Delia's Cakes - gluten-free

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Delia's Cakes - gluten-free

As I have to cook for someone with a severe wheat allergy, I was pleased to see that 90% of the recipes in "Delia's Cakes" can be made gluten-free.

However, I was alarmed to see that Semolina Shortbreads are marked as suitable for making gluten-free, but there doesn't seem to be any mention of omitting the semolina. I know that semolina is made from wheat and contains gluten, but others may not. If someone makes this believing it to be gluten-free as long as the correct flour is used, the consequences could be disastrous.

Please will you consider adding an explicit warning about semolina in any future editions of this book? For most people it may not matter, but for my husband it would be life-threatening.

Thank you.

Lindsey, Food Editor

Delia's Cakes - gluten free

Hello Julie,

Thank you for your message. We tested the Shortbreads using polenta as a substitute for the semolina, which was a little too crunchy, then we substituted the semolina by increasing the GF flour which was a success with our tasters.

It is fair to say that the specific details of what GF substitutes can be used are not listed as this would have used a prohibitive amount of space and reduced the overall content of the book.

However, in Delia's introduction to the book she explains the various gluten free ingredients, which can be used as substitutes.

It was felt that readers who would be preparing food for those with gluten intolerance would be fully aware of the foods that they were and were not able to use.

However as you have raised this as a concern we will add a note to the recipe on this site about this.

Best wishes



Well-meaning friends with no knowledge.

Thanks for that.

As you say, those of us catering for someone with gluten intolerance and wheat allergies should know to avoid semolina.

I was just thinking of the times when we have visited friends who have proudly produced something they have made from a gluten-free recipe - we can hardly quiz them about the ingredients, but they could quite easily use semolina without realising it. We were once presented with a plateful of pasta in France (having specifically asked for it to be omitted) by a chef who said that it was semolina, not wheat.

As this recipe is not marked as unsuitable for gluten-free adaptation, I just think there is the potential for catastrophe which it would be better to avoid if possible.

Gravy Queen 1

Delia's cakes gluten free

I think fair points have been made on both sides here. At least the Delia team did test though so it is deemed suitable with gluten free substitutions, and thats fair enough for me.

As a coeliac I wouldnt eat anything anyone had made for me without making it clear about what I cannot eat, and checking what was in it.

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