I often joke that I’ll never be a recipe developer. Whilst I love experimenting in the kitchen, my approach is a little bit more ‘ready, steady, cook!’ than scientific – and I wouldn’t want to put a recipe out there you couldn’t trust. I’ll occasionally put something I’ve tried, tested and loved up on my Instagram or Facebook page – but its mainly for my own reference!
Usually I adapt recipes rather than starting from scratch (with mixed results). These days every blogger and their hypoallergenic dog fancy themselves as a cook book writer; and it’s difficult to know which writers and recipes to trust – so here I wanted to share some of the ‘staple’ free from recipes from other bloggers and professionals I use again and again. I hope you find it useful!
All of these recipes are free from gluten, dairy and eggs unless otherwise stated.
There’s one basic ‘plain’ biscuit I make time and time again – the ‘iced gem’ one by Free From Fairy! As well as making these nostalgic treats it works perfectly for larger biscuits and is reliable for making cutter shapes.
For a biscuit with a bit more ‘something’ to it, I also enjoy the Nutribrex biscuits from My Allergy Boy which make a great base for your own flavours and spices.
For something a little chewier and unusual – these Almond & Tahini cookies from Natural Kitchen Adventures are also a regular bake.
‘Natural Chef’ Ceri also has wise words on making free-from cakes – work with the textures and flavours available to you, rather than trying to replicate their gluteny/eggy alternatives. Her chocolate chip banana cake (link) is always a big hit with my friends, free from or otherwise. (I usually substitute half of the buckwheat flour for another gluten free flour as it has quite a distinctive taste).
The carrot cake on Jamie Oliver is one of the better ones I’ve tried. It works just as well with ‘flax eggs’ as real ones (1tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2tsbp water per egg), and as cupcake/muffins.
Chocolate cake isn’t *really* my bag but it seems to be the main option if you’re looking for something free from egg and dairy – there are hundreds of versions out there, we’ve tried many! I used this version from Alimentary Bites for A’s second birthday cake after a few trial runs.
For more of a classic sponge cake, I’m completely lazy and usually turn to the Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge mix – if I’m creating something like this it’s usually for a celebration so I want reliable results! I won their baking competition last year, so have experimented with this mix A LOT. The mix does need egg, but their site had directions for substitutions. Alternatively, we have also had good results with Mrs. O’s Fuss Free cake mix too which is free from all major allergens – just be careful not to overbake it. (Often on offer at Holland & Barret).
Scones & Other Bakes
If you’ve never had a Welsh cake, you’re missing out! This version from Pig in the Kitchen is just like the real thing, with a lovely lemony flavour.
I’ll be honest, Scones aren’t quite the same when not made with lashings of butter, but I didn’t get any complaints about this version from Free From Fairy – they really do have to be eaten fresh from baking though.
Icing and Decorations
For dairy free ‘buttercream’ I always start with the recipe on Iced Gem Bakes – yes it really does need that much sugar to stabilise well – but this makes it perfectly pipeable, or ideal for ‘naked’ style icing as you only need a little.
She is also the source for my ‘go to’ chocolate ganache (link) – perfect for topping cakes, making glazes and filling macarons. If you’re really short on time, a pot or two of Pudology chocolate dessert does exactly the same job.
After lots of faffing around with ‘aquafaba’ for royal icing recipes, I’ve settled on the much easier recipe from Free From Fairy which uses glycerine in place of the egg white (be aware many varieties of icing sugar have ‘may contain egg’ warnings).
I hope you found this useful if you are new to free from baking! I’d love to know your tried and tested recipes.