Baking 10/27/16

Gluten-free apple spice cake

A few years ago, when I was working in Cambridge, I used to bake for my co-workers. There were a handful of people in the office who were lactose and/or gluten intolerant, so I dipped a toe into LF and GF baking. I became lactose intolerant myself in my late 40s, and at the time I was avoiding as much dairy as possible, which meant always having to skip the birthday cakes, ice cream, pizza, and other treats that were brought in for various office events.

I don’t feel like I ever really got the hang of gluten-free baking, but this cake was one of the better attempts. Even from the photo you can see that the texture is a little off, but it wasn’t too far off from a conventional apple spice cake, and the flavor was on point. I found the King Arthur gluten-free baking mix worked best for anything that needed to have structure, like cake.

I had better luck with lactose-free baking, mainly because it’s easier to substitute fats than flour. And, not long after I started doing this, a company called Green Valley brought out a whole line of lactose-free dairy products – sour cream, cream cheese, even butter. The butter was a absolute godsend for me, not just for baking but for regular cooking, too. I made an LF cheesecake one time, and a co-worker who had nevr eaten cheesecake in her life because of lactose intolerance was able to eat some for the first time. That was a very rewarding experience for me as someone who loves to cook.

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