A photo of Nicole Spiridakis.

WELCOME TO Cucina Nicolina

Love living gluten-free!

I’m Nicole and I believe in delicious gluten-free food for all!

Founded in 2006, Cucina Nicolina is a place for gluten-free cooking and baking, with a few favorite “regular” baking recipes sprinkled in. My girls are my ultimate taste-testers — I figure if they like what I make and have no idea it’s gluten-free, it’s worthy of sharing here!

I am a former journalist turned food and lifestyle writer and recipe developer. I have written for many print and online publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, NPR Online, Reuters, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and more local and national outlets. You can read a sampling of my work on my clips site. My cookbook, Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts, was published by Chronicle Books in 2014 (more about that below).

I live in Sonoma County in a little yellow house nestled among redwood trees, apple orchards, and vineyards. Once upon a time, I lived in other places, including Washington, DC, San Francisco, Casablanca, Riyadh, and Sydney. We’re happy to now call Northern California home.

At Cucina Nicolina, all recipes are created using naturally gluten-free ingredients and are often reflective of the season. My general cooking and baking philosophy is simple is best. All recipes call for wholesome and whole-food ingredients. This means that ingredient lists won’t contain anything hard to pronounce or hard to find.

I’ll always include substitution options in recipes so you can make these recipes dairy-free as well as gluten-free. And if you need to swap out one flour for another, no problem. I’ll give options for those as well.

Why Cucina Nicolina?

No, I’m not Italian! The name came up when we were tossing around ideas for a food blog, and the idea stuck. I love the warm, inviting feel of “Cucina” — it brings to mind a cozy kitchen where the scents of homemade bread and chocolate cake mingle comfortably, and where all are welcome. I hope that my site carries out that feeling, too.

Why Gluten Free?

I started baking gluten-free back in 2012 when my then-sister-in-law, a baker and cook, went gluten-free. Through our conversations and gluten-free recipe testing, the idea for my cookbook Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts was born (it was published in 2014 by Chronicle Books).

I had always baked a lot, and baking gluten-free was a natural extension of my baking endeavors. My main objective then, as now, was to create desserts that were so good you would never notice any lack of gluten. Combining gluten-free flours to make delicious results or creating recipes that never called for gluten in the first place was a fun and interesting challenge.

I transitioned to a gluten-free diet myself in 2021 after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. Gluten-free seems to agree with my treatment of this condition, and since I ate a lot of gluten-free food anyway, it was pretty easy to eat gluten-free exclusively. Now the majority of my baking efforts are gluten-free, and we all enjoy them!

Living the gluten free life,Simply and Well.

My Cookbook

Check out my cookbook Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts! The book is full of moody, gorgeous photos by John Lee and is packed with all sorts of delicious gluten-free desserts like that opera cake on the cover! I loved creating this book and I’m so glad that so many of you have enjoyed baking from it.

You can buy Flourless here:

Chronicle Books | Amazon

You can explore my favorite gluten free baking recipes and more below.

There’s so much to love about gluten-free baking and it doesn’t have to be boring! I’m here to show you just how delicious – and easy – gluten-free can be.

Gluten Free Favorites