Chocolate Sheet Cake

My husband requested this for his birthday this year.  The original recipe was supposedly brownies, but what we experienced was a sheet cake.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  I just might have to make it again soon…

 

Dry Ingredients:

1/3 c. sorghum flour

1/2 c. teff flour

1/4 c. potato starch

1/3 c. tapioca starch

1/2 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Wet Ingredients:

1/3 c. nondairy butter, softened (I used Earthbalance)

1/3 c. coconut oil, melted

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla (I used Mexican)

1 c. warm water

 

Mix-ins and toppings:

1/2 c. Enjoy Life Mega Chunk Chocolate Chips

1/4-1/2 c. Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

1/2 recipe Vegan Milk Chocolate Frosting (but use all 7 tsp milk- see recipe re-written below)

1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans on top

 

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream butter, coconut oil, and sugar.  Add vanilla.  Take turns adding the dry ingredients and warm water to the stand mixer until both are completely added, stirring briefly between each addition.  Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add both types of chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Allow it to cool completely and then frost with Vegan Milk Chocolate Frosting (listed below).  Sprinkle nuts on top of frosted cake and gently press down so they stick in the frosting.  Eat and try to share ;-).

 

 

Vegan Milk Chocolate Frosting (1/2 recipe)

 

1 3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 T. plus 1/2 tsp. butter (I used SmartBalance)

1 T. shortening (I used Spectrum.  You could probably use butter instead but it may not hold its shape as well.)

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 to 1/6 c. cocoa powder (depending on how dark you want the chocolate to be)

7 tsp non-dairy milk (I used Silk’s Original Cashew Milk but you could also use coconut or almond)

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It was hard to get an even line for this picture because we kept getting one last forkful…

 

Original recipe:

Credicott, Tammy.  “Fudgy Brownies.”  The Healthy Gluten-Free Life.  2012.  306.  Print.

Rocky Road Chocolate Cookies

Nothing says, “I love you” like some chocolate cookies.  Okay.  Maybe there are some other ways to say it quite effectively, but this won’t hurt.  Try these out for your valentine tonight!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted but room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Cashew Milk this time, but normally I use coconut milk)

1/4 c. Enjoy Life Mini-Chocolate Chips

1/4 c. mini marshmallows or 4-5 big marshmallows torn into bits

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a stand mixer bowl, mix coconut oil and sugars.  Blend on low.  Add vanilla and blend again on low.  Add half the flour and half the milk and stir just a little bit before turning on the mixer to prevent a flour cloud.  Mix briefly with the mixer.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix with mixer briefly.  The dough should be very thick.  Add in chocolate chips, marshmallows, and walnuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, form dough into balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Chill the dough balls on the cookie sheet until ready to go into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes or until desired firmness.  *Note* Coconut oil will harden as it cools, so do not over bake.

Healthy Coconut Flour Chocolate Cookies

I think this recipe might be paleo.  I’m not too sure since I don’t follow that diet, but I’m pretty sure it falls under a lot of “healthy” categories (low sugar, low carb, etc).  It tastes kind of healthy too.  I typically don’t go for “healthy” tasting recipes, but some of my friends do and they loved this recipe, so I’m adding it in case you like healthy cookies too.  The taste grew on me, but I have a pretty big sweet tooth and I would normally eat cookies with more sugar.  With that said, those of you who avoid refined sugar might just love this recipe.  Plus, it is helping me get rid of the large amounts of coconut flour currently in my possession.  I have had trouble finding recipes that sound good and that don’t call for eggs.  So, there are many reasons to try this recipe -just don’t expect it to be as sweet as the other dessert recipes I have posted :-).

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp dried mint or fresh mint or more (optional)

1/2 c. honey

1/4 c. cocoa powder (The original recipe calls for carob powder but I would only do that if you’re allergic to chocolate.  The taste is NOT the same.)

1/4 c. golden flaxmeal plus 3/4 c. water

1/8 tsp salt

1 c. coconut flour

1/2 c. shredded coconut (I used the sweetened kind, but you could use unsweetened if you don’t want the sugar.)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Optional step: Heat coconut oil over low heat.  Turn off the heat and add mint leaves and allow to steep for 10-30 minutes.

Directions: Mix flaxseed and water first.  Stir all ingredients together, including coconut oil and flaxseed mixture.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes.  After baking, I rolled some of them in powdered sugar to sweeten them up, but you could skip this step.

 

Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Cookies

This is the same recipe I used for my Coconut Flour Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, but for some reason it turned out WAY better this time.  Maybe it was the coconut oil and cashew milk switch?  Last time I thought the recipe was ho-hum, but this time I got a lot of compliments on it and enjoyed it better myself.  I think rolling them into balls helped too as it kept the center soft.  If you’re debating which one to make, I say make this one first :-).

Ingredients:

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c.coconut oil

1/3 c. cashew milk

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. white rice flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

2 T. potato starch

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1/4 c. chopped pecans

 

Directions:

Cream coconut oil and sugars.  Add milk and vanilla and stir well.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Set the dough aside for 20 minutes so it can rest (maybe this is because of the coconut flour?) Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Edges should have just a tinge of brown.  They will harden when they cool so do not overbake.  Allow to cool.  May be frozen for longer storage.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2014/05/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Shortcut Fudge

I recently went to the beach with my in-laws.  Some of them had never had s’mores before, so I got the ingredients, the men scouted out firewood, we found a hole that was already dug in the beach, and my husband got the fire going quite successfully.  Everyone had a good time.  And then we came back with half a bag of large marshmallows.  We keep our house fairly warm in the summer, so I knew they had to be used soon.  All the recipes I could find online called for small marshmallows.  So, I made something up.  The result was good- the texture was more marshmallowy than normal fudge, but if you eat it straight out of the refrigerator, it holds up nicely.

 

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used SmartBalance- the green tub)

1/2 bag of large marshmallows (hopefully leftovers from a fun cookout!)- about 15-20 marshmallows

1/2 c. peanut butter or other nut butter

4 oz. Baker’s chocolate or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

 

Directions:

Put butter in a 2-quart sauce pan.  Turn heat on low/medium-low.  Add marshmallows and stir until they begin to melt.  Allow them to melt most of the way and then add peanut butter and chocolate.  Continue to stir until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Pour into a wax-lined 8×8 pan.  Allow to cool slightly and then chill in the fridge.  After it is chilled, cover.  Use within a week or less.

Kansas Dirt Cake- vegan and gluten free

Being a Kansas girl myself, I had never heard of this, but I wanted to try it just because of the name.  Ok, so it looked decadent too.  It indeed was decadent.  I love sugar but even I could just eat one piece at a time. If you can do dairy, I bet you could just whip together some cream cheese, a package of cool whip, and a batch of pudding and it would be pretty similar.  It is pretty simple.  Either way, this is a treat!

 

Ingredients:

Pudding:

2 c. unsweetened cashew milk (could use coconut)

1/3 c. sugar (granulated)

3 T. cornstarch

Whipped part:

8 oz. Daiya “cream cheese”

1 c. powdered sugar (you could use less and it would still be very sweet)

SoDelicious CocoWhip (like CoolWhip)- comes in the freezer section

1 package Glutinos, pulverized (you can use Oreos if you’re not gluten free)

 

Directions:

Whisk together the “milk” with the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Cook on the stovetop until bubbly and then cook another 4 minutes until thick.  Let pudding mixture cool for 10 minutes and then place in fridge for 2-3 hours or until set.

Place the “cream cheese” in a bowl and whip for 2-4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, 1/4 c. at a time.  Add in the cooled and set pudding mixture and whip again until combined.

Gently fold in 1/2 a package of SoDelicious CocoWhip.  If you can’t find this product in the store, you could chill a can of coconut milk for 4 hours and then whip up the creamy part and add a little sugar (unless you think the recipe already has enough sugar).

In a 9×13 pan, spread half of the pulverized Glutinos on the bottom.  Spoon in the whipped creaminess and spread evenly.  Top with the remaining Glutinos.  Refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours, but I think it tasted better after letting it set overnight.

Adapted from:  http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-dirt-cake/

Glutino-Stuffed Brownie

We recently had our 6-month anniversary.  In celebration, I attempted brownies with my chocolate cookie recipe as previously promised.  I also had a package of Glutino’s open that I wanted to use up.  I googled it and apparently a bunch of people already beat me to the punch.  It’s already a thing.  However, I didn’t see any gluten free vegan versions, so here you go!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted but room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Cashew Milk this time, but normally I use coconut milk)

1/4 to 1/2 c. chocolate chips

9 Glutino Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (or Oreos if you aren’t gluten free)

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a stand mixer bowl, mix coconut oil and sugars.  Blend on low.  Add vanilla and blend again on low.  Add half the flour and half the milk and stir just a little bit before turning on the mixer to prevent a flour cloud.  Mix briefly with the mixer.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix with mixer briefly.  The dough should be very thick. Stir in chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, grease an 8×8 pan.  Add a very thin layer of brownie batter, then place a layer of Glutinos in the bottom (about 9 cookies).  Top with remaining batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until desired firmness.  *Note* Coconut oil will harden as it cools, so do not over bake.

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Adapted from: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/vegan-chocolate-almond-cookies/?m

Ding Dong Cupcakes- Version 1

I love all the chocolate Hostess and Little Debbie and Marinela items.  Unfortunately, I don’t know of a gluten free version, so here is a homemade, everything free recipe!  It is version one because I don’t have the frosting quite right yet.  That didn’t stop us and some guests from polishing them off!  Don’t miss out on making these cupcakes, but feel free to experiment with different frostings.  I will be doing the same and I’ll let you know when I make the right one :-).  In the meantime, I have included several options below.

Ingredients:

Dry:

1/2 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. sorghum flour

1/4 c. potato starch

1/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet:

1 c. nondairy milk

1/3 c. canola oil

1 T. apple cider vinegar

Filling:

SoDelicious CocoWhip

 

Directions:

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add wet ingredients and stir well.  Pour into greased muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes until it springs back when you lightly tap the top.  Cool slightly and remove from muffin tin.  Allow to cool completely.  Punch out a hole in the top using this clever device that I found for a few dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond:

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Fill hole with thawed SoDelicious CocoWhip.  Cut punched out part of cake in half and top the filled cupcake with the punched out part like this:

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I was a little sloppy since I knew I was going to frost it.

Frosting:

I think the best frosting so far would be my Milk Chocolate Icing.  It’s not perfect for this recipe, but of the following options, I think it has the best texture.  If you are going more for looks than texture, continue reading.

The following frosting was good, but it was a little too hard and did not replicate the frosting on the Hostess/Little Debbie/Marinela cupcakes you find at the store.  This is what I did, but it would work better if imitating Reeses or something like that.

Ingredients:

4 ounces Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp milk

1.5 T. shortening

Directions:

Melt chocolate in the microwave in a bowl- stir every 30 seconds until melted.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Top cupcakes quickly as the frosting will quickly harden.

It looked like this:

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The icing I used in the top image is just melted chocolate that hardened on top- no extra ingredients added:

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Recipe adapted from: http://www.forkandbeans.com/2014/08/22/gluten-free-vegan-homemade-ding-dongs/

Oreo Buttercream Frosting

I love Oreos.  Unfortunately, they are filled with flour.  On the bright side, several companies have taken up the banner and created gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies.  My personal favorite is Glutino brand because there is no milk in them either.  I have used them for several baking adventures, but I wondered what they would taste like in icing.  I also wanted to quantify a buttercream frosting recipe so that it was repeatable.  In the past, I have just tossed together ingredients and eyeballed the proportions.  The result was always delicious, but the consistency wasn’t as reliable.  Sometimes I got a thin glaze, and sometimes a thick, creamy frosting.  This time I wanted something thick enough that it would hold together a two-layer cake.  Here is my first thick frosting recipe that I am posting on this blog.  I am sure there will be more to come.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. plus 1 tsp butter (SmartBalance)

1/4 tsp salt

2 T. shortening (I used Spectrum Non-Hydrogenated All Vegetable Shortening.)  You could possibly use all butter.

1 tsp vanilla

5 tsp non-dairy milk, added one at a time until desired thickness.  Can add more if you want it to be less thick.  (I had original Almond Milk today, but coconut milk would work.)

7 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Glutinos- possibly has traces of egg if you are allergic to eggs)

 

Directions:

Combine sugar with salt, butter, shortening, and vanilla and combine with a pastry cutter.  Add in non-dairy milk until desired thickness.  I wanted a really thick icing, but you could add more butter and/or milk if you want a thicker, moister frosting.  Mix with a beater to combine well and fluff.  Add in cookie crumbs and stir well.

I doubled my chocolate cake recipe and cooked it in two spring form pans.  I frosted the bottom one and then added the put the second cake on top and continued frosting.

 

Note:  If you can eat gluten, feel free to use real Oreos for this frosting.  There’s nothing like the original.  I once shared some gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies with a friend.  She said, “They’re good, but there’s something missing and I can’t put my finger on it.”  I said, “It’s wheat.  The flavor you are missing is wheat.”  There is no exact replacement for that flavor, but these other cookies are pretty close, and in a frosting recipe, you really can’t tell.

 

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I love the look of frosting in a bowl!
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Look how well it stays on the beaters!
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The final product.  Our cake stand from our wedding had the chance to get out and play too.

Inspired by: http://www.food.com/recipe/oreo-cupcakes-with-oreo-buttercream-487608

 

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (a.k.a. Dinosaur Food)

I remember making this recipe in junior high with a friend.  At the time we called it dinosaur food, but I have since learned that is has a much less exciting name.  Whichever name you choose to use, this is an easy, quick recipe and relatively inexpensive depending on the ingredients you use.  If you don’t need to be gluten free, you can use regular oats and it is really cheap.  I like Skippy Natural Peanut Butter because it is a compromise between cheap peanut butter and “healthy” peanut butter.  The ingredient list is really short but it still looks and tastes like the peanut butter I remember.  These are all the ingredients you need:

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Ingredients:

1/2 c. butter (one stick)- regular butter or a n0n-dairy butter both work.  I used SmartBalance.

1/2 c. milk (I used coconut milk)

2 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. peanut butter (could use SunButter or another nut butter if you can’t have peanuts)

2 1/2 c. oats (I used gluten free quick-oats this time but it is good with whole oats too)

 

Directions:

Mix butter and milk in pan and turn on medium low until butter is partially melted.  Add in sugar and cocoa and mix well.  Bring it to a boil over medium high heat and boil for one minute (I sometimes do 2 minutes.)  Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter and stir until melted.  Add in oats and stir well.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper and drop cookies onto pan by Tablespoons.  Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.