What to do with beets? Red velvet Cake.

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


My organic farm box gets delivered each week to my front door. For the last three weeks I have been getting beets each time. I have used them in salads, roasted them, juiced them and have yet to make a dessert with them.   Here are two delicious dessert recipes using beet juice, Red Velvet Cake and, coming up next….. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

Gluten-free Red Velvet Cake

Gluten-free Red Velvet Cake with Heavenly Cream Cheese Frosting


¼ cup cocoa powder

1 ounce red beet juice*

1 cup vegetable oil or half vegetable oil, half coconut oil (melted)

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup light brown sugar

3 eggs or equivalent egg replacer

1 cup buttermilk or milk substitute such as almond milk or rice milk, with 1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups gluten-free All Purpose Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry


Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans.

Mix together the cocoa and beet juice. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the oil, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk, salt, vanilla. Add All Purpose Baking Mix, mixing just until incorporated. Scrap down the bowl and mix on medium for 3 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pans and then cool completely before frosting and assembling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The best frosting with this recipe is Heavenly Cream Cheese frosting, recipe here.

*I have a fruit/vegetable juicer and push 2 red beets through it to get 1 ounce or more of beet juice.


Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014


I came across the greatest bakeware invention — a cookie bowl pan!  It enabled me to create these fabulous cookie bowls.   I filled them with ice cream and poured chocolate sauce over the top.
Voila! A quick and elegant dessert in less than 20 minutes.  The new Cookie Bowl Pan can be ordered at:  (click here) Sur La Table. 




Here is the recipe:

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

1 package The Pure Pantry gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix (click here to purchase)

3/4 cup butter or butter alternative (such as Coconut Butter — click here for product)

1 egg or equivalent amount of egg replacer

1 tablespoon good quality vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using electric mixer, cream together butter (or butter alternative) and egg (or egg replacer) until well blended.  Mix in vanilla.  Add contents of package.  Mix well with electric mixer until all ingredients are combined.   Place covered bowl with dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Roll out dough on generously-floured surface  (you can use rice flour or The Pure Pantry gluten-free All Purpose Baking Mix) to ¼-inch thickness. Cut 5-inch circles from dough. Drape one circle over each cup bowl of pan, pressing to form smooth surface.



Bake 12–14 minutes or until cookie cups are firm and golden brown. Cool on pan over a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Gently loosen bottom edges of cookies, remove from pan and let cool completely. Wash, dry and spray pan; repeat with remaining dough.

Let cookie bowls cool completely.  Fill with ice cream and/or fresh strawberries, top with chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream.



All photos credited to Sur La Table, www.surlatable.com

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Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcake Cones

Saturday, March 15th, 2014


Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcake Cones

These cupcakes were the perfect birthday dessert for my six year old son’s carnival theme birthday party.  The kids loved them….and I think some adults too.

Dairy-free and Vegan optional

Makes 24 cupcakes


1 package “The Pure Pantry” gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (link)

3 eggs or equivalent egg replacer

1 cup rice, almond, coconut or regular milk

½ cup safflower oil

1 cup boiling water

2 packages “Let’s Do Gluten-Free” ice cream cones

24 red M & M’s

1 recipe Heavenly Cream Cheese Frosting (link)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Follow directions on the chocolate cake mix package.
  3. Stand up ice cream cones in mini muffin tins.
  4. Fill with chocolate cake mix leaving ¼ inch from the top of the cone.  Do not over fill or they will become volcano cupcakes (hum maybe another idea for later)!
  5. Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, until cupcake inserted with toothpick comes out clean.   Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Prepare frosting recipe.   I used the disposable frosting bags to make the clean up nice and easy.  Fit the bag with a star tip. (see image).
  7. Frost each cupcake in a swirling motion to look like a soft serve ice cream cone.  Top each with a red M & M.  You could also top with a maraschino cherry that has been well drained and patted dry with paper towels.
  8. I left the majority of the cupcakes standing in the mini cupcake tin.  I placed the cupcake tin on a rectangular white platter and covered the cupcake tin and platter with M & M’s.  The kids scooped up the candies and put more on their cupcakes which was a fun sight to see!


Hooray for gluten-free ice cream cones!  I bought these at Whole Foods.


Carefully fill each cone to the line that is about 1/4 inch below the top.  Bake, cool and frost!
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Gluten-free/Dairy-free Brownie Sundaes

Friday, June 8th, 2012


Thank you to all who voted for my gluten-free, dairy-free Brownie Sundae’s recipe on the So Delicious – So Much to Love contest!

Guess what?!  It won the desserts category!  Yippee!  Here is the recipe which is a perfect summer dessert for entertaining.

This recipe is kid tested and adult approved!  Everyone loves these brownie sundaes!  It is fun to create a Brownie Sundae bar at a birthday party or dinner party and guests can build their own creation using any variety of So Delicious Frozen Dessert.

Dark Chocolate Brownie Sundaes


Makes 8 Sundaes

1 recipe Dark Chocolate Brownies

1 recipe Chocolate Agave Sauce

2 pints So Delicious Vanilla Almond Milk Frozen Dessert

1 cup chopped nuts, optional


Prepare dark chocolate brownies (recipe below) and let cool.  Prepare Chocolate Agave Sauce (recipe below).   Cut brownies into 2 ½ by 2 ½ inch squares.  Place brownie on dessert plate.  Top with large scoop of Vanilla Almond Milk frozen dessert.  Drizzle with Chocolate Agave Sauce and top with chopped nuts.


Dark Chocolate Brownies


1 ½ cups gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate chips

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup coconut oil

3 tablespoons chia seeds

3/4 cup hot water

1/3 cup So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Yogurt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 ½ cups organic All Purpose Baking mix from The Pure Pantry

3 tablespoons cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 350˚F.   Grease a 9 x 12 inch baking pan.

Place semi-sweet and dark chocolates and coconut oil  in double boiler on medium heat and stir until melted.  Remove from heat and set aside. Place chia seeds and hot water in large bowl.  Whisk together and let stand for 3 minutes.  Stir until mixture is gel like.  Using an electric mixer, add coconut yogurt, sugar and vanilla and continue beating until well blended.  With mixer on low, add melted chocolate and blend.

In a medium bowl combine baking mix and sift in cocoa powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with mixer on low setting.

Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Cool completely – this is very important otherwise they will crumble.  Once cooled, cut into squares 2 ½ by 2 ½ squares.

Options: add 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder for an “adult” brownie; fold in ½ cup chopped nuts after adding dry ingredients


Chocolate Agave Sauce



2 cups dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup raw agave nectar

½ cup So Delicious Coconut milk, regular flavor

1 teaspoon vanilla

In double boiler pan, place chocolate chips over low heat.  Stir until melted.  Add agave nectar, coconut milk and vanilla and continue stirring until combined.


Recipe from “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes” by Elizabeth Kaplan



Gluten-free Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Gluten-free Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting



2 cups organic gluten-free All Purpose Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature or ¾ cup coconut oil

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup coconut milk, So Delicious Brand regular flavor


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, or 1 cup coconut oil

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup coconut creamer, So Delicious Brand

Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

For cupcakes:

Preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners.  Using electric mixer, beat butter or coconut oil in large bowl until smooth.  Add sugar and beat on medium-high speed until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.  Beat in vanilla.  Add half of baking mix and beat on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup coconut milk and mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture on low speed and blend until combined.

Divide batter among cupcake papers. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.

For frosting:

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, coconut creamer, seeds from vanilla bean or vanilla extract.  Beat on medium speed until blended.   Increase to high and beat until light and fluffy. Using pastry bag fitted with large star tip, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with coconut.

Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting


1 package Dark Chocolate Cake Mix from The Pure Pantry

1 cup coconut milk, such as So Delicious regular flavor  (or almond, rice or regular low-fat milk)

3 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut Frosting:

1 cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening from Spectrum Organics, or 1 cup coconut oil

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup coconut creamer, So Delicious Brand

Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Shaved coconut for decorating top of cake


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.  Place cake mix in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl beat eggs with electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Add milk and oil.  Slowly add mixture to large bowl and blend on low.  Add hot water and blend until combined.  Pour batter into greased cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Prepare Coconut Frosting:Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, coconut creamer, seeds from vanilla bean or vanilla extract.  Beat on medium speed until blended.   Increase to high and beat until light and fluffy.  Run knife along edge of cake pan.  Turn cooled cake over onto round cake plate.   Spread about 1/3 of the frosting on the top of the cake.  Run knife around edge of second cake.  Turn over on top of frosted first layer.  Spread frosting on top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle top with coconut.



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Easy Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Pound Cake | Quick Gluten-free Recipes

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Looking for a simple dessert that is easy to bake and serve?  Try this dark chocolate pound cake recipe.  No need for complicated frosting: serve it with fresh berries and a dusting of confectionaire’s sugar or a dollop of whipped cream and you are good to go!  You will be in and out of the kitchen in less than 50 minutes!


1 package gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake Mix from The Pure Pantry

4 eggs or equivalent egg replacer

1/2 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil

1 cup hot water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs for two minutes.  Add oil and blend.  Add package of dark chocolate cake mix and hot water and mix on low until combined.  Add vanilla and blend, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula.

Batter will be thick.   Spoon batter into greased pan and smooth over the top with spatula.  Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Remove to serving plate.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh berries.


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Strawberry Kiwi Pavlova with Agave Sweetened Cream

Saturday, April 28th, 2012


My husband’s mother is from Australia and his father from New Zealand.   The most celebrated dessert reining from down under is “Pavlova” named after the beautiful dancer Anna Pavlova.   Our family often serves this dessert at birthday parties, Passover, and dinner parties.  Aunt Lynette is the ultimate Pav maker and I owe this recipe to her.  I made a few changes to reduce the sugar in both the meringue cake and the cream topping.   Here is Anna Pavlova in a beautiful meringue like ballet tutu, quite resembling the cake itself.   I hope you enjoy this light and elegant dessert as much as we do.

Anna Pavlova


5 large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 cup superfine sugar

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberries and kiwis


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  There are two ways to bake Pavlova, one is free form on parchment paper and baking sheet, the other is in a spring form pan with a removable collar.  For free form look, use an 8-inch bowl as a guide, and trace the perimeter of the bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer parchment paper, pencil side down, to a baking sheet. Set aside.   Form spring form pan, lightly grease entire plan and dust with cornstarch, set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together until glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle in cornstarch and cream of tartar and continue whipping until stiff.  Add vinegar, and vanilla; gently fold to combine.

3. For free form look, mound the meringue in the center of the 8-inch circle. Using a spatula, evenly spread meringue out towards the edges.  For spring form pan, gently spread mixture in pan using spatula. Transfer to oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4. Turn off oven and let meringue cool completely in oven with oven door slightly ajar.

5. Beat heavy whipping cream in mixer.  Add 1 teaspoon agave nectar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  When meringue is cool and completely dry, top with whipped cream and arrange kiwis and strawberries on top.

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Gluten-free Sweet Pie Crust

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Here is a simple gluten-free sweet pie crust recipe, or pate choux which you can use instead of the sugar cookie crust in my recent recipe for gluten and dairy free Berry Tarlets: http://thepurepantry.com/2012/04/the-blender-girl-features-the-pure-pantrys-gluten-freedairy-free-berry-cheesecake-tartlets/

Recipe from “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes” by Elizabeth Kaplan


Makes 1 pie crust for 9 inch pan or 8 individual tartlet pans

½ cup (1 stick) chilled butter or coconut oil

½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening by Spectrum

½ cup rice flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

1 cup potato starch flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 tablespoon sugar

1 egg or equal equivalent egg replacer

2 tablespoon cold water

1 teaspoon cider vinegar


1 Cut butter or margarine into small pieces with a knife.  Blend butter and shortening with dry ingredients using finger tips.

2 Add egg, cold water and cider vinegar and blend until well combined.  If too sticky, add a small amount of rice flour.  Roll dough into ball and flatten.  Cover with waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes.

3 On floured  parchment paper or surface, roll out dough.  Fit into pie plate or individual tart pans.  If filling with cream pie filling or fruit, bake crust at 350 for 12-14 minutes.  Otherwise, follow baking instructions the pie recipe you are preparing.



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Twelve Days of Christmas | Day 12 | Chocolate Raspberry Mini Cupcakes

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas | Day 12 | Chocolate Raspberry Mini Cupcakes

Chocolate Raspberry Mini Cupcakes

Gluten-free/Dairy-free Options

Makes 60 mini cupcakes


1 package gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake mix from The Pure Pantry

2 eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup hot water


2/3 cup raspberry jam

Ganache and Garnish

6 oz dark chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup whipping cream or for dairy-free option, use So-delicious coconut creamer

1 tablespoon raspberry-flavored liqueur, such as Chambord

Fresh raspberries for garnish

White chocolate snowflakes (1/2 cup white chocolate chips) optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place miniature paper baking cup in each of 60 mini muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed package using two eggs, ½ cup oil and 1 cup hot water.  Fill muffin cups three-fourths full (about 1 heaping tablespoon batter each).

2. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

3.Place chocolate in medium bowl. In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream just to boiling; pour over chocolate. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in liqueur. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture coats a spoon.

4. Meanwhile, by slowly turning end of round handle of wooden spoon back and forth, make small, 1/2-inch-wide indentation in center of top of each cupcake, not quite to bottom.

5. Spoon jam into small re-sealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut 3/8-inch tip off 1 corner of bag. Insert tip of bag into opening in each cupcake; squeeze bag to fill opening.

6. Spoon about 1 teaspoon ganache onto each mini-cake. Garnish each with raspberry or white chocolate snowflake.   To make white chocolae snowflakes, melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips in a doulble boiler.  Place melted chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with plane tip.  Create snowflakes on waxed paper or parchments paper.  Place in freezer for 10 minutes.  Remove carefully and place on top of  cupcakes. Store loosely covered.

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