1-Minute Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake.

A rich, indulgent chocolate cake that’s gluten-free, full of chocolate flavor, and made in a mug. It’s the easiest cake you’ll ever make! 

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Baking is fun, but it’s not something I do often. In fact, I rarely bake unless there’s an event coming up where a dessert is requested. With only 2 people in our home, there’s no need to have large quantities of desserts lying around, and I try to keep our sugar consumption to a minimum.

With that being said, every now and then there are times when one of us (ok, me) would really like a sliver of (gluten-free) chocolate cake. How am I supposed to have just a sliver without baking an entire cake and having the rest of it on our kitchen counter for days? Solution: 1-Minute chocolate mug cake.

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Have you ever made a mug cake? My first attempt was in college, and it was aaaaaawful. Talk about tasteless cardboard! Bleh. I blacklisted all mug cake recipes after that major fail.

But then, a few years ago, I had great success making a vanilla mug cake, and my faith in these types of recipes was revived. Just a couple weeks ago I came across this recipe and thought–why not?! I’m so glad I tried it because it turned out great and it was a fast way to make a small amount of gluten-free cake–perfect for 2 people.

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Reasons I love this recipe:

  1. It makes 1 large mug, perfect for two people to share.
  2. It does not require heavy clean-up. Just a measuring spoon, fork, and a mug!
  3. It is EASY. If you can measure and mix, you can make this.
  4. It is rich and will definitely satisfy your chocolate craving.
  5. It is super quick to whip up. Just 1 minute of cooking, after all!

All in all, you can probably make this in 3 minutes, and that includes measuring and cooking. I know some of you out there barely have 5 minutes to spare, so this recipe is perfect for you busy folks!

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Did I mention it actually tastes good? It’s sweet, chocolate-y, and rich. Mine almost had 2 textures to it: light fluffy cake towards the top and rich fudgey brownie on the bottom. This may have been due to the fact I didn’t mix in the baking soda enough, but I actually loved this happy accident. It’s like having my two favorite chocolate desserts in one!

I think if you leave the baking powder out completely you’ll end up with just a chocolate brownie. I haven’t tried that yet, so if you try it, let me know!

1-Minute Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (or butter, if you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons gum-free all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur’s GF mix)
  • About 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

1).  Add coconut oil and sugar to a large mug, mason jar, or ramekin.

2). Put the mug in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds, then stir.

3). Whisk in the egg and vanilla until well-combined.

4). Mix in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork. Mix until very-well combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.

5). Microwave for 1 minute and check to see if it’s cooked through. Mine was perfect at this point but microwaves vary, so add 15 seconds. Do not overcook it or it will become very tough.

Servings: 2, or 1 very generous serving. Approximate Nutritional Information: Calories: 263 Carbs: 33g Fat: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 21g Protein: 4g Points+: 7. Recipe adapted from here.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing.

Looking for the best homemade red velvet cake recipe out there? Your search ends here.

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I know that’s a bold statement. But it’s true. This recipe is perfect. Not only is the flavor great, but the TEXTURE! Light, fluffy, perfectly moist. I had a cupcake in an airtight container in the fridge for an entire WEEK and it was still moist! You can thank the buttermilk and oil for that, but the low-and-slow baking time helps, too!

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There’s nothing crazy about the ingredients; in fact, I bet you probably have everything you need to make this cake right now. Except maybe the red food coloring. I had never bought food coloring before I started testing out red velvet cake recipes, and I had a hard time finding it at first. A word of wisdom: GEL food coloring is not the same as LIQUID food coloring. Trust me. The recipe calls for liquid, and, being a food-coloring-novice, I decided to try the gel variety (because that’s all I could find in my local Kroger). Mistake. That round of batter turned out a pale pink. Epic fail. Don’t do it, mmkay?

One more note about the food coloring: yes you will use the whole 1 oz bottle. Yes, that’s a lot of food coloring and your batter will be bright, bright red. Don’t worry! It’ll bake up beautifully like this:

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The frosting is super simple, too. The only way you can mess up the frosting is by not using room temperature butter and cream cheese. That’s non-negotiable, otherwise your frosting will be too thick, won’t mix well, and won’t be easy to spread.

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I am also including the instructions for other cake baking times (round cake, square cake, mini-cupcakes, etc.) at the bottom of the post. And guys, this is definitely a rich dessert, so no…it’s not exactly healthy. Just enjoy in moderation and share with friends!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can also mix 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice, stir, and let it sit for 5 minutes.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 oz bottle red food coloring

For the icing:

  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese (full-fat), softened
  • 1 stick butter (I used salted), softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1). Preheat the oven to 300F. If making cupcakes, place paper liners in muffin tins (I got about 16-17 in a standard muffin tin).

2). In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add sugar, oil, and buttermilk.

3). Add the flour and baking soda, mixing well to blend.

4). Add the vanilla extract, vinegar, and red food coloring. Mix until well blended (it should all be red–make sure there’s no white batter hiding at the bottom!)

5). Carefully fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6). For the frosting: in the bottom of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar gradually, continuing to blend.  Add the vanilla extract and combine again.

Alternate baking times:
If making a 3 layer cake: bake 25 minutes.
If making mini-cupcakes: bake 15 minutes.
If making a 9×13 cake: bake 30 minutes.

Recipe from my go-to cooking friend at church. Thank you for sharing!! : ) 

 

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake.

Happy Strawberry Shortcake Day!! This is the perfect excuse to share my strawberry shortcake recipe with you. It’s one of my favorites. The simplicity of sweet strawberries, whipped cream, and a homemade shortcake screams summertime dessert.

Title Strawberry Shortcake
Many people turn to store-bought cake as the base of their strawberry shortcake. Is it easier? Sure. Does it taste as good? Not a chance! Homemade is always best. If you have a cookout or party planned, add this to the dessert menu. It’s easy to make ahead for guests because you can chop up your strawberries, make your whipped cream, AND make the shortcakes before they arrive. You could even let your guests assemble their own!

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I really want to turn your attention to the foundation of the shortcake. It’s a cross between a cake and a biscuit. No, it’s not exactly the same kind you’d eat for breakfast, but it is close. It’s much sweeter than a traditional biscuit (and sooooo, so good!). I’ll go ahead and warn you–it’s not healthy. I tried to make a healthier version and it was awful! Just treat this like the dessert it is and indulge sparingly. So, back to the star of this sweet treat. In addition to being rustic and unique, there’s one major reason to use this shortcake instead of angel food cake as your base: it’s sturdy enough to really handle the juices from the strawberries without falling apart or getting mushy. It’s buttery, flaky but dense, golden, sweet, and delicious.

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If you have ever made biscuits or pie crusts in the past, you probably already have an idea of the steps involved. If you’ve never made anything like this before, don’t worry! This is one of the first biscuit recipes I ever made and it’s very easy, perfect for beginners. I’m going to take you through the process with step-by-step photos. These are drop biscuits, which means once you have the dough combined you literally just drop them on the baking pan. They’re not supposed to be perfect! Start by putting all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) into a bowl like this:

dry ingredients
Next add in very cold butter. Use a pastry blender (or two knives) to cut the butter into the flour until it looks like this:

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Now, in another small bowl whisk together the egg, sour cream, and milk. Add it to the butter/flour mixture and combine. I used a fork to stir everything together. Your dough may be a little crumbly, but it should be able to adhere to itself well if you press it together. Here’s a visual:

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Time to form the biscuits! Like I said earlier, just take (mostly) even amounts of dough and drop them on a baking pan. Warning: it will be VERY, very, sticky and you will get dough stuck all over your hands, so you may want to use a spoon to help you do this!

buiscit prebaked
When the biscuits are done baking, allow them to cool on a wire rack. Now you’re ready to assemble! Gently cut the biscuit in half. Add a small dollop of whipped cream, strawberries, and the other half of the biscuit. Top with more whipped cream and strawberries and you’re ready to eat!

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Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used skim)
    For the topping:
  • 5 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (this helps bring out the sweetness and juices in the strawberries but is optional)
  • Homemade whipped cream

1). Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, if needed (mine does not). Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl. Make the whipped cream. Refrigerate both the strawberries and whipped cream as you prepare the shortcakes.

2). In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (see picture in post, if necessary).

3). In a small bowl, beat together the egg, milk, and sour cream. Add this to the butter/flour mixture. Use a fork to mix everything together until just moistened. Be careful not to overmix.

4). Drop the dough into 8 mounds on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

5). To assemble: gently cut the shortcakes in half. Add strawberries and whipped cream. Top with the second half and add a few more strawberries and whipped cream.

Recipe from: http://alyssabyoung.com/blog/2010/03/24/strawberry-shortcake/
Servings: 8. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 367 Carbs: 39 g Fat: 22g Protein: 5g Fiber: 2g Points+: 10

Easy Peanut Butter Frosting.

The next time you wonder what kind of frosting to use on your chocolate cake/cupcakes, the answer is here: peanut butter frosting. YUM! The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner, and this easy frosting recipe is perfect. It is sweet but slightly salty from the peanut butter, fluffy, rich, creamy, and completely divine. This may be one of my new favorites!

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The chocolate cupcake batter is hands-down my all-time, go-to, never-messes-up chocolate cake batter that you can find here. After I made that recipe the first time, the search for the perfect chocolate cake ended and I have made it countless times since! It is the perfect base for this delicious peanut butter frosting.

Now, when making frosting, the most crucial ingredient is the butter. You MUST have room-temperature butter for the frosting to really get fluffy and smooth. In this case, you need to plan ahead by taking the butter out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to make the frosting. The softer the butter is, the better it is. Why? Because the first thing you will do is whip the butter until it’s really light and fluffy, and this is nearly impossible to do with cold butter. After whipping it up really well, add the peanut butter, part of the sugar, vanilla, salt, and milk before beating in the rest of the powdered sugar. Taste it and adjust as necessary. Depending on how thick/thin you want your frosting to be, you may have to add an additional tbsp (or two) of milk to thin it out. It’s completely up to you and your frosting preferences!

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This recipe makes a lot of frosting, but if you pile it on super high like I did in the photos above it only makes enough to frost about a dozen cupcakes. Just by looking at the picture I think you can see you could easily use half that much and still have a good frosting-to-cupcake ratio. So, depending on how many cupcakes you make and how much frosting you want on each, you may need more/less.

I should add, even though I reduced the amount of butter in half from the original recipe, this is still super indulgent! Enjoy in moderation!

Easy Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (do not use all-natural here)
  • 3 1/2- 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used non-fat), plus an additional 1-2 tbsp if needed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

1). Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for a few minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary, until butter is light and fluffy.

2). Add peanut butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/8 tsp salt. Mix. Gradually add in the remaining powdered sugar. Taste and adjust to your preferences, adding additional milk by the tablespoon to thin out the frosting if it is too thick. Enjoy!

Servings: at least 12, depending on how much frosting you use. I used a LOT (pictured above) for this batch of cupcakes. Nutritional Information per 12 servings: Calories: 338 Carbs: 41g Fat: 18g Protein: 5g Fiber: 1g Points+: 9

Nutritional Information per 24 servings: Calories: 169 Carbs: 20g Fat: 9g Protein: 2g Fiber: 1g Points+: 5

Recipe adapted from: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/easy-peanut-butter-frosting/3b3b77bb-939a-4607-bd0f-428f1876903f

Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting!

These may be vanilla flavored, but there is NOTHING boring about these cupcakes! This recipe is special to me…these are my most favorite vanilla cupcakes I have ever tasted, and they are decadent! Consider this recipe my Christmas present to you. : )

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Say goodbye to the boring boxed cake mix; once you taste these easy vanilla cupcakes you will never be able to make them another way again! The key ingredient? Undeniably (other than a LOT of butter…), it has to be the vanilla beans. Vanilla beans are pricey, but for good reason: the fresh vanilla beans amplify the flavor of the batter like vanilla extract never could. Plus, the tiny black specks of vanilla in each bite are so pretty!

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In the past, I have made some cupcakes that turned out dense. Not so with this recipe! The crumb of the cupcakes is light and tender. Each one is almost delicate and it almost melts in your mouth as you take a bite. They are delicate in the way that cupcakes should be. In a word, they are perfect.

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Bonus? They truly are very easy to make. I never even had to bust out my Kitchenaid mixer for the batter. They come  together very quickly; the longest part is waiting for them to cool before you can frost them. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the frosting. Remember the vanilla bean from the batter? It makes a secondary appearance in the buttercream frosting, again adding to the appearance and adding extra vanilla flavor. Y’all, there is a lot of butter and sugar in this frosting. Don’t make these every day. (Although you might be tempted to…they are that good!).

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I used to be a “chocolate only” person when it came to cakes. These vanilla cupcakes, however, have completely changed that. They are so good and so versatile–the white canvas makes it easy to adapt to whatever holiday you’re celebrating.

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Example: 4th of July? Red, white, and blue sprinkles. Valentine’s Day? Red and pink sprinkles. Your friend’s birthday whose favorite color is purple? Purple cupcake liners and purple sprinkles. Christmas? Add green and red sprinkles like this:

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See what I mean? 🙂 They are perfect all year round, for any occasion. Now go make them!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting!

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted in the microwave
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  1. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners and preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a handheld mixer, mix the melted butter and sugar together until well combined. Add the egg whites, greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix again.
  4. Split the vanilla bean in half lenthwise. Scrape half the seeds and add to the batter. Stir to combine.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until batter is smooth.
  6. Divide cupcake batter evenly among the 12 tins. Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven. My oven runs VERY hot, so mine are usually done around 17 minutes!
  7. Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack.

Ingredients for the vanilla bean buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  • 1/4 tsp salt, to taste
  1. Add the butter to the bottom of the stand mixer and beat for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extra, salt, and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until light and fluffy, then frost cooled cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/20/very-vanilla-cupcakes/