Gluten Free Vanilla

Baking By aubasmif Updated 9 Aug 2011 , 1:36pm by lilmissbakesalot

aubasmif Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 7:11pm
post #1 of 12

Okay CCer's, I am new to this gluten free stuff. I have a customer requesting a gluten free yellow cake. My customer is okay with me using a GF cake mix so that is what I purchased. The add in ingredients call for GF vanilla. Really? How do I know if it's gluten free? Thanks, any input is greatly appreciated.

11 replies
coleslawcat Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 7:14pm
post #2 of 12

Most are, I've never actually found one that isn't. I usually use the Kirkland brand vanilla (from Costco) it says right on the bottle that it's gluten free.

Be very careful about cross-contamination if you regularly bake with flour in your kitchen.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 7:25pm
post #3 of 12

Pure vanilla extract is always gluten-free...even if the alcohol is derived from grain, the distillation process removes all traces of the gluten protein.

Agreed that you'll need to be very careful about cross-contamination. Any porous surfaces that have been exposed to gluten should be considered permanently contaminated.

aubasmif Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 7:32pm
post #4 of 12

I'm a little confused, when you say cross contamination do you mean, the pan that it will be baked in or the kitchen itself? Sorry for the dumb questions, just want to be sure. Thanks!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 7:43pm
post #5 of 12

The pans.. your counters.. your mixer.. your spatulas.. all of it can contain traces of gluten. If you have baked with gluten in your kitchen at anytime then you technically have to state that your product (even if it is a GF mix) may contain traces of gluten.

In order for your cake to be considered truly gluten free, you would have to have a separate kitchen and separate equipment/tools that has never touched gluten ever. The good thing is, that most people are fine with this. Just be sure to be crystal clear with your client/friend/whoever it's for. If they are okay with the minimal risk then you are fine. Have them sign a waiver if they are clients so you can be sure to CYOA.

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inspiredbymom Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 8:09pm
post #6 of 12

I've been working with a GF customer so I have learned a ton! I agree with lilmissbakesalot. CYA. Each person has a different tolerance level. Some people can not tolerate a trace. Some are good with that. They need to know that your kitchen is not a designated kitchen. Also, flour particles can stay in the air if you bake a lot and it is ideal to wait 24 hours after baking a gluten product to make your GF products. It is also good practice to keep you GF products away from your regular stuff by putting them in a sealed plastic container or something like that. I'm actually scheduled to do an GF orange cake. I'm going to try to play with using KA GF flour instead of almond meal which is very expensive. Anyway, about the vanilla, I would talk to your person. I asked mine and she said the vanilla was fine, but my lady can not have cornstarch which is found in some GF products and powdered sugar. Makes it very interesting.......

jason_kraft Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 8:09pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

The pans.. your counters.. your mixer.. your spatulas.. all of it can contain traces of gluten. If you have baked with gluten in your kitchen at anytime then you technically have to state that your product (even if it is a GF mix) may contain traces of gluten.



In the US, you can legally use the term gluten-free in food products that contain under 20ppm of gluten. Thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing non-porous surfaces that previously came in contact with gluten will get you well below this threshold.

Note that flour can remain airborne for up to 24 hours, so make sure you have a buffer period after using flour in your kitchen, during this period all gluten-free products should be covered and stored (but not stored under any gluten-containing products).

You also have to be careful with the ingredients themselves, as some manufacturers who also make gluten-containing products may not follow processes that avoid cross-contamination at their facility.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 8:14pm
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

but my lady can not have cornstarch which is found in some GF products and powdered sugar. Makes it very interesting.......



A little OT, but if you don't want to make your own powdered sugar, Trader Joe's has organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch. Also Hain baking powder uses potato starch and is corn-free.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 10:06pm
post #9 of 12

While I definitely appreciate the knowledge, most people are not going to test their product to know if it contains under 20 ppm. And then, who's to say that the next day there isn't more gluten floating around and the same product contains more. It's just a good fail safe to just say "may contain traces" unless you have a gluten free facility. While I am sure that the GF cake I make has under that, I cannot say with any measure of scientific fact that it doesn't so I play it super safe and state that it may contain traces since it is produced in a facility that processes gluten on an almost daily basis.

I thoroughly clean and sanitize everything and then do it again to get it off of all of the surfaces in my kitchen and my equipment and I do have everything stored separate and in vacuum sealed bags, but I still can't, in good faith claim gluten free since I haven't had it tested nor do I have a separate kitchen. I leave it up to the consumer to take the risk or not. If someone is severely allergic I refuse to make product for them and refer them to a true gluten-free/nut-free baker I know.

I don't do many allergen free cakes for fear of lawsuit should something happen. Mainly I bake gf for friends who are allergic or suffer from celiac. I know a teeny tiny bit of gluten isn't going to kill them or make them suffer in pain since they have told me such and I feel comfortable. I have done a couple gf cakes for clients though and I always make them sign the "this cake was baked using products that do not contain any gluten however, since my facility processes gluten, it may contain traces in the finished product". You have to cover yourself.

Same thing with nut allergies... any allergy.

auzzi Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 11:33pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Quote:

I know a teeny tiny bit of gluten isn't going to kill them or make them suffer in pain since they have told me such and I feel comfortable.




Even if a coeliac "doesn't feel pain", damage is still being done to their intestinal tract by the ingestion of gluten ...

howboutbake Posted 9 Aug 2011 , 5:09am
post #11 of 12

My mom is a bad celiac having been diagnosed later in life.

The thing about Celiac which make it different from allergies is that it doesn't really have the potential for anaphylaxis that, say, a nut allergy has. A Celiac reaction is still pretty unpleasant though.

I think in any of these situations it's best to ask the client/friend/etc. just what extra steps you should take so that they can feel comfortable eating the cake. Of course, sanitizing etc is required, but some people might not be as stringent about certain aspects, such as sanitized, but porous items. For instance, my mom uses the same toaster as the rest of us and she is fine with it, but for someone else that's a huge no no.

Another important thing to clarify is if they react to oats. I don't know much about GF mixes, but if they contain GF oats, ensure that the customer knows that. My mom can't handle GF or any other kind of oats.

At the end of the day, if I felt uncomfortable taking on a 'special needs' cake I wouldn't do it.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 9 Aug 2011 , 1:36pm
post #12 of 12

Thanks Aussie... I do realize that though. That is the reason why I will never call anything I bake gluten-free (even if I sanitize to the point that I could test legally gluten-free and keep EVERYTHING separate and in vacuum sealed bags). I think if you read my entire post you will see that I have a pretty full grasp on food allergies and how foods can be cross-contaminated and that is why I am SUPER cautious. If you read the post you can easily see that I was speaking in terms of my friends whom I have made cakes for... not the entire celiac nation. Some people are a lot more sensitive than others and I do realize that. This is why, like I stated, I don't generally do allergen free recipes for the general public. There's too much risk... especially when I can refer to a true GF baker.

Sort of unfair to latch on to a sentence that was taken very much out of context.

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