Martha Stewart Cakes {The Gluten Free Way}

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If you have read my main site for long, you may know that I love the Martha Stewart Cookbooks. Yes, some recipes are over the top fancy, or use odd ingredients, but when it comes to baking Martha rarely fails me.

And yes this applies to gluten free baking as well. No, Martha does not have a gluten free cookbook, at least not yet, but her recipes usually convert to gluten free better than many others I have tried. Yes, they take some tweaking and experimenting, but overall I have found they usually end up working out pretty well.

The fact is that when you have a great recipe as the starting point, it is much easier to get a great gluten free result. Martha’s recipes are usual great, so using them as a basic idea for a gluten free recipes usually works out well.

I loved Martha Stewart’s baking books before going gluten free and baked from them all the time, so when I saw that she had a new cookbook, Martha Stewart’s Cakes, which is all about cakes, I knew I had to get it.

I love baking and eating cakes. I love making them for everyday and for special occasions. So, converting some of these cakes to gluten free was something I was excited to do.

I was looking through this cookbook earlier this week and I kept marking recipe after recipe to try. And it turns out that there were well over fifty recipes that I wanted to try and convert to a gluten free version.

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As I kept finding more and more recipes to try I knew I would be sharing some of them with you. And then I thought what about cooking through the cookbook Martha Stewart’s Cakes recipe by recipe, but instead of doing them Martha’s way, I would convert them to gluten free.

And if I was going to cook my way through the book making them gluten free, I knew I had to share them all with you here in my gluten free section.

So, I decided on a new series where I share a cake a week. Yes, I know this might be a bit ambitious or maybe even crazy, but I need a good gluten free challenge and I think this will be it. A cake a week is a lot of baking over the next year, but I am excited.

The reason I think this challenge will work is that this book is more than just basic cakes. It is loaf cakes, coffee cakes, cheesecakes, cakes with fruit, healthier type cakes, and more. This book is full of variety, so it will be easy to keep it different each week.

Yes, I said each week. Since I have at least fifty recipes I want to convert to gluten free, I figured why not share a gluten free cake a week for the next year or so.

There are some cakes in this book that I won’t make. Some contain ingredients like malt that will be almost impossible to convert. Other cakes in the book have nuts as the star ingredient and since my daughter has a nut allergy I can’t use nuts.  When they are the main ingredient, leaving them out won’t work, so I will skip those recipes. However there are plenty of recipes that I should be able convert to gluten free pretty easily. In fact, I think I should be able to convert at least 75% of the recipes to gluten free.

Now, this may not always be easy, and there may be some disasters along the way, but I think I can make most of them work.

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Last night I spent some time planning out what cakes to make when. I decided instead of cooking through the book page by page, I would instead focus more on the cakes that fit each season. Well, okay chocolate cake works anytime of year, but a strawberry cake will work much better in May or June and a gingerbread cake will work much better during the holidays. So I am going for a seasonal approach for cooking through this book.

I have done many series over the last five years, but never anything quite like this, so I am excited to give this a try. I hope you all enjoy it. And I hope my family doesn’t get tired of gluten free cake, because fifty cakes in one year is a lot of cake!

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Comments

  1. It would be great if you could break away a little and use some other g-free flours, too. I have so much more than the rice flours…sorghum, teff, quinoa, etc…and would love to see you use some of them now and then. Any chance? Had to ask…..

    • I am using sorghum more and more, just have not posted much yet with it in it. And have tried experimenting more with the other grains, especially when it comes to pancakes etc, I just have not had any recipes recently that worked so well that I felt they were worth sharing. My family likes them ok for breakfast foods, but not so much in desserts like cakes. Do you use them in desserts? If so do you have any tips? I have found my family does like them better if I use them in small amounts. This book is full of all kinds of cakes, so with the healthy or coffee type cakes I hope to branch out into some of the other grains, but I would love tips if you have any.

      • Actually, I DO have a few ideas! When I first began experimenting, I would take any basic muffin/quick bread recipe that called for 1 1/2 cups of flour and divide it evenly three ways: sweet white sorghum flour, superfine white or brown rice flour, and tapioca starch. It was my go-to out-of-the-gate success combo. I tried almost everything with this combo before branching out. Some flour ‘tastes’ take more ‘acquiring’ than others though! This combo seemed to NOT rock the taste buds boat around here so I pretty much stuck with it. Then I discovered teff! A little bit goes a long way, unless you LOVE it; it seems to give a more “whole wheat” appearance and texture to things and I really like it. If you have a little time, you can read lots of my thoughts here: theglutenexemption.blogspot.com

        I LOVE the garlic cheddar biscuit recipe; it uses the basics plus potato starch. I’ve branched out with almond flour but that’s one you can’t use. Does that mean you can’t use coconut flour either?

        I made crepes with quinoa flour once (and ONLY quinoa flour!) and I appreciated them with chicken salad but NOT anything sweet inside! The only other “taker” I had was a non g-f eater that is here once in a while…so…I’d say that one is definitely one of those you-like-it-or-you-don’t flavors!!

        Thanks for responding!

  2. Can’t wait! :) If your family is like my family they are up for challenge! lol

  3. Hi Lynn,

    I’m discovering your blog for the first time – I found my way here thanks to Pinterest. We have recently discovered that gluten is an issue for my family but despite this I’ve been hesitant to go gluten-free… in part because I love baked goods so much! I know it’s silly but knowing that I’ll be able to keep baking Martha’s recipes, albeit a little differently, will make it easier to take the plunge.

    Thanks for your blog – I’ll be coming back to check in on your cake series!

    x
    Beth

    • I am glad you found my site. Gluten free can be challenging and I really struggled with it in the beginning because like you I loved to bake. The longer I have been gluten free and the more I have used the gf flours and ingredients, the easier it has gotten. Now I love the challenge of making a regular recipe gluten free and I love it when it turns out so well that no one can tell it is gf free. So just know that it does get easier and if it changes your health to go gluten free it is so worth it.

  4. Your GF cakes are the best! They taste just like the real thing. I’ve tried so many other recipes from GF cookbooks and from online, but either don’t taste like the real thing or they are way to complex/costly to make. I’m so excited that I can hardly wait!

    • I am glad you are looking forward to it. I love creating cakes that no one can tell are gluten free, so I am excited about this series as well.

  5. Hey Lynn, I was wondering if you’ve ever tried to make any of Martha gluten free jelly rolls/cake rolls? I’m trying to make a Christmas Yule log this year (vanilla or almond flavor) and I’ve never tried it with gluten free flour before. I’m worried it will have a weird consistency or be too sticky to roll. Any help would be great!

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