It’s not always easy to find gluten free goodies. But I think there are many more options available now than there ever have been before – which is great news for those of us who can’t eat wheat or gluten.
I haven’t eaten wheat flour for 6 years and had more of less become used to always being the person who couldn’t eat the birthday cake at a party or have dessert in a restaurant.
So whenever I found a place that had gluten or wheat free desserts, cakes or pastries I would always buy them. Without really even considering if I wanted them. If they were wheat free they were purchased. Immediately.
But more recently I’ve found myself picking up cupcakes and other wheat free treats all over the place. I’ve literally got more cakes and slices than I know what to do with. Which is a very different state of affairs to 6 years ago.
Back in the day if I fancied some cake I had to make one for myself – but now I can get professionally made ones really quite easily as well!
Here are a few of the delicious wheat and gluten free goodies I’ve managed to find in London.
Lola’s always has wheat free red velvet and flourless chocolate cupcakes available. I personally find the icing on the chocolate one a little bit too sweet and would prefer a little more of the perfect sponge and a little less frosting, but nevertheless they’re very light, fluffy and delicious and consistently available.
Last time I was there I was hinting (not so subtly) that it would be great to see wheat/gluten free carrot and banana cupcakes as well – so here’s hoping!
You can check out Lola’s website here.
The Hummingbird Bakery
Hummingbird makes gluten free chocolate, vanilla and red velvet cupcakes but I often find that they don’t have all three instore at the same time as they don’t always sell well and often have to be thrown away at the end of the day (sacrilege).
They normally have at least one though and it tends to be the red velvet which is absolute perfection. The sponge is incredibly soft and light and the icing is smooth, creamy and delicious.
Their chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are glorious as well.
They also custom make large versions of their three gluten free cake flavours which are great for parties or birthdays.
Both Hummingbird and Lola’s put their gluten free cupcakes in different coloured cases from their regular ones to help you figure out which is which.
This is particularly helpful if you buy a bunch of them some of which are gluten free and some are not.
Check out Hummingbird‘s selection of gluten free cakes here.
Sweet Couture – Cake Boutique
I was walking past the Sweet Couture counter in Canary Wharf one day when I spotted some wheat and gluten free cupcakes, so I decided to grab one.
I went for banana as the other big bakeries don’t tend to do the more unusual flavours in gluten free versions, and my goodness was I in for a treat.
This cupcake was so soft and delicious with such creamy sweet banana-ry icing that I ate it pretty much all in one go with my boyfriend looking on in horror. It was amazing.
I became such a fan that my boyfriend actually organised for Sweet Couture to make my birthday cake – it was a big sponge cake with chocolate icing and a personalised message on it.
They really do make the most scrumptious cakes and cupcakes. If you’re wandering past one, definitely give yourself a bit of a treat and pick up something yummy.
You can check out their range of heavenly cakes here.
The Natural Kitchen
I was in The Natural Kitchen on Marylebone High Street the other day and found a whole ton of yummy gluten free treats.
The Sugargrain bites are absolutely delicious. I’m a particular fan of the Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondie Bites but the brownies also go down very well.
These peanut butter cups were a revelation.
Of course you could melt dark chocolate over peanut butter and make a delicious little cup, but it had never occurred to me to try it. Not to sound too Masterchef but the saltiness of the peanut butter mixed with the sweetness of the chocolate really is a dreamy combination.
UPCAKES make a variety of sweet treats that are free from wheat, sugar, dairy and eggs.
If you’re interested in trying any of the snacks above, take a look at the websites below:
Wheat Free Rosewater and Pistachio Cake
I picked up this cake from a little delicatessen in Highgate, North London called Limone. It was insanely good. And shows that even small places are becoming more aware of the need for wheat and gluten free alternatives.
The owner of this particular shop said he had had such high demand for wheat free goodies that he had ordered a couple of different wheat free cakes in.
I’m a big fan of macarons, but they have to be the proper French kind which are made of almonds rather than flour. That’s right – traditional French macarons are made from ground almonds instead of flour and are completely gluten free!
So even during those dark days when I couldn’t find any other wheat free sweets, macarons were always there for me.
Ladurée does perfect macarons – although they have a price tag to match.
They’re crunchy with a smooth centre and come in a huge range of weird and wonderful flavours – even bubblegum! But they do all the classics as well – chocolate, raspberry, pistachio, vanilla, hazelnut… I could go on.
They’re a real treat with an afternoon cup of tea.
You can peruse their website here.
As a side note, generally if you’re buying macarons do check that they’re the kind made from almonds and not flour, as not all macarons (e.g. Paul‘s) are made with almonds and you could be caught out.
If you’re health conscious or wheat/gluten free and haven’t yet discovered Leon, you’re in for a huge treat and a whole new world of possibilities.
A lot of their food is available in wheat or gluten free versions and their baked goods are no different.
Along with their Pecan Pie (which is a regular in my house), Brownie and Orange Cake they also do a Lemon Ginger Crunch and a Cranberry Pecan Flapjack, both of which are wheat free. The Lemon Ginger Crunch is actually both wheat and gluten free. They also have quite a few dairy free options.
Their food is delicious, healthy and very clearly labelled where it’s wheat free, gluten free or dairy free. It’s a bit of a relief to go to Leon if you can’t eat a certain food group!
They make life easier.
Have a look at their delicious food and baked goods here.
Marks & Spencer
They do everything from Gluten Free Crumpets, Chocolate Muffins and Fruit Cake to Caramel Crunch Squares, Almond Traybakes and deliciously soft Lemon and Chocolate Sponge Cakes.
Take a look at their yummy gluten free range here.
It’s always worth double checking that what you’re buying is free from whatever ingredient you can’t eat, as you might find for example that something is wheat free but not gluten free.
I eat wheat free foods rather than gluten free ones and would be fine with a slightly wider range of goods than someone who has coeliac disease – so always make completely sure that what you’re buying is safe for you to eat if you have allergies or intolerances.
Oh and if anyone’s interested the flowery plates most of the cakes are shown on are of course from Zara Home.