Kiddiekakes Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 12:43pm
post #1 of

I've been getting a lot of inquiries lately asking if I  make gluten-free cakes/cupcakes...Normally I say no but how hard would it be to offer this??

 

Do I have to have separate stainless steel mixing bowls for the GF mixes?or can I just wash out my regular ones...

 

What can I expect in terms of taste/texture of gluten-free? I think I may just use the new BC mixes.

 

What would I charge for cupcakes each?..The mixes here are almost double the cost of a regular cake mix at $5.49 so my prices would be quite a bit more than regular cupcakes at $3.50 each...

 

Also does shortening and icing sugar have gluten in them?

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!!;-D

49 replies
mallorymaid Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 2:03pm
post #2 of

I have had a number of people ask me about gluten free baking for them so I looked into what all this would involve, after researching I decided not to pursue this avenue because of the potential harm that gluten free customers could experience with cross contamination from wheat products in my kitchen. In my opinion I would need to have a dedicated kitchen for producing gluten free products as even one grain of gluten can wreak havoc on anyone with a gluten allergy/intolerance.  Having a couple of friends that have Celiac's and seeing the pain they suffer from the affects of gluten on their system I don't want to take the chance that it could happen to my customers.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has rules on what can be labelled gluten free, how many parts per million of gluten present in products is allowable to be labelled gluten free etc..

 

If you are going to make your own mixes then you will need to research and experiment with the different gluten free flours and binding agents that are available.  It can be difficult to reproduce the texture of wheat based products in gluten free, and the product will be different, as gluten is what gives elasticity to baked products and allows them to rise when carbon dioxide is produced by the yeast during baking.

 

If you are going with a mix there are some good ones out there it's just finding one that you are happy with, perhaps you can ask your supplier for samples to try first.

 

I worked for a bakery a couple of years ago that decided they wanted to "jump on the gluten free wagon" and decided to go with a mix instead of investing R&D into their own bread product, it was well received it was purchased through Lentia, I don't know what other gluten free mixes they carry.  This bakery did run into a problem with a customer over the gluten free labelling, the bakery kitchen was/is deffinately not gluten free, I mean they were turning out the gluten free mix onto a work table that had the previous flour brushed off, not washed and sanitized, and because of flours propensity to be airborn it was everywhere in the bakery.  There was a small print disclaimer on the product label indicating that it could be cross contaminated, but they still had it labelled gluten free, long story short customer bought "gluten free" bread for son who has celiac's, son became sick from eating bread, customer sent letter to the CFIA, bakery had to provide info on product etc., was directed that they can no longer label product as gluten free, (i think they call it gluten friendly).

 

I guess that's it , sorry i seemed to have gone on a bit of a ramble, good luch with whatever you decide :)

AnnieCahill Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 2:06pm
post #3 of

I think it's a fine line.  I think either do all gluten free or not just because of the possibility of cross-contamination.  I think gluten free is trendy for a lot of people but for some it's a legitimate issue and I wouldn't want to risk it. 

 

One thing is true, if you specialized in allergy free cakes, you would probably have an advantage over your competitors. 

mallorymaid Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 2:14pm
post #4 of

Icing sugars have starch added to them to keep them fluffy and from clumping, check the ingredients list, if it has wheat starch added to it then it is not gluten free, if it has cornstarch added to it then it is gluten free.

 

Shortenings aren't made with gluten products but still may not be labelled as gluten free due to where they are manufactured and may have some cross contamination, for example if a shortening manufacturer also produces one of the baking sprays that has flour in, it is best to check with the company if you have concerns.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 2:18pm
post #5 of

It's definitely not something you want to just try for the heck of it. Not only does it take some trial and error to get a good GF cake, as stated above cross contamination can be big issue. We do GF and have gotten really good feedback on our GF cake, but we always tell people that we also make items with gluten, so we can't guarantee 100% that there is zero cross contamination, although we do wash EVERYTHING before we make it and do it first thing in the morning before baking anything else to cut down on it. When we tell people that, they are then able to decide whether it will be ok for them based on the severity of their gluten allergy. We had one bride that we did gluten free cake and cupcakes for, and she was very allergic, to the point of anaphylaxis (I was stressed the entire time we were baking for that one!) but everything was great and she went on and on about how good it was. Most of our customers are not nearly that sensitive. You definitely want to do lots of research and think about whether it's worth it for your business.

 

Most shortening and icing sugar do not have gluten, the only way they would is if they were made on equipment that had been exposed to it. That does bring up a good point though, you can't just say "It doesn't have wheat flour, so it's GF." You have to check each and every ingredient you are using and make SURE it doesn't have gluten. Gluten can hide in unexpected places.

 

To answer your question in one word: Is it easy to add Gluten Free to your menu? NO. :) Good luck! 

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 2:28pm
post #6 of

what about 'gluten light'?

 

where you do not guarantee absolute freedom from gluten but it's made without any gluten added in

 

where clients can make their own determination of their own level of gluten freeness that they require??

 

can of worms??

 

the gluten thing does not seem as life & death as the peanut allergic epi-pen thing but i am no expert--

 

i say that because i think all of us are improved by gluten free, gluten light--

 

where peanut allergies can cause death bing bang boom done 

 

just a thought and a question about it...

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 2:38pm
post #7 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615 
... We had one bride that we did gluten free cake and cupcakes for, and she was very allergic, to the point of anaphylaxis (I was stressed the entire time we were baking for that one!) but everything was great and she went on and on about how good it was...

 

glad that turned out well

 

see i would have had a very difficult time* doing a cake like this--if she just bought it and didn't tell me she might die--just could roll with 'gluten light' ok cool--

 

but if someone might die from my product --no not at all i would respectfully, very firmly decline the order no ifs ands or buts--

 

if i was able to handle the risk of my client's life & death in my workload i'd be a doctor not a freaking baker--just my $ .02

 

*difficult time defined is aneurism, aortic dissection, cataclysmic blow out of some kind---

 

i shudder to think about it

Kiddiekakes Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 3:52pm
post #8 of

Some good ideas to ponder Ladies...I may have to give it more careful consideration......Thanks

jason_kraft Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:18pm
post #9 of

AWe offered a mix of gluten-free and non-gluten-free items from our custom order allergy-friendly bakery that operated out of a commercial kitchen which was not gluten-free. Depending on the mix of allergies in the week's orders we had either one or two days a week that were dedicated to the gluten-free orders.

Gluten-free baking had to wait 24 hours after non-gluten-free baking to allow airborne flour to settle. Before taking out gluten-free items the kitchen and all relevant supplies were carefully cleaned and sanitized. We specifically limited order volume to 10-15 orders per week (depending on order size and complexity) and never had an issue with cross-contamination.

We spent a lot of time on R&D perfecting our gluten-free recipes to take them from "good" to "great". So it's not easy, but it can be a great competitive advantage if you do it right.

I would also not recommend offering gluten-free (or any allergy-friendly items) if you don't have a process in place to avoid cross-contamination (and are comfortable with the processes of your ingredient suppliers) and can explain that process to your customers. For most people with Celiac or food allergies there's really no such thing as "gluten light".

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:25pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

... For most people with Celiac or food allergies there's really no such thing as "gluten light".

 

exactly--so they would not be clients--but weight watching peeps would be--and there's a lot of those and sugar free for diabetics --vast markets for that

itsacake Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:26pm

When someone asks if I do Gluten free I explain that my kitchen is full of  flour and therefore there is dust containing gluten everywhere so I can't do cakes for people who have celiac disease or are medically gluten intolerant.  However, if they want a cake for someone who has made a life-style decision to be gluten free, which is very "in" around here,  I can do that as I have several items that do not involve  wheat flour and/or gluten.  Then I write on the agreement/invoice something like .  "No gluten or products containing gluten will be used in the baking of this item.  However, this is not a gluten free facility. Client understands and accepts this condition."  I do the same for nuts or anything else I'm asked to leave out of a product.  If someone has celiac disease, I am not going to be the one to come to for a cake.  I see that my mini blinds always have a fine deposit of flour on them, for example, no matter how often I dust, so I know there is flour in the air.   This way I can make items for people who are not very sensitive, but have just decided for some reason or other they want to stop eating  gluten. ( Though why people who give up gluten for weight loss, for example, want cookies or cake is anyone's guess LOL.)

jason_kraft Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:30pm

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

exactly--so they would not be clients--but weight watching peeps would be--and there's a lot of those and sugar free for diabetics --vast markets for that

A gluten-free diet does not help you lose weight. Without processes that avoid cross-contamination you might get some customers who are gluten-free as a "fad" but it probably won't be enough to be worth it.

Sugar-free is another story...while cross-contamination is not at much of an issue, it is very difficult to put together great tasting sugar-free recipes and still hit mainstream price points.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:34pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


A gluten-free diet does not help you lose weight. Without processes that avoid cross-contamination you might get some customers who are gluten-free as a "fad" but it probably won't be enough to be worth it.

Sugar-free is another story...while cross-contamination is not at much of an issue, it is very difficult to put together great tasting sugar-free recipes and still hit mainstream price points.

 

i just lost over 35 pounds, my friend, i know exactly how to loose weight and gluten light is indeed part of my process

 

gluten products put on weight too

 

just don't, jason, ok?

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:39pm

jason, let me also say i completely defer to you and your wife as being expert in your field--far and away beyond me in this arena

 

and i clearly drew my line at gluten light

 

you are the gluten free and allergy friendly ones--not me--not ever

 

i greatly admire your work and your nerves

jason_kraft Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:45pm

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

i just lost over 35 pounds, my friend, i know exactly how to loose weight and gluten light is indeed part of my process

If it's part of your process that's fine, but cutting out gluten from your diet without changing the amount of calories you consume, the amount of processed food you consume, or your fat/protein/carb mix won't do much.

We're also talking about cake here...if you don't have Celiac a cake made with wheat flour will pack on just as many pounds as a cake made with rice/tapioca/sorghum flour.

We would occasionally get customers who wanted to order a gluten-free or vegan item so the cake would be "healthier", I made sure to let them know the specific differences between their request and a traditional cake and that the substitutions don't make the cake any healthier for you.

TheSugarLab Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 4:59pm

We do "gluten-free" cupcakes and cakes. It really is more "no gluten ingredients used". When we bake gluten free (which is actually every day now), we do the gluten-free batter first before opening our cake flour container. We explain to customers that is more for those that are eating gluten-free diets and not for those with celiacs. It's just like any restaurant that offers gluten-free items and that explains that it may not be 100% gluten-free. It's more for those that have intolerances compared to actual medical conditions. I leave it up to the customer to decide if it is safe for them. For instance, my best friend just recently became gluten-free for her migraines (with advice from her doctor) and she will still eat something that might have cross contamination (like french fries where breaded chicken has also been fried). 

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 5:02pm
jason, if you don't think the weight conscious population is not an easy viable red hot mass market then i need to seriously re-think your business perspective bladeebla
 
i do not accept your patronization
jason_kraft Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 5:06pm

A

Original message sent by TheSugarLab

We do "gluten-free" cupcakes and cakes. It really is more "no gluten ingredients used". When we bake gluten free (which is actually every day now), we do the gluten-free batter first before opening our cake flour container. We explain to customers that is more for those that are eating gluten-free diets and not for those with celiacs.

Interesting...how successful have the gluten-free products been? My worry would be someone with Celiac seeing "gluten-free" and not checking the fine print, then bashing your business after getting glutened. I suppose if you verbally remind customers that your gluten-free products may contain traces of gluten this would be less of an issue.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 5:09pm

hence the 'gluten light' moniker

 

four decades ago i had a co-worker point out that i needed some "mucousless' desserts for the line--homemade applesauce, fruity things etc. it's not at all a new concept. just new buzz words.

jason_kraft Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 5:10pm

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

jason, if you don't think the weight conscious population is not an easy viable red hot mass market then i need to seriously re-think your business perspective bladeebla

There are certainly ways to market to people looking to lose weight, but I would prefer marketing solutions that actually contribute toward weight loss. For example, paleo cakes that are high in protein and low on the glycemic index are something I would be comfortable marketing to someone looking to lose weight.

MeghanKelly Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 5:23pm

Anything with a high flour content is going to have high calories as well.  However, it wouldn't make sense for people who are counting calories to just cut out wheat and nothing else- the 2-4 cups of sugar are going to have more calories than the flour.

 

K8, congrats on the weight loss!  I've just lost 30 lbs myself.  Haven't gone gluten free but I did give up drinking pop a few months ago.  Also cut out aspartame and counting calories. It was tough at first but now I feel so much better.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 6:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeghanKelly 
 

Anything with a high flour content is going to have high calories as well.  However, it wouldn't make sense for people who are counting calories to just cut out wheat and nothing else- the 2-4 cups of sugar are going to have more calories than the flour.

 

K8, congrats on the weight loss!  I've just lost 30 lbs myself.  Haven't gone gluten free but I did give up drinking pop a few months ago.  Also cut out aspartame and counting calories. It was tough at first but now I feel so much better.

thank you, meghan, and right back atcha multiplied congratulations!! no easy feat--

 

was hoping it would help with some arthritis but at least i look better--hahahaha ;)

 

can't have it all but we try  :lol: 

Carrie789 Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 7:05pm

As of August, there are federal standards for gluten free: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/05/2013-18813/food-labeling-gluten-free-labeling-of-foods. I cringe when I hear that someone is going to "try a gluten free cake" to sell. If that is all the research you have done, stay out of the gluten-free market! Cross contamination is a real issue for those with Celiac and other related conditions, and it can be deadly for them. There can be gluten hiding on your walls, in your sifter, on your countertops, your fondant mats and tools, in your baking powder, etc. etc. My husband has Celiac disease, and on the rare occasions that we eat out, he gets sick afterward. Even though he eats from the "gluten-free menu," the cross-contamination is enough to get to him. I bake only gluten free and only from scratch, and right now I have 37 different gluten-free flours in my cupboard. There were many flat, gooey, dry, foul tasting and just plain nasty failures before finding recipes and procedures that worked.  My cakes are delicious, and if a customer can detect that it is gluten free, it gets taken off the menu. So, please don't "dabble" in gluten free. You are risking someone's health.

IAmPamCakes Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 9:58pm

AI bake gluten free in a co-op kitchen. I come to work in the morning, before anyone else, and start my work. The owner told me that the kitchen air must be still for a minimum of 8 hours before working gluten free. I have to wash everything before I use it, and every ingredient that I use stays on its own carts, and backstock has it's own shelves/containers to be stored. We still must label each item with the disclaimer that the product was manufactured in shared equipment. That probably doesn't answer any questions, or help much; it's just a few of the precautions I have to take to make the product.

AZCouture Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:32am

A

Original message sent by Carrie789

As of August, there are federal standards for gluten free: [URL=https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/05/2013-18813/food-labeling-gluten-free-labeling-of-foods]https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/05/2013-18813/food-labeling-gluten-free-labeling-of-foods[/URL]. I cringe when I hear that someone is going to "try a gluten free cake" to sell. If that is all the research you have done, stay out of the gluten-free market! Cross contamination is a real issue for those with Celiac and other related conditions, and it can be deadly for them. There can be gluten hiding on your walls, in your sifter, on your countertops, your fondant mats and tools, in your baking powder, etc. etc. My husband has Celiac disease, and on the [U]rare[/U] occasions that we eat out, he gets sick afterward. Even though he eats from the "gluten-free menu," the cross-contamination is enough to get to him. I bake only gluten free and only from scratch, and right now I have 37 different gluten-free flours in my cupboard. There were many flat, gooey, dry, foul tasting and just plain nasty failures before finding recipes and procedures that worked.  My cakes are delicious, and if a customer can detect that it is gluten free, it gets taken off the menu. So, please don't "dabble" in gluten free. You are risking someone's health.

I like you. Want a stalker?

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:35am

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 


I like you. Want a stalker?


I second this, well, without the stalking.

AZCouture Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:36am

A

Original message sent by scrumdiddlycakes

I second this, well, without the stalking.

Chicken. Nothing says I love you like a restraining order.

costumeczar Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:37am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carrie789 
 

As of August, there are federal standards for gluten free: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/05/2013-18813/food-labeling-gluten-free-labeling-of-foods. I cringe when I hear that someone is going to "try a gluten free cake" to sell. If that is all the research you have done, stay out of the gluten-free market! Cross contamination is a real issue for those with Celiac and other related conditions, and it can be deadly for them. There can be gluten hiding on your walls, in your sifter, on your countertops, your fondant mats and tools, in your baking powder, etc. etc. My husband has Celiac disease, and on the rare occasions that we eat out, he gets sick afterward. Even though he eats from the "gluten-free menu," the cross-contamination is enough to get to him. I bake only gluten free and only from scratch, and right now I have 37 different gluten-free flours in my cupboard. There were many flat, gooey, dry, foul tasting and just plain nasty failures before finding recipes and procedures that worked.  My cakes are delicious, and if a customer can detect that it is gluten free, it gets taken off the menu. So, please don't "dabble" in gluten free. You are risking someone's health.

Thank you! The number of people who say that they bake gluten free because they wipe their equipment down between batches of regular and gluten free products is ridiculous around here.

IAmPamCakes Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:49am

AI agree with not 'dabbling' in gluten free baking. I'm not super well versed in gluten free because, well, I just don't want to do it. There are too many opportunities to really do some damage to someone with a real allergy. I'm not prepared for that responsibility. I practice good cleaning habits, and follow whatever rules that were put into place by my boss to be as gluten free as possible. I don't think I can get completely gluten free where I work, and it drives me nuts. But there's not a lot I can do about it when he says we are following the rules. Although- correct me if I'm wrong - isn't there a certification that a kitchen needs to be deemed completely gluten free?

Carrie789 Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:52am

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 


Chicken. Nothing says I love you like a restraining order.


I like stalkers. Better than no attention at all. :D

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