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Xanthan Gum

One of the things that I have learned since cooking and baking gluten free is that there is no one magic flour blend that replaces regular flour. A blend that works for pancakes may not work well for cookies or breads.

The first few months I baked gluten free I had many disasters, but I think many of my failures were because I was trying to make one blend work for everything.

The more I have baked gluten free, the more I have realized how much science is behind gluten free flours and how they work.

Most of the recipes for flour blends include xanthan gum, but I have realized that xanthan gum does not work the same in everything. Some items need more xanthan gum than others.

For example, bread needs more than pancakes. By using one blend that contained a certain amount of xanthan gum, I was causing myself to have more failures.

Figuring out the correct amount of xanthan gum has helped me so much. I read an article by Bob’s Red Mill recently that confirmed my thoughts on this. They posted on how both xanthan gum and guar gum work. They also posted several charts listing the amounts needed for various baked goods.

Here is the chart they posted for xanthan gum and I have found these amounts to work well. Their post is full of information and I highly suggest you read the whole article.

How much Xanthan Gum for Gluten Free Baking?
Cookies………………………………¼ teaspoon per cup of flour
Cakes and Pancakes………………..½ teaspoon per cup of flour
Muffins and Quick Breads………… ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
Breads……………………………….1 to 1-½ tsp. per cup of flour
Pizza Dough…………………..…… 2 teaspoons per cup of flour
For Salad Dressings…Use ½ tsp. Xanthan Gum per 8 oz. of liquid.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. oh, this is so true and it can be confusing!

  2. Thank you for this info…..I have made a few gluten free things, but kind of gave up because of the flops, so now I will have to give it another try.

  3. Does the amount of xanthum gum they recommend fit with just their all purpose flour mix, or have you found that generally across the board the amount they recommend for different baked goods depends on the baked good, not on the flour blend? Make sense? Does the flour blend make a difference in needed xanthum gum, or does the amount needed JUST have to do with what you are trying to bake (cupcakes vs. pancakes – bread vs. pizza crust etc.)?

    • I have found that the amount of xanthum gum is pretty across the board and does not vary with different flour blends.

    • And yes the main difference is what you are making. Pancakes don’t need as much as pizza crust or bread, etc.

    • Joseph Gatto says

      I would have to disagree. I have found that the amount of xantham gum is different for Red Mill’s flour blend than it is for my own blend of flour that I have come up with over time and trial and error. I have been gluten free for over two years and actually stopped using Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour mix. They use flours like brown rice flour that has a nutty taste of it’s own. I don’t like to have that nutty taste in everything I bake. I perfer to make my own blend and add the xantham gumwhile making the actual recipe as it does vary from recipe to recipe. It may take more work but the end result is a cleaner taste.

  4. Nikki Kratzer says

    I learned that plain gelatin works too –equal amounts as xanthum gum –so far it is working for me 🙂

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