipsFood Should Taste Good chocolate tortilla chipsangel food cupcakes [!!!]strawberriesmandel breadThe house is clean.The fridge is full.Chris is feeling better.My egg supply is restocked.The dogs [...]

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.