Archive for Desserts

IMG_4852xSomething I usually make during the holiday season is Poppy Seed Bread. Although the poppy seed bread is cooked in a small loaf pan, it is really a cake. In my mind it’s too sweet and fine-textured to be considered a bread. But, we slice it like bread, and tradition says we call it bread.

Every year, my mom makes Poppy Seed Bread to give to friends and co-workers for the holidays. I, too, have continued this tradition. This year, rather than making it from scratch, I decided to take the easy way and use Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix. I was a little concerned about the amounts, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I added some flavorings and poppy seeds to the mix, as well as eggs, milk and oil. It made a very nice poppy seed cake that I then covered with a thin, sweet glaze.

These cakes can be made up in advance and frozen until time to give them away for the holidays. Once I’ve made the cakes and let them cool completely, I wrap each one individually with plastic wrap. Then, I place them in a zip-style plastic bag. Sealed like this, you can keep them in the refrigerator for at least a week, or in the freezer for several weeks. They will defrost quite quickly at room temperature. Or, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.

Poppy Seed Bread Made With Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
2/3 Cup milk
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

For the Glaze:
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

Directions:

  1. IMG_4813xIn a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add in the remaining cake ingredients (cake mix, milk, oil, poppy seeds, vanilla extract, butter flavoring and almond flavoring). Mix until thoroughly blended.
  2. Pour into greased, small/mini loaf pans. (I use an oil spray, but you can use butter or shortening.)
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350° F.
  4. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  5. IMG_4815xWhile the cakes are cooling, make the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the glaze over each cake (still warm in the pan). Let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove and let it cool completely on racks.

Additional Notes:

  • I made three small loaves with this recipe, but probably could’ve made two slightly larger loaves. This recipe will also make one full-size loaf.
  • IMG_4818xI used the small, or sometimes called mini, aluminum foil loaf pans (about 3.5″ x 6″ x 2″h) you find in the grocery stores. I’ve used them over and over, washing each time in the dishwasher. If you’re wanting a more permanent solution, try these Mini Loaf Pans.
  • For presenting these as gifts, I usually keep the bread wrapped in plastic wrap and then tie it with a nice festive ribbon. For more color, you can use colored plastic wrap that is easy to find during the holidays. Sometimes I will also put the bread in a clear plastic gift bag, or treat bag and then tie with a nice ribbon. You can also use colored cellophane to wrap it, and tie with ribbon at both ends. It all just depends on how and when you want to present it.
  • If not giving these away as gifts, put them in the freezer. Then the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas, put them into the refrigerator to defrost overnight. By morning it will be a nice treat to eat for breakfast, or maybe a snack while opening stockings, with a cup of tea.

For more edible gift ideas, be sure to visit Cents To Get Debt Free. I’m a little late to the blog carnival, so there are already plenty of other great ideas for edible gifts. Please be aware that some of the contributions at the carnival may not be gluten-free, but there are still plenty that are GF and other good ideas that could be modified to be GF.

Oct
19

Banana Coffee Cake Revised Recipe

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IMG_4569xI’ve been intrigued by the blog carnival Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. I love the idea of changing your recipes to be a little healthier than they were before. Especially if they still taste as wonderful as they did before. So, I decided to try changing my recipe for Banana Coffee Cake.

For starters, I reduced the sugar in the cake by a 1/4 cup. I didn’t even miss it. Next, I removed the dairy from the recipe. Although I’m lactose intolerant, I usually cook with whole milk. I take any opportunity to get more calories into my son. Since my son doesn’t eat the coffee cake (don’t ask me why), I figured I’d try replacing the cow’s milk with almond milk. I also replaced the butter in the recipe, but I didn’t have a good, low-fat alternative. I used shortening with butter flavor. I’m not sure that’s a healthier option. :) However, I did meet my goal of reducing sugar and eliminating the lactose.

The results: it was even better. The texture was perfect — moist and soft, but not gummy. And I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t miss the sugar. I loved the coffee cake. Just like the original cake, it lasted on the counter for a few days without drying out or getting crumbly. Here’s the revised recipe:

Banana Coffee Cake – Revised Recipe

Ingredients:

Filling Layer:
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP shortening, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter:
1/2 Cup shortening, softened
3/4 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2/3 Cup)
1/3 Cup almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare  a 9″ cake pan or 8 x 8 baking pan by spraying with oil.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt) and then mix into the shortening/sugar/egg mixture.
  5. Add bananas and almond milk. Stir well.
  6. Pour all but about a cup of the batter into the cake pan.
  7. Spoon in the filling and gently spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth and even.
  8. Pour or spoon on the remaining batter over the filling. It doesn’t need to cover the filling completely.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • You can also add chopped nuts to the filling.
  • This cake also freezes well. I have wrapped and frozen individual portions, so that we can take out one at a time and heat it in the microwave. Great morning treat to grab-and-go on the way to the office.

Notable Links:

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Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
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Oct
07

Banana Coffee Cake

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I also have a revised recipe for this coffee cake that is dairy-free and uses slightly less sugar.

IMG_3831xThis is not your typical coffee cake. Thanks to the banana in the recipe, it is very moist and stays that way even after a couple days. Great for breakfast, brunch, and snacking. I’m submitting it to The Gluten-Free Homemaker for a blog carnival of gluten-free breakfast foods. So, if you’re looking for more gluten-free breakfast ideas, check out this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten-Free?”

Banana Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

Filling Layer:
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter:
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 Cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare  a 9″ cake pan by spraying with oil.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt) and then mix into the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  5. Add bananas and milk. Stir well.
  6. Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the cake pan.
  7. Spoon in the filling and gently spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth and even.
  8. Pour the remaining batter over the filling. It doesn’t need to cover the filling completely.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • This also works in a 8×8 baking pan.
  • You can also add chopped nuts to the filling.
  • This cake also freezes well. I have wrapped and frozen individual portions, so that we can take out one at a time and heat it in the microwave. Great morning treat to grab-and-go on the way to the office.
  • You may also want to consider this gluten-free recipe for breakfast meetings, tea parties, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.
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Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
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Jul
24

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

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IMG_4054xFor this month’s edition of Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, I chose to try one of Maureen’s recipes at Hold The Gluten. She has a wonderful blogging website that includes podcasts she records with content about the gluten-free diet. She has a great sense of humor, and I enjoy tweeting with her on Twitter. When looking through her recipes, there were several that caught my attention, but in the end I chose the Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. I’d like to say I chose it because zucchini is in season, and as such is fresh, abundant, and inexpensive. But, in truth, it was the chocolate chips that sold me on the recipe. :)

Other than the zucchini, I had most of the ingredients in the kitchen. However, I did have to add millet flour and agave nectar to my supplies. I thought about substituting with other ingredients in my pantry, because I already have so many different gluten-free flours. But, I decided to make the recipe as written and added yet another flour (millet) to my already full pantry.

IMG_4049xThe recipe came together as expected. After shredding the zucchini, I thought I would only need two of the green squash to make three cups. However, after wringing out the excess moisture, it compacted down. So, I shredded a third zucchini to get three cups as needed for the recipe. I used disposable mini loaf pans, and sprayed them with oil before pouring in the batter. I baked them all together for 35 minutes and they turned out perfect.

Now for the taste test: The texture is soft and airy, and a little crumbly — just as you would hope for it to be! IMG_4060xWhile making the batter, I was afraid it wasn’t going to have enough chocolate chips for my liking, but I was wrong. It has just enough chocolate chips to make this bread fabulous. I really enjoyed it. I probably sliced it a little too soon. The bread was a little soft for slicing, but the chocolate chips were warm and gooey, and I couldn’t resist. My kids were anxious to try it, too. Unfortunately, they were a little thrown off by the green bits in the bread. “Did you put spices in here?” is what they said and gave it one tiny bite. I personally like the green bits, and the color it adds to the bread. The zucchini pieces are soft and do not add any tough or gritty bits to the bread. Instead it just blends into the bread. Perfect.

The recipe does make four small loaves, so I’m going to put some in the freezer to have in another month or two. I’ll try to remember to update next month to let you know how it does defrosted.

Be sure to check out other recipes tried out this month for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger. There’s still time to sign up and try something new for yourself, too.

And, if you’re looking for more zucchini recipes, go over to The W.H.O.L.E. Gang where it’s the secret ingredient for this week’s Friday Foodie Fix.

Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
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Jul
11

Pokemon Birthday Cake

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IMG_3763xThis year my son was introduced to Pokémon by his cousins and classmates. Overnight, it seemed like we had hundreds of Pokémon cards floating around our house. So, it was no surprise that my son requested a Pokémon cake for his birthday. I asked him what he had in mind and he told me he wanted Pikachu and Darkrai battling. I was hoping for a black-and-white Pokéball, but I figured I could try making a Pikachu. However, battling with Darkrai was a little more than I wanted to attempt.

I always make a birthday cake the day before the party and then decorate it that evening after the kids go to bed. Some nights that doesn’t leave me a lot of time to get it done, and still get decent sleep. So, I decided to try making an icing plaque of Pikachu earlier in the week. Then, I could just place it on the cake after frosting it. (I found a website, Cookie Journey, that had some good tips and illustrations for doing this for cookies.) I was also hoping that allowing it to dry before placing it on the cake would keep the colors from running into the frosting. IMG_3304xFor my daughter’s birthday earlier this year, I decorated a cake with my version of The Little Mermaid on it. I used royal icing to create her human half, but I did it directly on the cake. It looked pretty good the first couple hours, but overnight the colors ran and the icing cracked. It was OK, and my daughter still thought it was great. But, I wanted to see if I could improve the results by making the decoration in advance on parchment paper, letting it dry thoroughly, and then placing it on the cake.

IMG_3746xSo, here’s what I did for Pikachu: First I searched around the internet for an image of Pikachu. I quickly found one and printed it out. I didn’t even have to change the size. It was perfect for what I needed. Next, I placed parchment paper on top of the printed picture and taped it down to a small cookie sheet. Then I made some royal icing. I used the egg white recipe at Joy of Baking. It was a lot of icing — much more than I needed. But, I was experimenting and I figured it was better to have more than enough in case I needed to make duplicates. If you have an allergy to egg whites, or just don’t like using raw egg whites, Joy of Baking also has a recipe that uses meringue powder instead.IMG_3747x

I started by coloring a small amount of icing with Wilton black gel. Then, I transferred the black icing to a decorating bag with a small round tip (Wilton #2). Then, outlined the picture of Pikachu with the black icing. I let it set overnight to make sure it was good and dry before filling with yellow. The next day I bumped the paper, and the black icing broke…in several pieces. So, I started over with the black icing, this time making thicker lines hoping it would be a little sturdier. I also made the eyes and mouth to place on it later.IMG_3748x

Day three I mixed a small bowl of icing with yellow gel and a little water to thin it out for a smooth filling. Using a small spoon and toothpick I filled in the Pikachu picture with the yellow icing. I gave it an hour for the surface to dry, then I placed the eyes, cheeks and mouth on it. It seemed to be going OK, but I put it in the refrigerator and didn’t give it enough time to dry. I should have given it another eight hours to dry, but I didn’t want to wait until the day of the party. So, I gave it another hour to dry then carefully placed it on the cake. It cracked, but it still worked. And the colors didn’t run too much. IMG_3760xI thought I started early enough, but next time I would start with the icing plaques at least a week in advance to make sure they are thoroughly dry. Or, maybe I need to start experimenting with fondant instead.

The most important part is that my son seemed happy with the cake. As a backup plan, I had purchased some Pokémon characters to put on the cake. I decided to put them on the cake with Pikachu. Not exactly a battle with Darkrai, but it seemed to please the birthday boy.

Other details about the cake: I decided to reduce my stress level by using cake mixes and pre-made frosting for the cake. That gave me a little extra time for decorating.IMG_3761x

I used a Namaste Foods Wheat Free, Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix for the top layer. I mixed it according to package directions and baked in a 9 x 13 glass pan.

I used two of The Gluten-Free Pantry Decadent Chocolate Cake Mixes for the bottom layer. I mixed the two together according to package directions (using plain yogurt) and baked as one cake in a 9 x 13 pan at 350° F for 50 min. It was a very big cake! But it was cooked through and still very moist and yummy.

Frosting layer between the two cakes: I used Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge frosting — one whole can.

To cover the cake, I used a Pillsbury can of Vanilla Frosting and colored it yellow for the sides and the decorative border. I think I had about a 1/4 of the frosting leftover. For the top of the cake, I used 1/2 – 3/4 of a can of Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting. I left it white so the spray food coloring would be true to the colors.

I used Wilton Color Spray Mist (green, red, and blue) to make wide stripes of color on the top. I used a curved piece of cardboard to help mask areas of the cake I didn’t want to get sprayed.

For the decorative border: I just used a simple star pattern using Wilton’s open star tip #32. If you don’t have decorating tips, you could use candy to line the edges. Try M&Ms, Skittles, dot candy, etc.

The cake tasted pretty good. The vanilla cake is not my favorite for birthday cakes: I like a finer texture, but the flavor is good. The chocolate cake was fabulous as always. As for the frosting: A buttercream frosting probably would have tasted better, but it’s so much faster to open a can. I’m so glad it’s gluten-free!

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