Planning a gluten free wedding? Wonder if you can pull off a gluten free wedding? Can you have a gluten free wedding cake that everyone will enjoy? What about other dietary challenges like dairy-free or vegan?
I’m here to tell you that they’re all possible (and delicious) and they don’t even have to cost a fortune. Get creative, call on friends and family, and make your wedding what YOU want it to be.
Gluten Free Wedding Cake
I am so blessed to get lots of emails and wonderful Facebook postings that give me pause, get me all choked up and humble me.
Reading these messages keeps me going on late nights, reassuring me that I am truly helping people living the life I’ve led — struggling to find normalcy in a gluten free world.
Some of these special postings even include photos readers have taken of my recipes, and of amazing recipes folks have made using my gfJules flour. Which brings me to the wedding cake (gluten free, of course).
I have received many requests for gluten free wedding cake recipes (yes, even before Chelsea Clinton’s gluten free wedding cake), and as many emails detailing how thrilled people have been with the results!
Many of these emails and postings have actually been from non-gluten-free wedding cake bakers who were skeptical — at first — about how well a gluten free wedding cake could really turn out. I smile, knowingly, fully understanding that preconceived notions about gluten free still pervade, but also fully expecting amazing results that will turn heads and forever change expectations.
Recently I read a posting on my Facebook page that so succinctly embodied all these experiences and so completely moved me, that I thought I must share. MaryEllen wrote,
I got married last Saturday and had a friend who makes wedding cakes make the cake for me. She did the top of the cake gluten-free using your flour. I wish I had done the whole cake this way because it was SO delicious!! Isn’t it just the most gorgeous you’ve ever seen?
“Yes! Yes it is!” I thought, choking back several wet-eyed, heart-swelling emotions.
My wish is that everyone reading this posting could share in her pride, her satisfaction and yes, likely even a bit of her relief, when she realized that her gluten free wedding cake was everything she dreamed it would be … and more.
I have experienced this feeling quite personally with my own wedding. Dear friends offered to make our gluten free wedding cake, and I wanted it to be whimsical, fun and festive on the outside, but delicious and gluten free on the inside. We heard nothing but amazed comments from guests who went back for more, hardly any of whom had to eat gluten free. That’s the way it should be, isn’t it?
Gluten Free Wedding Cupcakes
Don’t feel constrained to making or ordering a special gluten free cake if you don’t want to, or don’t know someone who can help with it. We’ve all made cupcakes before, and there’s a good argument that it’s way easier to serve and to enjoy a cupcake at a wedding reception than it is to cut and serve cake.
How inviting is this gluten free cupcake tower?And who wouldn’t want to wander over and sample some delicious and festive cupcakes?
For my brother’s wedding, we offered both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes — both served with bourbon buttercream. Let’s just say there were no morning-after cupcakes to be had! They were quite popular!
Gluten Free Bourbon Buttercream Frosting
MAKES 4 CUPS
Whip up this luscious frosting and frost as soon as prepared; it sets up beautifully but becomes stiffer if left to sit in the bowl.
- 1 cup shortening OR butter or dairy-free butter alternative, only slightly softened*
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- milk or dairy-free milk of choice (vanilla flavor preferred), such as soy, almond, flax or coconut milk
- ¼–⅓ cup bourbon (distilled alcohols without mash added after distillation are gluten free)
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Beat shortening or butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, alternating with ¼ cup bourbon and vanilla, beating on low speed until incorporated after each addition. If the frosting is too stiff, whip in the remaining bourbon (up to total ⅓ cup) and milk by the tablespoon, if necessary; if the frosting is too thin, beat in ½ cup additional sifted confectioners’ sugar.
*For best results — especially in hot climates — don’t choose butter or even vegan butter, and for heaven’s sake DO NOT use the Melt vegan butter product (I made that mistake once and that was enough! Talk about an aptly named product!). I like using Spectrum Organic Palm Oil Shortening for my frostings, but there are other options. Check my dairy-free product recommendations for others.
Gluten Free Wedding Reception
The reception isn’t all about the cake or cupcakes, although when they’re this good, you might want them to be! At our wedding reception, we had gluten free pretzels and other snacks sitting about, and offered gluten free and vegan choices at various stations around the dance floor.
One particularly popular area was the mashed potato and sweet potato bar. Guests could choose their own toppings and fill a martini glass: they were portable, novel and filling — the perfect combination for party fare.
For more gluten free reception recipes and ideas, plus snack-packs for younger guests, check out my article in Gluten Free & More Magazine.
For more information on selecting a caterer, location and gluten free party favors, check out my article in Gluten Free Living Magazine.