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  • Writer's pictureHolly Daniels

The trouble with wheat-free baking

Ok, so this isn't going to be as negative as the title suggests, I promise...

I think it's fair to say I've got the wheat-free cakes down, great texture and great taste - you have no idea how difficult it is to pay myself a compliment!

However, when we're talking about stacking, carving and crumb coating cakes, it's a whole different ball game...cake game ?

The trouble with wheat-free cakes is that they are so darn crumbly. There's no gluten to hold everything in - like a sand castle...looks great when it's first made, but if you try to move it or shape it, the sides just crumble away.

I mean, it's not impossible to buttercream and cover a WF cake with icing - I managed to do my own 3-tiered wedding cake after all.

But in the last couple of weeks I thought it was time to experiment. So that's just what I did. And I think I've come up with my ideal WF, tasty but robust cake. 

I'm not going to lie, I've had mishaps galore using xanthan gum. So many times I have been disappointed with the outcome that I stopped trying with it.

Through doing a fair bit of research on the interwebs, I've finally come up with a recipe which I am chuffed with. 

The recipe I have devised, still keeps to my Grandma's standard sponge recipe using FF flour, same quantities as in my Lemon Cupcakes - I tend to use Dove's Farm SRF. 

However, I change it up a little and substitute half of the flour for ground almonds and add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum. 

To make a 6in sponge cake, it was baked at 180 for around 45mins, but just check that the cake tester comes out clean, if not, bake for a little while longer.

Once cooled I was able to slice through the middle of the cake to make a sandwich, and fill with lemon curd and buttercream. You don't have to include lemon curd, but as my sister highlighted at the weekend, I would eat a whole jar of it on its own if I could...probably have at some point. Grandma's fault.

Then using a whipped and light buttercream recipe - which I will share with you soon, I so easily crumb coated the entire cake. I think I was quite flamboyantly flailing my arms around as I spun the turntable and waved the spatula over the cake. I imagine it would have looked quite funny if you were walking passed the window!

Once I had done. I stood there, in awe, finally, my wheat-free cake had not crumbled, had not stuck to the spatula, and looks like a normal (obviously amazing), semi-naked cake. Triumph.

Ok, so I got a bit carried away with the buttercream after the initial crumb coat, what can I say, it was sort of a mini celebration of success....but let's move on..

Mmmm *lemon curd daydream*  Now, where were we? Oh yes...

What's more, the reviews were all positive! There's no better cake tester to have than someone who doesn't like cake, who eats the whole slice :)

So that's it. You see, it wasn't all negative was it?

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Caking

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