Gluten free baking tips: how to get started

Not sure where to start with gluten free baking? Our friends at LemonVanilla have got you covered with their top gluten free baking tips... Happy baking!

Not sure where to start with gluten free baking? Our friends at LemonVanilla have got you covered with their top gluten free baking tips to give you confidence in the kitchen and tasty bakes every time!Lemon Vanilla logo

There are all sorts of reasons why you might find yourself exploring gluten-free baking options. Perhaps you’re baking for someone with coeliac disease or pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Maybe you’re baking for a group and you want to ensure everyone gets to tuck in! Because gluten is traditionally such a major feature in baking, leaving it out can cause concerns about dry textures or a lack of flavour. For us at LemonVanilla, we love to play around with different flavours, textures and inclusions in our gluten-free bakes, and can tell you that there are plenty of ingredient options available to you! Here are our 7 top tips for getting started in the world of delicious gluten-free baking…

1. If you’re just starting out with gluten-free, try making some simple and fail-safe recipes so you can test your gluten-free ingredients first

Breakfast pancakes made with gluten-free oats and finished with our delicious toppings, gluten free brownies with chocolate chips, or basic cookies – once you’ve mastered and devoured these basic classics, you’ll be ready to try more adventurous bakes!

2. Nut flours are your friend

While generally speaking, nut flours used solo in cakes can cause a heavy and crumbly result, they work brilliantly in combination with gluten-free flours. They will give you a lighter and fluffier bake and of course, add that all-important protein, making it that bit healthier. Loaf cakes such as banana bread work particularly well with half GF flour, half nut flour. Nut flours also have the added bonus of enhancing the flavour of your bakes! There are a few amazing recipes, though, where nut flours do work well as a full flour replacement. Try these ideas from around the web:   gluten free macarons

3. When making something chocolatey, replace some of the gluten free flour with cocoa powder

Use a really good quality cocoa powder such as our Van Houten Full-Bodied Warm Brown for a rich and indulgent chocolate flavour and colour.
Did you know that you can also use cocoa powder where a recipe calls for a tin to be lined with flour, and for dusting work surfaces, too?
cocoa powder selection

4. It’s all about the gluten-free inclusions

When it comes to adding flavour and texture to your bakes, the gluten-free baker has plenty to choose from! Try freeze dried fruits and chewy fruit pieces, whole nuts, desiccated coconut, salted caramel crunch… or dark chocolate buttons. Gluten free bakes can be more dense, so adding different textures really enhances that mouthfeel.

5. Play for the flavour

Gluten-free bakes really benefit from adding flavour direct into your cake batter or biscuit dough, especially if you're using a nut flour as a flour part-replacement, because it’s a chance to use flavours that complement the nutty notes. Try Madagascan vanilla or our rather clever Spice Drops in flavours such as cardamom, lemon or cinnamon. We really recommend you try making gluten free lemon biscotti with these!

6. It’s particularly important to let your GF bakes cool completely before you tuck in because gluten-free bakes contain more starch, and you don’t want a stodgy bake!

Allow time for complete cooling, and if you’re baking because you just. Need. It. Now, get in the habit of freezing some extra each time you bake, so you always have something delicious to hand. Gluten free cakes and cookies generally freeze really well.

7. Embrace your toppings options

For adding even more flavour and decorating your creations, there are lots of gluten-free topping options! From chocolate curls to popping candy, mini marshmallows to amazingly flavourful topping sauces. And if you’re going gluten-free because you’re being saintly, try topping with beautiful freeze-dried fruits. If using chocolate, you can even try chocolate transfer sheets for a real stunner of a finish.

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