Who, Why & What

Who are you to know about gluten free?

The GFLC Team

Well, I’m sure you would want to know who is behind a business before you subscribe to it in the first place.  Plus, given it is such a specialism & a level of trust, you’d need to know that I actually know what I’m talking about.  So here you go.  Here’s all about us! 



I’m Nicky, I’m a single mum to two amazing girls Olivia & Grace.  They are now respectively a teen and a pre-teen but part of the team behind Gluten Free Little Cook.  I run a gluten free cake business specialising in bespoke birthday cakes and postal/delivery cream teas consisting of GF fruit & plain scones, cakes and brownies.  I did say I’d never make brownies as they are the one thing that a coeliac is offered.  “ooh we have brownies” Yay said no one ever!  But, with the creation of the teas, they needed an extra hit of chocolate, so I make them too (and I’m reliably informed by a friend’s daughter “they are the best brownies in the world ever”.  The aim was to always ensure that any item ever tasted gluten free.  If my mum can’t guess, then no one else should either! 

I’m not a trained baker by any means, I’m more than happy in the kitchen and like many of you, will have just practised what I learnt from when I was a child baking with either my grandmother or mother.  Nowadays, lots of people haven’t had those experiences and are frightened of baking anything, getting it wrong, or just don’t know how to do it.  It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out like in a picture, as long as it tastes good, a little extra icing in strategic places can be just what you need! 

I was however, a trained nanny & worked with many families over the years, organising parties, activities etc & my kids too always had a themed birthday event be it Dalmations, Princesses or Frozen.  I’m used to keeping children busy & baking is a great form of fun, learning and determination.  Prior to having my children, I worked with a number of corporate organisations, managing teams and back office admin.  I do much prefer being behind the scenes organising, but, when it’s your own business and livelihood, you need to step up and out.  I am an avid networker, I always know someone who is the right person for the job & I help other women start their businesses and provide advice from starting, to tech to social media. 

I’m also heading to a BIG birthday so it’s time to do something different, something for me – at the end of this very week I turn 50.  It’s either go big or go home, so it’s best to just do it big.  Which is why I started Gluten Free Little Cook, as I like a challenge & didn’t want to see anyone miss out.  All cakes/bakes are tested before any recipe is put into a box, either ones I’ve adapted from regular cookery books, or borrow from gluten free ones.   

And as it is National Selfie Day, I’ll even be putting up a picture up on Instagram/Facebook today, Monday 21st June. 

Life begins at 50 or so I’m told.  Let’s see.

If you want to see what else I do, head over to Nic’s GF Bakes – I’m on Instagram, Facebook & there’s a website too.  https://linktr.ee/nicsgfbakes


My why is my youngest child Grace.  For years she was plagued with ear and eye infections, lethargic and forever having a sore tummy.  It’s tummy tonsilitis they’d say, a continuation from her ear/eye infection & her lymph glands are swollen.  By the end of 2017, I was at breaking point with her being ill again, having seen an ENT specialised who dismissed my suggestion at an allergy of some sort.  But by December, my child was grey.  Washed out & not right. In early Jan 2018 at the age of 9, I took her to the doctors again.  A new locum GP listened & agreed she was an odd colour & ordered blood tests.  Very comprehensive ones covering everything & filling at least 7 vials.  Grace wasn’t impressed. Yet, 3 days later I had a call that changed our world and by the beginning of Feb, we had a diagnosis and began our gluten free journey.   

Coeliac Disease, an auto-immune disease, not an allergy, is becoming more well known, but we are well behind Europe in catering for it.  And it is still very much misunderstood, as you will know if you are a parent of a coeliac, it’s a challenge as it is not just about cutting out the gluten/wheat.  The acronym BROW is handy to remember (Barley, Rye, Oats & Wheat) to remove all those items from your diet, that in itself is easy enough.  However, it is about removing all forms of cross contamination that could make them ill as well as any items with ‘may contain’ on them.   

Separate butters, jams, toasters (or toaster bags), food cooked at the top of an oven on separate trays, constant label reading and ensuring that everything is safe to eat.  No double dipping, no sharing bags of sweets, crisps etc.  Eating out is a challenge, the constant questions, queries, do you have a separate fryer for chips? (her staple diet along with ketchup!).  When you get asked or told “it’s got milk in it, is that ok” or my other favourite “don’t worry, it’s hot, the gluten will get killed”.  Umm, it wasn’t alive in the first place.  Thanks, we’ll eat elsewhere.  

The disease, whilst hard, is remarkable in the fact that it can be treated by diet alone.  Remove the gluten, and given time, the body responds.  Grace has thrived the past 2 years, her numbers have dropped, and whilst she hasn’t been seen during Covid for her usual tests, seeing her grown in height the past year, I know that she is doing well. 

What & How

Our what is ‘what can we do to help you, how can I help solve your problem’.   

Firstly, I never wanted a child to miss out especially not my daughter.  I have seen how she was affected in the beginning of our gluten free journey when she’d attend a party with her packed lunch and miss out on the treats, the cake & half the party bag too as it was either not suitable or would potentially be contaminated in some way.  It couldn’t be trusted.  And trust is important.  Her face, downhearted & teary, is enough to break anyone let alone her parent.  I decided then and there that she wouldn’t miss out.  Being different is hard enough when you are an adult.   When you just want to be like your peers and fit in, especially when young, its hard to adjust.  Luckily, Grace is rather resilient.  At school, for her birthday, she’d just take in gluten free cupcakes for her treat.  No one knew and no one should.  The important thing is that no one missed out. 

Being different is hard.  It’s nice when your child is invited and included to a party; that the parent takes a big decision to make everything suitable for your child to be included.  I’m lucky to have friends like that. I hope you are too. 

Ingredients are important to us too and what goes in our boxes.  I only use high quality items and what I would use in my own cake business & at home too.  I use Doves Freee From flours, Belgian chocolate & sugars from Tate & Lyle or Silver Spoon.  Gluten Free sprinkles are sourced from my own supplier and are safe for coeliacs.  I don’t use ‘may contain’ wheat but some items are may contain for peanuts/nuts. 

Each and every box will always have more.  I don’t know how to do ‘less’.  It’s not in my nature.  There will be themes to tie a box together, seasonal, UK holidays including Halloween, Christmas & Easter.  I’m sure there will be a healthy January option……to tie in with the New Year! 

Each box contains: 

  • all the dry ingredients needed to make the recipe.  Simply add the butter, egg, milk as required. 
  • the full recipe so you can make it again with a reuseable wipeable recipe card. 
  • a theme to tie in with the seasonal nature of food.  Surely July has to be about strawberries!!  And August for corn and September for apples.  An additional recipe suggestion, hints & tips on other items to try. 
  • a ‘made by me’ card for your child to put alongside their bakes & send us a picture so we can share it 

If a box contains fairy cakes or cupcakes – we’ve fantastic fun wrappers, gluten free sprinkles and cupcake picks to decorate them with and make them look awesome.  For biscuits we’ll have sprinkles, icing even a chocolate dip depending on what we are helping you create. 

 Above all, it’s important that it’s fun, ‘normal’ and exciting.  The tasty part is just what it should be!   They will adapt & evolve in the coming months ensuring that we provide the best quality and fun that keeps you and your child happy.

 Our first recipe cards head off to the printers this week to be made.  Bright, fun and colourful. 

 Have you got yours ordered so you don’t miss out?  

Top Ten Tips for going gluten free

Top Ten Tips

Here are my Top Ten Tips for going gluten free, ONCE, your child’s diagnosis is officially confirmed by a consultant (not your GP) following blood tests and potentially an endoscopy.  Most children are diagnosed on blood tests alone if their results are high (10x the normal range). Note that Coeliac Disease is an auto-immune disease and not an allergy. 

STEP 1 - Remove all gluten from their diet.

Removing gluten means changing their whole diet and cutting out gluten containing items from their food intake with anything that includes Barley, Rye, Oats*, Wheat, Spelt.  A useful acronym is ‘BROWS’ which will help you remember what to look for.

*Oats – can be eaten as part of a gluten free diet but must be marked as ‘gluten free oats’ so they are not contaminated.


Coeliac UK is the UK charity which has lots of advice & help for any questions you have.  It’s open to all with a member only access to additional information / apps and help.  


There are lots of places for information but be mindful that there is mis-information out there & one person’s view may be out of date.  For up to date information check on Coeliac UK first.  Be mindful that you look at UK websites regarding Coeliac Disease.  Coeliac is the UK spelling and Celiac is the USA spelling. 

Learn to read labels well.  There are apps to help you double check, but a label will always be most up to date.

Grab a copy of my new updated book now available on Amazon, Coeliac Disease & your Child – What you need to knowwritten especially to help parents when your child has just been diagnosed. It’s overwhelming in the beginning.  What do you need to know, where do you start, how are you going to manage.  The right information at the start helps your journey into the coeliac world much easier.  I’ve been there, done that & all you need is there ready to get you started.

It’s what I learnt and what I wished I’d have known when my child was diagnosed. It would have made life so much easier.


Yes, check everything.  Even the strangest things have gluten that you wouldn’t expect.  And always double check a label of something you regularly buy.

Check your kitchen ingredients for those you currently use including; stock cubes, packet sauces, anything pre-packaged, soups, tinned items, freezer & fridge food, drinks including cordials, fizzy drinks.  Some supermarket own brands have barley in them such as cola.

Anything that can be double dipped or have a knife dipped in it, it will need to be replaced if used by the Coeliac to avoid cross contamination

And not everything has to be labelled gluten free to be gluten free.  You’ll save yourself a fortune if you learn to read labels well.


Sort a shelf or a cupboard in your kitchen for gluten free food items.  You will need new suitable breakfast cereals, gluten free bread, pasta & snacks.


The Coeliac in the house will need their own labelled butter, jam, condiments that can’t be double dipped.  They will need toaster bags to toast their gluten free bread and/or their own new toaster.  Label items or place them in a suitable fridge type container so everyone knows not to use them.


This is the biggest hurdle.  Prepare their food first; use washable plastic or a new wooden board to be used only by the Coeliac for preparing food.  Use silicone spoons instead of wooden ones.  Cook food on the top shelf of the oven above the regular food so it doesn’t get dripped on.

For further information see Coeliac UK & this blog


Always have a snack with you in case you are somewhere that doesn’t cater for Coeliacs.  Research venues if you are going out.  Plan ahead.


It can be done.  You need to find out what restaurants cater for you and understand the disease. 

Fish & Chips; they need to have a separate fryer to cook any items to be gluten free – so chips & gluten free fish or sausages need to be cooked there.  Some provide gluten free battered fish but fry it in the same oil as regular fish.  Heat does not kill gluten!  This is definitely cross contamination and could/will make a Coeliac ill.


It’s about adapting everything that you already cook or use.  Making lasagne, use gluten free pasta sheets, substitute the stock cubes, cooking sauces etc.  For Yorkshire puddings, use cornflour (best option).  Baking a cake, use gluten free flour. 

Welcome to Gluten Free Little Cook

How could I make fun, educational gluten free baking kits for kids?

Baking Kits for Coeliac Kids?

Baking Kits for Coeliac Kids?  Could it be possible?

This thought popped into my head one Saturday morning early in 2021 having been bombarded by Facebook ads after clicking on a random advert.  You know, you click on one, and then suddenly the powers that be read your mind and you are inundated with every bake box that is currently available online. But they aren’t suitable for my family or maybe even yours, as I have a child with Coeliac Disease.  

I know how hard it is on a day by day basis, just wanting to be ‘normal’.  I never wanted her to miss out so I had started a Gluten Free cake business in 2020 but, it took up too much time, cleaning down a family kitchen twice before starting. How hard could it be…..

With a coeliac child myself, I know what must be done, what must be excluded (items that contain barley, rye, oats* or wheat/gluten). Regular baking boxes just aren’t suitable for us as an option or a treat.  *Oats can be suitable for Coeliacs, but need to be specifically stated as gluten free.  7-10% of Coeliacs still can’t tolerate oats in their diet. 

You need something specific for your child’s needs, those diagnosed with Coeliac Disease & those dairy free.  We want our children to have special treats, as they typically miss out on having that cake at a birthday party or when in a restaurant.  On normal everyday things.

I didn’t want to be ‘oh, you can’t have that, lets read the label, lets see or check’.  I want to be safe for both my daughter and your sons and daughters too.

We’re 6 months in.  I’ve worked out the solution, I’ve refined the boxes, they’ve become fun, creative boxes that make tasty treats as well as combining a learning fun facts about seasonal UK vegetables, along with an activity to undertake each month; colouring/word search/dot to dot.  Activities to get their fingers and brains working.  And yes, I did train as a nursery nurse so its finally harnessing that knowledge too.

Whilst the ingredients are provided, your child is learning to bake from scratch, read a recipe, follow steps.  Key life skill, especially if you want your child to be independent when older.

Baking lessons for big and small are coming too – when I feel confident enough – as everything is new, a huge learning curve & little steps before big scary leaps.  Watch the website for details.

Baking is just science in another form, and at least with these experiments you get to eat the outcomes!  And they are very tasty!!