Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry {how-to}

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Gluten Free Cream Cheese PastryHow-To: Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry

As promised, today I am sharing my go-to recipe for a slightly sweet but flaky and tender cream cheese pastry that is ever so versatile—Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry. As with our recipe for Perfect Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry, this recipe is virtually foolproof and will bring you gluten-free baking success. When using in savory applications, I simply omit the sugar and vanilla. And, sometimes, I even leave out the vanilla in sweet applications. It just depends on how I am using this incredibly tasty dough. Bake with this dough and your friends and family will think you are a pastry chef. I kid you not!

This dough was chosen to feature as one of my first pastry tutorials because it is the most forgiving for novice bakers. The recipe is incredibly easy to prepare using a stand mixer or food processor. The cream cheese (and yes, Philadelphia® Cream Cheese is gluten-free) provides exceptional elasticity in the dough, along with guar gum, making it easy to work with. As a new or young baker, working with cream cheese pastry builds confidence in the kitchen as well as develops skill sets in handling, rolling and shaping the dough. It is truly a launching pad of sorts for one’s “batterie de cuisine” in gluten-free baking.

Cream Cheese Pastry 30The reason why this dough is “flaky” as stated in the title, and superior to all other cream cheese pastry dough recipes, is that it calls for a 1:1 ratio, by weight, of butter to cream cheese with 8 ounces each. Just as with my recipe for Cream Cheese Buttercream, a component recipe in my Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake, it is richer than the Better Homes and Gardens version. In fact, the amount of buttah is doubled using 2 sticks of butter to 1 brick of cream cheese. It just makes total sense.

Essentially, I took the gluten-free Cream Cheese Pastry recipe I developed for Bob’s Red Mill® last August (in fact, my deadline was 1 year ago today) straight from my Honey-Nut Rugelach recipe that I have been making for over 20 years now. However, I subtracted 1 tablespoon of sugar and increased the salt for a more pie crust type pastry to complement both sweet and tart pie fillings. This dough is just irresistible with all that buttery flavor and the slight tang from the cream cheese. No one will even guess it is gluten-free!

Gluten Free Cream Cheese PastryA note about guar gum and where to purchase the best. As you will see in the recipe I developed for Bob’s Red Mill®, Honey-Nut Rugelach, I called for xanthan gum. Since then, I have changed my mind as to which gum I prefer. My thanks go to Karen Morgan, of Blackbird Bakery, for enlightening me. To make your own informed decision in your gluten-free lifestyle, read up on both guar and xanthan gums and make your own decision. Knowledge is power, peeps.

The brand Wicked Good Kitchen recommends is Guar Gum by NOW Foods® (pictured below). I purchase mine from iHerb.com. The Big Lug and I first learned of iHerb back in 2005 from our Bombay cat breeders to purchase supplements for our little baby kitties. iHerb is an incredibly stellar company. You don’t have to take my word for it either. All you need do is read the reviews. Orders are shipped lightning fast at reasonable rates and our orders have always been accurate. This company will impress you and I am not being paid to tell you so.

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Pastry 3In addition, I have included a variation for the savory application for this tender and flaky pastry. Each recipe will yield enough dough for either two 10-inch pies or one 10-inch pie with a double crust.

When rolling out gluten-free cookie dough or pastry, such as for this recipe, I like to use a blend of equal parts by volume sorghum, tapioca and sweet white rice flours. Prepare 1 cup using ⅓ cup each to keep on hand as needed.

Instead of offering a tested “gluten free option” as I have been doing most often lately, I have decided it would be a good thing to post some of these recipes separately and keep them in their own category in the Recipe Index for easy access.

Meanwhile, I will be sharing a special recipe soon using our Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry and cannot wait to share!

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Pastry 4What makes our Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry wicked good? First, a 1:1 ratio, by weight, of butter to cream cheese with 8 ounces each ensures a flaky and tender pastry crust. Second, preparation is easy peasy and virtually foolproof. Third, the recipe is versatile providing for both savory and sweet applications. Finally, the dough and baked crusts are both rich and full of buttery flavor with a slight tang from the cream cheese. Plus, the gluten-free flour blend for this recipe incorporates less rice flour than ordinary blends and more protein flour with adequate starches to achieve perfect tender flaky goodness. Everyone will think you’re a rock star gluten-free pastry chef. Bonus. What’s not to love?

Bon appétit!

xo,

spatsign

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Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry {how-to}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes enough pastry for two 10-inch pies or one 10-inch pie with double crust.

Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry {how-to}

What makes our Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry wicked good? First, a 1:1 ratio, by weight, of butter to cream cheese with 8 ounces each ensures a flaky and tender pastry crust. Second, preparation is easy peasy and virtually foolproof. Third, the recipe is versatile providing for both savory and sweet applications. Finally, the dough and baked crusts are both rich and full of buttery flavor with a slight tang from the cream cheese. Plus, the gluten-free flour blend for this recipe incorporates less rice flour than ordinary blends and more protein flour with adequate starches to achieve perfect tender flaky goodness. Everyone will think you’re a rock star gluten-free pastry chef. Bonus. What’s not to love?

Ingredients

  • For the Cream Cheese Pastry
  • ¾ cup (92 grams) sorghum flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®
  • ½ cup (62 grams) tapioca flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®
  • ½ cup (78 grams) sweet white rice flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®
  • ½ cup (83 grams) potato starch, such as Bob’s Red Mill®
  • 1¼ teaspoons (3.7 grams) guar gum by NOW® Foods
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2 grams) baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/226 grams) chilled unsalted butter, such as Land O Lakes®
  • 1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package chilled cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®
  • 1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) granulated cane sugar, such as Zulka®
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • ½ teaspoon (2.4 grams) kosher salt
  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend for Rolling Dough
  • ⅓ cup (42 grams) sorghum flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®
  • ⅓ cup (42 grams) tapioca flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®
  • ⅓ cup (53 grams) sweet white rice flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®

Directions

Prepare the Pastry: In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, guar gum and baking powder; set aside. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, lightly cream together butter and cream cheese. Beat in sugar, vanilla and salt; mix until well combined. Add flour in two batches beating just until incorporated. Scrape dough onto sheet of plastic wrap using rubber spatula and pat into large disk.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Thaw a few minutes to become pliable before rolling and using in recipes. Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin.

While dough is chilling, prepare gluten-free flour blend for rolling dough.

Prepare Gluten-Free Flour Blend for Rolling Dough: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flours until evenly incorporated. Flour is ready to use for work surface, hands, rolling pin and dough.

Recipe Notes

VARIATIONS

To Prepare Without Stand Mixer: Use pastry blender (or food processor) to cut butter into flours, guar gum, baking powder, sugar and salt; then cut in cream cheese.

For Savory Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry: Omit sugar and vanilla extract. Add chopped fresh herbs and/or spices to taste.

TIPS

To Measure the Flour: If you do not have a kitchen scale, spoon flour into cups then level off. However, for gluten-free baking, a kitchen scale is highly recommended for best results.

To Ensure Flaky and Tender Crust: Work only with well chilled (cold) butter and cream cheese straight from the refrigerator. If working in a warm kitchen, place work bowl with butter and cream cheese in refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill before adding flour. When rolling out scraps, use a pastry brush to whisk away excess flour from dough as this will ensure tender pastry and prevent it from becoming dry and tough. Always start with a clean surface each time rolling more dough by brushing away excess flour. When re-rolling scraps, do not gather the dough and ball up or mash. Layer scraps on top of each other and then roll out. This will help to maintain flakiness and also prevents overworking the dough.

To Prepare Pastry Dough in Advance: Dough can be prepared in advance much to the delight of busy bakers. Shape dough into disks or rectangles less than 1 inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Also, the dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze dough, enclose plastic-wrapped dough in heavy duty zip-top freezer bags. Simply thaw in the refrigerator while still wrapped in plastic.

HOW TO BLIND BAKE (Prebake) FLAKY CREAM CHEESE PASTRY CRUST

To successfully blind bake (prebake) pie and tartlet shells without a filling using Wicked Good Kitchen’s Gluten-Free Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry, it is imperative to use weights such as dried beans or rice with a parchment lining. Dried beans or rice will not compact the pastry or prevent it from breathing during baking. By weighting the crust down, it will prevent it from sliding down the sides of the pie pan during baking as well as keep the bottom from puffing too much due to the baking powder in the recipe.

Pie weights with foil as a liner are not recommended for cream cheese pastry as they are much too heavy and the crust will have a cardboard-type texture versus a nice tender and flaky one. Dried beans and rice as pie weights can be reused many times.

For Prebaked Pie Shells: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. at least 20 minutes before baking. It is essential to have a very hot preheated oven when baking pastry crusts for pies as it helps to set the fluted border before the fat starts to melt and the crust starts to soften.

Line dough in pie pan with parchment paper pleating it as needed to fit the circular shape of the pan. Fill with dried beans or rice making sure the contents are pushed against the sides of parchment very well versus mounding in the center. Place in preheated oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and lift out the parchment with the beans or rice. Prick the crust all over with fork tines but only going halfway through the dough. (By only going halfway through, this will prevent pie crust from sticking if using a sticky filling.) Return pie pan to the oven and bake until light golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before filling.

For Prebaked Tartlets and Small Flan Rings: Bake small (3- to 4-inch) tartlets or flan rings in preheated 400 degree F. oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and lift out the parchment with the beans or rice. Prick the crust all over with fork tines and return to oven. Continue to bake until light golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool tartlet shells completely on wire racks before filling.

For Prebaked Mini Tartlets: Bake mini (1-inch) tartlets in preheated 400 degree F. oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pricking with fork tines is only necessary if baking powder was used to make the dough. Transfer to cooling rack and immediately unmold. Cool tartlet shells completely on wire racks before filling.

Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/gluten-free-flaky-cream-cheese-pastry-how-to/

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About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for shairng this recipe Stacy! I have to bookmark this one!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted…Lentil Stew or Lentil-whatchamacallitMy Profile

    • Thank you, Shashi! And, it was my pleasure to share this recipe. Had so much fun last summer developing it for Bob’s Red Mill®. Enjoy!

  2. This dough looks fantastic – is there anything more beautiful than a big, fat ball of wonderful dough? I don’t think so! I don’t eat gluten free myself, but I know that it can be quite a challenge – thank you for creating a wonderful recipe for the gluten-free peeps out there! 🙂
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted…Loaded Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice CreamMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jennifer! I agree with you. As bakers, we are so drawn to big ol’fat balls of smooth and silky buttery dough and all the promise they hold for our baking to enjoy and share with others. Me, and my blog, are huge supporters of the gluten-free community. Being wheat sensitive myself, I find it challenging to create gluten-free baking recipes and enjoy sharing them when I am victorious. Thanks again for stopping by as it is always a great day when you do! 🙂

  3. Thanks for the how-to! Making any type of pastry crust makes me nervous!
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper recently posted…Chicken Breasts with Dried CherriesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Melanie! It was my pleasure to share this easy and scrumptious gluten-free pastry recipe with the gluten-free community. Yes, pastry crust can be nerve-wracking. However, this recipe will make all those fears vanish. You will achieve gluten-free baking success. Thanks again for stopping by and happy baking!

  4. Oh gosh I miss Rugelach, how did I miss your gluten-free version?!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted…What to Make With Tomatoes | Tips For Selecting, Storing and Preparing TomatoesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Sylvie! I’m so glad you found the gluten-free version of my Honey-Nut Rugelach. The dough and filling are both scrumptious and, together, divine. In fact, The Big Lug and I enjoy the gluten-free version best! Whip up the dough the night before and make a fun day of assembling, baking and eating the next day. So tasty and so much fun during the holidays! My recommendation? Make a double batch because you’ll want to share. Thanks again for stopping by, Sylvie. It’s always a great day when I see your smiling face in my comments section! xo

  5. Pie crust can be so intimidating, this is wonderful!!

  6. I swear cream cheese makes EVERYTHING better! Can’t wait to try this!
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste recently posted…Video: How to Cut a MangoMy Profile

  7. Wow.
    I must try this!
    I love cream cheese–anything.
    And now gluten free.
    vanillasugarblog recently posted…cookie butter protein barsMy Profile

  8. How long do you bake this for? For instance, if your making a pie where you bake the crust before the filling goes in. Thanks so much for the time you put in to this recipe.

    • Hi there, Hannah! Thank you for stopping by. To answer your important question, I just added “How to Blind Bake (Prebake) Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry Crust” in the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe. These added instructions come with helpful information from properly preheating your oven (for 20 minutes) to lining your pastry with parchment and filling with dried beans or rice to weight the dough down (acting as pie weights) during baking to prevent sliding. I have included directions for pies, tartlets and mini tartlets. (This added information should suffice until I can take photos for a full-fledged tutorial on blind baking pie crusts.) Once again, thank you for dropping by. Meanwhile, I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Happy pie baking and best wishes for a meaningful and happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  9. This pastry dough is amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Truly a life changer. I know that seems a bit over the top but I’m really not joking. It’s taking all my inner strength not to write this whole review in caps. I have been cooking gluten free for my family for about 3 years now and pie crust has always been a big let down; many recipes are edible, but this one is seriously the BEST pastry I have ever tasted, gluten free or not. Thank you from the bottom of my aching-for-good-pastry-dough heart. I actually cried the first time I tasted it. I’ve used this for sweet and savory applications (minus the sugar and vanilla) and have found it to be virtually fool proof and quite versatile. Even the rolled and re-rolled pieces are tasty and flaky. I have some chilling in the fridge right now….I’m about to go bake a couple pies for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner but I wanted to stop and let you know how much this recipe means to me first. Thank you. THANK YOU!!! I love you. Okay, maybe that’s taking it too far, but I DO love this pastry dough! One more thing, please (please, please, PLEASE!) keep developing gluten free recipes, as yours are truly some of the best I have ever tasted.

    • Aww…thank you, S! My pleasure. You are truly making me blush. This pastry truly does ROCK. When I first developed the recipe, it was for my holiday cookie recipe for a guest blog post for Bob’s Red Mill. The cookies are called Honey-Nut Rugelach and they are my hubby’s favorite cookie in the Universe. If you adore this pastry as you say, you simply must make them for the holidays! Be forewarned…make more than just one batch. You won’t be sorry and, this way, there will be more to share. They are truly addicting! The cookies freeze well, too, which is a blessing. Isn’t it a blessing that cream cheese is gluten free? 😉 Thank you for taking the time to comment, my friend. You have made my day. I love knowing that I have made a difference in someone’s life with my special diet recipes. It is the very reason why I started this blog, just as I have stated on my About page. Warmest wishes to you and yours for a meaningful and happy holiday season!

  10. I made a gluten free cherry pie this weekend before I found your recipe. It came out okay but the crust could be flakier your recipe looks so nice and flaky. I just have one question I only have xanthan gum will it work the same? or should I use less or more?

    • Hi there, Diana! Thank you for stopping by. To answer your question…yes. You certainly may substitute xanthan gum for the guar gum called for in this recipe. Simply substitute them 1:1. They are interchangeable equally here. In fact, when I first developed the recipe, I used xanthan gum. Since then, after studying up and having it recommended to me by gluten free cookbook author Karen Morgan, of Blackbird Bakery, I prefer to use guar gum. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Happy gluten free baking!

  11. I have the Bisquick Gluten-free baking mix that has a blend of flours with the addition of xanthan gum and baking powder. Will this substitute alright since I only have two of the three flours for your flour blend? Thanks!

    • Retraction to above comment – sorry! Bisquick GF mix has one type of flour and I see that your recipe does contain baking powder, my mistake. I may try the Bisquick out anyway. Thoughts? Thanks again. 🙂

  12. This recipe looks fabulous , I have one question though. I am also allergic to potatoes , can I use the Namaste perfect flour blend? Or is there another flour I can use to replace the potato starch?

    • Hi there, Andrea! Thank you for writing with such an important food allergy question. Although I have not tested this recipe using the allergen-free and gluten-free flour blend by Namaste, you could definitely try it. My suggestion is that you use 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups of their flour in the recipe and omit the gum as Namaste includes xanthan gum in their flour. The only big difference with my blend and theirs, besides the potato starch, is that the Namaste flour is heavier on the rice flour with brown rice flour. Let me know how things go. Meanwhile, I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly. Thanks again for dropping by and happy gluten free baking!

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