Guiltless Chocolate Cake // Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad is a chocoholic.  End of story.  He would eat just about anything if it were covered in chocolate–so we have to watch him 😀

For his birthday, we whipped up a flour-free, dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate cake.  With so much “missing” from this cake (as compared to a traditional cake recipe), we were genuinely surprised as to the quality and richness of the texture.  This cake is hearty enough to be eaten at a tea party, coffeehouse, or evening snack.  Its rich, moist, chocolate, fudge-like qualities will romance your taste buds and make them ask for more!

Flourless Chocolate Cake


8 oz baking chocolate

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup dates

1/2 cup hot water

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp coconut oil

In a food processor, blend dates until smooth.  Add cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, and coconut oil.  Melt the chocolate squares and add to mixture–be careful not to let the warm chocolate cook the eggs!  Pour batter into greased round cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Serve warm or at room temperature with coffee, espresso, coconut ice cream, or just on its own!


Mini-Cake // Snow Adventures Continued!

I hope y’all are staying warm this (continued) winter!  This past weekend, Mary and I went downstate for a conference and were met with a horrible snow/ice storm on our way back.

Fortunately, we made it back up North–just in time for a housewarming party, turned birthday celebration for one of our gluten-free friends.  We made a gluten-free mini-cake for the friend, and wheat-free, dairy-free cupcakes for everyone else (I made a standard yellow cake recipe, substituting coconut oil and coconut milk for the dairy products–with the slight flavor of coconut and vanilla, it was amazing!)

Unfortunately, with all the hullabaloo, I neglected to take a photo (though the mini-cake was the cutest little thing).  We poured the batter into two small heart-shaped pans to make a double layer heart.

Coconut Mini-Cake

1/8 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

1 egg

1/8 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup rice flour

Combine wet ingredients and sugar in bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Add flours and dry ingredients and stir briskly until thoroughly incorporated.

Pour into greased mini-pans or muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (baking time depends on the size of the pan, if you put all the batter into one pan, the baking time will be longer).  Good with chocolate frosting and strawberry jam between the layers.

Broccoli Pea Pesto // Snowed in!

If you live in the Midwest (ok, pretty much most of the US right now) then you understand the frigid arctic weather we’ve been having lately!  There have been sequences of days that we have pretty much just stayed in the house because it was too dangerous to travel, either due to intense cold or blizzard conditions.

Mary and I took the opportunity to cook up some gluten-free, dairy-free deliciousness while we waited for the snow to melt… though that could still be a while…

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Broccoli Pea Pesto

Most pesto recipes call for large quantities of basil and pine nuts–which, at this time of year end up being expensive and hard to find.  Peas give the pesto a sweet flavor, while the broccoli lends its earthy flavors to make this a recipe something you will love making over and over again.  Almonds make a great substitute for pine nuts–but if you really can’t imagine a pesto without the intense flavor of pine nuts, by all means, experiment away!


1/3 cup whole almonds

1 cup steamed peas

1 cup steamed broccoli florets

1-2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp basil, dried or chopped fresh leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

Cooked rice pasta

1. Grind almonds in a food processor until almost almond meal.  We froze our almonds, which made them hard and good for chopping in the food processor without turning into almond butter.

2. Add peas and broccoli.  Pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add garlic, salt, basil, and olive oil.  Pulse until mixture is thoroughly combined, but not a fine paste.  The trick is to preserve the different textures without making the pesto too chunky or too fine.

3. Spoon pesto over cooked noddles until they are thoroughly coated.  If mixture seems dry, add another drop of olive oil.  TIP: To keep the pasta from sticking to each other before adding the pesto, try 1 tbsp of coconut oil melted over the noddles while they are still hot.

4. Serve and enjoy warm!

Chocolate Coconut Cake // Happy Birthday, David!

Birthdays are always a special occasion at our house.  Of course, the best part is the food–we get to pick our favorite dishes, or select a culture/country for the cook to use as inspiration for trying new and interesting foods.  We’ve tried making Indian, Israeli, Mexican, Korean, Italian, German, and French.  All successes–well, except the seaweed soup…that didn’t go over so well.  But it’s tons of fun!

Celebration Steak Dinner

Today is our old(er) brother’s birthday and he wanted steak. Meat.  So like a guy!  After a bit of research, we found some cool ways to dress it up and make it into a dish that more delicate palates can savor.  Here’s what we served, how we dressed it up, and how you can recreate it, too!


-Grilled Citrus Steak:  Marinate overnight in a lemon juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce marinade, grilled until medium-rare.

-Rosemary and Thyme Small Red Potatoes: Cut potatoes into quarters, salt, drizzle with olive oil, add a chopped onion, and bake for 40 minutes in a 400°F oven until tender.

-Steamed Asparagus: Garnish with 1 tbsp coconut oil, salt, and dill

-Fresh Citrus Salad: Cube peeled grapefruit, orange, and avocado, add chopped kalamata olives, chopped fresh mint leaves, salt, coarse pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil; toss over arugula leaves.

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Chocolate is a staple in our house.  When posed the question “chocolate or vanilla” we tend to yell “CHOCOLATE!” as a horrified knee-jerk reaction.  So when David was asked what kind of cake he wanted, he didn’t say coconut, pumpkin, apple, or vanilla.  Chocolate, duh!  After all, chocolate is a vegetable 🙂 Mary made this dairy-free, gluten-free cake to celebrate.  If you like your desserts à la mode, serve with coconut sorbet.  Chocolate-flavored, of course!


For this cake, Mary used a conventional store-bought flour mix in our Coconut Cake recipe from The Twins’ Guide to Gluten-Free Baking, and added 3 oz of melted baking chocolate to the batter to make it a Chocolate Coconut Cake.  Instead of making it in a bundt pan, she baked it in 2 9-in round pans (for 30 minutes).  When the cakes cooled, she stacked them with a layer of cherry pie filling in between. Genius.

Dairy-Free Coconut Frosting

Coconut cream from 2 cans Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup coco powder

4 cups powdered sugar

Beat all ingredients together in a mixer until thoroughly combined.  If the mixture is too runny, add more powdered sugar until loose, but not runny.  Let frosting rest and harden in a refrigerator until thick and gooey.  Spread on cake and return cake to the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Garnish with dairy-free chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

Free ebook: The Twins’ Guide to Going Gluten-Free {without going bananas}


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