Easy Sensible Carrot Cake

If you were to ask me what my favorite cake memories involved growing up, I would have to say without a doubt carrot cake. My mom absolutely loved carrot cake and everything that came with it. I remember her treating herself every once in awhile to a carrot cake bar or getting a small carrot cake for dessert. Thinking about it, what is not to love about carrot cake? It has fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, dairy, and amazing flavor. But, is there a way to make a version of carrot cake easily accessible for people with allergens? You better believe it!

First, we got to gather up some supplies.

Easy Sensible Carrot Cake

  • 1 box King Arthur Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups Shredded Carrot
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch Ground Cloves
  • Frosting: Pamela’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Frosting
  • 4 oz Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

Notes:

  • You can also add these optional ingredients to enhance the flavor of your cake: 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
  • Feel free to finish off this cake with a Cream Cheese Icing. I have included the Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Gluten-Free Version that I used.
  • This mix can be made into a sheet cake, round cake, or even muffins. The options are limited only to your imagination.
  • Although I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Cake Mix, you can use whatever brand you prefer. Just understand the results may be different.

Alright, now that we have everything together. Let’s get started!

1)Prepare the Yellow Cake Mix per the manufacturers directions on the box.

2) Finely grate the carrots. (I like to use a microplane to zest and grate vegetables, it is my favorite kitchen tool)

3) Gather together the Grated Carrots, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, and Ground Cloves. Add these ingredients to the prepared cake mix.

4) Mix together until well combined.

5) Pour the cake mix into prepared cake pans.

6) Bake at 350F until lightly browned and completely baked in the middle. The cake will bounce back or a toothpick will come out clean when done. Bake times will vary due to the difference in sizing of pans.

7) Once the cake is completely baked, allow to cool completely. Once cooled completely, you can overturn one layer onto a large plate to make a layered cake.

8) Now it is time to make the frosting. I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Frosting and adapted the recipe.

9) Prepare the frosting per the manufacturers directions.

10) Add the Cream Cheese and Powdered Sugar and Blend Well.

11) Spread some of the icing on the one layer evenly. Turn out the second layer on top of the first layer. Now spread more icing over the cake and completely cover the cake as desired. (You can decorate the cake however you would like at this point)

12) Now just sit back and Enjoy!

Dad’s Sensible Apple Pie

Every family has traditions that they follow during the holidays. These traditions are what keep the family a strong unit and make memories. As far back as I can remember, my dad would spend hours making these Dutch Apple Pies. He always had to make at least 2, because they would be devoured. Just a bite of this pie every holiday brings back such fond memories of my childhood and family.

I knew that this holiday season, I could not live without his amazing pie, but I was going to have to make it Color Me Sensible friendly. After searching and looking for ways to make this pie so that I can enjoy it for years to come, I finally found a recipe and ingredients to work. Serving it up at Thanksgiving, not a single family member could tell that it wasn’t Dad’s Dutch Apple Pie. The pie came out so good, that noone knew it was Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and even Vegan. I am so excited to share this recipe with you all. So let’s get the ingredients together.

Dad’s Sensible Apple Pie

  • 6 large Apples (MacIntosh is what we use)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk Plain Yogurt
  • Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Streusal Topping

  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Butter

Notes:

  • I prefer to use MacIntosh apples, but you can substitute out for any other type apple you like. Just remember the softer and sweeter the apple, the sweeter the pie will turn out and it will also become softer.
  • If you would like a slightly deeper flavor profile, you can use Dark Brown Sugar instead of Light Brown Sugar
  • You can also add Vegan Caramel or even Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheese to this recipe, if those are flavor profiles you enjoy

Now that we have everything together. Let’s Get Started!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Gather up the Sugar, Light Brown Sugar, Gluten-Free Flour, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Lemon Juice, and Yogurt for the Filling.

3. Place ingredients into a metal mixing bowl.

4. Mix ingredients until completely incorporated.

5. Gather up your apples. Wash them, peel them, slice into small slices, and place into mixing bowl with filling ingredients.

6. Place mixture into Gluten-Free Pie Crust. I found this brand of Gluten-Free Pie Crust that is also free of Soy, Dairy, and several of the other top allergens. Great find.

7. Get together the Gluten-Free Flour, Light Brown Sugar, and Vegan Butter for the Streusal Topping.

8. Place the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using your fingers, crumple up the butter into the dry ingredients. The streusal topping is ready when it is in small pea sized and smaller granules.

9. Gently place the streusal topping onto the prepared pie.

10. Bake in the oven at 400F for about 50 minutes or until the streusal is golden and the apples are tender.

11. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing or topping. I found this non-dairy cool whip topping from SoDelicious to use as a topping.

12. Enjoy!


Color Me Sensible Cheesecake

If someone would have asked me the one dessert that I missed the most since having to switch to my new Color Me Sensible diets, I would have to say hands down it is cheesecake. I have such fond memories of my mom making my dad cheesecake for every one of his birthdays. Unfortunately, the recipe for her cheesecake has remained a secret since she passed away 4 years ago. We are still looking for it to this day, hoping we will find it to rekindle the perfect cheesecake. That being said, since my change of diets, I have eagerly looked for a cheesecake that I could enjoy. I have tried several store dairy-free and gluten-free items, but I did not enjoy their texture. Upon doing research, most of the recipes online included cashews, which I cannot have either. So the mission was set forth to create a cheesecake that I could eat, that would satisfy my love and fond memories of this epic dessert.

After much finagling, I finally came upon a recipe that satisfied both my flavor needs and my Color Me Sensible restrictions. This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, but full of great flavor.  So, fasten your seatbelts, let’s gather up these ingredients.

Color Me Sensible Cheesecake

  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Graham Crackers
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter (melted)
  • 3- (8 oz) Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2/3 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 cup Vegan Butter (melted)

Notes:

  • You can also use any other milk substitute in replace for the Coconut Milk
  • Feel free to play with the flavor profiles and change it up to showcase your cravings.
  • The almond milk cream cheese can also be replaced with another dairy free cream cheese substitute

So now that we are ready, let’s get started!

1.Preheat your oven to 350F.

2. Take a 9″ Springform pan or 9″ Cake Pan and grease the insides. (If using a springform pan, wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent seepage of water into it pan)

3. Get another pan that is larger than the pan you are using, this will be used to create a water bath.

4. Take your graham crackers and place them in food processor to chop them up into crumbs.

5. In a microwave safe container, melt the butter for the crust.

6. In a bowl, combine the Graham Cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp Sugar, lemon zest, and the Melted Butter.

7. Place the mixture into the bottom of the pan you are using and press down to cover the bottom completely.

8. In a mixing bowl, beat the Cream Cheese until light and fluffy.

9. Add the remaining Sugar and continue to mix until it is light and fluffy.

10.  While the mixer is mixing, add eggs one at a time, making sure to encorporate fully after each addition.

11. Make the dairy-free heavy cream as follows. Melt the 1/3 cup Vegan Butter and whisk into the 2/3 cup Coconut Milk. Once it is smooth, the Heavy Cream is done.

12. Add the Heavy Cream to the mixing bowl and continue to beat until incorporated.

13. Increase the mixing bowl speed to high and then add the Lemon Juice and Vanilla Extract.

14. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

15. Place the prepared pan inside the bigger pan and add water to the bigger pan to about half-way up the prepared pan.

16. Bake at 350F for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

17. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before refrigerating to set completely.

18. Top as you desire and Enjoy!