Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This is by far the easiest gluten-free dessert I’ve ever made! Almost easier than opening a prepackaged mix. You only need two dishes to make this; a mixing bowl and a baking pan and you are ready to go. Start to finish, your cake will be ready in under 45 minutes!

I tried to cut down on the sugar since 1 cup seemed like a lot. I started adding it 1/4 cup at a time. I’m not sure if it was the cocoa powder or the gluten-free flour, but found that I definitely needed the whole cup. This cake is extremely rich and chocolatey. I ended up freezing about three-quarters of the loaf (I made mine in a loaf pan, not a cake pan). The slice I’ve defrosted since was just as good as the freshly baked. I think making this recipe into cupcakes, might make freezing a bit easier.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake



Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
From via FitSugar.

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Better Batter.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon guar gum or 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (only not included in GF flour mix)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add all liquid ingredients and mix well.
  4. Bake in greased and floured nine-inch square pan (or lined with waxed paper) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Serve as is or with some berries and cream for extra indulgence.

Gluten Free Brownies for 4th of July & a GIVEAWAY!

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies

Life gets really busy sometimes. Between school, finals, trips (SF and DC, so fun), sick dogs, computers dying, volunteering and more school, something had to give. Unfortunately that thing was blogging. I’ve still been cooking and photographing and going to farmers’ market every weekend, but there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day for getting around to writing and editing.

I really don’t want to talk about how it is July in a week, but considering one of my favorite holidays is on the 4th of July, I suppose we must. Just because life is super busy, doesn’t mean I don’t want to cook and bake as much as I normally would.  Sometimes everyone could use a little help in the kitchen. I have used Betty Crocker gluten free mixes before and I have to say I love them. I’ve used tried the yellow cake mix, the devil’s food cake and now the brownie mix. They have turned out perfectly every single time.

MyBlogSpark sent me an awesome baking tool set with a rolling pin, pastry brush, spatula, and timer, and an 8″ Square Cake Pan. The rolling pin, brush and spatula are all my favorite color, so I was pretty excited about that as well. I got even more excited when I noticed the pastry brush and spatula have a built in rest! No more goopy batter on the counters! Genius!  The best part of this My Blog Spark campaign for General Mills, is that I get to give away the same gift set to one of my readers! This gift set includes products from  Joseph Joseph.  One lucky winner will receive an adjustable wooden rolling pin, spatula, pastry brush, timer, and baking pan. And since I love a good giveaway, I’m also including an apron and a box of Betty Crocker gluten free mix to break in your new pan. See entry details below!

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies

Enter the giveaway here:a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway info:

  • To enter, use a Rafflecopter giveaway (it’s super easy!)
  • Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter.
  • The giveaway will close Monday, July 1 at midnight (Pacific Standard Time).
  • Giveaway open to US residents only. (Sorry international readers!)

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Good luck! 🙂

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies


Gluten Free Brownies for 4th of July
Recipe from Betty Crocker.

  • 1 box Betty Crocker® Gluten Free brownie mix
  • Butter and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 cups mixed fresh red and blue berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 8X8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, stir brownie mix, butter and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan.
  3. Bake 28-31 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base. Arrange berries over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.


Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Cheese-Filled Coffee Cake

I’m really not one for cakes (cheesecake is the one exception, but that’s totally different). But I have to admit, every once in a blue moon there is nothing better than a huge cup of coffee and a slice of coffee cake. I absolutely loved this recipe. I actually only made it because I had all the ingredients on hand, but it was so simple and quick to get together. Perfect for a quick breakfast sweet or an easy last-minute tea/coffee date.

I have to say that this coffee cake is definitely at its best straight from the oven. Despite wrapping  the cake up nice and tight, the next day it was close to rock solid the next day. That’s just the way gluten-free flours tend to be. A quick 10, 15 seconds in the microwave and the problem was solved.

Gluten-Free Cheese-Filled Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Recipe from Celiac Central.


For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
For the Cake:
  • 1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Bisquick
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter – softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
For the Crumb Topping:
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup softened butter – room temp
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (Bob’s Red Mill is fine.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a round 9 in. cake pan and set it aside.
  2. Mix the cream cheese filling in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Spread about a little more than half of the batter in the bottom of the pan. Next put the cream cheese filling on top and try to spread around. (It may be difficult, but using the back of a tablespoon works well.)
  5. Lastly, put the remainder of the dough batter on top.
  6. In a small bowl, using a pastry blender tool or 2 forks, combine the topping ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I would start checking it around 20). Insert a tooth pick into the cake and it should come out clean and dry when done.
  8. Cool well before dusting the top with sifted confectioner’s sugar, if you like. After cooling, be sure to keep covered for freshness.

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt CakesSo I guess now that Thanksgiving has come and gone here in the States, I guess that means the holiday season is officially upon. I must admit I am a bit of Grinch. Mainly because I think christmas has just gotten far too out of hand. There is only one thing that I absolutely adore about the holiday season and that’s the obscene amount of baking that I can do. It’s the one time of the year that mass quantities of baking are socially acceptable.

I’ve already started thinking of fun and new recipes I can start testing out on my friends and family. It’s great having a willing and able built-in test audience, especially since I’m not too keen on sweets. I light of my mini dessert obsession this recipe seemed like the perfect combination of experiment and great taste. I really wanted to try out my new mini bundt pan (how fun is the word ‘bundt’?). I’m not sure if it was me, the recipe, the oven or the pan, but it was rough going when things came out of the oven. Luckily, after a bit of coaxing, everyone got their act together and cooperated in the end. The salted caramel flavor made this chocolate cake even richer. Add in the frosting and it was one of the sweetest and richest desserts I have ever come across. I decided to sprinkle on a bit of flakey sea salt to enhance the caramel flavor and cut the sweetness just a bit.

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes

For the Cake

    • 2 cups Better Batter all-purpose gluten-free flour
    • ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
    • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
    • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cups International Delight Salted Caramel Mocha Flavor
For Frosting
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons International Delight Salted Caramel Mocha Flavor

For the Frosting

    1. Mix powdered sugar with International Delight. Beat with electric mixer on low. If the mixture is too thick for frosting, add in more International Delight. If it is too thin, add in more powdered sugar.
For the Cake
    1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease mini bundt pan or baking pan of choice.
    2. In a large bowl, place the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and International Delight, and mix to combine well. The batter will be thickly pourable.
    3. Fill the wells of the pan. about halfway full with batter. Shake from side to side to distribute the batter in an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The cake should be a little spongy, not dense.
    4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    5. Place one mini cake on a piece of parchment paper, bottom side down. Drizzle a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake.

The International Delight Facebook page shares coupon savings and a chance to share your delight this holiday season.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Baked Applesauce Donuts

Baked Applesauce Donuts

I really wanted to make some autumnally appropriate baked goods, but it’s still a million degrees here and the last few weeks the internet has been overloaded by pumpkin. Pumpkin is not my thing. It looks gross and even though I can’t remember what it tastes like (I’ve only had it twice), I’m pretty sure it tastes gross too. Apple seemed to be a seasonal flavor that was more my speed.

I had two problems with these when they were done. They were extremely dense. Super dense baked goods can just be the outcome of gluten free baking. It happens. I’ve also never made donuts before, let alone baked, gluten free donuts, so I’m not quite sure why these were so dense, but they were. The donuts were also insanely sweet. I know donuts are meant to be sweet, but I think the combination of sugar and applesauce (even though it was unsweetened) was just too much. If I made these again, I would probably scale down the sugar even more to maybe just 2 tablespoons. Because they were so sweet, I decided not to make a glaze for them and warm from the oven, they did not need one either.

Baked Applesauce Donuts
Inspired by this recipe.


This recipe will make 6 round donuts or 4 cruller/bar donuts.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a donut pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in applesauce, eggs, vanilla and butter. Beat together until well blended.
  3. Fill each doughnut cup approximately 3/4 full. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for a round donut pan or 15 to 20 minutes for a cruller/bar pan in the preheated oven, until donuts spring back when touched. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.

Gluten Free Strawberry Nutella Muffins

Gluten Free Strawberry Nutella Muffins

There’s a man with a van who hangs out around the closest big intersection to my house. He sells things out of the back of his van. Primarily berries and cherries, but sometimes there are avocados and mangoes or pumpkins and pineapples; it kind of just depends on the season. I live about 40 minutes away from one of California’s biggest strawberry growing regions, so we pretty much get them year round. They are just starting to come into their main season at the moment. The berry man has become my go to source for strawberries and other various items, because 1. he’s cheap, 2. he has a hand painted sign that says ‘Picked Fresh Today’ and 3. they are always delicious, which makes me believe the sign and love the price even more. I drove by the berry man the other day and got the genius idea of buying a full flat of strawberries, which turned out to be able SIX pounds, which is sort of a lot. I felt pretty proud of myself getting 6 pounds of strawberries for just over $2 a pound, especially considering how expensive they are in the grocery store, but as soon as I got home, I realized I had to figure out what to do with six pounds of strawberries…

My first strawberry endeavor was this delicious muffin recipe. It’s perfect for a sweet breakfast treat and also makes a pretty satisfying dessert. Quite frankly, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with Nutella. The fresh strawberries only make the Nutella even more enjoyable. My favorite part of these muffins is the little Nutella line that runs through the center. It basically ensures you get a bit of Nutella in every bite!

Gluten Free Strawberry Nutella Muffins

Strawberry Nutella Muffins (adapted rom Prevention RD)

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together canola oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add slowly and gently stir, you don’t want to over mix. The batter will be very thick; fold in the strawberries.
  4. Fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Next, add a small spoonful of Nutella to each muffin cup. Cover the Nutella filling with the remaining batter.
  5. Bake muffins for 22-26 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack. Yield: 12 muffins.

It’s Thanksgiving!

Now that silly birthday things are out of the way, it’s time to get down to some very serious business.


Well, almost, but it’s my favorite holiday of the year, so I take it very seriously. I am also more than a little peeved about the unnecessary encroachment of halloween and Christmas on T-giving’s turf. Back up off my favorite holiday, yo!

I have a habit of not being in America for great American holidays, but in no way does that put a damper on the celebration. I’m actually pretty excited to be in the States for this Thanksgiving, because the last few years, I’ve kind of been all over the place… This one year I was on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, then I was in Budapest, the next year I was in Italy, then the year after I was in London and cooking for 25 with 1 oven and a raging case of meningitis, and then I was back in Budapest again and I nearly burnt down a really important historic building owned by the US Government. True story.

My preliminary planning for Thanksgiving may or may not have begun in February of this year… Stop it right now! Don’t you dare judge me. It’s called enthusiasm!

Like every family, we have our own traditions and favorite dishes, but I always like to try out a couple new dishes every year as well. Regardless of where in the world I’ve been or who I’ve been cooking for, I have a couple steadfast rules and traditions on which I will not budge.

  • There will be cornbread stuffing and it will be awesome
  • There will be no canned cranberry sauce (unless Lauren is there and only then)
  • There will be no canned cream of something soup anywhere near my green beans
  • Turkey is not that big a deal
  • If you want pumpkin pie, you can make it yourself, pecan is where it’s at
  • And most importantly keep the g.d. celery away from the stuffing! (celery makes me want to punch things)
So, all that being said, let’s talk menu. There are some things that will always be on my menu, some things will come and go. Here’s a look at how this year’s menu is shaping up:
  • World Famous Cornbread Cranberry Stuffing
  • Dried Cherry Cranberry Sauce
  • Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole w Madeira Mushrooms
  • Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots
  • Some kind of turkey
  • Pecan Pie
This week, I’m going to share some other recipes that would also make for a great Thanksgiving.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers (Gluten Free!)

Read this recipe and then run to the kitchen to make them! Even if gluten isn’t an issue for you or if you are attempting to figure out gluten-free snack everyone can enjoy, these are going to be the perfect addition to any upcoming holiday gatherings you have coming up. I used freshly grated sharp white cheddar. I think sharp or extra sharp cheddar is going to be essential in making this (Seriously, why do people even bother with mild cheddar? Life’s unsolved mysteries…).

I plan on making these again as one of my Thanksgiving appetizers. I’m thinking of taking these to the next level though. Parmesan-Rosemary, Chipotle-Cheddar, Gorgonzola! The possibilities are endless. It’s going to be exciting.

The crackers will keep for a few days in a sealed plastic bag, but I don’t imagine them being around that long.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers (from Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook via Cookistry)

  • 1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Cut two pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet. Grate 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and cheese. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and oil. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.
  3. Take parchment paper, place dough on one piece of parchment paper and place other piece on top. Take rolling pin and roll out dough until about 1/16-inch thick.
  4. Remove top parchment and cut dough into pieces 2 inches square. (A pizza cutter would be perfect for this if you have one.) Slide the parchment with the cut dough onto baking sheet and bake crackers 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  5. Let crackers cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

We had 3 days of sub-70 degree temperatures here in Southern California, which means it’s kinda, sorta officially autumn.  Time to bust out the scarves, jackets and boots and other autumnal things that are still completely inappropriate in this climate. I decided to go all out and just dive into the deep end of fall. I feel like the deep end of fall is most accurately embodied by pumpkin in it’s various forms. I dabbled around in the shallow end of pumpkin, with some gnocchi and lattes, a couple weeks ago, but brace yourself.

If you like pumpkin pie or even vaguely think that pumpkin scented candles are sort nice, you definitely need to go ahead and make this. The bourbon and chocolate chips are totally optional, but I think they are totally necessary. Just do it. This is a perfect dessert for any halloween or fall cocktail parties you have coming up. It would also be great for a casual Thanksgiving get together. So just go ahead and make it now. Everyone will love you.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (from Joy the Baker)

  • 1-1/3 cups flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All-purpose mix)
  • 3/4 cup  granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) cold butter
  • 1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked (used Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats)
  • 1/2 cup  chopped walnuts
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3   eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)
  • a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil.
  2. Mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.
  3. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, pumpkin and spice with mixer until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips (if desired).
  4. Bake 25 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

When I was living overseas, there was no such thing as pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin just isn’t put in pie form in other parts of the world. But I was quite happy to learn that it was super easy to make your own pumpkin pie spice. I’ve never used the ready mixed version, I’ve always made my own and word on the street is that it’s pretty good.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
Combine all the spices in a small container with a lid. Shake together to combine. Shake it some more. Store in small jar or spice container.