I was asked to make a gluten free cake. I have never done one before so I am in need of some help.
Do you use a mix or do you have a good recipe? Also, in terms of filling and icing, is there a special gluten free recipe?
Thanks for all the help
I love Betty Hagman's ccokbooks for gluten free baking, also the Bob's Redmill site has some great recipes.
Well, I can only tell you about my experiences with a client that asked me to make gluten free cakes for her. First off, what kind of tolerance does your customer have? If they react to even the slightest traces of gluten, you can contaminate the product if you are not working in a dedicated kitchen. My client had somewhat tolerance so I had to make hers 24 hours after baking my regular items and made sure that even the oven and cabinet doors were wiped down. Even the cleanest pans/mixer/oven can harbor small amounts if used in regular baking. What made mine particularly challenging is that she was also allergic to cornstarch!
Now, having said that, there is a product called Pamela's that a lot of people like. You can add flavors to it (and they have that on the package) to make it your own. My client did not care for the mix, so I had to make mine from scratch. I made an orange cake w/almond flour and a lemon cake w/a lemon glaze for her. I will be more than happy to pm them to you if you are interested.
King Arthur also has great products but it has cornstarch in a lot of their products. Now, keep in mind that gluten free products have a different texture and it can get expensive! I lost money in the end because she is now too far away to order from me and I had to buy all of the products to make two cakes! I don't think that I have the picture of them on here but I have them on my FB page "Rocky Hill Cakes".
I would also ask Jason_Kraft on here. He always has good advice on making cakes for people with allergies.
wow, thanks for all the info. The cake will be for a little girl's party, but her entire family her included are gluten intolerant. I am not sure the degree so I have to find out . But if you can pm the recipes that you used, I would greatly appreciate it. Can you use regular buttercream icing ? I make mine with shortening.
If you have the right flour mix you can sub out your cake flour or APF for GF flour and get a pretty decent cake using your existing recipe (1:1 by weight). You just need to check and make sure all your other ingredients are gluten free (google them if you don't know). Wilton is NOT, so you can't use any of their dyes. I would stay away from Bob's Red Mill all purpose baking blend because it has a few bean flours which is not good for cakes (gritty texture), but King Arthur has a decent GF flour mix. You will still need to add xantham gum (I do 1/2 tsp per cup of GF flour). My chocolate cake is awesome, like, you'd never know it was gluten free (it's the easiest to convert). I blend my own flour but I have lots of access and it's not that expensive where I live, but if you don't have a Whole Foods or another health food store near you, then get the King Arthur GF flour and some xantham gum, both can be ordered off Amazon for minimal expense.
Shortening is generally GF, so is sugar, but you will need to Google every single ingredient you are planning on using if it doesn't have GF on the package. Because you are making a claim about your product (gluten free) legally you need to give an ingredients list to your customer along with the "this product has been prepared in a facility that uses eggs, soy, wheat and dairy" disclaimer just to cover yourself in case of cross contamination.
FromScratchSF: Agree on the KA flour. They have a great blend. That is what I used on my lemon cake. The Xanthan Gum was 13 for the smallest bag though....ouch! I never checked out the Wilton color (I use Americolor) but when I contacted them about their fondant that I was using for the "lemon branch" on top, they said that it was gluten free. Satin Ice it GF too BUT, I was surprised to find out that you can have small traces of gluten and be able to label as GF because of the FDA regs. That's why I also use the disclaimer on the paperwork that I have my customers sign when they order. Of course, I only do requests so that makes it easier to do that. Allergies make me nervous!
In addition to the tips about avoiding cross contamination (which is critical!) and staying away from bean flour, I also recommend avoiding potato starch, since it can lead to a gritty mouth feel.
We did some significant R&D in this area and came up with a custom GF blend of rice flour, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum. The last two are the most expensive ingredients but are present in the smallest quantities in the mix.
Most BC icing should be OK as long as the container has not been opened where flour had been used in the past 24 hours.
Xantham gum is spendy, but a little bit goes a long way and and since GF cakes sell for 30%-50% higher then regular cake, you should be able to make up for it!
I agree with the other posters about King Arthur. I have used the King Arthur chocolate cake mix and added espresso powder. While this may not be a kid's favorite, it is really tasty but $8 a box! I make it for one of my sister's who has celiac but the rest of my extended family gobbles it up and love it. I also agree the bean flours in other mixes, and even chestnut flour, can make the cake taste heavy and gritty. Good luck!
Just for reference a great gluten free baking site is www.artofglutenfreebaking.com
She is coming out with a cookbook this fall. I have used several of her recipes and they all turned out great. However....I sub her flour mix for what I buy in the store(Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour) and then I add a small amount of xanthum gum.
I stay away from Bob's Red Mill, because the bean taste just ruins everything.