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

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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The Cookie Cupcake

The Cookie Cupcake

Can’t decide between a cupcake or cookie?  You can have your cookie and cupcake with this innovative twist on the classic, the “Cookie Cupcake.”  Not a keen cupcake decorator?  When it came to testing out my brother’s birthday cupcakes, I have to admit they weren’t beautiful.  Luckily, I have discovered the easiest way to decorate a cupcake that is sophisticated looking, and so easy, a little kid could do it!

The Cookie Cupcake

The process is more simple than anything you’ve frosted before – you basically glue a cupcake and cookie together with chocolate.

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Dark Chocolate Vegan Cake (gluten free)


A couple years ago, I attended a young boy’s birthday party.  He was no ordinary boy – he was allergic to dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, the whole ordeal.  So, I was extremely curious to see what dessert would be served at his event.  His mom came up to me and offered me a slice of the moistest and most delicious chocolate cake I had ever tasted.

She proceeded to tell me the cake was called the “Depression Cake.”  What?!  A cake called the Depression for a kid’s birthday party?!

Apparently, it was coined the “Depression Cake” because, during the Great Depression, ingredients like milk, eggs, butter, and sugar were either extremely expensive or hard to obtain.  Despite its rather depressive history, I was extremely eager and excited to whip up my own recipe, except with a gluten-free twist.

The result?  A super chocolatey and fluffy cake.  You can double the recipe to layer it and frost to make a birthday cake, or simply add some spice to make it have a kick.  After playing around with some flours, I was able to adjust the recipe to make the perfect gluten-free vegan chocolate cake!

FullSizeRender 2

With this chocolate cake, I wanted to still keep it light, but add in some fiber to keep me full.  So I added teff flour because it is actually a complete protein and is rich in iron and magnesium.

Some people wonder why their chocolate desserts do not come out as chocolatey as they would like.  In my opinion, this all comes down to the quality of the cocoa powder you are using.  Make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder because there is no sugar to take away from the cocoa flavor.  My favorite is Scharffen Berger’s natural cocoa powder.

This recipe is very quick and easy to make!  I hope you enjoy it!

Dark Chocolate Vegan Cake (<g class="gr_ gr_59 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="59" data-gr-id="59">gluten free</g>)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 350g gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 25g teff*
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla ectract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • dash of red pepper and nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together, and add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  4. pour batter into an 8 inch circle pan.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes.
* or do 375g gluten-free all-purpose flour


Gluten Free Olive oil cake


I have always been a fan of Mario Batali. It’s a real treat to go celebrate my birthday at one of his restaurants, Babbo, in New York City.  The place is amazing. Gorgeous seating, lovely waiters, and above all, fresh, delicious, food.  For dinner, I allowed myself to have one thing with gluten – the olive oil cake. It was absolutely delicious – one of the best cakes I have ever had.

After a couple of weeks thinking about it, I was determined to make it gluten free so everyone can enjoy it.  I was fortunate to come across and discover Mario Batali’s  book called The Babbo Cookbook, and I am proud to say that I have made it (and maybe even better than Mr. Batali).

I tested a couple of flour blends, and found that Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour worked the best.  As for the olive oil you use in the recipe, you want to be careful not to pick anything with a strong flavors, which includes Spanish olive oil.  Instead, I used Whole Food’s 365 Extra Virgin Cold Pressed olive oil (100% Italian) – it’s a little lighter, but it still is tasty.  As always, Italians like to add lemon juice to all their desserts, so I add a tablespoon or more to add more flavor.  Lastly, I cut down on the sugar of the recipe.  You can really put this recipe into any pan, but in my picture I chose to put it in three small springform pans.

I served this during the holidays, and it was a hit!  Enjoy!


Gluten Free Olive oil cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
An easy recipe (with no hard to get ingredients) that will impress!
  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • optional add ins:
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 325⁰F.
  2. Coat a 9-inch circle pan with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the eggs for 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color.
  4. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  5. If using vanilla extract or lemon stir in now.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even color.
  10. The cake is done when it is golden brown.
  11. Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.
  12. This cake is best the day of. If there are left overs, refrigerate them.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 65g Calories: 195 Fat: 15.4g Saturated fat: 2.5g Carbohydrates: 14.2g Sugar: 13.5 Sodium: 146mg Protein: 2.5g Cholesterol: 74mg