Tag Archives: Gluten-Free

Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I posted my Oscar Night Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheese on Wednesday, but that’s only one part of my tradition. The other? Red velvet. Cake, cookies, cookie cake, cheesecake bars, you name it. It just has to be red, like the red carpet.

This year’s Oscar weekend offering? A vegan, gluten-free Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Yep, you read that right. This vibrant red velvet cake with swoopy cream cheese frosting is as delicious as any traditional version I’ve had, but completely devoid of animal products and flour, so you can share with all your vegan, gluten-free friends. You know I love an inclusive bake. Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}The cake itself is another spin on my go-to vegan, gluten-free cake base. It’s made primarily of almond flour and potato starch, but also contains classic red velvet ingredients like cocoa powder, vanilla and red food coloring. The batter comes together without a mixer and bakes like a dream, producing a thin sheet of cake, perfect for slicing and sharing.Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s talk frosting—you simply can’t have red velvet cake without cream cheese frosting. I’m pretty sure it’s the law, even if the cake is vegan. Here, the cream cheese in the frosting is the dairy-free stuff that comes in a tub. You’ll notice that this recipe uses a tiny amount of cream cheese compared to dairy versions, but I promise you that the signature tang is there in those swoops. I don’t mess around with cream cheese frosting, y’all.

A quick word on temperature and storage. While 90% of the cakes I make do well at room temperature, this one does not. Thanks to its water content, vegan cream cheese is softer in texture than its dairy counterpart, so if this frosting gets too warm it will begin to droop a bit. It won’t liquefy and it will taste fine, but it won’t be pretty. I don’t know about you, but I kind of need my Oscar Night red velvet cake to be pretty.Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Vegan, gluten-free Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is so good, y’all. So. Good. It’s soft and tender with all the chocolate-tinged vanilla flavor you love, and those swirls of vegan cream cheese frosting are the perfect counterpart. It’s traditional with a twist, like so many of the best things are.

Happy Oscar weekend, dear readers! May your ballots be winners. May the telecast be worth watching. May your grilled cheeses be gooey. May your desserts be red velvet.Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes a single layer 9×13-inch sheet cake

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
~1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or pure pumpkin purée)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2-3 teaspoons liquid red food coloring (according to preference)
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
3/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

For finishing:
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
red velvet cake crumbs (optional)

This recipe may be halved and baked in an 8- or 9- inch square pan. Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Pour apple cider vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Add almond milk until liquid reaches the 1 1/4 cup mark. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until curdled. Stir in applesauce and vanilla, followed by 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together blanched almond flour, potato starch, cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add liquid ingredients in two installments, whisking until combined. If you’d like a more brightly-colored cake, add more food coloring by the 1/2 teaspoon (up to 1 1/2 teaspoons).

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth to the edges with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap pan on the counter 5 times to release any large air bubbles. Transfer to the oven and bake 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs.

Let cake cool completely in its pan on a cooling rack. Run a thin knife along the edges of the pan before inverting to release onto a platter (alternatively, you may keep it in the pan and serve from there). If you want to top the cake with red velvet crumbs, trim off very thin pieces from the 9-inch edges. Crumble with your fingers or by gently pushing through a wire mesh sieve.

Frost as desired with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below). Sprinkle with reserved red velvet crumbs, if desired.

Frosted cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Unfrosted cake may be triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
makes enough for the top of one sheet cake

4 ounces (1/2 cup) vegan butter, room temperature (I like Miyoko’s)
2 ounces (1/4 cup) shortening, room temperature (I like Nutiva)
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, slightly softened (I like Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat vegan butter, shortening, and vegan cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in confectioners sugar in two installments, mixing until combined and fluffy. Mix in salt, followed by vanilla.

Use to frost the top of sheet cake. Frosting and frosted cake should be stored in the refrigerator; they will get very soft at room temperature.

Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints

Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints If these Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints look familiar, it’s because they are—these are basically just miniature versions of my Chocolate Macaroon Tart, one of my most-made and most-loved recipes ever. The golden coconut exteriors and dark chocolate interiors are a combination that simply can’t be beat (Lemon Meringue obviously excepted).Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints are made with my trusty gluten- and egg-free Coconut Macaroon base, so they’re soft & light on the inside and toasty on the outside. I made one little tweak to the original recipe and added some cornstarch for a bit more structure, but rest assured that these are just as delicate and chewy as any coconut macaroon you’ve ever had.Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints After the coconut base is rolled into balls, little indentations are pressed into each one to create the titular thumbprint. You could use your thumb, of course, but a spoon gives a more consistent shape and size and is way less messy. These initial thumbprints will become shallow during baking, so make sure to give them a second indentation when you pull them from the oven. Bigger thumbprint = more room for chocolate!Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Ohhh yes, these thumbprints are filled to the brim with dark chocolate ganache! It’s no secret that coconut & dark chocolate are perfect together, but the creamy-chewy texture situation here is positively glorious. I can say this with confidence because…well, I’ve eaten a lot of these lately. A. Lot.Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints are a perfect addition to your Easter menu! Follow my lead and leave them plain for a simple & stunning finish, or top the pools of ganache with Easter egg candies for something a little more festive.Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints

Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints
makes about 1.5 dozen

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 14-ounce bag (5 cups) sweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Chocolate Ganache:
6 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.

Place coconut in a medium mixing bowl. Toss with cornstarch. Pour in sweetened condensed milk mixture and stir together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Wet your hand and give the mixture a couple of kneads to ensure it’s very well-combined.

Scoop coconut mixture in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments (I used a medium cookie scoop) and form into balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. Bake 16-17 minutes, until light golden and puffed. When you remove the cookies from the oven, press the back of the small spoon into the centers again. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes before using a spatula to remove them to a rack to cool completely.

Make ganache filling. Place chopped chocolate in a large measuring cup or heatproof mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is steaming and bubbles are forming at the edge.

Pour warm cream over chopped chocolate. Do not stir. Cover bowl with a lid or aluminum foil for 5 minutes. Remove lid/foil. Use a fork to stir until chocolate and cream are combined and smooth.

Spoon a teaspoon of ganache into the well of each thumbprint. Ganache will begin to set pretty soon at room temperature, setting completely after a couple of hours.

Coconut Macaroons will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprints

Chocolate-Covered Pecans

Chocolate-Covered PecansChristmas in a pandemic is so strange. I mean, I’ve spent Christmas away from my immediate family before, but it’s always been with (ex-)boyfriends or friends. But this year, traveling and gathering don’t seem like great plans and I am deeply single, so Christmas alone it is.Chocolate-Covered PecansI’ve already had my pre-Christmas anticipatory-loneliness gloom and doom, and have now moved on to determining what will make this Christmas feel like…Christmas. Like, when I FaceTime my family, I’m going to wear my Christmas pajamas that match my sisters. And I’m going to take a walk. Maybe watch Love Actually for the 374th time. Perhaps make a pot roast. And I’m going to eat chocolate-covered pecans by the handful. It’s the Davenport way.Chocolate-Covered PecansChocolate-Covered Pecans have a long history in my family. My dad has been sending them as Christmas gifts for as long as I can remember, and though nearly every box was for someone else, he always had one delivered to the house just for us to share. And by share, I mean he would hide/hoard them to himself until Christmas Day when he’d finally reveal the half-eaten tin.

Over the years, this has come back to bite him in the ass. The general “rule” is that whoever intercepts the box first hides it and clues everyone in *except* my dad, just for a little light payback. This may seem like a lot of hubbub, but we really love messing with each other,* and also Chocolate-Covered Pecans. What’s not to love about naturally-caramelly toasted pecans coated in a snappy-then-melty layer of chocolate?

*Is every family as weird as mine?Chocolate-Covered PecansSince my sisters and I all moved away, we’ve each been added to my dad’s chocolate-covered pecan Christmas list. It’s something I look forward to every year—my tin showing up a week or two before I fly home for the holiday break. Except, of course, that I’m not flying home this year. And for a brief moment, thanks to the notorious difficulties with shipping right now, I thought that my dad might have decided not to send chocolate-covered pecans in 2020.Chocolate-Covered PecansChocolate-Covered PecansThankfully that is not the case and my tin arrived on December 16th, but in that moment where I thought this tradition might be another casualty of 2020, I took the time to create my own recipe for Chocolate-Covered Pecans. I certainly wasn’t going to go without them. No way.Chocolate-Covered PecansMy Chocolate-Covered Pecans are the tiniest spin on my Salted Marzipan Truffles recipe. Truly, the only difference is that I’m using toasted pecans instead of marzipan. I left the salt on for beauty and salty chocolate reasons, but you can skip it if you like. Whatever makes your little holiday heart flutter. Whatever makes this recipe feel like home.Chocolate-Covered PecansMerry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Whatever you do or don’t celebrate, I hope you find a way to enjoy the end of this challenging year. I’m taking Friday off for Christmas, but will be back next week with year-end round ups. Stay cozy, everyone.Chocolate-Covered Pecans

Chocolate-Covered Pecans
makes about 1 cup

1 cup raw pecan halves
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon light corn syrup or golden syrup
coarse or flaky finishing salt (optional)

Special Equipment:
microwave-safe bowl (or double boiler)
parchment paper
small sheet pan or other pan (must fit in freezer)

Preheat oven to 300F. Place pecan halves on a dry rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes, until fragrant and toasted. Let cool completely.

Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a fork. Add coconut oil. Continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Stir in corn syrup.

To dip, drop one pecan half into the melted chocolate. Use a fork to coat pecan in chocolate. Drain briefly by scraping the tines of the fork on the edge of the bowl. Use the fork to gently lay the pecan on the prepared pan. Immediately top with a pinch of finishing salt, if desired. Continue this process until all pecans are coated and salted.

Place baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes, until chocolate has solidified. Serve.

Pecans will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Chocolate-Covered PecansChocolate-Covered PecansChocolate-Covered Pecans

Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}My friend, VJ, loves gingerbread. Loves it. She speaks often about how before she had to stop eating gluten and went vegan, her grandma used to serve hers with canned peaches and whipped cream. While I am not much for canned peaches, the gingerbread part and the badass baking grandma part? Those I get.Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Over the years, VJ has asked me to make gingerbread cakes for various milestones and occasions, but I have mostly failed. I even failed this past Thanksgiving! Too greasy, too dry, vaguely tarry, completely flavorless—I’ve made all the gingerbread cake failures under the sun. Let’s not discuss the occasion on which she had to serve store-bought ice cream cakes (that she couldn’t even eat!) at her own party because my attempt at this cake was so vile.

But then—but! then!—I tweaked my go-to gluten-free vegan cake recipe and made this Gingerbread Cake, and it’s exactly right: soft, tender, slightly sticky and spicy. And easy. And vegan and gluten-free. And out of this world delicious. This recipe right here? This one’s for VJ.Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}It’s not just because I like to have a gluten-free vegan item on my holiday line-up every year (which I do). It’s that VJ’s 40th birthday is next week—you know I can’t let my favorite gluten-free vegan’s milestone birthday pass without cake. No way. Not rain, nor sleet, nor masked and distanced delivery will stop me from getting this cake to her on December 23rd.Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Holy crap, y’all, this is good. Super moist with nothing to distract from its deep dark flavor, it’s better than most traditional flour, egg and dairy-based gingerbreads I’ve had. It’s definitely not better than VJ’s grandma’s though, because nothing is ever better than grandma’s. Believe me, I’ve tried to out-do grandmas and it never goes well. But anyway… Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}This Gingerbread Cake tows the line somewhere between holiday dessert and wintry everyday cake. It doesn’t need a blanket of frosting (although I think a little vegan maple buttercream might be good) or any adornment beyond a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, really. It can be baked square or round. You could even double the recipe and layer it or make a sheet cake. It can be served at the end of a holiday meal, snacked on mid-afternoon, left for Santa, frozen for you to find in the middle of February, wrapped up and given as a gift, or delivered to a birthday lady in the middle of a pandemic. No matter the occasion and regardless of whether you’re vegan and gluten-free, this might just be the only Gingerbread Cake recipe you’ll ever need.Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Gingerbread Cake {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
makes one 8- or 9-inch square or round cake

1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2/3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
3 tbsp pure pumpkin purée or unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
6 tbsp cup potato starch
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

For finishing:
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square or round pan. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Pour apple cider vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Add almond milk until liquid reaches the 1 1/4 cup mark. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until curdled. Stir in pumpkin purée (or applesauce). Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together blanched almond flour, potato starch, cornstarch, light brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add liquid ingredients in two installments, whisking until combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth to the edges with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap pan on the counter 5 times to release any large air bubbles. Transfer to the oven and bake 32-34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs (no batter).

Let cake cool completely in its pan on a cooling rack. Run a thin knife along the edges of the pan before inverting to release onto a platter (alternatively, you may keep it in the pan and serve from there). Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top before serving, if desired.

Slice and serve. Flavors will intensify the day (or several hours) after baking.

Cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days and refrigerated for up to 4. Plain cake may be triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Gingerbread Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}

Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}This is just to let you know that if, on the second night of vacation, you make dinner for your friends, clean up, and still have the urge to make Peanut Butter Cookies…well, that’s an urge you should follow. And if you have the urge to make them again when you return home, just go with it. The dough will only take you a minute—it’s a dump & mix situation—and they’ll hit the spot because of course they will. They’re Peanut Butter Cookies!Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Did I mention that they’re vegan and grain-free? Because they are. This recipe is the lightest twist on the classic three ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe that’s all over the internet. In case you’ve missed it, you can combine 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 large egg, scoop & bake, and get some pretty incredible chewy peanut butter cookies out of the deal. If you haven’t, you should give them a try, or go for any of the many variations I’ve made over the years. Or, you know, make this recipe I’m babbling about.Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Here, I’ve kept it pretty traditional. I added a few extra ingredients like brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, some salt and vanilla, but the dough still comes together in moments. In order to keep the cookies vegan, I swapped the egg for an equal volume of aquafaba, otherwise known as chickpea canning liquid. It’s my egg substitute of choice—no, it won’t make your cookies taste beany—but you can use a flax egg or whatever egg substitute you like or just use an actual egg if you’re not trying to make vegan, gluten-free cookies for your vegan, gluten-free friend.Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}I’ve also added a short twenty-minute chill to this recipe, but it’s not strictly necessary and your cookies will work without it. They’ll just be a little thinner than mine. Whatever you do, don’t skip crosshatching the tops of your cookies with a fork. I don’t know where this started or why we do this to peanut butter cookies, but I’m pretty sure it’s the law.Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}What? I don’t make the rules. I just break ‘em. Like finishing these Peanut Butter Cookies off with the easiest chocolate-peanut butter drizzle and some chopped peanuts. Is this necessary? No. But it’s pretty and freaking delicious. And really, when it comes to Peanut Butter Cookies, the “freaking delicious” part is all that matters.Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}

Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}
makes 22-24 cookies

1 cup creamy-style peanut butter (not natural-style)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
dash of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons aquafaba
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For chocolate-peanut butter drizzle & garnish (optional):
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons creamy-style peanut butter (not natural-style)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, finely chopped

In a medium mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, aquafaba and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to beat for one minute, until well-combined. Chill cookie dough for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

Scoop cookie dough in 1 tablespoon increments, roll into balls, and place at least 3 inches apart on prepared pans.

Make the crosshatches. Lightly grease the back of a fork. Press the back of the fork into each dough ball, then turn the fork 90 degrees and press again.

Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, until turning golden at the edges. Let cookies cool on their pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with remaining dough, making sure to let baking sheets return to room temperature between batches.

To make the chocolate-peanut butter drizzle, combine chocolate and peanut butter together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Drizzle over cookies as desired. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired. Drizzle will set over time, but this may be expedited by freezing the finished cookies for 10 or so minutes.

Serve. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Layer cookies with wax paper or parchment.

Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan & Grain-Free}