If you love entering giveaways to win free prizes, I am hosting 2 awesome giveaways on my social media accounts! I wanted to share the news with you all on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon! Enter to win Skinny Dipped Almonds on my Instagram, and a Modern Cone gift card on Facebook. On Facebook, you need to look for the pinned post. Keep reading to find out how you can win! I also have a Skinny Dipped Almonds coupon to share with you if you are curious about them and want to give them a whirl! They are one of my favorite go-to snacks!
CLICK HERE or click the image below to enter the Skinny Dipped Almonds giveaway. GOOD LUCK!
You can find out more about Skinny Dipped Almonds in my review on the blog. I also have a special money-saving Skinny Dipped Almonds coupon so you can save on your order at Skinny Dipped Almonds. These dipped almonds are one of my favorite snacks. They come in a wide variety of mouthwatering, indulgent flavors!
I recently had a chance to give Goodie Girl Cookies a whirl and I am here today to share my experience with these scrumptious gluten-free cookies with you! Welcome to my Goodie Girl Cookies review! I have a feeling you are going to absolutely love these! I came across this brand of cookies while browsing Amazon. These cookies are perfect for those of us who consume a gluten-free diet. Goodie Girl Cookies has several different flavors available for their cookies.
I will admit that I am a sucker for packaging. Aren’t you just really love the design of Goodie Girl Cookie’s packaging?? I sure am and it really caught my eye. The adorable little girl on the packaging is just so sweet. That is the kind of face I make when I eat way too many cookies!
Goodie Girl Cookies on Amazon~ pour yourself a glass of milk and give this variety pack a whirl!
The Goodie Girl Cookies Review… let’s get started!
Gluten-free and peanut-free for goodness’ sake!
If you are following a gluten-free diet it is often difficult to find a line of cookies to please your palate. With Goodie Girl Cookies you will think you hit the jackpot with their extensive line of classic and fun flavors. Their cookies are certified gluten-free and produced in a place that is free of any gluten. Goodie Girl Cookies uses oat flour to manufacture their cookies instead of traditional wheat products.
Also, for anyone that has a peanut allergy you can have peace of mind and rest assured with this brand because their cookies are all manufactured in a peanut-free facility.
What makes Goodie Girl better?
I don’t know about you but I sure am not a big fan of artificial ingredients. I try to avoid artificial ingredients and flavors as much as possible. Goodie Girl Cookies only uses natural ingredients to make their delicious cookies.
Also, Goodie Girl Cookies contain half the sugar of leading other cookie brands.
Tis the season for any and everything mint so this was the first box of cookies that I just had to open up and try out. I’m not going to lie. This box disappeared pretty dang quick on us and for great reason! These Goodie Girl Mint cookies have the perfect balance of mint flavor and dark chocolate flavor.
Are you looking for the perfect cookie to dunk in a nice glass of cold milk? These Caramel Apple cookies are perfect for dunking. These cookies are on the crisp side and I love to soak them up in a bit of milk since I’m more into soft cookies. This caramel apple flavored cookie has a unique flavor and it combines crunchy toffee with little itsy bitsy apple bits.
The Toffee Crunch Cookies are another crispy cookie. I prefer to have a glass of unsweetened almond milk nearby for this flavor. This is another great one for dunking in a glass of milk. The Toffee Crunch Cookies have a buttery taste combined with crispy rice and chocolate chips.
If you are a fan of Oreo Cookies then you will be swooning over these Chocolate Creme Goodie Girl Cookies! I have always been a huge fan of creme filling inside of any food and these chocolate cookies did not disappoint. These Chocolate Creme Cookies have a rich chocolate flavor. If you are an Oreo-lover that is following a gluten-free diet these sandwich cookies make for one wonderful alternative!
These Vanilla Creme Cookies are the sister of the Chocolate Creme Cookies by Goodie Girl. I am an Oreo fan but I actually prefer the Vanilla Creme over the traditional chocolate flavor. These gluten-free cookies have the perfect amount of vanilla flavor, and this flavor will surely satisfy your sweet tooth and your cookie craving. I really enjoyed the delicious creme filling center on this flavor. I also gotta add that this cookie is another perfect one for dunking into a nice cold glass of milk.
Fudge Striped Cookies from Goodie Girl bring up a bit of nostalgia for me. These were always one of my favorite types of cookies to chow down on. Goodie Girl steps up to the plate to bring this classic cookie to the gluten-free crowd. This flavor of cookies has a chocolate fudge bottom and the tops are drizzled with even more chocolate.
I was quite impressed with the Goodie Girl Cookies that I received and I am happy to share this Goodie Girl Cookies review to my readers. I didn’t come across a flavor that I did not like. I did prefer some flavors over others though. The crispy cookies are not my favorite, I do need milk to go with those. The mint and fudge stripe are very addictive and you have to be careful not to eat the entire box of them! The cookies with the creme filling (Chocolate Creme and Vanilla Creme) were hands down the family favorite. I will be, from now on, including this brand in my cookie stash. I love that these are gluten-free and I also love that their cookies are made from all natural ingredients, and have less sugar than other cookies out there.
Hope you enjoyed this Goodie Girl Cookies review and it will inspire you to give them a whirl! I am sure glad that I did!
Which Goodie Girl cookie will you be giving a whirl first after reading my Goodie Girl Cookies review? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Thanksgiving has came and went. Whew! This was my first year hosting the Thanksgiving Day holiday at my home. I gotta say that I was probably nervous about the whole situation for the month leading up to it. I know that a lot of work and prep goes into pulling off this festive day. Our feast that we had here was perfect and excellent from start to finish. I was satisfied with how every single element of it came out. No complaints whatsoever here! I hope all of my readers also had a great holiday and enjoyed their big plate of food!
Here is a look at my dinner plate from Thanksgiving! I have a little bit of everything on my plate: roasted turkey, redskin mashed potatoes with French butter, Brussels sprouts, wild rice stuffing with mushrooms and cranberries, White Castle stuffing, Clean Bean (green bean) Casserole, ambrosia, sweet potato casserole, and my favorite~ Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cranberry Sauce! I am hoping to do a recipe post soon for my famous cranberry sauce. I can turn any cranberry-sauce-hater into a lover! So far it has worked with two haters in my family.
Today I will be discussing Thanksgiving and how we pulled it off. I could not have possibly made this day possible without the help and support of my family. My mom, Kathie, was a huge help. She purchased the turkey and a great majority of the food that was served. Money is super tight right now with my family so I was very grateful that she pitched in (big time) to help me create this feast.
My mom bought the 19-pound turkey and an electric roaster to cook the turkey in. I spotted the roaster when we took a trip over the Costco and I thought it would be a great idea to cook the turkey in there so we could free up the oven space for the side dishes that needed to be warmed up. Turned out to be the best idea ever!
My stepmom, Evelyn, was also a huge help. She came over early on Thanksgiving to help my mom and I prep. Evelyn brought over an appetizer and a side dish to pass as well. The appetizer that she brought was unique. They were bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Well, they were delicious. These got gobbled up pretty quick. For a side dish, she brought her famous sweet potato casserole. My stepmom was incredibly helpful with the kitchen clean up as well. That helped me tremendously.
The day before Thanksgiving, I did what I could to prep for the big day. The first thing that I did was I created my Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake. This is my favorite fall dessert at the moment. I wanted to get that done early because the cheesecake needs to set for at least six hours. I gave it plenty of time to set by creating it the morning before the holiday. I have a recipe for this paleo/vegan cheesecake on my blog. I did modify the recipe just a tad bit. Obviously, I did something different for the topping. Instead of creating a whipped cream with coconut cream I topped this cheesecake with a ton of walnuts and pecans. I wanted to make it extra nutty. I purchased a can of non-dairy, almond milk whipped cream to top it with. Instead of using the spices individually I used a jar of pumpkin pie spice.
Paleo cranberry sauce
I also busted out my slow-cooker the day before Thanksgiving to make my paleo cranberry sauce in advance. This is one of those set-it-and-forget-it recipes. I love cranberry sauce and my cranberries have the power to turn cranberry sauce haters into lovers! My husband never eats cranberry sauce. Guess what? This year he did! And I know that he enjoyed it because he helped himself to some for his leftover plate. This cranberry sauce is simple to make. I call it my Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cranberry Sauce! There are many ingredients that go into it but it is very easy to create. There are no refined sugars in this cranberry sauce. I use an entire bottle of pure maple syrup to sweeten it. I also use fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange zest, two ambrosia apples, walnuts, and pecans to create the sauce. The apples are a nice, welcome addition and the nuts give it a great texture. The sauce is heavily seasoned with pumpkin pie spice. I picked up a bottle of the Spice Hunter’s Pumpkin Pie Spice at Nino Salvaggio’s in St Clair Shores. This pumpkin pie spice seemed like a wonderful blend of spices. It worked out well in my Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake too, so the funds I spent on it was a great investment.
Ingredients Cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel, black pepper
You can pick up a bottle of this awesome pumpkin spice seasoning on Amazon. I highly recommend using this Spice Hunter blend for all of your fall flavored foods.
Wow, gals and guys! Can you believe that in the past 4 1/2 months I have been blogging here at Give It A Whirl Girl and this is a milestone post? 100 posts have been drafted and published as of today! I figured the best way to celebrate my hard work was with a bowl of Balsamic Raspberry & Chocolate Balsamic Fudge Ripple Nice Cream! No champagne bubbles flowing here, just some paleo and (almost vegan… I did use raw honey) nice-cream for my daughter and I to share.
Blogging has just been a fantastic journey and experience for me. I feel blessed that I am able to work from home and combine my passion for cooking, baking, and writing. I am learning new things as the days go by. There is also never a shortage of things to do. I am consistently keeping myself busy and occupied. With blogging, there is always a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
I love being able to sit down and write each morning while I am sipping on my coffee. Once the caffeine kicks in I am ready to start drafting up a post to share with my readers. I am really looking forward to seeing where I will be on June 6th of 2019 when I will hit my one-year blog milestone. I can already see in the four short months I have been blogging, how much improvement I have already made from the beginning. Thank you to all who take the time to read my posts. I love and appreciate each and every one of you!
Now onto the balsamic nice-cream that I created last night. I am going to tell you all about it!
The story behind the balsamic vinegar
This all just started out as a wild and crazy idea. I had some bottles of flavored balsamic leftover from an adult onesie party that I had for my birthday. I picked these up at Devries & Company 1887 in Eastern Market down in Detroit, MI. Back in February I stocked up on Groupons and went and did a little shopping there. They had numerous flavors of balsamic vinegars to sample and several different oils as well. For the vinegars, I ended up bringing home a bottle of raspberry, chocolate, and espresso. These vinegars pair so well with fruit.
Erma’s Frozen Custard is the place to be if you want some top quality frozen custard and some exciting, fun ways to top it. This place has so many wonderful flavor concoctions it is somewhat overwhelming to decide on just one! Give me two. NO! Give me three! The flavor options here are just mindblowing. This was my first time visiting with my little family of 3 and we each chose our own parfaits. I just had to go with Peanut Butter & Jelly. I really have a thing for PB&J and that is my jam right now. My husband went with the S’mores Parfait. I believe I heard him moaning over just how good it was. And last but not least my daughter, Chloe, went with a Candy Parfait. Keep reading my Erma’s Frozen Custard review to learn more about this delectable little ice-cream shop!
My Erma’s Frozen Custard Review
Hard work does pay off… in frozen treat form!
We had a yard sale for the past few days and this was a great place to go to reward ourselves for our hard work. Chloe had a blast with the yard-sale (it was her first) and she was so thrilled about earning some money. It was her idea to go out for ice-cream. She insisted that she wanted to purchase her own sundae with her own money. That kid had some sheer determination to spend money last night!
Always seeking something new to experience
It was my idea, of course, to try out something new. Erma’s Frozen Custard is so conveniently located that we could actually take a stroll and walk on over there. How have I been living in St Clair Shores for so long and never ever stopped at Erma’s. It saddens me to think about how much I have been missing out on all these years. I am definitely going to visit this place one more time before they close for the season. I already know what I’m going with too~ Raspberry Truffle Parfait!
I want to discuss a bit on my parfait that I ordered, the Peanut Butter & Jelly! Let’s start with the bottom here: first up is vanilla custard, a layer of peanut butter, chopped peanuts, more vanilla custard, a generous helping of strawberry jelly, more nuts, whipped cream and then topped off with a cherry. I gotta say that I enjoyed this immensely! Yes I said that word and I reserve it for rare occasions!
In the two photos below you can see just how many options Erma’s Frozen Custard offers. I highly suggest checking out Erma’s frozen custard menu so you aren’t standing around looking dumbfounded trying to figure out what the heck you are going to order!
Take a dip
What I love about this place is that they have some great flavors of dip that you can go with! I love that hard-shelled dip on my cone. They even offer a Confetti Cake dip! I am addicted to any and all things cake flavored and I know I will be going with that dip someday.
I absolutely love their creativity here and there is something for everyone.
Candy Coatings and Toppings at Erma’s Frozen Custard
Numerous options to choose from here! Erma’s Frozen Custard offers sundaes where you can choose one topping. These sundaes also come equipped with whipped cream and a cherry on top because no sundae is complete without that. Then they offer something called an Explosion! With the Explosion, this is where you can really let your creativity shine and you get your choice of not one, but two different toppings. You can see the Erma’s Frozen Custard menu in the photos below.
More than just parfaits and sundaes!
If you are craving something besides a parfait or sundae you are in luck because Erma’s offers a variety of other things you can go with. They offer milkshakes, slushies, floats & coolers. They offer specialty desserts as well such as: Custard Puff, Brownie Delight, Strawberry Shortcake, Banana Split, and a peculiar item known as an Upside-Down Banana Split (that is something I most definitely need to try!).
Erma’s Frozen Custard offers 100% Michigan dairy products and their frozen custard is gluten and soy-free. You can read up on this more HERE.
My one beef about this place, speaking honestly here
These parfaits come in at $6.30 a piece. For a family of 3 to go out for parfaits here you are going to have to fork over $18.90. I am not what I would consider a stingy person whatsoever but for the amount of ice-cream and toppings that they give you for $6.30 just is not enough for me. I truly feel that maybe these should cost a little less or possibly just make the serving size larger. I will visit this place again when I have the means to, but I really believe that the price is a tad too steep. We usually do not pay that much to go out for ice-cream. We can go to Menchie’s and do big build-your-own froyos with a ton of toppings and usually only be out $15 for the visit there.
Where can I get my Erma’s?
Great news Michiganders! There are multiple locations to find Erma’s Frozen Custard. There are currently locations in: St. Clair Shores, Shelby Township, and Warren, MI.
Check out the store locator for more details on where you can find your closest Erma’s!
Sorry readers… no recipe here. I really should have taken measurements and gotten out my pen and paper. I still, however, would like to share the details on how I created this scrumptious and healthy-ish bowl of paleo and vegan double chocolate nice-cream! As you can see in the photo below there are three spoons in that little Fiesta bowl fighting for a bite of this frozen treat! I was a little short on ingredients so I worked with what I had and ended up with one lone bowl. Oh well, better than nothing right? If you love chocolate then you are in for a real treat. Continue reading to find out how you can make your own healthy ice-cream at home with a few simple (and affordable) ingredients!
If you are an addict to chocolate it is time to listen up here! There is this thing, a superfood, called cacao. Not cocoa, but cacao, and there is a difference in the way that the two are processed. Raw cacao is achieved by a cold-press method with the beans. Cacao is chocolate in its purest and most natural state. Cacao is filled with enzymes that are beneficial to your body and those enzymes are lost in cocoa.
My husband is off work Fridays and Saturdays. We did not have any plans for those two days so we just had a chill time at home. I needed something to pass the time so I resorted to cooking. What better way to spend the time! I started off Saturday with some multigrain pancakes for Joe and Chloe. I got started on dessert, a Paleo Cookie Dough Cheesecake, early because those cheesecakes take a few hours to set. And dinner was simple~ ribeye steaks marinated in Primal Kitchen Sesame Ginger and peppered bacon wrapped in asparagus. It was a delightful day of cooking from start to finish.
Seems kinda contradictory though to make a vegan cheesecake for dessert after a ribeye dinner! I mainly chose to make this type of cheesecake for the fact that it is paleo and uses only gluten-free ingredients. I do try to eat vegan meals on occasion though because I do enjoy them. My favorite vegan food to make is “nice cream”. It is a vegan ice-cream created with frozen bananas, coconut milk, and other fruits, etc. It is a simple, healthy dessert to create at home and a nice alternative to regular ice-cream.
In this post I will be discussing how I made the dessert and the dinner and I have broken it down into sections for you.
Welcome to this week’s installment of Tried It Out Tuesday. This week I will be discussing a fun dessert that I created using Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix. I created a giant sugar cookie using a cast iron pan and it is naturally colored and tastes just like cotton candy! This was my first time trying out Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix and if you have been following along you might have noticed that I am a big big fan of her other mixes. I love the ease of use and I also love the ways you can get creative with them and customize your recipe. Just use your imagination and the sky is the limit!
Pamela’s Sugar Cookie Mix Review
& How I Created A Cast Iron Cotton Candy Sugar Cookie
Cast iron is the way to go!
For this tasty adventure, I used my 10.25″ Lodge Cast Iron Pan. I think of cast iron pans as an essential tool in the kitchen and if you ever want to make yourself a giant skillet cookie, cast iron is the way to go! I preheated my oven to 350-degrees and sprayed my skillet with coconut oil.
Oil up that cookie
The back of the bag for the sugar cookies suggested using butter but I swapped that for coconut oil, thinking that was a healthier way to go. To start up this recipe I placed the coconut oil and one egg in my KitchenAid stand mixer. I whipped it up for a bit and also added a generous splash or Lorann’s Cotton Candy Flavoring Oil. It suggests using this oil to flavor hard candy but I have had much success using it as a baking element. I then slowly added in the dry mix.
Making a beautiful cast iron sugar cookie
Once the mix was about ready to go I gave it a squirt of red natural food colorings from Simple Truth (Kroger). The red color comes from beetroot. After the color was mixed in I took my ball of cookie dough and spread it out evenly into the cast iron pan. I made sure it was spread evenly and that it went all of the way to the edges. Then guess what? It was SPRINKLE TIME! I busted out my nonpareils and my bottle of Mr. Sprinkles and gave the cookie a heavenly shower of sweet sprinkle goodness!
No such thing as too many candy sprinkles!
I often wonder how many people get turned off by my usage of candy sprinkles (insert a nervous LOL here). I happen to love them and I feel that a little extra sugar isn’t going to kill me. You only have one life to live (YOLO) so if you want the sprinkles, don’t hold back! Give whatever it is a good dousing of them. I enjoy eating clean as much as possible but I’m not going to restrict myself constantly and tell myself I can not have this and I can not have that. I am not a militant clean eater by no means. Just wanted to clarify that. I think of myself as a free eater that has a lean towards health and wellness. Balance, people!
Baking the cast iron sugar cookie
Back to the process! I was not sure how long to bake this so I kept checking on it. I started off at 10 minutes and that was not enough. I checked again a couple minutes later, nope! I am going to say it probably took about 15 minutes for this to be completely baked.
Decorating the cast iron sugar cookie
I allowed the cookie to cool and then got to making some royal icing for it. I beat one egg white with my whisk attachment and added a little more cotton candy flavor to it… a very tiny bit! Once the egg got frothy from whisking I slowly added one cup of organic powdered sugar to it. I loaded up my Wilton Dessert Decorator with the icing and the smallest tip. This is a neat baking tool to have on-hand if you do not have piping bags. Just load it up and squirt!
I am so very pleased with every single mix of Pamela’s I have tried so far. You can see my previous posts about Pamela’s mixes here:
Also, if you have been reading my previous posts or following me on social media I have been using the Lorann’s Cotton Candy Flavor Oil frequently. If you are a lover of cotton candy and enjoy baking I would like to say that you truly need that oil in your life. The flavor that it gives your baked goods is phenomenal!
I wish you could all eat a piece of this giant skillet sugar cookie that I created. It had a wonderful texture throughout it and the taste was spot on. When my husband approves of my gluten-free baking then I know it was a smashing success.
Have you ever created a giant cast iron skillet cookie? What did you create? Leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear all about it.
On the weekends I love to have my biggest cooking days. There is always a day thrown in there where we go out to a restaurant but most of my bigger dinners are reserved for weekends. Sunday kicked off with some healthy dessert making in the kitchen. I had a craving for something white chocolate & raspberry so I made a No-Bake White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. I absolutely love making any kind of dessert but for me, paleo is my favorite kind to whip up because it is a fairly new concept for me. I am trying my best to get a grasp on paleo and gluten-free baking & cooking. Every day is a learning experience in the kitchen. Today I am going to talk about my experience and my process of making the cheesecake that I created yesterday.
I have made some paleo cheesecakes in the past and I was a huge fan of the result. This white chocolate raspberry one turned out the be the simplest one yet. A paleo cheesecake is gluten-free and dairy-free. This one was also considered vegan because no animal products were used at all. The great thing about these cheesecakes is that they are no-bake. But that doesn’t mean “no wait”. Once the ingredients are in a springform pan they need to set for at least a few hours in the refrigerator.
This cheesecake came out so silky and smooth. White chocolate and raspberry flavored anything is a weakness of mine. I absolutely love that combination of flavors. Whoever originally came up with the idea of marrying those two flavors is deserving of a giant trophy or give them a medal!
For inspo, I used this recipe from Prettypies.com but it was modified greatly. I am putting the link here so if you would like to create something like this, it was a great recipe with modifications. So shoutout to Pretty Pies for the inspiration!
A gluten-free crust is made out of ground up nuts. You use coconut oil and maple syrup as a binder. You need a springform pan for this. Her recipe suggests a 7-inch springform pan and I only had a 9-inch pan. My cheesecake would have been a bit taller if I had the smaller pan (mine was a bit flat). I used a combination of almonds and cashews. If you ever opt for a crust like this I suggest soaking your nuts (yeah that sounds funny) so they can soften up and be ground up finely in the food processor. I think that many different types of nuts would work well for a crust but in a paleo cheesecake, it is typically raw cashews. In the future, I want to try a cashew & macadamia nut combo.
For the “white chocolate” part of this cheesecake you make your own chocolate. White chocolate always contains dairy and dairy is a no-no with a paleo diet. So in order to solve this you melt down some cacao butter and use that as white chocolate. I love Navitas Organics Cacao Butter and use that as my brand of choice. Cacao butter is chocolate in its purest form. I warmed up some fresh raspberries in my cacao butter so I could infuse the white chocolate with fruit flavor. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of cacao butter and I used a bit more of that and used everything that was remaining in my bag, probably around 3/4 of a cup.
Once your cacao butter is warmed up and melted you add it to a food processor with your soaked cashews. It is very important that these are raw cashews and free of any added salt. Nobody wants a salty white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. The recipe called for some shredded zucchini but I avoided that completely and just used fresh raspberries to bulk up the filling.
Paleo also means no added refined sugars. So with paleo, you have some options for adding that desired sweetness. In this case, you use maple syrup. Just to clarify too, maple syrup is not some kind of Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, it has to be pure maple syrup straight from the tree. You can find some here by Now Foods.
When you add a bit of lemon juice to this cashew mixture it really does give you a taste of cheesecake. It is truly remarkable how you can make a healthier cheesecake using some simple, natural ingredients.
At this point, everything was all put together in my springform pan and I topped it with fresh raspberries. I allowed it to set in the fridge for about 3 hours or so. While the cheesecake was setting I placed my KitchenAid stand mixer bowl in the freezer so it could get super cold. Next up on the to-do list was my vegan & paleo whipped cream! If you want to try your hand at making whipped cream like this get yourself a can of coconut cream and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I use the Thai Kitchen brand of coconut cream in my recipes.
Once your cheesecake has chilled a bit you can prepare the whipped cream. There is no added sugar in this whipped cream. I have been known in the past, though, to sweeten with a bit of coconut sugar but that is completely optional. To make this you simply take all of the fatty coconut off the top of the water that is in the can and place it in the mixing bowl with a whisk attachment. Very important~ do not allow ANY water from the can in your mixture. I still have a hard time with this and am perfecting my whipped cream. The more water you have in there, the less it will whip up nice and fluffy. I whisk this up at a high speed for a few minutes.
Ok almost time to eat! BUT it still needed the whipped cream added to the top. I used a Wilton Dessert Decorator to put my whipped cream in place. Just choose a tip for the pump and simply press down on the plunger to put your dollops on. Easy peasy!
I was so eager to find out how all of this tasted. I took my first bite and I was instantly in love with this dessert… omg so good! Major plus over here is that hubby doesn’t like raspberries or white chocolate and my daughter is away on vacation so I get this dessert all to my sweet self!
Did you make anything new and exciting in the kitchen this past weekend? Leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you!
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This morning I would love to share with you about my experience with the Wilton Easy Layers cake set and how I made my gluten-free cotton candy cake. I blogged about this cake pan set on a recent Friday Faves post and I ended up ordering myself one and I am so happy that I did. I ended up creating the best cake I have ever made in my life yesterday! I am truly proud of it and I was happy to serve it to my mother, who came over for a t-bone steak dinner. The cake that I made was the most perfect dessert to serve to her and she fell in love with it. And of course, my daughter, Chloe, was absolutely in love with this cake. She assisted me in making it and it is always a joy to work alongside her in the Give It A Whirl Girl Kitchen.
Here is how I made my gluten-free Cotton Candy Cake
Here is how I used Wilton Easy Layers Cake Pan Set
The Wilton Easy Layers contains 5 pans that are 6 inches in diameter. They are pretty shallow pans. They have a non-stick coating but I still sprayed mine with a bit of coconut oil just in case I had a problem with my cake sticking. The pans will fill up one standard size serving of cake batter. These cake pans will also all, conveniently, fit inside the oven at the same time due to their small size.
Pamela’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix
The cake itself was made with a gluten-free mix by Pamela’s. I used Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix. I have used this mix once before for cupcakes and I was very satisfied with the taste and texture. What I also love about the gluten-free mix is that it is non-GMO, uses no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, and no high fructose corn syrup.
Lorann’s Cotton Candy flavor oil
I achieved the cotton candy flavoring using a bottle of Lorann’s Cotton Candy Flavoring Oil. This was my first time using a flavoring oil of this kind and I heard that a little bit can go a long way but I ended up having to use about half of the bottle to get the flavor I was going for. I really enjoyed the flavor of this, though it was not exactly like cotton candy. I will have to explore other flavor oils and extracts from this brand because I am just not a plain vanilla person.
How I created the frosting for this cotton candy cake
For the frosting, I decided to go with a homemade buttercream. I had a fridge full of different kinds of butter from Chef Shamy so I gave the Honey Butter Vanilla Bean a whirl. Chef Shamy serves up a high-quality butter with no weird ingredients… just pure butter. It is also gluten-free. This particular vanilla flavor produced the most glorious buttercream I have ever whipped up. I used Simple Truth Organic Powdered Sugar with the butter and a few splashes of almond milk. The flavor of this buttercream was out of this world. If I had to give myself a grade it would be an A+. It really was that great!
Coloring the cotton candy cake
Now let’s get on with the color. Yes, this time around I was naughty and used artificial colors… GASP! It’s true that I did. I’m not proud but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and YOLO! I used Betty Crocker’s Neon Gel Food Colors for the pink and the purple. Gel food coloring is some pretty potent and powerful stuff. They really do produce gorgeous coloring on your creations. I don’t know why but for the neon pack they do not include the color blue, so for that, I used a Kroger brand neon blue. I am so pleased with how the colors turned out!
A ton of candy to top it all off!
And for that gorgeous candy that is all over the cake? I created my own mix of sprinkles with several different brands. The sprinkles with the big bits are pieces of candy that were from Celebrations By Frey. My local Kroger store sells them but I can not locate them on Amazon. The bottle of sprinkles is titled MixLicious.
Final thoughts on this gluten-free cotton candy cake
I am super duper pleased as pie (or should I say “cake”) with how this cake turned out and I was proud to serve it to my family. It really did taste as good as it looks. I am not a professional baker so I am aware that the cake is a little sloppy but I am always working towards bettering myself as a chef and as a baker.
This cake was so incredibly fun to make with my daughter and I could do this every single day if I had the funds (and if I wanted to be on 600lb Life). I am going to definitely be working on more cakes in the future and I might even get brave and give fondant a try. I love the way fondant cakes look. They are edible art! The beautiful cakes that I see on Instagram and on food blogs are so inspiring.
So tell me… what is your favorite flavor of cake? Leave me a comment and let me know. Would love to hear from my readers. Comments always brighten up my day.
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Find out more about the brands I used to create this cotton candy cake!
Yesterday was an enjoyable day spent with family. We went to the beach, had from-scratch pizzas, and had a couple of smoothies for dessert. It was another full day in the kitchen making things for my family to gobble up.
The day kicked off with my paleo and vegan version of Unicorn French Toast for my family. I promise I will do a recipe post on this in the future. I just need to tweak my recipe a bit. I had an unfortunate situation happen with my loaf of bread when I got it out of the pan. My bread broke into pieces. I was determined not to let it go to waste so I just ended up dipping the chunks of bread into the batter and cooked it up that way. This was my first time ever using candy sprinkles from Mr. Sprinkles. I sure do love the fun bottle that they are contained in. I am, and have always been, down with clowns!
I had quite an amazing lunch too. I really had a hankering for apples. I don’t know about you but I am ready for fall! I want hoodie weather, apple picking, and Halloween to hurry up and get here soon! For lunch, I tried out a new salad dressing. I used Hilary’s Apple Fennel Dressing. For my salad, I used baby spring mix as a base and topped it with grilled chicken, thin Honeycrisp apple slices, and walnuts. This salad was exactly what I needed yesterday. I think I will be loading up on some apples with my next shopping trip.
Chicken Salad with apples and Hilary’s Apple Fennel dressing
Chicken Salad with apples and Hilary’s Apple Fennel dressing
After lunch, we packed up the beach bag and got Stormy ready to head out to Metro Beach for a day of fun and relaxation. Chloe and Joe went to the pool and Stormy and I made our way along the lake and got our steps in yesterday. My focus was on fitness because I have been somewhat slacking on meeting my step goal lately.
It was a very hot day yesterday and thank goodness for the little bit of breeze coming off of the water. Stormy and I had a great time together and I know that Chloe definitely had a blast in the big pool and slide with her daddy.
I must be getting old because yesterday I wore an inspirational shirt and I think that maybe old people do that?? LOL! I am 37 years old and I whine about aging quite a bit. Anyway, I sure do love the shirt. I got it from Nordstrom and it is gray with pink lettering on it. The shirt is by the brand Desert Dreamer.
I feel that the shirt really speaks volumes to me at the moment. It says, find what you love and do that”. I started this blog up on June 6th so my 2 month anniversary is approaching and let me tell you this~ I absolutely LOVE blogging! I really wish I would have gotten into this years ago when I first set out on my cooking and baking expedition. As many of you know, cooking and baking are hands down my #1 passion in life. I am always in the kitchen and I am always researching ways to better my food and technique.
Me and Joe at Metro Beach
Me and Stormy at Metro Beach
Chloe and Joe at Metro Beach
Stormy at Metro Beach
After our little day-trip to the beach, it was time for me to crank out dinner for the fam. I will let you in on a little something, my pizza is in high-demand! Joe and Chloe absolutely love my homemade pizzas. They are a lot of work but totally worth the time and effort when I hear ooo’s and ahh’s at the dinner table.
I created two pizzas last night. One was made for myself and the other for Joe and Chloe. They prefer a more traditional pizza with pepperoni on it. I have never been a fan of pepperoni but I sure do love to have mushrooms in every single bite of my pizza.
I had a little carton of shiitake mushrooms to work with. I figured I would be better off with some sort of white sauce rather than a tomato sauce. I searched a bit online for a good recipe and came across one from Primal Palate. It was a dairy free sauce that used full-fat coconut milk as the base. Honestly, you would never know the sauce was made with coconut milk! There is not one hint of coconut flavor in that awesome sauce recipe. The recipe also called for some nutritional yeast, which I did add because it lends a taste of cheese to the sauce.
For my pizza I used some grilled chicken pieces and the entire carton of shiitake mushrooms. I sauteed the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil with some Italian seasonings. I have never had a pizza with this type of mushrooms and I am pleased to say that the taste of this pizza was glorious! Every single morsel of that pizza was thoroughly enjoyed by me!
For both pizzas I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Crust Mix once again. I used it last week and it produced a phenomenal crust! I am trying to eliminate as much gluten as I can from my diet but Joe and Chloe really don’t want to be on-board with a gluten-free diet. It is like hitting the jackpot when you come up with a gluten-free dinner that can win over anyone.
Shiitake mushroom and grilled chicken pizza
Shiitake mushroom and grilled chicken pizza
Shiitake mushroom and grilled chicken pizza
Gluten free pepperoni pizza
Gluten free pepperoni pizza
For dessert I really had a craving for some froyo, it’s been awhile and I’m dying for a heaping cup of it. But we have a bevy of beautiful fruits over here in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen so instead of froyo I ended up making a couple of smoothies for me and Chloe to share.
The first smoothie I made had a golden dragonfruit in it, a banana, and a splash of full fat coconut milk. The second smoothie that I made had strawberries, raspberries, a baby banana, splash of coconut milk, and I also used a scoop of acai powder. Hard to say which smoothie won the battle of being best. It was like comparing apples to oranges, they were two completely different drinks.
The weekend isn’t over. Joe’s two days off from work are over though and he had to go in today. Me and the Pearl Girl have an exciting day ahead of us in the kitchen so stayed tuned because you can bet your booty I will be blogging about my day today!
Did you do anything exciting this weekend? What’s cooking in your kitchen that you are proud of? Leave me a comment and let me know because I love reading comments from my beloved readers!
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS. I DO RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF ITEMS ARE PURCHASED THROUGH THESE LINKS. ALL OPINIONS STATED HERE ARE MY OWN. ANY COMMISSION I RECEIVE IS USED TO BETTER YOUR BLOG EXPERIENCE HERE.
Baking is hard. Not just hard but difficult. I get a vision in my mind and I want to create it. I know exactly how I want it to look and exactly how I want it to taste. Does my wish for this charming and glamourous cake become a reality for? Kinda sorta in this case. It looks so very amateurish and you want to know why? I am an amateur. I am a newbie on the food scene. I am a food blogger but I never tout myself as being a professional in any sort of way. For me, this blog is about the whole entire learning process of cooking and baking and food exploration. I am completely self-taught and I am learning something new every single day on this journey. Today I baked a bubblegum cake. I had that vision in my mind. However, things did not go exactly as planned.
Let’s see here… my buttercream was way too thin and runny and it was just DROOLING off the sides of the cake. I had a brand new, nifty smoothing spatula that I thought would result in perfect icing… nope! I knew my buttercream was too thin and I didn’t have any powdered sugar left to stiffen and thicken up. Cries! So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I had to work with what I had on hand and make the most of an unfortunate situation.
For this cake, I used a cake mix. I am in love with Pamela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix. This was my second time using this mix and I am so pleased to say that this is a fabulous mix. The last time I used this mix I made a Gluten-Free Cotton Candy Cake. Click this LINK to learn more about that. It was scrumptious!
How I got the bubblegum flavor with Lorann’s Oils
This was my second time using Lorann’s Oils to flavor my cake. This time around I used the bubblegum flavor. This oil is potent stuff and a little bit goes a long way. My house sure smelled bubblegummy from baking this cake. What a wonderful scent! I have never experienced a scent like that in my home before. Just marvelous! I wish my house stunk like bubblegum all day every day!
How I colored the bubblegum cake
I used a rose and teal color to dye my cake. I am in love with the color teal and I was really impressed with how vibrant the color was and that is was actually teal and not just blue! The rose color also lent a stunning pink color to the cake. Yeah yeah… artificial colors. I really don’t know what’s come over me. I try to go natural as much as possible and I’ve been slipping up recently but I’m really just having so much fun!
Topping the bubblegum cake
If you are wondering where the candy is from I will fill you in. I made a pit stop over at Roger’s Bulk Candy & Ice-Cream specifically for the candy on this cake. I love that store. You can read more about my first time visiting by clicking this link right over HERE. If you ever visit please let them know that Give It A Whirl Girl sent you! I know I have already inspired at least one of my friends to check out that place. I got my gorgeous, pearlescent gumballs there. I knew what I needed and was able to grab exactly what I needed from the bins. I am also so very grateful that I grabbed a pink lollipop to put smack dab in the center of my cake. A 5-tier layer cake needs support and the lollipop helped to be a dowel of sorts to prevent it from slipping away on me. The sprinkles came from a couple places: Michael’s and Mile’s Cake and Candy Supply. I got a delightful jar of Wilton Diamond Medley from Michael’s (woohoo and thank goodness for those coupons). The little rainbow hearts were from Mile’s. They have a wide variety of sprinkles to choose from
Sugarfina was an extra splurge!
And to make it a little more extra special I also topped it with Sugarfina Fruity Loops. They came from the Sugarfina Cereal Collection that I treated myself too. They are to die for yummy yummy yummy!
Having fun is what matters most!
You know what? Even though my cake looks like it was made by an inept and unskilled baker I am really truly proud of it. I wish I could send a virtual slice of this cake through your screen because the taste would blow your mind. I am calling this cake, Let’s Get The Party Started”. There is no party happening here… not a party in sight. But you know what I want to celebrate today? Life! I have been feeling incredible the past two months since I started this food blog. I feel so revived and renewed. I feel like a whole new better ME. That is enough reason for me to bake a cake and celebrate! I’m also going to give myself an A for effort because I really did work my booty off on this creation!
Hope you all enjoyed this pretty long post about my bubblegum cake!
What are you going to celebrate today? Could be anything. Drop me a comment and let me know and let’s get the party started OK?
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You all know me! Trying out new foods all the time. This time around I had the chance to try out a plantain for the first time, AKA the “ugly bananas”! I ran into Kroger with my daughter to pick up some ingredients for some homemade popsicles that I will be creating this week. We were checking out the exotic fruits and a big plantain made its way into my shopping basket. I only purchased one. I had no clue what I was going to do with it but I wanted to bring it home anyway. I got home and did a bit of research on plantains. You do not want to eat these things raw. I did discover that these are best prepared cooked because if you bite into a raw one you are going to experience a bitter taste. You will not get sick eating a raw one but you will likely regret the taste in your mouth! I needed to figure out a plan of action with the plantain. I was sent a variety pack of SmashMallows to review. I already have a special recipe post drafted up for National S’mores Day (August 10th) featuring these yummy marshmallows. So I figured I could somehow incorporate the Cinnamon Churro flavor with the plantain. I made a roasted s’mores banana earlier this year and it turned out fantastic! I had the idea to use my plantain with the SmashMallows and roast it all up. I sprinkled some unsweetened coconut on it and a bit of cinnamon and cardamom.
I could not wait to tear into this when it popped out of the oven! I really enjoyed the taste of the plantain combined with the SmashMallows. After roasting the plantain for 13 minutes it had softened and was the perfect texture to eat.
6-8 Cinnamon Churro SmashMallows (or as many as you can cram inside!)
Tablespoon of unsweetened coconut
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of cardamom
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Slice the plantain down the middle but not completely. Leave a little space at top & bottom.
Stuff the plantain with the SmashMallows. I used a teaspoon along the sides to spread it open.
Top with unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Place the stuffed plantain onto a baking sheet or pan and wrap it up with foil, leaving an opening at the top.
Roast for 13 minutes (or until the SmashMallows get a golden crust on them).
This sure was a great dessert for my daughter and me to share. Of course, she loved the ooey, gooey toasted marshmallow part the most. I ended up being the one to eat most of the plantain. That was perfectly fine with me. I am really happy that I finally gave the “ugly banana” a whirl. I have seen those plantains around for ages and have always been so curious about them.
Tidbits of information on the plantain:
1 medium cooked plantain contains approximately 230 calories.
1 medium plantain has appx. 4.6 grams of fiber.
Plantains are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium.
Plantains come from several parts of the world: West & Central Africa, the Caribbean Islands, Central America, and coastal parts of South America.
If you are following a paleo diet plantains are ok to eat. They are starchy but considered a good source of carbohydrates.
When the plantain gets brown/black it is at its peak stage of ripeness. This is when it is the most sweet.
While browsing the frozen treat aisle at Meijer the pint of Yasso Party Animal frozen yogurt was like screaming my name… Kimmy! Kimmy! Get over here and get down and party with me! So I had no choice but to grab a pint of Yasso frozen yogurt, take it home, plop down and give it a whirl! Yasso Party Animal frozen yogurt (froyo) is one of my first product reviews over here at Give It A Whirl Girl and I’m so excited to share this information with you! I really hope this Yasso Party Animal review inspires you to give it a BIG whirl! Keep reading my Yasso review to find out how I created the ultimate froyo sundae with this Party Animal pint!
And if you are a fan of ice-cream bars great news for you~ Yasso has a collection of 16 different flavors of their ice cream bars! I snazzed my bar up a bit with a chocolate shell and rainbow sprinkles. I felt that because the bar was only 100 calories I had a little wiggle room to take it to the next level.
How To Make A Simple & Easy Chocolate Shell
To make a chocolate shell for your Yasso froyo bar, simply just melt a bit of chocolate chips in a bowl with a tiny bit of coconut oil. Microwave it in 20-second increments and stir until the chocolate is melted down to a liquid. Then pour it onto your bar and add sprinkles if your sweet tooth is telling you to do so! I really do enjoy using Enjoy Life Foods dark chocolate chips to create this chocolate shell.
YASSO PARTY ANIMAL REVIEW
The Yasso frozen yogurt pints are chock full of protein (24g per pint) but they also do not have that chalky aftertaste that other protein products contain. Yasso keeps that protein discrete but packs it in. Yasso is also lower in calories vs regular ice-cream. Let’s use Party Animal as an example here: 130 calories in a half cup serving.
You will fall in love with Yasso’s creamy texture. They use only high-quality Greek yogurt. Yasso is a healthier alternative to other ice-creams on the market but you would never even know that it is healthier for you when you are eating it. How cool is that? In the summer I often like to indulge in something cold and refreshing. I can not think of a better way to curb that craving. I feel no guilt eating Yasso and I also feel great about serving it to my daughter. Chloe is 8 years old and loves this product. So there you have it~ kid-friendly too!
I created a sundae with my Yasso Party Animal frozen yogurt. I topped it a with a sugar-free marshmallow topping, added a bit of candy-coated chocolate, some fun little-frosted animal crackers, and a maraschino cherry on top. My daughter said this sundae was the best she ever had and she really enjoyed it with the fun toppings!
Final Thoughts On Yasso Party Animal Frozen Yogurt
My family loves this line of frozen yogurt products from Yasso and we are really looking forward to trying out all of the other flavors available. I feel that the only drawback to this is the sugar content. A half-cup of the Yasso Party Animal has 16 grams of sugar. We have been enjoying the Enlightened and Halo Top ice-cream pints and their product will only set you back about 5-6 grams of sugar. So while this frozen yogurt is a wonderful, tasty treat I do not want to overindulge too often due to the sugar content. There is still that major plus side to this product though with the low-calorie content.
Store Locator & Request Form
Wondering where you can grab a few of these frozen treats?? Never fear the store locator is here! CLICK HERE to find out where you can stock up! If you can not find them in your area, spread the word by printing out this REQUEST FORM and turn it into your store manager.
I made this red raspberry wine dessert sauce on a whim last night. It paired so nicely with my my Revele white chocolate raspberry gelato. The recipe to whip up this awesome sauce is so simple and easy. Also there are no added sugars in this sauce. The raw honey will naturally sweeten the sauce.
1 pint of raspberries
2 tablespoons of a red wine. For best results use a sweet red or a raspberry dessert wine. I used Sandhill Crane Vineyards Rhapsody in Red
Wash your raspberries and place them in a small saucepan on medium-high heat along with the wine, honey, and lemon juice
Stir the mixture frequently and bring to a low boil.
I used a wooden spoon to mash the raspberries up a bit as they were warmed
Once the mixture has been boiling, continue stirring until the sauce thickens. I stirred for apx 5 minutes
Take the saucepan off the burner and allow to cool for a bit and then place it in the refrigerator allowing it to cool for at least one hour.
Enjoy your raspberry sauce on top of your favorite ice-cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato.
This raspberry gelato goes together well with some chunks of white chocolate. I love to use a high quality chocolate in my recipes and you can never go wrong with Valrhona chocolate. White chocolate and raspberry are most definitely a match made in heaven. If Valrhona is not in your budget I love the white chocolate bar from Green & Black’s. I take about one quarter of the bar and chop it up into chunks with a knife.
What do you love to top your sundae with? Do you have any fun, creative ways to dress up your ice-cream?
Leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I do receive a small commission if products are purchased through those links.
I am not a medical professional or certified nutritionist and all posts and recipes are not to be taken as medical advice. Statements here are for informational and entertainment purposes only and not to be taken as medical or dietary advice. My readers assume full responsibility for their actions and should consult with a medical professional if there are any dietary concerns or issues.
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