My family is so lucky to have a local pizza place that makes celiac-safe, gluten-free pizza.
Every Halloween our trusted pizzeria makes pumpkin shaped-pizzas that are not gluten-free. Those seasonal pizzas were the inspiration for this adorable jack-o’-lantern recipe.
Something about changing the shape of food to match the season makes it taste better.
Not that this pizza needs anything to make it taste better. The crust is already amazing! It’s bready and airy and tastes just like traditional, Italian pizza.
Pumpkin-shaped pizza is perfect for a Halloween party or for a fun, gluten-free dinner before a night of trick-or-treating!
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King Arthur Baking Company gave me, at no charge, the King Arthur 00 Gluten-Free Pizza Flour used in the development of this recipe and in the images featured here. Additionally, the links in this post to the King Arthur Baking Company website are affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a commission, at no charge to you. Thank you!
- Stand Mixer with a flat paddle: While you can mix the dough by hand with a lot of elbow grease, it is much easier to use a stand mixer. If the dough is sticking to the bowl, you may find it easier to use a flat paddle with a flex edge. Or start with a dough hook and then switch to a flat paddle after adding olive oil.
- Pizza Stone: this inexpensive addition to your kitchen equipment collection is worthwhile (and in my opinion, essential) to get the pizza crust hot enough to cook properly.
- Parchment Paper is used to shape the raw dough, prevent it from sticking to your work surface, and make it easy to transfer the uncooked dough to the pizza stone.
Gluten-Free Flour: The key to this fabulous crust is King Arthur 00 Gluten-Free Pizza Flour, which contains gluten-free wheat starch. Surprisingly, gluten-free wheat starch is considered safe for individuals with celiac disease. It is not safe for those with a wheat allergy.
To learn more about gluten-free wheat starch, read the article Is Gluten-Free Wheat Starch Safe for Celiacs?
Note: this recipe has only been tested with gluten-free wheat starch flour. If you cannot eat gluten-free wheat starch, I recommend using a different recipe for the pizza dough or purchasing storebought gluten-free pizza dough, such as Wholly Gluten-Free pizza dough.
Instant Yeast: I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise, which is labeled gluten-free. Yeast is critical in this pizza dough to give the crust a good rise and flavor.
When you combine gluten-free wheat starch with yeast, you get that amazing, authentic pizza taste.
Warm Water (to activate the yeast)
Pizza Sauce: Most brands of pizza sauce have no gluten ingredients. Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce is labeled gluten-free. Or you can make your own easy sauce by adding a little powdered garlic and dried oregano, basil, and parsley to store-bought plain tomato sauce.
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese: I use about one cup, but cheese lovers can pile on as much as they want and increase the final baking time until the cheese is melted.
8 Pepperoni Slices: You’ll use five slices to make a cute smiley face for your jack-o’-lantern. The remaining three slices are cut into triangles for the eyes and nose.
Add flour, instant yeast, salt, and warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer.
There’s no need to proof instant yeast. The water will start to bubble as the yeast gets immediately to work.
Mix the ingredients in a stand mixer on #2 speed for five minutes. I use the flat paddle attachment. If you find the dough is sticking to the bowl, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the bowl with a spatula.
Add olive oil to the dough, and mix with a flat paddle attachment on the lowest speed for two minutes. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl.
With the addition of the olive oil, the dough should no longer stick to the bowl and should start to take shape.
Form the dough into a ball. Place in an airtight container with enough room for the dough to double. I use a large Pyrex bowl with a lid. Let it rise in the fridge for 3-24 hours.
While this takes patience, the yeast needs time to work its magic. It will be worth the wait!
I generally make my pizza dough the night before. The dough has plenty of time to rise. And it makes the whole process seem faster. Making the dough is quick, and assembling the pizza and baking it is equally speedy.
Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 550°F. High heat is ideal for pizza crust.
This recipe still works in an oven that only goes to 500°F, just cook the pizza a few minutes longer.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter for a work surface. The parchment paper prevents the dough from sticking to the counter and makes it easy to transfer the shaped crust to the pizza stone.
Use a dusting of gluten-free flour as needed to keep the dough workable while forming the crust. Feel free to use your least expensive gluten-free flour, saving your precious pizza flour for actual pizza.
Press the dough ball to shape it into an approximately 12″ round pizza crust with a small stem. Leave a raised crust around the edge for a traditional Italian-style crust.
Trim excess parchment paper around the pumpkin-shaped dough before placing it in the oven. Transfer the formed crust to the pizza stone.
Par-bake the pizza crust for 7 minutes at 550°F.
Par-baking (partially baking) allows the crust to cook sufficiently before placing wet tomato sauce on top. This process gives you a fully cooked bready crust, instead of an undercooked doughy pizza.
Remove the crust from the oven. Top with a thin layer of sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Decorate the pizza with pepperoni slices to make your jack-o’-lantern’s friendly face.
Cut 3 slices of pepperoni into triangles to form the eyes and nose.
Use 5 slices of pepperoni to form the jack-o’-lantern’s smile.
Remove the parchment paper and place the pizza directly on the pizza stone.
Return the pizza to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Gluten-Free Halloween Pizza
- stand mixer with dough hook and flat paddle
- pizza stone
- parchment paper
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (use more if you prefer extra cheese)
- 8 slices pepperoni
- Mix flour, yeast, salt, and warm water in a stand mixer on #2 speed for five minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, as needed.
- Add olive oil to the dough and mix on the lowest speed for two minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball. Let it rise in the fridge for 3-24 hours in an airtight container.
- Place pizza stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 550°.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Press the dough ball to form it into an approximately 12" round pizza crust with a small stem. Leave a raised crust around the edge. Use a dusting of gluten-free flour as needed to keep the dough workable while forming the crust.
- Trim parchment paper to prevent charring and transfer the formed crust to the pizza stone. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven. Top with sauce and cheese.
- Decorate the pizza with pepperoni slices. Cut 3 slices of pepperoni into triangles to form the eyes and nose. Use 5 slices to form the jack-o-lantern's smile.
- Remove the parchment paper and place the pizza directly on the pizza stone. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.