Category Archives: Dessert

Easy Lemon Buttercream

Easy Lemon Buttercream

One of the best parts about living in NYC is that there are now vending machines where you can get cupcakes. It’s dangerously convenient for anyone. They have 1 gluten-free option, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting, that’s completely delicious. That being said, who can live with just one flavor?

When my birthday rolled around a few weekends ago I made these cupcakes a few days early to bring into work–just a premade vanilla cake mix, coconut milk instead of whole milk, and shredded coconut and lemon zest added in. 

The frosting I made was from scratch but came out just as easy and delicious. Using vanilla extract and lemon zest gives it an extra layer of flavor that you’ll want to lick off the bowl. 

Easy Lemon Buttercream

This frosting works well with any number of lighter-flavored cupcakes. You can try it on cupcakes with vanilla, coconut, berries, or even white chocolate.

Easy Lemon Buttercream

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes enough for 18 cupcakes):

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons whole milk or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon finely zested lemon

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Make sure to use an extra fine zester with the lemons to avoid chunks in the frosting. 
  2. Beat with an electric beater until mixed and the frosting’s smooth and silky. If the powdered sugar stops mixing in, add milk by the teaspoon until it reaches the right consistency.
  3. Frost using a frosting spreader or a pastry bag. If you’re using a pastry bag, add an extra teaspoon of milk before beating to make the frosting smoother and easier to squeeze out. 

5 Gluten-Free Easter Desserts

Easter’s not a holiday that’s know for its desserts. That’s probably because after too many Peeps and lackluster chocolate eggs, more chocolate doesn’t seem all that appealing. I promise you these desserts are better than any Peep you’ve ever had(although unless you’re a hardcore Peep fan that’s probably not saying much).

Once you’re done serving ham and asparagus, try slicing out some of these Spring dessert recipes. Some might require special gluten-free flours, but others do not or could even be made with regular all-purpose flour. All of these can be made in advance and set aside so you can sit back and enjoy the day.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies aren’t necessarily an Easter dessert, but you can never go wrong serving some. Add in some ice cream and hot fudge and you might want to consider skipping Easter dinner to save space.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Lemon Cornmeal Cake is definitely a dessert to welcome Spring. The slightly-coarse cornmeal gives a rustic and homemade touch to a simple dessert, and you can even save a slice for a sweet breakfast the next day.

Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are the DIY solution to possibly the best drug store candy ever. The peanut butter to chocolate ratio beat out all the other variations hands down. Since these are fresh and homemade though, they might melt in your hand so best to keep these wrapped until dessert time.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Grain-Free Carrot Cake isn’t quite your traditional carrot cake, but it’s equally as spiced and delicious. This cake uses almond flour instead of regular, and has all my favorite fixings for carrot cake: Carrots, raisins, spices, pecans, and–of course–cream cheese frosting. It’s long overdue to be remade on this blog.

Gluten-Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Nothing says Easter dessert more like lemon and powdered sugar. If you don’t feel like cake or something time intensive, Gluten-Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies are a perfect light dessert with coffee or goodie bag gift. You can make a big batch and keep the extras for yourself, too.

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Valentine’s Day usually marks the last good dessert you can eat and not feel guilty about during the holiday season before you have to wait another 8 months for Thanksgiving to roll around. You might as well make it a really good one.

Last year I got to go to Stonyfield‘s launch party for Petite Creme and sample all the flavors served along champagne, puff pastries, and fine wine. There’s definitely something special about Petite Creme. It’s creamy and elegant in a way most yogurts aren’t. Making a faux “mousse” for this parfait with it is definitely a kitchen cheat no one will mind. 

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Using the vanilla bean flavor here (my personal favorite) makes the strawberry and Nutella a little more complex in my opinion. Make sure to use a flavorful strawberry jam for the best results. I made this into two servings and it was almost too rich to finish. It’s definitely a hefty dessert, so if you’re looking for something lighter try splitting this between 4 shot glasses and having taster desserts.

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 large servings or 4 tasters):

  • 2 5.2oz vanilla bean Petite Creme
  • 1/4 cup Nutella 
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

Method:

  1. In one bowl, mix together 1 container of vanilla petite creme and 2 Tablespoons Nutella.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 container of vanilla petite creme and 2 Tablespoons strawberry jam.
  3. Divide the Nutella mousse between 2 to 4 small parfait glasses. Shake gently so that the top is level.
  4. Gently melt the remaining Nutella in a microwave until it’s liquid. Pour the liquid Nutella over the Nutella mousse and spread out gently with a spoon in an even layer.
  5. Mix the remaining strawberry jam with enough water (about 2 teaspoons) to make it fluid. Pour gently over the Nutella in the parfaits and spread out lightly with a spoon.
  6. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of chopped hazelnuts on top of each parfait.
  7. Scoop the strawberry mousse gently into the parfait glasses and shake lightly to make level.
  8. Refrigerate the parfaits for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly.
  9. Remove from the refrigerator and garnish with any remaining chopped hazelnuts.

Strawberry Jam Brownies

Strawberry Jam Brownies

When you’re gluten-free, picking through Ben & Jerry’s flavors just isn’t as exciting. I’m sure that they make amazing cookie dough-infused moose tracks with fudge-covered red velvet cake chunks, but I’ll never know what that’s like. Just when I was ready to stop rifling through their section they came out with their Core flavors and reeled me back in.

I can’t get enough of their That’s My Jam chocolate ice cream with a core of pure jam. I’ve always liked the pairing of chocolate and jam before but now chocolate just tastes boring without some preserves spread on top. I tried to make a brownie as close as you can get without visiting the freezer. 

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 1 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4oz baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips(optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts(optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  3. Beat in the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, melt together 4 ounces of chocolate along with the butter.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the batter while whisking until fully incorporated. Add in 1/4 cup of jam and the chips and hazelnuts if using and stir until mixed. 
  6. Pour the batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  7. Add the rest of the jam on top of the batter and spread out in a thin layer on top, reaching to all the edges.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before cutting in.

Almond Butter Granola Snackers

Almond Butter Granola Snackers

The best part about being gluten-free in this decade is the endless supply of new products available(not to mention whole restaurant menus and online websites). Chex just came out with two new products to add to that list: Honey Nut Granola and Mixed Berry Granola, made with gluten-free oats and clusters of Chex cereal.

I got to try both and the honey nut was definitely my favorite–just the right amount of sweetness to go with any flavored yogurt and chunks of almonds and real Chex baked together. After eating half the bag, I made these cookies with the rest to make the granola more portable. These snackers are the perfect fix for an afternoon snack or along with breakfast.

Almond Butter Granola Snackers

I used almond butter for these because it goes perfectly with the almond slivers in the granola but you could also use peanut butter or even sunflower seed butter.

Almond Butter Granola Snackers

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 18 Snackers):

  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup Honey Nut Chex granola
Method:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter, honey, sugar, egg, salt, and baking powder until well mixed.
  3. Add in the granola and fold it in completely.
  4. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and flatten slightly between the palms of your hands. Put each round of dough on a non-stick baking surface.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when the outside starts to turn brown and is slightly firm to the touch.
  6. Let cool slightly before moving. Store in an air-tight container.

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

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At a holiday party, I brought just a jar of peanut butter to make cookies with. Since everyone knows I’m gluten-free, they asked me what kind of flour I needed. Why didn’t I bring any? Apparently not everyone knows this peanut butter cookie recipe, which is a shame because everyone should.

Unlike most gluten-free recipes that have you mixing chickpea flour with potato starch and xantham gum, these cookies just use peanut butter, eggs, and sugar as their base. I grew up having these long before I was gluten-free.

As far as peanut butter cookies go they’re probably the best you’ll have, too. They’re sweet and nutty and melt in your mouth without any flours to make them tough. I’ve made this recipe plenty of times and you should, too.

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No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 24 Servings):

  • 3/4 cup non-stir peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped Reese’s cups

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, egg, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda until well mixed.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s until evenly distributed. If the dough is too wet still, sugar by the Tablespoon until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly. Place on a non-stick baking tray.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges turn golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before moving.

Halloween Chex Mix

Halloween Chex Mix

Candy corn is a polarizing food. People usually either can’t get enough of it or can’t stand the stuff.

I love it and would eat a whole bag in one sitting. Since that’s probably not the best idea you have to find ways to mix it up and make it a little more filling. This Chex mix isn’t health food but it’s just the right balance of sweet and sweeter for a party or just an afternoon. 

Coating some of the Chex cereal with melted chocolate adds an unexpected layer and makes it slightly more decadent. You can make this more fun at a Halloween party by creating different names for the ingredients like bat droppings and witch’s nails. 

Halloween Chex Mix

A note from the last batch of Halloween Chex Mix I made: If gelatin’s a problem ingredient for you, some manufacturers don’t use it in their candy corn. Instead of Brachs, try CVS store brand candy corn. 

Halloween Chex Mix

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 2  1/2 cups Chocolate Chex, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Chex
  • 1/2 cup candy corn

Method:

  1. Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips gently, set the rest aside.
  2. When melted, stir in the butter and milk until silky and smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chex cereal with the melted chocolate until covered.
  4. Lay the cereal out on a non-stick tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the chocolate has set. Once set, break apart any clusters of cereal stuck together. 
  5. In a large bowl, toss together the remaining chocolate chips, remaining Chocolate Chex, Vanilla Chex, and candy corn. 
  6. Serve or store in an air-tight container at room temperature. 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Baking is just more fun in the Fall and Winter. You get to stand near the oven to stay warm, make something delicious, and wear oversized sweaters to hide how much you’ve been eating. What’s not to love?

My favorite things to bake on the weekend is anything I can have for breakfast or take to work and eat with a cup of coffee. Put this next to a cup of coffee and a spoon of almond butter and you won’t be disappointed.

Pumpkin spice is just a mix of a bunch of other spices, so if you don’t have it on hand just use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and/or cloves. This recipe doesn’t actually have any pumpkin in it but neither do pumpkin spice lattes and that’s never bothered anyone.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

I really liked this more like a crumb cake with chopped pecans and raisins to add some texture, but it’d also be great without any mix-ins and covered with a cream cheese frosting.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans(optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the sugar, flour, and baking soda.
  3. Add in the milk, butter, eggs, extract, and spice and mix well until it forms a batter.
  4. Mix in the chopped nuts if using.
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan thoroughly.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking tray.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

We’re really spoiled at my office. We have a Keurig machine and 2 Nespressos with a built-in milk foamer; there’s no excuse to go to Starbucks ever.

That being said, there are certain drinks I always crave, like sweet lattes with rich caramel sauce swirls. Even if it’s not worth standing in line 20 minutes and shelling out $5, it’s certainly worth taking the time to make it at home for pennies and an infinite supply.

I’m not a pumpkin-spice fanatic, but I do love the earthy flavors in coffee, especially mixed with rich, buttery caramel. I tried Ina Garten’s caramel sauce last year, loved it, and vowed to make it again and again. This was the first time I made it since then(oops). It’s amazing that a little salt and spice changes the flavors completely. This could go in anything from coffee to oatmeal to even squash. 

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

I don’t recommend using a candy thermometer for this because by the time you have it calibrated right the caramel will burn. It’s best to just watch it closely, use your judgement, and buy an extra set of ingredients because it’s the easiest thing in the world to mess up the first time(but worth giving it a second try!).

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce(Adapted from this recipe)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Combine and mix the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot.
  2. Bring the sugar water to a rolling boil and maintain. Once the water is boiling make sure not to touch it with a utensil.
  3. While the water is boiling, mix the vanilla and cream in a cup.
  4. Watch the sugar water carefully as it changes from white to a soft green to a hazelnut. When it turns a reddish-brown, remove quickly from the heat. Don’t let it get to a solid brown or the sugar is too burnt.
  5. Off the heat pour in the cream and vanilla extract. Stand back as it sizzles and may splatter.
  6. Once the caramel’s calmed, return it to the heat and start stirring as it’s just below boiling point. The caramel will have clumped and hardened.
  7. Continue stirring until the clumps have dissolved into the cream and it’s an even color and consistency.
  8. Remove from the heat and add in the spice and salt. Continue mixing as it cools to get the clumps of spice out.
  9. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be as polarizing as politics. Some like chewy while others like crisp. Should they have nuts in them? Are raisins even a question? Everyone has an opinion.

After Pinterest did a Q&A with me my coworkers were interested to try something gluten-free. One of them asked me if I knew any good cookie recipes for his cousin and it seemed like as good a place to start as any. 

Lucky for me, when I brought them into work they didn’t stir up any chewy vs. crispy debates and they were all gone by lunch time–a success! They’re more chewy than crispy, not too sweet, and just rich enough to hit all the right notes. It’s hard to argue with chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Probably the best thing to keep on hand for gluten-free baking is a bag of gluten-free all purpose flour you can use in recipes without having to mix ten different flours you’re not familiar with. I like Bob’s Red Mill’s but there are tons of different brands out there; try them out and find your favorite.

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 dozen cookies):

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together your flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, peanut butter and melted butter and mix.
  3. Add in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips and continue mixing until it forms a thick dough. If your dough is too dry add milk by the tablespoon until it’s just wet enough to stick together.
  4. Put the dough in your refrigerator and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  5. After 15 minutes of chilling, roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
  6. Put the doughballs onto a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before trying to move.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.