Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Peppernuts - Gluten-free

I have been asked by several people for a Gluten-free version of the little round Peppernuts that are a Mennonite traditional favorite.
Erica Buller shared her family recipe with me and I adapted it to be gluten-free.
Peppernuts Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening, creamed with brown sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup sour cream - add to sugar mixture
2 tsp. yogurt
add following dry ingredients (mixed well)
1 cup white bean flour (or Sorghum)
1/2 cup Teff flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Combine wet ingredients , then add dry ingredients and mix well.
Using a little Sweet Rice if necessary on counter, divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into thumb sized rolls, and cut into 1/2" slices.
Lay cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 20 minut. at 350°
Baking time determines how soft or hard you like them.
They are like dunking doughnuts... dipped in coffee to eat.


  1. Thank you for another gluten free recipe. I am passing it on to my daughter.

  2. I agree with Charlotte - thanks for another one!

  3. Great job Julie..these little gluten free peppernuts look just as good as the ones with gluten! Although I have never seen them with nuts before.

  4. I always appreciate the extra time and thought ou put inot our blog. I know those who can't eat gluten are very grateful for your recipe versions.....and they all look so wonderful too. Kathy

  5. I wanted to say what Betty already said - they look the same as the regualr ones... very addicting.

  6. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. Your blog is so nice with all the really great recipes, and it is so refreshing to read your Sunday posts.

    I am new to the gluten-free world, and I am wondering about where to purchase some of the ingredients ~ such as xanthan gum and the different flours.

    Also, I need to adapt the recipes to being sugar-free as well. Do you think there would be an issue using Splenda (brown or white) in place of regular sugar when the recipes call for it?

    Thanks again, and God Bless!

  7. Amber, I'll answer your question here.. in case someone else wants to know too.. I don't think there would be a problem with substituting the sugar.
    Xanthan gum, white rice flour, tapioca starch and some mixes are now readily available in most grocery stores. The other flours you may find at your local health food store or you can always buy online. Hope that helps!

  8. Julie...THANK YOU!!! :) I know I pestered you about this last year already, and I'm thrilled to see it here this year. Yeah!!
    I've never seen it made with nuts before either. I can't wait to try them. Thanks again!!

  9. I was wondering if these are Dutch-style "pepernoten" or German-style "pfeffernüsse". Or will I have to try the recipe to find out?

  10. A note for Amber: I have to avoid beet and cane sugar, and have found that the following substitutes work quite well: maple sugar for brown sugar, grape sugar for white sugar, agave syrup for corn syrup, and date syrup for molasses. If the recipe isn't sensitive to quantities (ie pears in red wine), you can also use a mix of stevia and honey to sweeten.

    Finally, I recommend as a source of gluten- and sugar-free recipes (she uses agave syrup and almond flour).

  11. dear A in AL .. I don't really know the difference between the Dutch and the Mennonite ones...I see the Dutch add ground anise...which could easily be added to the spices in my recipe.

  12. I thought that Mennonite cooking had a German influence, which is why I was wondering, since these look like Dutch ones to me. I say this just on the basis of looking at them--I haven't actually tried cooking them myself yet. But I will certainly try them when I visit my parents in the US (my mother can't have wheat but really likes the Dutch cookies I usually bring). Thanks for posting the adaptation; while I have a lot of experience with sugar substitution, I'm new to wheat substitution.

  13. dear A in NL... Mennonite cooking may well have a German influence but it also has a Ukrainian influence as well as a Dutch one. The Dutch New Years fritters Balabala are almost exactly the same as the Portzelty. And then, of course, every family has their own special variations on family favorites.
    I remember the little Peppernuts from my childhood in many Mennonite homes.
    I hope they turn out for you !

  14. Thank you Julie and A in NL, the information is most helpful and appreciated!

  15. Thank you so much for this recipe, I may be brave and try white bean flour or go with my standby of sorghum flour. I love peppernut cookies - or pepernotten... my Dutch background!

  16. Thanks for the recipe. I changed it a bit substituting with the starches and using corn syrup and white sugar. It was great to finally have some of the traditional treats on the table. Thanks again.

  17. Now those look like the pfeffernuss we made growing up. I have seen many a recipe and many a baking style but none ever look like ours, until these. These were on my list to GF and now I don't have to because you did the hard work for me. I'll just sub the gum for chia slurry.

  18. I can't wait to try these! I married into a Mennonite family from Abbotsford, BC and I love the food but must adapt everything to Gluten Free, so Am excited to try these. I have many recipes of my own that I have adapted to Gluten Free ( but I need more Menno stuff so thank you guys for the inspiration and wide variety of gluten free recipes! can't wait to try more :)

  19. Thanks for this recipe, Julie! The cookies are so yummy! Do you have any suggestions for Peppermint Cookies that use baking ammonia? I have tried several different flour combinations and I cannot get it right. Any advise would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Teri-Lynn ... thank you for leaving your comment!!
      I have never cared for the Ammonia cookies -- although I remember my grrandmother making them every year... and so I have never made them.. but I'm wondering if using the flour mix for my cranberry cookies might not work -- if you try it and you are happy with the results let me know !

  20. I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! I was literally in tears when I found this recipe. I miss so many of my grandmother's recipes, but now, thanks to you, I can once again enjoy the memories that are served up with these cookies.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Vickie ! It really made my day !! blessings on you !!

  21. Wondering if it would be possible to make these lactose free?

    1. I think it would be fine to substitute what you usually use instead of milk products.


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