My 2 cents - I don't mean to dismiss people that do have serious health problems, however... "gluten free" right now is a major health fad in some areas, and I live in a big one. I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I think I remember reading that less then 1% of the US population has an actual health problem with gluten. Meanwhile, all kinds of people want "gluten free" because they think it's better for them and/or will help them loose weight and I get a LOT of requests for "gluten free" cakes for children because wheat is now the devil. I totally get it - I can't get non-GMO cake flour and it drives me NUTS. In fact, I have never seen non-GMO flour at all and I'm very anti GMO (now THAT is a health problem that EVERYONE should be freaked out about), whereas the starches and flours I get for my wheat free cake is all organic and GMO-free. Anyway, Jimmy Kimmel just did a funny bit asking people that maintain GF diets if they actually knew what gluten is and why it's bad and not one of the people they showed had any clue. Obviously the bit was to make fun of the topic, but I can say 1st hand I get a ton of requests here for GF baked goods, here is my cut and paste reply via email:
"Thank you for your inquiry for a gluten-free cake. I would love to accommodate this request but I do not work in a kitchen that can maintain the strict FDA standards to make a "gluten-free" item and do not want to ever make anyone ill with items we bake with love. I cannot guarantee there are no cross contaminates with gluten for anything I make. If you have serious health issues where microscopic contaminates will make you or a loved one sick, I must decline your order and encourage you to go elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a non-wheat containing cake for other reasons I make excellent wheat flour-free cake that has a custom blend of rice, tapioca and potato flours in the place of regular wheat flour, and all other ingredients I use are certified 'gluten-free' by the manufacturer, but again I do not work in a non-gluten kitchen so any or all of those ingredients may be contaminated with gluten."
I have only ever been told twice since I started making wheat free that they needed strict gluten-free and they went someplace else.
Long story short, I have no problem making wheat flour-free and state on my website and with every inquiry that my items are not "gluten-free". If you have the chops and can pull off making it well (and it takes some work!), I say go for it as long as you are extremely transparent with your clients. I even go so far as correcting them if they email me back to proceed with the order and say "I want the gluten-free chocolate cake". I remind them it is not gluten-free, then confirm the order for "wheat flour-free chocolate cake".
This is totally true. Food allergies are very trendy now and it's dangerous, people are saying they have an allergy when they don't. I had one woman say that her granddaughter had a peanut allergy. When I told her I wouldn't do the cake she said "it's not really bad." I told her I still wouldn't do it because once you say peanut allergy I want no part of it. Then she said that she wasn't really allergic, she just didn't like them. What the heck? I still wouldn't do it because at that point I didn't like her attitude. They're probably telling the kid that she's allergic to peanuts, then when she eats one at school and some kid who IS allergic sees her eat it and not die, they'll try it and go into anaphylactic shock. Awesome.