BLACKOUT BANANA BREAD CAKE 🖤(GLUTEN-FREE) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

happy (almost) valentine’s day, friends :) i can’t say that this holiday has had any special meaning to me over the years. i’d much rather celebrate how i did when i was a kid in elementary school - making festive crafts with specific tones of colors, baking valentine cupcakes, wearing clothing outfitted with hearts and cheesy logos, etc.! i feel like those vibes have been resurrected somewhat now that amesy is going school and he’s getting to partake in those kinds of activities. this past weekend i spent a significant amount of time picking out little valentine cards for his classmates. i was kind of overwhelmed and overjoyed at the selection, and i found the most simplistic joy in picking them out (don’t ask me why!).

i also wanted to bake something super chocolatey too, because this time of year, when the winter seems to never want to let up, you tend to need something to counter that. some people medicate with hot soup or stew, others with tea. me? i need a bone-soothing, deep, dark chocolate cake to sink my teeth into. plus, it doesn’t hurt that all amesy asks for is “chaw-colate cake” . seriously though, i don’t know where he even got the notion from but he asks for it almost every night, and does so with the cutest little new york accent. anywho, who am i to deny my child chocolate cake, especially on valentine’s day?

the first iteration of this cake was delicious, but not dark enough. the second, the chocolate ganache topping wasn’t runny enough. but the third one, was absolutely perfect. the cake had a nice crumb to it, not overly moist or dense, but not crumbly or dry either. but the ganache was where it was at. it’s a two-ingredient recipe, using dark chocolate and coconut milk that still dries glossy and beautiful (i’m partial to this since you can make the cake ahead of time and it still looks like you just made it!). lastly, there are some dried rose petals just for valentine kicks, plus i just think they look pretty.

hope your week is good one! xo!


feel free to use whatever decorations you like here. conversation hearts (do they still make those?), white, pink, and red sprinkles! heart sprinkles, etc. i used dried, food-grade rose petals from a local shop (but you can also get them online).

print the recipe!

| makes 1 round 8-inch bundt cake |

-1 cup fine brown rice flour

-1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

-3/4 cup coconut sugar

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-3/4 teaspoon baking powder

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 cup banana mashed bananas (approx. 2-3 bananas)

-1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan

-2 large free range eggs, at room temp

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-1/2 cup chopped chocolate chunks (optional)

-dried food-grade roses

chocolate ganache

-6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

-2/3 cup coconut milk


-preheat oven to 350°F. oil your pan and flour it with cacao powder (or cocoa powder if that’s what you’re using).

-in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cacao (or cocoa) powder, then whisk in the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

-in another large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. add half the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together with a rubber spatula until incorporated. add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. if using, fold in the chocolate chunks at this point.

-pour the batter evenly into the pan. use a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon to smooth the top of the cake.

-bake for 35-45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. once fully cooled, run a thin knife around the edges of the pan. invert the cake onto a platter or large plate.

-make the chocolate ganache. place the chocolate chunks into a heat tolerant bowl. heat the coconut milk over medium low until steaming and hot (it shouldn’t be so hot that you can’t quickly stick your finger in). pour the coconut milk over the chocolate and let sit for about 2 minutes. use a rubber spatula to stir the ganache together until it’s completely mixed.

- pour 1/2-3/4 ganache over the top of the cake. use an offset spatula to spread the ganache evenly over the top, letting some fall down the sides of the cake. decorate the top and sides of the cake with crushed rose petals (if using), and store the remaining ganache in a lidded jar in your fridge for up to 1 week.

-slice cake and serve!

(Baby-Friendly) Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread Pancakes by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

it's fall and i think i can finally say we've somewhat settled here in our new LA home.  frank and i have increasingly found our groove a bit more, navigating work schedules, the baby's schedule/non-schedule, and trying to take the time for ourselves to just be. i think part of feeling at home, and cozy in your space, is what you surround yourself with.  before making the move out here, we lived in a literal shoebox apartment in brooklyn.  the living room (if you could even call it that) and kitchen area was narrow and dark, and kind of depressing.  i know it's small change compared to a lot of other problems out in the world, but i yearned for more natural light, and real space to dress. 

when we moved, one of the first things i said to frank was that i wanted an actual dining space.  one that we could gather around as a family, share meals, and memories.  we took our old table with us during the move, and intended to use for a much longer time than we did.  but our once, too-big-for-our-former-space table was lost in our much larger dining area.  not to mention that all of our chars didn't make the move either.  and with amesy only growing bigger, and get more messy, i knew we needed something baby-friendly, and practical, so i settled on plastic shell chairs which are light weight and easy to clean.  we find ourselves having so many more meals than we did previously, which is such a welcome change.  

and now that amesy is eating actual food, we really get to share in a meal together.  breakfast is the one meal we all eat around the same time, so when the weekend rolls around we try to make it more of a point to eat together.  ames generally eats yogurt with almond butter (his favorite!), and some sliced berries for breakfast.  but for his mid-morning snack he usually munches on a couple of these pancakes.  i load them up with healthy fats, and protein (and the only sweetener used is the banana), so that way they keep amesy full for hours.  i usually make a batch on the weekends and make 2-pancake pouches for amesy's snacks during the week.  and bonus! they're totally good for adults too ;)


*chairs provided by rove concepts

pumpkin spice banana bread pancakes | gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free

these pancakes are a bit delicate, i would advise to make silver dollar pancakes as opposed to big ones, as they can easily fall apart.  

| makes 14 silver dollar pancakes |

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened full-fat yogurt (preferably grass-fed), or plant-based yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • coconut oil, for cooking


  • yogurt
  • almond butter
  • chia seeds
  • banana slices


  1. place all the ingredients, except the coconut oil, into your blender (if you don't have a blender, a food processor will work as well) and lend for 45 seconds - 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed, until the batter is smooth. let the pancake batter thicken for about 10 minutes.
  2. heat a skillet over medium heat, once the pan is hot, add a knob of coconut oil.  spoon about  1 1/2-2 tablespoons worth of batter into the pan (i usually only cook 2 at a time since the pancakes are quite delicate) and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side.  repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. eat right away and top with yogurt, almond butter, chia seeds, and banana slices.  or, make 2-pancake packets and store in the refrigerator and/or freezer.

more breakfast recipes:

overnight oat waffles w/ lemon zest & poppy seeds

overnight oat waffles w/ lemon zest & poppy seeds

superfood granola w/ almond-macadamia milk

superfood granola w/ almond-macadamia milk

super seed power pancakes

super seed power pancakes

A Dinosaur Cake For Amesy's 1st Birthday! by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

baby-friendly dinosaur "smash" cake | dolly and oatmeal

we celebrated amesy's 1st with confetti balloons, a little taco and guac spread, our dear family, a couple of birthday portraits, and some dinosaur cake!  i had planned his birthday a bit more elaborately in my head months back. but it turns out all he needed was some balloons, tickles and love from his fam, and some smash-friendly cake.  i know i mentioned that i was going to try and make his cake in the shape of an actual dinosaur.  clearly that didn't happen.  because as it turns out, i'm not a magician, nor am i that talented in the cake decorating/intricate icing department.  i'm reaaaaally good at complicating situations so i took a step back from the endless cake scenarios playing out in my mind and thought about ames, and what he might like.  he's a pretty easy going babe, so a simple, easy-peasy mini cake, some cookie "dirt", and a plastic dinosaur on top was going to be perfect for him.  i'm not sure whether he enjoyed the happy birthday song, the smashing part, or the actual eating of the cake more, but he definitely had fun at his little party :)  

at one point when frank and i were setting up amesy's party, i was kind of struck with this profound parent-y feeling.  i've been at parties, helped set them up, thrown shindigs for friends, etc. but it was different and so, so special making a little party for him that it kind of surprised me a bit by how much it struck me.  i didn't think being a mom would change in any way.  and to a certain degree i'm exactly who i was, but being a mama to ames is the very best feeling i've ever felt and could ever feel.  it's similar to how i would feel every christmas morning when i was a kid, i'm just so excited to spend the day with him and see how he takes in his young world.  

anywho, let's talk cake.  this baby cake is grain free and a made with almond and cassava flour.  it's sweetened with banana puree, some coconut sugar (which is completely refined sugar free), and a few drops of stevia.  the frosting/whip is just straight up coconut fat from a can of refrigerated coconut milk with a few drops of stevia (not that i think he would have noticed if it weren't sweetened).  i chose the ingredients carefully here because i wanted it to be cakey and enjoyable as a sweet treat for ames, but i also didn't want his blood sugar sky-rocketing out of control.  and judging by amesy's reaction, i think i found a really great balance of both with this cake.  yay!  and it's even good for adults too! my dad and brother ate their fair share ;)  

peace & love. xo!

baby-friendly dinosaur "smash" cake | gf/df/grain free/refined sugar free

i know cassava flour is hard to come by in some areas, and quite expensive.  while i haven't tried it, arrowroot powder would probably make a great substitute.  

| makes one 3-tiered, 3-inch layer cake |

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup banana puree (roughly 2 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp
  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 2 pasture raised eggs, room temp
  • 4-6 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 cup ground chocolate cookies (i like these or a homemade version), for "dirt"
  • dinosaur figurines 


  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 24 hours
  • 4 drops liquid stevia

adult-friendly chocolate dinosaur cake

  • this recipe, substituting the olive oil for coconut oil


  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening
  • 1 cup powdered coconut sugar (i followed ashlae's recipe here, and used 1 cup coconut sugar, and 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk


  • preheat oven to 350°F, and grease and line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with at least 2-inch sides.
  • in a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cassava flour, coconut sugar, cacao, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  
  • in another large bowl, whisk together  the banana puree, milk, oil, eggs, and stevia.
  • mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.  pour the batter into the cake pan tilting it to get the batter evenly dispersed.  bake in the center of your oven for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick come out clean.
  • place the cake on a rack to cool.  once the cake is completely cool invert it onto a piece of cling wrap.  refrigerate the cake for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
  • use a 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut three layers out of the cake.  (there will be quite a bit of cake remnants.  i used small cookie cutters to make bite-size cakes for amesy's cousin and other guests.)  
  • make the coconut whip.  turn the coconut milk can upside down and open it from the bottom.  pour out the coconut water (you can reserve it for smoothies, etc.) and scoop the coconut fat from the can into a bowl.  using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the whip until it's fluffy.  add the stevia and mix again.  cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
  • use an offset spatula to frost the top of one cake layer, add the other top and add the same amount of coconut whip, add the last layer and frost the top and sides with a thin layer of whip.  refrigerate for roughly 30 minutes, and then frost with another layer (a second layer isn't totally essential, but because the cake is chocolate, the coconut whip will turn slightly brown with one layer if it's sitting long enough.) add cookie crumbs to the bottom of the cake and little on top.  plop a dinosaur on top, and let the smashing begin.
  • large chocolate dinosaur cake

  • follow the method here, but instead of using a bundt pan, grease and line two. 6-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • bake the layers until the a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, about 35-38 minutes.  let the layers cool completely.  wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • make the frosting.  add the shortening to a large bowl.  sift in the powdered coconut sugar and cacao; add the vanilla and milk. mix together using an electric mixer on medium low until the frosting is fluffy and creamy.
  • frost the top of one layer, then place the other layer on top.  frost the tops and sides with a thin layer to coat it.  refrigerate for 30 minutes, then frost the top and sides again in a final, thicker layer.  add the cookie crumbs to the bottom of the cake, and make little mounds on top of the cake. decorate with dinosaurs, and slice and serve the cake.

baby-friendly dinosaur "smash" cake | dolly and oatmeal

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