Tag Archive: Cake

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free Flag Cake

Cake is never my favorite dessert. Brownies, fudge and frosting are. So when I make a cake the fudgier and dense it is the better.

My mom’s made this flourless cake for years. I first had it during passover at a bake sale when it was one of the few flour-free treats people would flock to. Since then it’s been a go-to recipe.

The cake is just eggs, sugar, chocolate, and butter; it can’t get any simpler than that. For the frosting I used a basic vanilla buttercream and fresh berries to make it festive. When adding berries to baked goods you make the shelf life much much shorter, so add them at the last minute and make sure to eat it up fresh!   

Flourless Flag Cake

If you do prefer a lighter and cakier base, try this gluten-free recipe using almond and coconut flours. 

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 20 servings):

For the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup chocolate chips OR 8.5 oz chocolate, melted

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream

  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced

  • 1 pint blueberries

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar, adding in eggs one at a time until all of them are incorporated. The batter should be smooth and ribbony.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  4. Slowly temper the melted chocolate into the batter until it’s completely mixed in.
  5. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and pour the batter in.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake and let it sit undisturbed until it cools to room temperature. It should deflate as it cools. Don’t worry if the top cracks since it will get covered eventually.
  8. To make the frosting, whip together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  9. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar to make sure the frosting doesn’t pull crumbs.
  10. Spread the frosting on gently and evenly.
  11. Arrange the strawberries and blueberries however you’d like right before serving. Store leftovers in a air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  

4 Memorial Day Dessert Recipes

When the Summer comes around, it makes me realize how boring the Winter was. Every weekend someone’s having a picnic or a party or a birthday. It’s a really good problem to have.

Assuming you have one(or all) of those lined up for Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to share 4 of my favorite recipes to celebrate the warmer weather(of course if it’s too warm and chocolate starts melting, then it’s a travesty).

Any of these are a great way to finish off a picnic or a backyard barbecue depending on what your mood is. Each recipe is also gluten-free or easily tailored to be. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake–Because every memorial day needs some patriotism. The great thing about cake is that it can’t melt, so if it’s hot out you can still have a tasty time. This cake defies normal gluten-free cakes with a super moist base and a rich vanilla frosting. You can’t really go wrong.

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake is on my short list of recipes to make soon. It’s pretty much a home run with any crowd with good taste. It’s easy to make gluten-free, too, by using gluten-free pretzels or even vegan with dairy-free substitutes.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries are of course a classic dessert for any Summer party. As long as it’s not too hot out, these are a refreshing way to cool down. Create a variety by using milk, white, and dark chocolate.

Red White and Blue Stuffed Strawberries

Red, White, & Blue Strawberries take the chocolate covered strawberry idea and flip it inside out(literally). These take a little more time and skill but they’re worth the effort. If you’re up for a challenge and ready to impress, give these a go.

Happy Memorial Day!

Breakfast Paleo Mug Cake

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

I’m a boring breakfast person. I like to eat the same thing every day until I get tired of it and find something new. For the past couple of months these have been my breakfasts. It’s fast, easy, and chocolate-flavored so it’s easy to love.

This has been one of my most popular recipes. I still have people commenting on the original post who’ve made it and loved it, and that’s a good feeling. The ingredients are fairly common and cheap, so even if you’re skeptical I’d say give it a try. It always tastes better with peanut butter or Nutella slathered on top so if you’re still not convinced I’d say try that.  

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

I’ve never tried any variations but I’ve had readers mention this recipe works just as well with sweet potato puree, butternut squash, and applesauce. You can also mix in other ingredients like chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or raisins(well, maybe not raisins).

Paleo Mug Cake

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 cake):

  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons almond butter(or any nut butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder

Method:

  1. With a fork, mash the banana into a smooth puree.
  2. Mix the almond butter, egg, cocoa powder into the banana puree until it forms an even batter.
  3. Fold in any mix-ins into the batter that you’d like. Otherwise, pour the batter into a mug or other microwave safe container. Be sure to only fill the container up to 2/3rds the way because it will expand in the microwave.
  4. Microwave on high for 2 and 1/2 minutes until the center is set. Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and enjoy hot, cold, or at room temperature.

4 Healthy New Year’s Recipes

New Year’s resolutions are hard. It’s easy to shoot to high and make resolutions impossible to keep up with; the best kind are little changes you can work into your everyday routine and maintain without even thinking about it.

I didn’t make a food or fitness resolution this year. Mine is to get whiter teeth, so I bought special toothpaste and mouthwash. We’ll see how that goes with the horde of coffee and chocolate I eat.

If you did make a resolution to eat healthier, here are 4 simple recipes you can work into your every week to hit that goal. All of them have common, simple ingredients and are probably foods you already eat, so working them into your diet should be a breeze.

Breakfast:

LowFatCinnamonBrownSugarGranola_thumb

Low-Fat Cinnamon Raisin Granola is a great quick and filling alternative to heftier breakfasts like bagels and cream cheese or a donut. You can make a big batch on the weekend and portion out servings for the weekday mornings to grab and go.

Snack:

Fruity-Peanut-Butter-Yogurt-Dip-Yield-807x1024

Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip will satisfy your sweet tooth in the afternoon and still be tasty enough to enjoy. It’s a simple mix of yogurt, peanut butter, and sweetener that’s good for kids or grown-ups.

Entree:

EasyBroccoliFrittata_thumb

Easy Broccoli Frittata is another recipe you can make in bulk over the weekend and reheat throughout the week whenever you’re less than motivated to make a meal. The eggs and cheese are full of protein while the broccoli adds a boost of healthy nutrients, too. Add a simple side and you’ve got a whole dinner.

Dessert:

hazelnut-chocolate-cake_thumb

Raw Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake proves that you can still have dessert even when you’re eating healthy. The bulk of this “cake” is dates and hazelnuts, making for a delicious and nutritious end to a meal.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? What was it?

DIY Photography Reflectors

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Photography is expensive.

Anyone who has picked up photography as a hobby or who does it professionally will tell you that. And my wallet has definitely felt that crunch over the past few years, too. Last May I upgraded my camera to a pre-owned Canon 7D which I absolutely love. At the time I was looking into getting even more photography equipment but my good sense convinced me to stop at the necessities.

Still, good lighting is just as important as a good camera. I always work with natural light, but that’s not so easy when your natural light is one 2 x 4 window on the far wall in your bedroom. These DIY light reflectors have been a saving grace.

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Both of these photos were taken in the same place with the same light source and all of the same camera settings. I edited them slightly but you can still see the huge difference in the shadows between the two. The difference is that the bottom photo had a reflector bouncing light back onto the subject.

You probably won’t believe how simple or cheap the reflector is to make yourself. You probably have all of the materials already.

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All you need to make a reflector is cardboard, aluminum foil, and tape. That’s it. Simply cut the cardboard into an oval or a rectangle, wrap the aluminum foil around it and tape it into place. For the round one I use 2 chip clips to make it stand on its own but you can use any number of materials. This clearly isn’t rocket science.

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My set up usually involved a large, rectangular reflector on the side facing opposite to the light source and a smaller one I can move around and position to target the focal point or any shadowy areas.

You don’t want a light source too powerful hitting the aluminum foil or else it will look like you’re shining a flashlight onto the food. Just soft, natural light is all you need to make a big difference in your photos.

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Once again the same photo only without and with the reflectors. It’s incredible what about 50 cents worth of material can do.

Hope this was helpful! With all of that saved money you can go out and buy yourself a slice of cake.

Whole Grain Banana Cake Squares

Whole Grain Banana Cake Squares

I always grab bananas at the store to throw in smoothies or have for breakfast. This week I guess I forgot to eat them because they were brown and mushy before I knew it. I’d much rather life hand me brown bananas than lemons because bananas are a lot more fun to bake with. I couldn’t decide on making banana blondies or banana bread and ended up settling for something in between.

I intended these to be a healthy afternoon snack, but then covering them in chocolate and peanut butter seemed a lot more fun. They actually aren’t bad for you with their whole grains, fiber, natural sugars and a little bit of healthy fats. The squares are definitely sweet enough on their own—adding a drizzle on top just makes them that much better.

Whole Grain Banana Cake Squares Drizzle

The topping I used was just a chocolate ganache made with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup, and a Tablespoon of water and a peanut butter sauce made with 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup, and a Tablespoon of water all mixed and drizzled on top. This would also be really delicious with a vanilla or peanut butter buttercream.

Whole Grain Banana Cake Squares

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes one 8 x 8 pan):

  • 1 cup(2 large) mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup(80g) brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Whole Grain Banana Cake Squares Yield

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the mashed banana, sugar, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Add in the brown rice flour, oats, and baking soda and mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center has set.
  6. Remove and let cool. Cover with frosting, ganache, or leave plan to serve.

Whole Grain Banana Cake Squares Slice 

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Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Serving

When it comes to dessert, I love lemon just as much as any chocolate torte or cake. Even though it’s typically a Summer flavor, I think it’s great to end a heavy Winter meal on a light and refreshing note.

Cornmeal is one of my favorite underrated gluten-free flours. It’s made to use polenta and corn tortillas all the time but hardly ever makes it into desserts. The texture is certainly more coarse than your typical flour but it has a charming rusticness to it.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Sliced

Make sure to find a finely ground cornmeal rather than a coarse one. The cake will bake either way but the coarse cornmeal will have a tougher texture to it once baked.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk, divided
  • 1/2 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon extract, divided
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Bare

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, cornstarch and baking soda until mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, 6 1/2 Tablespoons of milk, 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon extract and the lemon zest.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients and whisk well.
  5. Grease an 8-inch cake pan on all sides.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is browning and the center is cooked.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool.
  8. After the cake is cooled, make the icing by mixing the powdered sugar with the extra milk and lemon extract until it’s smooth and runny. If you need to, add 1/2 – 1 extra Tablespoon of milk to get it to the right consistency.
  9. Drizzle the icing on top of the cake before slicing and serve.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

An icing is an easy and light way to frost this but you could also make a lemon or vanilla buttercream for something richer.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares

As I’ve been eating my way through yogurt that Chobani sent me, I’ve been trying to get creative on new ways to cook with it. Everyone knows yogurt is a great low-fat alternative for baking so I took that as my starting point and took off from there.

While a good base recipe is essential, a lot of the fun of cakes and brownies is what you put inside or on top of them. Chocolate chips and coconut are among my favorites. These might not seem healthy but with Greek yogurt in place of oil and butter and craisins and coconut filling it up(in addition to some chocolate chips, of course) these won’t do you wrong or steer you off your New Year resolutions.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares Yield

If you want to make this more of a healthy snack, swap in 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts or slivered almonds in for the chocolate chips. Either way it’ll taste great.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares Mix-Ins

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the gluten-free flour and baking powder.
  3. Add in the craisins, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, white and dark chocolate chips and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, brown sugar, and eggs until homogenous.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry until the batter is well mixed.
  6. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and press down evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup coconut on top of the batter and press in lightly.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center of the cake has set and the coconut on top begins to toast.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into squares.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares Final

Don’t forget to add caramel or fudge sauce just in case this doesn’t have enough flavors going on for you.

Low-Fat Cake Balls

Low-Fat Cake Balls Serving

Cake pops are one of my favorite recent food trends, not because I think they taste all that much better than regular old cake, but because once and a while we all make that cake that doesn’t rise or come out just how we planned and won’t serve to people but can’t bear to throw away.

That’s the beauty of cake pops: They’re very forgiving. You can start out with dry or crumbly cake and still come out with something delicious.

Low-Fat Cake Balls Chobani

Chobani sent me a few of their 32oz yogurt containers for their Just Add Good cooking campaign. They’ve added a new Kitchen page to their website full of yogurt recipes and beautiful photos to get your gears turning.

When I made these cake balls, I swapped out the oil in the cake recipe for an equal amount vanilla Greek yogurt. For the frosting I mixed the cake with, I swapped out the butter for 1/2 the amount called for of plain 2% greek yogurt. The result was just as moist and delicious as any cake ball I’ve made before.

Low-Fat Cake Balls White Chocolate

Since you lose richness when you cut the fat out of a recipe, this works better with bitter or spicy cake flavors like chocolate, pumpkin, or carrot cake. I used a gluten-free pumpkin spice cake with a white chocolate coating. 

Low-Fat Cake Balls

Don’t forget when melting chocolate to look for baking chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Baking chocolate melts smoother and makes a better coating for the cake pops.