A Few Good Recipe Cheats

I love making sauces and recipes from scratch.  The order and process that goes with it, is so therapeutic for me.  That said, I also love a good cheat – especially when it comes to sauces and baked goods.  I thought I’d share my latest set of favorites, and attempt to make your time in the kitchen a little easier too.  What are your favorites?

Dairy-Free Pesto

HOPE Kale Pesto Hummus

This tastes nothing like hummus, and everything like pesto.  It’s great as a dip with tortilla chips, if you want that spinach-artichoke dip taste – and even better as a pasta sauce.  We mixed 1/2 tbsp in for each serving of our favorite gluten-free pasta. (I’ve also heard their Sriracha Hummus is great)IMG_3784.JPG


Chocolate Birthday Cake (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Nut-free)

King Arthur Gluten-free Chocolate Cake Mix + Minimalist Baker Chocolate Frosting

Celebrations can be tricky when catering to friends & family with mixed dietary restrictions, and if you’re like me, want to include everyone.  The King Arthur Gluten-free chocolate cake mix is SO good.  It makes great cupcakes and great cake.  I’ve been experimenting with it as a layer cake, with this amazing Vegan chocolate frosting recipe, and it’s really good.  The cake has baked egg in it, so the combination of cake + frosting won’t work for our vegan friends, but I imagine the cake mix that is part of the Minimalist Baker’s recipe is equally delicious, so you can have an entire vegan cake too if you want.

Cake mixKing Arthur Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

Frosting  (recipe below)

1 cup vegan butter, softened (I use Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks)

2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (I use Enjoy Life)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

~1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk, if nuts are OK for your company – I’ve made both ways and it comes out tasting the same; my favorite brands are So Delicious boxed coconut milk and Califa Farms Almond Milk)


With a hand mixer, or stand mixer, beat together frosting ingredients until light and fluffy, adding the powdered sugar in small amounts until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness.  I usually start with the butter, then slowly add the sugar and cocoa powder, followed by the melted chocolate and vanilla extract.  Once all beaten together, I add the coconut milk 1 tbsp at a time until it’s my desired consistency.IMG_3779.JPGIMG_3755.JPG

One thought on “A Few Good Recipe Cheats

  1. That is one gorgeous cake! 🙂

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