Gluten free flour
Gluten free flour is the easiest option to use when trying to avoid wheat flour. Gluten free flour is a compilation of other gluten free ingredients, so you don’t have to guess at what to mix and match. This premix makes it more user friendly than just buying random products like tapioca flour, coconut flour, or quinoa flour and experimenting!
Where do I find it?
Gluten free flour can be found in most stores in the general baking aisle or in the special gluten free section. There are usually a couple brands to choose from. Scan the ingredient list to check for hidden allergens like white/brown rice flour. Some people have sensitivities to these.
Rice flours are common exchanges in gluten free flour mixes
The 1:1 Bob’s Red Mill contains rice flours, but the gluten free flour by the same company does not. For those with celiac or with severe sensitivities, I would recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour. You will pay about $5-6 for about 20 ounces, but it is worth it.
Check the ingredients for binders and thickeners
Another reason to scan the ingredient list is to be familiar with what it is made of. You might find xanthan gum and arrowroot among the list, which are pretty common in gluten free products. These ingredients are natural and assist in binding and thickening the batter.
If these ingredients are not listed, then you are not looking at a 1:1 ratio flour substitute. You will need to add them yourself. Xanthan gum is super powerful, so a pinch shy of a teaspoon should be enough for a batter that creates 24 cupcakes.
Xanthan gum will make or break your recipe, so please pay attention to the ingredient list of the product you are buying. Bob’s Red Mill sells both kinds of gluten free flours. Make sure you grab the one you want!
Pre-mixed with 2 or 3 alternative flours
In general, gluten free flours are already mixed with two to three different alternative flours, plus added ingredients like potato starch and tapioca flour. These two ingredients are present for added structure, since gluten has been removed.
Removing wheat changes the structure of dough
Wheat gluten is very strong and can be stretched into doughs, folded with meringues or paddled into butter and sugar for cakes or cookies. When we remove the gluten, we remove the structure.
That is why we have such a frustrating time converting recipes from gluten to non-gluten. Nothing is as strong as gluten when added to a recipe all by itself.
Will this flour substitute taste and look like the standard baked good?
Well, yes, for the most part. Some recipes turn out more dense or may have a tinny aftertaste. All that means is that you can adjust your flavoring, liquids and/or fats the next time around. Take note of any changes for the next time and keep on baking gluten free!
Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour 1 Cup
Organic Cane Sugar 1 Cup
Baking soda, sifted 1+½ tsp
Pink Himalayan Salt ½ teaspoon
Coconut Milk 1 Cup
Vanilla Bean Paste 2 teaspoons
Vegetable Oil ½ Cup
Ripe Banana, mashed ½ small banana
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar 1 Tablespoon
Unsweetened Applesauce or puree 2 Tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Mix first 4 dry ingredients together in medium sized mixing bowl
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together along with the mashed banana.
- Using a whisk, slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until completely incorporated. (At this point, you can store the unbaked batter in your refrigerator overnight and bake off the next day.)
- Line the cupcake pan with cupcakes papers. Scoop batter into each cupcake paper. Filling to ¼ “ from the top.
- Place in the center rack of your oven. Bake for 24 minutes.
- Check doneness with a skewer. These usually take 5-8 minutes more.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes. Then remove from the pan.
- Once the cupcakes are room temperature ice with Keli’s Best American Buttercream Recipes.
Printable version of this recipe
Pastry Chef Keli Marks is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She received a full year education at the French Pastry School in Chicago, IL in exchange for being the very first assistant to Jacquy Pfeiffer & Sebastien Canonne, MOF when they opened the school in 1996.
Keli has been on the Food Network on three separate occasions: Sugar Rush, Romance Novel Cake Challenge and The Holiday Baking Championships. In addition, she was on the Chicago chapter’s board for Les Dames d’Escoffier from 2009 – 2011 and was a guest pastry chef at the famed James Beard House in NYC in 2013.
As the pastry chef owner of Bakery 28, she incorporates local ingredients from farmers within the Carolinas and promises to only use natural ingredients.
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