Gluten-Free Questions

Decorating By tootie0809 Updated 1 Apr 2010 , 8:19pm by smokeysmokerton

tootie0809 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:55pm
post #1 of 14

I have a bride that is requesting a gluten-free wedding cake. I've never done a gluten-free cake in my life, but she is adamant about wanting the entire cake this way. I am doing some research right now on recipes, etc. so I can get back to her on what I would be able to do for her with it.

For those who have done these types of cakes before, can you stack and decorate them the same as any other cake? Do they hold up well to fondant and all the other things we do to cakes? Any tips on gluten-free cakes you'd care to share? Also, what is better, chocolate or white gluten-free?

Thanks for any help!!!

13 replies
rltmeng Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:08pm
post #2 of 14

I have made a gluten free carrot cake, tasted quite good, you couldn't tell the difference. I purchased some gluten free flour at a bulk store and used it in a regular recipe. If you would like to ask any questions, just let me know. Lisa

jcstefanick Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:13pm
post #3 of 14

My daughter requires gluten-free/egg-free cakes, and I find they are much more "crumbly" than normal cakes when made from scratch. But that could be from the lack of eggs vs. the lack of gluten, or possibly both in my case.
I use a mix of other flours when baking cakes from scratch (white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch and oat flour). Each of them have their own "flavor" to them, so my daughter likes chocolate cake better.
Recently, I've found that Betty Crocker now has a box mix for gluten-free devil's food that tastes pretty good and is nice and firm for stacking with fondant. She also has a yellow gluten-free cake mix, which I like, but my daughter likes the other one better. You could try starting with these mixes, and modifying them. They can be pretty expensive though, but so are the individual flours you would need to buy to make them taste better.... so make sure you charge accordingly. For example, one box mix cost 3X a regular box mix, and only makes one 8 in round vs the normal 2 you get from a normal box mix.
There are a couple of great gluten-free cookbooks out there and most work off a mix of flours with their recipes. I am trying to recall the names of some of them, but drawing a blank. I'll post a follow-up when I think of them... since I know I will.
YOu can also PM me if you have any questions about baking gluten-free. I do it all the time.

smokeysmokerton Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:42pm
post #4 of 14

My family is gluten free (hubby has celiac disease) so I'm pretty familiar with this. Gluten free flours are pretty tough to navigate when you're first starting out (thank you internet!), but there are some mixes out there if you don't care to use one.

The best one I've found is Namaste brand devils food cake. It's dense enough to stand up to fondant, but still very moist and delicious. You can buy it online or at wholefoods, it's about 8 dollars a bag, and the bag makes two 8 inch cakes or 24 cupcakes. I didn't care much for the betty crocker mixes. They were a dry and a 4 dollar box only made one 8 inch cake.

One more thing, if the bride has celiac's disease you need to be very careful of contamination, meaning using clean, scratchfree utensils or brand new ones. Some people have zero tolerance for gluten and even the tiniest amounts can make them sick. HTH

Justforfun751 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 6:09pm
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by smokeysmokerton

One more thing, if the bride has celiac's disease you need to be very careful of contamination, meaning using clean, scratchfree utensils or brand new ones. Some people have zero tolorance for gluten and even the tiniest amounts can make them sick. HTH

I agree with smokeysmokerton. My DH's extended family is celiac and even a tiny crumb from something can make them sick. For example, placing a bun on a hamburger, then removing it, would leave enough to make his cousin sick. Make sure that NOTHING is contaminated, including the towel and washrags that you use to clean the bowls, measuring cups, counters, etc... Unless you are sure of zero contamination, I'd open a new bag of sugar also...

tootie0809 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 9:07pm
post #6 of 14

Wow, thank you all for this great information! I had no idea people with celiac disease were that sensitive to wheat that even a crumb could make them sick! I'm not sure if this bride has celiac or not, but if she does and hearing how sensitive any contamination with wheat could be, I think I'm going to tell her I'm not comfortable doing it. I keep a very clean kitchen and clean utensils, but a rogue crumb is always possible.

Again, thank you for all the responses! icon_smile.gif

korensmommy Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 9:31pm
post #7 of 14

I am making cupcakes next month from the Betty Crocker mixes. I haven't done all the research yet or spoke in detail to the mom but can you tell me if I can doctor up the cake mix with organic yogurt and a box of instant Jell-o pudding?

Also, is gluten an allergy that has to be listed on the side of the packaging (like nuts and dairy)?


cheatize Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 6:17am
post #8 of 14

I made a gluten-free pumpkin roll last December. The person gave me the flour and I showed her the recipe to make sure there wasn't anything else in it that would be problematic. Some people are more sensitive to gluten than other's. My friend didn't have a problem with baking powder or anything like that in small amounts, so all I had to sub out was the flour. She did tell me later she should have given me something to help with rising (I think it was rising). It turns out that product was the same as gum-tex, btw.

The pumpkin roll turned out the same as if I had used my all-purpose flour. The batter was a little thicker and smelled "off" but it rose, rolled, and tasted the same.

First, find out how sensitive. If they are very sensitive, I wouldn't do it. They need to find a specialty baker.

mthiberge Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 8:45am
post #9 of 14

You CANNOT make glutten free products if there is gluten in your bakery or house safely. That is why grocery stores bring in their gluten free products instead of making them on the premisis. It would be like claiming you cook kosher in a regular old kitchen....can't be done.

JanH Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 8:47am
post #10 of 14

Here's previous post on gluten free baking:


smokeysmokerton Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 10:52am
post #11 of 14

It would definately be a challenge considering you would have to have new EVERYTHING and you couldn't use your mixer, but it can be done. If you really want to do it, go to walmart and buy the plastic measuring cups, spoons, and utensils(a dollar each), a couple of cheap mixing bowls, and an 8 dollar hand mixer. Your biggest expense will be the pans, but that should be reflected in your price(gluten free anything is not cheap). Next, figure out exactly what recipe you'll use(both for the cake and frosting/filling) and give the bride a list of every ingredient(including brand names and food colorings/flavorings) and have it approved by her before you begin. It might also be a good idea to have her sign something saying that she knows that you don't operate a "gluten free kitchen" and just assure her you'll only use what is on this list with all new utensils/new ingredients. Just be super clean about it, have everything that you're using out and and ready to use, away from your normal ingredients.

Now, having said all that, it may be more trouble than it's worth, but some people don't like to turn down clients no matter what, so at least you know it's doable.

smokeysmokerton Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 11:10am
post #12 of 14

Korensmommy, gluten is considered one of the 8 common allergens, but not all products list them. If you look at a product label, just because it isn't listed that it contains wheat flour or barley that doesn't mean it is gluten free. It can be hidden in other ingredients like vinegar, modified food starch, or flavorings, etc. Luckily, there is a wealth of information on the internet and some manufacturers have a gluten free list on their websites. The last time I checked, jello is okay, but you always have to read the labels and check for updates before using anything because formulas and ingredients are changed frequently. Most brands of yogurt are fine too, but again, do your research just to make sure. hth

mthiberge Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 6:55pm
post #13 of 14

I very respectfully disagree with you smokey. I don't believe that it is "doable" in a kitchen/bakery where there is ANY gluten products, the risk is too great. But indeed as long as your client understands that your venue is NOT gluten free then I guess it is ultimately up to her to decide...but why would you pay all the extra money when you CANNOT GUARANTEE a gluten free product in that environment? When we bake the flours and icing sugar etc. isn't just on our equipment it's in the air, on the cupboards ends up in drawers and all the nooks and crannies. You can't possibly get every speck of flour, icing sugar and everything else out of a kitchen... Again I would use the kosher cooking as an example but here's a better one... Say your child is DEATHLY allergic to peanuts...would you buy a chocolate bar for them if it didn't say "made in a peanut FREE factory" on the wrapper? Would you take that risk even if the maker told you "I was very very carefull to clean my factory before I made YOUR chocolate bar"?.......

smokeysmokerton Posted 1 Apr 2010 , 8:19pm
post #14 of 14

My husband is very sensitive to gluten but I've made regular cookies and cakes in my kitchen and he has NEVER had a problem. I work with those ingredients in a particular space in my kitchen, I use seperate tools/pans/oven mitts etc. I've been doing this for 7 years, so I say it's doable because I've done it.

ETA: I do a lot of gluten free baking, so the regular stuff isn't an everyday occurence, maybe just 2 or 3 times a year. I definately wouldn't attempt to do it everyday.

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