CHARLESTON, WV -- For a gluten-free pie or cake, try Sugar Pie Bakery in Kanawha City where requests for such delicacies are on the rise.
The co-owners point out that gluten-free can be made with a few tweaks because everything is made from scratch, making it easy to control ingredients.
Each of the three co-owners has a special talent that has been thrown into the mix to make the bakery a success during its two years of existence. Rachel Evans has a background in cake decorating while Gina Watts is a trained pastry chef. Nancy Skaff, a certified public accountant, takes care of keeping the books in order.
The three ladies share the common bond of wanting to make customers happy by filling requests with tasty and elegant treats.
Glass cases tempt with a wide variety of delectable goodies such as cheesecakes, pies, assorted cupcakes topped with butter cream icing, cake balls, and cookies. What is a taste bud to do?
Since the bakery opened in January 2012, the owners have noticed an increasing demand for gluten-free items. One customer drives from Beckley to pick up cakes for her son's birthday or other special occasions. She often buys two and freezes one for later. She told the owners she once drove to North Carolina to buy gluten-free goodies.
Orders for gluten-free items should be placed a day or two in advance.
"For gluten free, we substitute all purpose flour with rice flour and do everything else the same," Watts said.
Because the rice flour is more expensive, the gluten-free items cost a little more.
The rice flour bakes in the same amount of time. However, the finished product tends to crumble more easily and may require extra icing.
The bakery has filled orders for gluten-free cakes and pies but no cookies yet. They will, however, try to fill any request.
"We use no preservatives," Evans said. "People are health conscious. People are allergic to some dyes and ingredients."
Depending upon a customer's request, coloring may be added to make icing pink or yellow or any other color. However, on a routine basis that is not the case. For example, a strawberry-flavored treat will contain only strawberries.