Gluten Free Bakers
Learn more about gluten free cakes
Gluten free baking has been somewhat of a challenge since we started to realise that there were people who were suffering from a gluten intolerance. Celiac disease was first identified in the early 1900’s, and there were multiple diets developed to treat celiac disease. But it wasn’t until 1953 that it was discovered that gluten was the cause of the symptoms.
Since then, it has taken a while for many people to get their heads around what gluten free food is and how to develop it. Options were limited, even if we only go back about 10 years again, the variety of gluten free choices in supermarkets and restaurants was still quite scarce. It seems like free from options, especially in the gluten free and vegan markets have improved drastically.
There are still areas where there is room for improvement; bakery options are the big ones. The issue here has been for items like bread and cake, the gluten in standard flour helps to create the structure in these bakes (particularly bread). So, it’s obviously taken a lot of learning to discover ways of getting around this to create baked goods for those with a gluten intolerance.
Creating a gluten free cake has proven to be a challenge as well. The main issue is that many gluten free cakes end up being dry and crumbly. Although gluten free flour has changed the game quite significantly, they still don’t give the same structure as standard flour would. There are flours available that are naturally gluten free such as almond flour, coconut flour, rice flour, buckwheat flour, and quinoa flour. Although some of the best gluten free flours are a blend of those, creating an all-purpose flour, they don’t bind as well as standard flour does, hence why more often than not a crumbly texture may appear in a cake.
There is a way to tackle that issue, and that is the introduction of binding agents. The most common ones used are Xantham gum or Guar gum. These are used alongside the gluten free flours, binding it to replace the gluten. By doing this, you create a more stable structure in what you’re baking, so the texture is more akin to what you expect with a standard cake.
There are other ingredients you need to be aware of, as some you may think are gluten free, which aren’t. Baking powder and baking soda, for instance, can be contaminated with gluten, so you should always check the labels to ensure that they are definitely gluten free. Another ingredient you should be careful of is oats; while you might not always use them in cake making, there are other sweet treats you may be considering. Although oats are naturally gluten free, they are often contaminated with gluten during processing. So, you’ll need to make sure that any oats you use are certified as gluten free.
You’ll also need to be mindful of cross-contamination – this is something that should always be at the forefront of your mind if you are catering to people with dietary requirements, as well as those without, you’ll need to be mindful of this. In an ideal world, you would want a completely different kitchen to create your gluten free baked goods, but in reality, that isn’t always possible. So, you’ll need to ensure that a thorough clean down of worktops and equipment is done before and after baking your gluten free cakes. It would probably be advisable, if at all possible that you make sure you have completely different equipment to use when making your gluten free goods, to minimise the risk of cross contamination further. And you should always make the people with dietary requirements aware that the food was prepared in the same kitchen as non-gluten free food, so there is a risk of contamination, no matter how small.
Be mindful when using gluten free substitutes as well; there are many whole food alternatives that are fine, however, there are other gluten free substitutes that contain additives and are highly processed, so may not be as healthy as you may think.
Overall, the biggest thing to remember when considering trying to be a gluten free baker is that practice and patience will help you massively. You probably won’t make a great gluten free cake on your first attempt, but by experimenting with recipes, and practicing over and over, you may find you’ll eventually be able to create a gluten free masterpiece.
We know better than most, we didn’t get our gluten free cakes right straight aware, we went back to the drawing board time and again to ensure that our gluten free cakes are as good as our standard ones. Now, we can proudly say that we have had many reviews from customers who say that if they didn’t know the cake was gluten free, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from a standard cake.
So, if the task of baking your own gluten free cakes seems a bit daunting, you can be confident to know you’ll be getting a quality gluten free cake that will put a smile on anyone’s face. On top of that, we have a completely separate bakery where we prepare and bake our gluten free cakes, so you won’t have to worry about cross-contamination in our gluten free bakes.
Why not see what gluten free cakes we have on offer? We have several flavours to choose from, so you don’t need to worry that you won’t find something that you or your loved one will adore.