April 23, 2010
Who doesn’t love a moist, rich, delicious slice of cake every now and then? Being diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance doesn’t have to mean the end of cake, cookies, breads and other baked goods. All it means is that you’ll need to find gluten free versions of these products. Whether you have a local gluten free bakery, enjoy baking from scratch or like the convenience of a ready to go mix, gluten free doesn’t have to mean cake free.
Gluten Free Cakes from Scratch
There’s nothing like a freshly baked cake from scratch. The key to making a gluten free cake is finding the right wheat flour substitute. There are a few ways of going about finding the right substitute flour. You can purchase a gluten free all purpose flour – Bob’s Red Mill offers one as do a few other manufacturers. You can also experiment with creating your own. Generally gluten free flour consists of some combination of white or brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, potato and/or corn starch and xanthan gum (which helps provide a similar texture). Gluten free cheesecake is also worth a try as the crust is the only part of the recipe that you’ll likely have to modify.
Once you’ve found a replacement flour, any cake recipe becomes a gluten free cake recipe – just substitute the flour (and be sure to use gluten free versions of other ingredients like baking soda and powder).
Gluten Free Cake Mixes
If you’re ever pressed for time having a gluten free cake mix can be a lifesaver. Generally these mixes are straightforward – add some oil, maybe an egg or two, throw in some milk (cow, rice or soy), blend and it’s ready for baking. Since mixes have been tested in commercial test kitchens they are assured of coming out right.
The only downside to a gluten free cake mix is the fact that they’re a little more expensive than if you assembled the ingredients yourself. What they add in price however they make up in convenience. Some of the brands on the market (The Gluten Free Pantry mixes for example) have a good selection of mixes. You can generally find both chocolate and white cake mixes as well as mixes for cookies, scones, pancakes, breads and more.
Having a cake mix or two in the cupboard can help you avoid temptation. If you have children who are gluten intolerant consider baking them a small cake or a cupcake whenever they are invited to a birthday party. Most birthday cakes will contain gluten and it’s never fun to be the only one who can’t have birthday cake. Why not send along their own gluten free cupcake so they can also fully enjoy the festivities.
One of the hardest parts about changing your dietary lifestyle is the feeling of deprivation that can come with it. It’s nice to know that you can enjoy cakes and other baked goods any time you want.
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