Worktop with cupcakes and baking supplies

8 Gluten free baking tips

Everyone knows baking gluten free isn’t easy. But with a little practise you’ll soon be making great gluten free cakes, cookies and breads.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to make your first cake, or have been baking for a while but things just aren’t turning out right, here are some tips to help you become a pro. 

My top 8 gluten free baking tips

1. Get prepared

The first thing you need is the right ingredients. Mostly you’ll just need the standard stuff, plus a few alterations and additions. Check out my post on the top ingredients any gluten free baker needs to make sure you have everything to get you started.

2. Do some research

Some quick googling will bring up plenty of information, recipes and tips. Take some time and read though some of it to understand the differences between regular baking and gluten free breaking.

3. Start simple

Most people start baking gluten free for an event like a friend or family’s birthday, which means picking a complicated cake and switching out the flour for a gluten free alternative.

If you’re lucky this might work out for you, but I doubt it. The best thing is to start simple, with a plain sponge and perfect that before you move on. Experiment by adding different flavours and see how it affects your baking. A great place to start is with my gluten free Victoria sponge or easy gluten free brownies.

4. Work in weight

If you’re using UK recipes this wont be an issue, however ones from across the pond tend to use American cups as a measuring method. When you’re baking gluten free, small changes in a recipe can make a big difference in your bakes. Volume is a much less precise measuring method than weight.

If you find a recipe in cups that you absolutely have to use, find an online converter to switch it to grams.

5. Think small

When they go wrong, your cakes will normally be dry and crumbly or dense and soggy. But if you make smaller cakes, they’ll be less likely to be underdone in the centre. The shorter bake time also means they aren’t in the oven long enough to dry out. You could also try using a bundt tin, the ring shape cooks the cake from the outside and centre at the same time, giving you the same effect.

6. Help it rise – and keep it there

Gluten free cakes tend to be a little dense, so try adding a little extra baking powder. I tend to add around half a teaspoon of baking powder for every 200g of self raising flour.

And if your cakes are collapsing when they come out of the oven, add a little extra sugar to your recipe to stop it deflating on you.

7. Be prepared to fail

Sometimes things just don’t work out. You can bake the same cake 10 times perfectly and then it will come out wrong for seemingly no reason. While its more likely to happen with a new recipe, it seems inevitable that sometimes a gluten free bake just won’t work. 

Don’t get disheartened, keep going and with time, failed attempts will be far and few between.

8. Re-use what doesn’t work

Just because it didn’t work out in the way you wanted, this doesn’t mean it’s destined for the bin.

Bad batches of bread can be turned into breadcrumbs and kept in the freezer for when you need them, botched biscuits can also be blended to make great cheesecake bases and dry sponges can be used as lady fingers for desserts like tiramisu or trifle. 

Do you have any tips you think I’ve missed? Add them to the comments.

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