Gluten-Free Birthday “Pizza” Cake

Posted on September 16th, 2015 by Alison | Posted in Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

The idea for this year’s cake design came from my 9 year old birthday girl herself, who knew exactly what she wanted because she saw it on a You Tube video from the popular Rosanna Pansino of Nerdy Nummies. Pizza Cake — a cake made to look like a pizza. I have to admit, this was a fun cake to make because I had my little helper by my side, cutting out and creating all the “pizza” toppings. We actually made two gluten-free pizza cakes (one of them was also egg-free so her egg-allergic sister could have some too).

Gluten-Free Pizza Cake

Because pizzas are flat, the cakes only needed to be one layer. We used a 10″ round cake pan (yes, I bought one since I did not have that size). We also bought a Cake Leveler(daughter insisted we needed it – it actually was pretty cool!)

Use any gluten-free vanilla cake mix (we used Pamela’s) — if you use a chocolate cake mix, it won’t look like pizza when you cut it. After baking and cooling your 10″ round cake, you can trim the rounded top with the cake leveler to make it completely flat.

While the cake is cooling, you can get the toppings ready (see below) and make frosting (like a basic buttercream) and color some of it with a yellow or tan food coloring for the pizza crust, and some of it with the reddest red you can get for the tomato sauce. (A note from me on food coloring — no, I don’t like it, as I am a natural foodie, but there are just some times, like when making pizza birthday cakes, that you just have to let it go! 🙂 ) Have all of the toppings ready before you frost the cake because you want them to stick in the fresh frosting.

TOPPINGS:

  • Grated white chocolate (Ghirardelli – found in baking aisle) for the cheese. It was kind of a pain to grate but the Nerdy Nummies tip. to keep in frig and use tin foil to hold it, helped.
  • Fruit rolls for the pepperoni (rather than fruit strips as shown in the video — either work fine. The fruit roll is stickier than the strip). My daughter free-form cut circles out instead of using a round cookie cutter because we didn’t have a round cookie cutter. Or maybe she traced circles onto the fruit roll with a knife and then cut them out. I wasn’t really paying attention.
  • Tootsie Rolls for the olives, but we couldn’t find regular size ones, so we used minis. My daughter cut a slice of it, smashed it down with the bottom of a glass and then used a decorating tip to cut a hole in it. Lot of work but she enjoyed it and she really enjoyed eating the tootsie olive holes along the way.
  • Milk Duds for sausages
  • Airheads Bites, cut up, for the green peppers — these are NOT gluten-free. She insisted on having them. (For a list of GF and allergen-free candies, please see my annual Halloween Candy List.)

We bought 12 inch cardboard rounds at a cake decorating shop to put the cakes on when we frosted them, and we asked a local pizza restaurant for 12 inch boxes. It made for a great presentation and a surprise for everyone because they thought we had ordered pizza!

Gluten-Free Pizza Cakes

Want to see past birthday treats? Here they are:

Happy Birthday to my girls and a surprise allergen-free dessert

Happy Birthday to my girls and Aloha! gluten-free cakes

Happy birthday to my girls and wow! gluten-free mermaid cakes!

Happy Birthday to my girls and fish cakes

A gluten-free dairy-free egg-free birthday menu


Easy Allergen-Free Valentine Brownie Bites

Posted on February 13th, 2015 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Gluten-Free Valentine Brownie Bites

These gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free treats are easy to make for Valentine’s Day and your kids will have fun decorating them too! Everyone will love the dark chocolate taste!

This is all you do:

  1. Use Pamela’s Chocolate Brownie Mix (or your favorite gluten-free brownie mix). I make the basic recipe using egg replacer. I like to use coconut oil where it calls for oil, which you have to melt first before you mix into the batter. (Note: Pamela’s Brownie Mix does have a warning that the chocolate chunks may contain traces of milk, so not suitable for someone with a severe dairy allergy.)
  2. Spoon into mini-muffin tins and bake until you no longer see oil top of the brownies — it took around 12 minutes for mine. You don’t want to overbake but you don’t want it to have pools of oil on the top either. Let them cool for a little while before you try to remove them from the tin.
  3. After removing them and cooling completely, use a piping bag and tips to pipe frosting in different shapes. Put the sprinkles on as you go, before the frosting hardens.

That’s it! They look pretty and are yummy too.

One bag yields about 20 brownie bites.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Gluten-Free Valentine Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Scotch Shortbread Recipe

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Pamela's Baking PartnerI was asked by Pamela’s Products to share a gluten-free cookie recipe using one of their products for their 12 Days of Gluten-Free Cookies. I chose their All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend to make a cookie I remember from my childhood — a shortbread that my mom used to make by hand and press into round pie tins to give away at holiday time. I decided to change up the recipe a bit by forming the dough into rectangular cookies and dipping them in chocolate! And by making it gluten-free of course!

This is a good recipe for anyone with egg allergies, as it does not call for any eggs. If you need it to be dairy-free, try using Earth Balance as a substitute for the butter, but the texture and taste will not be as rich as with butter.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Scotch Shortbread

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE DIPPED SCOTCH SHORTBREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1¾ cups Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 12 TBSP butter, softened
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch
  • Chocolate for melting (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips – for dairy allergies, use Enjoy Life brand)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325°.

With a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add in the sugar and beat until smooth. Add in Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend and cornstarch and beat until it comes together, but it won’t come all the way together, so using hands, gather the dough into a ball. You may want to separate the ball into two balls for two cookie sheets.

Between two pieces of parchment paper placed on a cookie sheet, roll out the dough to the thickness you prefer for your cookies (they will not rise when baking). Cut rectangular shapes, or any other shape you like. A pizza cutter is a great tool for making straight cuts! Re-roll any dough that is left over from cutting your shapes until you have used it all.

Once you have cut your shapes, spread out the cookies on the parchment to bake. Prick the cookies with a fork (this is just for looks). Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just starting to brown.

Allow cookies to cool.

Melt chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave (little by little, on 50% power, stirring each time so as not to burn). Dip the ends of the cookies, or “paint” the chocolate onto the ends of the cookies, depending on how deep and fluid the chocolate is. Set the cookies on a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to set. If you want them to set quicker, put them on a sheet pan or plate and put in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

An alternative to dipping in chocolate is to sprinkle with sugar before baking. Sprinkle with red and green sugars for festive-looking Christmas cookies!

Yield: about 28 1”x2” cookies


How to Make Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

Posted on January 26th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Food Ideas, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 8 Comments - Add Your Own »

When I thought of how to make gluten-free brownie bites one day, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it earlier. So simple, and so useful! These are also egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free.

There’s really no recipe here, but instead, an idea. All you need is a mini-muffin pan (I use this one) and a gluten-free brownie mix that you like. Because my daughter also has egg allergies, I need to make them egg-free. The mix I have been using for years is Pamela’s Brownie Mix, which has a “Fudgiest Brownie” recipe the bag – the only thing you add is oil and water. Sometimes cooking without eggs or with egg replacer can result in a batter that seems undercooked or takes a lot longer to cook, but because these are made in a mini-muffin tin, they get baked through very nicely.

Tip for Allergy Moms: These brownie bites can also be used as mini-cupcakes – just add frosting and sprinkles. These freeze well, so make extra and store them for a later date. Easy last-minute treat!

Tip for Valentine’s Day:  Use a heart-shaped mini muffin pan to make heart brownie bites for Valentine’s Day. Make sure to smooth the batter in each one as much as possible, and don’t fill to the top so that it bakes flatter. Top cooled brownies with pink frosting and colorful sprinkles! (I just ordered this Wilton Silicone heart mini-muffin pan.)

Which brownie mix to use?
There are many, many (many!) gluten-free brownie mixes on the market, so take your pick (most of these are linked to Amazon in case you can’t find them where you live). After compiling this list, I was shocked at how many there are! I have not taste-tested these, so you will have to make decisions based on your own taste, ingredient preference, price and availability.

Which mix is your favorite? Your 2 cents is welcome here!