I am no expert when it comes to gluten-free vegan baking, but I would love to share with you to what I’ve learned so far since embarking on this journey of plant-based eating. I absolutely love to bake and I love to use wholefood ingredients and very limited unrefined sweeteners. I experiment a great deal using different flours, nuts, seeds, healthier sweeteners and natural decorations.
I do recommend weighting your ingredients for accuracy. However I include cup measures to all my recipes and some of the recipes are more forgiving than others. Gluten-free flours vary so much in volume and you have to adjust the recipes where necessary.
The cup measures that I use are:
1 cup=240ml 1/2 cup=120ml 1/3cup=80ml 1/4cup=60ml
I mix all of my gluten-free blends, because I like to know what goes into my food and I don’t use any gums for binding. I don’t have an exact gluten-free blend ratio, it really depends on a recipe. If you’re baking more of a classic sponge cake, you might want to follow traditional gluten-free blend ratio using one high protein flour, one neutral flour and starch like in this recipe for Strawberry Coconut Sponge Cake. But when using fruit and vegetables in recipes you can be more playful. Sometimes I mix two high protein flours and desiccated coconut and it works just fine like in my Blueberry Cake with Coconut Frosting.
The best results come from blending few different gluten-free flours. It’s good to choose at least one high protein flour in the blend for more structure. My favourite flour is Buckwheat flour simply because it’s widely available, good value and I love the flavour. Buckwheat with ground almonds and oat flour make a lovely light blend.
Gluten-free flours you can experiment with are:
Brown rice flour
Oat flour (simply blend gluten-free oats in high speed blender or food processor)
Ground nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts
Ground Sunflower seeds
Starches: Arrowroot or Tapioca flour
Binding & egg replacement
Ground chia seeds
Pumpkin/Squash/Sweet potato puree
Aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas or beans)
Psyllium powder – you can use 1tsp of psyllium powder instead of gums for extra binding
I always use unrefined sweeteners and keep them to a minimum in my recipes. You can layer extra sweetness using fruit, root vegetables, warming spices and vanilla too.
Fats and Oils
I tend to bake either with coconut oil or olive oil. I find that olive oil gives softer texture. When baking with coconut oil, you have to make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature, so the coconut oil doesn’t go solid in your cake butter.
Coconut butter usually comes in a jar and creamed coconut comes in a form of a solid block. I tend to use creamed coconut more, because it comes in a handy 200g block that’s perfect for my recipes and it’s much better value compare to coconut butter.
Frosting & Fillings
My reliable frosting is whipped coconut cream with coconut yoghurt which is really simple and tastes amazing. Mixing vegetable purees with cacao, coconut oil or coconut butter works really well. How about chocolate cauliflower frosting? I’ve successfully frosted cake with blended chickpeas. Think creamy pudding blends that could work as a frosting.
Chia jams are easy and quick to make and make a great filling.
Cooked millet can be blended into a creamy custard like filling.
Natural colours and decorations
I use freeze dried fruit powders to naturally add colour to frostings like this one from Lio-Licious. It’s great to use especially when baking for children if you like to avoid all the artificial colours.
You can sprinkle coconut flakes, raw cacao nibs, cacao powder and nuts and seeds on top of your cakes. Dried edible flowers-rose petals, lavender and cornflowers look amazing. And my favourite fresh edible flowers and seasonal fruit always look incredible.
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