Tag Archives: desserts

Gluten Free Nutella Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Earlier this year I decided to start making two loaves of homemade, gluten free bread at the beginning of each month so I could enjoy sandwiches and french toast as often as I liked. One to keep in the fridge for the first two weeks, and the second to freeze until the first loaf had run its course.

I thought I was brilliant.

Two loaves of bread! I’ll eat that in no time! I should make FOUR loaves of bread, because two will never be enough, said my overzealous brain. (Don’t worry, I had a long talk with myself and kept to two loaves.)

Then 60+ hour work weeks entered the picture. And trips to the gym. And errands. And endless meetings. Suddenly, I found myself inundated with loaves of bread I didn’t even have time to eat. (Yes, that’s right. Didn’t even have time to eat.)

I started panicking about what to do with this bread that was occupying my fridge and freezer. It just stared at me, wanting to be used, demanding to be eaten. But you can only consume so many PB&J sandwiches before you start being unable to button your jeans in the morning.

So I took to the internet to search for new ideas and came upon recipes for bread pudding. A while back, I remembered America’s Test Kitchen doing a slow cooker bread pudding recipe that fascinated me. The chefs had dried the bread in the oven to reduce the moisture, which I thought was brilliant. Armed with some other ingredients, I took to my own “test kitchen” to see what kind of magic I could make with these loaves of bread (sans slow cooker).

The result- a gooey yet remarkably light and satisfying bread pudding! And it’s super quick and easy too!

Gluten Free Nutella Cinnamon Bread Pudding

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


7 slices of gluten free bread, cubed and oven dried (see directions below)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nutella spread

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bread into cubes and lay flat on a nonstick baking tray. Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the bread starts to dry.Do not let it brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. In a bowl, mix the eggs, skim milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Slowly fold in the nutella spread until fully immersed in the egg mixture.

3. When the bread cubes have cooled, place them in one layer in an 8×8 inch pan. Pour the butter evenly over the bread, followed by the egg mixture. If you like, you can sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.

4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the bread springs back when tested with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream and fruit.


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Coconut Banana and Gluten Free Gingersnap Parfait

It is not often that I crave dessert that isn’t chocolate-infused, but today was one of those days (see the Pastry Affair’s wonderful, related post about mascarpone cheese ). When I’m not in the mood for chocolate, my dessert has to be rich and creamy. I am all about texture and flavor, and I particularly like mixing salty and tangy with sweet.

Two of my favorite flavors (ever) are ginger and coconut. I’m not sure how many of you have tried this combination, but if you haven’t yet–you should. It’s divine. I love how the sweetness of the coconut cools the zing of ginger. It makes me feel like I am sitting on some faraway island, relaxing and listening to the sounds of waves crash on the shore. Ahhh. Bliss.

Today I decided to take my quirky love of ginger and coconut and blend it into a well-loved dessert: the parfait. Parfait, which literally means perfect in french, is typically a layered dessert of cream and berries (or, if you are Rachel Green from Friends, you make it with cream and beef).

For my version, I chose to use four ingredients: vanilla pudding, gluten free gingersnap cookies, bananas and shredded coconut. The dessert is light, creamy and just sweet and cool enough for a summer or spring day. It can also be made in large batches, perfect for a party. Enjoy!

Coconut Banana and Gluten Free Gingersnap Parfait
by Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC

Serves 3

2 cups vanilla pudding (see below for recipe)
2 medium bananas, sliced into coin-size pieces
30 gluten free gingersnap cookies
1 tablespoon shredded coconut

For the pudding:

This recipe is adapted from Fresh and Fast by Marie Simmons.

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and then add the hot milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar in fully dissolved and the mixture starts to boil and thicken. This should take about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. When the pudding has thickened, add the salt and vanilla. Remove from heat.

Let the pudding cool completely before making the parfait, about an hour. Make sure to stir the pudding from time to time so it doesn’t become too thick. When the pudding has cooled, alternate spreading layers of the ingredients in this order: pudding, gingersnap cookies, pudding, bananas, pudding, gingersnap cookies. When it is finished, sprinkle coconut on top. (If you really love coconut, you may add it to the pudding as you layer.)

Refrigerate for an hour and serve at almost room temperature.

One Year Ago: Matzoh Brei

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Take Two: CHOCOLATE Peppermint Irish Cream Sandwich Cookies

Last year for St Patty’s day, I posted this recipe for Peppermint Irish Cream Sandwich Cookies. They were such a big hit, that I thought I’d do a slight variation on them, making them look like a real Peppermint Patty.

Now, I wont tell a lie…the cookies in these pictures are NOT gluten free, because I was making them for work, but if you want to make them gluten free I recommend visiting Elizabeth Barbone’s blog or her book, Easy Gluten Free Baking. Her chocolate cookies are amazing!! (If you want the actual recipe I used, visit Brown Eyed Baker, also a delicious, though sadly not gluten free, site)

After making and matching the cookies for size, I filled them with my Creme de Menthe flavored frosting (see blog post for recipe) and dipped them in melting chocolate, which you can purchase at any baking goods or crafts store. The cookies were then placed on wax paper and refrigerated overnight.

I hope my work buddies like them!

One Year Ago– Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

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Sushi Cake!

My sister is a sushi fiend. She adores it, and is quite adventurous when it comes to trying different types. So, for her birthday this year, my mom and I thought it fitting to make her a cake that encompassed her love of sushi. We even went a step further and planned a surprise party for her that included some of her close friends! It was pretty fun, if I do say so myself.

We prepped ahead by baking and freezing the cakes a few days before the party, and then took them out to defrost a couple of nights before. The day before the party we made our frosting and built and covered the cake with black fondant. (It was super heavy!)

The best part was making the “sushi”, the “wasabi and ginger” and the little bowl for soy sauce, which we filled with chocolate syrup. We were particularly inspired by re-shaping different candies and pieces of cake to look like the real thing. Everyone got their own plate of sushi with chopsticks!

Half-donette, swedish fish and fruit leather

Fondant wrapped marshmallow, white icing and sprinkles and swedish fish

Fruit leather wrapped twinkie with beige frosting, white sprinkles and orange sugar

Green ‘leaves’ made out of spearmint candy

Ginger/Wasabi/Bowl made out of fondant!

Did I mention the cake was gluten free? Yum! It took us a week to eat…

Happy Birthday, sis!


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Gluten Free 7 Layer Bars

I made these 7 layer bars over the weekend to bring to my friend’s house for Christmas. They are an ooey-gooey mess of sugary delight–layers of butter, chocolate and coconut blend together to make an irresistable combination. (I personally had a hard time resisting the urge to take another…and another…and another)

Though they are sinfully bad for you (I don’t even want to know the calorie count!), they are a huge crowd pleaser and quick and easy to make. They sure won’t help your resolution to ‘eat healthfully’ but hey, the new year hasn’t arrived yet! So go on, make a batch…betcha can’t eat just one :)

7 Layer Bars

Original recipe by Bernadette

Serving Size:       16


1/4 pound sweet butter
1 cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut, shredded
6 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. butterscotch chips
15 oz. condensed milk, sweetened
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I use a mixture of pecans and walnuts)
sea salt

Spread melted butter in 9×13 pan. In this order, spread layers of: graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, condensed milk and chopped nuts. For an ‘8th layer’, sprinkle some sea salt on top to give them some extra flair.

Bake for 35 minutes at 350. Let cool and cut into squares.

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Houses

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Last-minute Gluten Free Gingersnap Pie Crust!

Are you rushing around to get everything done in time for Thanksgiving? Heading off to a party and want to make something quick and homemade, instead of buying pre-made food from the grocery store?

Well, look no further! Today I present to you a quick and easy gluten free gingersnap pie crust that can be made in about 30 minutes and used as the base for any number of delicious pies. (I prefer it with pumpkin!)

Last-minute Gluten Free Gingersnap Pie Crust

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


2 cups gluten-free gingersnap cookie crumbs (If you’re in the NYC area, use Duane Reade ‘Delish’ Gluten Free Gingersnap cookies)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tbsp sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9″ pie pan. Process gingersnap cookies until they become crumbs. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and press into the pie pan. Bake for about 13 minutes until the pie crust is set. Cool completely before filling.


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A Day of Pie Making in New Hampshire!

This past weekend I spent a few days in Boston and coastal New Hampshire visiting my college friends and their families. As it had been well over a year since I’d last seen them, I was thrilled when my friend Jenn’s birthday rolled around and gave me the opportunity to make the trip up there. I spent Friday night in Boston with some wonderful ladies and hopped a train to New Hampshire on Saturday morning, where I met up with Jenn and stayed with her lovely family.

I loved the New Hampshire way of life. At first, living there was a major culture shock for me. No subway, no hustle and bustle, no Starbucks. It took me a while to get used it it and even though the experience taught me that I’m definitely a city girl, I still relish the chances I have to visit and spend a few days relaxing in fresh air.

One of my favorite things about Jenn’s family is their pie-making tradition. Twice a year, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, her mom and aunt make about thirty pies for friends and family. A few years ago I took part in the pie-making tradition and had so much fun making these from-scratch pies and learning about their family. They tell the best stories and value giving out homemade gifts for the holiday…just like I do!

This year I got to be a part of their pie day once again. And I actually learned how to pinch a crust! Take a look at the day:

We began with pumpkin puree, made from scratch using Aunt Susan’s homegrown pumpkins.

And blended with spices and milk using their old-fashioned mixer (How much do you want one of those?? I totally do!)

Jenn made the sweet potato pies. Look how happy she is!

Jenn’s Aunt Susan made, rolled out and pinched the pie crusts–check out that technique!

Beautiful pie crusts.

Then Aunt Susan taught me how to do it myself…

OK for my first time right?

My finished pie! What do you think?!

Meanwhile, Jenn’s mom peeled, cored and cut apples, which they picked themselves. (For those curious, they like to use Baldwin apples.)

(Almost) all the pies!! Phew, I’m exhausted…

What are your family cooking traditions for the holidays? Jenn’s family makes pie; my family does cookies and sweet breads. Does your family make their own stuffing for Thanksgiving? Mine is obsessed with Ritz Cracker Stuffing, yum! Share your thoughts in the comments below, I love hearing your stories!

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Making Football Cookies (with a video tutorial!)

This weekend I will be going to a friend’s house to watch the Jets game. Since I was already preparing our annual Halloween cookies, I figured I could squeeze out a bunch of football shaped confections for the big game. Below is a guide to how I cut out the cookies, along with a video tutorial on icing them!

To make the cookies, I used a “candy corn” shaped cookie cutter. I cut one side…

…and then flipped the cutter in the opposite direction and cut it the other way.

Next, I pressed together the middle section to hold the cookie together…

…and voila! A football cookie was born!

Here my mom gives really easy instructions on outlining and filling (or ‘flooding’) the cookies with royal icing. (And now you can view them on my blog’s YouTube page!)

What kinds of cut-out cookies do YOU like to make?

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A Father’s Day Citi Field Cake (Part II)

Happy Father’s Day!

As promised, I am presenting you with the second (and most exciting!) part of my dad’s Father’s Day Citi Field Cake–the decorating! Enjoy!

Before piping the green icing, I needed to make sure that the areas that needed to stay tan were kept clean. I did this by cutting out the necessary “tan” shapes on parchment paper (accurately sized to the iced cake) and laying them flat on the cake where I needed them. For this specific cake I needed a large tan portion on the bottom with a diamond-shaped hole for the infield. (See below)

Next, I piped green ‘grass’ icing using Wilton tip 233.

For the inside of the diamond I used a combination of tips 12 and 4, making sure to smooth the icing out when I was done piping. If the parchment gets messy doing this, it’s just fine—it’s there to protect the tan icing!

After removing the parchment paper I piped a small dot of tan icing (using tip 12) for the pitcher’s mound and, using tip 4 and white icing, made the bases and foul lines.

And now, the finished cake! The “doors” on the sides of the cake were made using a cement colored icing (a combination of red and blue food coloring and leftover tan frosting) and tip number 4. The Citi Field logo was also piped using tip number 4. Lastly, I made the “Home Run Apple” using a red gumball and black-colored marzipan. (This I did at home using a small amount of black food coloring.)

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A Father’s Day Citi Field Cake (Part I)

In the past, my dad’s love of sports has been translated into baseball and basketball themed father’s day gifts. We’ve bought him books featuring essays by NBA Hall of Famers, caps with the NY Mets emblem and ties adorned with baseball bats. Last year for father’s day, before my cake decorating obsession began, I made him a simple baseball cake.

Ok for a beginner, right?

This year, however, I was really excited to bust out some new skills and make my dad’s cake extra special. The initial ideas my mom and I came up with were wild; the giant flower pot cake (in honor of his love of gardening) that sprouted baseball-shaped cupcake pops and marzipan Mets hats on dowels was high on our list for quite some time.

When the time finally neared, we abandoned our grandiose designs and opted for something simple and special–like him. I decided to make a Citi Field inspired cake with piped grass and a mini “Home Run Apple”, a signature of the former Shea Stadium. Although it took three days to prepare, I had a blast planning and executing the whole thing. I hope he likes it!

The Making of the Citi Field Cake!

I began by making two 8 inch round cakes (I used the King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix–yum!). After wrapping each cake in plastic, I stored them in a gallon size ziploc bag and froze them overnight.

The following morning I removed the cakes from the freezer and unwrapped the plastic. I then placed each cake on a parchment-covered cutting board. Using a cake leveler, I evened out the cakes so they could be stacked on top of each other.

Shaping the cake:

The next step in creating the baseball stadium was cutting the cakes. I My mom stacked the cakes on top of each other and began by cutting about one side of the cake with a large, sharp knife (amount to cut off will vary depending upon how big or small you want your stadium to be.)

She did the same thing on the other side of the cake, as shown below, making a 90 degree angle.

We cut off a small piece of the corner of the 90 degree angle to add extra shape to the cake.

Making the icing:

For the icing I used this recipe by Wilton. I made a triple batch; enough to add a ‘crumb coat’ and one or two clean, final layers as well as extra for decorative piping. I made an assortment of colored icing as well: green (using green food coloring and Creme de Menthe), red, orange, concrete and tan (explained below).

For best results, I suggest using Wilton brand gels and colors and adding them to the white frosting one drop at a time. Unlike watery store-bought food coloring, Wilton gels are very strong, requiring only a tiny amount of coloring to get your desired color. This takes practice.

Filling the cake:

Because this was a two layer cake, I decided to fill it with my dad’s favorite: strawberry preserves. (You can fill your cake with flavored buttercream or other types of preserves, of course. If you use preserves, make sure you mash up any big chunks of fruit before placing on the cake).

First, I separated the two layers. Using Wilton tip 12, I piped a border around the top of the bottom half of the cake and spread the filling inside the lines. (The piped icing border is used to keep the filling from seeping out of the cake.)

Icing the Cake:

After attaching the top layer to the bottom of the cake it was time to do a ‘crumb coat’. The crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that keeps the extra cake crumbs in place so additional layers can be spread on top. This helps the cake look smooth, even and professional. Be warned, the crumb coat NEVER looks pretty.

The ‘crumb coat’–kinda looks like an inside out oreo right?

I left the crumb coated cake in the fridge for about 5-6 hours, until the icing had begun to harden. Next, I coated the cake with prepared tan frosting. I decided to cover the cake in tan frosting for a number of reasons. First of all, it allowed for a natural sandy color for the baseball field, over which I was able to pipe green icing for the grass. Secondly, it was much easier to color and use frosting than to roll out fondant. Lastly, the tan sides of the cake loosely resemble the outside of Citi Field.

To make the tan icing, we used a combination of peach, yellow and black food coloring. When the cake was covered with the tan icing I put it back in the fridge overnight so it could harden before decorating.

And that’s all for now! Tomorrow I present the final product :)


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