By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

A few months ago, Zachary Golper, the chef and an owner of Bien Cuit bakery in Brooklyn, New York, gave me his recipe for rice flour poundcake. The rice flour, he said, would make the cake light, silky and very tender, while the combination of coconut oil and butter would give it a gentle flavor that was less overtly rich than the usual all-butter versions.

Never one to hesitate when it comes to baking a cake, I made it as soon I could. Back then, when I could just pop into any store anytime I wanted, finding the ingredients was easy. Rice flour was available in Asian markets and in the gluten-free section of large supermarkets, and there was plenty of it.

The cake was every bit as good as Golper promised: with a tight-knit, melt-in-the-mouth crumb and a delicate flavor spiked with a little black pepper and some mezcal.

It was certainly one of the best poundcakes I’d ever made, and it was gluten-free. But I didn’t feel any rush to publish it. I filed it away as one of those evergreen recipes I could call on when I needed it. Maybe in summer, I thought, when people could pair it with berries.

Then, everything changed. Suddenly, all-purpose flour became as scarce as hand sanitizer, and rice flour became an excellent and unusual option.

When Golper developed the recipe, he used white rice flour that was milled in Japan, where, he said, they have a different grinding technology that produces a consistently fine particle size.