These days you probably have heard the term “gluten free” mentioned a lot. Not surprisingly, a gluten free diet is one free of ingredients that have gluten. The most popular ingredient that has gluten is wheat. Gluten is also found in barley, rye, spelt and some oats.
Gluten-free diets began to grow in popularity due to the treatment of celiac’s disease. People with celiac’s disease suffer damage to the lining of their small intestine when they eat foods containing gluten. However, many people around the world avoid gluten even if they don’t have celiac’s disease. A variety of people have different side effects that they have discovered are a result of gluten. For example, bloating, anemia, and cramps are all symptoms people have attributed to gluten.
But certainly people who are on a gluten-free diet still want cupcakes. After all, how can they be deprived of one of life’s great necessities? The good news is it is possible to make gluten free cupcakes. Those who do not eat gluten can still eat other grains and starches, which include amaranth, quinoa, millet, sweet potato, chickpea flour and buckwheat.
The company Bob’s Red Mill makes flour, which they call “Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix.” As the label advertises, this flour is free of gluten. So what is in this “flour” if it doesn’t have wheat? Sounds impossible, right?
The ingredients in the flour consist of garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sweet white sorghum flour, and fava flour. You can substitute this special flour in your cupcake recipe to make gluten free cupcakes without changing your entire recipe. In fact, the famous gluten free cupcake store babycakes NYC uses Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix.
Believe it or not, many people have tried gluten free cupcakes and reported they couldn’t detect a difference from regular cupcakes! Even though flour was once viewed as the most important ingredient in a cupcake, this is clearly no longer the case.
Also other chefs have substituted different ingredients into their gluten-free cupcakes. We have seen quinoa cupcakes where quinoa flour was simply substituted instead of regular flour. Quinoa is a nutritious grain that people avoiding gluten can tolerate. Arrowhead Mills also makes gluten free all-purpose baking mix, which you can try. This particular gluten free flour contains organic rice flour, which also makes very nice cupcakes.
People are baking with new ingredients as a substitute for regular flour all the time. Another choice that has become increasingly popular is coconut flour. Coconut flour is made from the coconut meat after the oil has been removed. When you choose coconut flour to make gluten free cupcakes, you also increase the amount of fiber in it. Also coconut flour contains some natural sugar, so you won’t need to add as much sugar into the recipe.
The fact that people have found a way to circumvent flour in a cupcake, says a lot about how far people are willing to go to have a tasty treat. It also speaks volumes about people’s dedication to cupcakes! Where there is a will, there is a way. If you are experimenting with new kinds of baking, try making gluten free cupcakes and let us know how they turn out.