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Gluten Free ( Specialty cupcakes)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Do you as a cupcaker offer any specialty cupcakes? I'm currently researching/testing gluten free cupcakes and was thinking of offering Vegan, Organic, Dairy Free also. I'm trying to focus on the 100 mile philosophy, Living in a lush valley that offers pretty much EVERYTHING as far as farmed or grown food goes I want to also offer these specialty diet cupcakes. It seems like every time the topic of Celiac Disease comes up or gluten free I have a ton of people saying " I know a ton of people who would DIE for a ........ cupcake."
So do you offer any of these hard to find, specialty desserts?
post #2 of 18
I founded a bakery several years ago in the SF Bay area that focused on food allergies, including gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and/or soy-free cakes and cupcakes. In my experience the gluten-free and nut-free products were the most in-demand due to Celiac and kids with nut allergies. The vegan market is hit or miss, some vegans will pay a premium and some will just do without since veganism is a choice.

Offering 100% organic was a non-starter for us in terms of added costs vs. demand, especially when combined with gluten-free baking which is already more complicated. Also for gluten-free products it's very unlikely you will be able to stick to the 100-mile philosophy, since GF baking involves specialty ingredients.

If you live near a major metro area the GF market should be more than enough to support a custom shop run out of a rented kitchen. Not sure if you are looking to open a retail shop too, that might be more of a stretch so you'll want to have a good business plan in place before you commit.
post #3 of 18
I don't own a bakery but I have coworkers who are gluten free due to celiac or intolerance. I make cupcakes for them using this flour:

http://shop.betterbatter.org/

I substitute this flour cup for cup with regular flour. I use all other regular ingredients (as long as they are gluten free).

I made some for today (coworker's bday) using this flour: chocolate with a fudge filling and vanilla cream cheese frosting. YUM! They tasted just like regular cupcakes, and my coworkers say that they've never had something as delicious as these cupcakes.

You can buy this flour on Amazon as well. It's so easy!
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

I don't own a bakery but I have coworkers who are gluten free due to celiac or intolerance. I make cupcakes for them using this flour:

http://shop.betterbatter.org/

I substitute this flour cup for cup with regular flour. I use all other regular ingredients (as long as they are gluten free).

I made some for today (coworker's bday) using this flour: chocolate with a fudge filling and vanilla cream cheese frosting. YUM! They tasted just like regular cupcakes, and my coworkers say that they've never had something as delicious as these cupcakes.

You can buy this flour on Amazon as well. It's so easy!


When making any gluten-free product you'll need to be extra careful to avoid cross contamination. This includes avoiding porous surfaces/utensils, not storing gluten containing items above GF items, sanitizing everything, and waiting 24 hours after working with flour before exposing GF items or ingredients to the air.
post #5 of 18
Are you assuming that I don't know any of this? What in my post makes you assume that I don't already take these precautions? How do you know that my coworkers aren't aware of what I do and/or how I do it?
post #6 of 18
Osgirl, I thought Jason's information was helpful, not accusatory. I didn't know some of the things he talked about and now am better informed.
post #7 of 18
I don't think it's accusatory, but I don't think it's necessary. I wasn't asking for advice regarding GF baking. It was presumptuous to assume that I know nothing about GF baking.

And I guess I didn't realize that I was asking for advice on GF baking! icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 18
osgirl, have you ever used cup4Cup flour,sold by williams-sonoma? you also use it cup for cup, I've spent a ton mixing my own blend, some great, some not so great.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

I don't think it's accusatory, but I don't think it's necessary. I wasn't asking for advice regarding GF baking. It was presumptuous to assume that I know nothing about GF baking.

And I guess I didn't realize that I was asking for advice on GF baking! icon_smile.gif



It's presumptuous to assume you're the only person reading this topic. The sun is actually the center of the universe. (For those who might be using google to do their science project, you never know.)

And want to get the science project very very WRONG. ...... galaxy? Damnit I wish I was smarter than a 5th grader. Crap I give up....
post #10 of 18
Well, considering that he quoted me, it's safe to say his advice was directed at me. icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

Well, considering that he quoted me, it's safe to say his advice was directed at me. icon_smile.gif



It would've been more than acceptable had I given the OP some misinformation that needed clearing up regarding GF baking when I hadn't. I had simply offered her a link for GF flour that my GF friends use.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

Well, considering that he quoted me, it's safe to say his advice was directed at me. icon_smile.gif



You're right, he did quote you, but isn't it still an assumption to say he's only directing it towards you....and you got mad at him for making an assumption about you.... and... Can someone just read my mind and see where I'm going with this?

Okay, in all seriousness though... why did you find it offensive that he might assume you didn't know? (Not throwing daggers, I really am just curious because I've seen this reaction a lot lately o_o ) Food allergies are serious so in topics like this isn't it best to warn people above all else regardless? The risk of not speaking up, just in case that person might not know isn't a happy one...


P.S. The Milky Way galaxy.... ! Did I get it right? >_> I googled it... I really did.

P.S.S. Just ignore me if I'm going too off topic, my angsty "OH NO SHE DIDN'T" moodswing has worn off and I'm feeling rather sheepish.

Edit: Duuude, you're not the OP! Oh then yeah, I bet he just brought it up because you mentioned it and it easily segued into useful information the OP may not know. Segues are fun! Really I'm just going on and on because I'm scared one day Jason will just stop talking and I want a pocket Jason to carry around in my pocket and ask for random advice. Forums are so easy to missread...

Lalala.... going back to watching tv now. *poofs*
post #13 of 18
My post was directed more at the OP than anyone else specifically, I quoted Osgirl's post because she described her GF baking experience with the implication that it just involved subbing a GF flour mix and was "easy". I have no doubt that she practices safe GF baking, but it is a common misperception among bakeries who think they can jump on the GF bandwagon by baking GF cupcakes in a cloud of wheat flour and storing them in a display case directly under traditional cupcakes.

Building a business that targets the gluten-free market (which is what OP is asking about) is certainly not easy, in our case it involved several months of R&D and a lot of research into suppliers and what their cleaning and segregation processes are if they process gluten at their plants.

If you are baking in a completely GF environment it does simplify things to an extent, but if you make other products that contain gluten it is considerably more difficult to put together a production schedule that ensures your products remain uncontaminated, while at the same time giving you enough volume to leverage economies of scale and keep your prices within what the market will bear.

I take this topic very seriously since I have severe allergies to nuts and eggs (I am OK with gluten), and a bakery that advertises something as (for example) nut-free without the necessary due diligence can literally result in dead customers. Gluten allergies and Celiac are typically not as severe as anaphylaxis but a single customer getting "glutened" can easily destroy your reputation.

But on a lighter note, I would hope that our sun is not at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, since there is a huge black hole there holding the galaxy together. Our solar system is actually about two-thirds of the way out from the center of the galaxy.
post #14 of 18
Gotcha icon_wink.gif

When I responded last night I had just been reading the "hot post" on the business forum about responding to people and answering questions they ask. The OP didn't ask anything about how to GF bake, such as precautions that need to be taken. She simply asked if anyone offers alternatives such as GF, vegan, dairy free, etc...

As her question wasn't about how to GF bake, I wasn't going to answer it in that respect. I simply gave her a link to an ingredient that works well for GF baking.

This goes back to answering the person's original question. I understand you were trying to be helpful, but it wasn't answering her question. If she had asked about precautions, sure, go ahead, explain away.

You/We don't know that the OP hasn't already been researching how to bake GF. Maybe she has? Maybe she hasn't. I would hope she does before she offers GF, but again, that is a separate issue from her OP.

When people take posts in different directions, this is what happens icon_smile.gif This is what the OP was referring to on the business forum.
post #15 of 18
well i appreciated that information! ive just started thinking about GF options and this helps.

the point of forums are to start a discussion. discussions change directions and go different ways. if you dont like that you arent getting an exact answer then maybe your next question you post should include a blurb about only want answers and how you dont want the discussion to get off track.
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