For me going from cooking normal everyday food to gluten-free food was challenging in the beginning. Only in the last couple of years have I learned to cook not just gluten-free, but also healthy gluten-free. Exchanging one unhealthy thing for another does your gut no good. There is a reason why I became gluten-sensitive at the age of 38, to begin with. So, I had to learn to cook and eat to heal my gut. That’s the challenge in cooking gluten-free. It took me quite some time to figure that one out. With that being said my gut has been so much happier today than it has been in years, even so, I have been gluten-free for almost 8 years. I think that says a lot.
Let’s get baking
So, when it comes to baking, not only am I trying to accomplish a gluten-free recipe but also try to make it healthier, so my gut doesn’t hate me when I treat myself to something sweet. This makes my baking a continuous challenge especially when it comes to baking cakes. This is a task I have the most difficulty with, as the consistency of gluten-free is so much denser than the regular way. Honestly, I don’t like dense cakes. Cakes need to be moist and fluffy, sweet and soft, not like a brick that can hardly absorb milk or tea.
I like taking one of my old recipe’s and converting it to gluten-free. I am still not quite successful with this challenge as of yet. I have learned though, over a long period of time that gluten-free flour absorbs all the moisture, which makes converting recipe’s even more challenging, as I cannot just exchange but must figure out the amounts of flour it takes and either add fluids such as milk or add an extra egg or just cut down on the flour amount per the rest of the recipe. My other challenge is also to cut down on the sugar amounts, so I like to trade in sugar for maple syrup, as maple syrup has anti-inflammatory properties, and is so much better on my gut than regular sugar. This can also be a challenge as it is a liquid added, which then cuts down on the other liquids I should be adding, or should I just simply leave the original flour amount to begin with. As you see I have been doing much thinking about this baking process, and still, I cannot make a light, moist cake. I honestly have not found the right gluten-free cake flour either. I am open to any suggestions, so if you do know please let me know. I know I’m one to figure things out the hard way. I also know that pound cakes are supposed to be denser, just not as dense as the once I have baked.
Obviously, I still have much to learn when it comes to gluten-free baking. I have to admit I haven’t done all too much research yet either, other than looking at other people’s recipes. I only have so much time to spare. It’s expensive having to waste food, and as I am cheap, I’ll just eat bad food!
The challenge I want to throw out to you all is this. I used to make this delicious blueberry lemon cake I had found the recipe in “Cooking Light” magazine many years ago after my ex-sister in law got me hooked on it. I will post the original recipe below, and I hope that some of you who read my blog and like to bake gluten-free will help me solve my puzzle.
I will pick three of my top choices to bake and then decide who will have come up with the best gluten-free way of baking my favorite cake. My family and I will be the taste testers. The winner will receive one 15ml bottle of Young Living Lemon Essential Oil!
Blueberry Pound Cake Recipe:
- 2 cups of sugar
- ½ cup light butter
- ½ 8oz. block light cream cheese softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 8oz. carton low-fat lemon yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Cooking spray
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees!
Beat first three ingredients with mixer until well blended (about 5 min.).
Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Use two tablespoons of flour and mix with blueberries (toss well).
Mix together rest of flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt (I only use a pinch of salt not what the recipe calls for).
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with yogurt and ending with flour mixture. I usually add the yogurt in with the sugar mixture, as I have a thing of mixing all the wet and then adding all the dry ingredients, you can do it either way.
Fold in the floured blueberries with a mixing spoon. (Do not use an electric mixer or kitchen aid for this as it will mush all the blueberries, we want to keep them in their original shape as much as possible)
Pour cake mixture into a 10 in tube pan coated with cooking spray or butter fat of your choice, I like to use grass-fed butter.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes! Or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool cake for 10 minutes in the pan then remove the cake from pan, onto a cooling rack. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice together, drizzle icing over warm cake, and enjoy