The Best Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Baking Mixes, According To Experts

These make it easier to bake cupcakes, brownies, biscuits and more.
There's nothing better than ripping open a boxed mix and having a delicious dessert an hour later.
Arx0nt via Getty Images
There's nothing better than ripping open a boxed mix and having a delicious dessert an hour later.

If you’re following a grain-free diet, it can be a challenge to enjoy splurge-worthy versions of baked treats such as cupcakes, brownies and biscuits. The good news is that you don’t have to be a master chef to enjoy 100% grain-free versions of traditional favorites. Many grain-free packaged mixes taste as good as — or better than — than the originals. We talked to chefs and nutritionists to find which grain-free mixes they love most.

Grain-free and gluten-free — what’s the difference?

You might be wondering if a grain-free product is the same as a gluten-free one, so let’s get that cleared up right away. “Gluten-free” means that a product doesn’t contain any of the specific “storage protein” found in wheat, spelt, triticale, rye and barley. People who have to avoid gluten include those with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder. Others may have a gluten sensitivity, so they avoid it whenever they can. Still others just prefer less gluten in their lives. There is such a thing as gluten-free grains, and those include amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats that are produced and packaged as gluten-free, quinoa, rice, sorghum, teff and wild rice.

Grain-free foods take things a step further. They’re made without the seeds from any grasses, so they exclude things like corn, millet, rice, sorghum and oats. A grain-free product will naturally be gluten-free and corn-free, but a gluten-free product will not necessarily be grain-free. Everything we’re showing here is grain-free, so these products are often made with ingredients like almond, cassava and coconut flours, and they’re often sweetened with coconut sugar.

Most people following a paleolithic (paleo) diet don’t eat gluten or other grains such as oats, rice and corn. Most people following a ketogenic (keto) diet eat very few, if any, carbohydrates from grains or legumes and seek out low-carb, high-fiber foods instead.

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Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix
This is an awesome high-protein and high-fiber pancake alternative that uses real ingredients,” registered dietitian Marissa Meshulam told HuffPost. “There are no weird additives, and they have a fun, coconutty taste.”

Get it from Amazon for $9.57.
Bob's Red Mill Grain-Free Mixes
“This seven-ingredient Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix is packed with protein and healthy fats, plus it has less added sugar than many grain-based brands,” registered dietitian nutritionist Amanda Frankeny told HuffPost. “It’s made with an almond flour and coconut flour base. You simply add eggs, water and oil, and you get what’s promised — fluff on the inside and a crispy exterior.”

Get the Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix from Amazon for $14.43.

Experts also love the Blueberry Muffin Mix from the same brand. “There are several great grain-free baking mixes on the market, but only a couple have made the top of my list,” registered dietitian nutritionist Andrea Mathis told HuffPost. Registered dietitian Toby Amidor agreed, noting the high protein content in this mix. "If you’re looking for a grain-free baking mix that contains a great source of protein, this is a good choice since it contains 8 grams of protein per serving,” he told HuffPost. “I usually like to make my own muffins, but in a pinch I will use a quick and easy mix. It makes delicious muffins. The mix uses gluten-free paleo baking flour, which consists of almond flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour and tapioca flour, and it’s sweetened with coconut sugar.”

Get a five-pack of the Grain-Free Blueberry Muffin Mix from Amazon for $28.81.
Highkey Keto Blueberry Muffin & Cupcake Mix
“Homemade grain-free muffins can be tricky,” Frankeny said. “If you’ve tried baking them, you’ve probably run into some funky-textured baked goods. Highkey makes it easier with this mix. It delivers a moist muffin every single time, one that never ventures into dense or soggy territory. This product does include the sugar-replacement allulose and a sugar alcohol, erythritol. Though they add to the flavor, you should be aware of that if you’re staying away from low-calorie sweeteners.”

Get it from Amazon for $9.98.
Julie’s Real Paleo Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
“These are about as low in sugar as a brownie can come,” Meshulam said. “The mix uses real, wholesome ingredients to provide you with chocolatey goodness. And they’re truly paleo if that’s your thing.”

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $19.99.
King Arthur Grain-Free Paleo Baking Flour
“I recently made biscuits with this blend, and they turned out moist and noncrumbly," chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell told HuffPost. "So many gluten-free mixes can become dry once the biscuit cools, but this one didn’t.” The experts behind the Real Food Dietitians — Jessica Beacom, Stacie Hassing and Jessie Shafer — also gave this mix a thumbs-up. “We’ve used this blend in place of wheat flour in recipes, and we’ve had great results," they told HuffPost.

Get it from Amazon for $7.98.
Livlo Keto Biscuit & Bread Mix
“We all love a fluffy biscuit, and this mix will get you exactly what you crave,” Frankeny said. “It uses almond flour, baking powder and sea salt. This buttery, delicious treat does contain a tiny nutritional boost, with 4 more grams of fiber per serving than the leading wheat-based biscuit brand. Try the finished product on the side when serving pot roast, or use it as a quiche crust.”

Get it from Amazon for $10.17.
Miss Jones Baking Co. Mixes
“For anyone who loves the taste and texture of cornbread but is following a grain-free diet, this mix is the perfect go-to. It’s made with almond flour and coconut flour," registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Gorin told HuffPost.

Get the “Not Cornbread” Bread & Muffin Mix from Amazon for $7.99.

“One of my favorite better-for-you baking mix companies is Miss Jones,” Amidor said. “This mix is made with almond flour and is sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit extract.”

Get the Keto & Paleo Fudgy Brownie Baking Mix from Amazon for $6.99.
Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Pancake + Waffle Mix
“This mix doesn’t produce a weird mouthfeel or chalky taste,” Mathis said.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Sharon Palmer agreed, adding, “I already think they do a really nice job with their granolas, and no surprise, their grain-free pancake mix is yummy, too.”

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $22.62.
Simple Mills Baking Mixes
"This [Cupcake & Cake Baking Mix] is about as clean as cake can get,” Meshulam said. “They use coconut sugar, which has a slightly lower glycemic index than regular sugar. The blend of almond and coconut flour is higher in protein, fat and fiber, making this a more nutrient-dense treat.”

Get a three-pack of the Almond Flour Cupcake & CBaking Mix from Amazon for $23.97.

Chef Marshall O’Brien said his family’s breakfasts are frequently powered by pancakes made with the Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle Mix. “I have two daughters, ages 7 and 10, and I’ll use it for our Saturday breakfasts," he told HuffPost. "The mix is almond-based, with real — and few — ingredients.” Pro tip: The chef sometimes adds a few extras to boost nutrition. “I’ll add ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or sometimes even cricket powder. I serve pancakes with homemade stewed cinnamon apples, peanut butter or other nut butters, ghee, butter, real maple syrup and assorted jams. It’s a tasty treat.”

Get a three-pack of the Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle Mix from Amazon for $25.45.

Before You Go

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ooey Gooey Cake

Easy Baking Recipes That Use Boxed Mixes

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