Thursday, February 12, 2009

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting (gluten Free, dairy free)

Sweet five year old daughter wanted a pink cake with pink frosting for her birthday.  My way of finding a recipe that is suitable for her dietary needs is just to google "strawberry cake" and see what recipes pop up.  Then, how hard can it be to make substitutions and come up with something yummy?  Right, not so hard, but type in "gluten free dairy free" and up pops all these difficult, ridiculous, xanthan gum-sweet rice flour-filled recipes that would cost me $40 just to buy the ingredients, and in my case, be 95% sure to flop and be disgusting.  This is the recipe I came across, laced with a couple alterations.  Piece of cake.

1 pkg gluten free white cake mix (I used Whole Foods' store brand)
1 pkg strawberry jello (if you want a different flavor, and pink color will do)
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup mashed strawberries, fresh or frozen--just strawberries, not with sugar added

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour your cake pan(s).  Combine the cake mix and jello.  Beat in the remainder of ingredients till blended, and pour into either a 9x13 baking pan or two round 9 inch cake pans.  Bake for approximately 30 mins.

1/2 cup margarine
1 lb powdered sugar

Beat those two together and add:

1/4 cup mashed strawberries 

Cool the cake thoroughly on wire rack--you can dump the round cakes out of their pans after 10 mins. to finish cooling.  Frost.  A small tip:  I like to frost a cake several hours before it is going to be eaten, and let it sit out at room temp so the frosting kinda hardens on the outside, locking in the moisture on the inside.  Its like a "curing" process, in my opinion.  
After serving, this cake does require refrigeration. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pamela and Namaste

I have been trying more GF (gluten free) mixes lately. Namaste makes good pizza crust mix, and it's so easy to mix up. You can get two large crusts out of one package, which costs around $7.
They have good spice cake mix also.
Pamela has been one of my favorite brands. I have tried the chocolate cake mix--and the varieties on the back of the mix give a dairy-free, egg-free version that is just as good if not better. I added chocolate chips to the mix and mint extract. Then I topped it with mint cream cheese frosting and it was one of the best cakes I'd ever had! Next time, if I make this for my daughter's b-day, I'll have to come up with another kind of frosting which is dairy free. I must say margarine frosting just isn't as good. Perhaps the mint will help.
Yesterday I made Pamela's sandwich bread mix, and it was the BEST!!!!! bread I have ever seen for gluten free. The texture was nice and moist, it sliced beautifully, and holds together great for a sandwich or anything else you'd need a slice of bread for. The yellow cake mix by this same company is also delicious--not too sweet and good texture. This company must have worked hard to do such a good job. I will definitely try the other mixes they make.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Gross Gluten-Free Brand

Everything I try lately Arrowhead Mills is bad. Totally not worth the money or one's precious time. The oat flour and yellow cake mix were terrible. Usable, but terrible. Nothing to feed company.
Has anyone out there had any luck with this brand? Until I hear something good, I am on STRIKE!
On the other hand, Bob's Redmill knows what he's doing. I have ALWAYS enjoyed his products, recipes, e-mails (personal and the newsletters--fantastic customer service), and the availability in stores. Even Meijers carries them, along with many other regular old grocery stores. And he's moderately priced, too.
Enjoy Life is another brand that seems mediocre. Some of their cookies are good, being made mostly with sorghum flour and brown rice syrup. Their mini chocolate chips, dairy-free, are Fantastic! Very expensive, but fully worth the price.
So now someone just needs to make wheat free Ritz crackers and graham crackers. It can't be that hard, right?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Prepare an oil wheat free pie crust and bake it. Let it cool.
For the filling:
First put 2 cups fresh blueberries in the bottom of the baked and cooled pie crust. Then whip up this quick filling...

2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen also work)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon margarine
juice from 1/2 lemon

Place blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Stir together over medium heat, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in margarine and cool slightly. Pour over blueberries in the pie crust and chill til firm.
It is super yummy, especially the next day!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I was right the first time

Forget what I said before, those cookies were amazing. Once they cooled, they were far better than the wheat version I made. Flavor was fantastic, and texture was perfect. They would have been reall good with nuts added...
One trick I did not mention, because I didn't think it was important: The 1/2 cup butter I happened to melt on the stove, because I was in a hurry, and in the meantime I forgot it was there on the stove, so it ended up as browned butter. Perhaps this was part of the deliciousness?

So, stick to the flour mixture I originally used or tweak it as you'd like:
1 cup millet, 1/2 cup oat, 1/2 cup garbanzo. Oh, and I forgot, I used 3 different kind of chocolate chips. Did I mention that already?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I tried this recipe today. It was good as far as texture and presentation goes, but I maybe used too much millet flour for my taste. Perhaps next time I will try 1/2 each: millet, potato flour (NOT starch), tapioca, oat or garbanzo. Flax meal may be good in there in place of tapioca...

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour blend
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (for dairy free, Enjoy Life makes a nice chocolate chip. Meijers or many health food stores carry this. They are mini-chips)

Mix all these ingredients up in a bowl. Spread into a greased 8x8 baking pan, bake 350 degrees until done--maybe 20 or 30 minutes?
They're great, but flour blend needs perfecting. I bet Bob's Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix would be good here. With the flour right, these could be just like any yummy cookie bar.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pancakes (wheat free)

Pancakes are really easy to make, and they have been a nice change of pace from the ordinary.  As I've made them for guests, their responses have been that these pancakes are lighter and the texture is refreshing.  These are not mushy and thick when you chew them.  Now my husband is anti-wheat free, as he likes traditional pancakes with loads of cheap syrup (I've tried to convert him, to no avail).  So these may be great, or you may hate em'.  If you want a softer pancake, use all oat flour.  I recommend Bob's Redmill oat flour because currently I am using Arrowhead Mills and the results are more moist, in a bad, mushy way.  Bob's is worth the extra money.   
Here's the recipe:

1 cup flour blend (use 3 of any kind, really.  I like to use flax meal for part, then maybe one starch and another that is hearty)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix those dry ingredients in a bowl.  Then mix in the following:
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk, any kind, they all work fine.  We use rice milk a lot.
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

That's your batter. Don't be afraid to use a whisk to mix it all up.  Its okay to "get out the lumps", and I don't recall ever really having lumps in my batter to deal with.  When you first pour the batter into the skillet, its good with some sesame seeds sprinkled on the top wet side.  If you like all that fru-fru extra fun, that is.