I am trying not to use wheat flour in my pie crust but nothing seems to come close to the flaky crust I get with wheat. I tried all oat and cashew flour and the crust was more like a crumbly crust if that makes sense. Like a cookie. Tasted great but not that flaky crust that I want. This morning I am going to try a combo with quinoa flour, oat flour, cashew flour and whatever else I can find in the pantry. The quinoa flour is new to me, can anyone tell me how this might bake up? Flaky, heavy, crumbly? The recipe I use is 2.5 cups flour, 2 sticks butter .5 cup + 3tbs ice water and 1 tsp salt. Or if anyone has a recipe that uses all butter and does not use wheat would you share it? Thank you!!!

  • 2
    Are you trying to avoid wheat in particular, or gluten in general? Because it is the gluten that makes flaky crust flaky, you are never going to get an exact copy of the texture with substitutes.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 3, 2014 at 16:25
  • I agree with rumtscho. Gluten actually forms sheets when dough is mixed, and this lets you get a flaky texture. Without it the crumbly texture is about the best you can expect.
    – SourDoh
    Feb 3, 2014 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


I'm going to assume that the primary question is "How can I make a flaky pie crust without wheat flour?" Note that recipe requests are off-topic on this site, but substitution questions are on-topic.

The key thing which wheat flour gives you is gluten. Quinoa is gluten-free, so it's not going to help you much. However, there are ways of making gluten-free breads, cakes, etc. The first hit which Google gives me uses cornstarch, xanthan gum, and gluten-free flours. The second uses arrowroot starch, xanthan, and gluten-free flours. Xanthan isn't the only way of substituting for gluten, but it seems promising.

  • 4
    Xanthan and other polysaccharid goos don't create the same texture as gluten. They are enough to hold together cakes, but if the OP wants a flaky crust and not a one-piece-of-foamed-rubber crust, I doubt that xanthan is a good substitution. Still, could be worth trying if there are no other suggestions. And +1 for recognizing that the culprit is the missing gluten.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 3, 2014 at 16:24

Use white spelt flour. It comes out flakier than even regular white flour. It’s amazing!

  • 3
    Spelt is wheat (one of several species) and contains gluten. Your advice is wrong, and if the OP is catering for someone with a gluten intolerance, it's dangerous.
    – Chris H
    Nov 19, 2018 at 7:48
  • @ChrisH This post is a little less strict on spelt is wheat, so I would be less harsh. I can imagine the OP confusing things (no surprise nowadays with everybody having opinions about gluten), but there is nothing in the question about having to be gluten free, so please leave that out of the conversation.
    – user34961
    Nov 19, 2018 at 8:45
  • @JanDoggen, spelt is a member of the genus Triticum, which is the wheat genus. It's sometimes considered a subspecies of common wheat. Spelt is wheat sums this up. The answer you link is interesting but a list that doesn't have space to go into those details. My downvote stays, and I'm very sparing with them. As to gluten: that bit came out of the responses not the Q, and the OP never replied, so you're right there. But it's a logical conclusion as indicated by the responses, so should be addressed if proposing a different gluten-containing flour.
    – Chris H
    Nov 19, 2018 at 9:18
  • 1
    At no point does the asker specify that they want to avoid gluten, just wheat. Some consumers consider the "modern" wheat strains "bad", but will accept the "older" types like spelt. (Not that we'd discuss health philosophies here.) So imho, the answer is not wrong per se.
    – Stephie
    Nov 22, 2018 at 17:45

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