Red, White and Blue Birthday!

This cake was a lot of fun to make! I love the simplicity of the design, but it is still pretty and fun! The other part that might surprise a few people is that this cake is completely gluten free! See? Gluten free people can have amazing cakes too!

Gluten free should taste good too! Being a newly gluten free person myself (it will be one year in August) I still know what the real thing should taste like and I for one don't like to settle for "good enough."  Just thinking about this cake makes my mouth water! I love cake.... 

But I digress... back to cake design! This cake had a single sugar flower sitting at the bottom. I really do love making sugar flowers, even if they are time consuming. there is something satisfying about making something that looks real but is made of sugar!

First Birthday!

I created this cake for a little boy who was celebrating his first birthday!  I had a lot of fun putting this colorful cake together! I love the combination of polka dots and stripes and the cute "stuffed" lion perched on top.

The stars popping out all over make a perfect final touch on this wonderful cake for a fun celebration!

To complete the display I also made a couple dozen cupcakes in chocolate, red velvet and lion!

These little guys took longer than I expected to make, but I am really happy with how they turned out! 

Allergen Free Banana Muffin Recipe!

I made several variations of this recipe, and had a hard time getting a picture of any of them because we ate them all before I could grab a camera! Here they are will some fresh blueberries mixed in... oh so yummy!
This is a first for me... my very first recipe! I have never posted a recipe on my blog before, but there is always a first time, right?  As some of you may know, almost one year ago I discovered that I have a plethora of food allergies and sensitivities. This revelation turned my food world upside down and I have been re-learning how to cook and bake ever since. My main challenges are staying away from gluten, dairy, and eggs when baking. My mom discovered her food allergies a year and a half before I did, but of course we don't have all the same sensitivities... this recipe is one we both like!

I found a recipe on another blog, and it was vegan, but not gluten free... so after some tweaking and re-working I have a wonderfully fluffy, tasty, I-can't-believe-it's-gluten-free muffin! I really think this is the first recipe I have tried that didn't make me feel like I was settling for something. And it didn't contain any of the things that both my mom and I have to avoid. Win-win! 

So here it is:

Super Yummy Banana Muffins


  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1 ¼ cups brown rice flour (198g)
  • 5 tablespoons Potato Starch (53g)
  • 3 tablespoons Tapioca Starch (23g)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (make sure it is gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine (use the vegan kind if you want it vegan or need to avoid dairy)
  • 1/2 cup milk, (coconut, almond, soy, rice, cow's, whatever you like)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray non-stick muffin pans with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pans.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the bananas; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and stir to incorporate; set aside.
  4. In a mixer, combine granulated sugar, banana, butter, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla, until well combined. My butter was in small pieces but that seemed to work well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix well. My batter was on the thin side, maybe just a bit thicker than pancake batter.
  6. Optional addition: I added a couple of handfuls of large flake coconut (which was yummy), blueberries might be pretty yummy too! 
  7. Using a cooking sprayed one-tablespoon measure for a mini muffin pan or a sprayed one-quarter cup measure for a regular sized pan (or what is appropriate for your pan size). Fill the cavities between 2/3 and 3/4 full; don't exceed 3/4 full. You can also split these into two loaf pans.
  8. Bake until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. I baked mine at 400 for 20 minutes, at which point they were nicely domed and golden around the edges but still batter in the center. I then reduced the temp to 350 and baked for an additional 10 minutes and they were perfect. Watch your muffins, not the clock.
  9. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. 
  10. Sit back and enjoy! I have found that these are still soft, moist, and yummy several days later (if they last that long)! They also freeze well!
This recipe can easily be altered to make many yummy versions! Like coconut? Mix some in! Like chocolate? Leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir in some chocolate chips! Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, are all wonderful additions!

So what do you think? If you have food allergies or sensitivities, what types of foods are your biggest challenges?

Happy Baking!

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Sacramento, California, United States
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