Well hello, fellow coeliacs, those following a gluten free diet, and others!
I'm thrilled to have you here. I'm Beth, the creator and baker at Caking It. I've been a diagnosed coeliac for over 20 years, and I love cake. I decided to put my knowledge of many failed and successful bakes from 20 years in one place.
Back when I was first diagnosed coeliac, gluten free pastry did not exist, crumbly bakes were the most us coeliacs could expect from our cakes, and eating out meant a salad - hold the dressing.
Having said this, these trials and trying experiences have meant that food is that much more special for me now. I can still remember the first time I ate breakfast pastry; the first time I ate bread that wasn't vacuum packed; the first time I saw a gluten free cake in a coffee shop.
For me, baking has always been a joy. It's a time where I don't have the food anxiety that comes with eating out as a coeliac, and I can just enjoy taking time to make something delicious.
So what can you expect from this little blog?
Deliciously moreish, coeliac friendly cupcake recipes. That sentence not long ago would have been an oxymoron. But a couple of decades later, lots of trial and error, and testing plenty of recipes have meant that we can eat truly deliciously, utterly moreish, and always coeliac friendly, baked goods.
I have tried many recipes, both from books and online blogs, and I'm sure these other wonderful bakers will be mentioned along the way.
Not only are the Caking It recipes mouth-wateringly delicious, but they're also fun to make. I can't get enough of the smell of creaming together butter and sugar, the excitement of pulling perfectly baked cupcakes out of the oven, and the joy of eating it all (obviously!)
Some of the cupcakes will be completely unique and others charmingly classic. Ever heard of Pwdin Eva cupcakes? Or Creme Egg cupcakes? These might just be in recipe development at the moment...! Whatever flavour they are, I promise that all of them will be delicious.
Every week on Wednesdays I'll be revealing a brand new gluten free cupcake recipe on the blog, and, if you follow the Caking It social media accounts, you'll get access to some behind the scenes info, sneak peaks of upcoming bakes, and other deliciously moreish goodies!
Before I start revealing my secret recipes, here are some tips on baking gluten free.
~ Cake mixes requires 4 basic components: equal parts butter, sugar and flour; eggs; flavourings; frosting. The difference with gluten free cake, is that it needs levening, and often other ingredients to create a moist sponge. All of the Caking It cupcakes are based on these components.
~ There are different theories behind baking, but all of the Caking It cupcakes use the creaming method. This method is, simply, creaming together butter and sugar until light, adding eggs one at a time, and then adding in the rest of the ingredients. I find that this method is an optimal way to get the most out of the gluten free ingredients.
~ Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before baking. I usually get the ingredients out on the side at least one hour, but preferably two, before I start. It will do wonders not only for the rise of your cakes but the texture. Trust me, your ingredients will blend better if they're all the same temperature.
~ Eggs are your best friend. I generally use 4 eggs for about 12 cupcakes because they provide a really moist, springy texture. I know it seems a lot, but for a long time I experimented with different quantities and 4 was just right. Having said that, sometimes I use 3 if there's a specific flavouring that makes the texture too runny.
~ I often add yoghurt or sour cream to the batter because I find it adds an extra level of moist deliciousness. However, it's not always necessary, and if you don't have it on hand, then you can leave it out.
~ There is a reason I sometimes use baking powder and sometimes use bicarbonate of soda. When the cakes have acidic ingredients in them (for example lemon, brown sugar, yoghurt, buttermilk), then bicarb works wonders, but if not I will always use baking powder. Occasionally I have found that both is optimal, so make sure you always read the ingredient list carefully!
~ Let the batter sit for about 20 minutes in the cupcake tin before placing in the oven. Gluten free ingredients take longer to fully incorporate, and so it helps give your cakes a better chance of an even bake, as well as help with an even rise.
~ Lightly tap your muffin tin on the side on the counter before placing in the oven to get out any large air bubbles and produce a more even bake - and on that note, make sure to smooth the batter with a spoon before baking.
~ Never be afraid to make some failed bakes. As coeliacs you'll probably be all too experienced with failed baking, but don't be afraid of it. The more you practice, the more often you'll get better results.
~ Always have fun. What's the point of baking unless its for the pleasure of it?
So, enjoy yourself, and let me know what you think! If you try a recipe, I'd love to see your pictures, and perhaps I'll share them on the Caking It socials. If you have an idea you want to share, please do! I'd love to hear it.
Now, let's get Caking It!