Monday, July 9, 2012

Gluten Free Play-Dough Recipe

Son loves to play with play-dough. And this is an activity I love to do with Son too.  The problem is, store bought play-doughs have wheat in them.  While I'm not eating it, I don't like the idea of it being on my hands and the possibility of accidental ingestion.  If that happened my family could have a sleeping beauty on their hands, not to mention the other unpleasant symptoms that come along with this marvelous condition. I have made gluten free play-dough before, but some time in the past year we ran out and it was replaced with the store bought version avec gluten.  We still have some of the store bought, but I'm thinking I'll give that to Son's daycare and strictly use the home made at home.  I don't know where I put my old recipe so I set out in google land to find a new one.  And here is what I found:

Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • Food coloring, if desired


Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until it forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag.


I followed the directions to a T...which is odd for me. I am notorious for using recipes for 'guidelines only' and not measuring. This time I played by the rules.  And what I had in the pot once I mixed it all up was a liquidy blue concoction that resembled Pepto Bismuth - only blue of course.  I re-read the instructions and was about to add more flour thinking that the recipe had a typo, except when I looked back at the pot I realized the liquid had started to resemble dough.  I kept stirring, and viola! It turned out to be a success.  Imagine that.  

This means I can finally pack up the rubber gloves I've been using to play play-dough with Son and get my hands dirty with some celiac safe stuff...all for a fraction of the cost of the store bought version.

I wanted to make another batch but was out of cream of did a search to find out if it really needs the cream of tartar.  Thought I would share these substitutions and tips I found on

  • You can sub in other flours for the rice flour, at least partly.  I have a big bag of bean flour we’re not using so I added about a 1/4 cup of that.
  • Likely tapioca starch or potato starch would work fine for the corn starch as well. This ingredient is the simple starch that helps “glue” the play dough together and adds a smooth feel.
  • Cream of tartar is an acid.  It acts as a stabilizer,  extending the “shelf-life” of play dough.
    You can substitute 1/4 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar for each 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar. Be aware if you use vinegar, the play dough will have a vinegar smell!
  • If, after a couple weeks in a jar, you find your play dough is kind of sticky (gross), you can add a bit more flour and oil to give it a little more life.


Anonymous said...

Thank you.
Have to make playdoh (celiac safe)for son's school - looking up a tried a true recipe was on my list. We thank you. ALSO, love the substitution for corn starch - I don't "think" he is as sensitive as I am (to ALL gluten, including corn), but will try for ME!

Anonymous said...


I made this recipe last night, in preparation for Second Son's first day of school ( holy doodles!) and I am so pleased. I substituted the corn starch for tapicoa starch (...because it turns out he is a grain sensitive Celiac), and (accidently) used 1 Tbsp. of oil instead of 1 tsp., but it worked really well. Also, the oil was coconut because I had some melted from baking earlier. And I added some vanilla for a nice smell, and about 15 drops of green food colouring. This recipe made a ball the size of a large grapefruit. All in all, I'm really pleased. And so was he, even though it weighed his backpack down!

Thanks again!