Homemade Gluten Free Coffee Cake

When you hear coffee cake, the first image that probably enters your mind is Drakes coffee cakes. Well, there are a variety of ways to make this cake and this is not the typical one though. You will use actual coffee or Endangered Species Coffee Candy in this recipe. To make it gluten free white or brown rice flour is usually the best bet for baking.


The first step of course, is to brew the coffee. It can be any flavor that you desire: from vanilla, mocha, french vanilla, espresso, to anything else. If you rather just use the candy all you have to do is melt it down in the microwave or in a glass bowl (within a large pot of course) over the stove top. When, one or the other is done it can be added into your flour mix.


As it was stated early, brown or white rice flour would be the preferable choice to use besides wheat flour because it is naturally sticky and will hold together better much better than any other gluten free flour. If you’d rather use wheat, of course, you are welcome, too. The gluten will keep the cake together.


When, you take your first bite into this delectable, sweet treat you will be glad you tried this version. Since you already have your coffee, grad a tall glass of milk, chocolate milk, or even a cup of tea and dig right on in.

Gluten Free Restaurant Desserts

If you have Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or even gluten sensitivity then, eating desserts outside of your house can be a bit difficult. Well now, it is not as hard as it used to be because so many chain restaurants now have gluten free dessert options.


Houlihan’s has three homemade, ice cream flavors. They are caramel macchiato, chick-o-stick, and raspberry. Plus, their crème brûlée has a rich vanilla bean custard that has caramelized sugar all over the top.

Outback‘s dessert is called Chocolate Thunder From Down Under. It is an extra generous pecan brownie that is crowned with rich vanilla ice cream and drizzled with their classic warm chocolate sauce. To finish it off, they add chocolate shavings and whipped cream. This is simply a chocolate lover’s dream.

Pizza Fusion has a fresh, delicious homemade brownie. That is not only gluten free, but is vegan as well.

Chili’s has a stupendously sweet ending with their chocolate milkshake. A great choice on a hot summer day.

Photo Courtesy of Simon James Kent

Bertucci’sdessert is called Chocolate Budino. It is a rich, creamy, and bittersweet chocolate mousse that is topped off with a generous helping of whipped cream.

Lastly, Carrabba’s dessert is called John Dole. It is Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon, rum pecans.


So,don’t be afraid to have an evening out! Enjoy the sweet treats of your choosing anytime!

Using Jelly, Jams & Preserves in Desserts

Jams, jellies, marmalades and preserves are sweet spreads that often find their way between pieces of bread, toast, and crackers. Made from fruit or fruit juice, the cooking process of the spreads offers variations in clarity, firmness, and ingredients. They also play a role in delivering a fruity burst of flavor to an array of desserts and sweet treats.

What’s the Difference?

Before you explore the possibilities of fruity desserts, you should get familiar with the differences between available options. Jam is typically a thick spread made from crushed or ground fruit. Jelly does not have any visible pieces of fruit and is made from the juices. Whole or large pieces of fruit cooked in thick sugary syrup create preserves. Marmalade has a soft gel consistency comprised of pieces of fruit and citrus peel.

Desserts Ideas for Jelly, Jams & Preserves

Just some of the ways you can use jelly, jams, and preserves includes making flavored cream cheese frosting, cookie bars, ice cream sundae toppings, fruity tarts, muffins, fruit bars, sticky buns, and fruitcakes. Other ideas…

Jelly Desserts

Paula Deen garnishes her Old South Jelly Roll Cake with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, jelly or jam, and whipped cream. An extremely easy way to make Jelly Cookies is with a container of piecrust and jelly. You can also add peanut butter to the recipe for a PB & J treat. Try using frozen or refrigerated pie dough to create Cream Cheese and Jelly Turnovers. Unbaked or unrolled Pillsbury piecrust is a common choice. A recipe from Country Living calls for ½ cup softened cream cheese, 1 large egg, sugar, salt, and 8 tablespoons of jelly, such as guava.

Jam Desserts

From sweet, fruity cake to thumbprint cookies, the thickness of jam makes a delicious ingredient in many dessert recipes. For example, all over the world, you will find a variety of jam cookies, from Austrian Jam Cookies using chopped almonds and raspberry jam to Swedish Jam Cookies made with chopped walnuts and dark corn syrup. Perhaps you’d rather sink your teeth into a slice of Smucker’s Peanut Butter & Jam Cheesecake – a rich peanut butter cheesecake inside a graham cracker crust topped with strawberry jam glaze.

Preserves Desserts

Transform vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, pineapple chunks, chocolate syrup, maraschino cherries, banana, and strawberry preserves into Banana Split Dessert Crepes. Get tropical with Pineapple Rum Dream Cake, which uses crushed pineapple, French vanilla cake mix, and apricot preserves to create an island treat. For a low-calorie dessert for the summertime, Creamy Fruit Ambrosia combines chopped pecans, low-fat vanilla yogurt, pineapple, peaches, shredded coconut, and peach preserves.

Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches

Summertime means strawberries. Red, juicy, sweet with just a tiny bit of tartness, they are the queen of the May garden. We go to strawberry festivals, buy baskets of them at roadside stands, and even labor in the fields of the “pick your own” stands.

But once you have them, what do you do with them other than eat them with sugar, or pile them on a biscuit with whipped topping for strawberry shortcake? Sure, there are strawberry preserves to be made. Few of us do that any more. And there are chocolate covered strawberries. Those tend not to keep in the summer. What good are chocolate covered fruit when the chocolate runs off in the heat.

One thing you can do is Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches. Not exactly a sandwich, really, but they look like one, and they are easy to make.

Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches Recipe

To start, you have the option of buying a pound cake ready made, or you can make one, either from scratch or a mix. You can also make your own chocolate butter cream frosting, or buy it in a can. Buying is easier. Once you have that hurdle decided, you may proceed. Allow one “sandwich” for each serving.

photo courtesy of Dave Allen

You will need:

– Thinly sliced pound cake
– Strawberries, sliced
– Chocolate frosting
– Butter

1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Put some butter in the pan.
2. Once it is melted, place the slices of cake in the butter, moving the slices around so they soak up any excess.
3. Watch the cake carefully, as the sugar content will make them burn easily. Once they are golden and crispy on the bottom, turn them onto plates.
4. Allow the cake to cool so you can handle them without burning your fingers. Cut each slice in half diagonally.
5. Spread chocolate frosting on each half. Arrange some sliced strawberries on top of the chocolate, piling them several layers thick.
6. Using two spoons, cut quenelles of chocolate frosting, and place one on top of each half. You may also place a quenelle of sour cream beside each half.

Serving options:
1. These can be served using ice cream in place of the frosting, or whipped topping can be spread on the bread, then topped with the berries, and chocolate syrup drizzled over them. Or you can make them, as above, and put a scoop of ice cream in between the two halves.

2. You can also serve these with ice cream and blackberries or raspberries. Chocolate doesn’t fare well with these two berries, but white chocolate does. Spread the grilled cake with ice cream, cover with berries, and drizzle it with white chocolate sauce.

No decent berries in season? No problem. Use tinned, drained peach slices. Peaches and chocolate go well together.

Use your imagination. Use what you have on hand. Use a spoon so you don’t miss any of the good stuff.

Gluten Free Desserts

So, you are on a gluten free diet? No worries! Not all desserts are made from wheat. There is actually a wide variety of gluten free options. Some companies include Larabars, Amy’s® Kitchen, and Enjoy Life®.


Larabars aren’t only gluten free, but sugar free, too. Now you might ask, how can that be a dessert? Well, in Italy, fruit and ricotta cheese is a traditional dessert. A Larabar is a blend of raw fruit, nuts and spices. There is a variety to choose from starting with ginger, coconut, cherry, lemon, key lime, to name a few.  Each bar has a shelf life of 12 months and contains one or more of the following nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans. This is one of those great “on the go” type of desserts or snack bars.

photo courtesy of Enjoy Life (R)


Then, the next option you have is a chocolate cake by Amy’s® Kitchen. It’s gluten free, non dairy, and a vegan friendly dessert. It’s made with organic cocoa powder and brown rice flour. You can eat this cake cold or warmed up with a cup of coffee. It is rich, smooth, and has a light texture that simply melts in your mouth. You can find this to be a little slice of heaven in Whole Foods Market or any health food store.


Enjoy Life® has quite a collection of delicious cake like cookies. They are all very soft and chewy. Some of the most popular ones include chocolate chip cookies, no-oats “oatmeal”® cookies, double chocolate brownie cookies, and gingerbread spice cookies. They are great for an old fashion milk dunking!


When you try any of the above listed desserts, you will feel like a kid back in the candy store all over again!

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

With the holiday season officially upon us, a truly delightful and unique dessert recipe is called for to welcome the arrival of the season. LIBBY’S® pumpkin roll is the perfect recipe to do just that. It is the perfect holiday dessert with it’s sweet pumpkin cake rolled around thick layers of rich cream cheese. When sliced, the whimsical pinwheel cake delights everyone served.

Don’t be intimidated by this dessert’s fanciful appearance. Roll cakes may look elaborate, but if you follow the instructions and roll up the hot cake as soon as it is removed from the oven, the dessert will construct perfectly and slice into beautiful pinwheels when served. Store in the refrigerator and serve at all of your holiday dinner parties this season!



 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 c granulated sugar
2/3 c LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar, sifted
6 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan or deep cookie sheet; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

4. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

This week I had the opportunity to do a small birthday cake for a close friend’s niece. The theme of the party was Elvis Presley (hence the design on the cake). While doing this cake I decided to do some experimenting with different types of frostings. I’ve made them all mixed, boiled, and I have such a hard time finding that perfect frosting that “crusts” over nicely, but doesn’t taste like you’re eating shortening out of the can! I came to this recipe by combining about 3 recipes. The combination of the butter and cream cheese create a perfect crust but the taste is still there. I hope you all find this frosting as yummy as the party goers did. Happy Baking!

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting


Elvis Birthday Cake

– 1 cup unsalted butter softened
– 1 8oz bar cream cheese softened
– 1 tbsp vanilla extract
– 2 lbs shifted powder sugar
– ¼ tsp salt


To make the frosting:

Cream butter, and cream cheese together. Cream until smooth. Mix in vanilla, and salt. Lastly add powdered sugar slowly to the creamed mixture. Mix until everything is all incorporated. YUM!

Frosting recipe yields approximately 4 cups of frosting.

To make the cake:

1.  Select a good quality cake mix (a nice quick cake).  I’m partial to Duncan Hines when I’m in a pinch because it is dense, and moist.  Very easy to decorate on.

2. Mix the cake mix per the box instructions, and divide into 2 8″ round cake pans.

3.  Bake cakes at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes.

4.  Allow cakes to cool slightly, take the cakes out of the pans, and cool on a cooling rack.

5.  Add your favorite filling to your cake, and frosting completely.  Allow the cake to “crust” over slightly.  To speed up the process, put the cake in your refridgerator for about an hour.

6.  You can use any design you’d like on your cake, but to make the Elvis design, you can do the following.  Find your favorite Elvis photo online, and print a 6″x4″ copy.  Cut the outline of the picture.  Carefully place your template onto your cake, trace the outline with a toothpick, and take the template off.  Using colored icing or icing gel, fill in the design completely.

Valentine’s Day Cupcake Guide – Part 2

As you know, a few days ago we published Valentine’s Day Cupcake Guide – Part 1. Now, it’s time for Part 2! Are you ready? Hope you like our choices!

Tart Bakery

Tart Bakery, located in Dallas, Texas was founded in November, 2004 by Executive Pastry Chef Kristen Massad, who trained at the French Culinary Institute of New York.

Kristen felt that Dallas could use a vintage bakery (everything is made completely from scratch with all-natural ingredients) with a modern touch.

Kristen’s business has grown significantly and Tart now ships goodies across the country.

Website: tartbakerydallas.com

Kara’s Cupcakes

Kara’s Cupcakes is the vision of executive pastry chef, Kara Lind.

For Valentine’s Day, Kara’s Cupcakes is offering the “Sweet Package”: a selection of four “lovely” cupcakes that will make you swoon. Presented in a custom white box adorned with Kara’s Cupcakes signature wrapping. The perfect gift for your sweetie!

Price: $15 per box

Location: Kara’s Cupcakes has five locations around the San Francisco Bay Area. More info on their website at karascupcakes.com

Dean & DeLuca

Dean & DeLuca will be featuring the following cupcake treats for Valentine’s Day:

Melt My Heart Cupcakes: These cupcakes are filled with chewy chocolate caramel, which is sublime when gently warmed. The cupcakes are made from scratch in small batches. Made exclusively for Dean & DeLuca by Two Hearts Bakery in San Francisco. Nine cupcakes $55

Valentine Mini Cupcake Chocolates (in the image): Knipschildt Chocolatier in New York City created these chocolate confections to look just like miniature cupcakes. Three different ganache fillings: Champagne, strawberry, and passion fruit. Set of 9 $45

Website: www.deandeluca.com.

Cupcakes by Carousel

Cupcakes by Carousel is a new shop in Ridgewood, NJ.

Their Red Velvet is Oprah’s favorite in a cupcake form. They donate $1.00 per cupcake and red velvet cake with heart to the american heart association in the month of February.

Their Red Velvet cupcakes have cream cheese icing and sugar heart; their Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes are decorated with rich buttercream topped with valentine picks or sugar hearts.

Price: $29.00 per dozen

Website: www.cupcakesbycarousel.com

Cakes for Occasions

Cakes for Occasions specializes in creating the finest gourmet cakes, cupcakes and sinfully delicious pastries. Owner Kelly Delaney and her creations have been featured in a wide range of media, including NBC’s Today Show and FOX25 Morning News in Boston.

Cakes for Occasions just came out with a heart-shaped box filled with a bakers dozen (13) mini cupcakes. The assortment of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet cupcakes are all coated with chocolate. The delectable treats are packaged in a heart-shaped box and sell for $17.

Location: Danvers, Massachusetts. Website: www.cakes4occasions.com