Patty cake patty cake or epic fails in baking

I have never really been much of a baker.  Since going gluten free I have had to try my hand again.

I have always been one of those people who love sweets.  Chalk it up to growing up in a household full of Entenmans, Devil Dogs,  Oreos and Twinkies.  I cried when Hostess went out of business.  Fortunately I married a man who shares my love of all things sugar.  Who could resist death by chocolate?

I began by searching the Internet for gluten free cake recipes.   I stocked up on all kinds of baking pans- bundt, round, square and springform.  I stocked my pantry with cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, gluten free flour and gluten free baking mix.

I started out easy- thanks to Betty Crocker I found a great recipe for apple pie.  Rolling up my sleeves,  I set to work peeling apples.   The hardest part was making the streusel topping.  I doubled the recipe because I don’t like nuts.  Here is the recipe:

Impossibly easy French apple pie
Feeling supremely confident in making such an awesome pie, I decided to branch out.  But there is nothing like a few epic fails to take you down a peg or two.

I figured, how hard can it be to just take any recipe and substitute gluten free flour?   Oh boy was I wrong!  Here is the recipe I tried and failed miserably at:

Red wine chocolate cake
My apologies to the original poster.  I am sure this is a great recipe but i made the mistake of not doing my homework.  Actually there is a great post about converting baked goods to gluten free here:

Converting to gluten free
If there is one thing I truly miss it is cheesecake.  And since I went dairy free it became a personal challenge to find a gluten free dairy free cheesecake recipe.   So I started reading up on dairy free cream cheese.  Opinions abounded, but like anything it is down to personal taste.  The clear winner in reviews seemed to be tofutti.  So I ran over to the health food store and gathered the ingredients to make Oreo cheesecake.  If this did not turn out it would be a $40 failure.

Now I have to tell you, I do not like the taste of dairy free cream cheese.  But it figured under all of that chocolate and sugar it might be ok.   Boy was I wrong.  Th first disaster was the Oreo crust.  I do not have a food processor.  So I proceeded to crush the cookies by hand in a ziplock bag.  Unless you are the hulk, those cookies will not be small enough.   I mixed them up with dairy free butter and tried to press them into the springform pan.  That being done,  I mixed up the cheesecake batter.  Pouring it into the crust, I held my breath and slipped it gently into the oven.

Once it cooled off then  came the moment of truth.  Yup, I had Oreo quiche.  Yuck.   Not to mention the tooth breaking crust.  It was like cement.   Now I hate to waste food but out it went.  Sorry I no longer have the recipe.  I couldn’t bear to be reminded.

Feeling inept, I next tried a pumpkin applesauce cake.   This one came out moist and delicious.   Yay!  My faith in my baking ability was restored.  This one is a winner.  According to my son I could sell this.

Gluten free applesauce pumpkin cake

So I come to this very weekend.   While my hubby is away visiting his family I decided to do some baking.  I decided to try making an orange creamsicle poke cake.   I love the ice cream flavor and really miss it.  Now don’t ask me what I was thinking making an 8×13 inch cake, especially when it’s just me at home. I guess I had a lot of misguided confidence.   So I bought orange jello, vanilla pudding, cool whip and Pamela’s vanilla cake mix.

I have to say I do not like any of the gluten free cake mixes.  Not even this one.  They taste very artificial to me and the texture is off.  So I followed the directions.   I baked the cake and made the jello Once the cake came out of the oven, I poked holes in it with a fork and poured the orange Jell-O over it.  Then I let it cool off. Once it was cool I mixed together the vanilla pudding with dairy free milk,  which in itself was a challenge because the consistency of the dairy free milk is different. I folded in the cool whip and then I spread the combination of the pudding and Cool Whip over the cake and set it in the refrigerator to firm up. A couple of hours later I cut a piece. The Jell-O had certainly gelled. As I stated before the cake tasted very artificial and the texture was off. Unfortunately I had to toss it. What a waste.  Edit

Not wishing to give up completely, and hone sing for cake, I decided to try another recipe using gluten free bisquick. I decided to make lemon squares. Gathering the ingredients, I first made the crust which used bisquick, non dairy butter and powdered sugar to make a sort of short bread.  I had to bake this for about 20 minutes.   While it was baking I made the filling.  This is where disaster struck.  I misread the recipe and dumped in the bisquick that had already gone in the crust.  I had to dump out everything in the bowl and start over.    Arghhhhhh!

Finishing the filling, I poured it over the crust and crossed my fingers.   Once cooled off I tried one.  I don’t taste the lemon.  I think I only added half the lemon juice called for after my epic mistake.    They taste ok but nothing to write home about.  In almost feel obligated to eat them after wasting so much time, effort and money.

Maybe it’s time to hang up my cake pans.

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