Springtime Gluten-Free Treats

Melissa Kossler Dutton

As the co-owner of Bake Me Happy, a gluten-free bakery, Wendy Miller Pugh knows that a growing number of families are choosing not to eat gluten.

She and her partner Letha Pugh also recognize that preparing food for gluten-free friends can seem intimidating, but says it doesn't have to be. She suggests using gluten-free cereals (of which there are plenty) to make fun treats for holidays and parties.

"It's really accessible for everyone," Miller Pugh said.

Columbus Parent asked Miller Pugh and her daughter, Avery, 3, to demonstrate some of their favorite spring-themed treats. The pair made bunnies, flowers and Easter eggs out of different types of cereal held together by melted marshmallows.

It's a fun cooking activity, but Avery has a word of warning.

"Sticky, sticky, sticky," the youngster said as she helped her mother prepare the goodies.

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 cups of gluten-free cereal (We used Fruity Pebbles; Mom's Best Cereals: Crispy Cocoa Rice; and Erewhon: Crispy Brown Rice)
  • 10.5-ounce bag of mini-marshmallows
  • Sprinkles, eyes, candy-coated sunflower seeds, mini-M&M's, nonpareil candies, mini-hearts
  • Sugar cookie icing (can be bought premade and in ready-to-use decorating tubes)
  • Melting chocolate or frosting
  • Cookie cutters in various shapes
  • Cookie, cake-pop or Popsicle sticks
  • Plastic bags (to cover if giving as a gift)
  • Parchment paper or wax paper

Kid: Dump the marshmallows into a saucepan. Add the butter.

Grown-up: Melt butter and marshmallows in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until the marshmallows are melted.

Kid: Measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl.

Kid (with grown-up help): Add marshmallow mixture to the cereal. Stir to coat.

Grown-up (with kid help): To create shaped treats, spread the cereal mixture onto a buttered cookie sheet or a glass baking dish, then cut them out with a cookie cutter. Or use wax paper to press cereal into the cookie cutter and then push the shape out onto wax paper. (Miller Pugh recommends the latter option because it's easier and there's less waste.)

Kid: Once the shapes are formed, press sticks into them.

Kid and Grown-up: To decorate the bunny, we used icing as "glue" to affix eyeballs and nose (an upside-down heart). We also used it to draw a mouth. We cut up marshmallows to use as teeth. The ears were iced and covered in small pink sprinkles.

Kid and Grown-up: To decorate the flowers and eggs, use the icing and sprinkles to decorate as you wish. Another option is to dip the eggs into melted chocolate and embellish with sprinkles.