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Monday, June 24, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     I’m on a copy cat snack cake kick.  I made GF Twinkies last week and wanted something chocolate this time (being a chocoholic and all), plus I had to make good use of that canoe pan I bought.  These GF chocolate and peanut butter “Funny Bones” were amazing.  My first bite took me right back to that Funny Bone taste and texture...only better!   
     For the cake I used my tried and true chocolate cake recipe.  This cake is chocolatey and moist and the recipe is easy and very forgiving. One time I left out the oil and it still came out well.  This time I accidentally turned off the oven after the first batch came out of the oven.  The second batch was no where near done at the 12 minute mark and I was confused.  It took me a few more minutes to realize that the oven had cooled down to 200 degrees.  The second batch baked for over 25 minutes and there was no difference between this batch and the one made at the correct temperature.  So glad that the second batch did not sink, but this recipe never does sink.  
     I used the Funny Bone clone recipe from the King Arthur Flour site to guide me in making the filling and coating.  As usual, I cut the sugar in the filling in half.  I measured 1 cup of powdered sugar and then I put it through a sieve, there were 1 and 1/3 cups of sugar after sifting the powdered sugar.  I used only 3/4 cup of the sifted sugar in the filling and put the rest back. 
     The chocolate coating is easy to make, but tricky to get onto the cakes.  I frosted them on a rack over a baking tray to catch drips.  I spooned some on top and spread it over the sides, adding more as needed.  No worries, even if these have no coating on the bottom like a real Funny Bone, the coating on the top and sides of the cake is enough to provide a perfect amount of smooth chocolaty moistness to each bite. 
     If you are not a fan of peanut butter just use a batch of the vanilla filling from my GF Twinkie recipe instead.  I'm sure it will be delicious too.  You could also make the GF Twinkies and then coat them in chocolate if you want.  This will be like a Chocodile snack cake.


Makes 15 cakes in a Canoe pan or 18 cupcakes

Use cake recipe from my earlier post: CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE
For Dairy-Free or Vegan make cake with the Dairy-Free or Vegan instructions on that post.


1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter- I used all natural peanut butter with only peanuts (no sugar, oils or salt).
3/4 cup Sifted Powdered Sugar - sift sugar before measuring it out
4-7 Tbs. Milk - for Dairy-Free or Vegan use non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk creamer that I had on hand.)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract 


1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips - for Vegan or Dairy-Free use Vegan/Dairy-Free chips.
1 1/2 Tbs. Non-hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening - I used Spectrum brand

  1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.   Prepare a canoe baking pan by greasing it or you can make your own canoe shaped cake 'pans' from aluminium foil by following the instructions on this site: Can You Stay for Dinner?.  For cupcakes line muffin tins with paper liners.
    Canoe baking pan aka Twinkie pan.
  3.   Prepare 1 recipe for Chocolate Cake
  4.   Fill the canoe pan(s) or cupcake liners 2/3 full with cake batter.  My canoe pan makes 6 cakes so I reused the pan a few times, cleaning and greasing the pan before each batch.
    Pan 2/3 full with raw batter.
  5.   Bake cakes:  Canoe Pan 12-15 minutes;  Cupcakes  15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean or the cake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.
    Cakes baked.  They will fall slightly after cooling.
  6.   Cool canoe cakes in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a rack to cool completely.  Be sure to cool cakes with the flat side down to prevent lines from forming on the top of the cakes. Remove cupcakes in liners to a rack immediately.
    Cakes cooling completely on a rack.

  1.   Place peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir together.
  2.   Add the vanilla & 4 Tbs. of milk and beat with an electric mixer.  
  3.   Add more milk, 1 Tbs. at a time, mixing after each addition, until the filling is smooth, creamy and easily spreadable.
  4.   Place all the filling in a pastry bag fitted with a pastry filling tip.
    Peanut butter filling in a pastry bag fitted with a pastry filling tip.

  1.   Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2.   Heat, on a low setting, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts.  Remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
  3.   Use it to frost the cakes immediately.


  1. Cradle a canoe cake in your palm.  Insert the pastry tip into one end until it reaches the center of the cake.  Squeeze the bag as you pull the pastry tip back out to the insertion site (at this point in the instructions you can tell that I am a nurse).  The cake is moist and will stick to the pastry tip so place two fingers on the cake on each side of the insertion point as you squeeze and pull out the filling bag.  You can also fill the cakes using the three hole filling and tunneling method from the Twinkie recipe.
    Cakes filled using 3 hole method on right front.
    All other cakes with filling inserted at each end.
    Filling a cake while holding the cake with two fingers to keep
    the chocolate cake from coming out with the pastry tip.
  2. You can fill cupcakes by inserting the tip into the top center of each cake and then squeezing the filling into the cake.
    You could also use this hard plastic cake filling tool to fill cupcakes
    or to fill the canoe cakes with the 3 hole method.
  3.   Place the filled cakes, flat side down on a cake rack that is sitting on a baking sheet. This step is not necessary for cupcakes as they will be dipped into the coating.
    Cake on left filled by the 3 hole Twinkie method.
    Cake on the right filled from each end to look like a real Funny Bone.

  1.   After filling every cake or cupcake make the coating.
  2.   For cupcakes dip each cake into the coating, allow it to drip a few seconds before turning it right side up and placing it on a tray to set and dry.
  3.   For coating the canoe cakes, spoon some coating along the top of the cake.  Using a small spatula (or knife), spread the coating down all the sides of the cake.  If some area is not covered, scoop some more coating with the spatula and spread it on the uncoated areas.  (There will be no perfect looking cakes here.  I think the factories get it perfect by using a machine or by dipping the whole cake.  It would be necessary to make a lot more coating in order to dip the cakes and then the bottom coating would probably stick to any surface and come off when you lift the cakes.)
  4.   Place the coated cakes on a rack or plate to dry and set the coating.  You can put them in a refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to rush this process along.
    Cakes on a rack letting the chocolate set.
  5.   Eat cake!
  6.   These can be stored at room temperature for up to a week or frozen for 2 months.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     I had a hankering for Twinkies.  It must have been all the stories about Hostess going out of business and the Twinkie shortage panic that has been all over the news.  Also, I saw a pan that is used to make Twinkie shaped cakes and it started my wheels turning...I can make GF Twinkies and GF Chocolate Twinkies and GF Funny Bones...
In case you are from another country and never heard of Twinkies they are a popular snack cake here sold in packages of two. Legend has it that they were called Twinkies because they will disappear in the twinkling of an eye. They are a vanilla sponge cake filled with vanilla cream and when you bite them they have a lovely creamy soft texture and vanilla flavor.  Over the years the ingredients have changed and now there are artificial flavors and ingredients that are much more complicated than flour, butter, eggs and sugar.  
     It has been over twenty years since I even had a real Twinkie so I can not say for sure what a real one tastes like.  All over the Internet there are copycat Twinkie recipes, so I converted one that looked most like a Twinkie that was on the King Arthur Flour website.  The cakes came out moist and flavorful and the cream was just the right consistency.  I was in heaven with my first bite as I experienced that perfect soft cake texture mixed with wonderful cream.  Even if it is not exactly like a ‘real’ Twinkie this cake is really good.

Makes 12 cakes if using a canoe/Twinkie pan

1/2 cup
Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup
Chickpea Flour
1/4 cup
Tapioca Flour
1/2 tsp.
Xanthan Gum
1/2 cup
2 tsp.
Baking Powder
1/2 tsp.
Sea Salt
1/4 cup
Canola Oil
6 Tbs.
Cold Water
Egg Yolks
2 tsp.
Vanilla Extract
Egg Whites - beaten until stiff 


1 Tbs. Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Milk (for Dairy-Free use non-dairy milk)
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs. Unsalted Butter (for Dairy-Free use non-hydrogenated margarine)
2 Tbs. Non-Hydrogenated Shortening (I use Spectrum brand.)
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 cup Sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a canoe pan or you can make cupcakes and use a muffin pan.  Here is a link to a website (Can You Stay for Dinner?) that shows you how to make your own canoe/Twinkie shaped baking cups using foil and a spice jar.
    This is a Canoe/Twinkie pan.
    I bought this at Sur la Table for about $15.
  2.   For the CAKE, place all the ingredients, EXCEPT for the egg whites, into a large bowl and mix well.
  3.   In a separate bowl,  whip the egg whites until very stiff.

    Whipped egg whites.
  4.   Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the large bowl of batter and fold them in. Repeat with the next 1/3 of the egg whites and again with the remaining 1/3 of the egg whites.
    Batter before egg whites were folded in.
    Batter after egg whites were folded in.
  5.   Fill each section of the pan 2/3 full with batter.  Do not overfill as the cake will rise quite a bit.
    Pan 2/3 filled with raw batter. 
  6.   Bake for 8-12 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  In my oven it took 15 minutes.  If making cupcakes in a muffin tin it will take about 15-18 minutes to bake.
    Baked cakes in cooling in pan.
  7.   Let cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing the cakes to cool completely on a rack.  Be sure to cool cakes with the flat side down.
    Cakes cooking completely on a rack.
    Note that the flat side is down.
  8.   While the cakes are cooling make the Cream.  (If you love lots of cream I suggest that you double the recipe.  Even if all the cream does not fit inside the cake you can just spread it on top.) 
  9.   In a small saucepan heat the milk and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens into a paste, then remove from the heat.
    Milk and flour cooked into a paste.
  10. Let cool for 1 minute then add the Vanilla and stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap pressed into the surface of the paste to prevent a skin from forming.  Cool completely in the refrigerator while doing the next step.
    Plastic wrap pressed onto the paste to keep a skin from forming.
  11. In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a bowl using a hand mixer add the butter, shortening, sugar and salt.  Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy, scrape down the sides of the bowl to be sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  12. Add the cooled flour/milk paste to the bowl and beat for 5 minutes on medium/high speed until fluffy, smooth and creamy.  You can store the cream at room temperature for 3-4 days and it will remain creamy.
    Cream after 5 minutes of whipping.
  13. To fill the cakes:  Place the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip or tip that is used to fill pastries. You can also use one of those hard plastic pastry filling gadgets. 
    (L-R) Tip for filling pastry, round tip and hard plastic gadget for filling cakes.
  14. Hold the cake in your hand with the flat side up.  Insert the pastry tip into the center of the cake about half way into the cake.  Gently squeeze the filling and turn the tip to the right and left side to tunnel some cream to each side.  Repeat this step by inserting the tip half way between the center hole and the edge of each end of the cake.  You will have three holes of cream on each cake.  Be careful, if you use too much or press too hard the cream will come out the top of the cake.  If making cupcakes, insert the tip into the bottom of the cupcake and rotate the tip to tunnel the cream around the cupcake so that there is some cream in each bite or just frost the cupcakes with the cream.  You could also slice the cupcakes in half crosswise and spread with a layer of cream to make a cupcake cream sandwich.
    On left note the 3 holes filled with cream.
    On the right notice the cream tunneling to the left and right from each hole.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     These cookies are from a popular vegan restaurant in Red Bank, New Jersey called “Down to Earth”.  The restaurant closed a few years ago and then one of the original owners opened a new place called “Good Karma” that also makes these cookies.  This recipe is adapted from the “Down to Earth” cookbook written by Lacey Sher & Gail Doherty with Kit Libenschek.  I make them GF and Soy-Free.  Over the years I have also made them with butter in place of oil with great results.  
     Magic cookies have oats, coconut, carrots, pecans and chocolate chips.  The restaurant makes them very large.  I use a smaller scoop and make them the size of a typical cookie.  They are soft and chewy and very delicious but, you are duly warned, a bit addictive.  Everyone loves them.

Makes 4 dozen 2-inch cookies or 9 large cookies about 5-inches wide.


1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour (or Corn Starch or Arrowroot Flour)
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
3/4 cup Carrots - Shredded
1 cup Shredded Coconut - Unsweetened
1 cup Vegan* Sugar - I use Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals
1 cup Rolled Oats - Gluten Free
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbs. Coconut Oil - Melted  (to use butter or margarine replace the coconut and canola oils with 6 Tbs. of melted butter or margarine.)
1/4 cup Canola Oil (to use butter or margarine see note above)
1/3 cup Water
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (I used 1 tsp. vanilla and one tsp. Lorann Butter Vanilla Emulsion.)
2/3 cups Chocolate Chips - For Soy-Free I used Soy-Free “Enjoy Life” brand mini chips.
2 cups  Pecans - Chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silpat mats.
  2. In a large bowl add the flours, carrots, coconut, sugar, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum and oats.  Mix well.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl add the coconut and canola oils, water, vanilla, pecans and chocolate chips.  Mix well.
    Dry Ingredients on left & Wet Ingredients on right.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together well.
    Dough all mixed and ready to be scooped out.
  5. For smaller cookies: With a scoop that measures 1 1/2-inches across portion out the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.  For larger cookies:  Use a 1/4 cup scoop (about 2 - 2 1/2-inches across).  
  6. Space cookies 2-inches apart.
    Dough on cookie sheet cookies in the front are not yet flattened.
  7. Flatten out the mounds of dough with wet hands.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies and 10-15 minutes for larger ones.  The cookies will be golden brown when done.  Do not over bake.
    Baked cookies.
    The middle cookie is upside down to show the browned bottom.
  9. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 or 3 minutes before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.