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 I originally made this as my boyfriend’s post-birthday cake (his birthday falls between Christmas and New Year’s, so unfortunately I rarely bake him one of the day of because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 ;-)


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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Decadent Indulgence: Gluten-free Dairy-free Hazelnut Brownies, no nut flour required

Let’s face it: brownies aren’t exactly health food. But when you have cravings (you know the ones) and all you want to do is abandon ship and shove something glutenous and/or gluttonous your mouth, health food is the last thing on your mind. However, that Betty Crocker boxed crap isn’t going to do you (or your stomach) any good. So what’s a GFDF girl to do? Indulge your cravings with these delicious gluten- and dairy-free hazelnut brownies! Fudgey, moist, and supremely decadent. Who says you can’t have it all?

These brownies use ground hazelnuts (not hazelnut flour) and coconut oil to keep them allergy-free. I got the inspiration for this recipe here, but considering I can’t have dairy and I don’t need a huge 13×9 tray of brownies laying around, the recipe has been heavily modified.

If you have any questions or comments, let me know below… I’d love to hear how yours turn out!

This recipe is:
– Dairy-free
– Gluten-free
– Grain-free
– Soy-free
– Vegetarian


• 5 oz raw hazelnuts
• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa/cacao powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup sugar or sucanat
• 5 tablespoons coconut oil*
• 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70+ percent), chopped
• 4 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon water (optional)

*unrefined/virgin coconut oil will provide more of a coconut taste than unrefined, so if you don’t prefer the coconut flavor I’d go with refined for this recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil, pressing into the corners and leaving overhang on the sides. I didn’t have foil, so I used parchment as you can see, but foil will be much easier.

2. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 15-20 minutes, until fragrant and the skins blister; transfer to a kitchen towel to cool slightly, then rub off the skins. Let cool completely. I found that not all the skins came off completely, but do your best to get most of them off.

3. Transfer the nuts to a food processor. Add the cocoa, salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar and pulse until finely ground.

4. Melt the coconut oil over low heat, or for a few seconds in the microwave, until heated but not crackling. This will happen quickly, so make sure to watch it. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. When the chocolate starts to melt, whisk it into the oil until smooth. Let cool slightly.

5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 3/4 cups of sugar, coffee, and vanilla until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Beat in the chocolate-oil mixture until well-combined. Then add the cocoa-hazelnut mixture and beat to combine, scraping down the bowl. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is glossy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

The original recipe says to cool on a rack and refrigerate until chilled (what? cold brownies?) and then lift the brownie out of the pan, peel off the foil, cut into pieces and serve. But let’s be honest, that’s way too much work and there’s no way you’re not digging in as soon as it reaches won’t-burn-your-mouth-off-with-one-bite temperature, amiright? Some coconut milk ice cream would be an especially delicious addition to this treat (cue drooling), and would totally take care of that whole burning problem.