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Blueberry Dump Cake – A “Blogger Buddies” Two-for-one!

Blueberry Dump Cake – A “Blogger Buddies” Two-for-one!

Blueberry dump cake is what you bake when you want to eat a cake, but don’t feel like, well, baking. Truly as easy as just “dumping” all the ingredients in and popping it in the oven!

Click play ▶️ on the super short, 1-minute video above and find out just how easy blueberry dump cake really is!

Blogger Buddies

From time to time, readers ask me how they can make one of my recipes the “regular” way, with gluten. Well, I haven’t baked with gluten since approximately 2006, so I always have to confess that I have absolutely no idea.

But I do know that gluten free recipes are different. So I’ve teamed up with my lovely and talented friend Melanie of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe to bring you a new series called Blogger Buddies. Mel makes a conventional recipe, and I make a gluten free version of the same recipe. You find her recipe on her site and my recipe on mine.

Mel is the one I turn to whenever a reader is looking for a conventional recipe. She’s got integrity to spare, and her blog reflects that. Her recipes clearly work. So if you’re looking for a conventional version of blueberry dump cake, look no further! Speaking of dump cake…

Blueberry dump cake is what you bake when you want to eat a cake, but don't feel like, well, baking. Truly as easy as just "dumping" all the ingredients in and popping it in the oven!

“Dump” Cake?

I used to put “dump” cakes in the same category as slow cookers. I knew how popular they were, but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around them.

There are whole books written about them both, maybe even love songs for all I know. And when we’re talking about a harmless subject like how to make a ridiculously easy cake (with an unfortunate name), millions of people can’t be wrong.

I am happy to report that this gluten free blueberry dump cake is indeed super easy, and makes a really nice cake that tastes like a gluten free blueberry buckle with a shortbread base. I’m honestly not sure it could be any easier, in fact—even when you make your own gluten free vanilla cake mix.

Blueberry dump cake is what you bake when you want to eat a cake, but don't feel like, well, baking. Truly as easy as just "dumping" all the ingredients in and popping it in the oven!

They’re called “dump” cakes because, well, you just dump all of the ingredients in a pan and bake them. No mixing.

Even so, I find that the best method—by a mile—is to grate chilled butter into the cake mix. Then gently toss everything all together in the pan before pouring buttermilk over the top and baking it.

Blueberry dump cake is what you bake when you want to eat a cake, but don't feel like, well, baking. Truly as easy as just "dumping" all the ingredients in and popping it in the oven!

Substitutions and a Word to the Wise

Fruit: I use frozen blueberries in the middle of the winter. But when fresh blueberries are big, beautiful and affordable by all means use them! I haven’t made this recipe with other berries, but I imagine that raspberries would work quite well. Other fruit that has more moisture, like strawberries, might need different a different proportion of ingredients.

Dairy: My gluten free cake mix has dairy in it, but you can try substituting the buttermilk powder with blanched almond flour to make it dairy free. In place of butter, try butter flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. In place of the buttermilk in this recipe, try using unsweetened almond milk. You can add 1/4 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the milk if you like.

Wisdom: I made this cake quite a few times before settling on the proper proportion of ingredients and method, and the most important piece of advice I can give you is … don’t overbake it. The bottom burns quite easily. Other than that, it really is as easy, and as delicious, as it seems!

Blueberry dump cake is what you bake when you want to eat a cake, but don't feel like, well, baking. Truly as easy as just "dumping" all the ingredients in and popping it in the oven!
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 cake

Ingredients

3 cups (about 600 g) fresh or frozen blueberries

16 ounces gluten free vanilla cake mix

9 tablespoons (126 g) unsalted butter, chilled

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) buttermilk (or milk), chilled

Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch x 12-inch (or 9-inch square) baking dish, scatter the blueberries in an even layer in the bottom, and set the dish aside.

  • Place the cake mix in a large bowl. Using a standard grater, grate the chilled butter into the cake mix and, using your clean hands, toss to coat the butter in the cake mix. Break up the lumps that form in the grated butter until the mixture is uniform and looks like very coarse sand. Scatter the butter and cake mix mixture on top of the blueberries, and stir gently to mix. Pour the chilled buttermilk evenly over the top.

  • Place the baking dish in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cake is puffed and lightly golden brown on top (about 35 minutes for the 9-inch x 12-inch pan, 40+ minutes for the 9-inch square pan). Do not overbake or the bottom will burn. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2015. All photos, video, much of the text and partnership with my dear friend Mel are all new. Recipe unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

 

Homemade Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats

Homemade Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats

These homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats are actually easier than making the iconic treats with packaged marshmallows. Plus, they’re naturally gluten free and made with the simplest pantry ingredients.

Say Yes

When my kids were younger, they used to beg me to make them rice krispie treats. Somehow they knew how simple the traditional recipe was, but I didn’t care. I absolutely hated making them, with all their super stickiness and my never having a package of marshmallows lying around.

These rice krispie treats are less sticky to make when the marshmallow is homemade, plus packaged marshmallows always go stale on me before I’m ready to use them. Ever try to make rice krispie treats with stale marshmallows? No bueno.

As long as you have powdered gelatin, rice cereal, sugar, and butter (or a substitute) when they beg you can say yes.

These flat out simple homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats are actually easier than making the iconic treats with packaged marshmallows. They set up in minutes!

Cooking sugar

Fear not the cooking of sugar! Cooking sugar can really be done without any water at all, but it’s much more likely to burn. That’s hard.

Cooking sugar with a bit of water in the pan is easy, as long as you keep an eye 👀 on your instant read thermometer. I have a whole bunch of different thermometers, for use in bread-baking, candy-making and deep-frying of all sorts. But the simplest will do.

Even if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can determine that candy has reached the “softball stage” the old-fashioned way: if it easily forms a ball when dropped into cold water, but flattens once it’s out, it’s in the softball stage, between 23°8 and 242°F. It’s just some sugar water, though. Nothing to worry about!

And there is no corn syrup in these treats. Corn syrup helps keep sugar from crystallizing, which will ruin marshmallows, but a dash of cream of tartar will get the job done, too. Let’s use that! If you don’t have cream of tartar but you do have light corn syrup, replace the cream of tartar with 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup added to the sugar as it cooks.

These flat out simple homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats are actually easier than making the iconic treats with packaged marshmallows. They set up in minutes!

I am not anti-corn syrup (it’s not the same as high-fructose corn syrup, by the way), but I really wanted these to be simple. I also wanted them to be corn free, since that seems to come up relatively often.

And think of it this way – you’ll seriously never have to buy marshmallows again. Try making s’mores with fresh, homemade marshmallows. Oh, and our no machine marshmallow ice cream is a natural next step!

These flat out simple homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats are actually easier than making the iconic treats with packaged marshmallows. They set up in minutes!

Why they’re better

Unlike rice krispie treats made with commercial marshmallows, these fresh ones are nice and crispy but not at all rock-hard when chilled. And chilling them makes them super easy to slice.

They literally set up in minutes even when they’re not chilled. Then, when your super nice neighbor invites you over for a last-minute barbecue for Memorial Day, you can pack ’em up and go! If you’re in a rush, just pop them in the freezer for a couple of minutes and slice away.

These flat out simple homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats are actually easier than making the iconic treats with packaged marshmallows. They set up in minutes!

Substitutions, you say?

I know you love to know about substitutions. So here’s what I know, and what I don’t about how to make these homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats:

  • Dairy Free: Just swap out the butter for Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. Done.
  • Corn Free: Hahaha just kidding. They’re already corn free.
  • Sugar Free: Well, that’s just not happening, since marshmallows are basically whipped cooked sugar with gelatin added. But you can make them refined sugar free by replacing the 2 cups of granulated sugar with 1 1/2 cups (504 g) honey. The honey will turn darker as it cooks to the softball stage. Stir to prevent burning.
  • Grain Free: If you know of a grain-free cereal with small pieces, no bigger than the size of a cheerio, give it a try! But I know of no such cereal.

These flat out simple homemade marshmallow rice krispie treats are actually easier than making the iconic treats with packaged marshmallows. They set up in minutes!

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 24 treats

Ingredients

2 tablespoons (14 g) unflavored powdered gelatin (if using packets, you’ll need 2)

1 cup (8 fluid ounces) cool water

2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

8 to 9 cups (240 to 270 g) crisp rice cereal (recommended gluten free brands: Erewhon, Nature’s Path Organic)

Directions

  • Line an 8- or 9-inch square (or 9-inch x 12-inch, for smaller treats) baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and grease the foil with cooking oil spray, and set it aside.

  • In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) of the water, add the gelatin, and mix to combine well. Set the bowl aside and allow the gelatin to swell as it stands. Once the gelatin has swelled, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl to use with a hand mixer).

  • In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar and cream of tartar, and whisk to combine well. Cook the sugar mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches the softball stage, between 238°F and 240°F, on an instant read thermometer. Remove the saucepan from the heat immediately, and pour the cooked sugar mixture down the side of the bowl of the stand mixer into the gelatin mixture. Whisk to combine and allow the mixture to cool briefly. It will bubble. Add the vanilla and salt, and beat the mixture on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer) until the mixture is white, thick and glossy. It should nearly triple in size. It is ready when the mixture pours off the whisk (or beaters) very slowly when the attachment is raised. You made marshmallows!

  • Add the melted butter to the marshmallows, and beat again on medium speed until combined. The marshmallows will decrease in size a bit. Add 8 cups of the crisp rice cereal. Spray a silicone spatula with cooking oil spray, and use it to stir together gently the marshmallow mixture and the rice cereal. Add up to 1 cup more crisp rice cereal, depending upon how gooey you would like your treats to be.

  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with the oiled spatula. Place in the refrigerator until set (about 15 minutes), and slice to serve. Store in an airtight container either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2013. Recipe tweaked slightly but mostly unchanged, photos mostly new, video new, text mostly new.

Love,
Nicole

One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread

One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread

This easy gluten free banana bread is made in only one bowl, and it’s everything banana bread should be: moist, tender and delicious, packed with banana flavor and not too sweet. Banana bread perfection!

We buy tons of bananas year round, and nothing ever goes to waste. In the summertime, we make banana n’ice cream and chilly smoothies of all sorts. But there’s just nothing better to do with perfectly ripe bananas any month of the year than to make banana bread.

This banana bread recipe, specifically, has no season. It’s even good enough that you’ll want to turn on the oven in the dog days of summer to make it.

Moist, tender gluten free banana bread made the easy way, in one bowl. Never let those ripe bananas go to waste!

How is it so moist?

You know how the crumbs from a truly moist quick bread like banana bread can be picked up with the back of a fork? This is that gluten free banana bread.

I’d swear that it was the sour cream in the batter that makes it taste just.so.good. But I’ve also made it with plain Greek yogurt (1:1) in its place and it’s just as good.

I don’t feel really good about plain non-strained Greek-style yogurt, though, since that has significantly more moisture than sour cream. We want to mimic the texture of sour cream in this substitution.

Moist, tender gluten free banana bread made the easy way, in one bowl. Never let those ripe bananas go to waste!

Can I Make Substitutions?

The sign of a truly legendary quick bread recipe is when you can alter the ingredients a bit on the margins, and have it still turn out beautifully. This banana bread is, indeed, legendary.

Try folding in about 1 cup of whatever mix-ins you love most (chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, chocolate chips, you name it), and it will still turn out. You can even reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup, or raise it to a full cup or more. It will still turn out.

If you need to make it dairy free, in place of sour cream, try straining nondairy plain yogurt until it’s the thickness of sour cream and then measure that by weight. In place of butter, use butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, or even (not usually my favorite, but will work here) Earth Balance Buttery sticks.

Moist, tender gluten free banana bread made the easy way, in one bowl. Never let those ripe bananas go to waste!

About those ripe bananas…

The secret to the perfect gluten free banana bread, of course, is what it always is, really: one of my recommended gluten free flour blends, measured by weight (bananas measured by weight, too). Oh, and almost-overripe bananas. Is that two secrets?

If the almost-overripe banana thing is stressing you out because you think that you must catch your bananas at the peak of spotted perfection and bake within the hour, never fear! here’s a banana trick:

Whenever you find that you have perfect banana bread bananas, simply peel them and place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the bananas are very firm, then transfer the frozen bananas to a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use the bananas, defrost them either at room temperature or in the microwave for about 20 seconds on 75% power. Those frozen bananas are amazing for smoothies and banana “ice cream,” too.

Moist, tender gluten free banana bread made the easy way, in one bowl. Never let those ripe bananas go to waste!

Simply put…

Be sure to fold the bananas (and any mix-ins) into the batter at the end, and be sure not to overmix. Then scrape the batter into a prepared loaf pan, smooth the top, and bake. That’s it.

Since this is such a moist quick bread, you really do need to let it cool before slicing it. Otherwise, you may *squish* the loaf a bit as you slice it. And yes, you really do make it in one bowl.

P.S. Have you tried my gluten free chocolate banana bread? It’s another family favorite!

Moist, tender gluten free banana bread made the easy way, in one bowl. Never let those ripe bananas go to waste!
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf banana bread

Ingredients

2 cups (280 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup (133 g) granulated sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup (150 g) sour cream, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) ripe bananas, peeled and mashed lightly (from about 2 medium-size bananas)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla, then the sour cream, mixing until just combined after each addition. Add the mashed bananas and fold them into the batter, taking care not to further mash the bananas.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Place the pan in center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 45 minutes). If the loaf is browning too fast for the center to bake fully, tent with foil while it finishes baking. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

  • First published on the blog in November 2011. Photos and text updated, recipe clarified slightly but otherwise unchanged, video new. 

Love,
Nicole

 

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