Ooey Gooey Banana Samoa Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

My younger sister just turned 21 – I am so excited! To celebrate this momentous occasion (and since I’m always on birthday cake duty) I decided to make her a cake. But being the indecisive little third child she is, she told me to “get creative and do whatever” each time I asked her what kind of cake she wanted…

Ooey Gooey Banana Samoa Cake (Gluten-free, Dairy-free) // Naturally Lindsey

So I did. And it was glorious.

Ooey Gooey Banana Samoa Cake (Gluten-free, Dairy-free) // Naturally Lindsey

She loves bananas and banana cake, so I decided to combine that with another favorite: Samoas. Yes, like the Girl Scout Cookie. The result is tender, moist banana cake layered with creamy banana coconut filling and flooded with ooey gooey caramel sauce and chocolate ganache. Needless to say, it was a hit.

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Black Caramel Coffee Cake – Gluten and Dairy Free

Caramel. Coffee. Cake. These are a few of my favorite things — and in this yummy recipe, the three come together as one! I originally made this as my boyfriend’s post-birthday cake (his birthday falls between Christmas and New Year’s, so unfortunately I rarely bake him one of the day of because we’re pre-occupied with other plans… bad girlfriend, I know!). The “black” caramel in this recipe is actually just caramel that is flavored with coffee grounds. Grind them up as fine as you can to avoid any crunchiness (though the boiling step should remedy most of that). Though there are three parts to this cake, I wouldn’t call it labor intensive — it should take only about 30 minutes to prepare. It’s definitely more of a dessert, but for if you want a sweet something for breakfast, I won’t tell. It is a coffee cake after all ;-)

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This recipe is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Casein-free
  • Soy-free
  • Refined sugar-free

Black Caramel Coffee Cake // Naturally Lindsey

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Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Frosting

When birthdays come around it seems that, more often than not, I get put on cake duty. For the times that I don’t, I consider myself one of the lucky ones — for me, gluten-free is a choice, not a necessity, so I can partake in the celebratory cake eating if I choose to. For others, this isn’t an option. Recently, a coworker of mine noticed that she feels sick whenever she consumes pasta, baked goods, beer, etc., a clear sign of gluten intolerance. When I was asked to bake something for her birthday I knew it was my opportunity to introduce her to the world of gluten free baked goods, and these red velvet cupcakes seemed right up her alley. Both the birthday girl and my coworkers loved them, and no one would have guessed that they were gluten- and dairy-free! If you top yours with sprinkles, be sure to use a brand that’s gluten free as well. I used Let’s Do Organic Confetti Sprinkelz.

GFDF Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream // Naturally Lindsey

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Casein-free
• Soy-free

GFDF Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream // Naturally Lindsey

Fresh Cranberry Cake: Dairy-free, Easy Gluten-free Option

The Kitchn, though more of a “traditional” recipe site (full gluten, dairy, etc.) is one of my favorites for recipe and cooking design inspiration, and one of my favorite tools in my never-ending quest for delicious GFDF recipe ideas. This recipe was inspired by Faith’s own Cranberry Cake recipe, which can be found here. The flavor of the fresh cranberries really pop against the sweet crumb of the cake. I’ve made this cake twice now, once using spelt flour (not gluten-free, but lower in gluten than traditional flour for those that can tolerate it) and coconut sugar, which yields a slightly darker cake, and once using Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and organic cane sugar. Both turned out deliciously, so whichever flour or sugar suits your dietary needs is the one I suggest you use! To make the bread dairy-free, I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread.

Fresh Cranberry Cake - DF with easy GF option // Naturally Lindsey

Fresh Cranberry Cake - DF with easy GF option // Naturally Lindsey

Though the original recipe says it yields 10-12 cups, I’ve found it makes about 8-9, so keep that in mind when you select your choice of pans. Though titled a cake, I feel this is more of a sweetly flavored bread as it’s slightly denser than a cake. Whatever you decide to call it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

Fresh Cranberry Cake - DF with easy GF option // Naturally Lindsey

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free (with GF flour option)
• Dairy-free
• Casein-free
• Soy-free

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Too-Good Gluten-free Dairy-free German Chocolate Cake

My dad turned 60. Crazy! It’s funny how when you’re little you think 60 is SO OLD… like the dinosaurs. But now it’s like wow, is my dad really 60? I’m normally in charge of baking for birthdays; this year instead of making his standard yellow cake with chocolate frosting I wanted to make something a little bit fancier, so I decided on his other favorite: German Chocolate Cake.

Gluten free Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

Now, yes, I do try to cook as healthfully as possible – and this recipe is no exception– but by no means is this health food! It is only healthier than you average cake in that it is full of nutrient-rich ingredients and uses fewer simple starches and processed sweeteners. And of course NO artificial colors or flavors or preservatives, thank you very much! But this cake really is too good. It’s decadently rich, filling, and wholly satisfying – be sure you have plenty of people to share it with!

Though the recipe for the cake itself came from one of my favorite blogs: Elana’s Pantry, I’m not as much of a saint as she is when it comes to desserts. I used agave for the cake as Elana has her baked goods down to a science, but for the frosting I went with something else. Why, you ask? I think agave has a weird taste, and as it turns out it’s almost as highly refined as high fructose corn syrup, AND contains just as much if not more fructose (55%). What I prefer instead is Sucanat. This is different than Sugar in the Raw, or Turbinado sugar, which has been stripped of its molasses content and the nutrients that come along with it (as I discussed in this post) including iron, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium. Sucanat is simply dried sugar cane syrup that retains all of the molassesy goodness, which gives it a subtly more complex flavor that goes wonderfully with the chocolate and coconut. Plus, Sucanat is lower in sucrose than Turbinado or white sugar, which makes it slightly less sweet. I personally love the flavor.

And in case you’re wondering, this cake has been given the seal of approval by four generations of my family: both grandparents, my parents, my sister, and her 1- and 3 -year-old (my nephews)! The cherry on top was the 1-year-old, who knows sign language, sitting in his highchair signing “more!” after each bite my sister fed him. Precious moments! The recipe does take a good chunk of time to put together (3-4 hours for me), but the result is well worth it – especially for such a memorable occasion. Happy 60th, Dad!

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Soy-free
• Refined sugar-free

Gluten free Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

Gluten free Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

Gluten-free Dairy-Free German Chocolate Cake

• ¾ cup coconut flour, sifted
• ½ cup cacao powder
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 10 eggs
• 1 cup grapeseed oil
• 1 ½ cups agave nectar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl combine flour, cacao, salt and baking soda
2. In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to blend eggs, oil, agave nectar and vanilla
3. Add dry ingredients into large bowl and continue to blend
4. Oil two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with coconut flour
5. Divide batter evenly and pour into pans, baking at 350° for 35-45 minutes (mine took 45-50)
6. Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then carefully remove from pans

Coconut Pecan Filling

• 1/2 can coconut cream
• 1/2 cup coconut milk (the “drinkable” kind – if you don’t have this or the coconut cream you can use 1 can full-fat coconut milk instead)
• 1 cup Sucanat
• pinch sea salt
• 1 ¼ cup coconut oil
• 1 ½ cups toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (about 8 oz)
• 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and chopped

1. In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, Sucanat and salt, simmer for 10 minutes
2. Whisk the contents of saucepan vigorously and bring to a boil until it starts to thicken and carmelize, about 3 minutes
5. Remove pot from heat and very gradually blend in coconut oil
6. Place pot in fridge for 30-40 minutes, until frosting starts to solidify
7. Meanwhile, turn your broiler to low and spread the coconut and pecans on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching carefully so the coconut does not burn. The pecans should be sizzling and the coconut golden brown. You can also start preparing the ganache frosting at this point (recipe below).
7. Remove frosting from freezer and blend with an eletric mixer, until fluffy, then stir in shredded coconut and pecans

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

• 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks (I use Enjoy Life)
• 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
• 2 tablespoons Sucanat
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• pinch sea salt

1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and grapeseed oil, stirring constantly so chocolate does not scorch
2. Stir in Sucanat, vanilla and salt, and continue to stir until the Sucanat dissipates into the mixture
3. Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to cool
4. Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it thickens slightly. Frosting should still be slightly liquid, but thick enough to spread.

Assembling the Cake

1. With the Chocolate Ganache Frosting, frost the outer inch of the top of one of the cake layers and down the sides.
2. Top with about half of the Coconut Pecan Filling. Then place the layer on a plate or serving tray (this keeps your serving surface much cleaner).
3. Spread the ganache around the outside of the second layer and place on top of the first layer.
4. Top with the rest of the Coconut Pecan Filling. Serve with So Delicious Coconut Milk “ice cream” – trust me, you’ll be happy you did!

What kind of birthday cake is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!