Recipe Roundup – Rice Crispy Treats

Happy Halloween!

Rice Crispy Treats are some of the easiest (and most fun) desserts to make and you can find a version for almost any holiday. It’s a pretty simple concept, but the recipes that people come up with are so creative. We think we’ll try out one of these for our Halloween festivities – because cake is delicious, but it’s always nice to have a dessert for people who don’t like cake (not that we know many of those people. ha!).

All of these recipes call for regular marshmallows, but there are some delicious vegan versions out there. One of our varieties is Dandies – which you can get a Whole Foods. Try them at your own risk…because you might become addicted!

1. Red Velvet Rice Crispy Treats from Lovin’ From The Oven


These currently call for a full on red velvet cake mix, but you could just make regular rice crispies and add food coloring. You could totally call them Vampire Snacks (get it?).

2. Cookies and Cream Dirt Cake Rice Krispy Treats from Southern Fairytale

Rice Krispies Treat Dirt Cake

Sticking with the obviously themed treats, how about some dirt! Replace the butter with a vegan version and the Oreos with something like Glutino’s or gluten-free Newman O’s. Whichever variety works the best for you. I’m thinking we should call these the Graveyard Shift.

3. Candy Corn Krispy Treats from Glorious Treats

These are super cute and the recipe is really easy to follow, especially because she provides some step-by-step images of the process as well. Replace the ingredients as necessary. We couldn’t come up with a very clever name for these, so I suppose we’ll stick with Candy Corn.

4. Halloween Shaped Rice Crispy Treats from Botanical Paperworks blog

These Halloween treats are adorable and so easy to make - a great treat for the kids to help make!

You can make these in almost any shape you want, but since most writable frosting isn’t vegan or gluten-free we’d probably stick with the most recognizable shapes, like a bat or coffin. These are just regular rice crispy treats that were cut out with a cookie cutter! So easy. We’d go with a fun name like Midnight Flight or Flights of Fancy for the bat shapes, if you went with a pumpkin, you could put them on a plate and call it the Pumpkin Patch.

5. Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Treats from Shugary Sweets

Chewy, delicious Pumpkin Spice Krispie Treats. Easy to make and perfect for any fall party!

No fall celebration would be complete without Pumpkin Spice flavored desserts, so naturally we had to include a pumpkin spice version of the Rice Krispy Treat roundup. You could totally make these in the pumpkin shapes like the recipe above talks about too. Genius. Anyhow, the recipe calls for pumpkin spice jello pudding mix, but you could replace that with the pumpkin spice mixture we like to use in our Pumpkin Spice cupcakes. You can see the recipe for those here

Let us know which ones you’ll be trying out for your Halloween celebration!


Helpful Baking Tricks – Replacing Milk and Creating Vegan Buttermilk

non lactose milks

Baking without milk can seem like a huge hassle, but in all reality it’s very easy. These days there are so many different varieties of non-dairy milk that you can find at your mass grocery stores. Almond Breeze, Silk, and Rice Dream are the most commonly seen varieties in my local store, but you can use whichever is your favorite. I found this lovely image, at Off She Went. There has even been a post about it on Buzzfeed!

You can turn any of these non-dairy version into Buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 Cup of non-dairy milk and allowing to set long enough to “curdle” and thicken up a little bit.

Which variety is your favorite? We usually use a light soy variety, but Almond and Rice are just as fantastic. Let us know in the comments!

Test Kitchen – Snickerdoodle Cupcakes


We are always on the lookout for new flavors to try, especially ones that are delicious and popular. We’ve seen a lot of posts about snickerdoodle flavored cupcakes recently and with the combination of cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar, we can certainly see why. So we went out and found our own version to test. We’ve adapted this recipe from The Pretty Bee‘s Vegan Snickerdoodle Cupcake recipe and topped them with our own Cinnamon Butter Cream frosting.

Serves 9-12
  • 1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/6 teaspoon xanthan gum


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with 9 cupcake liners
  • Measure and combine the try ingredients into a mixer (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon), mix together quickly

Conscious Cakes - Gluten Free Flour measurementConscious Cakes, Sugar measurementConscious Cakes - Cinnamon, Salt, and Baking Soda measurements

Conscious Cakes - Dry ingredients before mixing

Mix it… mix it real good.

  • Measure and add the wet ingredients to the dry (water, applesauce, vanilla, vinegar), mix thoroughly, finish with the xanthan gum
  • Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes, testing to ensure they’re finished with a toothpick, allow to cool completely while you make the frosting, then frost and serve

085Conscious Cakes - Vegan Gluten Free Snickerdoodle cupcakes, before frostingINGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • Combine shortening, butter, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon in a mixer and beat on medium-high until fully incorporated

Butter and vegetable shortening

Conscious Cakes, Cinnamon Butter cream frosting in process

It looks good enough to eat now, but just wait. I promise it gets even better.

  • Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cups at a time, allowing the the sugar to fully incorporate before adding the next 1/2 cup
Conscious Cakes - Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

*Choir Sings* So fluffy and delicious.

  • Frost cupcakes with a piping bag (we’re fond of the 1M Wilton tip) or a knife

103 104 115

We’d definitely classify this one as a success. It’s a fluffy, flavorful cupcake that actually tasted a lot like a cinnamon roll. Plus, we’re kind of obsessed with that cinnamon frosting. I honestly think I could eat an entire tub of just the frosting and be perfectly content.

So what do you guys think, would you like to see that as a flavor? Have any suggestions for another one to try in the future? Want to try this recipe out yourself?

Let us know in the comments. We love to hear what you think!

Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe


Since we started celebrating fall by doing our Pumpkin Recipe Roundup, we thought we would share our very own recipe for our delicious Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes. The recipe is very quick and easy to make, but the end result makes your whole house smell like Thanksgiving while it’s baking. The cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree combine to make an incredibly flavorful cupcake.

We use a Kitchenaid stand mixer for our recipes, but if you don’t have one you could just as easily use a wire whisk and mix everything by hand. It’ll take a little longer, but it’ll come out just as excellent.


Everything looks better in cute measuring bowls!


Make sure you use 100% Pumpkin Puree, not Pumpkin Pie Mix. It makes a world of difference and doesn’t have added spices.


Maybe not the prettiest going into the oven, but they’re amazing when they’re ready.


Conscious Cake’s Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake


Makes 8 Half-Pint Jars or 14 Cupcakes

1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk

1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Ginger

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter

15 oz. 100% Pumpkin Puree

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum


1. Remove the vegan butter from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature

2. Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup or bowl and set aside to allow it to curdle

3. Combine Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, and Pumpkin Puree, and mix until thoroughly combined

4. Add small pieces of the softened butter to the mixture, with the mixer still running on stir add in the milk mixture, allow to combine – small pieces of butter should remain visible

5. Add the Xanthan Gum (ALWAYS add Xanthan Gum last) and give a brief mix, don’t over stir the Xanthan Gum or your cakes will fall

6. Fill 8 half-pint mason jars just over 1/2 full, place on a cookie tray

7. Bake for 27 minutes at 350 degrees (don’t peek while they’re cooking, I know it’s so tempting)

8. Check to ensure they’re done with a toothpick, allow to cool, top with frosting and serve.

NOTE: If you’re making cupcakes instead of jars reduce the bake time to 20 minutes and fill the liners 3/4 full. Add time in 2 minute intervals if cupcakes are not done after 20 minutes.

Conscious Cake’s Vegan and Gluten Free Cinnamon Frosting:


1/2 Cup of Vegetable Shortening

1/2 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk

3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 Tbsp Cinnamon


1. Combine Shortening, Butter, Vanilla, Milk, and Cinnamon in a mixer and beat on medium-high until fully incorporated

2. Add in the Powdered Sugar 1/2 cups at a time and allow to incorporate before adding the next 1/2 cup

3. Use a spoon, knife, spatula, or piping bag to frost the cooled cupcakes

4. Enjoy!

Recipe Roundup – Mexican Hot Chocolate

If you’ve ever been to our Etsy site before and looked at these cookies, you’ve seen the story about how I discovered the amazing flavor of mexican hot chocolate on accident. You’ve also probably seen me talk about how much I love these cookies…because they’re amazing. No joke. They’re deliciously chocolately and pack a subtle spiciness with the cayenne and cinnamon, but juuust sweet enough with the cinnamon sugar coating.

In order to highlight this superb combination of flavors, we’ve pulled together four mexican hot chocolate recipes from around the web so we could share them with you.


1. Vegan Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream with Dulce De Leche Swirl from Pastry Chef Online

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Other than the name being a little bit of a mouthful, this ice cream sounds amazing. Jennifer actually describes it as “rich, dense as “premium ice cream” and decidedly decadent.” Someone better try this and tell me how fabulous it is.

2. Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Cookies from

This is a really interesting take on a cookie. She has replaced the flour with powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Because of this they come out a little flatter than regular cookies Additionally, she’s used egg whites to give it that crunchy shell rather than leaving them soft. We’d suggesting substituting out some of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder for gluten free flour, adding in a little Xanthan Gum to give them lift, and then using a mixture of 1T ground flax and 3T of hot water to replace the egg whites. They’ll be a little more fluffy and less crunchy, but no less delicious.

3.  Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Lemon-Sugar

Since Lemon-Sugar is neither vegan nor gluten-free, these delicious cupcakes are packed with the usual suspects. Butter, Eggs, Flour, and Milk, and Heavy Cream. They’ve also chosen to use vegetable oil to keep the cupcakes moist. We’d suggest using applesauce for both the eggs and the oil, a gluten-free mix for the flour, and soy or almond milk to replace the milk. Replace the heavy cream by using soy/almond milk and either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (1t per cup) — whichever you prefer.

4. Mexican Mocha Hot Chocolate from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Homemade Mexican Mocha Hot Chocolate | | #hotchocolate #cocoa #glutenfree #vegan

This wouldn’t be a very good post if I didn’t include some actual hot chocolate, would it? The recipe listed on the site is already vegan since she suggests using almond milk, but you can use whatever kind of milk you like best. She also includes a link to her own Mexican Chocolate Spice mix, but worry not if you don’t have any because it’s pretty simple: 2 parts cinnamon, 1 part ground ginger, and 1/2 part cayenne. You can adjust the ratios however you’d like to customize the flavors and make the chocolate more or less spicy depending on your own taste.

Let us know in the comments if you’d like to see us try a new flavor for next week! Since September is almost over, we’d also like to know: Which flavor has been your favorite so far — Pumpkin, Apple Cider, or Mexican Hot Chocolate?

Apple Pie Recipe Roundup

If Pumpkin is the King of fall, that makes Apple Cider the Queen. Seriously, I love apple cider and other apple flavors just as much (if not more) as anything pumpkin spiced. These are some of my favorite recipes from around the web that felt like a cozy fall day.

If they aren’t already vegan and/or gluten free, I’ll give a few tips on how to make them better. If you have any questions or I missed anything, feel free to let me know in the comments.

1. Spiced Apple Cider Donuts from Sallys Baking AddictionSpiced Apple Cider Donuts - these easy donuts are baked, not fried. And are a must make this fall!

Please just admire for a second how delicious those donuts look. They’re covered in sugar and practically calling my name through the screen. The recipe calls for the use of a special donut pan, which I would highly recommend, because I can’t make donuts worth a darn without one.

Some of the usual suspects are found here: Butter, Eggs, and Flour. Replace the butter with your favorite substitute, the eggs with natural applesauce, the flour with a good mix like Bob’s Red Mill, and add in some (1/8 teaspoon) Xanthan Gum to keep the donuts nice and fluffy. The recipe also calls for Buttermilk. You can create your own buttermilk by substituting for 1/2 cup of soy or almond milk and mixing with 1/2 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Let it sit until it comes together (about 5 minutes) and then add to your recipe.

2. Apple Crisp from Minimalist Baker

I’m a sucker for anything that has a sugary, crumbly topping. This checks that box for sure. I bet this tastes like heaven when it’s warm. Dana has already done the hard work for you and put together a recipe that doesn’t need any work. I’m sure you could find some pre-cut and peeled apples to use if you’d rather not cut your own, but that’s part of the fun to me. Additionally, she does use almond flour, but you could substitute your favorite mix instead and avoid the nut allergies too!

3. Apple Cider Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting from Allyson Kramer

I posted Allyson’s pancakes last week, and if you haven’t checked those out yet, I highly recommend it. These cupcakes make use of two specialty sweeteners that most don’t have readily available – turbindo and sucanat – but she points out that you can just use brown sugar in place of those sweeteners if you’d rather. I’m sure you could add a little extra molasses if you wanted to punch up the caramely sweetness of these beautiful cupcakes.

4. Apple Beer Cupcakes from Brown Sugar

Nicoles’s website is a hilarious read, she’s just a funny person and you can see her personality coming through in her writing.

While the recipe was made with Angry Orchard, we’d recommend going with a brand like Woodchuck because they are both vegan and gluten free. You can stick with their original Amber flavor or use whichever is your favorite (because they’re all delicious). Using a hard cider will help keep these cupcakes fluffy and avoid drying them out. Typical substitutions here:

Milk – Soy or Almond Milk
Butter – Earth Balance
Eggs – Natural, Unsweetened Applesauce
Flour – A Gluten-Free mixture
Cream Cheese – Toffuti Cream Cheese
Heavy Cream – Soy or Almond Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar

5. Vegan Gluten Free Apple Hand Pies by Sarah Bakes

I want a whole dozen of these and I want them right now. Excuse me while I drool on my keyboard a little. These hand pies are adorable in addition to being delicious and make a great treat for a fall picnic or afternoon snack. Sarah does suggest using Turbinado for the topping, but you could easily substitute in regular cane sugar instead.

So, which ones look the best to you? Let us know in the comments and check out our Pinterest for more fun recipe collections.

See you again next week when we talk about some decorating tips!

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

It’s the season of Pumpkin Spice Lattes once again. In addition to releasing our own Pumpkin Spice Cake, we thought we’d show you a list of our favorite Pumpkin flavored desserts, and provide some tips on how we would make them vegan and gluten free (if they aren’t already).


I’d love to hear which ones are your favorite! Maybe we’ll add them to our Test Kitchen Trials 😉

1.  Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies from Averie Cooks

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!
These cookies look so delicious. And the description of being “pure fall” sounds amazing to us as well.

We would substitute Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks in place of the butter, swap the egg for some natural, unsweetened applesauce, use agave instead of honey, and make sure we use our favorite gluten-free flour mix in place of the all-purpose. Of course, we’d also want to add a little bit of Xantham Gum to keep them nice and fluffy, and make sure we’ve got gluten free baking powder on hand (we like Clabber Girl)

2. Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll Cake from The Baking Beauties

Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll Cake | The Baking Beauties

This one is already gluten free! In order to make it vegan, just sub out the 3 eggs for 1/2 cup of natural, unsweetened applesauce and replace the cream cheese and butter in the filling with some Earth Balance and Tofutti varieties. She also uses her own flour mix, but if you want an easier version, you can always try a pre-mixed variety.


3.  White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles from Lil’ Luna

Delicious White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles on { } #pumpkin #snickerdoodles

These look like they’re the kind of cookies that stay moist and gooey even after they’ve cooled off. If the white chocolate part doesn’t sound too amazing to you, Kristyn points out that the cookies are just as great without the chips too! These beauties are packed with the usual suspects – butter, eggs, shortening, and flour – all easily substituted with plant based, gluten free varieties. If you can we like to use the 365 Organic Vegetable Shortening instead of Crisco or anything like that. If you’re struggling to find suitable white chocolate chips, we’ve found a view varieties on Amazon that we like. 

4.  Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Ice Cream from Becky Winkler


We’re always excited when we can find an ice cream recipe that isn’t overly complicated and still looks delicious. I know some of you are thinking Ice Cream isn’t really a fall treat, but in my opinion ice cream can be eaten whenever you darn well feel like it. This blend of molasses, pumpkin spices, and coconut milk sounds fantastic no matter how cold it might be. No adjustments needed here, but if you don’t like Molasses, Agave would probably work just as well even though the flavor would come out a bit different.

5.  Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Maple Pancakes from Allyson Kramer

First of all, doesn’t that picture just make your mouth water? In addition to providing an incredible recipe, Allyson also gives some tips on how to make the perfect pancake. Like most, she includes her own preferred mixture of gluten free flours, but you could always save time by using a pre-mixed version if you’d rather. The recipe does include nutmeg and almond milk though, both products that could easily be swapped for non-nut versions if you’re making them for anyone with a nut allergy.


So, what did you think of these 5 recipes? Is there another ingredient you’d like to see us highlight? Which one would you like to try? Let us know in the comments and check back next week when we do another Recipe Roundup.