dough ball christmas tree pinterest

This wonderfully easy gluten free cheesy dough ball Christmas tree is the perfect festive bread to bake. No proving time is required and it only takes 30 minutes to bake.

Soft gluten free dough balls, with cheesy centres and slathered with garlic butter, this dough ball Christmas tree tastes absolutely delicious too!

Whether as a centrepiece for festive buffets, or a fun addition to lunch or dinner, your friends and family will love this one.

For double cheesy goodness, why not serve alongside a baked camembert and chutneys. Or for an easy yet impressive lunch, serve with big bowlfuls of soup. My spiced carrot and parsnip or celeriac soups would be brilliant with it.

dough ball christmas tree

Can I Make This Dough Ball Christmas Tree in Advance?

It is best baked fresh, or at least eaten within a few hours of baking, so I would recommend you make it as near to serving as possible.

You can make the dough in advance, shape and assemble the tree, them cover with cling film and store in the fridge for up to a day. Then allow it to come up to room temperature (ideally) before baking when needed.

You could also freeze, defrost and bake, if you have enough freezer space to accommodate a dough ball tree!

gluten free dough ball christmas tree

Can I Make a Larger Dough Ball Christmas Tree to Serve More People?

Yes absolutely. Double or triple the recipe if you need a bigger tree, or have fun creating different Christmas shapes. Maybe a wreath with a baked camembert in the centre!

You may need a slightly longer baking time, 5-10 minutes, to ensure the dough balls in the centre are baked through. You can take it out of the oven to check – it won’t affect the bake.

If going for a longer bake, best that you rotate the tray 180 degrees half way through baking, to ensure even browning.

Can I Make a Dairy Free/Vegan Version?

The base dough definitely works with plant base yoghurt (use a thick, Greek style one). As for the cheese element, I’ve not tried it but it would definitely be worth experimenting with your favourite dairy free cheddar alternative.

I Can’t Have Garlic, Can I Replace the Garlic Butter?

Yes you can simply brush with melted butter and herbs – it will still be totally delicious!

easy dough ball christmas tree recipe

Cheesy Dough Ball Christmas Tree Recipe

This gluten free cheesy dough ball Christmas tree serves 2-4 people, depending on your appetites. You can double or triple the recipe (see details above) if you want to feed a bigger group.

You will find a few photos underneath this recipe, to give you a visual guide as you work through the recipe. For any other help along the way or if you have questions, please do message me on social media (@myglutenfreeguide) or email me at

If you enjoy these gluten free dough ball Christmas tree, please leave a review on the recipe card below. It makes a world of difference to me :). And you can also share photos of your home creations in my Cooking Club on Facebook.

Enjoy! Laura xxx

Gluten Free Cheesy Dough Ball Christmas Tree
Yield: Serves 2-4

Gluten Free Cheesy Dough Ball Christmas Tree

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A delicious cheesy dough ball Christmas tree, completely gluten free, with garlic butter glaze to finish.


  • 300g/10.5oz gluten free white bread flour (I used Doves Farm) or Mulino Caputo Fioreglut flour
  • 1.5 tsp (2 US tsp) baking powder
  • 260ml/9.2 floz plain Greek yoghurt
  • 100g/3.5oz cheddar cheese

Optional extras:

  • Garlic butter - 40g/1.4oz salted butter, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 large minced garlic cloves/1.5 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp fresh parsley (chopped finely)
  • Edible decorations such as red pepper stars (I used a plunger star cutter to make these)
  • 15g/0.5 oz cheddar cheese


      1. Add the flour, baking powder and yoghurt to a bowl and mix with a spoon until you have a crumbly dough.
      2. Knead with your hands for a few minutes, until you have a smooth ball of dough, then press the dough out fairly flat inside the bowl (to give you maximum surface area for the cheese).
      3. Grate 50g of cheddar (I use the fine grater setting) into the bowl with the dough. Fold the dough to gradually incorporate the cheese, without it clumping into a big lump, then knead the dough until you have a nice smooth ball again.
      4. Split the dough into 17 equal-sized portions (approx 36g each) and set aside on a place.
      5. Chop 17 small pieces of cheese from the remaining 50g. Take a dough portion, flatten slightly and place a cube of cheese in the centre. Fold the dough around the cheese and roll each into a ball. Repeat with 15 portions of dough to give you 15 dough balls.
      6. Take two portions of dough and combine - place the remaining two cubes of cheese in the middle and form a rectangle shape around them, to create your tree "pot".
      7. With the final piece of dough, flatten and shape into a star, either with a cutter or a knife.
      8. Now preheat your oven to 180C/350F (fan). Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Arrange your dough balls on the sheet in a Christmas tree shape - 5 as the bottom of the tree, then 4, 3, 2, 1 for the rows (from bottom to top). Position the star at the top of the tree and the pot at the bottom.
      9. Brush the tree, star and pot with a little olive oil. The oil helps to give them a nice smooth crust - if you skip it they may split and look a bit rustic (unless you are using Mulino Caputo flour, which is more forgiving). Add 15g finely grated cheddar over the dough if you like an extra cheesy finish and any red pepper star and ribbon decorations if you are using them.
      10. Bake on the lower shelf for 25-30 minutes, until golden and delicious.
      11. If you want to add the garlic butter to finish (highly recommended), simply melt the butter in a small ramekin, add the garlic, olive oil and parsley. Stir to combine, then brush over the hot dough balls. Enjoy! Serve warm for the most delicious bread.

For more festive treats, why not try some of my other gluten free recipes:

Enjoy! Laura xxx