Gluten-Free Recipes for Dessert

No-Bake Nut Cake – Tortas Rieŝutėlis

July 1, 2018

No-Bake Nut Cake – Tortas Rieŝutėlis

A no-bake gluten-free version of a Lithuanian nut cake.

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

The original wheat version of this recipe came from Darbštuolė – a Lithuanian recipe magazine similar to Pillsbury Monthly. The recipe states it is from Laima Andrijauskaitė.

The original has one making an unsweetened dough, that is chilled, grated (presumably by hand like potato pancakes) and then baked to make a crunchy mix. I tried this and it was pretty awful, but it did stay very crunchy for several days in the creamy mix. So in my wheat flour days, I used a very neutral shortbread cookie ‘Sandies, simply shortbread by Keebler.’ They also boiled the can of condensed milk as we used to, to make a caramelized condensed milk. That is now available as Nestle – La Lechera – Dulce de Leche about $3 in the Goya/Mexican food aisle. Make sure you buy the right can, they also do ordinary condensed milk that looks the same but isn’t caramelized. My friend and I agreed that we had to add some rum. And then I used my chocolate ganache of cream and real chocolate melted as a topping, rather than cocoa, milk and sugar. It is very rich, so it could be cut as a small candy rather than sliced as a dessert.

Gluten-Free No-Bake Nut Cake


  • 1 x 7.25 oz (206g) packet of Pamela’s gluten-free butter shortbread, broken into large pieces. This is quite a soft shortbread but it doesn’t turn to mush.
  • 1 x 380g (13.4 oz or thereabouts) of Nestle Dulce de Leche caramelized condensed milk
  • 2 cups, (8 oz, 250g), nuts, coarsely chopped and toasted in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I used almonds and pecans. Walnuts would have been more available.
  • ½ stick (2oz, 56g) butter melted
  • 2-4 tbsps (30-60 ml) rum, brandy or chocolate liqueur. Or go for orange or almond liqueur to your own preference. I used 4 tbsp Myers dark rum. 2 tbsps give a nice flavor, 4 tbsps you can notice the alcohol. Plain rum should be naturally gluten-free, it’s the flavors added that are the dangers.



1. Open can of dulce de leche and empty into 4-6 c (1-1+1/2 ltr) microwave safe bowl. Add solid butter and microwave for a short time, stirring, until milk softens and butter is melted.

2. Stir in some of alcohol to give a smooth even mix.

3. Stir in nuts and shortbread. Now taste and decide if you want some more alcohol. Remember strength of flavor develops and you’ll be adding rum to topping/glaze.

4. Spoon mix into 9-10” spring form pan (for a fancy dessert) or 8×8” brownie pan to cut into candy pieces. OR line star, christmas tree or heart shape pan or other designs with plastic wrap and press mix into all the corners so design turns out crisp. The mix is ‘lumpy’ so won’t press into detailed design mold.

Smooth out as much as possible and then take a piece of plastic wrap, press onto surface of cake and press out even more to smooth top and compress mix and prevent too many air bubbles.

5. Refrigerate for several hours until firm enough to cut. I had originally tried this with cream instead of butter, but butter firms mix up more.

6. While mix is chilling, heat cream and sugar together, add chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth and creamy, it should look like a cross between condensed milk and Hershey’s syrup – no lumps. Stir in alcohol and chill. I usually use an immersion blender to make it smooth.

7. Remove ‘torte’ from fridge, remove from spring form, remove plastic wrap and place on decorative plate. Pour about half of chocolate mix over top of cake and allow to start dribbling down sides. If the mix is too runny when you stir once you remove from fridge, then beat it slightly with electric mixer so it doesn’t ‘run’ so easily.

8. Beat remainder of chocolate mix with electric mixer until consistency of whipped cream and then pipe around top/bottom of cake. Finish with nuts, or any decoration you want.

This lasts for several days in fridge, easily made in advance of summertime parties, but will soften too much if left out in sun during party. Still delicious, but spoonable not cutable after sun.

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Sweet Sauces – Caramel Sauce, Raspberry Sauce and Chocolate Ganache

June 11, 2018

Sweet Sauces – Caramel Sauce, Raspberry Sauce and Chocolate Ganache

This delicious and versatile gluten-free sauces should be a staple in your kitchen!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Gluten-Free Caramel Sauce

I have only seen a few brands of caramel sauce actually labeled gluten-free, but with far more ingredients than this recipe. Too many ice cream/sweet sauces are based on corn syrup and flavorings.

Summertime, parties, BBQ’s – what’s easier than your favorite brownie, pound cake, sliced with selection of sauces and ice cream or just ice cream sundaes. Everyone loves that!


  • 3/4 c sugar (6 oz, 180g)
  • 1/4 c (2 fl oz, 60 ml) water
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml. 1 oz) butter
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) gluten-free vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


1. Put sugar in 8″ skillet with water, cover and bring to slow boil while sugar melts. Swirl pan to dissolve all sugar or sugar crystals will form.

2. Once sugar is totally dissolved, remove lid and boil syrup swirling pan as syrup changes color. You want a nice golden brown color, not dark brown. It only takes a few minutes so don’t walk away. The syrup browns at different rates so swirling pan gently mixes it all together. If pan starts smoking, it’s overcooked. Undercooked is tasteless.

3. Add cream and stand back as caramel will spatter, boil up and solidify in places. Stir to dissolve caramel. Add butter, vanilla and salt and stir all together.

4. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Dairy-free Option: Make with Asian style coconut milk and add coconut butter.

For Adults: To sauce add 1/4 c toasted chopped pecans and 1-2 tbsp rum or other alcohol. Serve with grilled pineapple rings or grilled halved peaches and ice cream, match made in Heaven.

Warning: Don’t make caramel sauce with kids or animals underfoot, sugar burns are really dangerous, plus if you’re distracted, sugar over cooks rapidly and burns, so you have to throw it out.

Gluten-Free Raspberry/Berry Sauce


  • 1 x 12 oz – 16 oz (375 – 500g) bag of frozen raspberries or bag of frozen mixed berries
  • ½ c (4 oz 125 g) ordinary sugar
  • 1/2 c (120 ml, 4 fl oz) water
  • ½ c (120 ml, 4 fl oz) Seedless raspberry jam or jelly for extra oomph of flavor
  • Raspberry liqueur, Amaretto, brandy, rum for adults.
  • Choose different jams and alcohols that match the fruit


1. Melt sugar and water together, add raspberries (or other fruit), and simmer for just a few minutes. Stir in raspberry jam until it melts. Depending on ripeness of raspberries and your personal taste you might want to add more sugar.

I like to buy baskets of fresh raspberries in season and freeze them. Somehow they don’t break up nearly as much as bought frozen raspberries when they are simmered in sugar and water.

You can sieve the sauce and make it a ‘couli,’ so there are no seeds.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Ganache

Melt together 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream and 11 oz bag of Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate or with Sodelicious vanilla or hazelnut creamer mixed with gluten-free chocolate. I use an immersion blender to make sauce totally smooth. Thicken as it cools, very runny when hot. Add some sugar if too ‘dark’ for kids.

This can also be used as a dipping sauce for fruit.




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Happy Easter Cake or Anytime Special Cake

April 10, 2018

An easy way to make adorable mini gluten-free cakes for your next special occasion!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

While I normally bake from scratch, I am realistic enough to know that many will use pre-packaged mixes for various reasons. So choose your favorite gluten-free cake recipe (yellow or pound cake) or cake mix – gold, chocolate or spice and make these adorable mini cakes for your next special occasion!

To make the 6 houses in the Nordic mold. First select a mold. Here are a few options I’ve found:

  • Nordic Ware Platinum Cozy Village Baking Pan, plenty of ideas and photos under reviews.  $24.95 from Amazon Prime.
  • Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Train Pan $24.95. (My son would have loved a Thomas the Tank Engine.)

To Make the Cakes:

I’ve used half of Pamela’s Products 21 oz gf vanilla cake mix or King Arthur 22 oz, gf yellow cake mix. Roughly ½ c of batter, ¾ filled to ‘ground level’ line. This just makes 6 houses, and batter doesn’t overflow or need bases cut off.  350* oven for about 20-25 minutes. These cakes are only a little bigger than cupcakes. To use whole box, you could cook additional batter in jelly roll pan and once cold cut out Easter shapes, Christmas shapes – whatever special occasion you are celebrating.  Decorate with 4th July flags, school colors, get creative. Or use the jelly roll as the garden underneath the houses. Color regular shredded coconut with green food coloring, shaking well in a bag.  Let kids put the candies they want around the ‘grass’.

You need to carefully spray inside of pan, so every detail looks wet, then carefully dust with some of cake mix. Bake and then leave cake to sit for 10 minutes after removing from oven, loosen top edges of cakes with thin plastic spatula, then turn upside down, tap and turn out to finish cooling. Soak in soapy water to clean, use washing up brush to remove bits of cake, then smaller brush, q tip to get into crevices.

I have poured white chocolate ganache on the cake and finished with Easter M&M’s, saturated in alcohol laden syrups for Adults or just dusted with powdered sugar.

Have fun and enjoy!


Lemon Squares

April 4, 2018

Lemon Squares

This delicious gluten-free version of classic lemon squares is sure to please!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I’ve eaten some gluten-free lemon squares, and tried out some recipes and really didn’t like the topping, mainly because to me the texture was like a gluey custard. Then, by chance, I read someone saying they made a lemon curd topping instead. I make lemon curd frequently in the microwave (and lemon curd means lemon butter not anything cheese), and I’m happy with my gluten-free shortbread pastry dessert base, so went from there. Tanginess will depend on size of lemon you zest and juice. I like it tangy but not sour and just quote number of lemons to use, not teaspoons of zest (honestly, how do you accurately measure teaspoons of zest or grams on a scale) or amount of juice. No flour or cornstarch (cornflour in UK) needed in lemon top.

I have made these with Earth Balance for the base and coconut oil for the lemon curd. Obviously not the flavor of butter but still tasty.


Shortbread base

  • 1 c (4 oz, 112g ) my gluten-free flour mix (see below)
  • ½ c (2 oz, 56 g) gluten-free almond flour (ground almonds in UK)
  • ½ c (2 oz, 56 g) powdered sugar (Icing sugar in UK)
  • 1+1/2 sticks (6 oz, 168g) butter, hard from the fridge and cut into 1 tablespoon slices
  • ¾ tsp (4 ml) xanthan gum

Lemon curd toppings

  • 2 lemons, washed, zested, squeezed of juice and strained of pips. (approx ½ c 120 ml juice)
  • 1+1/4 c (8 oz, 224 g) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz (112g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar to finish when cold


1. Preheat oven to 350*F (180*C). Put flours, sugar and xanthan gum in food processor. Add cold hard butter and run food processor until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Grease 8×8 (20×20 cm) baking pan. Sprinkle in shortbread mix, spread evenly and press down.

3. Bake in preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. You do want the base to be light golden brown all over now or it doesn’t taste cooked enough.

4. Put lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest in 4 cup (1 ltr) jug and microwave until sugar is melted.

5. Remove from microwave, add butter or coconut oil and stir until butter/coconut oil melts in hot liquid. This also cools liquid so eggs don’t scramble.

6. Using an immersion blender, add eggs one at a time with blender running. This mixes eggs in really well, no white bits of egg white showing and chops lemon zest even further so no need to strain the mix at all.

7. Pour lemon mix onto baked shortbread base. Cook in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. There should still be a wobble in the custard and slightly wet in the center. Don’t cook it until it’s set all over, then it tastes rubbery and looks scrambled. This is an egg custard. It might be risen slightly around edges, popped air bubbles showing.

8. Cool totally then dust heavily with powdered sugar to hide any air bubbles. I don’t find the powdered sugar dissolves into top. The base might have some crumbs, but it’s a shortbread. Keeps well covered in the fridge. I cut it up and transfer to covered container.

My Gluten-Free Mix

I use for one cup of gluten-free mix:

  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets.
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill.

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Chocolate Almond Raspberry Tart

January 30, 2018

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Tart

The perfect sweet for your sweet this Valentine’s Day!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Everything’s better with chocolate isn’t it? Except for my one girlfriend who doesn’t like chocolate, I call her (to her face) a genetic mutation as a female. But she loves my other desserts, particularly those with liqueurs. This is based on my original wheat flour almond tart, one of the first recipes I adapted to gluten-free since it’s a favorite with our son. Then I added melted chocolate to the cake part; my husband thinks it’s like a lava cake. To me it’s a ooey, gooey brownie truffle cake.

This cake is easy to make for Valentine’s Day, even for just two of you. Dad can make it with the kids, treat them for Super Bowl – I have to say ‘Go Pats,’ living in New Hampshire and with a son who was a student football manager at university.

You can watch me make this on New Hampshire’s ABC WMUR on Friday, February 16, airing during noon news, then posted on Facebook and my website.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Raspberry Tart



  • 2/3 c my gluten-free mix (3 oz, 84 g) (see below)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) cocoa
  • ¼c (1 oz, 28 g) powdered (icing) sugar
  • ¾ stick (3oz, 84 g) butter, hard and coldfrom fridge
  • ½ tsp ( 3ml) xanthan gum

  • 2-4 tbsp (30-60 ml) raspberry jam
  • small 6 oz(168g) fresh raspberries, optional, if available and not over-priced.


  • 1 c (6oz) gluten-free semi sweet chocolate chips, I use Nestle Tollhouse
  • ¾ stick (3oz, 84 g) butter
  • 1/2 c (3+1/2 oz, 100g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (4oz, 112g) ground almonds (also known as almond flour or meal) or else grind 1 cup skinless almonds with the sugar in food processor). This month Costco, certified gluten-free, under $12 /3 lb
  • 1 tsp gf almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼-1/2 cup sliced almonds for topping/garnish.
  • (No xanthan gum or baking powder in filling)


1. Preheat oven to 350*/180*C.

2. Put crust ingredients in food processor and run until processed into fine breadcrumbs. It’s much easier to do this with hard butter in processor rather than soft butter by hand – crust is sprinkled rather than spread like a paste. Sprinkle into greased 9 inch pie plate and press half way up sides of plate. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, until almost cooked. You won’t really see any change in color due to the cocoa. Undercooked, crust stays more like a paste. Crust is very ‘short’, like good shortbread.

3. Remove from oven and spoon jam on top. Leave for 1-2 minutes to soften jam so it is easier to spread. Do be careful, some jams don’t want to spread and just pull at the crust. It still works but is messier. Arrange raspberries on top if using.

4. While crust is cooking. Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave in 4 cup microwave safe bowl.

5. Stir in sugar, salt, extract and ground almonds to cool mix.

6. Beat in eggs until smooth.

7. Spread chocolate almond mix on top of jam and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

8. Baked in preheated 350* oven for about 25-30 minutes. Mix will have risen, you won’t really see a change in color and middle should still ‘wobble’ slightly. Knife inserted in middle will definitely be wet. Only one inch of the edge should look more cake like and be cracked. Don’t overcook. You are planning on a moist brownie consistency throughout the tart.

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Tart will deflate a bit and stiffen up on standing. You can dust tart with powdered sugar.

10. Serve with real whipped cream of 1 cup liquid heavy or whipping cream, 1-2 tbsp powdered sugar and either 1-2 tbsp chocolate or raspberry liqueur beaten together until stiff.

My Gluten-Free Mix

I use for one cup of gluten-free mix:

  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets.
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill.

Larger quantity:

  • 1 x 14 oz bag potato starch, which is 3+1/2 cups – that’s the size I can buy.
  • 1+3/4 c of Tapioca Starch is 7 oz
  • Just under 1 cup of Amaranth or Millet (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)
  • Just under 1 cup of Sorghum (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)

Making about 7 cups total of mix.

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Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Cake aka Schwarzwälder Kirsch Torte

November 28, 2017

An indulgent gluten-free version of a traditionally delicious chocolate and cherry cake.

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

This recipe is a variation of my master almond cake shown on the cover wrap of the June 2017 Food & Wine Magazine.

The original cake was a whisked sponge and quality cherry pie filling to replicate cooking Morello cherries. Now, I’ve found that cherry pie filling is mainly cornstarch thickened sauce and very few cherries.

I’ve cooked bing cherries in sugar syrup and grand marnier cherry, cherries still firm and it was a pain to pit cherries. Some recipes say not to use canned cherries, others say use them. Same with frozen cherries.

I’ve used both a can of sweet cherries or the same amount of frozen/thawed sweet cherries. We prefer the texture of mixing cherry jam with cherries and not just cherry jam. Kirschwasser should be the cherry brandy used for more oomph. I haven’t found 1/4 cup miniature bottles of kirsch and wasn’t prepared to pay $30+ for a large bottle. Plus, companies won’t tell you if it is gluten-free, so I use Amaretto almond liqueur instead.

I find cake cooked in 2 x 9″ pans is too thin. You can buy 8″ foil cake pans in grocery store for thicker cake, they can be handwashed and reused. A dishwasher tends to blacken the foil. I usually only make and serve 2 cake layers with filling and topping. People will cut the same size wedge from 3 or 4 cake layers as 2 layers, over indulge or have to throw it away. Plus I always say cakes look ‘attacked’ once they are cut.  So make multiple 2 cake layer cakes and bring them out one at a time, so your dessert table looks prettier and cakes serve more people. This cake disappeared before I could get a photo of it intact.

Gluten-Free Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Cake

Makes 8 generous portions



  • 2 oz (1/4 c, 60 ml) soft butter or melted coconut oil
  • 2 oz (1/3 c, 56 g) gluten-free semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz (1/2 c 112g) sugar
  • 4 oz (1 c 112 g ) gluten-free almond flour or almond meal (meal just means skin left on and can be described as ‘natural’ almond flour, solid white is blanched almond flour or ground almonds)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) gluten-free cocoa
  • 1 tsp gluten-free almond extract
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) gluten-free baking powder
  • pinch of salt


  • 1 x 14,15,16 oz (500 g) can of sweet cherries, drained, juice kept. Exact weight isn’t essential
  • 4 oz, 1/2 c , 120 ml gluten-free cherry jam
  • 1/2 c ( 4 fl oz, 120 ml) heavy/whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) gluten-free almond extract or 1 tbsp (15 ml) Amaretto liqueur.
  • Pinch of xanthan gum

Top and sides:

Either 1 c heavy/whipping cream, 1/4 c powdered sugar, 2 tbsp Amaretto, whipped until stiff and spread over top and sides of cake. Keep some whipped cream to pipe decoratively

OR 1 c cream, 1 cup chocolate chips and 2 tbsp Amaretto, melted together to form a ganache, refrigerate overnight, then some poured over cake and rest whipped until stiff and piped decoratively.


1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 170 degrees C. spray 2 x 8″ pans, line with parchment paper (greasesproof paper) and dust with cocoa. Melt chocolate and butter/coconut oil together until chocolate is totally smooth.

2. Put rest of cake ingredients in 8c (2 ltr) bowl, add melted chocolate mix and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Even though mix will now be dark from chocolate, it will lighten in color as it is beaten.

3. Divide cake mix between 2 pans. Put foil pans on cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Cake will still be soft but a knife in middle of cake will be clean. Remove from oven, let cool for about 10 minutes then turn onto cooling rack.

4. Filling: When cool, put one cake layer on serving plate. Spread with jam and top with cherries in one layer.

5. Whip cream, sugar and almond extract or Amaretto together until stiff. I add a pinch of xanthan gum as I whip cream, it helps it to stay firm, doesn’t affect taste or texture.

6. Spread cream gently on top of cherries. Top with second cake layer.

7. Top and sides. As above. Whip cream and cover cake or make ganache, whip and cover cake. Finish with toasted almonds and chocolate shavings.

If you think you have overcooked cake (forgot to set timer to say cake is done), now is the time to drizzle or brush layers with juice from can. Add some more amaretto if you want.


Hot Chocolatey Cocoa

Hot Chocolatey Cocoa

Courtesy of Enjoy Life

Makes 2 – 6 oz. cups



Microwave Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Heat in microwave for 30 second, stir. Continue heating and stirring until boiling.
  3. Let cool to your desired temperature and enjoy.

Stovetop Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Stir constantly, heat over medium/low heat until boiling.
  3. Let cool to your desired temperature and enjoy.

Optional Recipe Variation: Top with marshmallows or whip-cream. If you love chocolate, dribble a few Mini Chips on top for an extra chocolatey taste!

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Glazed-Snickerdoodle Fruit Tart

November 20, 2017

Courtesy of Enjoy Life




Makes about 8 servings

For the crust:

For the filling:

  • 2 T. dairy-free buttery spread
  • 1 medium sweet apple, suitable for baking (such as Cortland), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium pear, suitable for baking (such as Bartlett), cut into 3/40-inch pieces
  • 2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 T. Enjoy Life Foods All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1 t. lemon juice

For the crumble:

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 C. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 t. dairy-free milk
  • 1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly oil a 9-inch tart dish
  2. To make the crust, combine 2 boxes of Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies and the dairy-free milk in a food processor. Process until the cookies are finely ground and stick together when the mixture is squeezed.
  3. Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides.
  4. To make the filling, melt the dairy-free buttery spread in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, pears, and cranberries. Cook until the mixture begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook until the sugar melts. Sprinkle with the All-Purpose Flour, mixing to coat. Pour in the water and lemon juice, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  5. To make the topping, combine the All-Purpose Flour, brown sugar, and dairy-free buttery spread in the food processer. Pulse about 10 times until the mixture is in large crumbs.
  6. Scrape the fruit mixture into the prepared crust. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit.
  7. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until the crumble topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling. Let cool 30 minutes.
  8. To make the glaze, put the confectioners’ sugar, dairy-free milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Drizzle the mixture over the tart. Let stand 15 minutes to set.
  9. You can enjoy the tart warm, but the filling will continue to firm as it cools.
  10. Serve as desired, storing leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and any other leftovers to the freezer.

Brownie-Bottom Pumpkin Bars

October 23, 2017

Brownie-Bottom Pumpkin Bars

Courtesy of Enjoy Life



Makes about 16 large bars


For the brownie mixture:

  • 1 box Enjoy Life Foods Brownie Mix
  • 3/4 C. cold water
  • 2 T. mild olive oil or grapeseed oil

For the pumpkin mixture:

  • 1 1/4 C. mashed pumpkin
  • 1/4 C. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 C. Enjoy Life Foods All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch salt

For the topping:


  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. To make the brownies, put the Brownie Mix in a large bowl. Add the cold water and oil. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. While the brownies are baking, prepare the pumpkin mixture. Put the mashed pumpkin, maple syrup, All-Purpose Flour, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a large bowl. Briskly whisk until well combined.
  5. After the brownies have baked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven. Dollop the pumpkin mixture onto the par-baked brownies, swirling throughout the batter.
  6. Bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean, and the pumpkin portions are firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for at least 1 hour.
  7. To prepare the topping, put the Mini Chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat in 10 second intervals until melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the top of the brownies.
  8. Carefully remove the brownies from the pan, then cut into squares.
  9. Serve, storing leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and any other leftovers to the freezer.


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Gingerbread Cake

September 26, 2017

This gluten-free cake is pumpkin, spice and everything nice!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I first tried making my English gingerbread (cake, not cookies) recipe gluten-free but I wasn’t happy with how it turned out. Plus, in the UK we use golden syrup (not corn syrup) and black treacle, (like molasses) which are not easily available. Then I thought that my gluten-free pumpkin bread has the same moistness as gingerbread, so let’s try using ginger rather than pumpkin pie spice. I even asked my wheat-eating girlfriend if she thought I was crazy.

But it was a success! No xanthan gum, which gave this cake an even fluffier texture. I’ve increased the amount of ground ginger and crystallized ginger and used my ginger orange dipping sauce for spring rolls as a glaze… Or butter, rum and pecan sauce. I did use orange juice instead of water and added orange zest in the cake, but didn’t really notice the orange. You can also make this recipe into muffins.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread & Pumpkin Cake


  • 1/2 of 15 oz can (8oz, 225g ) roughly 1 cup solid pack pumpkin, not pie filling (ingredient list should only be pumpkin). Freeze second half of can in labeled ziploc bag in freezer.
  • 1c + 2 Tbsp sugar (8 oz, 225g)
  • 1/2c (4oz, 112g) melted coconut oil or neutral vegetable oil. I don’t use canola oil.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 c water or orange juice
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1+1/4 c (5+3/4 oz, 160g) my gluten-free flour mix (see recipe below)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) ground ginger, aka ginger powder or perhaps ginger flour
  • 1/4 c (roughly 1 oz, 28g) chopped crystallized ginger. I had tiny mini chips that seemed to ‘dissolve’ in the cake just leaving ginger flavor behind but no noticeable bits to bite on
  • 1/2 c (2 oz, 55g) almond meal
  • 1 tsp ( 5ml) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) gf baking powder, I use Rumford’s labeled gluten-free, non-GMO and aluminum-free
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2c ( 2oz, 55g) chopped pecans or other nuts


  1. Put pumpkin, oil, sugar, eggs, water and vanilla in large mixing bowl and beat well for 2 minutes until air bubbles are visible.
  2. Stir all dry ingredients together, then beat in dry ingredients for 2 minutes. Stir in nuts.
  3. Grease and gluten-free flour (I use plain rice flour as cheaper than gluten-free blends) a 10″ (25cm) Bundt pan and bake in 350*F, 170*C oven for about 45-55 minutes.

I prefer using a Bundt pan, the cake looks prettier than in a loaf pan and with the hole in the middle, the cake cooks more evenly with less chance of a raw center. Cake should be well risen, it will be dark brown because of spices, firm at edges, soft to touch and pulling away from sides. I poke at middle of cake with a fork, since I find that most gluten-free cakes need longer cooking than wheat flour cakes.

Remove from oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Cake keeps fresh for quite a few days, freezes and nukes well.  If cake still feels sticky on side nearest to bottom of pan, then put it back in oven for about 10 more minutes.

Orange-Ginger Sauce:

  • 1/3 c sugar
  • ½ c water
  • a 2 inch piece of whole ginger, including peel, cut into small pieces.


  1. Bring water to a boil, simmer until sugar dissolves, add ginger and simmer for about 20 minutes, covered and don’t allow water to boil away.
  2. Cool and refrigerate overnight if you can.
  3. Remove from fridge, warm until runny, strain out ginger and add 2 tablespoons cheap orange marmalade as this normally contains less and smaller pieces of orange peel. You can also peel and chop ginger finely and then leave the cooked ginger in the sauce for more visual appeal as well as extra burst of ginger flavor when you bite on piece of cooked ginger. Your choice. You can also strain out orange marmalade pieces as well. Your Choice.
  4. Soon over warm cake.

Butter-Rum-Pecan Glaze:

  • ¼ c water
  • ¾ c light brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c rum
  • 1/2 c chopped, toasted pecans


  1. Put water, butter and sugar in small non stick pan, gently heat to melt butter and sugar and simmer for a few minutes until sauce like.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in rum and pecans.
  3. Spoon over cake.

My Rice-Free Gluten-Free Flour Blend

I substitute this for one cup of gluten-free mix in recipes.

  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets.
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill.

Larger quantity:

  • 1 x 14 oz bag potato starch, which is 3+1/2 cups – that’s the size I can buy
  • 1+3/4 c of Tapioca Starch is 7 oz
  • Just under 1 cup of Amaranth or Millet (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)
  • Just under 1 cup of Sorghum (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)

 Making about 7 cups total of mix.