Red Velvet Cake (GF + DF)

Red Velvet Cake

Valentine’s Day is here, and whether or not you have a significant other, it’s the day of love – so treat yourself!  It’s pretty easy to think of a list of ways to treat yourself, but this gluten-free and dairy-free red velvet cake is pretty high on the list.

Now it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the traditional red velvet cake is typically not gluten-free and dairy-free (and in a dark red hue).  I have two answers 1) you can’t tell that it’s gluten-free and dairy-free, and 2) it’s not bright red because it’s made with natural dyes!  WARNING: do not underestimate this cake.

It’s moist, perfectly sweet, and well, velvety.  I made this back for Christmas Eve, and nearly the whole cake was gone by the end of the night – and it was a huge cake.  Let’s be honest though, there’s no need for a red-themed holiday in order to enjoy this dessert 🙂

Red Velvet Cake #2

Red velvet cake is one of those staple recipes that always wow at events.  They’re a gorgeous color and please both the chocolate and nonchocolate fans.  This cake has a burgundy color to it, and I think that it perfectly complements the pink icing.  If you want to make it redder, artificial coloring is the best way to achieve it – but before you do, chew on this:

  • According to a recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Red Dye 40 may have dangerous health consequences for children.
  • Red 40 contains compound such as benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl that research has linked to cancer.
  • Research has also associated food dyes with problems in children such as allergies, hyperactivity, irritability, and aggressiveness.

Considering this, red dye might not be the best way to spread your love, so perhaps try sticking to a natural food coloring dye.  You can buy it at your local supermarket, or even make it.

Red Velvet Cake #3

To top of this red velvet cake and really make it special, dress it up with an icing of your choice with those (natural) food dyes.

And there you have it, a delicious gluten-free and dairy-free red velvet cake!

Red Velvet Cake (GF + DF)
Recipe type: Desserts
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Dairy-free
  • ½ cup vegan earth balance butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, divided
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a packet of natural red dye (mine was in powdered form) + 3 tbsp warm water *
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 320g gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or vinegar
Icing (optional)
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ tbsp vegan butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (Daiya works well)
  1. Preheat 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch pans and coat them with 1 tbsp sifted cocoa powder, tapping the pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together and add in eggs one at a time. Beat vigorously until each is incorporated and mix in vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, make a paste with the 2 tbsp cocoa, food coloring, and 3 tbsp warm water. Blend into butter mixture.
  4. Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Alternating in 2 batches each, add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture. In the last batch of buttermilk, mix in the vinegar before adding to the batter. Mix until blended.
  5. Divide the batter among the pans and back for about 20-25 minutes. Cool on a rack completely.
* if not powdered, use 2 tbsp of food coloring and skip the water


Works Consulted 

Chocolate Avocado Frosting (GF + V)

Enjoying chocolate frosting shouldn’t have to be full of guilt.  Luckily, with this chocolate (avocado) frosting, you get the best of both worlds: the healthy fat and the decadent chocolate.

You’re probably thinking, “What?!?!  First, she shows us black bean brownies, and now this?”

And again, trust me, this will be well worth your taste buds.

The hunt for a chocolate frosting came around a couple months ago when I was baking a vegan chocolate cake for a birthday.  I didn’t want to use a recipe full of refined sugar and I certainly did not want to use canned frosting, leaving me with very limited options.  As always, I was up for the challenge.  I scrolled through my past recipes and came across my avocado pudding recipe.  Pudding and cake?  Not the weirdest combination, but definitely an odd one.  So I tweaked it a bit to make it more like a frosting.  Two words: mission accomplished.

This frosting is not only chocolately, but you don’t even taste the avocado (at all).  This frosting accompanies chocolate cake exquisitely, but I must admit some of the kids went for the cake just to scoop up the frosting.  Another benefit: it’s extremely easy to spread and frost.  It’s a win-win all around.

Let’s get to the nutrition:

Avocados contain a high amount of potassium, monounsaturated fatty acids (aka “heart healthy fat”), fiber, and antioxidants which help combat aging.  Avocados also containing 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol, which has been proven to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.  It’s hard not to love eating cake that supplies great nutrients (as long as it’s in moderation!).  In addition, if you were to eat this whole recipe, approximately one typical can of frosting, you’d be consuming about 66g of sugar.  Meanwhile, the whole can of Duncan Hines’ Creamy Home-Style Classic Chocolate Frosting has 247g of sugar.  That’s quite the difference!  Plus, you get to skip the hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil shortening (saturated fat) and corn syrup.

I hope you give this recipe a try – you won’t be disappointed (especially if you try it with this vegan chocolate “depression” cake).

Chocolate Avocado Frosting (GF + V)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-free
  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Frost your cake!


Works Consulted

Ayurvedic Turmeric Latte

Ayurvedic Turmeric Latte

You’ve probably seen those picturesque Instagram posts of turmeric lattes.  I was skeptical about their taste and benefits until I fell sick recently.  After finishing a mug of turmeric latte, I was on my road to recovery.  With Indian origins, turmeric latte (also known as golden turmeric milk) is traditionally part of Ayurvedic practice and is known to fight against inflammation and balance your doshas.  Doshas are energies that define a person’s makeup in Ayurvedic medicine.  Whether or not you are sick (or believe in Ayurveda), turmeric lattes are as nutritious as they are delicious.

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Blender Black Bean Brownies (V + GF)

black bean brownies

Black beans and chocolate.  Probably not the first combination that comes to mind.   But these decadent black bean brownies are the perfect vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free dessert (and no one will ever guess that they’re packed with awesome, healthy ingredients… including beans)!  Plus, you can make them using simply a blender.  This is what I call a win-win-win situation 🙂

black bean brownies

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Minty Matcha Protein Smoothie

Minty Matcha Protein Smoothie

Summer is all about relaxation and restoration.  With constant pool and beach activities – not to mention the crazy heat – a delicious and healthy treat is well deserved.  That’s why I’ve created this minty matcha protein smoothie.  Refreshing with its minty flavor, energizing with matcha, and satisfying with protein, this is the ideal smoothie to get you back on your feet (or chez, whichever one you prefer 🙂 ).

Minty Matcha Protein Smoothie

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Vegan Rolled Eggplant with Quinoa Filling

Inspired by the classic ingredients of Sicily, I decided it was about time I made a real savory dish. Don’t get me wrong – I love to bake, but this time, I wanted to challenge myself by incorporating Sicily’s produce with an enjoyable, and healthy twist.  What did I come up with?  Rolled eggplant with quinoa filling.  It’s simple, healthy, and maybe more importantly, chilled.  Continue reading