I need to make gluten and dairy free cupcakes. I'm not very knowledgeable about this.
Is buttercream icing gluten free if made with only shortening?
Sorry for the next silly question...but I just want to make sure...dairy free creamer IS dairy free...correct?
What about the cake mixes? Anything I should or shouldn't do?
I wouldn't touch these requests with a 10 ft pole unless you are very well schooled on that type of restricted dietary baking...It is VERY expensive to buy all the special ingredients from health foods stores and you have to make sure your utensils are not contaminated with regular flour etc...I know that Betty Crocker has now put out Gluten free cake mixes but they are triple the price of a regular mix and smaller in size.
If you know where to look, gluten-free ingredients aren't that much more expensive. Our custom GF mix consists of mostly rice flour and tapioca starch (which are about the same price as regular flour) combined with a little sorghum flour and xanthan gum (which are more expensive).
You'll need to make sure none of your ingredients contain any gluten, dairy, or casein, and that the ingredients were not processed on the same equipment as other products with those ingredients. There is a high risk of cross-contamination when dealing with gluten so make sure you use only non-porous equipment and surfaces, everything is sanitized, you wait a minimum of 24 hours if gluten-containing flour has been used in the area, and GF ingredients and products are stored in separate locations from gluten ingredients (with no gluten ingredients stored above anything GF).
This is not something to take lightly, it took us a couple months of R&D to get our GF/DF recipes just right. Also if you are charging for these cupcakes make sure your liability insurance is up to date, just in case.