Home » Baked to Perfection: UK vs US ingredients and baking terminology

Baked to Perfection: UK vs US ingredients and baking terminology

|| byKat|12 Comments

With my gluten free cookbook, Baked to Perfection, *finally* out everywhere in the world, I wanted to put together a little “glossary” of UK ingredients and baking terminology that might confuse readers over in the US and Canada. (Note that the UK and US versions of the book are one and the same!)

Unfortunately, the differences in ingredient names between the UK and the US can be rather annoyingly confusing, and I hope that the list below will clear things up.

If you come across an ingredient or a baking term you’re unfamiliar with (and that isn’t included on the list), leave a comment below or drop me an email at kat [at] theloopywhisk [dot] com!

For more information about the book and where you can get a copy, check out this page!

  • Baking paper (UK) = parchment paper (US)
  • Bicarbonate of soda (UK) = baking soda (US)
  • Caster sugar (UK) = superfine sugar (US) – if you can’t find it, you can use granulated sugar instead
  • Cornflour (UK) = corn starch (US)
  • Double cream (UK) – best alternative in the US is heavy cream
  • Eggs: UK medium eggs are equivalent to US large eggs
  • Golden syrup – there is no ideal substitute for golden syrup, and you should be able to find it in the US. It might be possible to use corn syrup instead, but I haven’t personally tested this substitution so I can’t vouch for it.
  • Icing sugar (UK) = powdered or confectioners’ sugar (US)
  • Light brown soft sugar (UK) = light brown sugar (US)
  • Maize flour (UK) = corn flour (US) – that is, very finely milled/ground cornmeal

Overhead view of my gluten free baking book, Baked to Perfection.

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12 thoughts on “Baked to Perfection: UK vs US ingredients and baking terminology”

  1. Hi, I’m seriously considering ordering your book from my local bookstore, in Canada, but curious if you use a lot of millet or oat flours as I’m sensitive to these? (wheat, etc allergies not gluten)
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Wendy! I don’t use a lot of oat flour in the book, but quite a few recipes do use millet flour. That said, I’ve offered plenty of substitution options in the book so you can tweak the recipes to your own requirements – for example, you can always replace the millet flour with an equal weight of superfine brown rice flour.

      Reply
  2. Just received my book this morning and am so excited to start diving in. I tried the Biscotti recipe from the website and was in love. I wish there were a few tips on what to sub (if possible) for the dairy heavy items. But I am seeing a lot of dairy free recipes on the website and am thinking I can reference them for many of the options I need to substitute.
    I am so glad my friend pointed me in the direction of your Instagram.

    Reply
  3. Just received your “Baked to Perfection” and plan to make the apple marzipan galette. Can I substitute almond paste for the marzipan? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Marina, really hope you’ll love my book! Using almond paste instead of the marzipan should work but you might have to increase the amount of sugar, as almond paste isn’t as sweet as marzipan. Try adding all the ingredients aside from the egg yolks into your food processor and blender, and then check whether you’re happy with the sweetness once you get a smooth paste (remember that you’ll be adding slightly tart apples on top). You can then add more sugar if necessary, before adding the egg yolks.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for your excellent cookbook! If I only have gluten free flour with xanthan gum already in it do I just omit it if the recipe calls for it or do I just add a reduced amount?

    Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, I’m so glad you’re enjoying my book! If your GF flour blend already contains xanthan gum, no need to add more if you’re making cake, cupcakes, muffins, brownies or the majority of cookies. If you’re making pastry, especially the flaky pie crust, add 1/4 teaspoon per 120g or about 1 cup of flour. As a general rule, if your blend already contain xanthan gum, subtract 1/4 teaspoon per 120g of flour from the amount of xanthan listed in the recipe. Hope that makes sense!

      Reply
  5. Just attended your webinar on blends – fantastic! I have been using your bread recipes for the past month, and todays webinar was the “icing on the gf cake” (excuse the pun). Going to order your book right now. I do have a question re bread recipe. I cannot remember where I saw this but the author suggested proofing the gf bread dough in the fridge overnight (giving it a faux sour dough taste) and then after kneading taking a small piece of dough and storing in an airtight container in the fridge. For the next batch, cut up the small ball into small pieces and add to your next batch. Very much like poolish or biga? would love to hear your views. thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Sasha, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the webinar!! I really hope you’ll love my book as well. You can definitely proof the bread overnight and bake it the next day, that’s an excellent way of fitting it around your schedule, and it should make the flavour more complex and richer. I’ve heard that some bakers keep a small piece of dough and use it in the next batch, but I’ve never tested it myself so I can’t really say whether or not it would work. My concern would be that that small piece alone won’t be enough to provide enough rise to the bread (unless you add yeast as well). I’m not 100% sure what the advantage here would be… if you wanted a slower rise so as to get a more sourdough-like flavour in your GF bread, you could either pop it into the fridge (as you mention) or even use a smaller amount of yeast – this will then prolong the rising time closer to what you might expect for sourdough. Hope this helps! xx

      Reply
  6. Hi Kat,

    I have your new cookbook and I just love it! The photos are so beautiful and I can’t wait to bake more of your recipes. So far, I’ve baked the Sandwich bread twice. I have a question about it: should I be sifting the husk out of the psyllium? Mine looks more like a “wheat” bread, in both color and texture, and I noticed yours looks more like a white bread in the pictures. Thank you for all of your hard work and giving us the science behind gluten free baking 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Cheri, I’m so glad you’re enjoying my book!! 😀
      You definitely don’t need to sift the psyllium husk. Two things could be affecting the colour of your bread:
      1) the psyllium husk – use “blond” psyllium husk, as that doesn’t add any colour to your bread
      2) the flours – Did you by any chance use buckwheat flour (particularly the Bob’s Red Mill one)? That can sometimes make your bread darker in colour.

      Reply