When I was in grad school I lived in Kentuckiana. Don’t know what that is? It is the metro area around Louisville, KY that includes parts of Southern Indiana. Right down the street from the church I attended is a place called the Derby Dinner Playhouse. Traveling productions of plays and musicals are performed there, and you enjoy a buffet dinner. I had the chance to attend a couple of different performances at the Derby Dinner Playhouse and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Apart from the wonderful shows, the thing I remember most about this place was dessert. It was the first time I had ever heard of hummingbird cake, let alone tried it. This moist cake, with the flavors of banana and pineapple was so good. Add the cream cheese frosting and it became one of my favorite cakes. Well, this week I had some old bananas, and couldn’t bring myself to make another loaf of banana bread. Taking a recipe I’ve used in the past and making some adjustments I came up with a great gluten-free version of this cake. It wasn’t the prettiest cake I’ve ever made, and in future I would increase the the amount of frosting (so I could frost the sides)…but the texture was perfect and it tasted fabulous!
Gluten Free Hummingbird Cake
- 3 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (I use this)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 5 eggs
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 and 1/2 cups mashed bananas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans (I use rice flour for this).
- Combine the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon and baking soda.
- Beat the eggs until you can see bubbles from where air has been incorporated into them. Add the oil and well-beaten eggs, stir by hand, until moistened. Stir in the vanilla, pineapple, nuts and bananas.
- Spoon batter into the prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto racks to cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. In future I would increase the frosting recipe by half or maybe even double it.
Chocolatey brownies are one of my favorite desserts. Up until recently the only gluten free brownies I’d tried were packaged mixes. Well, that changed when I discovered this brownie recipe, that uses my go to all purpose flour mix–Betty Hagman’s basic. I’ve played around with the recipe as a base for various kinds of brownies. It worked really well for rocky road brownies (those are one of the pictures in the banner), but my favorite variation involves gooey caramel.
Gluten-Free Turtle Brownies
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup Kraft caramel squares, cut into 4 pieces each
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- In a large sauce pan, stir the butter and cocoa over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and, using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, add the sugars. Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour mix, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Add this to the sauce pan and stir until all the flour is moistened. Stir in half the chocolate chips, the caramel and nuts.
- Spread the batter into a greased and rice floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool before cutting.
Dessert is one of life’s great pleasures. However, we try not to keep sweets around the house, because frankly, they are just too tempting. So when we do want something sweet, it usually involves rummaging through the fridge and pantry for ingredients. That is how this rice pudding recipe came to fruition. I had everything on hand. Depending on your choice of ingredients, this is also fairly low calorie as far as desserts go at 141 calories per serving (if you make this 8 serving). And of course, it’s gluten free.
Stove-Top Rice Pudding
- 1 cup white rice, uncooked (I use basmati)
- 4 cups skim milk
- 3/4 Splenda (sugar, can of course be substituted)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ounces raisins
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Rinse the rice.
- Add the rice, skim milk, Splenda, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and raisins to a medium sauce pan. Place over medium heat.
- Stir frequently until the mixture comes to a boil, then stir continuously.
- Cook until the rice is soft and the pudding is thick. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla.
- Serve warm.