I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

July 9, 2010


I have been searching for the ultimate buttercream frosting.

Like an ancient hunter-gatherer, I rummaged through piles of cookbooks (I have several hundred), trawled through pages and pages of the web, left queries on notice boards, and googled 'til I was goggled eyed. I found so many, but which one was 'IT'.
A smooth mouth feel, none of the grittiness of undissolved icing sugar, able to hold up to a warm day without melting, good piping consistency, can be smoothed without cracking, hold a piped shape without being hard to bite through, gluten and dairy free, and most importantly, TASTE GOOD!

I finally came across this likely seeming recipe and with a few minor changes, it seemed to fit the bill.This is the new bit, it's cooked. I got the point, by cooking off the milk and cornflour it was lovely and thick and smooth, also stabilized. Much less likely to have a melt down. Creaming the fat and icing sugar gave the requisite fluffiness and lightened the mix. But did it taste good?..........YES!!!

Definitely yes! Not as fatty in the mouth as pure buttery frosting, and not as sweet because the ratio of sugar is down, which I see as an improvement. So still not low-fat, but really, that's not what I'm going for and anyway ,who cares?
I trialled the recipe and was impressed, but what about for those who thought frosting meant 'Betty Crocker'? Would it be foolproof enough?

My good friend Pony and I held a cupcake class last week and taught a mixture of frosted and fondant techniques, using this butter cream and all went well. I used a number 17 Loyal tip for the swirlies to get that lovely generous spiral. Don't think I'm just all about cupcakes, but they are cute, retro, yummy, and fashionable and help to pay the bills!

I've also used the buttercream on large birthday cakes. I generally pipe it between the layers and around the edges, then over the top last. I had a slight mishap with one of them, so pulled some of the buttercream out of the freezer, stuck it in the microwave for 30 secs, then whipped it briefly with my hand mixer, piped it over the boo-boo and smoothed it back down. It took seconds to set and you couldn't notice the patch at all.

So far I have beaten, frozen, microwaved, and left this frosting in the fridge for a couple of weeks and it still tasted good at every stage. I think it may be indestructible.......

Buttercream Frosting

225g of fat -( Butter or Nuttlex ) unsalted is best for flavour
1 cup of milk ( soy, rice, etc)
1 cup of pure icing sugar
2 tabs pure cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract- not one with seeds!

1.Heat milk and cornflour on stove and whisk until mixture has thickened
2. Let cool
3. Cream sugar and fat until light and fluffy and colour has changed
4. Add milk mixture and vanilla and whip until it has the same consistency of stiffly whipped cream.
5. Taste - for quality control, of course!

Add colourings slowly during whipping, adjusting slowly as the colour will change as the air is incorporated.It doesn't go white, rather yellowy due to the colour of the fat. This will set quickly to nice and firm piping consistancy and then to set place in the fridge.

I have added passionfruit, melted chocolate, and other types of flavour bases into this frosting and have always had fantastic results. I'm actually having second thoughts about this post! Not because I'm selfish of course, but this is how I earn my (gluten free) bread and butter. But because it's you reader, I will pass it on and hope it brings you as much success as it has to me.


  1. Thankyou so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!! I have also been on the lookout for a good buttercream recipe!
    Ps - I am intrigued by the wasabi sesame seeds you mentioned in your comment!!!!

  2. Oh, the seeds are good,very good, but they won't match with the buttercream!

  3. Gorgeous! I'll have to try this next time I bake a cake. :)

  4. Ahh interesting! Yes a non gritty, really beautiful buttercream is the one that you want. I've heard of this "cooked" buttercream before so thanks for trying it!

  5. This sounds delicious and looks awesome, but are you sure there's no lactose if you use milk? The lactose gets cooked away?

  6. Hi Ladies, just to be clear, I only use lactose free milk, or you could use soy or rice or other non-dairy etc. Unfortunately lactose can't be cooked out. Never use anything that your body doesn't agree with. You know your body better than anyone else, so listen to what it has to say!

  7. Oh I have just made buttercream and iced a dense Choc cake for my brotherinlaw's birthday tomorrow
    I knew I should have looked at your blog before I did it
    I also googled checked cook books etc so now this week I will make a cake for the teachers at school and use your recipe...

  8. hi...can this frosting hold shapes for cake decorating...like roses??

    1. I don't see why not, as long as you add more icing sugar to ensure it stays stiff enough. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

  9. I made this last night, put it in fridge, took it out maybe 30 minutes later, went hard, so tried to mix it and now it looks like its ricotta cheese. so dissapointed

    1. What a shame Yvette, I've never had an issue ever. Couple of guesses here... maybe you could warm it through and let the lumps melt back in- I've melted mine to total liquid in the microwave and still been able to beat it back up when cool. Or perhaps the cooked mixture set a skin on top as it cooled and this caused the lumps? Next time keep stiring as it cools to prevent this and don't stick it in the fridge straight away or the top will set too quickly. I'd definitely try melting it again, and please let me know how it works out. Sorry you had problems

    2. I made some more buttercream here on the weekend and as it was very cold the frosting did look a little lumpy as the fat from the butter/margarine stayed in globs instead of melting in. it did look a tad grainy and perhaps 'ricotta like'. All I did was zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm a little and it beat back through perfectly. Perhaps this explained the problem you were having Yvette?

  10. I'm in the US and I wanted to clarify "Pure Cornflour". Is that American Corn Starch or actually Corn Flour (finely ground Corn Meal)?

    1. I mean cornstarch, but one that is actually made of corn not wheat so that it remains gluten free. Of course if you have no InTolerances feel free to use wheaten cornstarch instead :)

    2. Perhaps I should clarify, in Australia 'cornflour' (cornstarch) can be made of either corn or wheat but can be sold under the same name. Pure or gluten free ones are ones made only of corn and so gluten free