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Going Gluten-FreeAugust 4, 2010

Chelsea’s Gluten-Free Cake

I am not a gossip columnist, but when I heard that Chelsea Clinton served her guests gluten-free wedding cake, I was all ears. “This is one wedding I would not mind attending,” I thought. The reason was the food.

So I got on the horn (no twitter or e-mail for this important assignment) and called the bakery that created Chelsea’s cake. Fran Steenman, co-owner of La Tulipe Desserts in Mt. Kisco, New York, could not have been more generous in taking my questions (she knows the magazine.)

I wanted to hear all about Chelsea. Who in the family was gluten-free? Fran didn’t have any answers, or if she knew, she wasn’t talking. She told me the assignment came through Bryan Rafanelli, the wedding planner who, according to an article in the New York Times, made everyone sign confidentiality agreements. Despite the “my-lips-are-sealed” policy, Boston-based Rafanelli was talking to the Times. He told them that “despite the bride’s commitment to veganism, the menu offered ‘everything.’” The Times reported that the “wedding cake was gluten-free, as was the bread. So were the chocolate-chip cookies in the straw welcome bags in the guests’ hotel rooms.”

Fran said Rafanelli asked them to come up with a couple of ideas. “We were honored to be selected,” she said.

What type of cake had Chelsea requested?

Fran said the cake was a labor of love, a white cake made from organic gluten-free flour and local eggs and dairy products. The filling was chocolate mousse and the frosting was a white fondant.

“We experimented with formulas,” she said. “It was gluten-free, but we wanted to be sure nothing was missing. We were looking for the best taste possible.”

Fran and her husband Maarten own La Tulipe Desserts, but they had an entire team working on the cake, which served 500 people.

We’ll be telling you more about La Tulipe Desserts, including publishing their recipe for a gluten-free wedding cake, in an upcoming issue of Living Without.

Comments (6)

The bakery which provided Chelsea's wedding cake did not share the recipe, just the story. There are several excellent cake recipes on Living Without's website - and a fabulous coconut cake recipe coming up in the April/May issue!

Posted by: LW Moderator | February 9, 2011 1:05 PM    Report this comment

why can't I access a recipe or they only found in the magazines? Linda

Posted by: ljsardeson | February 9, 2011 12:50 PM    Report this comment

What issue will the wedding cake recipe be in?

Posted by: Gay G | November 4, 2010 11:25 AM    Report this comment

Wonderful news ... more "mainstream" folks will pay attention when someone asks, "do you have gluten-free ...?"

Also, a belated "hats off" to "Living Without:" I moved to a smaller apartment this past April, and the day after I moved I had promised to bake a chocolate birthday cake for a friend ... I bake gluten-free bread for her almost weekly. Anyway, I could not find any of my cookbooks, and my Internet was not yet connected ... all I could find were issues of "Living Without." The April/May 2009 issue (Chocolate Cake recipe on page 32) saved the birthday and made me a heroine! She ordered a gluten-free birthday cake for her boyfriend last month! He's not gluten intolerant, but wanted to make sure my friend and her daughter could enjoy his cake ... now, THAT's SWEET!

Posted by: LYNNIEPOO | August 5, 2010 2:50 PM    Report this comment

I was very interested to read in the Washington Post that Chelsea Clinton had a gluten-free wedding cake. I am impressed that she made sure the gluten-free theme extended to the bread and the cookies in the welcome bags. A thoughtful bride.

Posted by: Cranky Yankee | August 5, 2010 9:55 AM    Report this comment

Thank you for this article. I too was both delighted and curious when I saw that Chelsea had a gluten-free cake! I look forward to more info in an upcoming issue of Living Without.

Posted by: Unknown | August 5, 2010 9:48 AM    Report this comment

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