Gluten-free dieters have learned to work their way around many food challenges. From modifying in-home recipes to reworking a restaurant menu, the culinary options for celiacs have been gradually widening over past decades. However, specialty foods like wedding cakes can still pose a dilemma for a strict gluten-free adherent.
The options for a gluten-free wedding cake are fairly standard, though in smaller towns and less urbanized areas, such options become slimmer. If you require a gluten-free wedding cake for your special day you can:
- Select a cake from a strictly gluten-free bakery
- Select a cake from a bakery that offers gluten-free options
- Attempt to make your own gluten-free wedding cake
Buying a Gluten-Free Wedding Cake
Depending on where you live, you may have several options available to you for ordering or buying a readymade cake.
Strictly Gluten-Free Bakeries
A strict gluten-free bakery is defined as a bakery that uses absolutely no gluten in any of its products. Key advantages to ordering your cake from a gluten-free bakery are many, the most prominent of which is that you will not have to worry about cross contamination during the preparations of your cake. However, your main challenge in locating a gluten-free bakery is that these specialty bakeries are still relatively rare. Large metropolitan cities may feature less than a handful of such locations, but smaller and more remote townships will likely lack them altogether.
You'll need to run a specialized search for a gluten-free bakery in your area. In some cases, you may be able to locate a bakery that is a considerable distance away that will still ship to your location. A sampling of gluten-free bakeries include:
- Sweet Christine's: Sweet Christine's is a gluten-free bakery with a lot of options. They will ship some options nationwide; other items, like cakes, must be picked up in person.
- Breakaway Bakery: The Breakaway Bakery, located in Los Angeles, has a strictly gluten-free facility. Their products are also free of dairy, peanuts, soy and gums.
- Celia Cakes: Celia Cakes is located in Arlington, MA. They guarantee no gluten-containing ingredients are ever used on the premises.
Bakeries with Gluten-Free Options
More and more bakeries are catching on to the needs of the gluten-free community. Many famous bakeries accommodate their celiac clientele by offering gluten-free options. Naturally, not all bakeries will provide a gluten-free cake version and you are likely to have more success with the bakeries of a bigger name that cater to a broader customer base.
A few options include:
- Helena Wirth: Helena Wirth, located in Los Angeles, goes out of their way to accommodate any customer's requests, including offering gluten-free options.
- Wildflour: Wildflour is a New Jersey-based bakery that caters to gluten-free customers, taking extra steps to avoid cross-contamination.
- Whole Foods: Though Whole Foods Markets may not be a first choice for brides, most Whole Foods location host an in-house bakery that creates cakes for all sorts of occasions, including birthdays and weddings. Moreover, many of these bakeries are skilled at creating gluten-free cakes.
Ordering a Gluten-Free Cake
Before you order your gluten-free wedding cake, make sure to ask the baker these important questions:
- Are any wheat or gluten-containing ingredients used on site?
- If so, what measures are taken to avoid cross-contamination?
- Have your products been tested for gluten, or certified gluten-free?
- Can they accommodate any other requests, such as dairy-free as well?
- What options do they have for delivery or pick up of the cake?
Making Your Own Cake
Making your own gluten-free wedding cake is always an option, but this option is truly best undertaken only by an experienced gluten-free baker. A wedding cake is certainly not the best place to start if you have only baked a few wheat-free muffins in your lifetime. Moreover, cake decorating is an art in itself, and a wedding cake will need quite a bit of construction and embellishing.
If you are prepared to make a simple cake, however, this recipe produces a rich, dense three-layer cake perfect for covering in your favorite fondant.
If you need help downloading the printable recipe, check out these helpful tips.
- 16 ounces high quality, gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups butter
- 2 cups cocoa powder
- 3 cups sugar
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top half of a double boiler. Set aside.
- Sift the cocoa powder and sugar together in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Gently combine the chocolate mixture with the egg mixture and beat well to combine.
- Pour the batter into a 10-inch, 8-inch and 6-inch springform pans lined with parchment paper on the bottoms.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, or until set in the centers.
- Allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes before removing from the pans.
- Freeze for a minimum of one hour before decorating.
Certainly not every bakery has been catching wind of the growing need for gluten-free wedding cake options. However, ever since Chelsea Clinton highlighted a vegan gluten-free cake at her own wedding, the food world is now giving gluten-free choices more thought. Even if a particular bakery doesn't offer wedding cakes without gluten, your inquiries regarding the matter are really the fuel for the gluten-free movement. Bakeries serious about widening their clientele base will eventually acknowledge the needs of their potential customers.