We recently connected with Phebe Rossi of Capitol Hill’s Nuflours bakery to learn more about her business and what it took to create a “gluten-free destination” in Seattle. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: How did you get started with gluten-free baking?
Phebe: I founded Nuflours in 2011 out of a personal need to eat gluten free. At the time, gluten-free options were extremely limited. I started baking gluten-free classics for myself — cake, cookies, brownies — and realized I had a knack for it! I knew there were eaters out there like me who just wanted good gluten free, so I created Nuflours to fill that need.
Q: What has been one of the proudest moments for you with Nuflours?
Phebe: I was very proud when we had our first successful hire of an individual experiencing homelessness. They are an incredibly positive, capable person, and I was so proud that we could not only provide a stable, safe work environment, we were also able to help them get permanent housing, and job skills for a career.
Q: How do you view Nuflours role in the neighborhood community?
Phebe: Nuflours is continuing the tradition of neighborhood bakery in our location. We currently anchor the north end of the retail stretch on 15th Avenue East in Capitol Hill alongside several other small, locally owned businesses. We love being a part of the neighborhood. Our regulars are our biggest cheerleaders, and often are why we get our product carried at other coffee shops or restaurants.
When you have to eat gluten free, you’re always on alert when you go out, asking yourself, “am I going to get sick from cross contamination? What can I actually eat here?” At Nuflours, you don’t have to worry because we’ve created a gluten-free destination. We’ve had customers walk in for the first time, ask what is gluten free, and when we say “EVERYTHING!” they burst into tears. The best way you can give a stranger a hug is by feeding them cake!
Phebe was also kind enough to share her recipe for gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with us:
- Sugar: 1 1/2 cups
- Canola oil: 1/3 cup
- Eggs: 2
- Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
- Flour blend: 1 1/2 cups
- Cocoa powder: 3/4 cup
- Xanthum gum: 1 tsp
- Baking soda: 1 tsp
- Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
- Salt: 1/8 tsp
- Water: 1 1/3 cups
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together
- Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add half of dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just moistened and small lumps remain.
- Add water slowly, mixing. Scrape sides.
- Add remaining dry ingredients and mix.
- Mix until batter becomes uniform (sound will change and batter will thicken) and lumps are very small. Scrape sides and bottom.
- Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to help batter thicken. The finished batter should leave traces of a trailing pattern when spatula is dipped and removed from batter.
- Pour into parchment-lined pan or cupcake liners.
- Bake cupcakes for 24 minutes or 8” cakes for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with small crumbs.
- Cool and frost!