Moving to a Gluten-Free Diet
I’ve been in denial for a while now, but it is time to accept that I have a slight intolerance to gluten and I need to do something about it. I wouldn’t mind too much, except for the slight fact that I LOVE to bake. Be it bread or cakes, I find the process of baking incredibly therapeutic.
Vegan + Gluten-Free = boring, right?
Turning vegan never negatively impacted my baking. I was quickly able to find suitable alternatives to be able to create all my favourite dishes, like using chia eggs or aquafaba to bind cakes instead of using egg.
“How do you make vegan cake?”
Vegan cake is quite simple really, you want to sub the eggs for a vegan egg. You can either buy a ready-made vegan egg, like this, or you can make a chia egg, a flaxseed egg, aquafaba, or simply you can use a curdled mix of plant-milk and vinegar, like I do in this recipe.
I find Aquafaba is the best alternative as it keeps cakes and other baked goods fluffy and moist.
However, adapting to gluten-free hasn’t been quite so easy…
I’ve had buns that come out of the oven as hard as rocks, cakes with a sinking hole in the middle, and dough mixes that remain permanently raw-looking no matter how long you bake them.
The Trick to Gluten-Free Baking:
Pick the Right Gluten-Free Flour
I have discovered Doves Freee Flour range. And WOW, the results are incredible. I have an awesome recipe for vegan pancakes and I am able to sub in their gluten-free plain self-raising flour no problem, and the pancakes are still incredibly fluffy and light.
A Vegan and Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge Cake
I have an amazing vegan chocolate cake recipe that was just dying to be adapted and gluten-free’d.
And what better than a Victoria Sponge Cake to experiment with?
So, Doves flour must be magic, because I subbed the flour in the cake recipe with Doves Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour, and ta-da, I have fluffy gluten-free cake that wouldn’t just fool non-vegans, but also non-gluten-freers (wow, gone a bit hyphen-crazy here).
How do you make gluten-free cake more moist?
It is mostly in the flour. Make sure to pick a good gluten-free flour blend, like the one made by Doves. Also, using a liquid vegan egg alternative like aquafaba, or vinegar curdled in with plant-milk, as other egg alternatives can dry up the mix.
So, here it is… my successful gluten-free experiment:
A Vegan and Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge Cake (as tasty as any gluten-filled, non-vegan victoria sponge cake has ever been!)
Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge Cake
- 300 ml vegan milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 150 g vegan butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 300 g gluten-free self-raising flour
I use Doves Gluten-Free Flour
- 175 g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75 g vegan butter
- 200 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- + Jam for middle
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan oven)
- Grease two round cake tins and line with baking paper
- Stir the lemon juice in with the vegan milk and set aside to curdle slightly
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter together with the maple syrup and vanilla bean paste. Leave it to cool slightly
- Sieve the flour, sugar, and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl
- Gradually pour in and mix both the milk and the butter mixes. Stir until smooth. If it starts to clump, use a hand whisk to continue mixing
- Pour out the cake mix equally into the two cake tins
- Place the tins into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Try not to open the oven!
- Check the cakes with a skewer, if the mix sticks to the skewer and looks a bit too wet, put back in for 5 more minutes and check again
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool
- Whilst waiting for the cakes to cool, beat together the frosting ingredients and put aside
- Once the cakes have cooled, take them out of the tin and place one half on to a serving plate
- Spread over your jam of choice and then spread on the frosting
- Carefully place the second half on top
- If you have spare icing sugar, sprinkle on top using a sieve
- ENJOY your gluten-free + vegan masterpiece and don’t forget to show off!!