Summer Strawberry Cream Cake or Cupcakes

This post is inspired by an old recipe (Strawberry Cream Cake) in Everyday Food. To make this cake gluten-free, I used my favorite standby recipe from a Gluten Free Guide in which you use a GF Betty Crocker cake mix and make cupcakes or a 9" round cake.
This is a delicious summer dessert. It's perfect for birthday's... including my BIG 30!  ;)
Summer Strawberry Cream Cake

1 package Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
1 3.4oz package Jello vanilla instant pudding
1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1 tbs bourbon vanilla extract

1lb strawberries, thinly sliced
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Mix the wet ingredients (for the cake) together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry and beat on medium speed until smooth and completely combined.

for cupcakes: Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill about 2/3 of the way full. DO NOT OVERFILL. Bake for 23 minutes or until cupcakes are golden and toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

for a cake: line bottom of cake pan with parchment paper and grease (I used butter and sprinkled sugar) the sides of the pan to prevent sticking. Pour cake mix into pan (about 2/3 full). You may have extra batter (make a few cupcakes). Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake is golden and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for about 15 minuted before removing the cake from pan and letting cool completely on rack.

Make topping: In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside (can be prepared 1 day in advance). 

Using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.

Spread the cake with a layer of strawberries and then top with whipped cream. Slice and serve immediately! Or spoon whipped cream onto cupcakes and serve with a side of strawberries. Enjoy!


or cake


Caprese Quinoa Salad

I love summer meals because they can be created so easily with fresh flavorful ingredients. Quinoa is so good for you and takes on whatever flavors you want, be it southwest or italian style. This recipe is inspired by Megan's Cookin.  I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious take on the italian caprese salad!

Caprese Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
8 oz fresh mozzarella (use mozzarella pearls or cut into small slices)
15 large basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 to 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and let cool completely.
2. Once cool, add tomatoes, cheese basil, salt and pepper to quinoa.
3. Drizzle olive oil on top and toss gently.
4. Serve immediately or refrigerate to allow flavors to meld together.



Moist Fudgy Brownies (Gluten Free)!

It's really hot outside. The air quality is horrible because of nearby forest fires and I just want to hide inside. I've closed up the windows, cranked on the AC and started the oven. Crazy, I know. It is summer; the time to be outside away from baking in a hot oven... but when you eat this chocolatey goodness, you'll know it was worth it :)

Moist Fudgy Brownies

2 1/2 cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
1 3/4 cups sugar
12 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Add all ingredients (except chocolate chips and walnuts) into a standing mixer and combine on medium until smooth
3. Stir in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips
4. Pour into a greased (I used butter) 9"x13" glass baking dish
5.  Bake for ~35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean! Let cool and slice into squares.

ENJOY! Being 8 months pregnant, I might have to hide these wonderfully delicious brownies from myself as I seem to have no self-control at the moment!

 brownie batter...

ready for baking

 now moist delicious brownies are ready to eat!