Kyra Bussanich, a cookbook author, bakeshop owner, and now one of the most well-known gluten-free bakers in the country, makes divine gluten-free goodies. Moist, non-metallic tasting and delicious Celiac-friendly treats DO exist, and Ms. Bussanich is one to thank for that existence. Kyra won Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” (twice) with a gluten-free cupcake. She made the first gluten-free cupcake to ever make an appearance on the show and won simply on taste.
Kyra was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder when she was 20-years-old that forced her to switch to a gluten-free diet, avoiding all wheat and overly processed foods. Kyra’s diagnosis was actually what prompted her to take her passion for baking seriously. Majorly unimpressed with gluten-free options and recipes combined with the extreme lack of cinnamon buns, Kyra enrolled herself in Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie and baking program. She began exploring the art of baking’s chemistry and ingredient function, and proved to be supremely good at it.
In her new cookbook, “Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle,” Kyra breaks down the concept of gluten-free, ingredient by ingredient and flour by flour, explaining the role of protein in gluten-free baking. She reiterates that baking is an exact science and that good baking equals attention to detail – and she shows you exactly how to do it. Her book includes recipes for all the desirable desserts, from quick breads to rich cakes to delicate puffs.
Perhaps what’s most important is that her recipes just taste good. Really good. The moral of her gluten-free story? Gluten-free baked goods don’t have to be bad, and if there’s a will, there’s a way. The cookbook is proof that the wheat-challenged don’t have to lower their standards to enjoy a dessert that fits into their lifestyle.
Shortly after “Cupcake Wars,” she opened her first brick-and-mortar store, Kyra’s Bake Shop, located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Below is a recipe for her award-winning Persian Love Cakes.