Tag Archives: cake

Gluten, Casein and Soy Free Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake-1

My mom loves Christmas cake. So after I discovered ghee, I have been making a version of my Grannie’s Christmas Cake for her the past few years. I’ve modified it to take out the parts I don’t like and to make it a bit (emphasis on the bit part) healthier than the traditional version. First, I have removed the candied citron peel as ain’t nobody got time for that (aka. it’s gross). Then, I replaced some of the usual candied fruit for unsweetened dried fruit. Third, I douse it in way more brandy than the original recipe called for as it needs to stay moist of course!

This cake is super rich – it’s great when you eat it just because, but it is amazing when you eat it while skiing or while outside in cold weather. I think it’s because the ghee and brandy to help keep you warm! ;)

Gluten, Casein and Soy Free Christmas Cake

4 oz. currants
2 oz. apple juice sweetened dried cranberries
6 oz. sultana raisins
4 oz. dried figs, diced (I cut them in half lengthwise and then slice them into three sections)
4 oz. glace cherries, cut in half
2-3 rings of dried, unsweetened pineapple cut/teared into pieces
2 oz. blanched slivered almonds
1/4 c. starch

4 oz. Ghee (it’s casein free!) (Or 6 oz. butter)
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 egg replacer (I made mine with Almond milk, but feel free to use any dairy free milk)
2 tbsp. brandy
1/2 c. each brown rice flour, sorghum flour and tapioca starch
1/4 c. millet flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Extra brandy

  1. Preheat oven to 250F and place a bowl or pan full of water in the oven.
  2. Take an 8″ springform pan and line with parchment paper and wax paper sticking 2″ above the edge of the pan (parchment paper on the outside – to do this, I cut out a circle of each for the bottom and then a long strip of each that is 2″ wider than the height of the pan. The length is pi*d, and for my pan, it was around 24″. You do want a bit of overlap, so if it’s too long, that’s okay!)
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the dried fruits. Add the starch and toss until the fruit is covered, breaking up any clumps.
  4. In a stand mixer, cream the ghee and sugar.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  6. Add the brandy and mix until combined.
  7. Sift in the flours and beat until a smooth batter forms.
  8. Remove from mixer and stir in the dried fruits until fruit is evenly distrubuted in the batter.
  9. Scrape in lined pan and smooth out.
  10. Bake for 3 hrs or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Don’t remove from the pan.
  12. Once cool, take a toothpick or other thin pointy object (I used one of those turkey skewers) and poke holes all over the cake. Take a 2 -3 tbsp. of brandy and pour over cake. Place cake in a ziploc bag.
  13. Repeat a couple times over the next few days. The cake can be stored on the counter for a few days on the counter and longer in the fridge. It freezes very well, just make sure you brandy it at least twice and wrap in two ziploc bags.
  14. Enjoy the rich goodness!

Note: When you thaw it, douse it in brandy. Trust me, it’s worth it. :)

Are you a Christmas Cake lover or hater?

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SRC: Life on Food’s Peach and Blueberry Buckle

Life on Food Peach and Blueberry Buckle-3For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Emily of Life on Food. Emily moved around the States a lot growing up, she even spent a semester in Paris (lucky!) and now spends her time looking at buildings (slightly jealous – part of me has always wanted to do things related to architecture). She love cooking from scratch and experiencing life with her Husband, who loves to help her. Lucky girl! :)

Life on Food Peach and Blueberry Buckle-1

I had a bag of peaches that I bought at the farmer’s market this week that I needed to use up. I looked at Emily’s delicious peach recipes: Peach Mango Lassi, Peach and Blackberry Crisp, and Peach and Blueberry Buckle. In the end, I chose the buckle as it looked amazing and is the easiest to send along with Mr. Bean to work.

Life on Food Peach and Blueberry Buckle-2

I made a few changes, like making it gluten free and using less sugar. I meant to make it vegan, but I couldn’t find coconut yoghurt at the store and didn’t have time to go to the health food store, so I said “what the heck” and used goat yoghurt and an egg. I used some almond flour to add some protein to offset some of the sugar, so it totally makes this a legit breakfast. :)

Life on Food Peach and Blueberry Buckle-4

Gluten and Refined Sugar Free Peach Blueberry Buckle (with Vegan Option)

1/2 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. potato starch
1/3 c. each almond, rice and millet flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dairy free margarine
1/2 c. coconut palm sugar (heaping)
1 egg or egg replacer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. yoghurt (I used goat, for vegan use coconut)
4 peaches, cut into 8 slices
1 pint of blueberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven and line an 8 x 8″ pan with parchment paper
  2. Whisk together all the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the margarine and sugar together until fluffy (2 – 3 min). Add the egg, vanilla and apple cider vinegar and beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low, add half the flour, then the yoghurt and the remainder of flour, mixing well between additions.
  5. Fold in the sliced peaches and blueberries. Scrape into your prepared pan and smooth out.
  6. Sprinkle the sliced almond over the batter.
  7. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until multiple toothpicks come out clean.
  8. Cool slightly before serving.
  9. Enjoy with or without (coconut) ice cream!

Life on Food Peach and Blueberry Buckle-5

Please check out Group D’s recipes below!


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Turnip to Tangerine’s Blueberry Spice Streusel Coffee Cake

Turnips 2 Tangerines Blueberry Coffee Cake-3

For March’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Lynn of Turnips 2 Tangerines. Lynn lives in Wisconsin and married her highschool sweetheat many years later (so cute!). She shares lots of amazing looking recipes including lots of baking! If I were eating dairy, I would totally want to try her lingonberry cheesecake – after going to Sweden, I love Lingonberries! I’m also super impressed with how good she is with making sourdough anything. She even has instructions on how to grow your own Avocado tree – if I wasn’t such a black thumb, that would be awesome to try!

Turnips 2 Tangerines Blueberry Coffee Cake-2

I ended up choosing her Blueberry Spice Streusel Coffee Cake – usually I don’t use cake mixes, but I had one I wanted to use up. The cake turned out really well! It probably helps that I followed the instructions on the box (shock!) – namely,  I used eggs as I knew I was going to be feeding it to my coworkers and the texture was amazing! It was fluffy, light and moist! My coworkers loved it and it disappeared quickly. I’d definitely make it again!

The only changes I made were that I didn’t use a spice cake, so I added my own, I reduced the sugar on the top by 1/4 c. and I didn’t add the frosting as it was still quite sweet to me.

Turnips 2 Tangerines Blueberry Coffee Cake-1

Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Blueberry Spice Streusel Coffee Cake

1 – Betty Crocker GF Golden Cake Mix
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
3 eggs
2/3 c. almond milk
1/2 c. Earth Balance Coconut Spread
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c. frozen blueberries, thawed (Or fresh)

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
3 tbsp. brown rice flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom of an 8 x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the topping.
  3. Whisk together cake mix and spices.
  4. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and coconut spread and mix on low for 30 sec. Add vinegar and beat for 2 mins on medium.
  5. Fold in Blueberries and scrape into pan. (All mine went to the bottom, so I would recommend scraping a bit of batter to cover the bottom of the pan and then mix in the blueberries in the remaining batter before scraping into the pan).
  6. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
  7. Bake for 35 – 45 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

Turnips 2 Tangerines Blueberry Coffee Cake-4


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SRC: Chocolate and Chilies’ Apple Coffee Cake

Chocolate and Chilies Apple Cake-3

For March’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Asiya of Chocolate and Chilies – a fellow Canadian! Asiya started her blog as a way to record of all the recipes that she’s tried and I’d say she’s done a great job at picking delicious recipes and taking great photos of them! She has tons and tons of beautiful, tasty looking recipes like this Spring Greens Risotto, this mango smoothie, these kiwi, lime and coconut muffins and this eggless, machine-less mango ice cream. She even has a coconut oil pie crust recipe and a whole page about substitutions!

Chocolate and Chilies Apple Cake-2

After a lot of perusing her beautiful blog, I ended up choosing her Apple Coffee Cake and I wasn’t disappointed with my vegan, gluten free version! In the original recipe, you create a layer of apples, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon between two layers of cake, but since vegan gluten-free cake batters are usually thicker than their non-vegan glutenated counterparts that just wasn’t going to happen. As a substitute, a tossed the sliced apples in cinnamon and then mixed them into the batter. Since I took this approach, I probably could have added a third apple.

The cake turned out really well! It rose beautifully, and the texture was fluffy and had a good crumb. It was also tasty – I’d definitely make it again, although I’ll add less sugar next time, especially in the topping.

Chocolate and Chilies Apple Cake-1

Gluten Free Vegan Apple Coffee Cake


2/3 c. each of brown rice and sorghum flours
2/3 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dairy free margarine
1/2 c. white sugar
2 egg replacers (1 tbsp powder + 1/4 c. almond milk)
1/2 c. almond milk
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 apples, peeled and sliced and tossed in cinnamon (Could use 3)

2-3 tbsp. brown rice flour
1 tbsp. dairy free margarine
1/4 c. white sugar (could also use brown/sucanat sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper and grease both the parchment paper and pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the topping using your hands. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. Beat margarine and sugar together until fluffy (takes a few minutes.)
  5. Add egg replacer and beat until combined.
  6. Alternate adding flour and milk to the fat mixture, starting and ending with flour. Add the apple cider vinegar.
  7. Mix in the apples. Scrape into the pan and used a spatula to smooth out.
  8. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
  9. Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in multiple places comes out dry.
  10. Cool on a rack. Can serve warm or room temperature.
  11. Enjoy!

Chocolate and Chilies Apple Cake-4

Asiya, it was great looking through your blog and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

Please check out all the other recipes for Secret Recipe Club’s Group D below:


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Gluten, Dairy, Refined Sugar and Soy Free Orange Ginger Honey Cranberry Upside Down Cake

GF Cranberry Upsidedown Cake-1

A few days after Christmas, I got the flu, which then morphed into viral bronchitis (fun, eh?), so I haven’t spent that much time making anything other than tea and chicken soup. However, I was really itching to bake something before I go back to work, so I thought: “why not make something that is full of cold-fighting ingredients, so it doesn’t make me feel worse?” (Any excuse works when it comes to me justifying my desire to bake!)  Things like:

  • Honey – can soothe sore throats, is full of antioxidants and is anti-bacterial (source)
  • Oranges & cranberries – contain vitamin C, which helps you fight colds (source – a book written by my favourite chemist, Linus Pauling. Yes, I am a nerd.)
  • Ginger – is an antihistamine and decongestant (source)
  • Coconut oil – helps your immune system and isn’t soy. (source)

Since sugar is known to not help your immune system, I wanted to reduce the amount used and use honey instead for its illness fighting properties. I did include a small amount of unrefined granulated sugar as I know that cakes get part of their fine crumb from granulated sugar. Plus, I’ve never really baked with honey so I didn’t want to stray too much from the original recipe.

GF Cranberry Upsidedown Cake-3

The cake turned out quite well – it wasn’t overly sweet, the cranberries and orange flavour played off each other wonderfully, the cranberries were sufficiently goopy and delicious (look at the edge of the cake – upside down cakes can’t get better than that!) and the cake texture is moist and delicate. It wasn’t overly ginger-y, so if you like ginger, please feel free to add more!

I’m pretty sure that you can make this recipe to be egg free easily – either add two egg replacers or increase the xanthan gum to 1 tsp, add an extra tsp. of baking powder and increase liquid by ~ 4tbsp or until your batter reaches the desired consistency. If you try this, please let me know!

The cake was inspired by this honey cake from Free From Kitchen. The upside-down-ness was inspired by this Cranberry Upside-down Cake by The Daily Dietribe, this cake from Hungry Cravings and the pineapple upside down cake in the Joy of Cooking.

GF Cranberry Upsidedown Cake-2

Gluten, Dairy, Refined Sugar and Soy Free Honey Orange Ginger Cranberry Upside Down Cake

For Cranberry Upside-Down-ness
~ 3 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 c. honey
Grated fresh ginger (~ 1/2″ x 1″ knob, more or less to taste)
1 – 2 tbsp. sucanat
1 package fresh cranberries

For Cake
45 g brown rice flour
40 g sorghum flour
20 g millet flour
30 g sweet rice flour
40 g tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of Salt
100g coconut oil
150g honey
35 g sucanat
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 – 2+ tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp. almond milk
2 large eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place the 3 tbsp. coconut oil in a 9″ cake pan and place in the oven until melted (about a minute). Swirl around to coat the bottom.
  3. Combine honey, ginger and sucanat in a measuring cup. Pour into pan and spread out over the coconut oil.
  4. Place pan back in oven, stirring every few minutes until sugar mixture bubbles a lot. Remove from oven.
  5. While pan is heating, wash cranberries and remove the gross ones. Once pan is out of oven, spread cranberries over pan until it is entirely covered in a single layer. Set aside.
  6. Zest orange and squeeze the juice out of one half. Grate the ginger.
  7. Whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.  Set Aside.
  8. In a small saucepan, mix together the coconut oil, honey and sucanat. Heat up, stirring, until the sugar starts to dissolve. The coconut oil will stay separate from the honey and that is okay.
  9. Pour mixture into bowl of a stand mixer. Add zest and ginger.
  10. Alternate adding flour with the orange juice/almond milk, adding more liquid if needed. Beat until combined. Don’t over beat as you’ll end up with channels in your cake like I did.
  11. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  12. Scrape into pan over cranberries and spread evenly.
  13. Bake in oven for 25 – 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place a pan on the rack below to catch any drips.
  14. Let cool for a few minutes on a rack before placing a serving plate over the pan and inverting. Remove pan and let cool.
  15. Enjoy!

GF Cranberry Upsidedown Cake-4

What do you do for sweets while sick?


Filed under Baking