Here at Red Velvet NYC, we believe that everyone deserves to enjoy a delicious dessert.
However, food allergies can make finding the right sweet treat a little difficult. That’s why we’ve written an informative guide on how to bake all your favorite desserts, completely gluten free!
First, the ingredients
Most baked desserts are made with either all-purpose or cake flour, which both contain gluten. Gluten adds structure to baked goods, but you can still make a pretty good substitute without it. For an alternative, we recommend these types of flour:
Tapioca flour has the mildest flavor of all the flours on our list, and its binding properties can drastically improve the texture of your desserts. The downside is that using too much of it can make your baked goods chewy or slimy.
Almond flour has a slightly sweet taste to it, but like tapioca flour, it’s still very mild. However, people with nut allergies should steer clear of almond flour, as it’s made from real almonds.
Rice flour is one of the more popular options, but some people find that it can be a little gritty. Be sure to only buy the superfine variety for maximum softness.
Coconut flour is great for gluten free baking, and it’s an option that’s both nut and grain free, but some people might not like the slight coconutty flavor that comes with it.
TIP: For even better results, combine multiple flours together, preferably a mix of both grain-based flours (like brown rice flour) and starchy flours (like tapioca flour). Or buy a bag of King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour, which has the flours already blended!
Then, the technique
One thing you should know about gluten free baked goods is that the texture will often be different from anything made with gluten. In general, gluten free desserts are more dense and firm than gluten desserts. They also tend to not rise as much. Luckily we’ve got a few pointers on how to make the texture of your gluten free treats as soft and fluffy (and as close to the real thing) as possible.
One of our favorite tips is to use the magic of egg whites to make tall and light baked goods. All you need to do is mix your egg whites with an electric mixer (on high speed) until you get soft peaks. Then add the whipped egg whites to the rest of your ingredients and stir until just incorporated. That way your baked goods will still be fluffy, but there will be no added gluten!
You can also try adding in certain ingredients to help with both rising and moisture, which are common problems with gluten free baking. We always love to bake our cakes with buttermilk, a gluten free ingredient that will make anything you bake moist and rich. Or if that isn’t an option, just add more butter than what the recipe calls for. We promise it’ll be delicious!
Additionally, we recommend increasing the amount of baking soda and/or powder that you use, since gluten free baked goods require more leaveners to rise. And if your grocery store carries it, you can also try adding some xanthan gum, a plant-based thickener and binding agent that acts as a sort of gluten replacer (and that is very common in gluten free baking) – use up to 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum for every cup of flour when making cakes, and up to 1/2 tsp when making breads for a gluten free dessert that totally resembles the real thing.
Learning how to bake delicious treats without gluten can seem a bit challenging at first, but with the right ratio of ingredients and the right technique, you won’t be able to tell much of a difference.
In fact, you really won’t miss old gluten much at all! So #ByeFelicia