100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt (review)

I've always been one to express my love to friends and family with food (among other things). Homemade cookies regularly in the cookie jar. Special treats for special folks on special days. Enjoying food crafts and activities with kids. Festive family occasions focus primarily on food.

Enter a grandchild with food allergies. Gluten issues, in particular. James, my bonus grandson courtesy his dad Patrick marrying my daughter Brianna, can't eat the majority of my long-time specialty goodies and holiday favorites. Figuring out how to express food-love to that kiddo has been a challenge. For the most part, food isn't what James and I share.

That's all about to change, courtesy 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, which I recently received from publisher Robert Rose free for review. The 224-page cookbook takes the mystery out of making savory and sweet dishes without gluten! A lifesaver for this grandma and her gluten-free grandson.


Informative chapters on going gluten-free open 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes. Primarily these:

  • Understanding Whole Grains
  • Other Gluten-Free Baking Ingredients
  • Nutrient Content of Gluten-Free Grains, Flours and Starches
  • Speaking Our Language: Are We All on the Same Page? (Pointers on GF cooking... and cooking in general)

Then comes the good stuff: the recipes! The offerings from Washburn and Butt (who also authored together 125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine RecipesThe Gluten-Free Baking Book and several others) are family favorites, reworked.

"We wanted to create a collection of recipes that reminded us of the favorites we grew up with and still enjoy today," the authors write in the introduction. They succeeded — and then some.

Favorites of kids of all ages include Oven-Fried Chicken, Chicken Fingers, Lasagna, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Lemon Squares (a fave of mine), and Red Velvet Cake (one which James professed, "I love Red Velvet Cake" as we perused the pages). Plus many, many more, the majority of them including mouth-watering photos. Including the two below, which I was given permission to reprint here.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Makes 15 slices (1 per serving)


Enjoy a toasted slice or two of this deep golden loaf for breakfast — it’s the perfect snack when served with a cup of hot cocoa.

Adding raisins with mixer on low ensures they are well combined. They will not break up during the mixing process.

• Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
• 9- by 5-inch (23 by 12.5 cm) loaf pan, lightly greased

1 cup brown rice flour    250 mL
1⁄2 cup amaranth flour    125 mL
1⁄3 cup almond flour    75 mL
1⁄3 cup quinoa flour    75 mL
1⁄3 cup tapioca starch    75 mL
1 tbsp xanthan gum    15 mL
1 tbsp bread machine or instant yeast    15 mL
2 tsp ground cinnamon     10 mL
11⁄2 tsp salt    7 mL
2 eggs    
1 cup water    250 mL
2 tbsp vegetable oil    30 mL
3 tbsp liquid honey    45 mL
1 tsp cider vinegar    5 mL
2⁄3 cup raisins     150 mL

1. In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine brown rice flour, amaranth flour, almond flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, yeast, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and set aside.
2. In mixer bowl, combine eggs, water, vegetable oil, honey and vinegar. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients until well combined. Stop motor and scrape down the bottom and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. With mixer on medium speed, beat for 1 minute or until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add raisins.
3. Spoon dough into prepared pan. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm, draft-free place for 60 to 75 minutes or until dough has risen to the top of pan. 
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 200°F (100°C). Remove from pan immediately and let cool completely on a rack.

Courtesy of 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold. Image credit: Jan Kalish

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Makes 4 servings


A comfort on the coldest winter day, this old-fashioned, self-saucing dessert was all the rage in the ’50s. We’ve updated the recipe so that it uses less sugar and salt, but we’ve kept the flavor. 

When boiling the water, heat extra and measure it after it has come to a boil. It may continue to bubble when removed from stovetop or microwave.

• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
• Electric hand mixer
• Four 10-oz (300 mL) ovenproof ramekins, lightly greased
• Rimmed baking sheet

1⁄4 cup sorghum flour    60 mL
1⁄4 cup teff flour    60 mL
2 tbsp tapioca starch    30 mL
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar    125 mL
1 tbsp GF baking powder    15 mL
1 tsp xanthan gum    5 mL
1⁄8 tsp salt 0.5 mL
1⁄4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder    60 mL
1 cup milk   250 mL
1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract    1 mL

Chocolate Sauce
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar    125 mL
2 tbsp sifted unsweetened cocoa powder    30 mL
1 cup boiling water    250 mL
1. Cake: In a medium bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, teff flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and cocoa. Mix well and set aside.
2. In a separate large bowl, using electric hand mixer, combine milk and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Spoon into prepared ramekins, dividing mixture evenly. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet.
3. Sauce: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Holding a large spoon bowl-side down over center of batter, slowly pour boiling water evenly over ramekins. (The liquid will flow over the back of the spoon to distribute evenly.) Do not stir.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake is firm when gently touched. Serve warm.

Courtesy of 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold. Image credit: Jan Kalish

100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt (MSRP $19.95) sells for $18.36 on Amazon and can also be found at most book retailers. Visit Robert Rose to learn more about this book and others from the Toronto-based publisher.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. I received this book free for review; opinions and anecdotes are my own.