Gluten-Free Salt Dough Ornaments

by Maggie on December 22, 2010

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Working with salt dough is so much fun for kids, and it’s a great way to get them using the rolling pin and cookie cutters.  It gives them confidence and builds their kitchen skills!  It definitely takes the play-dough experience to the next level.

I made these last year with the kids, but we used spelt flour because Callum and I were still eating gluten at the time.  We used the ornaments to decorate our own tree, but we also used them to give to our friends and family as gifts or present toppers.

This year I modified the recipe to make sure it was 100 percent gluten-free. Did you know that some people have an allergic reaction to gluten just by touching the stuff?  Fortunately that isn’t the case for our family, but we like to play it safe because you never know how your body’s reacting on the inside.

I hope you find some time to make these with your kiddies.  We sure had fun making our salt dough ornaments.

Gluten-Free Salt Dough

1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
1 ¼ cup brown rice flour
½ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
1 cup salt
5 tsp cinnamon (for scent)
¾-1 cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Combine cornstarch, brown rice flour, guar gum, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Slowly stir in the water, a little bit at a time.  If you add too much, add more flour or starch.  If your dough is dry, add more water.  It’s that easy!  Knead dough for approximately 5 minutes.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface until approximately 1-inch thickness.   Cut into desired shapes and place ½-inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a straw to make a hole in each shape for ribbon or string.

Bake at 325 for approximately 40 minutes.  You want your ornaments to be hard but not burnt!  Remove from oven and let cool completely before painting or decorating.

Yield: approximately 24 ornaments


We painted ours with tempera paint and glitter glue, it worked just fine.  If you want to get all fancy you could go to the craft store and get some glaze to finish off the ornaments.  This might make your paint jobs last until your kids are in their 30s and you can show them all of the cute ornaments they made when they were kids.

I tried to use the cheapest gluten-free flours I had.  Taste doesn’t matter since we’re not eating these (my dog did manage to steal one and seemed to enjoy it…).

I think you could omit the xanthan or guar gum but I played it safe and added some.

If you want to use wheat flour, just use 2 1/4 cups and definitely omit the xanthan or guar gum.

Have a joyous and happy holiday everyone!