Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Gluten Free Cakes

A guest post by Erika from Eclectic Enchantments

Gluten-free doesn’t have to be a bore!

Hello, everyone!  I know, I’m not the fabulous Mellissa that you know and love, but I hope to be a halfway decent replacement today.

Some of you will be aware from my previous guest posts, or if you read my blog Eclectic Enchantments, that I have Coeliac’s Disease.  This means I can not eat anything with gluten/wheat/rye/barley/oats.  If I do I get extremely unwell as my body basically attacks itself.  This can cause long-term damage if you would like to find out more, check out the Coeliac UK website.

Anyway, today I wanted to tell you about the amazing fun I have had baking. Before being diagnosed I adored baking, cupcakes, Swiss rolls, confectionery, anything sweet and tasty.  As with cooking, the diagnoses t
hrew me and my food became very boring and bland.  You become so careful checking everything you eat, that it is easy to forget how much fun food can be.  So, I set about remembering the glorious possibilities baking can bring, but being completely gluten free.


Okay, so my first attempts, whilst tasting lovely, fell short of being visually appealing.  They were Christmas themed, even including a miniature roast dinner on a plate, made from marzipan and painted with food colouring.  They were not what you would call exciting, I had forgotten how to bake aesthetically pleasing food with all my concentration focused on ingredients.



These lemon cupcakes and chocolate mint cupcakes were the start of me getting my groove back.  I was also experimenting a little, the mint came from my garden and was home grown, I have about five different varieties.  I hadn’t previously thought about using herbs in baking, but when I had wanted to make the chocolate mint cakes and realised I didn’t have any peppermint essence, it was my first thought.  It worked really well.



Something I missed immensely after my diagnosis was Lemon Meringue Pie.  Having, at this point, not tackled the task of making the pastry, I had no way of recreating my favourite dessert gluten free, until inspiration struck me.  I had just made my first batch of Lemon curd, (I have a bit of a thing for lemon, so fresh and tangy).  The smell was filling the house and I was thinking to myself how I would love to eat some pie.  Before I knew it I had made some very delicate cupcakes, gently flavoured with lemon and had hollowed out the centre.  Into the recess I placed some of my homemade lemon curd, then I made some meringue, swirled it onto greaseproof paper and baked it.  Popping them on the top, I had what was very close to a lemon meringue pie.

Baking isn’t all about cakes, though, there is a whole array of confectionery and sweet things to make.  I have tried my hand at fudge, peanut brittle, coconut ice, nougat, profiteroles and much, much more.  The thing to remember in my experience is that because something is free from, whether it is gluten/wheat, nuts, dairy or something else altogether, it doesn’t have to be boring, you just need to take a step back and let inspiration take over, who knows what you might create!

What do you think of Erika's cakes? Do you try to avoid gluten?
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28 comments

  1. I love the look of your Lemon meringue pies Erika!

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    1. Thanks Mellissa. I love making them, but eat far too many! Thank you for letting me guest post for you!

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  2. Your first attempts actually looks visually appealing to me. They all look so cute and delicious! *-*

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  3. These look really good! Gluten free cakes are so difficult to get right and I think you've done a great job x

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    1. I agree with you, the lemon meringue pies look amazing.

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    2. Thank you so much. They are a bit tricky, I will have to share my profiterole recipe, they are quite easy compared to 'normal' profiteroles.

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  4. Wow the Lemon cupcakes Look so sweet <3 I'd love to make these for my friend for valentines day, she has coeliacs too!

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    1. Thanks for the comment. She would love them!

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    2. Thank you Emma. They are really simple to make, I don't know if you can buy gluten free lemon curd though, that is not as easy to make. Let me know through my website if you want the recipe and I will blog it for you.

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  5. oh these look tasty i love cakes and find myself buying way too many so i mut learn to make them more im sure they would be better for me in the long run anyway x

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    1. I love cakes too and it's great to know there are alternatives for those that avoid gluten.

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  6. One of my favourite baking books is the Honeybuns bakery which is glutenfree. Lots of the recipes are naturally gluten free so lots of polenta and nut flours. All delicious.

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    1. I haven't heard of that Helen. I will have a look for it. I didn't know they made nut flour!

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    2. I didn't realise Honeybuns was gluten free!! I will have to get a copy. I love the different flours and before I was diagnosed had no idea about them all. Some are much nicer than the wheat based ones, thank you so much for your comment!

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  7. Well done you for embracing your love of baking again!

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    1. These cakes look fabulous don't they?

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    2. Thank you both and I do love it so much! Well the eating is definitely a bonus ;)

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  8. Your lemon meringue pie cupcakes look delicious. There are lots of options out there for people on a gluten free diet and you have shown that perfectly.

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    1. I agree, Erika has done an amazing job

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    2. You are both far too kind! I am so grateful to be able to share and just hope that people who struggle might see it and realise they have more options.

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  9. These look yummy! My mum is gluten intolerant and i am always on the look out for new recipes for her :) x

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  10. Mmmm....these all look super yummy and I would be happy to help nom them all :-)

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  11. They ALL look fab including the Xmas ones! xx

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  12. these look lovely! my neighbour is gluten free so this is great to know :) x

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  13. Lovely post - might try some of these ideas - love the mint idea. Yummy!

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  14. The Lemon Meringue Cupcakes look INCREDIBLE!!!

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