Cakes

Gluten-Free Banana Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Cheesecake used to intimidate me. So many baking rules—and so many cheesecake flavors to choose from! I had a few ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter and instead of making the usual banana bread, I decided to try something new and go beyond my comfort zone. The result? This incredibly decadent, light and airy cheesecake. It’s super fancy-looking with its decorative design of dulce de leche, but don’t let that intimidate you—it’s really easy to make!

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Gluten-Free Banana Coffee Cake Muffin Tops

Muffin tops are making a comeback… at least in my house! Here’s my logic: They’re easy to make, take half the time to bake, are perfect for grab-and-go and the kids (and I) love them! So what’s my favorite part of this recipe besides the fact that it undoubtedly yields the best part of a muffin? It’s incredibly flexible—flavor-wise—so go ahead and swap in ingredients you already have in your fridge or pantry.

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My Most Popular Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

This year even I can’t keep track of all of the Thanksgiving recipes I’ve made through the years so I’ve compiled the most popular ones here in a single, easy-to-find menu. Happy Turkey Day to you and your family!

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Desserts

I’ve been busy baking up gluten-free, dairy-free Thanksgiving desserts for you (and the Food Network)! Here’s hoping you have a sweet Thanksgiving. These desserts are healthy, too, but I swear you’d never know it!

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Weeknight Menu Planner

Summer is when our family’s schedule always gets crazy!! That’s why I’m starting a Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Weeknight Menu Planner —to make planning dinner one less thing to put on my to-do list. I know firsthand what it’s like to figure out what to make for supper every single night—especially when you’re feeding a family of hungry kids. It’s a challenge to plan what you’re making and time-consuming to shop for the ingredients. Plus, you need to please everyone! Not easy…so here’s your weeknight menu planner! Plus, a seasonal dessert to sweeten the deal.

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Juli Bauer and George Bryant’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Just last month I had a chance to join George Bryant of Civilized Caveman Cooking and Juli Bauer of PaleOMG along with my longtime friend Brittany Angell for a paleo dinner in NYC. Of course, we went to Hu Kitchen, a known paleo- and gluten-free friendly restaurant and juice bar. We left well fed—and completely satisfied. I even took their famous chocolate bars home with me (my favorite flavor is the Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa).

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Tess Master’s Gluten-Free Raw Chocolate–Orange Torte + A Cookbook Giveaway!

I was first introduced to my friend Tess Masters, aka The Blender Girl, by one of my closest friends, Amie Valpone (The Healthy Apple). This was a few years back and we were all in Santa Monica, California, at a food blogger conference where I was speaking. She was so generous to take us around town to explore tasty—and healthy—foods and fresh-pressed juices in the area. That’s why I’m so excited for all of her success and for her awesome new cookbook, The Blender Girl: 100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes!

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Happy Gluten-Free Holidays!

I just returned to Brooklyn after shooting my next cookbook on location at my house in upstate New York. I’m finally putting the finishing touches on the manuscript and can’t believe the holidays kickoff this week! Meanwhile, I’d love to share my latest collection of more than 40 gluten-free recipes that I developed exclusively for Food & Wine magazine, where I’m a F&W Online Columnist.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Spiced Powdered Doughnuts

If you’ve been to any of my cooking classes, you know that I like to feed people plenty of personal stories and experiences—and doughnuts. This time I made classic powdered doughnuts and just spiced things up a bit with a mix of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Deep in my mom’s kitchen cabinets, you’ll still find my Nana Jennie’s treasured fudge cake pan. It’s one of the few remaining items my mom has left from her beloved grandmother. I can relate. In fact, I know exactly why she holds on tight to this pan: Nana Jennie was the sweetest—and strongest—woman I ever met. She also made the meanest fudge cake with fudge frosting.

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Penny’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pineapple Cake with Marshmallow Frosting

With every single one of my kids’ birthdays, I’m reminded that the years are flying by.

So…Fast.

Isaiah just celebrated his 16th birthday. That’s a big number. So much has happened along the way and before more time passes by, I wanted to slow down and thank my mom, Penny. She’s always been an inspiration to me—in and out of the kitchen. It’s not her birthday or Mother’s Day or anything. I’ve just been thinking a lot about her lately.

I just hope I am half the mom to Isaiah and Chiara as my Mom is to me.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Nutella Coffee Cake

Growing up, I moved around every three to five years. My Roman-born father, Silverio, worked for the Italian government and the second we started settling into our new hometown, it was time to pack up our suitcases again. The one constant besides family, was Nutella. My mom, Penny, would spread the luscious chocolate-hazelnut spread on Italian bread as sandwiches for lunch and she’d swirl it into cakes. My brother, Bernardo, and I would also eat it by the spoonfuls.

Turns out the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My son, Isaiah, craves the stuff so much so that when he was diagnosed with dairy intolerance (along with his more severe gluten intolerance), we had to say our goodbyes. But, in my constant determination to spoil my kids, I made my own dairy-free Nutella knockoff. Suddenly, there was no turning back to the store-bought kind. Whether you make your own or use the jarred stuff, you’ll love this chocolate-hazelnut twist on classic crumb cake.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Valentine’s Day Doughnuts

Valentine’s Day is my kind of holiday—sweets, chocolate and lots of good lovin’. Doughnuts really hit the spot year-round, but there’s something special about heart-shaped ones. Just ask my sweet girl, Chiara! Out of all of the flavors I’ve made through the years (take a look below in the “More Gluten-Free Recipes” box for more recipes), these were her favorite, for sure.

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Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Apple-picking season may be over, but it’s always a good time for apples and caramel, especially when it’s baked into a cupcake. After you’ve had caramel apples, it’s hard to separate the two classic ingredients and somehow, during this winter cold, the flavor combination and cinnamony aroma that wafts through the house keeps my family warm inside. I’ve made dozens of apple muffins through the years, but I realize now that it was all just practice to get to this definitive treat—caramel apple cupcakes.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Bananas Foster Loaf Cake

People tell me all the time that they cook, but they don’t really bake. And, that baking actually scares them—gluten-free or not. As the rush of December sets into our daily lives, the only thing I consciously want to do is bake so I can feel that warmth that only baking (and cuddling with my kids) gives me. Before I develop new cookies for the holiday season, I just had to bake this banana cake. It’s my comfort food. I hope you’ll take refuge in it, too.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Citrus-Glazed Cranberry-Pistachio Bread

I may be the only one in my family who loves cranberry sauce with the rest of my Thanksgiving meal. I love how the tartness balances out the saltiness and sweetness of the stuffing, turkey and, of course, all of that luscious pie. But, when cranberries find their way into this easy-to-bake loaf cake, that makes all the difference in the world.

The finely ground pistachios give it a nice color and rounded nuttiness and the pop in flavor from the lemon and orange juices and zest in both the batter and the sugar glaze, give this loaf cake a beautiful brightness.

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Gluten-Free Cheesecake-Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes

Say hello to the luscious, unexpected Thanksgiving dessert you’ve been waiting for. These cupcakes have Isaiah’s name written all over them. He used to religiously eat pumpkin muffins (and muffin tops) from a café before he was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. The thought of him never walking into that café and eating those muffins again hurt.

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Silvana’s Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

Print Yum Silvana’s Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Prep Time: 15 minutes Yield: About 4 pounds This recipe is reprinted with permission from Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone (Reader’s Digest, 2010)Ingredients6 cups (870 grams) white rice flour 3 cups (375 grams) tapioca flour 1½ cups (246 grams) potato starch 2 tablespoons (17 grams) xanthan gum…

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Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Peaches-and-Cream Meringue Cake

I live for peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums every summer. I admit, I have a thing for stone fruits, especially when combined with a soft meringue cake and pillowy coconut whipped cream. For this recipe, I sometimes macerate the peaches (or other fruit) in sugar and wine.

The wine is, of course, optional, but tradition is hard to break. To me, it takes me back to my summers spent in Italy as a kid, where dessert at restaurants was often whole peaches floating in a big bowl filled with ice and ice water served alongside chilled, crisp white wine meant for dunking.

Go ahead and leave the wine out, if you prefer, and just macerate the fruit in the sugar to release some of the peach juices.

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