12 Pies, Cookies, and Cakes That Don’t Call for Flour

Can’t find flour at your grocery store? We’ve got a recipe for that.

Published Apr. 9, 2020.

Mari Levine

Just because you can’t get your hands on a coveted bag of flour doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to bake up a showstopping dessert. Your pantry might not feel fully stocked, but these recipes make you feel like it is.

To be clear, not all of these recipes are gluten-free. Some call for Oreos or graham crackers or Rice Krispies—items you’re more likely to find in many grocery stores than flour these days. We indicated which recipes in this list are gluten free, and for those of you looking for more, we have lots of gluten-free recipes on our websites, including many from our cookbooks, The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook Volume 1 and The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook Volume 2.

Missing another ingredient and want to know what to use instead? Check out our comprehensive list of substitutions for baking ingredients, including eggs, dairy, and chocolate.


Nanaimo BarsKey Lime Bars
Nanaimo Bars and Key Lime Bars

Nanaimo Bars: A three-layer Canadian treat with a coconutty cookie base, custardy center, and chocolate ganache tops. [GET THE RECIPE]

Key Lime Bars: An animal cracker crust helps us raise the bar on this classic cookie. [GET THE RECIPE]

Seven Layer BarsThe Best Chocolate-Dipped Triple Coconut Macaroons
Seven Layer Bars and The Best Chocolate-Dipped Triple Coconut Macaroons

Seven Layer Bars: We keep the kitchen-sink approach but refine the ingredient list to improve this classic bar cookie. [GET THE RECIPE]

The Best Chocolate-Dipped Triple Coconut Macaroons (gluten free): We hit the flavor jackpot by using three different coconut ingredients. [GET THE RECIPE]

Rice Krispies TreatsClassic Meringue Cookies
Crispy Rice Cereal Treats and Classic Meringue Cookies

Crispy Rice Cereal Treats: This classic, kid-friendly dessert is only five ingredients and can be jazzed up with your favorite mix-ins. These treats are also gluten free if you buy gluten-free crispy rice cereal. [GET THE RECIPE]

Classic Meringue Cookies (gluten free): To get a crisp meringue cookie that would dissolve instantly in the mouth, we found that timing was everything. [GET THE RECIPE]

The Ultimate Flourless Chocolate CakeStrawberry, Lime, and Basil Pavlova with Whipped Cream
The Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake and Strawberry, Lime, and Basil Pavlova with Whipped Cream

The Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free): It takes only five ingredients to yield perfectly rich-textured cake with true chocolate flavor. [GET THE RECIPE]

Strawberry, Lime, and Basil Pavlova with Whipped Cream (gluten free): Our pavlova is a drop-dead gorgeous dessert of marshmallowy, crisp-shelled meringue piled with lightly whipped cream and fresh fruit. [GET THE RECIPE]

Torta CapreseChocolate-Espresso Dacquoise
Torta Caprese and Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise

Torta Caprese (gluten free): Flourless chocolate cake is often cloyingly dense and have one-note chocolate flavor. Leave it to the Italians to whip up a version that's lighter and more nuanced. [GET THE RECIPE]

Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise (gluten free): Looking for a project? This multilayered showpiece of meringue and buttercream coated in ganache can even be made the day before. [GET THE RECIPE]

Milk Chocolate CheesecakePeanut Butter Pie
Milk Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Pie

Milk Chocolate Cheesecake: Oreo cookies make the chocolatey crust in this fluffy, creamy cheesecake that is made even simpler by eschewing the traditional water bath. [GET THE RECIPE]

Peanut Butter Pie: It took a graham cracker crust and fewer than nine ingredients to make a peanut butter pie with the intense, nutty flavor of peanut butter but not its dense texture. [GET THE RECIPE]

For more cooking resources and recipe recommendations, check out these posts:

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