Halloween Party Planning Gluten-Free 101

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Holiday, Snacks | 0 comments

… No Ghoulish Tales Here!

Halloween Witch md pic
Do you have a Halloween party to plan but you’re not sure where to begin because there are allergies to consider?

I’ve put together some easy gluten-free (and some dairy-free) party snack ideas that will let you serve up treats that won’t play any tricks on the belly later.

Instead of specific recipes that require various gluten free flours and gum stabilizers (which probably involve more work than you’re interested in for a party), I thought I’d provide simple ways to substitute gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients. This way you can find, or create, your own ideas, then simply make the alterations for the “safe” varieties.

To make gluten-free, dairy-free decorated cupcakes: Use King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Cake Mix – chocolate or yellow. Prepare according to package directions, using oil, water, eggs, and McCormick’s vanilla. See the list of gluten-free candies below for safe decorations.

For delicious gluten-free, dairy-free frosting ideas, check out my recipes for Mocha Butter Cream Frosting and Valencia Orange Butter Cream Frosting (they’re even conveniently brown and orange for Halloween). The Brownie Bites are great for gluten-free, dairy-free Halloween treats as well.

To substitute milk with a non-dairy “milk”, use can simply substitute equal portions of almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. For example, 1 cup milk = 1 cup almond milk, etc. These non-dairy milks can be found in the refrigerated section in 1/2 gallon cartons, but you can find smaller cartons in the non-refrigerated shelf section of your store (ask your grocer for location). Most large grocery stores will carry these, but they can also easily be found in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and Fresh and Natural.

If you’re creating a fun veggie and dip tray, all of your veggies are naturally gluten-free. Use Tofutti Sour Supreme for your dip base – it works just like sour cream and is delicious (NOTE: It contains SOY). Sour Supreme is gluten-free and dairy-free.


Here’s a quick recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free ranch dressing. Combine all these ingredients, stir well, then refrigerate a few hours or overnight to let the flavors bloom. Serve. (Remember to keep chilled. This can spoil just as any dairy-containing dip.)

1/2 cup Tofutti Sour Supreme                                3/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder                                   1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/8 teaspoon celery salt                                          1/8 teaspoon celery seed


Substitute Enjoy Life Semisweet Mini Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Chunks for any prepared chocolate called for in your recipe. Enjoy Life chocolate will melt and behave just like Nestle or Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

Substitute Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for powdered chocolate mixes. Adjust sweetening as needed.

If you need quick, pre-made sugar or shortbread cookies as a base for a recipe,try using Schar Shortbread Cookies. They are yummy and can easily be coated with melted chocolate then topped with a variety of gluten-free candy. A fun and easy cookie decorating activity.

For gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cookie crumbs, try Pamela’s Chocolate Cookies, instead of Oreo’s, and crush them in your food processor. They work great as “dirt” for Dirt Pie!

Don’t forget the goblin blood (juice)! Juicy Juice and Capri Sun are both gluten-free and come in juice pouches. Available in a variety of blood (red) flavors, of course:D

Here’s a list of gluten-free candy from Jen Cafferty of So Simple Gluten Free with Jen. She’s a great resource! Thanks, Jen!

Want to do something with pasta, substitute gluten-free corn pasta from Trader Joe’s, or quinoa pasta (available in most stores now), or rice pasta – Tinkyada has a brown rice pasta, in case your craft could use a brown-colored pasta. There are also some great black bean spaghetti pastas by Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine, for anything black and stringy. Ghoulish, right?

These are some very easy ideas and substitutions that can make your party safe for all and the planning easy for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more ideas at info@DailyForage.com.

Do you have a Halloween party to plan for? What other ideas do you have to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Note: If you want to know more about how to make this adorable, yet witch-y, witch, please check out HeartstringTreasures.com.

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