How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Gluten Free Baking was such a challenging fete a few years ago, but today it’s a totally different story! There are so many gluten free flours available in most grocery stores nowadays.

And with the research of some amazing food bloggers like Art of Gluten Free Baking, Gluten Free on a Shoestring and more, gluten free ANYTHING is possible!

In my own Home Bakery, all my cakes and cupcakes are available in gluten free. This is not because I “saw a gap in the market” or anything, it’s rather because my husband, Adriaan, is highly intolerant to gluten.

I firmly believe that no home baker should try and sell anything they don’t believe in. Not so much because it’s inconsistent, but honestly, it just doesn’t work.

You can market products till you pass out, but if you don’t LOVE your products and really believe in the motivation behind baking them, you will literally not be able to sell them. Not nearly enough of them anyway.

There I go again, throwing in baking business advice. Back to the gluten free chat!

 

Gluten Free, But Also Lazy

The biggest problem I found with gluten free baking when I started exploring it, was that I needed to use a whole new recipe every time I wanted to bake something gluten free.

In other words, I couldn’t just use my favourite Carrot Cupcake Recipe, I had to go search for a gluten free carrot cupcake recipe – and even then there was no guarantee that the recipe would be up to scratch.

Having a Home Bakery is quite a high paced job, so I mostly memorize my recipes so that my baking process is much faster. The idea of memorizing DOUBLE the recipes because of a whole gluten free repertoire was just WAY too exhausting to even consider!!

I’ve quoted my wise (and unconventional) dad on this before in my How to Freeze Crème Pat post, but he always said:

“If you want to be lazy, you have to be clever!”

There simply had to be a gluten free flour blend you can sub into ANY regular cake or cupcake recipes.

On top of that, MANY gluten free cake recipes are severely annoying. They ask for these crazy ingredients which I’ve never seen before in my life and still have not found in any supermarket or health food store in my area.

Things like Ultratex, Expandex and Whey Protein Isolate… What?! Or should I say “Gezuntheid”?

I’ve been on a mission to find something that could be made with ingredients that are available to me and can easily be mixed with no special equipment or effort.

So I came up with my own gluten free cake flour blend that has changed everything for my husband! I also started using this gluten free cake flour in my own bakery for all gluten free cakes and cupcakes. The POY gluten free flour blend yields such a soft and tender crumb!

And I love that I can find ALL of these ingredients in my closest health store/supermarket!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake and cupcake recipe!

I mix 1 kg of flour in a little sealed bucket and keep it in my cupboard to whip out whenever I need it. You are welcome to halve or quarter the recipe if you need to. I go by grams because the accuracy is just better when it comes to dry ingredients.

 

Not All Cake Recipes Are Created Equal

The worst mistake we can make as bakers is to assume that all cake and cupcake recipes should be treated the same way. I did a thorough post on Baking Perfect Cupcakes a while back where I also stress this fact.

Butter based recipes respond completely different to mixing than oil based recipes. Butter based cake/cupcake recipes can be overmixed so much faster than oil based recipes and this is amplified severely when you use gluten free flour.

 

Subbing With POY Gluten Free Flour Blend

I love to use my own gluten free flour blend that works PERFECTLY in all cake and cupcake recipes.

And here’s a super important tip for the subbing process: Go By Weight and Not Volume!

I never, ever, EEEEVERRRR use cup measurements for dry ingredients. EVER. Wet ingredients, absolutely, but not dry ingredients. The reason why is because cup measurements leave way too much room for error. A loosely poured cup of flour weighs about 150 g, but a scooped cup of flour can weigh up to 190 g!

If a recipe does not provide weight measurements, I like to assume I should use 170 g per cup which is in the middle. This has always worked for me 🙂

 

Mixing Technique for Butter Based Recipes

Cream your butter and sugar as you normally would. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract as you normally would.

When you add the gluten free flour (remember to use exactly the same weight as regular cake flour the recipe calls for) and milk/buttermilk, be careful how you stir and how much you stir.

Gluten free flour in butter based batters, gets overmixed really quickly. Overmixed gluten free cake batter will feel very stiff when you stir it and will result in small and tough cupcakes once baked.

For this reason, I incorporate my gluten free flour and milk/buttermilk on the slowest stir speed with my hand mixer – not with a stand mixer – for about 10 seconds which gives me more control and eliminates the danger of overmixing. If your hand mixer does not have a super slow stir speed, stir super gently, by hand, with a balloon whisk.

When I can’t see any more flour, I then go in with my rubber spatula. Use the spatula to scrape and fold all the eggy butter at the bottom of the bowl into the thicker batter on top. Keep folding gently and scraping the bowl till the batter looks uniform in texture.

Then you may proceed to fill your cupcake liners or cake pans. You can read more about perfect batter distributing techniques in my post Baking Perfect Cupcakes – Advanced Tips 🙂

Just remember to NEVER stir a butter based gluten free batter vigorously.

There are some butter based recipes out there that instruct you to beat the batter after the flour has been added. This is often done to give the cake’s texture a little bit more density and some chewiness. BUT, ignore this is you sub gluten free flour into the recipe. It just flops entirely and you end up with gluten free bricks that no one wants to eat.

Mixing Technique for Oil Based Recipes

Great news is that oil based batters are WAY more forgiving! Score! Whether you are mixing carrot cake, chocolate cake or red velvet cake, you don’t need to be as careful as you are with butter based gluten free batters.

This being said, I still wouldn’t mix it a lot unless the recipe states that you should do so. My Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, for example, requires you to mix the batter on medium speed for 2 minutes before adding boiling water. Since this is an oil based recipe, I do beat the batter for the required time even when I sub gluten free flour and they turn out great!

 

Baking Technique

When you sub POY Gluten Free Flour blend in a regular recipe, please note that your goods will bake a lot faster than when you use regular flour. It's hard to say how much faster because it all depends on your oven. For me it's usually about 10%-15% faster. Rather start testing your cake or cupcakes sooner to avoid overbaking.

 

Subbing Beyond Cakes & Cupcakes

In our home we like to use this gluten free flour blend in Shortcrust Pastry, Cheesecake Pastry and Fresh Pasta too! It produces a gluten free pasta we can even roll out in our pasta machine – so rad!

Important note: This flour recipe is not ideal for making bread or brownies, but I do have an Ultimate Gluten Free Brownie Recipe 🙂

If you have any more questions on substituting gluten free flour in regular cake/cupcake recipes, please comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them 🙂

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught, Full Time
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR BAKING TIPS

Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow

POPULAR BAKING BIZ TIPS

home bakery | home bakery business | home baking business
food market | food market stall | baking business tips | baking business from home
The Yummiest Frosting on the Planet! (Coincidentally Low Sugar too)

The Yummiest Frosting on the Planet! (Coincidentally Low Sugar too)

Philosophy of Yum's Signature Vanilla Frosting

Don’t panic over the “low sugar” you see in my post title. As soon as a recipe has “low this” or “that free” in the title, many bakers tend to be turned off by it. One’s mind immediately pictures a mountain of artificial sweetener – ugh. NOT TODAY FOLKS!

* Photos by Alice Swan

The flipside of the coin is this: sugar on its own actually doesn’t have ANY flavour. It’s just sweet. So here’ my angle…

IF THERE’S LESS SUGAR IN THE FROSTING, THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADD MORE INGREDIENTS WITH ACTUAL FLAVOUR.

So, please be open-minded. I know buttercream is the “standard frosting” out there, but it does not deserve to be. Its overwhelming sweetness actually DAMAGES the beautiful flavour of a GOOD cake.

I know there are some yummy buttercream recipes out there – like Magnolia Bakery’s famous frosting – but once you’ve tried this Philosophy of Yum frosting recipe, there will be a whole new standard of yum for you.

low sugar frosting | low sugar frosting vanilla | most delicious frosting | alternative to buttercream frosting

This recipe is my Home Bakery's SIGNATURE Frosting. It's my GO-TO recipe I use every single day. I use this vanilla version or the chocolate frosting version on ALL my cakes & cupcakes. It goes with EVERY CAKE FLAVOUR known to man. And not only does it “go with it”, it elevates it to a whole new dimension of bliss!

ALL my Home Bakery clients go gaga over this low sugar frosting, because it has so much flavour and it’s gloriously luxurious and smooth.

Please note that Philosophy of Yum frosting has a higher water content than buttercream or ganache, so if you place a high sugar item on top of it, it will melt into this frosting. This means fondant and sugar candies. But chocolate is A-OK 🙂

For classic cakes, cupcakes, naked frosting, semi-naked frosting, layered cakes, covering cakes etc. this frosting is absolutely perfect! It’s an honest frosting and it is honestly ridiculously delicious!!

Low Sugar Frosting Development

I explain the whole journey in detail on my low sugar chocolate frosting post if you want to check it out. In a nutshell it goes like this:

As a child I could not stand frosting. I always scraped it off the cake because it was just TOO sweet. My mother is a dietician and developed a lower sugar frosting for her carrot cake recipe. Now that frosting was DELICIOUS! It was, however, a bit too runny to pipe.

When the time came for me to start up my own Home Baking Business, I knew that I would need to come up with my own frosting recipe… And that the frosting would need to be SUPER YUM and lower in sugar so that it’s not too sweet.

I made a drastic decision to omit butter altogether from my recipe! *GASP!!* Since you need to add HEAPS of icing sugar to butter to get it to the right consistency, it's just so not worth it. I opted to use whipped cream instead because cream is just SO delicious! The whipped cream also makes the frosting so much lighter.

Because cream cheese and cream are already quite soft, there’s no need to add kilos and kilos of sugar to achieve the right consistency.

The result was just stunning… So smooth, so luxurious, SO YUMMY!!

low sugar frosting | low sugar frosting vanilla | most delicious frosting | alternative to buttercream frosting

Reasons to make Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Frosting

* It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.

* Philosophy of Yum Frosting contains a staggering 75% – 80% LESS SUGAR than any other frosting, but it's completely sufficiently sweet enough. 

* It is actually a whole lot quicker and easier to make than buttercream or traditional cream cheese frosting.

* You don’t need a stand mixer to make this frosting! A simple electric hand mixer is ideal.

* Because there is no butter in this frosting, it is also 55% lower in fat than any other conventional frosting. What a bargain!!

* Extra perk: you can freeze this frosting! Say what?? Yes indeed. Let it thaw again in the fridge for about 2 hours and proceed to whip it GOOD. You are basically re-whipping the cream inside the frosting. After a minute or so it will be beautifully thick once more 🙂

Let’s get started! My instructions are going to be quite thorough so that there’s little room for error. I really want you to experience the awesomeness of this low sugar frosting.

4.5 from 2 reviews
The YUMMIEST Frosting on the Planet! (Happens to be low sugar too)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 80 g Whipping Cream (about 30% fat), cold
  • 200 g Medium Fat (about 25% fat) Cream Cheese, cold
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 70 g Pure Icing Sugar (no added corn starch)
  • Cold Water
Instructions
  1. Whip cold cream to stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Beat in cold Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute in total.
  3. Beat in Vanilla and icing sugar. Leave to stand for 1 minute so that sugar can melt into the cream cheese thoroughly.
  4. Beat again till smooth and thick – about 1 minute.
  5. The longer you beat the frosting, the thicker it becomes. If it gets a bit runny once the sugar has fully dissolved, just keep beating it in one spot and it will thicken up. After this the “thickness” spreads to the rest of the mixture when you incorporate it.
  6. The frosting will be quite thick at this stage. If I’m using the frosting for layer cakes, I use it as it is. Just stir it a bit with a metal spoon to smooth out the biggest air bubbles.
  7. If I’m piping the frosting onto cupcakes, I like to thin it out a little. Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time till you reach the desired consistency.
  8. Signs of my perfect consistency: when you tap the side of the bowl, the frosting jiggles. When you scoop up a spoon, it takes about 2,5 - 3 seconds to drop off the spoon, back into the bowl.

Important Notes:

* THIS RECIPE ONLY WORKS WHEN THE INGREDIENTS ARE SUPER COLD. Both the cream and cream cheese should have been in the fridge, on the lowest shelf, overnight. Make sure your kithen isn't hot when you mix the frosting.

* If you live in a super hot climate, you may need to take extra precausions. If your frosting isn't whipping up, let it chill in your FREEZER for 15 minutes. Hold your mixing bowl at an angle and hold beaters in the lowest spot on top speed for 1-2 minutes (don't move beaters around initially). Once the frosting gets really thick around the beaters, gradually start moving the beaters around in smaller circles to incorporate the runnier frosting with the thick frosting. Continue beating till you see the frosting is as thick as it's possibly going to get.

* Another precausion for super hot climates: Once you've piped the frosting onto cupcakes, let the frosted cupcakes chill in the fridge for at least 30 – 40 minutes so that the piped frosting chills and dries out a bit. After this, you can leave the cupcakes at room temperature and the frosting will keep its shape.

* A smaller, deeper mixing bowl makes this frosting much easier to whip up.

*This recipe produces enough frosting for about 12 cupcakes.

* If using in a layer cake: Allow the frosting on each layer to chill in the fridge for at least 1h30 before placing the next layer of cake on top.

* This is not a hard-setting frosting. It remains moist. I love this because it keeps my cakes moist as well, so you never need to do the simple syrup soaking again!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught, Full Time
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR POSTS

pumpkin muffins | fall muffin recipe | crumble muffins | pumpkin cream cheese muffins
cake pricing, cake pricing chart, cake pricing guide, home bakery business, baking business
These Pear Cupcakes are SO SCRUMMY! In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & hazelnuts - YUM!
Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla Cheesecake – Pure Bliss!

Vanilla Cheesecake is one of the most glorious desserts on earth. Fact. Tangy, creamy, smooth and rich. Paired with a sharp fruit compote, it is even better! Total, TOTAL bliss. Oh, and let’s not forget the buttery crust!

If you’ve read my previous posts in my Perfect Cheesecake Series, you will know that I was absolutely petrified of making baked cheesecake – for yeeeears. There are so many things that can go wrong with baked cheesecake. It can sink, curdle and crack or (on the other side of the spectrum) you can be too gentle and end up with an undercooked cheesecake.

In most cooking/baking shows, we constantly see all the dramas and dangers surrounding the humble cheesecake. BUT, you honestly don’t need to be afraid – at all!

Let’s Get Technical

A perfect baked Vanilla Cheesecake is, seriously, super straight forward.

The method is simple.

The ingredients are simple.

The only advice I would give is that you READ MY PERFECT CHEESECAKE MANUAL FIRST, before diving into the recipe! These tips will prep you for making your own flawless Baked Vanilla Cheesecake.

My Perfect Cheesecake Manual covers all the essential tips you need to avoid any cracks, curdling, sinking etc. I also discuss an alternative method to the traditional (and indiscreetly tedious) water bath baking method.

Open the Perfect Cheesecake Manual in a separate tab and give it a read. Remember, method determines at least 50% of the quality of your bake! Method matters.

vanilla cheesecake | perfect cheesecake | cheesecake recipe | baked cheesecake recipe

My Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe Development

There are many takes on baked vanilla cheesecake. Many folks insist on using only cream cheese, eggs and sugar. I do feel that the cake ends up being a bit TOO cheesy though. Obviously a cheesecake needs to be cheesy, but I love it when the flavour is mellowed out just a tad with some cream inside the batter.

The first vanilla cheesecake I made was a recipe by Tyler Florence. He is constantly on a quest to make the ULTIMATE of something. My kind of person! His vanilla cheesecake recipe contained sour cream which gave the cheesecake a beautiful tang.

The addition of sour cream also rounded out the flavour of the cream cheese wonderfully! His recipe contained a bit too much sour cream for me though. Sorry Tyler!

I also tried a recipe by Gemma Strafford once. It was lovely, but I really missed the tang of the sour cream.

Some more influence came along from Ashlee Marie. Her recipe didn’t use any cream or sour cream inside the batter, but her baking and mixing methods for vanilla cheesecake were life changing.

For the cheesecake pastry, refer to my previous post in my Perfect Cheesecake Series – click here. I'll include another link inside this vanilla cheesecake recipe (further down) when you will need it.

I utterly ADORE this vanilla cheesecake recipe… It's a New York Style Cheesecake; buttery vanilla pastry with super creamy, dense (but not too dense), smooth and tangy cheesecake. Deeeeelectable!

It can be eaten as is, or you can top it with a fruit compote of your choice. A mixed berry compote hits the spot for me, so I’ve decided to include that in the recipe.

Here is my ULTIMATE Baked Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe!

Vanilla Cheesecake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9 inch cheesecake
Ingredients
FOR THE PASTRY:
  • 210 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 60 g Icing Sugar
  • 130 g Salted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 50 g Egg Yolks (about 2 ½ egg yolks)
  • ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
  • 950 g Medium Fat Cream Cheese (25% fat), at room temperature
  • 320 g White Sugar
  • 5 g Salt
  • 4 X-Large Eggs (240 g)
  • 250 ml Sour Cream
  • 40 ml Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
  • 35 g Cream
  • 40 g White Chocolate
FOR THE BERRY COMPOTE:
  • 100 g Blueberries
  • 100 g Strawberries (passion fruit use 2 tubs (230 g) total)
  • 120 g sugar (passion fruit use 70 g)
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 45 g Water
  • 13 g Corn Flour
Instructions
FOR THE PASTRY:
  1. Refer to my previous post, Cheesecake Pastry, for instructions.
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
  1. Preheat your oven to 300˚F/150˚C and move an oven rack to the center of your oven. Place the largest roasting tray you have on the bottom rack of your oven.
  2. Use a stand mixer to make this vanilla cheesecake. Do not use a hand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, then rather mix the batter by hand. Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium low speed till smooth.
  3. Add in the sugar and salt. Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and beat again on medium-low speed till sugar is dissolved (30 seconds).
  4. Scrape down the paddle, sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat again on medium-low speed till smooth (30 seconds).
  5. From here on out ONLY mix on the lowest and slowest turtle speed possible. If your mixer doesn’t have the option to go very slow, then do the rest by hand.
  6. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl. Stir lightly with a fork till the yolks are broken.
  7. Pour more or less 1 egg at a time into the cream cheese mixture with the mixer going on its slowest speed, or stir by hand. It is crucial to not whip in any air.
  8. Add the remaining egg in in 3 sessions. Don’t watch it the whole time, you will be SO tempted to increase the speed. It is a great opportunity to spend some time on pinterest or learn a language on the Duo Lingo App (I’ve become 7% more fluent in French, just from cheesecake mixing time! Haha!).
  9. Before mixing in the last egg, scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl thoroughly and mix again on lowest speed.
  10. At this point, start boiling a full kettle of water on the side.
  11. Stir the sour cream, water and vanilla into the cheesecake batter by hand because the mixer takes forever to incorporate the liquid.
  12. Pour the vanilla cheesecake batter into the semi-baked pastry.
  13. Place the cheesecake in the center of your oven. Fill the empty roasting tray with just boiled water. Bake for 1 hour.
  14. Turn the cheesecake 180 degrees around. Bake for another 35 minutes. Switch off the oven with the cheesecake still inside and the door still closed.
  15. After 5 minutes, leave the oven door ajar. Leave the cheesecake inside the switched off oven for 1h30.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the fridge and leave to cool overnight.
FOR THE BERRY COMPOTE:
  1. Place the berries, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cook for 5 - 7 minutes till the sugar is dissolved. Smash some of the berries with a fork during the cooking process.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the corn flour in the water. Add it to the cooking berries while stirring constantly. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes, while stirring, so that the corn flour gets cooked through. The compote should be thickened. Set aside to cool.
FOR THE GANACHE:
  1. The next morning you can decorate the cheesecake! There may be some condensation on the surface of the cheesecake; dab the surface with some paper towels to absorb the moisture.
  2. Heat the cream and tsp of sugar in a saucepan to simmering point. Remove it from the heat and pour it over the finely chopped white chocolate. Leave to stand for 2 minutes, stir till smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Once cool, whip till fluffy and white (about 30 seconds).
FINISHING THE VANILLA CHEESECAKE:
  1. Spread the whipped white chocolate ganache in a thin, even layer on top of the vanilla cheesecake. Refrigerate till the ganache is set - about 10 minutes. This ganache layer will prevent the fruit compote from seeping into the cheesecake.
  2. Top the white chocolate ganache with your cooled berry compote and spread it out evenly.
  3. Carefully push up the bottom of the tin all around the cheesecake to loosen the sides. Place the cheesecake on top of a mug or sturdy glass, gently pressing down the sides of the tin.
  4. Lift the bare sided cheesecake back onto your work surface. Slide a large, smooth edged knife under the pastry to loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the tin. I like to go all around the edges first before attempting to loosen the center-bottom. Push the cheesecake gently, with a cupped hand, onto your cake stand/cake board/serving platter.
  5. Cut slices with a hot, dry knife. Enjoy!!!

Please let me know how you get on by using #philosophyofyum or even tagging me @philosophyofyum on Instagram because I would love to see your bakes!

In my next post we’ll be making Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake 😀 ooooooh yeah…

 

Chat soon!

Aurelia 😊

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught, Full Time
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR BAKING TIPS

Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow
Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting

Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting

Frosting Memories

Philosophy of Yum's Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting is not a recipe that happened over night. I used to HATE frosting actually! My childhood memories of frosting are completely grim. Conventional Chocolate Buttercream piped onto semi-dry sheet cakes with a star tip was a STAPLE at every single birthday party as a kid.

Oh and don’t forget the garnish of chocolate vermicelli sprinkles, glace cherries or the tiny rosettes of dulce de leche! Even though every birthday party had a themed cake, there was always one of these chocolate sheet cakes on standby in the background.

As fond as my memories are of childhood birthday parties, the chocolate sheet cakes are not included in that fondness. That frosting was just too darn sweet. The overwhelming sweetness penetrated into your gills and made your mouth turn skew!

Every time I ate chocolate cake, I hoped this chocolate frosting might taste different, and every time the outcome was the same…

Photos by Alice Swan

I ended up having one tiny bite, proceeded to scrape off all the frosting and ate the semi-dry cake on its own instead (which suddenly seemed a whole lot yummier after tasting that awful frosting!). Did anyone else also do this??

In the end I was so opposed to ANY kind of frosting. I had just never tasted a frosting that actually had FLAVOUR of its own. Not just sweet fat to make a dry cake seem less dry. I apologize for the clouds of criticism… I’m just so passionate about flavour 🙂

A Second Date with Frosting

My mother was writing Low Fat Low GI recipe books throughout my school years. The series is called “Eating for Sustained Energy”. The carrot cake recipe is just fantastic! Naturally they had to take a road less travelled when it came to the frosting. Butter is not exactly “low fat” 😀

They also wanted a frosting with less sugar. Problem with buttercream is that you need to add a LOT of sugar to achieve the right consistency and something resembling flavour. Thus, a smooth cottage cheese (which is even lower in fat than cream cheese), low sugar frosting was the option they went for.

IT

WAS

SOOOOO

GOOOOOD!!!!!!

Finally, a frosting that had a great flavour and didn’t make my head spin from sweetness! A frosting you wanted to eat, as is, with a spoon! The frosting was often a bit temperamental though… If you mixed it too much, it would go runny in seconds. Even so, the flavour and different approach was a great lesson I would draw from in the future.

Philosophy of Yum's Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting Development

When I started baking part-time in 2012, I kind of avoided frosting. I knew I wouldn’t use buttercream. EVER. And I was honestly too scared to make my mom’s frosting out of fear that it would go runny. I needed something pipe-able.

Luscious, easy, CRAZY delicious LOW SUGAR CHOCOLATE FROSTING. You will NEVER want to eat buttercream ever again!

I realized that cream cheese on its own would be too solid and cheesy tasting, so adding whipped cream would make it lighter. Truly, I had never read about whipped-cream-cream-cheese-frosting before or heard about it or anything! It just seemed like a good idea.

The great thing about cream cheese is that it already has flavour and it’s softer than butter, so you can add WAY less sugar to achieve the right consistency and sweetness. Wonderful!

It worked out PERFECTLY. Easy to pipe, super yummy and it seriously goes with ANY cake.

At this point I was still using chocolate ganache as my chocolate frosting. Although I LOVE ganache, it is a bit intense and heavier – even if you whip it. I wanted something more mellow, but still very chocolatey.

About 2 years later I was watching another episode of Unique Sweets (all my stories seem to involve this show! LOVE IT!). The crew was visiting The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co in Seattle, Washington. It is a unique cupcake eatery that makes an INSANE amount of cupcake flavours. Like 150+ flavours! The frosting they use is Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC).

The one cupcake flavour on the episode was the “Tomato Soup Cupcake”, which is a flavour one of the owners had as a kid at every birthday party. Amazing! On top of this cupcake they put chocolate SMBC and it just looked divine.

At that moment I realized that I can easily turn my vanilla cream cheese frosting into a chocolate frosting by adding cocoa powder. I tried it and it was amazing.

One fine day, I didn’t have enough cocoa powder on hand to add to my Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting. I was super upset since Alice Swan and I were having a food photography session that day. I did however have some dark chocolate ganache on hand. Why not just mix it in? The result was insanely delicious!

A blend of cocoa powder and dark chocolate ganache added to vanilla cream cheese frosting was just perfect. Sometimes speedbumps can turn into unexplored avenues of greatness! So cool!

Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting is so easy and TASTIER!! Photos by Alice Swan

So here is my super classified (until now) Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting recipe. I have made it 1000’s of times, refined it and perfected it in my 5 years of full time baking.

I guess if you wanted to be technically correct you could call it whipped-cream-chocolate-ganache-cream-cheese-frosting.

Reasons to make Philosophy of Yum's Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting:

# It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.

# Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting contains a staggering 75% – 80% LESS SUGAR than any other frosting, but it is completely sufficiently sweet enough.

# It is actually a whole lot quicker and easier to make than buttercream or traditional cream cheese frosting.

# You don’t need a stand mixer to make this chocolate frosting! A simple electric hand mixer is ideal.

# Because there is no butter in this frosting, it is also 55% lower in fat than any other conventional frosting. What a bargain!!

Let’s get started! My instructions are going to be rather thorough so that there’s little room for error. I really want  you to experience the awesomeness of this low sugar chocolate frosting.

Low Sugar Frosting | Chocolate Frosting | Alternative frosting Photo by Alice Swan

5.0 from 1 reviews
Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 30 g Whipping Cream with ½ tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 40 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 80 g Cold Whipping Cream, ±35% fat
  • 200 g Cold Medium Fat Cream Cheese (smooth, non-aerated) ±25% fat
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 70 g Pure Icing Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Good quality)
  • Cold Water
Instructions
  1. First make the chocolate ganache. Place chopped chocolate in a ceramic or glass bowl.
  2. Place 30 g cream and ½ tsp sugar in a saucepan and heat till simmering.
  3. Add hot cream to chopped dark chocolate. Stir well until fully combined and glossy. Transfer to the fridge to cool down for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Next make the frosting. Whip cold cream to stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. Beat in cold Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute.
  6. Beat in Vanilla and icing sugar. Leave to stand for 2 minutes to that sugar can melt into the cream cheese.
  7. Beat again till smooth and thick – about 1 minute. Rub a bit of the frosting between your fingers to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. If it is not fully dissolved, leave to stand for another minute, beat it and then test it again.
  8. The longer you beat the frosting, the thicker it becomes. If it gets a bit runny once the sugar has fully dissolved, just keep beating it in one spot and it will thicken up. After this the “thickness” spreads to the rest of the mixture when you incorporate it.
  9. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture and beat to combine. Beat in the cooled chocolate ganache till the frosting is uniform in colour. If you want your frosting even more chocolatey, go ahead and beat in more cocoa powder.
  10. The frosting will be quite thick at this stage, so I like to thin it out a little. Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time till you reach the desired consistency.
  11. Signs of my perfect consistency: when you tap the side of the bowl, the frosting jiggles a tiny bit. When you scoop up a spoon, it takes about 2,5 - 3 seconds to drop back into the bowl.
  12. Stir the chocolate frosting with a spoon to smooth out any air bubbles before transferring to a piping bag or smoothing onto a layer cake.
Notes
This batch of frosting is enough for about 15 Cupcakes

Please try out my Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting! It's a perfect match with my Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes, not to mention my most epic Dark Chocolate Cupcakes.


If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Next time I'll be sharing a recipe to go with this frosting… a VERY special recipe since it is Philosophy of Yum Blog's 1 year birthday! 😀

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught, Full Time
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR POSTS

pumpkin muffins | fall muffin recipe | crumble muffins | pumpkin cream cheese muffins
cake pricing, cake pricing chart, cake pricing guide, home bakery business, baking business
These Pear Cupcakes are SO SCRUMMY! In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & hazelnuts - YUM!




POPULAR BAKING TIPS

Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow
Gluten Free Cake Flour

Gluten Free Cake Flour

Gluten Free Cake Flour

Gluten Free Flour is just as essential in my kitchen as regular Cake Flour. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that my husband, Adriaan, is gluten intolerant. The news was such a downer initially…

We both kept thinking of all the foods he could no longer eat; bread, pies, pasta, pizza, cookies, CAKE!!

The list just felt so long and heavy.

One of the main ways I communicate my love and support is through cooking and baking. It’s my “thang”, you know. Over months of researching and trying out dozens of recipes, I had to face the hard truth that gluten free baked goods simply aren’t as delicious as normal baked goods.

I mean, for a poor gluten free soul they are better than nothing, but come on, I wanted Adriaan to leap in the air over the yumminess! There had to be a solution to gluten free baking that would produce goods SO YUMMY that they actually make him dance with joy…

The Cravings

The main thing Adriaan was craving was just an ordinary yellow cake. Nothing fancy – just pure and honest cake. Thing is, the simplest bakes are the ones that leave ingredients nowhere to hide!

Making a chocolate cake is so much easier in that sense, because if your gluten free flour blend has a slightly funny flavour, it will be masked by the chocolate flavour (gluten free bakers nodding in agreement here).

Another impossible craving he had, was for pie! Flaky, buttery pastry. What more does a man need? Except a wife to make it of course. Adriaan used to eat tons of pies. In South Africa they are everywhere. From every grocery store to the smallest take away shop in a run-down neighbourhood. I often made a butternut, spinach and feta pie for us at home as well.

Making gluten free cake is one thing, but pastry is a whole other colossal monster.

Photos by Alice Swan

Why so complex?

As I’ve said before, I have done hours and days of research online. MOST gluten free flour/cake recipes were severely annoying. They asked for these crazy ingredients which I’ve never seen before in my life and could not find in any supermarket or health food store in my area.

Things like Ultratex, Expandex and Whey Protein Isolate… What?! Or should I say “Gezuntheid”?

I was on a mission to find something that could be made with ingredients that are available to me and can easily be mixed with no special equipment or effort.

Breakthrough

One fine day I was searching for gluten free flour/cake recipes yet again and I came across Yammie’s Gluten Freedom. Her recipe for White cake looked fantastic.

I wasn’t too keen on making it though as the recipe called for coconut flour as well (which is too expensive) and if I can avoid doing the egg white thing, I prefer to do so. BUT, Yammie gave a link to Jeanne’s gluten free flour recipe on Art of Gluten Free Baking.

I tried out the flour blend and it was really really good!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake recipe! I also use it to make shortcrust pastry, rough puff pastry and even in homemade pasta! Pasta that can be rolled into sheets with a hand operated pasta machine – I kid you not!

Refining

This gluten free flour blend was a great breakthrough and made cupcakes that improved Adriaan’s quality of life significantly. I also started using this gluten free flour in my own bakery for all gluten free cakes. After a few months however, I realized that there is a slightly grainy residue in your mouth when the crumb breaks down. Not severe, but it was still there.

When I made a gluten free cake about a year later, I had run out of glutinous/sweet rice flour. Such a bummer. Going to a Asian supermarket was not an option on this particular day, so there had to be a plan B! Art of Gluten Free Baking suggested Potato Flour as a substitute for Sweet Rice Flour.

The result was just so much better! Such a soft and tender crumb! In the meantime I’ve also increased the amount of Xanthan Gum and Brown Rice Flour as well. I’m so extremely happy with the recipe as it is now!

And I love that I can find ALL of these ingredients in my closest health store/supermarket!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake recipe! I also use it to make shortcrust pastry, rough puff pastry and even in homemade pasta! Pasta that can be rolled into sheets with a hand operated pasta machine – I kid you not!

I mix 1 kg of flour in a little sealed bucket and keep it in my cupboard to whip out whenever I need it. You are welcome to halve or quarter the recipe if you need to. I go by grams because the accuracy is just better when it comes to dry ingredients. Now go bake yourself some perfect gluten free cake with your favourite normal cake recipe!

Important note: This flour recipe is not ideal for making bread or brownies, but I do have an Ultimate Gluten Free Brownie Recipe 🙂

Gluten Free Flour
 
Author:
Serves: 1 kg
Ingredients
  • 290 g White Rice Flour
  • 290 g Brown Rice Flour
  • 230 g Potato Flour (not starch, different ingredient)
  • 175 g Tapioca Flour (or starch, same thing in this case)
  • 14 g Xanthan Gum
Instructions
  1. Weigh ingredients into a bowl or tub with at least a 2,5 kg capacity. Some of the flours are quite fine and will form dust as you mix them.
  2. Using a metal spoon, VERY gently fold the flours together. Be sure to dig all the way down and scoop the flour up in the process. Get into all the corners as well. Do this for about 1 minute.
  3. Next stir the mixture gently again, but this time using a handheld balloon whisk. Keep stirring for 1 minute. Be thorough.
  4. Put your gluten free flour in a sealed container. It will last as long as the actual ingredients – a couple of months.

I'm pretty sure you will enjoy my Ultimate Gluten Free Brownies Recipe… I've literally sold like over 8000+ of them. They are AMAZING!!

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you like my gluten free flour blend as much as we do.

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught, Full Time
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR BAKING TIPS

Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow
Gluten Free Brownies

Gluten Free Brownies

Gluten Free Brownies – The Story

Gluten Free Brownies were totally not a sales gimmick for me. Many of my clients thought I started baking gluten free brownies because gluten free eating became a trend a few years ago. Actually, that is not the case.

Photos by Alice Swan

See, I married this incredible guy… Adriaan. When we were dating he ate all the wonderful things that any regular student eats. Pasta, pies and McDonalds. Problem is that these nutritious foods were often eaten at 3h00 in the morning.

Adriaan and I both studied architecture and all-nighters were as common as breathing. Obviously you get hungry and McD’s was the only 24 hour food provider.

Adriaan’s mother also has a highly sensitive stomach with a whole list of foods she cannot eat. Whether the poor quality of food, lifestyle or genes were to blame, about 6 months into our marriage we discovered that he is gluten intolerant. Thanks Murphy!

Wife becomes a baker, and 6 months later, husband becomes gluten intolerant.

gluten-free-brownies-chop-2

You need to understand that my husband is my biggest fan. When I realized I want to rather be a baker and not an architect, he was so excited with me. Even though we had nothing, were getting married, moving to a new city and had no jobs he could see the potential and my heart 🙂

best gluten free brownies | gluten free chocolate brownies | gluten free brownies recipe

One of my favourite ways to express love, gratitude or joy is through cooking and especially through baking. But now my whole baking repertoire was suddenly quite useless in our home. I had to regroup.

Adriaan had to have a baked thingy. It had to be gluten free. And I was going to make it for him.

Gluten Free Baking Begins

Gluten free brownies seemed like a good place to start 🙂 There is a wonderful chocolaterie here in Cape Town called CocoaFair! They are “Africa’s first bean to bar chocolate manufacturer founded on the principles of social entrepreneurship.”

I bought their chocolate once and I’ve never looked back. So yes, great quality chocolate is of the essence here as half the recipe is just melted chocolate!

If you don’t have a local chocolaterie, you could always order goods online. Just be sure to check the ingredients list. Commercial chocolate often contains gluten.

I adapted this recipe for gluten free brownies from a recipe by David Lebovitz. I’ve baked this recipe hundreds of times – editing and fine tuning for 3 years now. This really is my ultimate recipe for gluten free brownies. I hope you enjoy them as much as our family, friends and clients do!

This Gluten Free Brownie Recipe has earned me at least $5000 in brownie sales, so yep, I think it's SAFE to say that they are amazing 😉

gluten-free-brownies-cut

A non gluten free eater ate these brownies and commented: “This is the best brownie in the world… I want to go sit in a corner and cry now.” Lol!

The texture is perfectly balanced between fudgy and chewy…

Gluten Free Brownies
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 120 g butter, unsalted
  • 250 g 65% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1t Salt
  • 180 g sugar
  • 2 ½ eggs, at room temperature
  • 40 g White rice flour
  • 40 g Tapioca Flour
  • 20g milk chocolate, chopped
  • optional: ½ c pecans, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Spray the inside of a 17 x 27 x 3 cm (7 x 10,5 x 1 inch) brownie tin with non-tick cooking spray. Line the tin with baking parchment so that it goes up the sides and 3 cm over the rim. This makes the brownies easy to pull out once cooked and cooled. An 8 x 8 inch tin will also work just fine.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
  3. In a medium size pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. As soon as the butter is melted and begins to simmer, add in the chopped dark chocolate and turn off the heat. Stir around thoroughly every 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted into the butter.
  4. Keep the pot on the stove and stir in the sugar and salt. Leave to sit for 5 minutes and stir very well. Remove the pot from the stove.
  5. Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
  6. Add the white rice flour and tapioca flour to the pot and then stir to combine into the chocolate mixture. Beat the batter on high speed for one minute. You’ll notice that the batter becomes a shade or two lighter in colour.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, making sure to spread out the batter into the corners of the pan. Distribute the nuts evenly over the mixture. Push the nuts down into the mixture with a spatula and then smooth the surface once more.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped milk chocolate over the top of the brownie batter and allow the heat from the mixture to melt the chocolate. If your batter is too cool to melt the chocolate, use a hairdryer to melt it! Useful appliance! Smear the melted milk chocolate into the top layer of the batter, making sure to cover every inch of the surface. This creates the shiny crust on top.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. It is important that a skewer comes out completely clean when testing. Remove the brownies from oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the tin. Place the tin (with brownies) in the fridge for about 5 minutes before slicing – it makes slicing much easier. Enjoy!

best gluten free brownies | gluten free chocolate brownies | gluten free brownies recipe

Have fun with this recipe! Bask in the chocolate ambiance…

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught, Full Time
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR POSTS

pumpkin muffins | fall muffin recipe | crumble muffins | pumpkin cream cheese muffins
cake pricing, cake pricing chart, cake pricing guide, home bakery business, baking business
These Pear Cupcakes are SO SCRUMMY! In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & hazelnuts - YUM!

Pin It on Pinterest