Category Archives: Baked goods

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

What do you do when you buy a dozen pints of blueberries at once?

What, you don’t buy a dozen pints of blueberries? I thought that was a normal thing. I’m actually worried that I need to buy more. I froze most of them so I can have blueberries throughout the year for smoothies and baked goods, but I also shoved as many as I could in my mouth. Both fresh and frozen. Frozen blueberries are amazing. Almost like chilly, refreshing candy. Something you must try at one point. But really, I must get more. Last year, I ran out months before the summertime came, and it was a sad, lonely, blueberry-less time for me.

But anyway, besides all of that storing and munching of blueberries, I managed to save enough to make a little breakfast bread. I wanted something tasty to go with coffee – a lightly sweet, delicious treat. This was just the thing. Slathered with a little vegan butter, it was perfect. I could barely wait the time it took to cool – and I still ate my slice when it was quite warm. Definitely warm enough to melt that butter. And then I had another slice. You know, for research purposes. I had to make sure it was good enough for all you wonderful people.

I highly suggest you “invest” in some blueberries before the season is over, and set aside a few for a breakfast bread like this. You won’t be sorry. It’s a great little pick-me-up.

Print Recipe

Blueberry Breakfast Bread (grain-free, refined sugar-free, paleo, dairy-free)

3 T canned full-fat coconut milk

1 T lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

2 T coconut oil, melted (but not hot)

1/4 c + 2 T coconut palm sugar

1 t lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

2 eggs, room temperature, whisked in a small bowl

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 c blanched almond flour

1/4 c coconut flour

3 T tapioca starch

3/4 t baking soda

1/2 t kosher salt

1 c fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a small loaf pan (mine is about 2 1/2″ X 5 1/2 “) and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and lemon juice. Then add the coconut oil, coconut sugar, lemon zest, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until well-blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond and coconut flours, the tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until well-blended. Fold in the blueberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4.

Lemon Sugar Cookies and Finding My Way Back to Center

Going through life, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned to let go. I’ve learned to be okay with less than perfect. I’ve learned that it is better to be happy with the “right now” instead of dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. I’ve learned that sometimes, simple is best. And sometimes, I don’t need to “healthify” every single thing that passes my lips.

This is a big deal in my world. I am definitely what you might call a “healthy eater”. Around the time I went gluten-free, I started becoming more aware of the food I was putting into my body. My health wasn’t so great – gluten was starting to take its toll on my digestive system and my energy levels, among other things. So gradually, along with removing gluten (and then dairy) from my diet, I also removed processed foods, and for a while, even grains, beans, and sugar, in an effort to regain my health. I’ve been gluten-free now for right at 4 years, and in the past year, I’ve finally turned the corner and really have started to feel “better”. I’ve been able to eat things in moderation that previously would set off my oh-so-delicate digestive balance for days, sometimes weeks. So gradually, I’ve expanded my “allowed” foods. I eat grains, I sometimes eat beans, and sometimes, I even eat sugar.

What I really didn’t expect when going through this process was the mental hurdles I’d have to jump. Over the past 4 years, being at odds with my body which seemed to want to reject anything, trying to stay away from “offending foods”, and feeling deprived and overindulging in “off-limits” things anyway (never gluten, but sometimes sugar or grains – and I paid the price for it) caused me to become somewhat “scared” of foods. Some foods were bad. Some were outright demonized. Any amount of sugar was certain to give me diabetes, or at the least, send me down into a spiraling-out-of-control sugar binge. I’d get cancer if I consumed anything with preservatives. I’d cause damage to my intestines if I ate grains, and at best, I wasn’t honoring my body if I didn’t give it 100% nourishing, whole, organic, healthy foods. And all the while, I was afraid my digestive system would get worse if I deviated from the world of natural, whole meats, vegetables, nuts and the occasional piece of fruit. While I certainly would never have put these kinds of restrictions on someone else, I found that I’d landed myself smack in the middle of this world. I didn’t like it. It made me a little crazy, and definitely sucked all of the joy out of food.

And the joy of food is why I started really cooking, and why I started blogging. I wanted to share that joy with others. Especially those who must eat gluten-free; I wanted to share that we can still enjoy breads, cakes, cookies, and other things and be happy and satisfied on a gluten-free diet. We are blessed with such a variety of amazing things to eat, and eating and enjoying a meal together is a lovely, sacred thing. We ought to be able to embrace that pleasure. Obviously, I was losing sight of that.

So I’m finding my way back to center. I’m learning to balance. As I’m finding that my body is healing and that I’m tolerating more and more foods, I’m learning moderation again. I certainly still eat a healthy diet – I want to nourish my body and give it the fuel it needs to power through my day, and I do the best when I’m not at war with it. But I also know that part of health is pleasure, fun, and acceptance. Pleasure and fun come from enjoying all sorts of delicious treats, and acceptance that sometimes, those treats won’t be what is defined as “healthy”, and that’s okay. Sometimes, I will eat sugar. I will eat candy. And cookies. I won’t have to over-indulge, because these things are no longer forbidden. While I still can’t eat gluten, I can eat so many other amazing things. I am grateful. I’m still learning how to be in this new place of acceptance, but so far, I love it here.

I invite you to join me in this place. After all, in this place, there are lemon sugar cookies. They’re simple, sweet, and a delight to enjoy as an afternoon treat. They are gluten and dairy-free, so they won’t upset tummies, but I made no attempts to “healthify” them. Because sometimes, you just need a real cookie. And that’s okay.

Print Recipe

Lemon Sugar Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 stick (1/2 cup) vegan butter, softened

3/4 c + 2 T organic sugar

1 egg

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 t lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1 1/2 T lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t kosher salt

3/4 c brown rice flour

1/2 c sweet white rice flour

1/2 c arrowroot starch (can substitute tapioca starch as well)

1/2 t guar gum (can substitute xanthan gum)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat in until well-combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flours, and guar gum. Add this to the mixing bowl and beat in.

Spoon into mounds on a lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Coconut-Macadamia Banana Bread

Who wants to bake banana bread this time of year? It involves turning the oven on, and it’s so warm in the house already.

Apparently, I do.

I wanted to make a breakfast treat of some sort, and the idea of making more biscuits or muffins just didn’t do it for me. I started rummaging around for inspiration, and came across this worn piece of paper with a banana bread recipe on it – one I’d been working on for a few years now. It’d been far too long since banana bread was made around here, and so I opted to remedy that situation.

And so today, in spite of it being summer, I bring you this tropically-inspired banana bread. It has a subtle coconut flavor, a delicious crunch of macadamias, and the slightest hint of coffee, upping the richness factor. And as any good banana bread should be, it’s moist and tastes delicious with a pat of butter (vegan or regular). I enjoyed a slice as soon as it was cool enough, and another the following morning, toasted in a skillet. It’s different than the average banana bread, but still manages to keep the essence of what makes banana bread great – it’s comforting and humble and delicious.

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Coconut-Macadamia Banana Bread (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 1/2 c mashed banana (3-4 bananas)

2 eggs, room temperature

3 T coconut rum (regular rum works too)

1 t vanilla extract

1/3 c coconut oil, melted

1 T finely ground coffee

2/3 c + 2 T coconut palm sugar

1/3 c brown rice flour

1/3 c teff flour

2/3 c tapioca starch

1/2 t guar gum

1 t baking soda

1 t kosher salt

3/4 c chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 4″ X 8″ loaf pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the bananas, eggs, rum, vanilla, coconut oil, coffee, and coconut sugar. Blend until well-combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, guar gum, baking soda and salt. Add to the food processor and blend until well-combined. Add the macadamia nuts and pulse a few times to stir in. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and spread out.

Bake on the middle rack for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

 

Potato Biscuits

I love biscuits. Like, really, really love them. Let me count the ways: biscuits with butter, with jam, with gravy (especially a good Southern sausage gravy!), with fried chicken, or even for the making of a sausage biscuit sandwich…that’s just the beginning, I’m sure. But good, tender, moist biscuits are hard to come by, especially when one is gluten and dairy-free. So for us, biscuits are a special event.

What I do love about making gluten-free biscuits is that there isn’t that pesky gluten in there, making things tough and chewy. Makes for an easy time – you can’t accidentally overwork the dough. And when using potato flour, it seems there is no need for gums like guar or xanthan gum. It also makes the biscuits taste nice and potato-y; something I really enjoyed.

I do have to apologize to you, however. It seems I’ve been hoarding this recipe for a while now. I’ve had it tucked away for at least a year, digging it out once in a while, but I’ve never managed to get photos of these humble beauties. Well, my friends, there’s no time like the present. I hope you’ll make up for lost time by making these quite often. Grab yourself some potato flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill), so you’ll always have it on hand for a quick breakfast treat.

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Potato Biscuits (gluten-free, grain-free, vegan)

2/3 c potato flour (not potato starch)

1/3 c potato starch or tapioca starch

2 t baking powder

1/2 t kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

3 T coconut oil

2/3 c canned full-fat coconut milk

1 T chia seed meal (grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder)

1/2 t apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the potato flour, starch, baking powder and salt. With your fingers or with a fork, blend in the coconut oil until the mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chia seed meal, and apple cider vinegar. Stir the coconut milk mixture into the flour mixture until combined and the dough comes together. It will be crumbly, but it should hold together. Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter, press a handful of dough into a circle to form a biscuit, pressing just firmly enough for the dough to hold together. (Alternatively, you can simply form rounds by hand.) Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of kosher salt.

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Do you make breakfasts more often during the summer, when kids are home? What do you like to make? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

This post is linked to Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free over at Gluten-Free Easily.

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Check out this chocolate sheet cake. Fudgy, chocolatey goodness. It’s gluten and dairy-free to boot. But what if I told you that it was a tad healthier than a traditional chocolate cake? And that there was a secret ingredient in this cake that contributes to it’s “healthy” status? Furthermore, no one can tell that this is anything but a fudgy, indulgent treat.

Wanna know what that secret ingredient is?

Head on over to The Balanced Platter, where I’m sharing the recipe for this chocolate sheet cake. I’ll be divulging all of my secrets and more!

 

Honey Teff Bread

It’s been a while since I’ve baked bread. I don’t really do it much – I don’t often have the time to allow dough to rise and all that jazz – and besides, up until recently, I haven’t done well when consuming many grains. (Over time, though, I’m finding I’m more able to tolerate them in moderate amounts. Hooray for healing!) But the other day, I decided it was time. Time to get back out the flours, knead some dough, and make some real, honest, good bread. I’ve been working on a bread that would be delicious for sandwiches for a long while. I was inspired by this recipe over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, but I played, played, and played some more with the recipe. I wanted to make something that was corn-free, so my corn intolerant family members could enjoy it, and so I used different flours and in varying amounts until it was right for me.

What I love about this bread is that it’s not dry. It doesn’t have to be toasted to be enjoyable, and it doesn’t crumble when made into a sandwich. It’s pliable, flavorful, and filling. I’ve enjoyed several turkey sandwiches with it this week, in fact. A sandwich is a simple thing, really, but it’s something I’ve missed. I’ve never been a huge sandwich “person”, but to have one every now and then is truly wonderful.

Anyway, back to this bread. I highly encourage you to try out a loaf for yourself. It’s therapeutic. Kneading dough is something many of us gluten-free bakers rarely get to do anymore. Usually, gluten-free dough isn’t kneadable. This is. Take advantage of it, and release some stress! You won’t overwork the dough – there’s no gluten in it, after all! Then relieve more stress when you bite into your first slice, because after all, my friend, it’s the best thing since…well, it is sliced bread!

Print Recipe

Honey Teff Bread (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free) – adapted from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

2 ½ c warm water (105-110 degrees)

2 active dry yeast packets

3 T honey

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/3 c ground chia seeds

¼ c psyllium husk powder

 1 c teff flour

½ c sorghum flour

1 c millet flour

½ c sweet white rice flour, plus more for kneading

2 t kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

Place the warm water in a bowl or 4-cup liquid glass measure. Add the yeast and honey, whisk together. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture should get foamy or bubbly.

 While the yeast is activating, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

 After the yeast mixture is all bubbly, whisk in the olive oil, ground chia seeds, and psyllium husks into the water-yeast mixture. Let stand for a minute or two to let the chia and psyllium get thick.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until thick. I usually start by using a wooden spoon and then eventually get in there with my hands for this step. Knead the dough to incorporate the flour – you could do this on a floured wooden board, or do as I do, and simply knead while it’s in a large bowl. Add additional sweet white rice flour, a little at a time, until the dough holds together and isn’t too sticky (about ¼ to ½ cup total). Form dough into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot to rise. Let dough rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

After the dough has risen, place a pizza stone in your oven on the center rack. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Punch down the dough a bit and knead again for a minute or two. Form into a round ball. Place on a piece of parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut slits on top. Pour a little olive oil on your hands and lightly rub over the top of the bread, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let rise for about 30 minutes while the oven and stone are preheating.

Carefully lift the parchment paper with the risen loaf on top and place it onto the stone in the oven. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for an hour before cutting into it. It is preferred to allow to cool on a rack to allow air to circulate around the loaf. The bread will be somewhat gummy if cut into while the loaf is still hot.

 Store leftovers for a day at room temperature, but store in the refrigerator for longer term storage – about a week.

 

Coconut-Date Macaroons

It all started with a big ol’ bag of coconut flakes (chips). They’d been hanging out in my pantry far too long. Finally, after looking at them quite a few times, I decided that it was high time I put them to use. But what to do?

I’ve used these big flakes before in granola, and loved how in the oven, they got all toasty, a little crispy, and deliciously chewy. The wheels started a-turnin’, and I thought about how toasty, crispy and chewy would all be wonderful qualities in a macaroon. So I set to making some.

Which, as it turned out initially, wasn’t as simple as just swapping out the finely shredded stuff for these big flakes. Without other modifications, the stuff just didn’t hold together. Which seems fairly obvious now, but at the time, I was at a bit of a crossroads. How could I maintain that chewy, delicious texture that I loved and keep everything together?

Obviously, as you can see, I managed. I couldn’t let you down, dear friends. Deep down, I knew you needed some coconut-y goodness, and I’m all for trying to deliver! These macaroons definitely deliver. I brought them to my coworkers, which, as I’ve probably mentioned before, are all regular gluten and dairy-eaters, and they were definitely well-received. In fact, we regularly receive these (supposedly amazing) freshly-baked mail-delivery cookies for Board meetings and the like, and they were in the office kitchen as well, serving as steep competition. One of my coworkers said she bypassed those mail-delivery cookies in favor of my macaroons, and proclaimed them superior. Made my day.

I hope these macaroons make your day too!

Print Recipe

Coconut-Date Macaroons (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

2 egg whites

2/3 c powdered turbinado sugar (I process turbinado sugar in my coffee grinder to “powder” it. I bet using coconut sugar works well here too, though I haven’t tried it.)

1/2 t almond extract

1/4 t sea salt

3 c unsweetened coconut flakes/chips

1/3 c chopped Medjool dates

1/4 c potato starch

1/4 c superfine brown rice flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Whisk in the powdered sugar, almond extract, and salt. Stir in the coconut, dates, potato starch, and rice flour until everything is evenly distributed and mixed well. Scoop into 2-inch mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Slightly press the cookies down with the back of a spoon or your palm, if desired, for more chewy texture. (They’ll be a bit softer if you leave them in a more rounded shape.)

Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through baking time. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Macadamia-Coconut Cookies with Cacao Nibs

This is what happens when you leave me to my own devices in the kitchen for an hour or so, folks.

Cookies happen.

Delicious, rich, heavenly, sinful-but-they’re-actually-good-for-you cookies.

Wait, what? Cookies that are good for you?

Yes. These cookies are full of nutrient-dense macadamia nuts, cashews, coconut, and cacao nibs, and are not only gluten-free, but also grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. So you get a good dose of omega-3s, vitamin E, palmitoleic acid, thiamin, lauric acid, and antioxidants, without a bunch of sugar or grain – both of which seem to bother many sensitive tummies (like mine!).

But don’t tell your tastebuds that. After all, macadamia+coconut+chocolate=pure heaven, right? And don’t let that somewhat plain photo above fool you. Truth be told, the battery on the camera died after just three shots, and I was running out the door for a soccer game, throwing these still-warm cookies onto a plate to share with my team. Speaking of, just don’t just take my advice on the deliciousness of these little treats. My soccer team and friends happily gobbled up cookie after cookie after our game on Saturday. (They’re thankful that I sacrificed a pretty photo of these cookies for their sake, I’m sure!) I find that the true test – if gluten and sugar-eaters go back for seconds, then it’s a sure winner.

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Macadamia-Coconut Cookies with Cacao Nibs (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo)

About 1 cup macadamia nut pieces

About 1 cup raw cashew pieces

1/4 c Grade B maple syrup

1/4 c pitted Medjool dates (about 4)

1/3 c coconut butter* (also called coconut cream concentrate or creamed coconut)

1 egg

1/2 t liquid stevia (if you like your cookies sweeter)

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t Kosher salt

1/3 c tapioca or potato starch

1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 c raw cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the macadamia nuts and cashews. Puree for several minutes, until a smooth nut butter is formed. (Yes, it will clump to the side of the food processor a bit before the nuts completely release their oils, but let it keep going, as it will eventually smooth back out into a delicious nut butter.) Scrape out of food processor, and measure out 1 cup of nut butter. (If there’s extra, then I won’t tell if you just eat it by the spoonful.)

Add the 1 cup of nut butter back to the food processor along with the maple syrup, dates, and coconut butter. Puree until the dates are in tiny little bits. Add the egg, stevia (if using), and vanilla and puree again until well-blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, tapioca starch and shredded coconut. Scrape out the nut butter mixture from the food processor into the bowl and stir together with a spoon until evenly mixed. Add the cacao nibs and stir again.

Scoop dough into small rounds (about 2 tablespoons in size for each) onto the baking sheet (about 2 inches apart) and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes almost 2 dozen.

*NOTE about creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut cream concentrate: It’s all the same thing; it just depends who makes it. Let’s Do Organic calls it creamed coconut , Artisana calls it coconut butter, Nutiva calls it coconut manna , and Tropical Traditions calls it coconut cream concentrate. Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen made some from scratch. I have used several of these brands with success, and have even made my own. Any of those will work just fine in this recipe.

 

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Flatbread

I know it’s not really the height of sweet potato season. That being said, it’s sweet potato season around our house for much of the cooler months. Plain and simple – they’re healthy, easy, and we love them. Most often, we enjoy them in the form of a sweet potato puree. Of course, as evidenced by this recipe, we often end up with leftovers. That’s when I get creative.

In fact, I was so excited by the crust from that quiche that I’ve since been playing with the recipe, coming up with various ideas based on the same theme. In fact, I made sweet potato puree just so I could have “leftovers” for this flatbread. I highly suggest you do the same. This flatbread is that good. It’s perfect with a salad, but really shines alongside a soup, or even roast chicken with some gravy or au jus, so you can use it to mop up the soup or some sauce. You could definitely use it as a pizza crust. Whatever you do, you’ve gotta try it out.

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Sweet Potato and Rosemary Flatbread (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

2 egg whites

1 egg

1 T psyllium husk powder

1 T ground flaxseed

1 c sweet potato puree (follow instructions on how to make sweet potato puree here, omitting maple syrup)

2 T coconut butter* (also called creamed coconut or coconut cream concentrate)

1/2 c white rice flour

1/2 c blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville)

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t baking powder

1 T chopped fresh rosemary needles

Additional coarse salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the psyllium husk powder, flaxseed, sweet potato puree and coconut butter (warm this a bit if it is too hard) and stir until well-blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well-blended. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and press out evenly into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. If the dough sticks to your fingers, oil them with a little olive oil before pressing. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the bottom is browned and the middle springs back when pressed lightly. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and cut into 8 pieces. (I found using a pizza cutter to be the easiest way to do this.)

Enjoy!

*NOTE about creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut cream concentrate: It’s all the same thing; it just depends who makes it. Let’s Do Organic calls it creamed coconut , Artisana calls it coconut butter, Nutiva calls it coconut manna , and Tropical Traditions calls it coconut cream concentrate. Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen made some from scratch. I have used several of these brands with success, and have even made my own. Any of those will work just fine in this recipe.

 

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free “Ding Dongs”

Who here remembers Ding Dongs? Those delicious little chocolate cakes with a creamy white marshmallow-y center, coated in a thin shell of chocolate were one of the only Hostess treats I enjoyed. Twinkies? Nah, I’ll pass. Cupcakes? Meh. But Ding Dongs? I was definitely game. I wasn’t much for cake as a child (I know, what was wrong with me?), but I could go for one of these treats.

Of course, even before I went gluten-free, it’d been years upon years since I’d had one. And now, with Hostess in bankruptcy, there currently aren’t Ding Dongs to be found. Not that I would want to eat one today anyway – they’re full of gluten, dairy, tons of sugar, and processed chemicals. That’s not really my thing. I’d much rather just grab a square of dark chocolate and call it a day.

But a few weeks ago, the idea of making my own Ding Dongs popped into my head. While I’m typically a fan of speedy, simple desserts (cookies are my forte), I decided this just simply must happen in my kitchen.

And so it did.

I started out playing with the cake recipe. Not having a fresh memory of a Ding Dong in my head, I did the best I could, remembering a somewhat dense (but not so much that it could be confused with a brownie) cake with as much chocolate in it as you could possibly add. I opted for coconut flour, as I’ve loved it in other cake and cupcake recipes. Coconut flour is tricky – it soaks up so much more moisture at first than other flours – but once you get used to it, it can provide a tight, tender crumb in a cake. It worked perfectly, and my cake was tasty and held together when cut perfectly.

In a real Ding Dong, I honestly have no idea what is in the filling they use. It’s freakishly white and likely has multiple chemicals that allow it to stay marshmallow-y forever. My filling was a version of a 7-minute frosting – simply egg whites, maple syrup, and vanilla. Now, this means that it won’t stay marshmallow-y for all eternity, but it’s good. Darn good, if I do say so myself.

The exterior coating couldn’t be simpler - I merely melted chocolate and brushed it over. It worked perfectly. Who needs weird waxy stuff when you’ve got good ol’ chocolate?

Now, because these cakes are lacking in preservatives and chemicals, they won’t last forever. They’re best served the same day they are made, as it seems the marshmallow center gets absorbed a little into the cake over time. But chances are, you won’t have to worry about that, as they’re quite the perfect treat, and won’t last long around a crowd of teenagers, kids, or nostalgic adults. But if for some reason you actually do have some left over, they’ll still taste delicious.

Print Recipe

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free “Ding Dongs”

For the chocolate cake:

5 large eggs

¼ c coconut oil, melted

1 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 T brewed coffee

1/3 c maple syrup

1 t vanilla extract

¼ c + 2 T coconut flour

¼ c cacao powder (I used a raw cacao powder, you can use regular cocoa powder, as long as it isn’t dutched)

¼ t salt

½ t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside; grease the parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the coconut oil, chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cacao powder, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, beating on medium speed, until well blended.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan and spread out evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Once cool, use an offset spatula to go around the edges of the cake and release it from the pan.

(This can be done one day ahead – just wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.)

For the fluffy white filling:

½ c maple syrup (or agave nectar – I haven’t tried honey, but I have a feeling it would work)

¼ c water

2 egg whites, room temperature

1 t vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, bring maple syrup and water to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until foamy. With the mixer still beating the eggs at high speed, slowly pour in the hot syrup along the side of the bowl. Continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add in vanilla and continue to beat for another minute.

For the chocolate ganache:

Melt 6 oz bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler (or in a large bowl set over a smaller pot of simmering water).

 

To make the cakes:

To assemble the cakes, cut the cakes using a small round cutter – I used one about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. (You can save the scraps for snacking or for cake balls.)

Using a small knife or an apple corer, turn the cut cakes over, and cut out the center three-quarters of the way through and remove the small cut out. Set it aside.

Fill each cake with your fluffy frosting. Replace the cut out. Repeat with remaining cakes. (You’ll probably have leftover fluffy frosting. I won’t tell if you eat it.)

Then, once your ganache is melted and ready to go, use a brush and brush it over the bottoms of the cakes. Place these cakes in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. Then turn over the cakes, and brush with chocolate on the tops and sides. Place back in the fridge or freezer to harden the rest of the chocolate.

Serve. Refrigerate if storing any leftovers.

I managed to get 11 ding dongs out of this recipe – you might manage 12 if you are better at cutting out the cakes than I!

Do you have old favorites that you’ve converted to gluten-free? Share them at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!