Easy Chocolate Layer Cake {Gluten Free}

Does anyone else crave comfort food this time of year? For me that’s carbs (well, I pretty much crave cabs all year, but let’s not go there right now…) and sweet things like baking. If you saw my post last week with The Sweet Life Apparel, you saw the chocolate cake Ari and I whipped up together. It was one of our messier endeavours (and crankier- at least in the beginning- for Ari), but we ended up having a blast and the cake turned out amazing (sprinkles EVERYWHERE!). While we still make everything gluten free, I’ve been able to add dairy back into what we eat since the end of Summer, re- introducing it in meals and baking. I’m not going to lie, I’ve missed cooking/ baking with butter. And milk. But that’s not to say this recipe wouldn’t turn out if you used a dairy- free milk, I just enjoyed the chance to try it out (this is the first cake I’ve made with milk in a long time, yahoo!). It’s about as easy as it gets, with simple ingredients, and if you’re like us, the decorating is at least half the fun (and most of the mess 😉 ). If you want a sweet treat for holiday parties, why not whip up this baby? Enjoy. 

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free flour (I used 1 cup brown rice flour & 1 cup coconut flour)
use an unbleached or all- purpose flour if not gluten free
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Decoration ideas:
– frosting (I cheated and used the store- bought stuff)
– sprinkles
– toasted coconut
– fresh flowers
whatever you like! 😉

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cake pans with parchment paper- use two 9- inch pans for 2 layers, or four 6- inch pans for 4 layers

2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Tip: to help make it lighter- especially if making a gluten free cake- sift the dry ingredients to aerate them.

3. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and slowly add to the dry mix, stirring to avoid lumps as you go.

4. When combined, pour the batter into your pans, distributing equally among the 2 or 4 that you’re using. Bake for 30 -35 minutes until you can insert a toothpick into the centre and it comes out clean. If baking four 6- inch cakes, bake them two at a time.

5. Allow to cool before removing from pans. Use frosting between the layers and frost the outside however you like. We went more for a naked cake look (at least that’s what I”m calling it!), but pick an icing/ decoration that you like. This is a nice, moist cake that’s not too rich/ heavy so there’s lots of options.

6. Decorate to your heart’s content!

What we’re wearing:
Check out the full line by The Sweet Life Apparel on their website and get the latest news on social media:
Instagram: @thesweetlifeapparel 
Photo credit: Akane Kondo Photography
Instagram: @akanekondophoto

Halloween Marshmallow Pops

Who’s ready for the spooky fun that is Halloween??? A little while ago I got together with some of my local blogger friends for a Halloween dessert photoshoot inspired by all things orange & black (see some sneak peaks on Instagram here and here) where we all pitched in with some yummy treats all for this fun & spooky day. I opted to make marshmallow pops since they’re a super cute and simple treat (based on those IG photos I’d say these were a hit! 😉 ) and because I’m a total sucker for anything dipped in sprinkles. You pretty much only need 3 ingredients to make these and you can go as crazy or as simple as you like. Up the Halloween factor with some party straws in matching colours and you’re set! I love how they turned out and had fun mixing up different combos of sprinkles (love the skulls & crossbones!). If you have a Halloween party coming up another cute idea would be to wrap these in cellophane with a pretty ribbon as a cute favour or for school parties. All you need is 10 minutes and the willpower not to eat them as you go! 
Ingredients/ supplies:
– chocolate chips/ melts (I went for white, orange & milk chocolate)
– sprinkles
– large marshmallows
– party straws
– scissors (if you want to cut down the straws)
– parchment paper

Directions:
1. Place a Pyrex jug in a pot and fill approx 2/3 with water; bring to a boil at high heat
2. Meanwhile cut your straws in half and insert into the marshmallows; pour your sprinkles into shallow dishes for dipping and tear of a piece of parchment paper big enough to place the quantity of marshmallows you want to dip
3. When water is close to a boil or boiling, pour your choice of chocolate into the Pyrex jug and melt
4. Stir the chocolate until it’s melted & smooth and dip your marshmallows, then roll them in your choice of sprinkles
5. Place the marshmallows on the parchment to cool. When ready, transfer to your serving dish/ platter and enjoy! 🙂

Want to see how everything came together? See this post over on Creative Wife & Joyful Worker!

Dessert Table Photos: Creative Wife & Joyful Worker
Desserts:
Spooky Marshmallow Ghost Brownies: Kewe Clothing
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing: The Cheerio Diaries
Chocolate Peanut Butter Halloween Treats: Loving Littles Blog
Table Styling, Spider Cake & Drinks: Creative Wife & Joyful Worker

Yummy Mummy Monday: Gluten Free Rice Crispy Treats

I don’t think these sweet treats really need an intro. They’re a classic. And after making them with Ari, I have a new understanding and appreciation for why they’re such a staple for bake sales and class parties- they’re super simple and quick to make! The only changes I made to the classic version were to make them gluten & dairy free: swapping coconut oil for the butter and using gluten- free cereal. These are great if you want to whip something sweet up but don’t have a lot of time and they’ll be gone in even less time. 

Ingredients
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
8 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups rice crispy cereal (we used gluten free)
Optional: 1 tbsp beet juice or red food colouring

Directions
1. In a large pot over low heat melt coconut oil. Once melted toss in mini marshmallows, stirring continuously
2. Once melted, remove from heat and add in rice crispy cereal. Stir until combined (I let Ari help with this part, but if you’re nervous about burns you can quickly transfer the mix into a bowl so little ones can help)
3. If you want to make the treats pink, you can add food colouring or reduced beet juice for colour. To make the beet juice reduction: dice up a small beet and pop into a pot and fill with water until pieces are just covered. Bring to a boil for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce until the beet juice has mixed with the water and the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency. Pour into a glass pyrex jug and set aside until ready to use.
4. Add in colouring and stir until mixed through
5. Transfer mixture onto a piece of parchment paper. Use the sides of the parchment to shape the mixture into a ball (don’t worry if it isn’t a perfect shape, this step is more to compress the mixture for rolling ). Cover with a second piece of parchment and roll the mixture until it is 1/2″ thick (if you like thicker treats, don’t roll them as long/ apply as much pressure)
6. When you’ve reached your desired thickness, remove the top piece of parchment and fold in half (sticky sides in) to place the shapes on
7. Using cookie cutters, cut out the shapes you like and place on the folded piece of parchment

9. Once you’ve cut out all the shapes you can fit, you can either try re- rolling the mixture or takes pieces that are roughly the same size and roll into balls

10. You can serve the treats like this or insert cute straws to make pops. For the balls, you can leave them as- is or add cute cupcake toppers like the sparkly ones I used from Grace Miller & Co– see below)

11. … for added fun, dip in sprinkles!

February posts sponsored by

Yummy Mummy Monday: Spiced Nuts

Do you ever see a recipe and think I would have never thought of that! ? Well this is one of those.  I like roasted and candies nuts but haven’t ever tried a version with a kick. These spiced nuts are quick and simple to make and oh- so- tasty (I couldn’t keep Ari & Will’s hands off these when they came out of the oven, so you might want to make extra). Inspired by this recipe these are a perfect holiday snack for parties and get togethers. Package in a pretty jar with twine or ribbon to give as a hostess gifts or stocking stuffer.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:

4 cups of nuts/ seeds* of your choice (raw and unsalted)
2 egg whites
2 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
*I used almonds & cashews, and pumpkin seeds for a pop of colour
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl large enough for all of the ingredients, mix the egg whites, maple syrup, spices, and soy sauce.
3. Add the nuts and toss around until evenly coated in mixture.
4. Spread the nuts evenly on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and the mixture is dry.
5. When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an air- tight container to maintain freshness. If you’re giving as a gift, pop into a pretty jar or container (I used a layer of parchment paper over the top of my jar under the paper to help seal it).

December posts sponsored by

Yummy Mummy Monday: Fresh Fruit Popsicles

The amazing Spring weather has had me daydreaming about Summer & I thought what’s a better warm weather snack than popsicles??? They’re a super easy & healthy snack idea perfect on days when you need to cool off (bonus idea: sneak in some kale or spinach for a nutritional punch). They also make a fun little foodie project to do with the kids. I recently discovered kefir (a fermented milk drink, like liquid yogurt) and have been enjoying it with Ari. (Because it’s like yogurt, even those with dairy sensitivities can eat it on occasion since the fermentation breaks down the lactose). 
Ingredients:
Fresh fruit of your choice (I used strawberries, kiwis, & pineapples for these)
Coconut milk, yogurt, or kefir
Directions:
For fruit slice popsicles:
1. Slice up the fruits you’re using into pieces small enough to fit your popsicle molds.
2. Layer the fruits as desired 
3. Pour in enough coconut milk/ yogurt/ kefir to fill the mold & cover the tops of the fruit; tap the mold to get out any air bubbles
4. Freeze & enjoy!
For fruit smoothie popsicles:
1. Pop your desired fruit & coconut milk/ yogurt/ kefir into blender until fruit is pureed (this is a great chance to sneak in some greens!)
2. Pour mixture into mold & tap it to remove any air bubbles
3. Freeze & enjoy!
Could it get any easier??? 

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

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