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Category Archives: Cakes and Cupcakes

Mmmm Doughnuts

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I’m headed to our favorite apple orchard this morning with my daughter’s 1st grade class. Wonderful way to celebrate the first day of Fall, don’t you think? The orchard has a huge selection of apples, mums, a really great pumpkin patch, fresh apple cider and….doughnuts. It occurred to be yesterday that this year, no doughnuts for me. Awe shucks.

There’s no way around it – I am going to have to give homemade gluten-free doughnuts a try sometime this Fall. Who’s with me? Here’s a bit of a recipe round-up from the web of gluten-free doughnut recipes. My stomach growls just looking at them!

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef – Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut holes
A collection of recipes for doughnuts from
The Art of Gluten-Free Baking – Doughnuts (cake-style)
Food Philosopher/Annalise Roberts – Apple Cider Doughnuts
Elana’s Pantry – Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

So, when you go to your favorite apple orchard or pumpkin patch, maybe you can pack yourself one of these tasty gluten-free doughnuts to enjoy with a fresh cup of cider. Ok, pack yourself two. 🙂


Lemon Cupcake Recipe

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The long awaited Lemon Cupcake recipe is finally here! Yeah!





Funny thing about the original lemon cupcake post. It was our test post before making the site live and replaced something like “Katie is Weird” that my silly hubby posted while we tested things out. My brother and I had just baked the cupcakes for dessert and since I love to take pictures, I snapped a handful of them. The post was relevant and I really did intend to add the recipe, so I left it there. It’s taken me two months to post the recipe, but better late than never! 🙂

I attempted to take pictures of each step of the recipe, but it proved to be impossible for me to do. How does The Pioneer Woman do it? She must have 2 extra hands we don’t know about. And, she must have way more patience than I do – and a better memory. A good handful of the photos I missed were purely because I forgot to stop and take a picture! Whoops! Ok, enough chit-chat. FYI, the full recipe is at the end of the post.

First off, you need to make the lemon curd. If you have a favorite store bought lemon curd, I don’t see why you couldn’t just use that. Being the culinary adventurist that I am (my Mom is laughing right now), I made my own.






The ingredients: egg yolks, sugar, pure lemon extract, freshly squeezed lemon juice, butter, lemon zest, guar gum.






Add the lemon juice, yolks and sugar to a saucepan and whisk them together.






Cook over low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Once it has thickened, add in butter once piece at a time. Once the butter is incorporated, add in the zest, extract and guar gum. Mix until smooth. (sorry, this is where I didn’t have enough hands to snap photos)








While the lemon curd is cooling, make the cupcakes (or the recipe can be made into a two layer cake). I didn’t get great pictures while I was mixing together the cupcakes. They are very easy to make. You beat eggs and sugar together for 1 minute. Add in the rest of the ingredients (flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum, oil, milk, lemon extract) and beat for another minute. Fill your cups and bake! Easy!

The frosting alone is worth making these cupcakes. I don’t know where lemon buttercream has been all my life, but if it wouldn’t cause me to weigh 300 pounds I might keep some on hand at all times. It’s amazing.






You begin by beating softened butter until is smooth and creamy. Then add in 1 cup of powdered sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, pure lemon extract and lemon zest. Beat together and gradually add powdered sugar up to another 2 1/2 cups until it’s light and creamy. Then give it a taste and try to control yourself from eating the entire bowl.









Once your cupcakes are completely cooled, you can fill them with the lemon curd. I use a piping bag and a Wilton #230, Bismark tip, to fill mine. You just poke the tip down in the cupcake and squeeze the bag as you slowly pull it back out. I don’t fill all of my cupcakes because my girls don’t love the lemon curd. To be able to tell which ones aren’t filled, when I frost them, I give the non-filled treats a few yellow sprinkles on top.






I think these are my favorite gluten free cake/cupcake to date. They are so fresh and delicious. They are a little labor intensive to make the curd, cake, and frosting, but so worth it. You could easily make the lemon curd the day before and just keep it in the fridge until you need it. I hope you’ll give them a try – and be sure to tell me if you do! 🙂 Here’s the recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. The recipe makes two 8 or 9-inch rounds or 24 cupcakes. Recipe can be cut in half.

Lemon Layer Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup canola oil
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in center of oven. Line two round cake pans with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray or line muffin tins with liners and then spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl at medium speed for 1 minute. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum together and then add to sugar egg mixture. Also add in oil, milk, extracts, and lemon zest; beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place in center of oven and bake about 35 minutes for 9 inch, 40 minutes for 8 inch or 18-24 minutes for cupcakes or until center springs back when touched and cake has pulled away from sides of pan.
  4. Cool cake layers in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Use a small knife to cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Invert cake layers onto a rack, peel off paper, and cool completely. Cool cupcakes in pan for about 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. For a layer cake: Carefully slice each layer horizontally to create four layers (easily done if cake layers have been chilled). Spread each of the bottom layers with 1/2 of the lemon curd. Cover each bottom layer with one of the two remaining layers. Place one set of filled layers on a cake plate and spread with about 1/2 cup frosting. Place the other set of filled layers on top and cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  6. For cupcakes: Fill cupcakes with lemon curd using a piping bag and Wilton #230 Bismark tip. Frost with lemon buttercream frosting.

Lemon Curd Filling

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 teaspoon guar gum (this will add viscosity and keep the curd from separating into the cake layers)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

  1. Combine egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and whisk until well blended.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until smooth and so thick that the curd coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until compltely incorporated. Whisk in guar gum, lemon zest, and lemon extract.
  3. Pour the curd into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until very cold.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, and lemon zest; beat to blend. Add remaining sugar and beat until creamy.




Barbie Cake

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I have always baked my kids birthday cakes. I’ll admit, it’s a little bit because I am cheap and don’t want to pay for one, but also because it’s special to me to bake their cake. They are still young and probably don’t think much about the fact that I fuss and try to make their cakes special, but I am hoping that as they grow, it will be a special touch to them each year that their Mommy took the time to bake their cake.

This year, the birthday girl, who turned 4, wanted a Barbie cake. So, Mommy went to work.

I knew that we’d need a colored buttercream frosting to make Barbie’s dress, so the birthday girl and I decided chocolate cake would be best. And not just any chocolate cake. It was going to be Red Velvet cake-a family tradition and my hubby’s favorite. I was so thankful to find a gluten free red velvet recipe that we really liked for my hubby’s last birthday, so I went back to that recipe. I have modified it a bit so it more closely resembles the recipe I was given by my father-in-law as the family recipe. It still needs a bit of tweaking with the oil, so I’ll be playing with the recipe more, but it’s still yummy and passes the taste test.

Barbie cakes require a lot of cake. I made two full recipes to create the cake. I baked one full recipe in my 2 qt. Pampered Chef batter bowl to create the skirt and the other recipe was made into 2 round cakes (I honestly don’t know if mine are 8 or 9-inch pans – they are traditional round pans?) to add height to the cake so Barbie was covered in the cake. I still had a litte gap at the top up to her waist, but frosting helped hide that. The skirt cake gave me a really hard time. The center would NOT set! I don’t know if it was a temperature thing – like I should have baked at a lower temp for longer time? – or what, but after over an hour and 10 minutes, I finally just pulled the cake out. I thought it had finally set, but when I pulled it from the fridge to assemble it the next morning, I discovered the very center was still underdone. No fear though – I cut out the center of the cake, which is where Barbie needed to be anyway! Here’s how I assembled the cake:

Two round layers, stacked, and frosted in between and on top. I also put a little frosting under the bottom layer to help it stick to the cake pedestal.

Then I stacked the skirt on top, “gluing” everything with frosting.

The entire cake got a crumb coat of white buttercream and then went into the fridge to set up for a bit. Let me just say, it was sort of fun sticking Barbie into the cake. ‘Bout time she got a little cake on her thighs. ha ha

The birthday girl wanted purple and pink frosting, so that’s what she got. I used two different Wilton tips to pipe her skirt on. The bottom layers are just more white buttercream that I spread with an off-set spatula – wasn’t going for perfection here. She could have used a bit more frosting around her waist, but I had already made two batches of buttercream, and the birthday girl didn’t seem to mind. Ignore the clashing pinks going on here…it looks a lot worse in the picture than it did in person!

So, there she is. It was worth all the work when I saw how excited my daughter was, and, it tasted good too! Here are the recipes. Let me know if you give them a try!

Red Velvet Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 2/3 c. canola oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten (room temp)

1 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. sorghum flour
3/4 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp cider vinegar and 1 c. milk substitute) *I used the vinegar and milk substitution

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring
1/4 cup cocoa

Instructions for 2 round cakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Use a mixer to cream oil and sugar. With the mixer still going, add one egg at a time and beat until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated. (This step creates an emulsion that holds the batter together)
3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Make sure they are well mixed, either by sifting the flours or whisking them.
4. Add the flour to the oil and sugar mixture in four parts. Alternate the flour with the buttermilk. You should begin and end with dry ingredients and each part should be mixed in completely before you add the next. (If you were to start with the liquids the emulsion would break.)
5. Make a paste of the cocoa, red food coloring, and vanilla and gently stir it into the batter.
6. Pour the batter into two greased and floured round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes. (A toothpick stuck into the middle of the cake should come out clean when the cake is done)

Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks softened butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Splash of milk, as needed (approx. 1 tablespoon is typical)
Food coloring, as needed

1. Beat butter until smooth and fluffy
2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth and proper spreading consistency
3. Add small amounts of milk as needed to get proper smoothness and consistency
4. Add food coloring if wanting colored frosting