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Paska Gluten-free

NOTE - I have reworked this recipe and like the new one better .. it is here

You can't be a Mennonite and not have Paska for Easter.
Here is my gluten-free recipe that smells great baking and really tastes like the real thing.... My husband says so!

I brought a loaf over to my daughter.. leaving it with my granddaughter at the door. My daughter called our cell in a panic a few minutes later... "Are you sure its gluten-free?? It doesn't taste gluten-free!" I love it when people can't tell !!

Gluten-free Paska

1 tbsp. yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup milk heated to lukewarm
Proof the yeast in lukewarm milk and sugar until doubled in size.

In mixer...

Beat 2 large eggs, add
1/2 cup white sugar, beat until light and fluffy
then beat in 1/4 cup butter/oil (you could use either, I just use a combination)

1 tsp of finely grated lemon peel
juice of 1/2 lemon

When yeast is proofed, add to other liquids.

In ziplock bag mix well the following dry ingredients :
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
1/4 cup almond flour (make your own by grinding fresh almonds in your coffee grinder)

1/2 tsp baking powder

Add the dry ingredients to liquids and beat on high for about a minute.

Spoon into desired greased baking pans --- a mid sized loaf pan, muffin tins, or other desired shaped tins or pans.

Let rise until doubled in bulk. (takes about an hour)

Bake at 375' for about 30 minutes ( baking time will vary on size of baking pans- bake until nicely browned - do not underbake)

Let cool and ice with icing ( butter, vanilla, milk, powdered sugar) and decorate with sprinkles -- coloured or chocolate)

** because gluten-free baking is soo much better fresh, I tend to bake smaller quantities .. I have not tried doubling this recipe but see no reason why it shouldn't work.


  1. You are amazing Julie! You are right....what is a Mennonite without their Paska....simply wonderful. I shall pass this on to all my friends.

  2. well won't my friend be happy to see this recipe!!!!!
    i am sorry that you have celiacs, but you sure have made a big impact on those that finally can have recipes of what they once loved and can modify...not everyone is that willing to experiment.
    thankyou for making it easy and it looks soooo great!

  3. Ahh Julie once again you come up with a looks delicious! All our paska loving gluten free friends will be ever so grateful to you!

  4. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Over at our blog is an award for you.

  5. Thank you so much for this recipe. I sent it along to my niece who has been so sad she's had to pass up the Easter bread we all get together to make as a family. She's very excited about this recipe!

  6. This one is a keeper for sure. I am not Mennonite, but I will be eating this soon. Thank you!

  7. Once I can get all the ingredients I will be trying this one out!! Looks wonderful :)

  8. I'll have to try it next year! Now I can't be all glum when I see everyone else having their fill! This is great!

  9. I came across this website by a Godly accident :0} My sister n law has a 3 year old recently diagnosed with celiacs. I am sending her this address. Thank you for your R&D time. (research & development)

  10. I used to think that I would rather die than be diagnosed as being a celiac. I love my mennonite carbs way too much. But now, thanks to your fabulous recipes, I know that I could survive. Your paska was wonderful! My celiac and non-celiac friends all loved it!

  11. Julie must I use white sugar? I have several degrees of brown sugar, including Muscovado which I love.

    Have you found a substitute for oats? I have been using stone ground Irish oats, for cereal, and often for quick breads. What do you think?

    I'm not needing entirely gluten-free, but think I might be better off to limit gluten. So I thank you for your recipes.


  12. dear Anonymous...I'm afraid you do have to use white sugar for Paska to be Paska.... but there is no law to say you cannot experiment with brown sugar substitution and maybe end up with something you like.
    There is no substitute for oats that I know of... but I use oats grown in a virgin field.
    Oats in themselves do not have any gluten, the problem is that it is grown in rotating crops with wheat, therefore is cross contaminated.
    If you are not on a strictly gluten-free diet, I don't think the risk of a small amount of gluten in oaks should be a concern to you.

    hope that helps !! smile

  13. Hi Julie

    Thanks for responding.

    Out shopping today, I found "virgin" oats which are handled separately from other grains--in an Organic Planet store.

    You know, I sometimes wonder how our ancestors in the old country made these treats. Did they have white flour, white sugar? When I try to imagine some of these problems we have with diet happening 'back then', I think they just didn't. because they didn't have variety and quantity of foods we do, with everything flying around the world. It was all right there, or down the road nearby. I think if they did use white flour, it was probably rarely, and expensive.

    I want to try different kinds of fruit breads: Paska, Panettone and Krentenbrood.

    We shall see!

    I'm watching your site excitedly waiting for your next scientific experiments. Carry on!


  14. P.S.

    The reason why I'm doing this with banana bread, apple bread, the other fruit breads I mentioned, is I am bored with breakfast. I want to jump out of bed, and pop two slices of something lovely into the toaster oven, and smear it with peanut butter, then head out to see what good I can do that day. I do not want to stay home stirring porridge and soaking and scraping the gluey pot. :)

  15. Hi. Love your blog. I have a question about the Paska. Does it stay soft or does it dry quickly like most gluten free breads? How should it be stored?

  16. Caroline, the paska stays soft...but I usually slice and freeze what I'm not going to eat in a couple of days.

    (the more rice flour a recipe has the quicker it dries out)

  17. This looks great! We are trying to be nut free. Have you tried this recipe without the almond flour? If so, what should I substitute it with and how much? It is so nice to be able to make Mennonite foods. My sister-in-law introduced me to Paska, Platz and more that she grew up with and I was enjoying them until 10 years ago when we had to start eating gluten free. This is a wonderful lookin blog and great recipes.

  18. I made this using almond milk as we are also dairy free. Works well.

  19. I added orange zest, substituted 1/4 cup of the flour for coconut flour, and added dried cranberries and cut up dried apricots (my mennonite mother added raisins to her paska). Yummy!

  20. I made this Gluten-free Paska on Saturday and it turned out great. I doubled the recipe but forgot to double the yeast and it still rose to great heights. Instead of white sugar, I used Sucanat (evavorapted cane juice) and soy milk. I would definitely make this again.


  21. Thank you for this great recipe. My GF family members loved it, and the non-GF members said "fabulous!"

  22. any thoughts on replacing the brown rice flour? my sister can't have rice! Thanks

  23. I would try the flour that you most use instead of rice flour... I don't know how it would affect the recipe but it doesn't hurt to try does it ? smile..
    Good Luck

  24. I found you, as one of the other comments said, by Godly accident. I was at a 'DO' on Sunday and Paska was served after. I'm celiac and felt just a little sorry for myself. So today I Googled 'gluten free Paska' and I found YOU. Being Mennonite myself I was entranced and promptly favourited the site. Thanks

  25. I tried the Paska and it is wonderful. Even the next day. (I just may celebrate Easter more than once this year.) Bless you for sharing.

  26. So loving your blog! My daughter can't have wheat, dairy or eggs. Do you know if margarine/oil will substitute well or flax seeds for the eggs?


  27. Eggs in paska add flavour as well as texture and lightness. I have not tried this but for every egg a replacement is 1 package unflavoured gelatin mixed with 2 tbsp water (mix just before using)
    OR 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp liquid 1 tbsp vinegar
    Let me know if either replacement works...
    Butter/margarine/oil should be totally interchangeable.
    Also I have an 'updated' Paska recipe that I like better.. it is noted on top.

  28. Just made this recipe today and I love it!! I have gluten intolerance and I have been experimenting with recipes. I really enjoy having Paska every Easter and I am so happy I found this recipe. I didn't have the almond flour so I just used and extra 1/4 cup of the brown rice flour, It came out light and fluffy just like regular Paska! I'm not Mennonite but I love Mennonite cooking! Thanks again!

  29. Where do you purchase your gluten free flours from in bulk?
    Is there a cheap place near abbotsford bc ? OR do you order them online?

    1. I buy almost all of my gf flours from Sardis Health food store (across from Cottonwood Mall in Chilliwack) I also shop at Alder Health in Aldergrove and online I like Authentic Foods
      I do have a Wonder Mill so some flours I grind my own like white bean flour, quinoa, or nut flours ... you can use a coffee grinder with quite good results.
      Hope that helps !!

  30. I have (very) recently been diagnosed with Celiac. Once the shock wore off, do you know what my first reaction was? I am never going to be able to eat Paska again!! :( That thought hasn't left me. I was just told last night about the gluten free recipes on here. I just checked it out, and wish you could have seen the look on my face when I saw Paska!!! You've made my day (and then some!!)!!! :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  31. Dear Anonymous... I'm sorry you had to join our 'club' ... but I am so happy that I was able to make at least one little part of it happier for you !!! I wish you a wonderful Pasta Easter !!!! hugs... julie

  32. ...this recipe falls under the category of things Russian Mennonites swiped from their Orthodox surroundings. I love it! ;-) Thanks for helping me celebrate Pascha (Easter) gluten free each year.

  33. Dear Julie, thank you so much for this recipe! I can't wait to try it. Recently on the gluten free band wagon, and Easter approaching, I've been afraid my Mennonite heritage in foods has had to come to an abrupt halt. What a joy to discover your recipe! Is it possible to substitute your dry ingredients mix with a pre-mix at 1.75 cups, then add xanthan gum and salt based on what's already in the pre-mix?

    1. There is nothing like trying something ... If you have a fav. pre-mix that works for you, try it in this recipe... it will probably work !

  34. Hi Julie,
    I came across your site while searching for a connection between Russian Mennonites and celiac/gluten issues. In my family there's already been six known cases (including me) plus my grandmother who passed away from a cancer common amongst celiacs. All stem from the Mennonite line. It seemed so strange to me that we'd get gluten issues from the branch of our heritage that spent centuries as wheat farmers!! It made me wonder a) if there were many others with Russian Mennonite heritage who were gluten-free, and b) if there's some scientific connection between the fact that we were wheat farmers and became gluten intolerant, or if it's just history being ironic.

    Have you noticed many people in the Mennonite people community discovering that they need to eat gluten-free (more than the rest of the population?)

    Otherwise, I'm very happy to come across your site!! My non-mennonite grandfather continues to make persimmon cookies but that's about all that's been preserved of the Mennonite branch's cooking in our line of the family. Very excited to be able to connect with my heritage, even while gluten-free!

    1. Hi Catherine , the reason there are so many cases of Celiac in your family is because Celiac clusters in families ... My daughter, my two granddaughters and I are all Celiac. I have not noticed at all that there are more Mennonites that are gluten-intolerant or Celiac than other groups .... Hope that answers your question ... and I welcome you to our site ! smile...

  35. Hi Julie!

    I just came across your site. I was looking for a recipe for gluten free paska bread. My daughter has a gluten sensitivity and loves paska bread. I have to make a home made one for my sons heritage project at school. Can't wait to try your recipe. My question is can I use an all purpose gluten free baking flour instead of the dry mixture in your recipe? If so how much of the flour should I use to be equivalent to the flour in your recipe?

    1. Hi Amy ... don't know if you noticed the link at the top to a 'new and improved paska recipe that I like better .... If you are wanting to substitute an all purpose gf flour mix it will have to be a 'trial and error' ... I just talked to someone who used a gf mix but said it didn't turn out as good as mine. So just try it and see what works for you ... as far as amounts just total the flours in either of my recipes and use cup for cup of your mix. Have fun !!


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