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16 December 2010

gluten-free cake pops

this is a cake pop

This is a cake pop.

It's a cake pop made by my wonderfully talented and lovely friends Jessie (also known as Cakespy) and Megan (also known as Not Martha).If you are lucky enough to know people who want to spend the afternoon with you crumbling up cake with their hands, manipulating marzipan, and making zombie santas into the evening? You know you have good friends.

This is a Rudolph cake pop, inspired by the Rankin-Bass special we three grew up on, surreal and hilarious. The holiday season brings a lot of sensory memories for me, but most of them seem to center on those Rankin-Bass specials and the songs seared into my brain. Holiday cake pops? Have to be Rudolph.

You know what else this is? A gluten-free cake pop. (Of course! We made these cake pops at our house.)

That's not all. This is a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free cake pop.

You heard me right -- a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free cake pop.

And it was darned delicious.

breaking apart the cake

Is it possible that anyone reading does not know what a cake pop is?

Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats, the book by the fabulous Bakerella, seems to be selling copies faster than the days are flying by. I have to admit -- not being a crafty kind of person -- I was mighty confused at first. Why is this book so popular? I mean, I really love Bakerella from her site. And Jessie told me that Angie (the real Bakerella) is sweeter than her cake pops, authentic, just what you'd expect her to be. So I'm happy for her. But really? Cake pops?

It's also probably because I can't eat gluten. Watching something so entirely reliant on gluten gain such popularity? I might have been sulking like a kid without knowing it.

Let me tell you, I have seen the light.

I love any treat that requires an afternoon of baking, patience, laughing with friends, waiting, melted chocolate, and a sense of humor. Especially the sense of humor.

Plus, to start, you have to crumble up cake with your hands.

Lu took to this immediately. She stood next to Jessie on her chair at the counter, put her hands into the bowl, and crumbled cake, very seriously, very intently. She was actually quite the help.

cake balls

These are cake balls. On their own, they are delicious. You know what they are? Crumbled-up cake with buttercream frosting mixed in and rolled into balls.

Need I say more?

chocolate-coated cake balls

Here's the deal. Traditional cake pops call for the cake balls (after you have chilled them a bit) to be coated with candy coating. Jessie, being the sweetheart that she is, checked every brand she could find to see if it was gluten-free. She couldn't find any at the cake decorating store without gluten. Megan confirmed this later, saying she had heard there aren't any gluten-free ones.

We could all be wrong. If you know a brand of candy coating that is gluten-free, will you please share with everyone here?

So we decided to skip the candy coating and coat the cake balls in melted chocolate.

(Oh, and by the way, it really isn't a good idea to melt chocolate in a pan directly on the stove. It seizes, particularly if you aren't paying attention because your friends are cracking you up and your kid is dancing at your feet. Trust me -- use the pan over the pan of boiling water trick.)

And frankly, Jessie started putting the marzipan directly onto some of the cake balls and they worked out beautifully. You can do that too.

cake pops

After baking and talking, melting and coating, coloring marzipan, and sculpting it, we had cake pops.

(And by the way, my original statement of not being crafty still stands. I didn't make any of these, really. I provided the kitchen, the lunch, the inspiration, and the darling toddler. Megan and Jessie made these. I bow down.)

Holiday cake pops, gluten-free.

zombie santa

Behold Jessie's zombie Santa.

Honestly, she's amazing.

Hermie cake pops

Jessie also made this one, my favorite cake pop of all time. Do you recognize him?

This is Hermie, the elf from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the one who wanted to be a dentist.

I think this is genius.

lu eats a Rudolph cake pop

I finally understand why cake pops are so darned popular. I think they should be. They bring people together. It's the dark of winter, dark days for some folks, complex times and sometimes overwhelming. Making cake pops with Jessie, Megan, and Lu was probably the most relaxed afternoon I've had in months. We laughed and caught up on each other's lives while our hands were busy rolling cake balls, while we melted chocolate and dipped, while we marveled at each other's talents with marzipan. It's silly, light, absorbing work. It was just what I needed.

We couldn't help but marveling at these cake pops, the three of us. None of us had ever made them before.

Finally, in the end, here's the biggest surprise: these are freaking delicious. You know how some darling things, the baked goods with the biggest frills determined to make you say Ohhhhhhhhh! often taste a little stale inside, a little too sweet, a little artificial? Not cake pops.

These are fudgy and not-too-sweet, almond-scented with the marzipan, a little like a truffle, a lot like your soon-to-be favorite treat.

Lu doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. She eats one half of a cookie and she's done. As you can see here, she devoured this cake pop. Every morning since, when we are in the kitchen, she has chanted, "Cake pops? Cake pops?" No wonder they are so popular. Making these for your kids, occasionally, is lovely work.

And now that you know you can make them gluten-free, easily (and dairy-free and egg-free) too? I hope you make some together soon too.

We are giving away a copy of our cookbook, which contains plenty of kitchen projects you can cook with your friends and family.

Also, we are giving away a copy of Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats. You didn't think we were going to give you the exact recipe for how to make cake pops, did you? You need the book for that. One of you could win it here.

Just leave a comment telling the story about a kitchen project you took on with friends and family, one that brought you as much joy as the food was delicious.

x-tra special celebration cake

X-TRA SPECIAL CELEBRATION CAKE, adapted from the Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook

A few weeks ago, someone lovely gave me a copy of the Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook. "I know it's old, and it's filled with flour recipes, but I figured if anyone could adapt these recipes, it's you. I thought you might like to bake out of it with Lu."

I was so touched. And then I wanted to go home and bake. If you are in your 30s or 40s, you might remember the Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook. It's really no more than a pamphlet, with excellent illustrations of waffles with big grins, raisins jumping into bran muffins, and chicken drumsticks playing the drums. It's just surreal enough that I had to bake out of it. Plus, interesting recipes in kids' books intrigue me — they have to be foolproof for the kids to make them work.

When I showed my copy to Jessie, before we began baking, she blushed and almost jumped. "I had that book when I was a kid!" She told me she had made everything out of the book, more than once. (Even the Quick Cheeseburger Pie, which I am dying to make for the 1/3 cup of pickle juice in the ingredients list.) And the "X-Tra Special Celebration Cake"? She made it all the time. "This afternoon just got three times better," she told me.

You know what is great about this cake? Besides the fact that it's super moist? Almost fudgy? That it's just perfect for cake pops and birthday parties and the quickest cake fix you can imagine? It's dairy free and egg free. Now that we've converted it? It's gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and delicious.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free cake pops, coming up!

420 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cold water

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Find 2 9-inch round cake pans in your pantry. Grease and flour them. (We use sweet rice flour for this.)

Combining the dry ingredients. Mix the flour, xanthan gum, guar gum, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them together to combine and aerate the flour.

Finishing the batter. Mix the oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour this liquid into the flour mixture and stir, really hard and fast, for at least one minute. (Or, you could do this in a stand mixer instead.) Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing them as evenly as you can. The batter will be thick, so don't worry when you see that. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Baking the cake. Slide the cakes into the oven. Bake them until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them over onto a cooling rack. Flip them over and allow the cakes to cool completely.

Makes 2 9-inch cakes.

Rest of Post.


At 6:27 PM, Blogger Katrina Higham said...

Cake Pops are only just becoming known in Australia and I have been looking into making them, because as you said they are darn cute! I think the best memories are when my friends are all around the table and Alan and I have been cooking up a storm for our curry nights. 3 or 4 four friends (all that can fit on our table) and laughing and giggling and Alan and I cooking together.
:) Thankyou for reminding me of those great food memories!

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Meagan said...

Cake pops. I'm 21, why did it take me 21 years to find these?!? These look great Shauna. And I love pictures- adorable. You are so blessed. Thanks for sharing your blessings with us on you blog!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, they look amazing. I should try them when my sister gets here later in the week. XO

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Nisrine said...

Wonderful food project to make with a child. My daughter would love it.


At 6:45 PM, Blogger Heather Brandt said...

We decorated cookies during my son's 3rd birthday party! It was fun & I was able to do it for the kids with food allergies as well!

heatherlbrandt (at)frontier (dot) com

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Nanasniftynitch said...

My 5 yr old grandson asks for special Nana & Felix time. Which means making cupcakes, cake balls or cookies. He LOVES to be in the kitchen and so do I. We are teaching him to eat healthier by cooking ourselves. And it is double the fun when you have a little one enjoying learning to cook and bake too. He also loves looking at cookbooks, to see what he wants to make next. lol

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Jen in FL said...

Zombie Santa is definitely my favorite!

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Jennifer Jo said...

Hey! I have that cookbook, too! I LOVED it when I was a kid. We made the lemon squares (still do) and the Kart-Wheels. My mom just gave it to me a couple weeks ago and I have it open on the sofa beside me. Such fond memories...

Those cake pops are darling.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger marcella said...

Oh my gosh! You are making me feel old. I ordered that book of the flour bag for all my nieces and nephew. I may even have a copy on my shelf still.

All through junior high and high school my best friend and I would get together and bake Christmas cookies during winter break. We'd spend the day and usually into the evening baking. Our favorite was crushing candy canes up to use as sprinkles on some of the sugar cookies. We would have so much fun singing and talking and baking.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Oh my goodness... the Alpha-Bakery Cookbook! I grew up with one of those as well, I used to read it like a storybook. I need to call my Mom and see if she can find it for when I'm home at Christmas! THANK YOU for reminding me it existed!

Also, your cake pops are lovely, though I was distracted by the cookbook :)

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Annie said...

I have only just recently been baking with a friend. My family isn't much for baking, and my friends are still 'learning' to cook :). BUT I have made a new firned with children the same age and we have totally hit it off!!

It is amazing how making treats upon treats for Halloween could have brought us so close together!! We now are baking and sharing almost weekly!! She is Italain and has helped me expeierment with some subbing for gfree items!!

I am so glad baking has brought us together!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Penny said...

My kids and I like to decorate cakes, cookies, cupcakes together. I even took a cake decorating class because I needed a lot of help. I bought extra decorating tools so that I could come home and show the kids. A couple of weeks ago, we made edible ornaments with a fun sugar dough (no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no nuts, no eggs!) that the kids decorated together. WE WOULD LOVE TO TRY SOME CAKE POPS!

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shauna, I have never heard of cake pops adorable is that? Great food memories have to start somewhere...bringing little ones into the kitchen is the best way to start, ps we had a fantastic Fire Truck Food drive tonight - awesome turnout...tons of food, thanks so much, Ina

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Catherine said...

I've never made cake pops. It sounds fun and delish. That would be a lot of fun for a children's party.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Katharine Eliska Kimbriel said...

I can't get anything past the cake recipe to download. Is anyone else having any trouble?

The gingerbread cookies leapt from the oven shouting of spring -- I could taste the orange zest (Clementine, in my case) before I tried one. But we didn't get 72, since I made them thicker, too, and they haven't lived long enough to get frosted! I have experimented with freezing, since I had baking time only early in the month. The chocolate shortbread freezes well, with the air sucked out of the bag. So do the gingerbread cookies (didn't experiment with freezing dough this time) with the spices, especially the pepper, stronger as time goes by.

The shortbread was a perfect sweetness for me, almost a pecan sandie texture -- my Ex-boyfriend liked the chocolate but didn't think they were sweet enough. All in all, a successful experiment!

I'm on my second batch of 36 hour chocolate chips, with brown rice flour instead of potato starch. VERY popular over at the GF household of friends -- they'd never tried the recipe since they didn't think they could last that long. Now, they have incentive!

Enjoying the slow clearing of my brain from gluten. Can't wait to go get tested. Heard it can take 3-6 months, argh -- I need to think to get a job!

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Every year, I head over to my Mom's to bake Christmas Cookies and the last two years we have made everything gluten-free and this year we made a good chunk of them diary-free too! I think I enjoy the creating and giving of the goodies even more than the eating, though I enjoy the eating a lot!!

As for Cake Pops - I've been debating whether they are worth the effort, especially as the boy isn't much of a sweets fan, but after reading this post, I think I might have to try them out!!

amber :)

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Bekah4321 said...

I started making cake pops back in april for my daughter's birthday. They were fun and delicious and my friends started paying me to make them for them and their parties. Being gluten free, I quickly started making them GF so I could try them. I don't have a dairy problem so I can tolerate the candy coatings but I have heard that you can coat them in royal icing. Might be something to try since it dries hard. loved seeing your pics. I started a little website for the ones I have been making in case you are curious.
Thanks for all your hard work helping make good GF recipes!

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Julie McAllister said...

Excited to try the cake recipe and to make the cake balls.

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to make sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. One year, my sister and mother and I decorated quite a few together. We had icing from head to toe and laughed until it hurt. Love that memory. I can't eat those particular kinds of cookies anymore (since I'm not gluten-free) but I still make them for other people because I just love the process.

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These cake pops look like so much fun! My little one & I are always having fun in the kitchen. Our favorite project was making his birthday cake.. In the shape of a train :)

At 7:43 PM, Blogger vanessa said...

Egg-free, hooray!!! Thank you :).

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Brenna Hawley said...

Love the zombie Santa!!

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

thanks so much for this post! All 4 of my boys would love these!

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Allison the Meep said...

As far as I know, Wilton candy melts are gluten-free. I've looked into it before and they're safe, and my local celiac support group used them for decorating a gingerbread house last Christmas. I haven't bought them in a while, so it might be a good idea to check again to see if ingredients have changed, but I have never had any problem with them.

Those cake pops look kickass. Especially the Hermie one.

My son and I made gingerbread men last year and had such a great time decorating our cookies with royal icing. We're going to do it again this year too!

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

I made cake pops for my daughter's first birthday in the end of November. Man, what a lot of work! I think I will enlist the friends and family to help next time :)

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Nanasniftynitch said...

Shauna, I looked it up and found Anyway the last recipe on this page is for Gluten-Free Holiday Peppermint Thins. And it uses Almond Bark to dip them in. I have used it for the kids as they love it.

Also after getting your chocolate melted, set your pan or bowl on a heating pad, set at medium. Works great!

At 8:29 PM, Blogger MK French said...

The year my mom was first diagnosed with celiac, I took on the challenge of a big family dinner - determined she would be able to eat every dish on the table.

The adventure of that first GF meal, complete with chocolate torte (your recipe!) is a beautiful reminder of making safe food with my mom that everyone enjoyed!

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

These look brilliant. I saw the cake pops book at my sons book fair the other week, but declined to even peak inside because it felt like it'd be so very much off the menu. Exited to realize that it's not!

Our latest epic kitchen family adventure was our gingerbread creation. We giggled so hard when the icing bag exploded in my eldest sons face. It's still being slowly nibbled at...

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I think I love you. Besides wheat-free, I've had to go dairy- and egg-free, and I have been dying to have some REAL dessert. You know, something baked that smells heavenly and tastes sinful...only without wheat, eggs or dairy. I can't wait to try this cake recipe!

At 8:49 PM, Blogger moonsword said...

My little brother J was 11 years younger and loved tagging along with me in the kitchen as my happy helper. One year, right around Easter, I wanted to learn to layer Jello. So J and I spent hours & days over several weeks experimenting with flavors, layering colors, adding fruits and sweets. My favorite was the day we made little aquariums, using Jelly Bellies as tiny submarines, jimmies and red hots and other candies as fish...all sorts of colorful marine life materialized! It was so much fun!

At 9:28 PM, Blogger The Urban Baker said...

shauna - these are amazingly fantabulous! of all the cake pops i have seen, these are some of the cutest! i love the gluten free version. and i love the colors of the cakes!

we are kind of project-craft based household. so with that being said, my kids and i love to throw chocolate in our tempering machine and create all kinds of delicious treats. last year, for valentines day, we made everything from mint patty shaped like hearts, to scotc-hmallows ( a sees candy inspired marshmallow/caramel covered in bittersweet chocolate), caramel and chocolate covered pretzels and so much more.

At christmas time, the same four girlfriends come over and we spend a whole day baking, making candy, caramel corn and granola for teachers gifts!

Thanks for sharing this post. Made me smile!

At 10:06 PM, Blogger mommio said...

Hi Shauna,
I think Merckens candy melts are GF. I don't have any on hand right now, and a quick online check showed that they were (at least for the few varieties I was checking).
We have made cake balls and lurve them! We have dipped them in chocolate and then rolled them in coconut--mmmmm!
I want one that looks like Hermie!

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

A night hasn't gone by that I've missed signing onto your blog from bed, drooling over your day's creation. Not even tonight- and since today was a cookie marathon in my kitchen, you would think I would have had enough!

But no- and I'm so glad I did sign on. I am so excited to see this recipe because I just recently have been put on a gluten free, dairy free and egg free diet! And today, baking the typical cookies as gift for others was a torture!

I also loved to see the kids in your pictures. . .I could totally relate to a day in the kitchen toghether with the kids- I had my niece and nephew over with my mom. Watching my 2 year old niece sneak spoonfuls of cookie batter was priceless. We also got so messy with flour that the kids were running around pretending to be Frosty.

These memories we make in the kitchen, whether with our lovers, children, mothers and friends are unforgettable.

Well, thank you for making my day with this recipe!

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Connie said...

My best kitchen memories are those with my mom making Christmas cookies...there was a certain sugar cookie recipe that required some baking soda to be stirred into a spoon of milk--it felt like we were doing a science experiment together! The other favorite was helping mom make gingerbread men. she cut each one out by hand with a paper pattern and a paring knife! Then we'd have fun decorating all the cookies together!

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Those look fantastic!

I would love to be in the drawing for those wonderful books!
I recently made cake pops (the Bakerella way) for my son's Holiday treat at school! They were so fun to make, but I really wished that I had some help. Soon they became frustrating (falling off the stick after I had dipped them, etc.) and I wanted to scream... until my son came into the room and offered to help. Soon we were having a blast - joking and laughing, everything started working out fine, and when we got to school with the cake pops the next day, they were a HUGE hit - gorgeous and delicious!

Angela W.

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The cake pops are so cute!! I want to bring these to a holiday party! I always love throwing dinner parties with roommates/'s so fun to have a kitchen full of people, laughs, and good food & wine! We usually never make it to the table for an actual sit-down dinner :)

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Marcella Alyssa said...

A few days before Christmas, every year, my kitchen is filled with cousins, sisters, aunts, my mom and my grandma as we make tamales! We make them from scratch so it is a day-long process but it makes them extra delicious. Its a great family tradition that I hope to bring to my own family when I am older!

At 2:10 AM, Blogger J said...

I hope it's not too late to comment!

I just finished a HUGE kitchen project with my coworkers. Last year, we were fundraising to adopt families at christmas and I decided to make 48 snowmen and snowflake cupcakes a day for 5 days to sell at work. We raised a lot of money and did a lot of good, so this year people wanted to help so we could raise even more.
We had people volunteer to bake, decorate and sell. Some of us made decorations in advance, and we decorated and sold between 8 and 12 dozen cupcakes a day. We raised about $1800, which allowed us to give three families a wonderful Christmas, as well as contribute substantially to two organizations that distribute hampers over the holiday season.

Our baking project didn't just taste good, it brought people together, and spread some joy!

Cake pops...the possibilities...

At 2:41 AM, Blogger Lori said...

These looks so great! I think I'll make them for my daughter to take to school for her christmas party!

At 4:30 AM, Blogger Owl Chick said...

My best friend must eat gluten-free, and I love to bake, so your blog has been so good for me to learn how to make things that she can eat! Thank you!

Happiest kitchen-gathering moment is a toss between my first toffee pull party (it got everywhere and was fab), or making meticulous layered jell-o molds with another friend. Everything flavored with laughter tastes better!

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Alison said...

What a wonderful experience and memory. My mom always did baking projects with me and my brother throughout the year and especially at Christmas which were a lot of fun.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Molly said...

This summer, I took up canning again after years of not having had enough time. I went home for three weeks this fall, and my mom and I had the best time going to farmers' markets, buying produce in bulk and then putting up our jams, preserves, and pickles!

At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of my all-time projects was working on a wedding cake with my Papa...he was the best cake maker EVER!

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Angela Toucan said...

I have never heasrd of cake pops before, and I'm not sure if we'd make them - my 7 yo has difficult to control type 1 diabetes and they sound too high on the sugar side for us. Shame - they look great.

Yesterday the kids and I spent a few sessions in the kitchen together experimenting with ginger bread men, the almond based dough spread a bit too much and the toddler delights in these "teddy bear biscuits" - they are gorgeous though and very low on the carbs for her older sister.

There's a piccy of them on my blog if you are interested.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Ilona said...

I sure know cake-pops, Bakerella's blog is one of my favs to read! Didn't manage to make good cake-pops yet, although I tried. But somehow gravity is stronger than the dough, as they simply slide down the stick, even after being cooled in the fridge.
Another idea I had (with inspiration from Nickjr) was making a chocolate bird-cage... Blow up a balloon, and melt some chocolate. Make a base of chocolate and put the balloon in it. Sounds great, right? Yes, until the air in the balloon sets out, the balloon pops and the whole kitchen is covered in chocolate... They should have added to let cool the chocolate a bit! LOL

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Ilona said...

By the way, thanks for the dairy-free recipe, as I recently found out my youngest of 4 is lactose-intolerant.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Jess said...

Oh! These look so good. :) I love making cookies and bars with my Grandma around this time every year. I cherish every year that I get to spend with her in the kitchen.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Natalie H. said...

Cake pops look good! My favorite memory is baking Christmas cookies with my daughter. She was enjoying it so much she broke out into song. "I'm baking cookies with my mom. I'm baking cookies with my mom." She wrapped her song up with a big finish. It was super cute!

Thanks for the giveaway!

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Glutenista Gluten-Free said...

Looks fabulous! Smart idea outsourcing the decorating - our GF Ice Cream Cone Cake Balls & Brownie Pops are not as cute as yours! :-)

Gluten-Free Cake Pops are a Glutenista fave. Here are the 3 types of GF Candy Coating we have in the Glutenista Test Kitchen right now:

1. Wilton Candy Melts - the best, available in a variety of colors & flavors (a little bit of Crisco can help if it is too thick)
2. CandiQuik - Vanilla/Chocolate
3. Gurley's Almond Bark - Vanilla/Chocolate.
Add a little food coloring gel to the vanilla to do lots of cute color combos!

hope that helps! -glutenista

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The X-tra Special Chocolate Celebration Cake was the first cake I ever made all by myself, and it is now also the first (and only... I'm still learning...) gluten-free cake I've made! And you're right, it was delicious, and so easy to convert! Now I just need a perfect dairy-free icing...
I'm so happy you have this book, for you and for Lu. I credit its presence to my love of cooking and baking as an adult.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger jess said...

Never seen cake pops until now! I love them. Our family tradition was decorating gingerbread boys and girls, then giving them out to our friends at school.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Recently, a friend invited me over to help decorate gingerbread cookies. I haven't done that in probably 15 years! We had a great time, made a bit of a mess, and enjoyed being creative in icing. One day, I hope to make tamales with a group, as I've heard that's the best way to do it. Cake pops sound like a great thing to try, too!

At 1:06 PM, Blogger zebe912 said...

Just the other day I made cake balls for the first time (these minus the stick) for an allergy free Christmas party. I used the Enjoy Brand chocolate chips to coat them. I actually think they behaved better than other candy melts I've tried to use over the years. Plus, ALL of my friends, with their various allergies could eat them this way.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

My daughter was recently diagnosed with multiple food sensitivities, the main ones being gluten, dairy and eggs. Her birthday is coming up the middle of February and this would be a wonderful way of helping her feel special instead of deprived.

A recent kitchen project was to put up peaches with a friend of mine. We took our kids to pick peaches and had such a good time picking that we ended up with 100 pounds. We sliced and froze some, made peach ginger jam, strawberry peach jam, bluberry peach jam and just plain peach jam plus peach butter. We stirred and canned until we were bleary-eyed and laughed until our sides hurt. Then we were so tired of looking at peaches neither of us even wanted to eat the jam! I'm soon moving far away from this friend, but will always have the memory of 100 pounds of peaches.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger The Glorious & The Brave said...

We love making extra large cupcakes with fun fillings and toppings with the grandkids. All 7 of them!

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Christine said...

I will really have to try cake pops soon, everyine seems to agree that they are delicious!
I love cooking with family or friends. Last week my mom and I made a big batch of donuts for the holiday season. We had a wonderful time, and the donuts are delicious!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger heather's notepad said...

At Christmas time we always make peanut butter balls (or buckeyes), together. I work in childcare too, at at holiday times I will take in cookies for the kids to gets messy but fun!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Zilla said...

When I was growing up every year my mom would invite a few of her friends over to bake together for the holidays. As my sister and I got older, we began inviting our own friends and now have extended the tradition into our own homes. Last weekend I hosted my baking day! We filled my kitchen with candy, cookies, love and holiday cheer. The youngest person there was 2 months old so we are passing the tradition on to the next generation.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger heidi said...

Those look amazing!! I definitely will have to try those.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, the kitchen adventure + fun is easy: the first Thanksgiving that I tried to grill a turkey. I flamed it - set it completely on fire. One of my guests grinned, and offered me a gin and tonic (it was a 10am). We had a delightful time the rest of the day (and figured out how to "recover" the turkey, too)

I'd love to use the Cake Pops book to create some wonderful kitchen memories with my niece and nephew!

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Kealy said...

One of my favorite memories with my son started in the kitchen. We decided to make a castle cake together for his little sister's birthday (mine too). We began the process pretty late as it was and by the time we attempted the frosting, we were getting silly tired. I decided to use an electric cookie press to speed up the application of the frosting:) THAT was funny. It came out so fast it was like silly string. I really couldn't make it stop coming out. He was rolling on the floor laughing at me. *Priceless*

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Amy said...

My 3 year old son loves to join me in the kitchen whenever I bake. He usually helps me measure ingredients, roll out dough, and dropping ingredients into the mixer. It's really great bonding time and we have so much fun in the kitchen together. Best of all, I know he'll be eating well when he goes off to attend college one day (I hope)! LOL

At 3:57 AM, Blogger mellowpuff said...

I *heart* zombie Santa! I hadn't heard of cake pops before, but oh, the fun that can be had decorating Christmas goodies.
A foodie at heart, food doesn't hold as much joy for me these days. A very restricted diet helps keeps a systemic condition at bay, and means even these sorts of gluten free treats are out. But I have reclaimed my love of baking (and read food blogs!), and got a lot of pleasure last Christmas making cookies and decorating them with family and friends. It made for an interesting cast of characters, and a credit crisis collapsing gingerbread house. I am so looking forward to a second round this year...

At 5:55 AM, Blogger Corrick family said...

I have two daughters, 7 & 4. Every project we take on in the kitchen brings laughter, negotiating, and more laughter. I cherish the time we all spend in the kitchen (with hubby, too!). I feel strongly that these times are the ones we'll all remember.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Liz Dean said...

My girlfriends and I have a girls dinner every week and all cram into my little kitchen to cook, make drinks and is awesome! And I love that all of our kids watch the craziness and can recognize the camaraderie and love between us all~

At 7:45 AM, Blogger GFreeBookClub said...

When my daughter's eleventh birthday rolled around, she wanted her party to be Harry Potter themed. And she insisted that the cake be gluten-free for me. She can eat gluten, but I can't. She wanted a cake that we could all eat.

So, I made a gluten-free carrot cake, but it in a large, terra cotta flower pot and made a mandrake out of gum paste. I also made carrot cupcakes, and put them in a seedling tray, then covered them with crushed gluten-free oreo-like cookies, to look like dirt.

Then we invited my daughter's best friend over and they made little baby mandrakes out of marzipan for each of the cupcakes. Each was unique and wonderful! We even had one with a mohawk of leaves! We had the best time making that birthday cake and those baby mandrake cupcakes! What a wonderful way to prepare for a birthday party!

The cupcakes were a huge success with the kids. But I realized that I couldn't eat one, since the marzipan had wheat flour in it. I could eat the cake, since the large mandrake was made from gum paste.
The gluten-free carrot cake and cream cheese icing, with the gluten-free "dirt" was delicious!

Do you know if there is a gluten free marzipan available? I couldn't find one.

Thanks for all the encouraging recipes!


At 8:05 AM, Blogger Jen said...

The most recent one was cooking and baking with my sister for a party that we threw together. We spent the afternoon laughing and talking over cookies and appetizers, about half of which were being made for friends that don't always get something to eat at parties - like gluten/dairy-free.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Reading about your cake pop get-together (bake-together?) made me smile, because I kept remembering the unexpected pleasure of getting together with some girlfriends to make holiday cookies a few years back. One of us was hosting a holiday party, and we wanted some nice just-girls time beforehand. So we got a couple bottles of wine, made a basic sugar cookie dough and basic icing in zillions of colors, and everyone raided their pantries for sprinkles. We kept marveling at everyone's decorating skills and creativity in imagining new ways to ice and sprinkle cookies. We shared what our favorite cookies were growing up & other family traditions and listened to holiday music and laughed a whole lot. We got so attached to our creations that we were both proud and sad to see them go at the party.

Until that time I'd only baked and decorated cookies with my family, and it was amazing to feel that closeness with my friends. Thanks for bringing this memory up to the surface!

At 9:28 AM, Blogger green321 said...

These look lovely! My husband and 5 year old son helped me bake christmas cookies ALL WEEKEND LONG! I almost never have help in the kitchen, and it was wonderful to have their company. This mama needs nothing more for Christmas.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I haven't been in the kitchen baking seriously for many, many years. I have suffered from chronic daily headaches and migraines for the last 10+ years and seldom felt well enough to spend the afternoon in the kitchen. In July, I finally went to a naturopath and was diagnosed with multiple food sensitivities and so radically changed my diet. Now it is hard to not find me in the kitchen daily. I love reading your blog and others and getting new ideas to share with my family, and my joy of baking has returned. My husband is astonished at this change and we are all eating more healthily as a result. Thanks for giving such great recipes to inspire the rest of us.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Nowheymama said...

Our neighbor made dairy-free (uncoated) cake pops for my allergic daughter this past Saturday, and she is now in love with them. We'd love to learn how to make them ourselves!

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Mona Rae Hill said...

I'm said you made the cake for your cake-pops gluten-free, and dairy-free, but then said that you mixed the cake with a buttercream frosting......hmmmm.
Is there a vegan buttercream that I don't know about? I have vegan butter in the fridge, but doesn't a true buttercream also call for heavy cream? Did you use cream of coconut as a replacement for this?
Also, I have a suggestion......... for the coatings, one could use raw cacao beans, ground up fine, (if they are not sweet enough, I use the Agave Inulin for some additional sweetness/fiber).
There are also lots of candy's out there, that ARE gluten-free, and I think if I tried to make these, I'd grind a bunch of em' up in my trusty coffee-grinder (I have two, which I use for this purpose and not for coffee), and them melt them over a double-boiler.........yea, it may be pretty messy, but it's probably worth trying.
And oh, yea, lest I forget, thanks for the recipe on the chocolate cake, I will try and figure out how to make them raw, now that you've got them so close......:)
Cheers. Mona.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger MoniCue said...

Boo-hoo!!! I know you have given us some scrumptious cookie recipes, but where is the promised spritz recipe? We are baking spritz tonight--our holiday hallmark-- and I think I'll just have to wing it with Grandma's recipe and Bob's Red Mill mix. (Last year's rice four version was not very tasty.)

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

cake pops. i have never heard of these!! my family will love them wholeheartedly! i tried making tiramisu with my mom one year and we spent so long trying to arrange the ladyfingers right, but somehow ended up drinking just enough of the wine to laugh our way through a tumble and crumbled version that was a bit strong to taste but quite delicious. thanks!

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Elisa @ Crazy, Amazing Life said...

oh thank you for posting a gluten-free version! We are not allergic but we do better when we don't consume wheat.

That said... I can't think of one specific time, but because it happens pretty much every time I go visit my family in Italy: meal preparation always becomes a family affair, with everyone pitching in, with chatter and laughter and good-natured teasing as abundant as the olive oil and fresh seasonings in the dishes we prepare.

Sometimes I think that it's what makes food so much yummier in Italy: the love and fun during the prep are probably as vital an ingredient as everything else the recipe may call for :-)

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Anna said...

I just made cake pops, inspired by a friend's pre-schooler! But, I made them gluten free (with a gf chocolate cake recipe and container of frosting) -- I just want to figure out how to make my own frosting that will work?! What fun to get your hands dirty in the mush of cake! Thanks for offering the giveaway.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger t said...

I found gluten free candy melts online:

I suppose white chocolate plus colorings could be an option as well?

That's good news for folks with nut allergies who can't eat marzipan. Or people like my mom, who OD'd on marzipan as a kid and can't even look at it anymore! :)

At 6:35 AM, Blogger MsJess said...

Oh dear god I too had the Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook! It was my first cookbook besides the one from Klutz Press (which I used to make scrambled eggs when I was 8 years old) boy does that take me back. The M is for mud pie is also very tasty.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger t said...

My cousin and I are both gluten free...and she just brought it to my attention that most commercial marzipan has gluten in it. I looked up the ingredients online, and sure enough! I never knew.

What kind did you use that was gluten free?

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Love these! Believe it or not, I have never seen these before but they look so good and so fun!

I am going to have to make these with my nieces and nephews in the next few days before Christmas.

Thanks for the inspiration!

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Germaine Family said...

My daughter (4) and I spent time in the kitchen making Red Velvet cookies. Although I couldn't eat them because they use wheat flour it was fun to make them and share with the family :)

At 5:14 PM, Blogger whycantwheatbefriends said...

when searching online about gluten free melting chocolates i came across this and thought i'd let you know.

At 5:55 PM, Blogger whycantwheatbefriends said...

Gluten Free Melting chocolate
There seems to be several kinds (colors and flavors) available through this sit.

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if you have found a Gluten Free option yet. But I work at AC Moore (its a craft store), and do the candy demos there. We carry the Make'n Mold Candy Wafers and they are
gluten-free and Kosher. :)


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