I get this question **all** the time.
And worse, I see cakers ask about it on forums, more every day it seems. So many of them suggest this recipe with GF flour substitution, or that box mix as a solution. It scares me!!
Hence today's Rant
When asked such a question, I ask the clients back, "Is it for a Celiac sufferer?? Or just someone wheat-free like myself???"
Yes, I am a wheat-reactive Cake Artist. Lolz, the Irony, I know
But, it has put me in the position to see that there is a huge amount of dangerous misinformation about GF. That grey area contains a massive amount of risk to both the caker and the client that most are unaware of. So many times well-meaning people ask, "Can we make the anniversary cake GF, because our nephew is GF???"
I tell them...
If the GF consumer in question is **just** wheat free, then yes, a caker can get away with GF flour substitutions, mixes, etc. But if they are a Celiac, or truly Gluten Free, unless you have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, it's very, very difficult to produce a 100% gluten-free product a Celiac can safely eat. There is a whole cross-contamination issue many are not be aware of.
To be truly gluten-free the food must be cooked/served on cookware that are dedicated to GF, or cleaned in a mind-numbingly specific and thorough manner. These poor Celiac sufferers with true Gluten Free diets can't even eat french fries from the same fryer oil that has been used to cook breaded items, or stir fry made in a skillet used for pasta. GF foodstuffs can't be stored near gluten-bearing foods. The list goes on and on. Even microscopic small amounts (20ppm) that stick to cookware will make them very, very VERY sick.
If you tell a restaurant you are gluten free, you would be amazed to see the hoops they jump through to insure no cross-contamination takes place. Dedicated pans. Hand-washing procedures. Storage requirements.
Wheat flour makes my tummy hurt like crazy (and makes me literally foul company later), but I am so lucky to NOT be truly Gluten-Free. I'm really careful not to do that to restaurant prep lines, they have enough to worry about. I tell them I'm just reactive to wheat, and where is it in the dish so I can avoid it.
Celiacs don't have that luxury. True Gluten-Free/Celiacs is no joke, and the last thing we want is to make people sick with our Cake Art
Please, please please be careful, and be sure your client is merely WHEAT-free, and not actually Celiac or 100% gluten-free before you agree to make that cake
Thank you. Rant Over. XO Heather at Art2Eat Cakes
Info on how a Gluten-Free Kitchen works, plus FDA requirements for GF labeling :