Gluten-Free Tunnel of Nutella Swirly Bundt Cake-Almost

GlutenFree Tunnel of Nutella Swirly Bundt Cake Yes, it is January.

Yes, most folks are thinking about a diet of green smoothies, salads and protein instead of baked goods. 

But our local Community Association has a tradition for the January meeting, a dessert social.  

Who am I to think that I should bring along something without sugar to such an event?  

Although I did think about black bean brownies first, somehow this new product at Fred Meyer’s got into my shopping cart, and I just had to use it. 

Creamy Simple Organic Hazelnut Spread
Creamy Simple Truth Organic Hazelnut Spread

All in the sake of research, mind you.  I took the hit for all of you to see if it was as good as the Nutella so prevelant in baked goods today.

It isn’t as good. 

It is far, far better, with organic sugar, organic palm oil, organic cocoa and hazelnuts.  It even comes in crunchy!

Crunchy Simple Truth Organic Hazelnut Spread
Crunchy Simple Truth Organic Hazelnut Spread

Ok, so tempting Chocolate and Hazelnut Nutella was my inspiration.  

Now what to make?  

Katie was itching to try a recipe for Nutella brownies, made with nothing but Nutella and eggs.  My skeptical mind wonders just how they would come out. Would they be moist and fall apart? fudgy like typical brownies?  

I just wasn’t as inspired as Kate, perhaps that is why she made a batch of black bean brownies.

The idea of using an entire jar of Nutella for a single recipe struck me as overkill. 

The smooth paste is just too sweet to imagine wanting to eat an entire piece of the finished product. 

Hmmm, what to do?

Oh yes, my new swirly pan would be lovely. 

I’m joining with a group of bloggers to create special cakes in this lovely pan, blog about it and then send the pan on.  Think The Fellowship of the Traveling Pants, but instead of jeans, we will be sending on a pan and recipe book. 

Actually, everyone else will be sending Dorothy (the pan has a name) and Toto (the recipe book) on its way.  I’m going to be making all of my recipes in Auntie Em (my pan), because she stayed in one place. 

Just can’t deal with possible crumbs in the dashing swirls of the pan, those would make me ill. 

So when the time comes for my turn, I’ll be baking in my own gluten free pan and linking up with everyone else. 

In the mean time, I’ve been having fun figuring out recipes that fill but don’t overflow the pan, cooking times and temperatures, and looking at lots of older bundt cake inspirational recipes. 

Thinking back to my childhood, I recalled a tender, buttery vanilla cake that had a deep, rich tunnel of fudge running through the top. Creating that gluten-free would be truly special. 

Interior of GlutenFree Tunnel of Nutella Cake from Gluten-Free Doctor

The crowd at the community association event agreed. I had just one piece left to send off to work with my husband today. 

Gluten-Free Tunnel of Nutella Swirly Bundt Cake-Almost
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This cake is inspired by the 1950's classc right off the bag of Pillsbury flour. That cake was made with chocolate and walnuts in a pound cake like basic cake. One situation us gluten-free bakers need to address is the problem of the fallng tunnel. Our batters have so much more liquid than glutinous cakes, the tunnel won't stay put in the cake. But I figured out a way to make that darn layer of lucious stay right where I want it. Read along and see.
Recipe type: Cake, Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Baking, Gluten-Free
Serves: 16
  • ½ cup nutella
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.
  • ½ cup Nutella or better yet, Organic Hazelnut Spread - you can use more to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Gease the pan with spray oil. (yes, I know it is supposed to be non stick, but it isn't)
  3. Beat together the butter and pixie dust till smooth and fluffy.
  4. Add sour cream and beat for 30 seconds
  5. Add sugar, flour mixes , baking powder, salt. Beat till well combined. The batter will get quite stiff.
  6. Add one egg and beat 30 seconds, continue adding eggs till all are in and then beat one minute.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  8. Sprinkle the batter with the powdered sugar. I use one of these to make it simple and keep the sugar inside the pan.
  9. You can use a tea strainer as well.
  10. Stir the Nutella with a spoon till it is fluffy,
  11. Gently place small spoonfuls atop the powdered sugar. The sugar acts like a rug, supporting the nutella in place and preventing it falling into the top of the pan.
  12. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  13. Check to see if the cake is pulling away from the sides. If it is, then it is done. Othewise 5 more minutes.
  14. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto your serving plate.
  15. Cool the cake completely before glazing.
  1. Warm the nutella till barely warm in small bowl
  2. Add the cream and sugar
  3. Stir till smooth.
  4. Pour gently into the deeper swirls or go to town and just drizzle everywhere.
  5. You might want to save just a bit though.
  6. There is a lovely drink that I'm going to make tomorrow





Vegan Vanilla Cookies- Recipe Redux

This month’s Recipe Redux started out with an interesting request.

Which kitchen gadget is indispensable in our kitchen?

There are so many that I use on a daily basis, but the one that gets the most use is a very simple scale.

Ever since I made the change from volume measurements to weight based measurements, my baked goods are routinely wonderful. There just isn’t the variations in quantity of flours, sugars or liquids that eyeballing in a cup can create.

This scale is my ideal.  It weighs accurately down to 1 gram.  So I can even weigh out spices.

Ozeri Touch Scale


By weight, all of my baked goods consistently turn out right the first time.

This Vegan Vanilla Cookie recipe is one I use routinely for school events.

No dairy, no gluten, no nuts to keep kiddos away.

Just a crisp, crunchy pair of cookies surrounding tender chocolate filling.

Vegan Vanilla Cookies with Chocolate Creme filling

Vegan Vanilla Cookies- Recipe Redux
  • ¾ cup Earth Balance buttery Vegan stick shortening
  • 10 grams (1 tablespoon)Pixie Dust
  • 8 grams vanilla extract
  • 575 grams cookie flour mix
  • 60 grams water
  • 500 grams (or to taste) mix-ins of your choice- nuts, chocolate chips, candy cane pieces, etc.
  1. Place the mixing bowl onto the scale and zero out the scale. Measure each of the ingredients into the mixer bowl in the order written, zeroing out the scale between each addition.
  2. Once all the ingredients are added to the bowl, place the bowl onto the mixer.
  3. Begin to beat slowly till the mixture comes together.
  4. Once it is all gathered together, increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. The dough is then ready to be used as a cookie base or with mix-ins of your choice or rolled into a log 2 inches in diameter for slicing later.
  6. Place finished dough into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 4 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. If you held the dough in a ball, roll the dough out to ½ inch. Using cookie cutters, cut out festive shapes. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about ½ inch apart.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes
  10. If you mixed in items, then make one inch balls. Place them on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or till golden brown. The center will still be soft but will crisp up as they cool.
  11. If you held the dough in a log, just slice the log ½ inch thick and bake on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets for 8 minutes. If you roll the log in colored sugar, minced nuts or ground chocolate first, then the edges are all decorated when they come out of the oven.


Midnight Secret Cake

When a good friend asked me recently for a killer gluten-free, dairy-free cake recipe for a friendly competitive potluck, I considered.

Flourless Orange Almond gluten-free dairy-free cake

Knowing that the event was a celebration of a new marriage,that the bride is gluten and dairy intolerant. There are lots of kids to consider in the family who love great sweets. Time is short for construction, the party is Saturday, but the friend who wants to make this cake is willing to try anything truly spectacular.
We finally have summer here in the Pacific Northwest, so my internal debate began with berry-full ideas.
Maybe a great strawberry shortcake with coconut whipped cream? Then again, battling the heat and and the timing of a potluck situation would make that a bit risky.
Or a pie? I’ve been so inspired by pie since finally meeting Kate McDermott at BlogHerFood. As lovely as a pie might be, spectacular isn’t an adjective I use to describe most.
But who knows, my opinion might change after Pie Camp. Hmmm, time to go back in my recipe archives to fun, beautiful things I’ve made.
Maybe spice cupcakes with maple marshmallow frosting? Tough to transport and how to add that wow factor?And then it hit me. This amazing cake I had made for a baby shower would be perfect! Bob’s Red Mill Almond meal for the flours Whole organic oranges for flavor, moistness and texture Eggs for lift. Elegant, pretty and perfect!

Dairy Free Ganache

You do realize that this isn’t a true ganache, right?

After all, the definition of ganache is chocolate and cream combined to create a frosting.

So this thinner coating isn’t tradtional.

Who cares? It’s terrific.

Dairy Free Ganache
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Total time
I wanted a chocolate coating with great gloss and flavor. You don't notice the coconut once it is on.
Recipe type: dessert, icing, frosting, dairy-free, gluten-free
Serves: 12
  • 115 grams (4 oz) Dairy Free Chocolate - I used 74%
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together.
  2. Beat for 15-30 seconds before allowing to cool
  3. Pour over cake.


Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Thirteen years ago, I was awakened by a feeling of dread.

Dread because the bed was damp.

Dread that something I ate at the house party the night before was attempting to crawl out of my body.

My guts were in a tumult, cramping pains coming along with a crescendo/decrescendo rhythmic wave.



Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake
Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake

It was four in the morning after all, just took a bit of time to process.

My emotions changed from dread to elation when I realized that the rhythm meant labor, not food poisoning.

But then whipsawed back, Dread- I was five weeks early for my due date.

Elation-I was on break from school, had just handed in my last final, had 4 weeks before classes resumed.

Dread, we hadn’t found a MD to deliver the babies yet and in our state of  Oregon, a Naturopath can’t deliver a high risk pregnancy like twins. 

Elation, that I hadn’t woken my husband with all my squirming and gushing.  He had just finished his finals too, hadn’t had a good nights sleep in a week.

So I got quietly out of bed, grabbed the phone and called my Naturopath.

Dr. Katherine Zieman answered my call on the first ring.  I always wondered if she ever had a full nights sleep herself.

We timed my next contraction, and she told me to wait for her next call. 

It all seemed so fast, we had just been talking the day before about finalizing the birth plan, now that she wasn’t permitted to deliver our babies.

Naturopathic physicians and midwives aren’t allowed to deliver high risk pregnancies in Oregon. And a twin birth to an Elder mom (Who me? I’m only 38) is considered high risk.

Our imagined home birth plan had morphed into confusion with the wonderful news that we were to be the parents of TWINS!

But that meant Dr. Zeiman would be a birth attendant, not catching the baby as we had hoped.

And although I was at 35 weeks, we hadn’t had much time to absorb the information.

My first ultrasound had been at 32 weeks.

I had learned far to much about the possible complications from ultrasound in medical school to want to have one willy-nilly.  When I came up big for dates at my 31st week appointment, we had a medical need to see why.

Our reaction to the news was the happiest unexpected cheer that Dr. Edwin Hofmann-Smith, ND had ever heard in response to the news of twins.

Dr. Katherine was just as happy as we were, everything was looking good for a safe delivery.

But we had to find a MD/OB to do the actual delivery, and to coax one of the twins to a correct birthing position.

So when I called Dr. Katherine, she called the doctor we had arranged to visit for a manual version. (external rotation of the baby) and we were told to go to St. Vincent’s.

Now I woke Ed, it was time to go to the hospital.

Packed an overnight bag, just hadn’t had the time before.

The sliver of a moon was still hanging in the cold starry night sky.  So cold, so clear.

Ed was nervous about driving, took it very slow.

Dr. Katherine managed to make it to the hospital before us, even though she was coming from 1/2 hour further than us.

 And a few hours later, we became parents of twin girls.

Born just two minutes apart, by cesarean section.

Fiona and Katie.

We were so happy, excited, thrilled.


Then Fiona stopped breathing, and as I was whisked away to the recovery room, I heard the call go out for more help.

She eventually had to be intubated to be able to breathe, but otherwise was fine.

We all took a breath, and waited and watched our tiny daughters learn to be in the world a bit too soon.

A week in the NICU for them, to get their lung function adequate, to make sure they were growing.

After all at under ten pounds together they weighed less than some full term babies.


The whipsaw of emotions continues to this day.

Yesterday was our girls 13th Birthday.

There, I’ve said it.

We have twin teens in the house

Katie and Fiona
Katie and Fiona


and so far all is well.
Ok, so they want to eat everything that they can find, but with their athletic builds, that isn’t a problem.

And when they ask for German Chocolate Cake for their birthday, No problem is the answer.

I was happy to oblige with this Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake Recipe adapted from some of my favorite bakers.


Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake
Prep time
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Total time
Inspiration for this cake is from Mary Jo Thoresen by way of David Lebovitz with lots of variation by me. The syrup in the original cake was eliminated since the twins don't care for the flavor of rum. We increased the amount of filling to insure every bite had a bit of that yumminess, later discovering the joys of dipping a spoonful in hot fudge for an ice cream topping. This seems like a daunting task when you glance at the various sub recipes. If you tend to melt all the chocolate and create the filling in advance, it is no more difficult than any other cake, but the reactions from your family and friends are likely to be worshipful.
Serves: 16
For the Cake:
  • 4 oz 74% dark chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 8 oz butter
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup sugar- to beat with egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 106 grams White Flour Mix
  • 165 grams Whole Grain Flour Mix
  • 20 grams Pixie Dust
  • 5 grams 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 grams 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
  • 1½ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 3 jumbo egg yolks
  • 4½ ounces butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1¾ cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
For the chocolate icing:
  • 8 ounces 74% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter two 9 inch pans, then line them with a circle of parchment or waxed paper.
  3. Melt chocolate and water in a small pan. Allow to cool.
  4. Beat egg whites till soft peaks form, add ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat till glossy and stiff. Set aside.
  5. Beat butter till light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually, continuing to beat till all is incorporated.
  6. Add the reserved chocolate mixture, stir to combine.
  7. Combine 1¼ cup sugar, flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.Stir till the mixture is one even color.
  8. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, stirring in each addition.
  9. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  10. Stir in ¼ of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the rest.
  11. Place in prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for 10 minutes more.
  13. Allow to cool in the pans for 3-5 minutes then turn out to cool completely.
To make the filling:
  1. Place the pecans on a cookie sheet.
  2. Bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes till they are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the pecans to cool on it. Then chop to small pieces.
  3. Place the coconut on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 for 3-5 minutes. Stir well, turn off oven and return the cookie sheet to the oven for 3 more minutes. The coconut should be an even light brown.
  5. Remove the coconut from the cookie sheet.
  6. Combine the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
  7. Beat together the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan.
  8. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)
  9. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)
To make the icing:
  1. Place the 8 ounces of finely chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.
  2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil.
  3. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.
  4. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth.
  5. Let sit until room temperature.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with ½ the mixture.
  7. To create the finished cake.
  8. Place squares of waxed paper overlapping on your cake plate. These will be removed once you frost the sides of the cake to leave a clean plate.
  9. Place one cake round on the center of the cake plate.
  10. Pipe a circle of frosting on the edge of the layer
  11. Fill the circle with ½ of the pecan/coconut filling.
  12. Place second cake round on top, gently push and settle the round onto the chocolate frosting and filling.
  13. Place second half of the pecan/coconut mixture on top spreading to within ¼ inch of sides but not sliding over the edge.
  14. Using the chocolate frosting and a flat edged frosting spatula, smooth a thin layer of the frosting onto the sides of the cake.
  15. Using the piping bag, pipe a decorative edge on the top of the cake.
  16. Remove the waxed paper from under the cake by pulling out opposite squares.
  17. Pipe the lower border of the cake.
  18. Let the cake rest in a cool place for ½ hour till you cut it.

For Mikey- Peanut Butter Pie, now gluten free

This should have been a post about Blog Her- that amazing event that manages to bring almost 3800 women and 6 guys together to talk about blogging, being 360 degree women, community building, and having a voice in the blizzard of social media.

But it isn’t.


Because just after getting home from BlogHer 11, I found out an amazing man had died.

A man who I will never have the joy to meet, who has none the less affected my life and work.

He was husband to a woman who I love to read, dad to two little girls I was fortunate to see by video.

He died suddenly, without the chance to say goodbye to his loved ones.


His wife has asked for one thing to be done.  To make a pie for Mikey.

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate
Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate

And I will, because I know what it is like to lose a husband far too young.

to be left with a band of gold hung around your neck and a feeling that life will never be the same again.

When a friend makes a request at these grieving times, the simplest and hardest thing to do is limit myself to just that. I want to open my arms and heart to try to protect everyone from the hurt.

But sometimes the pain is where the future growth lies.

For Mikey, and Christopher.

This is Jennie’s recipe with a few tweaks to make it Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pie Recipe and to reduce the amount of sugar. For those who need a peanut free version, there is a substitution included as well.

Cause after all, don’t we all want to help?

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This pie is less sweet than the original one, with a nice dark chocolate flavor. Feel free to increase the honey if you wish for a sweeter pie.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 15 or so (8 oz) gluten free chocolate cookies ( this is one half of a batch of the cookie mixture, freeze or fridge the rest) or use KinniToos Chocolate Sandwich Creme cookie
  • or similar sandwich cookies and scrape off the cream.
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted- optional-see note in step one
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces 223 grams cream cheese
  • 1 cup 170 grams creamy-style peanut butter- please don't try to substitute freshly ground, it won't work. Feel free to substitute SunButter- Organic Sunflower seed butter if you need to avoid peanuts.
  • ¼ cup 33 grams honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts (optional)
  1. Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumb, or just bake the cookie dough in the bottom of the springform pan and eliminate the next step. (this way you also eliminate a bit of the richness -but not much- of the pie) If you pat the cookie dough into the bottom, use a bit of plastic wrap to smooth it out and up the sides.
  2. It will only reach about an inch up the sides. That is how I made it for the pictures.
  3. If you use the cookie crumbs- Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
  4. Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the honey.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
  7. Stir in ⅓ of the whipped cream into the filling mixture. This helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
  9. Drizzle on top of prepared pie, spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate if desired.
  10. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.