World's largest gluten-free cake tops out at 11 feet and weighs 2,000 pounds

One in 133 people in the U.S. (that's 3 million) has celiac disease (about the same number as Type 1 diabetes). Another 18 million are gluten-intolerant. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. People who can't digest it often live with miserable stomach problems, fatigue, sinus problems, and headaches until they're diagnosed and change their diets. (At the first day of Digestive Disease Week in Chicago yesterday, research was presented that showed people of higher income had a better chance of getting celiac diagnose than people with lower incomes, which indicates a need for better education about celiac disease among the general public and physicians.)

To make that point, the cake was the centerpiece of a Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit in Washington, D.C., last week. It was organized by cook and author Jules Shepard, the brains and inspiration behind the cake, along with triathlete and co-organizer John Forberger. Here's more information about the organization, 1in133, which also has photos of the cake as it was being built.

For a video of its construction and an interview with Shepard, check out this video from WJLA, Channel 7. For more information about how the FDA has been dragging its heels on setting standards for gluten-free food labels, check out this post by Kim O'Donnel in USAToday.com.

The recipe for gigantic gluten-free cake? Start with 547 pounds of gluten-free flour. Add 459 pounds of sugar, 270 pounds of eggs, mix a little, bake a little and top off with 700 pounds of frosting. Or, for a family-sized cake, check out Shepard's recipe for gluten-free white cake. It has a mere two layers.

As someone who's always in search of gluten-free bread, cookies and other baked goods, it's tough to find items that don't have that gritty texture or that taste good. Shepard makes (and ships) her own Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Has anyone tried it?

Tagged: Health beat

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