By Catherine Dunwoody
The secret to delicious GF baked goods? Products that don’t have the unfortunate and often typical texture (read: sand or Styrofoam) associated with the term ‘gluten-free’. As a card-carrying Celiac (ok, there is no ‘card’, but you get the idea) I was diagnosed with the auto-immune disorder a few years ago, long after I’d been eating gluten for a lifetime. Always on the hunt for gluten-free options (and sharing ‘cause I’m nice that way), I’m as picky a food-writer as ever; because I know what the gluten-full versions taste like. Sure, it’s tough to measure up, but not impossible.
Julia Child once said, “a party without cake is just a meeting.” We literally can have our cake and eat it too, especially at these bakeries who do special-occasion or any-day cakes, throughout the Vancouver area. Helpful hint? It’s best to pre-order these cakes by visiting their websites or calling ahead.
Delish Gluten Free • Wheat Free Bakery is in an industrial area of Port Coquitlam but step inside this super cute shop to pick up a confetti cake with pink buttercream frosting. Since 2011 owner Jenna has been committed to GF baking. Consider the classic black forest cake if that’s more your style, plus many of Delish’s products are vegan and custom cakes are available.
Wendel’s True Foods is a wholesale bakery, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention them here, as their cakes are sold at numerous grocery stores throughout the lower mainland, including Lee’s Market in Fort Langley. Try the salted caramel chocolate cake, layered with chocolate buttercream, then finished with salted caramel and chocolate ganache.
An online bakery based in Richmond, called Cookie Crumbles Vegan Bakery, is well worth considering. Don’t confuse vegan with gluten-free, however, they do offer gluten-friendly items upon request. Celiacs or gluten-sensitive be warned however, this is not a dedicated GF facility, meaning that cross-contamination between wheat flour and gf flour can happen. If that’s not a concern for you, try the butterfly pea flour coconut cake – truly a work of art.
Two Daughters Bakeshop in Vancouver’s North Shore closed their storefront during the pandemic, but fret not, you can still order custom GF cakes for pick up via sister company That Vegan Cake Gal. Cake-mistress Erin shows off her decorating talents with pretty frosting peonies and roses, fun kids cakes and more.
Another bakery that is not a dedicated gluten-free facility but does offer one lovely gluten-friendly option is Chez Christophe. Based in White Rock, the Trio de Chocolat is a layered cake of milk and white chocolate mousse topped with GF chocolate crumble topping.