If you love cranberries or need an easy way to use some leftover cranberry sauce, these gluten free cranberry hand pies make a wonderful dessert! Topped with thick icing and orange zest, these hand pies will be popular!
My family loves cranberry sauce. Every Thanksgiving I make our sauce using 2 big bags of cranberries. I know everyone will snack on the leftovers for a few days after Thanksgiving.
This year I am using the leftover cranberry sauce to make these hand-held gluten free cranberry hand pies. The sweet citrus and cranberry flavor is surrounded by an incredible flaky pie crust wrap. It makes a delicious dessert any time!
Why these gluten free cranberry hand pies are great:
- They are full of flavor! The cranberries and orange zest combined with a flaky crust.
- You can use leftover cranberry sauce to make these!
- My homemade gluten free pie crust gets rave reviews and is easy to make hand pies with!
If you love hand pies, you can make these in the air fryer too! Check out my gluten free air fryer hand pies recipe!
- Gluten free flour blend - I tested this recipe using Cup4Cup and King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours and I can not guarantee the recipe will work if you use other mixes.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- Butter - To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
- Cranberries - Make fresh filling or use leftover cranberry sauce. If cranberries are not in season you can use jam, Nutella, or other fruits.
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: If you are not using leftover cranberry sauce, boil fresh cranberries with orange zest, sugar, and a little orange juice (see the recipe card below for exact measurements.)
Step 2: Prep the gluten free hand pie crust by cutting cold butter into the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the wet ingredients and pour them into the dry ingredients.
Step 3: Dust wax paper with gluten free flour and roll the dough into a rectangle.
HINT: Try to be quick while working the dough. The colder the butter bits stay in the dough, the flakier your hand pies will turn out.
Step 4: Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. You can roll it thinner but note it will be harder to work the dough, and it will be more prone to the cranberry sauce running out.
Step 5: Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough into rectangles. If you prefer, you can also use large cookie cutters. Add some cranberry sauce in the middle of a rectangle of dough.
Step 6: Add the top layer of the hand pie and use a fork to press the edges together.
Step 7: Brush the top of each hand pie with an egg wash. Bake at 350º F for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your hand pies.
Step 8: Mix up the vanilla glaze and drizzle it over cooled hand pies. Top with fresh orange zest. (Trust me, don't skip the orange zest. It brings incredible flavor to these homemade gluten free cranberry hand pies!!)
If you love cranberries, you will also love this easy Gluten Free Cranberry Coffee Cake recipe!
Store these hand pies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe zip-style bag. They will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
The secret to a flaky crust is to use very cold butter and to be careful not to overwork the dough.
You can fill these hand pies with any sweet or savory pie filling. They make delicious chicken pies too!
If you can't use an egg wash, I recommend using melted butter mixed with a little milk brushed over the tops of each hand pie.
More delicious gluten free pie recipes:
- Gluten Free Mixed Berry Pie
- Homemade Gluten Free Pecan Pie
- Easy Gluten Free Banana Cream Pie
- Gluten Free Apple Pie with lattice crust
Gluten Free Cranberry Handpies
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter, cold * see note
- 1 egg, large
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup water * you may need 1-3 tablespoon additional water depending on the gf flour blend.
- 1 egg * for egg wash!
Cranberry Sauce Filling
- 8 ounces fresh cranberries * about 1 package
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons water *note you can use more or less depending on how thick you want your icing.
The Cranberry Sauce:
- In a small pot add the cranberry ingredients. Cook on medium-low, stirring frequently. You will hear popping as the cranberries cook and that is normal. Turn the heat down to simmer. Remove from the stove and allow to cool
- * You can use leftover cranberry sauce if you prefer.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter chunks.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix into a pie crust dough.
- Dust gluten free flour on the counter or wax paper. Roll the dough to a ¼ inch thick rectangle. You can make the crust thinner but it may be harder to work with.
- Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough into rectangles.
- Place some cranberry sauce in the middle of a rectangle. Cover with another piece of dough.
- Use a fork to press the edges down so the filling doesn't spill out. Cut an air hole or two on the top of the hand pie.
- Scramble an egg and use a pastry brush to brush it over each hand pie.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your hand pies).
- Allow to cool while you mix up the icing.
- Add the icing ingredients (except the orange zest) to a small bowl and mix. Drizzle over each hand pie then top with orange zest.
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Cup4Cup. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
- These hand pies will keep for up to 3 days in an air-tight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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