Sunday, 9 November 2014

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes

So it's pumpkin season, and I'm taking part enthusiastically this year. I don't usually like pumpkin, mostly because I haven't really given it a chance. I just wrote it off as gross after a really bad store-bought pumpkin pie. I made my first pumpkin pie this year for thanksgiving and actually liked it. Also I received a pumpkin from someone last week and I'm going to prepare it tomorrow which is really exciting for me because I haven't done so before. Do you make your own pumpkin puree?

I brought these to my parents going away dinner a few weeks ago and everyone there liked them.  It really makes me so happy to come up with gluten free replacements for everything I used to eat, even when things like a cupcake aren't things I'd eat everyday.  There is such comfort in knowing I can make them whenever I want, and that they will taste just as good as one made with wheat flour. 

Yes, this post is picture heavy, because of course these cupcakes tasted good, but look how CUTE they are too! Perfect for bringing out to an event.

For these cute cupcakes, I used tinned pumpkin. And I topped them with a cinnamon cream cheese buttercream icing, but they are just as good without icing. I hope you try them and like them.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

gf pumpkin cupcakes

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Yield:16-18 cupcakes


  • 280 grams all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum if your mix doesn’t include it
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 113 grams butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (or coconut sugar, xylitol, or ½ cup truvia)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned)
  • ½ cup milk with ½ teaspoon vinegar (or half cup buttermilk)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 and line muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until very light in color and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, and mix to combine.
  5. Add vanilla, pumpkin and milk and mix again.
  6. Add dry ingredients, half at a time, mix until flour is incorporated.
  7. Fill muffin cup with batter, just over halfway.
  8. Bake until done (about 20 minutes). Check for doneness with a toothpick – they are done if the toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, no wet batter.
  9. Let cool, and then serve as is, or top with icing for a sweeter treat. In the photos, I topped them with cinnamon cream cheese buttercream.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Sugar Cookies (Gluten Free)

Gluten free decorated sugar cookies. I realize I’m a bit late for Halloween in posting these pumpkin cookies, but the good thing about sugar cookies is, with different shapes and icing they are a year round cookie. Yum! So get your snowman and Santa cutters out, because Christmas is right around the corner.  (Only 51 days!!)

A couple notes about these cookies:

I used Xylitol, a natural sweetener, for these cookies.   It can be used 1:1 with refined white sugar, so I’m sure white sugar would work in this recipe, I’ll give it a try in the next few days.  I use xylitol occasionally as a refined white sugar substitute, (as I do with coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup and stevia all where appropriate), because I do quite a bit of baking and testing recipes and I feel better asking family to test so many recipes when I’ve used ingredients that I feel are a bit healthier. (I freeze a lot of baking too).   Xylitol has a lower effect on a person’s blood sugar and a Glycemic Index of 7. Refined white sugar is 68.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is 100.

These are just my feelings; I do not think everyone needs to agree with me. Use what you want to use.  If you do use xylitol, here is some things I observed, making this recipe twice in row: if you use the xylitol as is, the crystals are a bit larger in size, and seem to keep their size and crunch, so there will be subtle crunchy bits in the cookies. The second time I made them, I processed the xylitol in a spice/coffee grinder to a powder, and it blended seamlessly with the butter. The cookie tasted great both ways.

Also, when baking them, I used a light metal half sheet pan lined with parchment for some cookies – these ones took about 14 minutes total.  I used a darker cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat for the rest of the cookies and these ones took only 10 minutes to bake.  So when you make these, watch your cookies closely. 

If you’re still with me after this tremendously long post, thanks for reading and I hope you make and enjoy these cookies.  Share pictures with me if you do! 

Sugar Cookies

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

sugar cookie

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Yield:2-3 dozen cookies


  • 227 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 200 grams sugar (I used xylitol but white sugar in the same amount should work)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 280 grams all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum if your mix does not include it
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until it's a really light yellow (I use a stand mixer)
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking. Add this dry mixture to the sugar and butter, half at a time, and mix well.
  5. Scoop dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. (This makes it easier to cut out shapes.)
  6. Flour counter with tapioca starch and use half of the dough (put the rest back in plastic in the fridge.)
  7. Roll out dough until about an eighth of an inch to a quarter of an inch thick or so.
  8. Dip a cookie cutter in some of the tapioca starch on the counter and cut out cookies.
  9. Place cut cookies on a pan lined with either parchment paper or a non-stick baking sheet (like Silpat)
  10. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
  11. Repeat with other half of dough.
  12. Let cool completely before icing.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cauliflower Soup

Fall has firmly embraced the Canadian prairies.  Leaves are falling, I’m lugging around a heavy hockey equipment bag again every few days as my son attends practices, and we hosted another fully gluten free Thanksgiving dinner a few nights ago.  My favorite season.  Pumpkin recipes and fall treats are coming up on the blog, but first, this soup.

For me, my favorite season is also about snuggling up in sweaters, blankets and slippers, drinking tea in the evening, cozying up by the fireplace with a book, and warm, hearty soups for dinner.  I hope you make this soup and love it too.

Don’t be scared by the cauliflower – the trendy vegetables it seems at the moment. This soup is tasty, full of vegetables, seasoned as you like, creamy if you choose (I do!).  You completely control the final product and texture simply in how much you blend. I use an immersion blender and usually fully blend mine.  Blend less if you like it that way. It’s also lovely with a swirl of olive oil and chopped walnuts.  And pepper.  Extra pepper.  Enjoy!

Step 5 looks rather long an unnecessarily confusing. It's just me being a bit wordy trying to explain the different processes of blending this soup. It's an easy step though whether you're using an immersion blender (my preference) or a stand blender.

Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower soup packed with healthy vegetables.

cauliflower soup

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Yield:4 bowls


  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower (mine weighed 927g)
  • 1 white sweet potato, peeled and chopped (mine weighed 260 grams)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped (I used 100 g julienned)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used ½ tsp of each)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk, if you want a creamier version


  1. Trim cauliflower into big florets. Slice bacon and prepare other vegetables
  2. In a large pot (I use a cast iron dutch oven), over medium heat, render the bacon (cook until fat cover the bottom of the pot and the bacon is cooked). Scoop out bacon and reserve for later.
  3. Add onion to the pot and cook until softened but not browned. Add garlic, and the rest of the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes until slightly browned.
  4. Add chicken broth. Put the lid on the pot turn heat down slightly. Simmer 30-45 minutes until vegetables are just softened.
  5. Take the pot of the heat. At this point you have a few options depending on the texture you’re going for in the finished soup. For creamier soup: blend entire contents of pot, using either an immersion blender or a stand blender (in batches for the stand blender, and be careful, it’s hot!!) You can also choose whether to add the bacon now, or after blending. For chunkier soup: If you are using an immersion blender, remove as much vegetables as you want to a separate bowl, blend what’s left in the pot, then add vegetables back in, along with the bacon. For a stand blender, remove some vegetables to a separate bowl, then blend the rest of the contents of the pot in the blender in a few batches, depending on how much will fit at a time (careful, it’s hot!!) I have burned myself making this soup so please be very careful during the blending process! After last bath or soup is pureed in the blender and added back to the pot, add in the reserved vegetables and the bacon.
  6. Return pot to heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. If you want an even creamier soup, add in ¼ to ½ cup of coconut milk (or cow’s milk or cream)
  8. Serve immediately. Garnish with olive oil and chopped nuts if desired. Eat with your favorite gluten free bread or crackers for a filling lunch or supper.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Very Vanilla Cake - Switch it up!

This isn’t a new recipe. The cake recipe I used for this graduation cake is my Very Vanilla Cake recipe. I just switched up the decoration process. Instead of fondant, I used a salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream (just a swiss meringue buttercream with added homemade caramel sauce) for in between the layers and covering the whole cake. I then used a fudge buttercream for the piped swirls. I love having a good base recipe, it enables you to completely change the look and flavor so easily. From an Olaf kids cake to a bit fancier for a high school graduation, a transition made easy. 

I used this same cake recipe for a Star Wars themed birthday cake too. 

How would you decorate a vanilla layer cake?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

 Here’s another great dessert recipe. (I have a few non-dessert recipes coming next week)

 But until then – make these.  So chocolaty and good. They are gluten free and flour free.  (I used almond meal) Also refined sugar free if you use organic coconut palm sugar like I did.  (Although I have used regular white sugar one of the five times I made them, just to check and they were just the same)

 The secret ingredient here is – avocado! But it doesn’t taste like avocado, don’t worry.  It tastes like yummy fudgy brownies. And it's so easy to make - just one bowl.

I have a variation on these coming up in a few days too, so make sure to come back for that recipe.

  I hope you make these and that you like them as much as we did.  My husband and two kids loved them.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy and Chewy Brownies

 Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies
Prep time:
Cook time:
Yeild: 16 large squares


  • 100 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Brand for Paleo diet)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic coconut palm sugar*
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder**


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Grease and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small bowl in the microwave, heating for about 30 second at a time and stirring in between until melted and combined. Set aside.
  4. Mash the avocado and banana in a large bowl (You’ll only need one bowl.)
  5. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together (I use a fork for this recipe).
  6. Add sugar, almond meal and dark cocoa powder.
  7. Drizzle in the chocolate and coconut mixture, slowly so that the mixture in the bowl doesn’t cool it too fast and turn the coconut oil or chocolate back to a solid. (Really slow. A thin drizzle, while mixing. An extra person to hold the bowl here is handy, but if not, just ground your bowl on a damp cloth to prevent from moving around)
  8. Once all mixed together, pour into baking pan.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until it is not soft and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Let cool in the pan, and then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (if you can wait that long).
  10. Slice into squares and serve.
*Use white refined sugar if you prefer.
**I like Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Gluten Free Very Vanilla Birthday Cake - Step-by-Step Recipe

*This is a photo heavy post!

Initially with this cake I had planned to try to find a recipe on the internet because I didn't have a whole lot of time to make it and I didn’t want to try developing a new recipe in such a short time frame.  I needed a birthday cake for my 12 year-old daughter Erika, who eats mostly gluten free (due to possible intolerance). After searching, I couldn't find one I wanted to make.  I found mostly cupcakes.

So I decided to go ahead and develop a cake recipe anyhow. And then I decided to take pictures the whole way through in the hopes that it will make it easier for you to make. (Because when you have no time, make the job harder, haha)

I’ve since used this to make a mini cake with three 6-inch layers. It works well and makes a very tall (cute!) cake with the smaller pans.

I haven't tried it as cupcakes yet, but it's next on the list.
Recipe at the bottom of the post, as usual.



So to start with, preheat your oven to 350 F.
Prepare baking pans.  I used three 8 inch rounds. 
To make parchment circles fold a square of parchment in half and then again and again until it is a triangle shape.  Hold it with the pointy part in the middle of your upside down pan, and then cut along the edge of your pan, following its curve.  Unfold and you should have a proper sized circle.

Spray your pan. Add parchment.
I then spray the pan again and flour it (I use white rice flour).

To make the batter, add the room temperature butter and the sugar to your mixing bowl. (I used a Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, but I can’t see why this wouldn’t work with any other stand or hand mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon and strong arms.)

Cream butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between.

Combine buttermilk with vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste.

Weigh flour. (Add xanthan gum if using)

Add salt…

And baking powder… And mix together.

Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix until combined.

Add buttermilk mixture to the bowl and mix until combined.

Then add the rest of the flour and mix one final time until combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared pans, weighing for accuracy.  

Spread out with an offset spatula or spoon.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the middle of the cake.

Let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, and then move to baking rack to cool completely before icing and building your layer cake.

Here is a photo of my decorating in progress.

I made a cake with a winter theme from the movie Frozen.  My Olaf looked a bit crazy but it’s ok because my daughter loved him.  I made buttercream and marshmallow fondant to decorate the cake. I only have iPhone photos of the finished cake, because I “food-blogger-failed” AGAIN and forgot to put my memory card back in my camera. Ugh.

Here are those photos.

Anyway, I hope this post inspires you to try this recipe. If you do, let me know how it turns out and please share photos!!!



Very Vanilla Gluten Free Birthday Cake

Light & Airy Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

Vanilla Layer Cake

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Yield:Three 8-inch Layers


  • 350 grams Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum, only if your mix doesn’t include it
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 227 grams (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a small bowl, combine flour with xanthan gum, if using. Add the baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another small bowl combine buttermilk with vanilla bean paste and extract.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing briefly after each one.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture and mix to combine.
  6. Add all of milk mixture and mix to combine then add the rest of flour and mix until combined.
  7. Batter will be thick. Divide into prepared baking tins, weighing for accuracy. (Mine weighed about 715 g each)
  8. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the middle of the cake.
  9. Let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, and then move to baking rack to cool completely before icing and building your layer cake.
*Don’t have buttermilk in the fridge? That’s ok, just add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a one cup measuring cup and fill it up the rest of the way with milk. Wait 5 minutes before using.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...