Thursday, December 9, 2010

RECIPE TUTORIAL: Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes! Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free! Lots of pictures!

We have been devouring delicious moist chocolate cupcakes for the past 24 hours, so I had to blog about it! I included step by step instructions and a ton of pictures so that you can see each part of the process. The cupcakes below are Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, and Sesame-Free!

Yesterday, my daughter wanted us to bake, so I pulled out one of my cookbooks. Since my daughter is allergic to dairy and egg, a wonderful resource for us has been “What’s to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook” by Linda Marienhoff Coss.

Ms. Coss was kind enough to grant me permission to publish her Chocolate Layer Cake recipe on my blog. This recipe, along with a few others, is also available on her website:

Linda Coss Books:
A selection of her recipes:

This recipe was reprinted with permission from “What’s to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook” by Linda Marienhoff Coss, available at

"This is my children's first pick for birthday cakes!" - Linda Coss

Preparation time: 10 to 13 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dairy-free 100% cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using 100% vegetable shortening, grease and then flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat with a spoon or wire whisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well-blended.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Frost.

Makes one 9-inch round double-layer cake


I invite you into our kitchen. Below are detailed descriptions and photos of each step I took in making the cupcakes.

First, gather all of the ingredients. If you have food allergies, make sure that you check the ingredient labels and allergen statements on each item.

Measure 3 cups of flour and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Add 2 cups of sugar.

Add a 1/2 cup of dairy-free 100% cocoa powder. Important: Do NOT use cocoa mix or hot chocolate mix. Only use dairy-free cocoa powder. We have been using this Hershey's brand for about a year now, and it has been safe for my milk-allergic daughter. The only ingredient is cocoa.

Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda. I use Bob's Red Mill Aluminum Free Baking Soda that happens to made in a gluten-free, dairy-free facility. Please note that not all of Bob's Red Mill products are made in this specialized facility. Check their product labels carefully.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt.

Use a wire whisk to mix all of the dry ingredients and make sure that everything is evenly distributed.

I prepare my wet ingredients separately before adding to the dry ingredients. Measure 2 cups of water into a large measuring cup (big enough to add oil) or a separate bowl. Add 2/3 cup of vegetable oil to the water. I use Safflower oil.

Next, add 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.

Next, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Check the ingredients of the vanilla extract you are using. Make sure that it is real vanilla extract and that there are no allergens present.

Mix all of the wet ingredients.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Mix until batter is smooth and well-blended. My silicon utensil is on the small side, a larger one would be better.

For cupcakes, line a baking pan and sheet with paper baking cups. If you want your cupcakes to turn out uniform in shape and size for a party or guests, then use a muffin pan. My kids enjoy fun shapes, so a muffin pan is not necessary. Pour batter into prepared baking cups. For tiny cupcakes, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop and pour. This produces about 30 teeny tiny cupcakes. For regular size cupcakes, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

To check if the cupcakes are done: Stick a toothpick or butter knife into the center of a cupcake to make sure it comes out clean. Here is an image of a just baked tasty cupcake.

The cupcakes are taste wonderful plain! My kids loved them. But if you don't mind the extra calories and would like to add frosting, they taste spectacular!

You can have lots of fun with frostings, icings, and toppings. I'll blog about frostings and icings another time. To receive my latest postings, follow me on this blog, Twitter and Facebook! My info is on the right side of my web page.

Feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bring Color to Your Veggie Dishes

Stir fry or steamed veggies can be a great entree or side dish for people with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. To make veggies as appetizing to the eyes as they are to your palette, try making the dish as colorful as possible. Whenever possible, use fresh vegetables instead of frozen or canned.

Pictured are mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and red, yellow and orange bell peppers cooked with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add any other seasonings or vegetables you have on hand to vary up the dish. If you are not allergic to soy, you can substitute the salt with tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) for an Asian flare. Or throw in fresh chopped tomatoes for more acidity. If you are not vegetarian, a lean meat dish would be a tasty accompaniment and would keep that meal low-carb and healthy.