A couple of weeks ago someone asked me about gluten free bars or cake for graduation parties.  It is the season!  So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a couple of options for you.

First, my gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies make a great bar.  Make the dough up, press into a 9 x 13 inch pan and bake until set all  the way in the center.

If you want something a little more pumpkin with your party, try my pumpkin streusel bars.  It is a bit different from the standard fare at a grad party, so it might just be what you are looking for!

Third, how about my peanut butter chocolate chip blondies?  To increase the peanut flavor, stir in some chopped roasted peanuts in the batter before baking.

And lastly, I have a Texas sheet cake to offer.  It is the easiest cake you will ever make AND it makes a LOT of cake.  It is a low dense cake with a fudgy topping that is baked and served in a jelly roll pan.  The frosting is a boiled icing and is spread while still warm on the warm cake.  You can make this cake in just over a half hour and be ready for a crowd.  That is my kind of cake!  Some people add 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to the batter (and call this a Lake Cake).  Often pecans or walnuts are added to the topping.  However, I leave that as optional.  I prefer to sprinkle nuts (if I am using) directly on top of the frosting so those who are nut allergic can more readily see the nuts so they can avoid the cake.  Better yet, for a big party, skip the nuts so more people who stop by can enjoy your cake!  🙂

Don’t go too crazy over the sugar.  It is a cake.  A lot of cake…   Just don’t eat the entire thing by yourself!  🙂  Slices of leftover cake store well in the freezer.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Texas Sheet Cake

makes a 18×13 inch cake – WOO!

For cake:

1 1/2 cups gluten and dairy free margarine

1 1/2 cups water

9 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa

2 cups rice flour (I use half white and half brown, but any combo works)

2 cups sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup tapioca starch

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsweetened milk substitute of choice (I like coconut milk)

1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

3 large eggs (or 3 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 9 tablespoons boiling water until thick and add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to dry ingredients)

For icing:

6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa

6 tablespoons unsweetened gluten and dairy free milk substitute of choice (I like coconut)

1/2 cup gluten and dairy free margaine

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla

Optional toppings:  1 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, gluten free sprinkles or leave the frosting plain

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Oil an 18×13″ jelly roll pan.  Set aside.  Put the first amount of margarine, water and first measure of cocoa in a sauce pan.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk until boiling.  Remove from heat.  In your mixing bowl, mix together rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sugars, xanthan or guar gum, baking soda, and salt until well combined.  Stir lemon juice and first measure of milk substitute together.  Add milk substitute mixture and eggs to dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add hot cocoa mixture and blend, scraping down sides of mixing bowl as needed until completely mixed.  Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan.  Bake cake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes until cake is baked through.

10 minutes before cake is finished baking start the frosting.  In a sauce pan, heat the second measures of cocoa, milk substitute and margarine.  Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.  Remove from heat.  Put mixture into your mixing bowl.  Using the whisk attachment, blend in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until all combined and smooth.  When cake is done baking and out of the oven, pour the warm frosting onto the cake, gently smoothing to the edges.  Decorate with sprinkles or nuts, as desired, or leave plain.  Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.  Enjoy!