A Gluten-Free Success And A Failure…Sort Of

by HEAB on September 29, 2010

Yesterday, I made a grain free butternut squash poundcake, adapted from Pantry Bite’s Sweet Potato Poundcake recipe. Based on what I had on hand, I made a few changes. I used blanched almond flour rather than coconut flour, canned butternut squash instead of sweet potato, HEABified coconut milk in place of the regular stuff, and I added a pinch of salt.


The house smelled amazing while this was baking!

Pantry Bite’s instructions were to let it cool and then refrigerate the cake overnight. Yeah, mine didn’t quite make it to the refrigerator overnight. First CD and I nibbled on it at lunch. Then my brother came over to help move some furniture. He enjoyed his piece with some whipped cream. Scott, thanks so much for all your help yesterday! Mom, same goes to you. 🙂

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Before going to my afternoon yoga class, I had a few more bites, and then after dinner, Chris and I finished off what was left. This was a delicious recipe and tasted like pumpkin custard. We all loved it.

My gluten-free failure happened this morning. In attempt to make amaranth bread, I ended up with amaranth mush. Following reader Jen’s bread recipe from this post, I soaked 2/3 cup amaranth grains overnight. (By the way, many thanks to Sylvia for sending the amaranth!)


Tiny little gluten free goodness!

This morning, I awoke at 4:30 AM, and my stomach was growling. I thought about just making some oat bran, but I knew if I didn’t use my soaked amaranth today, it would go bad. I didn’t want to throw it out, nor did I want to crank up the Vita-Mix at 5 AM and wake up CD. So, I drained my amaranth, added it to my Vita along with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt, and blended away…out in our garage. 🙂

After grinding the amaranth, I melted a TBSP of coconut oil in a cake pan in a 350° oven. Once the oil was melted, I removed the pan and poured in my bread batter. It was quite liquidy…


23 minutes later, I removed it from the oven…


and immediately tried to cut myself a piece…


However, that didn’t go over so well as this didn’t really bake up into bread but came out more like a baked amaranth porridge…and I couldn’t stop eating it…it was so warm and coconutty and gooood!


By 6 AM, all gone. 🙂

So, even though breakfast didn’t go quite as planned, my belly was still very content.

Have you made any delicious kitchen failures lately?


Namaste Gurl September 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

Hey, I have yet another question about your “bsquash pound cake”…. do you think I could use buckwheat or corn flour instead of almond or coconut flour? I don’t have any on hand, and as much as I’d love to have those two amazing flours, I just don’t feel like putting my wallet through more pain at Whole Foods! It’s gone through too much there 😉

HEAB September 30, 2010 at 11:14 am

I think the pound cake would taste great with cornmeal…not sure if corn flour or buckwheat would work. However, definitely worth a try. Keep me posted!

Kendall September 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Hi Heather! I’ve been super busy lately and so have been lurking a bit… 🙂 I made my fav whole wheat banana bread last week (I make it nearly every time I have over ripe bananas) but guess what? I was a TOTAL AIRHEAD and forgot the baking soda! It was a banana brick. Yuck. And of course I put all kinds of healthy and expensive ingredients in it so what a waste. Also I know it was last week when you were craving pb&j stuff, but have you tried nut butter with jam on rice cakes? That is one of my favs! I like the Lundberg brown rice cakes, and I love just ab and jam, but I also get the caramel and or honey nut (not very sugary or sticky at all like quaker brand) and I like those ones with sun butter. I bet any of those delicious looking naturally nutty flavors would taste great on a rice cake. It’s a great quick and easy snack, and gluten free of course. p.s. I love the baby art!

Heather September 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Hey Kendall, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’ve been on the lookout for a good recipe for whole wheat banana bread for a while now without success! I love banana bread, but like your mishap, I’m so tired of wasting ingredients trying out mystery recipes! 😉

HEAB September 30, 2010 at 8:51 am

I just sent Kendall a request for her banana bread recipe. 🙂

HEAB September 30, 2010 at 8:50 am

Hey Kendall,
Would you mind sending me the recipe for your banana bread? Another reader requested it. 🙂

You know, I’ve had nut butter on rice cakes, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried nut butter + jam on them, and I too love the Lundberg brown rice cakes. I’ll have to pick some up soon for when I get a snack attack. Thanks for the tip, and I hope all is well!

Kiersten September 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I haven’t had many kitchen disasters lately. None that I remember anyway. Both recipes you made sound yummy. I has a bag of amaranth in my pantry for over a year before I finally used it up. I could never think of anything to do with it.

Heather September 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Kitchen fail or not, that looks scrumptious! Most of my fails are in baking with whole wheat flour…everything usually comes out super dry, BUUUUUUT I just recently discovered the wonderful world of whole wheat PASTRY flour and I think my kitchen mishaps are no more! Wish I had found this stuff sooner…could’ve saved many muffin lives! 😉

Laura September 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm

The texture of that cakey porridgey type concoction looks absolutely AMAZING!!!!! That’s the way I like to eat my Weetabix! xx

Ellen September 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

that cake sounds so good! i’ve got a 5lb bag of Honeyville almond flour that i have yet to break into. i need to try this. thanks for the inspiration!

Monica September 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Coconut pancakes last night, but I will be trying your recipe this weekend. So hopefully a success story will be coming soon. 😉

Janet September 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

So glad to hear that you enjoyed the cake. I have to admit that I broke into a bit of it before it cooled down. If you have the patience, it tastes so much better cold.

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

The recipe was delicious – thanks again so much for sharing. We did manage to eat what was left of the cake cold after dinner last night. Oh my gosh, I think I could have eaten another whole recipe. It’s delicious!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I’m the same way- anything that says “let cool overnight” or even “let cool 10 minutes” doesn’t make it that long. 😛

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I’m the same way – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burnt my tongue. Honestly, I’m surprised I have any taste buds left! 😉

jennifer September 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I agree with many others..at least you could eat (and even enjoy) your ‘failures’! Mine are usually inedible!! Like the home made mac and cheese I tried once….HORRIBLE! The kids still talk about it…Remember that time…??? And then they all have a good laugh! Oh well. 🙂

That poundcake recipe looks yummy. I’m thinking I could use pumpkin for it… I use a vegan, crustless pumpkin pie recipe that looks EXACTLY like your pic when it is finished…and it def tastes like a custard! Super yummy!! (but then again, I love anything that is pumpkin pie flavored!!)

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Yes, I’m sure the poundcake would be delicious with pumpkin. I think you would love it!

Namaste Gurl September 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I meant to say “blob” instead of “blog”…no I don’t blog it onto my ice cream or oats, rather I put a top 🙂

Namaste Gurl September 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Hahaha, I’ve TOTALLY had baking gone- bad incidents happen. I get so excited to try a recipe I see on peoples blogs, and I make it and the batters too liquidy, even when it comes out of the oven, or it’s too crumbly, etc! But me not wanting to waste food, I just blog it onto protein ice cream or pipping hot oats 🙂 If it tastes good, that’s all that matters!

I REALLY want to make that poundcake….after I make another batch of cornbread, that is– I really want it to turn out right, I know it will :)! Do you think I could use pumpkin instead of butternut squash or sp?

Have a “incident free” afternoon, Heather :)!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Namaste Gurl,
I’ve often dumped many a baking disaster into a bowl of warm oats – nothing like a pile ‘o goop atop some oats! 😉

And yes, I think pumpkin would work just fine!

Katie September 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I think that anything that gets eaten straight from the pan is a wild success, whether it came out as it was intended or not!

I’ve made so many delicious cookie “failures”. Really, the dough? Can’t go wrong, as long as there is enough sugar in there!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm

You’re right…sugar makes everything so good. Grrr!

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

I totally love that you blended in the garage – that cracks me up and is totally something I would do!!!

Gluten free recipes are always hit or miss for me. I either do it well or completely fail!

Alyssa September 29, 2010 at 11:40 am

I tried to make my Nana’s Granola bars gluten free…instead, I completely deviated and created something brand new. They were gone the next day 🙂 But I wouldn’t know if they were a failure or not! They definitely weren’t my nana’s recipe, but they were darn good!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

As long as they were good – that’s all that matters, and now you have a recipe for Alyssa’s Granola Bars. 🙂

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

The thing about GF baking is that it’s sooo unpredictable sometimes! That’s why as a GF person, and also vegan, so no eggs (which really can do wonders from a baking perspective to just keep things held together)…so that’s why I have become a raw un-baker by default.

At least with raw cooking there is very little mystery with what’s gonna be the end product vs. regular cooking and an hour of baking. I know right then and there, in my Vitamix, what things look like, and what needs to happen in order to make it solid or hold together! More dates, more nuts, more cocoa powder 🙂 etc.

It took me awhile to get my vegan GF pancakes to be the right recipe and I do have a GF Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Bread (and also cake and muffin variations) that took awhile to perfect…lots of eating PB Banana goo.. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, of course…haha!

Glad you happened upon some winning recipes, even if they werent what you had set out to make, they ended up being just perfect! Gotta love experimentation in the kitchen!


Shelby September 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

I kinda want to make that soggy bread. I’m a sucker for warm, coconutty goodness! (:

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Do it – I think you would love!!! 🙂

Caitlin (EatFeats) September 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

You always have the best ingredients and cook the best looking food! I tried to make vegan pumpkin bread and it turned out like your bread…gooey and delicious!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Gooey bread is the best! 🙂

Ana September 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

Both recipes you tried look so good Heather, I want to try that sweet potato pound cake, and I will use your changes as I have almond flour on hand.
Don’t you like when something goes wrong but still tastes great?
I made a zucchini dish the other day (one I have made many times before) that for some reason didn’t come out the way it was supposed to, but it was still so flavorful. I was a little disappointed at the same time that Matheus and my husband were gobbling it up and asking for more. I loved hearing “don’t worry mom, this is good just the way you made it”!
Your amaranth mush by the way looks delicious, I love pudding like textures! (creamy is goooood!!)

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Yes, creamy is always good! 🙂

Felicia September 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

That cake sounds soo good. For some reason though, I can nottt stomach sweet potatoes. I have no idea why, but they are the only food that makes me gag, and its so upsetting because I know how food they are for you. ugh. Even sweet potato fries! Maybe in cake form I’ll be okay? I’ll just used butternut or pumpkin instead 🙂

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

The cake was wonderful with butternut squash. No sweet taters necessary! 🙂

Mallory September 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

I MADE THAT SWEET TATER POUND CAKE TOO!!! nom nom i did a mix of almond/coconut flour, coconut milk and coconut butter and nixed the honey. it was SOOOO flippin good. yes, my bday is in like a month and i will be making it again. haha

aramath…hmm never even heard of it. hope that pan didnt cause to much GI stress on you though!~!!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I loved the pound cake. Definitely making it again soon. Good call on adding coconut butter and nixing honey. I’ll have to remember that!

Billie September 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

Oh wow…cute cute cute guy. Why don’t we have him over this side of the pond?? I think I can smell that food from here it looked gorgeous. Bx

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I know – I love my brother. He’s adorable…and single. 😉

Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) September 29, 2010 at 9:25 am

I’m laughing about you taking your vitamix to the garage. So funny…and totally something I would do too IF I had a VitaMix. This looks yummy….bet it would be good slathered in peanut butter. 🙂

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Don’t think I didn’t think about adding some Mocha PB…however, the bread was gone all too soon. 😉

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods September 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

Pound cake sounds awesome!

eatmovelove September 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

Oh my God HEAB I love everything about this post. Your sense of humor is spot on!

“…and I couldn’t stop eating it”…LOL. So true. My failures are still “successes” because I’ll still eat it…it’s why I have a problem eating the batter while baking ;). Good Lord.

I recently baked banana bread. And a Zucchini Loaf (which I’ll post soon!) – that rose to the High Heavens – yikes, I thought it was going to bust! I really, really hope it’s not gooey on the inside though because it’s going to someone else…nervous now…

You can blend grains in your Vita? I hope your garage isn’t too far away! That’s hard-core 🙂

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Yes, the Vita does it all, and at least your bread rose. Better than falling totally flat, and do not worry. I bet it’s delicious!

eatmovelove September 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Gosh HEAB…your just a Doll. Seriously.


Talia @ Texas Gunslinger September 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

“Have you made any delicious kitchen failures lately?”

HAHAHA! If I am in the kitchen cooking, you can guarantee I’ll make a delicious kitchen FAILURE. Oh man, I am NOT a cook and I never know how anything is going to turn out.

Sagan September 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

Mmmm, that pound cake sounds delicious!

I once made a plate of what was supposed to be brownies, but I changed the recipe so much that by the time it came out of the oven I decided to call it pudding cake. And I even published it in a local newspaper, it tasted so good. I love kitchen adventures!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm

That’s so funny you ended up publishing the recipe. Pudding cake sounds delicious – I would have clipped that recipe out of the paper if I saw it. 🙂

Marina September 29, 2010 at 8:28 am

Mhm, nice looking cake.
My waffle was a failure, but delicious one. I can’t make a good one, that won’t stick to a pan 🙁

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I used to have the same problem. What helped me was to turn the heat up to 4 on my waffle iron. Worked like a charm, and my waffles never stick anymore!

Deanna September 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

Made one last night! I tried to do a grain-free vegan zuke bread. And, I ended up with baked zuke pudding. It’s delicious, but so not bread. Oh well. It’ll get eaten with a spoon!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Yeah, baked zuke pudding does sound delicious. You should just tell everyone that’s what it’s called – I bet it would be a huge hit at a potluck. I know my friends would love it!

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

I’ve done that before: a recipe didn’t turn out but it was ok so I ate it anyway 🙂 It has happened with cookies, a blueberry pie and a chocolate cake. Once I forgot to add flour of any kind to cookies — the batter was super runny but I tried to make cookies anyway. Lets just say when I took them out of the oven the batter had spread all over the cookie sheet and was pretty burnt. I scraped it off and ate it anyway. The warm, gooey, almost burnt dough was really good! 🙂

I love that you took the VItamix in the garage — what a nice wife you are!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Haha – no flour? So sorry to laugh, but at least you got to enjoy a baking sheet of cookie batter! 🙂

Carolyn September 29, 2010 at 8:17 am

Hey i have that pan…8″ right.. Love the littler one.. If you make it into cakes the layers are much taller.. hehe

I always eat my failures.. Because… just because they aren’t the texture you imagined does not mean they were wrong!!! My immediate response to your fail picture was to add some cocoa bliss..

My latest failure was trying to replicate your blue cornbread by adding chipolte nut butter.. Don’t know what happened but the remains are in the freezer and i think i may have eaten it too warm. It was dry even with nut butter added..Sent a piece in on a stealth mission with Paul today.. We’ll see how he likes it..

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Did you use 3 eggs? My cornbread came out pretty moist, especially the pumpkin version. But, it’s been years since I’ve had the Jiffy stuff, and so really have no idea what you’re used to. I would think the chipotle butter would have helped. Oh well, bet it tasted really good anyway. Let me know what Paul thinks. Yes, 8″ pan – love them. Use them to make my 3-layer strawberry cake. So good! Cacao Bliss makes everything better. You’re right. Going to make my own today or tomorrow! 🙂

carolyn September 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

NOT three eggs…I made the Polly smaller version second recipe so 1c. corn meal and 1 egg white for that…plus added the chipolte butter.. Paul loved it today and was happy his tongue didn’t turn blue…(remind me to send you the picture of him eating the black frosting 40th birthday cake.. )

Need to go get the pumpkin (blue) cornbread version of your recipe off your post and just make it.. like RIGHT now!!! byeeee…

PS. My name and email addy still does not pop up automatically when i go to comment.. 🙂

Christina @ ilovefetacheese September 29, 2010 at 8:14 am

ahahaha you’re too cute. Failed bread = awesome meal. I want to try some!

Ella September 29, 2010 at 8:06 am

Mmmm that cake looks yummy!
Oh mannn I had the biggest kitchen fail a couple of weeks ago.Okay – so in my defense I’m a 20 year old college student who’s JUST getting into baking and cooking since this is my first year with a kitchen.
I had a sorority event a couple of weeks ago, and I decided to make vegan banana bread.My kitchen didn’t have any baking soda (baking powder? I can’t remember which) and I decided it wasn’t a big deal and just to leave it out.
BAD IDEA. It didn’t rise. Everyone at the picknic thought it was supposed to be cookie dough. Tasted pretty good though!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I think I would have loved your banana bread cookie dough. That actually sounds delicious. 🙂

melissa @ the delicate place September 29, 2010 at 8:02 am

GF baking is def tricky, the texture can be perfect or a horrid mess. that is hilarious but super cute that you towed the vita out to the garage! i once made kabocha pancakes that had that texture so i just mushed it all up and threw it in a frying pan and it looked like scrambled eggs ala kabocha

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I love the sound of scrambled kabocha. 🙂

Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad September 29, 2010 at 7:51 am

Those don’t sound like failures to me! The other week I made coconut pancakes and they were a fail but tasted good. I made them again with a few mods and they came out fluffier. I usually end up eating kitchen disasters no matter what 😉

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

Gluten free grains are tricky since the soak up liquid differently. If it tasted good then it was not a failure…just think of it as a new take on the recipe! And yeah, we all have failures in the kitchen. I made a gluten free buckwheat muffin twice, yeah two times I tried it out, and we had to throw them out to the critters…they were named “bug muffins” and are still referenced as such to this day. Yes, they tasted like I made them with freshly ground bugs…gross!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 29, 2010 at 7:31 am

Maybe you could add some sort of GF flour to the soaker so the final product is less liquidy. You could also add yeast or a chemical leavener (like baking powder and soda) to help it rise.

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Thanks for the tips. I’ve made the bread before with other grains, and it came out perfect. Perhaps it just won’t work with amaranth?

Alex September 29, 2010 at 7:29 am

That looks so good! All of it-the porridge stuff, and the cake! Mmm…It makes me in the mood for pumpkin pudding this morning!

I tried to make a banana-100%dark chocolate chunk waffle a few days ago in the panini maker. Well…It didn’t hold AT ALL! I was left with melted chocolatey banana goop with caramelized parts. I ate it in a bowl-completely satisfied!

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Chocolate banana good sounds good to me. 🙂

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm

*Chocolate banana GOOP! 😉

Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) September 29, 2010 at 7:27 am

I love delicious kitchen failures… at least they are still delicious! My kitchen failures usually turn out to be inedible!

Tina September 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

In my mind, if it tastes good…it’s a success! 😀 Both sound like they have excellent flavors. 🙂

VeggieGirl September 29, 2010 at 7:19 am

Nothin’ wrong with a porridge! Yum 🙂

Justine September 29, 2010 at 7:12 am

How sweet of you to go out into the garage! 🙂

I just finished my first attempt at (raw) almond butter, and while it isn’t very smooth (I only have a mini food processor) it still tastes good! It is sort of fluffly, but tasted great on my apple and toast (with blueberry jam!) this morning. 🙂

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Nothing wrong with fluffy almond butter! 🙂

Lauren at KeepItSweet September 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

that pancake looks delish

Lauren at KeepItSweet September 29, 2010 at 7:01 am

lol i meant poundcake!

TheHealthyApron September 29, 2010 at 6:56 am

It’s pretty funny that even though your bread didn’t turn out, you still enjoyed! unfortunately, last week I tried making whole wheat cinnamon buns. They tasted awful that one bite sufficed and I had to throw the rest away. Ick.

HEAB September 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Whole wheat cinnamon buns sound really good in theory. Hope they work out next time! 🙂

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 29, 2010 at 6:55 am

That definitely sounds like more of a success than a fail! I love it when dishes work out like that 🙂

Stefanie September 29, 2010 at 6:54 am

I would not call the bread a failure since it still tasted good. My failure was cupcakes. I followed the recipe but something want wrong and they did not taste right. It just gives me motivation to try again. Both of the recipes you made look yummy.

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood September 29, 2010 at 6:51 am

I was going to use the amaranth in sort of a rice pudding recipe so instead of rice, I would just use amaranth. But your idea sounds good too 😉 And leave it to you to finish everything off in one setting, teehee =)

Hands in Namaste September 29, 2010 at 6:50 am

Heab, you make the most delicious lookinkg ‘mistakes’ ever!

Little Bookworm September 29, 2010 at 6:49 am

Sorry your Amaranth bread didn’t turn out quite right – baked amaranth porridge sounds nice though! 🙂 Had some kitchen failures (sort of) recently not very delicious ones though.

Jessica @ How Sweet September 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

I baked muffins with sweet potato (could’ve used bnut squash too) this weekend and they were SO good! They didn’t make it until the next day either.

Heather (Heather's Dish) September 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

i just tried to make brown sugar italian butter cream this past weekend and the thermometer was off…as soon as i took the simple syrup off it was solid! oops…

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