No need to skip baking when going gluten-free

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Millions of people across the globe adhere to a gluten-free diet. While gluten must be avoided by people who have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting the small intestines, roughly 70 percent of the people who have adopted gluten-free diets do not have the disease.

Where there once was a dearth of gluten-free foods just a few years ago, today many mainstream retailers have entire aisles filled with gluten-free offerings. And people who used to eschew various baked goods, including breads and desserts, now have many options at their disposal.

A gluten-free diet requires avoiding flours made from wheat, barley and rye. In such instances, people can choose from flours made from rice, tapioca starch or potato starch. Some carefully tested and blended flours use a combination of various flours to produce just the right consistency.

For those who desire a traditional golden cake, try this recipe for “Gluten-Free Yellow Cake” courtesy of King Arthur Flour.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake

Yield: Two 9-inch cake rounds

2 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour or brown rice flour blend

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 tablespoons gluten-free King Arthur Cake Enhancer (optional)

1 3/4 cups sugar

16 tablespoons (1 cup) soft butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon gluten-free vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

Whisk together the flour or flour blend, xanthan gum and Cake Enhancer, if using.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar, soft butter, salt, baking powder, and vanilla for 45 seconds at medium-high speed, until smooth.

Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Still using the mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time; the mixture should become quite fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again.

Continuing to use the mixer, mix in the milk, at low speed, alternately with the dry ingredients, adding about 1⁄3 of each at a time, and ending with the dry ingredients. The batter will look curdled after the milk addition; that’s okay, it will come back together once the final addition of flour has been mixed in for 30 to 45 seconds.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cake for about 32 to 36 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes past the point where the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center, and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle comes out clean. The finished cake’s internal temperature should be 210 F.

Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out of the pan to cool on a rack.

Top with desired frosting, berries, whipped cream, or caramel drizzle.

NOTE: You must use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to prepare the batter. Mixing by hand will not do a thorough enough job.

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