Sugar Cookie Mini- Muffins

I was going for doughnuts. And I got them, but the flax seed spots don’t look very doughnut-y. However, the taste is delicious!

As a mini-muffin the spots are not as noticeable. When I have more free time, I’ll try these without the flax seed.

This is a variation on the chocolate doughnuts (click here).


1c. Oat flour

1c. General purpose gluten free baking flour (rice based, Bob’s Mill blue bag)

1/4 c. Pure cane sugar

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Salt

Whisk these ingredients together and then add:

Prepared flax seed egg – 2 Tbs. milled flax seed and 4 Tbs. water (or leave out and see what happens) 😉

1c. Dairy free milk or coconut milk french vanilla creamer (I used the later… because I’m out of milk)

2 tsp. Vanilla extract (gluten free)

4 Tbs. melted coconut oil

Stir until mixed. Grease a mini-muffin or doughnut pan with coconut oil. Use a ziploc bag with a corner cut to pipe the mixture into a mini- muffin pan or a doughnut pan.

Bake in pre-heated 375F oven for 10-14 minutes. Let set in pan 10-15 min, then cool completely on wire rack.

Make some coffee and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

The latest in adventures of gluten-free baking involved experimenting with various vanilla cupcake recipes. After much tweaking and several trials (see this post), the cupcakes tasted good, but the consistency was strange. I figured this was the result of trying to make a thick cake without eggs or gluten. I tried using my chocolate cake recipe, but modified slightly to make a vanilla cake.

Several things I discovered:

  • Gluten, dairy, and egg- free baking lends itself more to thinner goods… cookies and thin cakes.
  • Chocolate covers up the “gluten-free” taste of the chocolate cake, which means I had several tries just to get the taste “vanilla cake” tasting.

Notes for this cake in particular (read before making):

  • Do not over mix.  Unless you want a cake with the consistency of rubber. Seriously. And don’t use a mixer. Wooden spoon works the best.
  • Clear vanilla extract might help make the cake less yellow… just make sure it is gluten-free.
  • Lemon juice helps give the cake a crisp flavor and mask the coconut oil.
  • Use pure cane sugar. The taste is remarkable. Refined sugar works, but pure cane sugar is the best.
  • All dry ingredients need to be sifted to have a lighter texture. My sifter has been contaminated with wheat flour, so I used a metal mesh strainer similar to this one.


After a couple trials, this is the deliciously addictive result! (especially paired with this coconut-vanilla icing!)


Coconut Vanilla Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a round cake pan with coconut oil. (Or put liners in a 12-cupcake pan.)

In a small bowl, measure out:

  • 1 3/4 c. general purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour) general purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. pure cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Sift these ingredients into the mixing bowl. Pour in:

  • 1/3 c. melted coconut oil (not hot)coconut milk creamer
  • 2 Tablespoons French Vanilla flavored coconut milk creamer (note: this is the only ingredient I used that is manufactured in the same factory as tree nuts, otherwise this recipe is nut-free)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 c. cold water

Stir these ingredients until just blended. Seriously, if you want to leave a few lumps, that will be OK.


Pour into pan and bake 30-38 minutes. (Note: This cake takes longer to bake than the chocolate version and is more moist. I started checking the cake at 30 minutes. I waited until the top was browning and my finger did not leave any indentation when testing it. See the picture below. It is mostly done, but 5-7 more minutes would make it even better (notice the finger indentation).


Let the cake sit in the pan at least 1 hour. Remove from pan and ice with this delicious coconut-vanilla icing. Or eat it plain. It’s really that yummy. I keep this cake in the refrigerator. It is delicious served room temperature or cold!


Coconut-Vanilla Icing

After coming up with a delicious gluten-free vanilla cake (see post here), I needed an equally delicious dairy and egg free icing to go on it. This is it. And I don’t even like the taste of coconut all that much. I sure do with this icing though. Maybe it’s all the sugar. Seriously, it’s sweet. And so, so good.


Coconut-Vanilla Icing


  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 3 Tbs. french vanilla coconut milk creamer
  • 2 Tbs. coconut milk
  • 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla (Clear extract could help keep the color of the icing lighter. I did use regular and I really didn’t notice.)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice


  1. Mix the coconut oil until there are absolutely, positively no clumps of oil left. Don’t melt it at all. Just cream it while you ponder the meaning of the words strength and patience. ;) Just kidding. Sort of.
  2. Add in the vanilla and coconut milk. Sift in 1 cup powdered sugar. Using a hand-mixer, mix until well-blended. Add in creamer and sift in anther cup powdered sugar. Mix until blended. Add in lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar (again, sifted).  Mix until all is completely blended. The consistency should be smooth, but not runny. (I forgot to take a picture). If too runny or sticky, add in coconut milk or sifted powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
  3. This makes enough icing for two 8×8 or a double layer cake.


  • The first cake I iced when it had cooled and before the frosting went in the refrigerator. It was good, but ran a little, then firmed back up.
  • The second cake was iced a couple days later, after the icing had been refrigerated. I let it warm up to room temperature before icing. It was a tad bit more difficult to ice with, but it kept it’s shaped and was worth the extra effort. If you want to pipe the icing (which I can’t vouch for), I would recommend refrigerating it over night first. img_0711

It’s a Process: the Vanilla Cupcake Project

The struggle was real, but educational. And I did end up with a delicious cake! Recipes for cake and icing to follow. Who knows, I may even try cupcakes again. But not anytime soon… 😉

Saturday Happenings

Because rainy days are for baking.

Click here for the recipe from It’s my first gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and nut free cake. And it’s chocolate. I’m a fan!

My recipe notes:

Apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar (keep in mind some vinegars ate NOT gluten free)

Add 2 Tbs. strong dark roast coffee and as much extra GF flour. Trust me on this. 😍

Grapeseed oil instead of canola oil

Coconut sugar instead of cane sugar… not sure how much difference it makes. I just didn’t have any cane sugar.

I didn’t put in chocolate chips, because I was out. I have allergen-free chocolate icing to use instead.

Suddenly Gluten-Free: understanding the feelings

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was looking at going gluten-free for her husband’s health. Our conversation took me back to when I first realized that gluten — and some of my favorite foods — were off limits. At 27-years-old, I didn’t expect that I had eaten my favorite dessert for the last time.

Enter disappointment. 

After doing some research, I discovered that gluten is not so obvious. It can go by many names. It’s in soups, seasoning mixes, tortilla chips, chocolate, ice cream, spices, supplements, french fries (!)… even makeup.  And don’t get me started about restaurant food.


I accidentally ate gluten — even small amounts — with painful and scary consequences. As a result, I became even more careful. And people did not always understand. Even community meals felt ostracizing. I had become that person. Ms. High-Maintenance at restaurants.

Enter frustration.

For people with gluten-sensitivity and Celiac Disease (an incureable auto immune disorder), gluten-free is the only option.  Popular opinion can see gluten-free people as high-maintenance, immature hipsters who could use the health benefits of wheat/barely/rye/spelt. People can question how gluten-free a person really needs to be.

Enter misunderstanding.

All of a sudden, two things I thought I understood — wheat and my body — were becoming more mysterious. Why did that rice mix (seasoning packet!) cause such searing pain in my abdomen?  Why do cookies and communion wafers make my mouth bleed? What was it doing to me? What would happen if I accidentally ate it again? If I stay away from it, could my gut start to heal again or had I caused irrevocable damage?

Enter fear.

Then I learned aboutcross-contamination.

Emotion level: overwhelmed.

I may have started crying one day at Kroger.

Still, looking back I also remembered what helped me get through that feeling of being overwhelmed. Here are 5 tips I learned about the feelings of going gluten-free.

1.) Accept the Feelings

This one has little to do with the actual gluten, but a lot to do with the mentality of changing your lifestyle so drastically.

Go ahead, feel frustrated. Feel sad, disappointed, and misunderstood. Feel uncertain. Feel scared. This is a change and it’s hard. You are probably saying farewell to a lot of things you like. It makes something difficult that used to be easy. It means that you will become that person at restaurants.


Accept all those feelings, and then say, “I will not lose hope.”

As a Christian, I gained hope by remembering I was “fearfully and wonderfully made”. That God is sovereign, even thought it feels like my body is mutinying.

2.) Get support


Explain your circumstances to a close friend. Chances are, you have a friend who has also had to go gluten-free. When I first went gluten-free, I didn’t understand how to do it. I suddenly didn’t understand my own body or how to take care of it. I needed help understanding this new lifestyle and the circumstances around it.

If you are the first of your friends to have to make this change, find a support group. Ask your doctor for recommendations. Read thesepersonal stories from the Celiac Foundation.

Know you are not alone.

3.) Change your mindset


In the U.S. — as many other cultures in world — eating is an important part of being social. So, what happens when it’s suddenly more difficult (and hazardous) to eat out?

  • Invite your friends to explore possibilities that don’t involve eating — bowling, make art, museums, escape rooms, game nights, movies, nature walks, plays, music performances, have a photo shoot. Think about how much you would usually spend for a restaurant meal and spend it on making other types of memories.
  • Bring your own food. I’ve only ever been kicked out of one restaurant for bringing in outside food (I’m looking at you, London Pizza Hut) and that was in 2006. I bring my own food to church potlucks, out to eat, friends’ houses (or offer to cook with them), and conferences.

Think outside the box. Stay involved. You’ll find your experience getting bigger instead of smaller.

4.) Be patient


As I mentioned before, becoming gluten-free is as sudden as the doctor’s pronouncement of a diagnosis. Becoming an expert in living gluten-free is not. So be patient with yourself. Ask for help. Keep learning.


Be patient with others. Don’t roll your eyes when others don’t seem to understand that whole grain bread, graham crackers, and wheat germ all have gluten in them. You will need to educate those around you even as you learn about all the places gluten can hide.  One fun way is to invite people over for a gluten-free dessert night. Some of my friends have found they really enjoy some of my gluten-free goodies.

5.) Keep Going 


Even when feelings of frustration and discouragement — even jealousy and anger resurface, keep going.

Remember it is not the end. Just like other changes, the gluten-free switch will allow for new experiences, new foods, new friends, and new opportunities that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.  So, accept the feelings. But don’t let them rule you. Remind them that you’re not saying just good-bye. You are also saying “hello”. This is not the end, it is a start of a new chapter.

It will get better.

And it will get easier.

My biggest encouragement and hope is remembering that life is not all about food. That I don’t have to worry because God still cares for me.  Yes, food is a blessing from God. Yes, He gives food for us to thrive and enjoy. Yes, some days I feel excluded from part of God’s blessing, but then I remember that I have an even bigger blessing — God himself. Maybe, for me at least, part of this new chapter is learning to say with the Psalmist, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their new grain and wine abounds.”


Holiday Gingerbread Cake Recipe Additions: gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free

Three and a half years ago, I had to say good-bye to eggs, milk, and wheat. As time went on, I discovered and adapted recipes for pancakes, cookies, and even mini-donuts (a girl’s gotta have her carbs ‘n’ sugar comfort food, after all). But how was I to make a cake? Without eggs?

Thankfully, I came across this wonderful-smelling, delicious recipe from The Vegan 8. I followed her advice about the substitutions and made a few of my own:

  • I used arrowroot for starch and did not reduce amount for gf baking.
  • With the oat flour, I also used about 1/4 cup general purpose gf flour
  • I used rounded measurements for the spice mix because I liked the stronger flavor
  • Use oil and gf flour on the pan instead of parchment paper
  • Make a double batch for double layer cake and use seedless blackberry jam for the filling (so good)
  • Ice with Simple Mills Organic gluten and dairy free vanilla frosting
  • Instead of frosting, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • This cake refrigerates and freezes well