Maple Pear Cake

My Maple Pear Cake is a beautifully simple, gluten-free, one-bowl cake. The flavors of maple, cinnamon and pear are a deliciously sweet yet not cloyingly combo that will have you eating cake for breakfast.  Plus, the powdered sugar is a beautiful topping that will get you in the winter spirit as you decorate your home for the holidays. 

Maple Pear Cake // gluten free//


In case you were curious, I’m still pregnant. Anybody lose their bet yet? Or are you still winning?

I decided to share this super simple, delicious, beautiful cake as part of my Thanksgiving dessert spread, but I feel like you could get away with it as a brunch item and definitely as a Christmas cake too. I think the simple yet pronounced flavors of maple and pear are perfect for anytime that calls for a simple winter cake.

I had all of these plans to make a crumble topping and a frosting for it too, but as it came together, simplicity won over. The pears bake right into the batter, leaving beautiful pear bumps on top of the finished cake.

Maple Pear Cake 1

Maple Pear Cake 2

Maple Pear Cake // gluten free//

Maple Pear Cake 6

A dousing of powdered sugar is the perfect finish for it.

Thank you to my culinary assistant in these photos, my husband, whom I had never seen wear an apron until this day and who shakes powdered sugar like a pro.

Maple Pear Cake 7

My plans for the rest of the day include, in no particular order: nap, eat more cake, hit the gym, scrapbook, and beg this baby to come out. Hope you have a lovely day (and that it isn’t as ugly rainy at your house as it is at mine) and make yourself a cake, just because.

Maple Pear Cake
My Maple Pear Cake is a beautifully simple, gluten-free, one-bowl cake. The flavors of maple, cinnamon and pear are a deliciously sweet yet not cloyingly combo that will have you eating cake for breakfast. Plus, the powdered sugar is a beautiful topping that will get you in the winter spirit as you decorate your home for the holidays. (makes one 9" cake)
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  1. 2 pears (I used red pears)
  2. 1 ½ cups all purpose gluten free flour blend
  3. 1 tsp. baking soda
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  6. 2 eggs
  7. ¼ cup brown sugar
  8. 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  9. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  10. extra maple syrup, to drizzle
  11. powdered sugar, to serve
  1. Spray a 9” spring-form pan with nonstick spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and eggs. Next, add the salt, cinnamon, baking soda and flour and stir until smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into your pan.
  4. Wash and dry your pears. Cut each in half and discard cores and stems. Press each half into the batter. Drizzle the top of the cake lightly with maple syrup (don’t pool it, you just want a touch on top of each pear really). Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake portion is done (a test stick comes out clean).
  5. Let the cake cool on a wire rack before releasing the spring ring from the pan. If the cake is completely cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve! Enjoy!
  1. Cake can be kept on the counter for a day or wrapped with plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Treats With a Twist
 Love pears? You’ll love this Pear Spiced Banana Bread

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake

My Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake is an easier, slightly different version of the cake just published in Bon Appetit magazine. It is rich, chocolaty and extremely delicious. You’ll want to make this cake again and again during the holidays and after that too.

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake //

I was flipping through Bon Appetit magazine after an extremely exhausting whirlwind weekend of travel and stumbled on a gluten free chocolate cake that I just had to try.

My husband and I had just driven 14 hours to Virginia and back. There are very few friends in your life that you would do that for…while 9 months pregnant. But this just happened to be one of those instances. When your best friend gets married, deems you Matron of Honor, and just hopes you’ll make it, you do everything you can to make it there. You go, you try your best to be as dedicated and attentive as possible, you dance your pregnant butt off, and you drive home (or your husband drives home) with your feet so sore you can’t put your shoes on anymore.

My feet and ankles were so swollen that I cried over not being able to see my ankle bones anymore. Dramatic? Me? Say what?

Anyways, I thought I’d spend the rest of the weekend with my feet propped up, but seeing this cake had me up and beating egg whites to a stiff peak at 8am. Not sorry.

So, this Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake is my version of the magazine cake. Yes, it is very similar, but I feel like I’ve really simplified it. I tried to health it up a touch too by using coconut oil and coconut sugar. BUT it is loaded with chocolate, so it is what it is.

Which is damn delicious, to be clear.

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake //

When my mom tasted it, she said it should be my go-to chocolate cake for awhile. That’s a great vouch for a cake! And I couldn’t agree more.

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake 1

I am definitely going to be making this cake again, especially when all of my family descends up on my house for the holidays.

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake 2

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake 4

This Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake will be your go-to chocolate cake too as soon as you try it!

Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake
My Flourless Chocolate Snack Cake is an easier, slightly different version of the cake just published in Bon Appetit magazine. It is rich, chocolaty and extremely delicious. You’ll want to make this cake again and again during the holidays and after that too. (makes one 4.5x8.5" loaf)
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  1. ¾ cup almond meal
  2. ¼ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  3. 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
  4. ¼ cup water
  5. ½ cup coconut oil
  6. 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  7. ¾ cup coconut sugar
  8. 4 eggs, separated
  9. ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  10. 1 tsp. sparkling sugar (or raw sugar)
  11. 2 Tbs chopped raw almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8.5x4.5” loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the 7ounces of chocolate and water. Microwave on ½-power until melted (mine took around 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds). Stir the coconut oil in and ½ cup of the coconut sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the almond meal, cocoa powder and Kosher salt.
  4. In a large glass bowl (make sure it is completely clean and dry), combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Use a hand mixer to mix until soft peaks form (high speed). Then gradually sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of coconut sugar while mixing until firm peaks form.
  5. Now, to the melted chocolate bowl (which should be cooled), whisk in the egg yolks.
  6. To the stiff egg whites, add ½ of the almond meal-cocoa mix and ½ of the melted chocolate mix. Fold in until almost completely incorporated (carefully fold, trying to maintain the fluffiness). Then add the rest of both mixtures and finish folding in.
  7. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Top with the sparkling sugar and chopped almonds.
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a stick comes out with a few crumbs on it, but not completely covered in chocolate.
  9. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and snacking. Enjoy!
  1. Keep cooled, tightly wrapped cake on the counter for 3 days or in the fridge for 5 days.
Treats With a Twist

Boxed Cake Mix Transformed

Boxed Cake Mix Transformed, or “how to make a cake from a boxed cake mix that doesn’t appear to be a boxed cake”. I know that a lot of you are super busy and those new gluten-free cake mixes look so appealing, so I’m giving you my best tips for using them! 

Boxed Cake Mix Transformed 2

Before I jump into today’s post: 1. If you didn’t know, Treats With a Twist is now SIX Years old! Holy moly! and 2. Happy Anniversary to my hubby. Love ya! 

I never thought I’d be doing a post like this, not because I’m so against boxed cake mixes, but honestly because there have been so few gluten-free boxed cake mixes on the market. Well, now they’re everywhere! Even Pillsbury has a gluten-free confetti cake mix, which just blows my mind.

So, since making a box mix may be your go-to, you may also be wondering how to oomph it up a bit so it isn’t immediately noticeable as “not from scratch.”

I will preface this by saying, I still 100% believe in from-scratch cakes. I think they are a labor of pure love, they are gorgeous and taste wonderful and are always worth it (unless you burn the cake…then that sucks).

My husband is one of those guys who likes things to be “regular” or “normal”. In his eyes, the more flavors or substitutions he knows about, the less he likes something. He rolls his eyes at pumpkin pancakes and begs for buttermilk ones, he sighs when there are too many extras in his banana bread, and he likes chocolate or vanilla cake, no fluff. So, his birthday was coming up and I decided not to go “all out” in homage to him…but I still wanted to eat the cake and play with the mix too, so I went with a boxed confetti cake mix (this was the cake I also made for my Virtual Baby Shower). I even used a pre-made frosting! Gasp! Something I haven’t done in maybe 5 years.

This mix called for 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup of water, and the mix. Instead, I used egg whites (4-5), 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, water, and a splash of imitation vanilla (the primary flavor in confetti cake, the only place I use imitation vanilla). For the frosting, I added a couple drops of blue food gel and I added my own sprinkles on top of the cake too.

Even baking it was different than the instructions, just to make it my own. I baked it in a ½ jellyroll pan then used a 6” ring to stamp out 3 layers. Making it a small layer cake just made it extra special. I decided to crumb-coat frost it, leaving it “messy” looking, versus layering the frosting into a hugely frosted dome (my husband isn’t a frosting fan, and I’m not a fussy-looking frosting lover, so this works for us!).

Boxed Cake Mix Transformed 1

Did he notice the difference? In the best way, no (he didn’t know it was from a box). But I did!

For me, I’d made the cake more special, a touch healthier, and I didn’t feel ashamed about “just” making a boxed cake. There’s no shame in making a boxed cake, but I used to hate having to admit I used a mix.

Here are my favorite tips to make a boxed cake mix your own. Use one tip, a couple, or as many as you’d like, and have fun!

  1. Add pure vanilla extract to a vanilla-based cake, add coffee to chocolate mix, add immitation vanilla to funfetti/confetti cake mix. I always do this. The splash of extra flavor really makes a difference.
  2. Add pudding mix! Add chocolate or vanilla pudding mix, depending on the cake flavor, to add lots of moisture to the cake. I usually just add ½ a box, but you can add the whole box (they even make sugar free or fat free varieties).
  3. Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or butter
  4. Make it a different shape! Presentation is key. You can bake it in a jelly roll pan and cut out 6” layers or bake it in a decorative bottom cake pan, just be sure to grease and flour the bottom so the details pop.
  5. Use food coloring and dye the cake OR the frosting. I use gel food coloring, because it is so vibrant and doesn’t add extra moisture to your mix. Just the tiniest drop makes a bright, bold difference.
  6. Use egg whites only or one whole egg and the rest egg whites. Also, try using applesauce, Greek yogurt, melted coconut oil or another healthy substitute for the canola/vegetable oil that is called for. Making chocolate cake? Try adding canned pumpkin (instead of most of or all of the oil) and a couple teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice!
  7. Refrigerate the cake overnight before frosting to trap in moisture. I like to cut out my layers, wrap them well with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight every time I make a cake. This is a tip I learned from a bakery I worked in, and it really does make a difference.
  8. Dice in fresh fruit or fold in chopped nuts.

Boxed Cake Mix Transformed //

Do you have a Boxed Cake Mix Transformation tip? I’d love to hear it! Which of mine jumps out at you? 


Note: this is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

My Pink Angel Food Birthday Cake

My Pink Angel Food Birthday Cake is my dream princess birthday cake…though I’m not a toddler anymore. 

Birthday Angel Food Cake //

Hooray! It’s Birthday cake time!!

Tomorrow is my birthday! So I’ll keep this short and very sweet.

I decided that you’re never too old for a fluffy pink princess cake. I took a literal note out of Sweetapolita’s book (blog) and went with her Pink Angel Food Cake. And, to keep it me, I made it gluten free!

I kept the rest of the cake pure to her recipe. Marshmallow Frosting (which happens to be my favorite because my grandma always uses 7 minute frosting on her coconut cakes, which is basically the same), crazy amazing sprinkles, and a few fun decorative touches.

Birthday Cake 1

Birthday Cake sprinkles 4

I’ll warn you right now, it has a ton of sugar in it. Consider yourself warned. But, my birthday only comes once a year. AND I’ll be quick to point out, there is no butter, no oil, no yolks…yup. This cake is basically a Twizzlers: a fat free food, made of sugar. I’ll take it!

Birthday Cake 5

So, Happy Birthday to me tomorrow! I’ll be spending it eating cake, reading a book, and tucking in early. Hooray! Love ya!

Birthday Cake 3


Birthday Pink Angel Food Cake
My Birthday Pink Angel Food Cake is a gluten free adaptation of Sweetapolita's lovely recipe! This pink angel food cake is perfect for the gluten free princess in your life. (one 9" bundt or 10" angel food cake)
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  1. 1 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Enjoy Life Foods)
  2. 2 ½ Tbs. tapioca starch (or corn)
  3. ½ Tbs. Xanthan gum
  4. 1 cup + 3 Tbs. powdered sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 cups (14 egg whites), room temperature (left out about 1 hour)
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  8. 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. superfine sugar*
  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  10. 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  11. Few drops pink soft gel paste food color
  1. 6 egg whites
  2. 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbs. raw sugar
  3. 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  7. Few drops pink soft gel paste food color
  8. Rainbow nonpareils, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, starch, Xanthan, confectioners' sugar and salt together. I sifted them 2 times through.
  3. "Wipe the bowl and whisk attachment of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add the egg whites and beat on the lowest speed until they start to become frothy, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites. Beat on medium speed until the egg whites thicken just slightly and you can see swirl lines in the mixture from the whisk (very soft peaks), about 1 minute. Add the superfine sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until the egg whites thicken and reach soft/medium, droopy (not stiff) peaks, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract, and a few drops of the food coloring, if using."
  4. "Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the dry ingredients 1/4 at a time on top of the meringue and fold gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Gently transfer the batter to an ungreased 10" angel food cake pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula. Bake on the lower rack of the oven until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly, and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Don't check the cake before 35 minutes, or you could deflate your cake, but also try not to over-bake." [I used a bundt pan, but I had a TOUGH time getting the cake out of the pan. Be patient.]
  5. "Remove the cake from the oven and invert the whole pan onto a wire rack so it cools upside down. Let cool for one hour and then loosen sides around the center and outside of the cake using a thin metal spatula or knife. Gently coax the cake out of the pan onto the wire rack and let cool completely." [Like I said, I had an impossible time getting the cake out of the pan. If you have a ton of trouble like I did, and yours comes out in huge pieces...just know it'll be covered in frosting, so don't sweat it.]
  1. Wipe the bowl and whisk attachment of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease.
  2. Add egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 130°F on a candy thermometer. Don't forget to use an oven mitt to grasp the bowl while you whisk because it'll get quite hot and the bowl will slip around.
  3. "Return the bowl to the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat until it is very thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and food color, if using, and beat to combine."
Assemble the cake
  1. Place the cake on your cake stand or plate. Mound the frosting up around the top of the cake (you'll want to mound it up a few inches high). Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting down the edges of the cake and around until the whole cake is covered. Use extra frosting to swipe the frosting around the cake, making wispies.
  2. Use sprinkles to decorate the cake as you'd like.
  3. Serve and enjoy the cake right away! The cake will be ok on the counter for up to 2 days, but it's best the day it's made.
  1. *I made mine quickly by blending raw sugar in the blender for a few seconds until it was all extremely fine.
Treats With a Twist

Confetti Cake

My Confetti Cake is a birthday dream! Two layers of gluten free vanilla sprinkle cake layered up with fluffy vanilla frosting, that is made from coconut cream, this cake will have you celebrating half-birthdays and Tuesday nights too. 

Confetti Cake //

Just as I promised on Monday when I showered you with Rocky Road Coconut Milk Ice Cream, I have some cake for you!! And it’s not just any cake, it’s Confetti Cake!

My Confetti Cake is moist, has that nostalgic vanilla sprinkle flavor, is dotted with beautiful confetti, and is totally gluten free! And the frosting? It’s dairy-free! And of course, lots more sprinkles on top.

I couldn’t be happier to be sharing this cake with you. I mean, sprinkles are total happy food.

This cake is for my beautiful kiddos, E & G. These two little ones turn four on Saturday and I couldn’t be more shocked and happy. Shocked simply because I had no idea that kids could grow up so quickly. I may only be their nanny, but I’ve been there for them every week since they were 10 months old. I can’t believe that they’re making up fantastical stories and carrying on real conversations with me now!

Confetti Cake 1

Confetti Cake 3

Confetti Cake 4

Confetti Cake //

Confetti Cake 5

Whether you have a birthday coming up to celebrate or want to make this for Easter…or for a random Spring evening, this cake is sure to make you smile. Light a candle, make a wish! 

Confetti Cake
My Confetti Cake is a birthday dream! Two layers of gluten free vanilla sprinkle cake layered up with fluffy vanilla frosting, that is made from coconut cream, this cake will have you celebrating half-birthdays and Tuesday nights too. (makes a 2-layer 6" cake)
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  1. ½ cup white rice flour
  2. ¼ cup sorghum flour
  3. 1/8 cup coconut flour
  4. 1 Tbs. tapioca starch
  5. ½ cup raw sugar
  6. 1 tsp. baking powder
  7. ½ tsp. baking soda
  8. 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  9. ½ tsp. sea salt
  10. ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  11. 2 egg whites
  12. 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  13. ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  14. 2 tsp. artificial vanilla extract*
  15. pinch of nutmeg
  16. 2 Tbs. confetti sprinkles
For the frosting
  1. 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, full fat, refrigerated overnight
  2. 2 Tbs. powdered sugar, sifted
  3. 1 tsp. artificial vanilla extract
  4. more sprinkles for decorating
  1. First, stir together the almond milk and vinegar and let set for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 deg F. Spray two 6” cake pans with nonstick spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (all of the flours, starch, sugar, salt and nutmeg). Stir well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and fold until combined. Then add the sprinkles and stir in.
  5. Divide your batter evenly between your pans. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a test stick comes out clean and the top is a light golden hue.
  6. Let the cakes cool slightly on a wire rack before turning them carefully out of the pans. Then let cool completely before assembling. I like to wrap my cooled cakes in plastic and place in the fridge overnight (while the coconut milk is getting cold) which traps in moisture and results in a better cake (in my opinion). [Also, wrapping them up now allows me to throw the layers in the freezer if I decide to finish the cake in a few weeks or when I actually need it.]
Assembly and Frosting
Make the frosting
  1. Open the coconut milk can, scoop out the solid coconut meat, avoiding the liquid, and place it into the bowl of your mixer. Pour the liquid into a jar to save for smoothies. Whip the coconut on medium speed with the whisk attachment for a couple minutes, until fluffy and smooth. Then, sift in your powdered sugar, mix until combined, then add extract and let that mix up quickly until combined.
  1. Place one layer of cake down on your cake plate or stand. Add ½ of the frosting on top of it and smooth into an even layer, all the way out to the edges. Center and place the second layer on. Add the rest of the frosting, smoothing it out into a nice layer. Sprinkle on sprinkles! Light a candle, make a wish, and enjoy!
  2. Finished cake layers can be kept in the fridge, well wrapped, for up to four days or in the freezer indefinitely. Assembled cake should be eaten the day it is made, but you can wrap up the leftovers and keep them in the fridge for a few days. But seriously, just eat the cake, you know you want to.
  1. *It’s very important to use the fake, clear vanilla here! That’s what gives the cake that iconic confetti (with an “F”) flavor.
Treats With a Twist
Confetti Cake 2