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!


i’m so excited to share this recipe with you today, it’s delicious and subtle, and the perfect thing to break up frigid winter days. i think i’m preaching to the choir when i say that peanut butter is pretty good at doing that! the first time i was acquainted with mochi was in the form of ice cream at the grocery store when frank and i were dating. frank was a big fan, so that night we went home with a box of bubbies mochi ice cream. the mochi was a smooth dough that enveloped the entire hunk of ice cream, making it the ultimate ice cream sandwich - it was such a treat! from that point on i was hooked, but i had never seen many recipes utilizing mochi until i opened the beautiful pages of cynthia’s book.

again, i’m probably preaching to the choir, when i express to you how undeniably lovely cynthia’s work is. i became a big admirer of her blog, two red bowls, back in the day (circa 2014 maybe?). we were both living not too far from each other in brooklyn, and i remember just diving in to her beautiful world. i still continue to find myself mesmerized by her ability to weave food, photography, culture, and most importantly human connection into everything she does. it’s something so rare to be able to do with such honesty.

cynthia’s book, much like her blog, is beautifully woven with recipes that pull from her chinese heritage as well as her upbringing in the south. you’ll find recipes from all sections of her book that intertwine and honor her culture. most notably (at least to me) her cheddar-scallion biscuits (which i made for thanksgiving and are out of this world delicious), a traditional swirl bread with matcha glaze, mochi pancakes (!!), kimchi quesadillas, shoyu poke, and i’m still troubleshooting a gluten-free version of her black sesame chocolate loaf!

but let’s talk peanut mochi cake because i’ve been wondering why the heck i’ve never baked with sweet rice flour until now. it’s naturally gluten-free and gives you the most springy soft texture - win, win! and this recipe couldn’t be easier to make. while cynthia mentioned a few different fillings, i went with peanut butter. when i was flipping through her book, what drew me in the most to this recipe was the perfect little dollops of peanut butter filling. the peanut butter mixture is dolloped across half the batter, then topped with the remaining batter. so when it’s all said and done, you get delightful mochi squares filled with creamy peanut butter. a dream situation, really. they’re the ideal dessert, that is satisfying, yet doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re on a sugar high. this, like every other recipe i’ve made from cynthia’s book, will leave you feeling just plain happy.

xo, friends!

peanut butter mochi cake | gf (with a dairy-free option*)

from: A Common Table, by: Cynthia Chen McTernan

| makes one 8-inch square cake |

  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups (225 grams) sweet rice flour, like mochiko blue star

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts

*dairy-free option:

  • replace the 1 cup of whole milk with full-fat coconut milk


  1. preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. in a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. set aside.

  2. in a medium bowl, combine the the sweet rice flour, milk, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. you don’t need to worry about overworking the batter and making the cake dense, because sweet rice flour doesn’t contain gluten - mochi cake is dense to begin with! small lumps will appear in the batter at first, but they will dissipate as you whisk.

  3. pour half the batter into the prepared baking dish. drop small spoonfuls of the peanut butter filling evenly across the batter, then pour the remaining batter over the peanut butter filling. bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  4. while the mochi is baking, place the peanuts in a food processor or blender and pulse until crumbly. remove the mochi from the oven, and sprinkle the crushed peanuts across the top, then return the cake to the oven and bake until the center bounces back when pressed, an additional 15-20 minutes. enjoy warm or at room temperature. the mochi will slice much more cleanly when cooled, but there’s nothing like enjoying a piece warm from the oven.

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Double Chocolate Caramel Cake & 5 Years by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

frank and i celebrate 5 years of marriage tomorrow.  it was one of the best days of my life, a day filled with such an overwhelming amount cheer and enthusiasm from so many people that it's hard to describe with just mere words.  

since i was a little girl, i thought i would get married where i summered every year on martha's vineyard.  i had the venue picked out and everything!  we would get married on the patio of beach plum inn, while overlooking menemsha bight at sunset.  there would be twinkling lights, and great food, and dancing, and all around awesome time. clearly little me wasn't thinking about grownup things like cost and logistics.  so when frank and i started wedding planning a wedding on martha's vineyard was quickly crossed off. so we switched gears to something a bit more local, and affordable.  a quick google search of "farms by the ocean", turned up with some interesting, but very limited options.  luckily, we found salt air farm, which by the name alone had me super interested.  it happened to be located on long island, where i grew up when i was little, and everything quickly fell into place, and felt so right.

our wedding was very much a family affair, which makes the memory that much sweeter.  my mom, a close family friend/planner/caterer, and i planned every last detail.  our dj was another long-time friend, as was our amazing photographer.  i designed the invitations, seating cards, table numbers, etc.! and salt air farm also happened to be a fruit and flower farm, so all the centerpieces came right from the fields that the entrance of the farm welcomed each guest with.  there was so much heart and soul that went into our wedding, but we also never felt more appreciative of the outpouring of love than on that day.    

but the best part was marrying frank.  never have i known anyone like him.  he is simply the sweetest, kindest, most patient man i will ever know. i am forever grateful to whatever cosmic powers that led to us meeting.  

ok, let's talk cake before i start crying even more than i already am.  our wedding cake was 3-tiers, and aside from being yummy and gluten-and-dairy-free, i didn't really care too much about it.  we went to babycakes in nyc, and tasted a few of their flavors, and i'm pretty sure we just settled on a basic chocolate and vanilla  duo, with a traditional vanilla frosting.  the cake here has two really luscious chocolate-y layers, a chocolate fudge frosting, and it's topped off with an almond butter-based caramel sauce.  i decorated it with the same blush-y shade of flowers that was in my wedding bouquet, as well as in the centerpieces on each table - a subtle, little reminder of that day.  the recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks from this past spring, sweet laurel.  the book is full of thoughtful gluten-and-dairy-free recipes.  from morning treats, to breads, and nut-based cream cheese; to beautiful cakes, and tips on how to decorate them.  it's a lovely book for those who love to bake, or someone who is new to gluten-and-dairy-free baking.

love & cake.  xo!  

**all non-cake photos by: kisha bari

Double Chocolate Caramel Cake | gf & df

chocolate cake and dark chocolate fudge frosting recipe from Sweet Laurel, by Laurel Gallucci & Claire Thomas

| make a two 6-inch layers |

dark chocolate fudge frosting


  • 4 pounces 100% cacao unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  •  1/4 cup coconut oil, solid
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or full-fall coconut milk, or as needed


  • coconut nut oil, for greasing the pans
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup 100% unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate fudge frosting (ingredients below)
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (ingredients below)

caramel sauce (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • pinch of sea salt


  1. make the frosting.  in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring constantly.  remove the pan from the heat.  slowly add the maple syrup and stir to incorporate.  allow to cool completely.
  2. transfer the chocolate mixture to a medium bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat in the almond butter until a thick frosting forms.  add the almond milk and stir with a spatula until smooth.
  3. refrigerate for at least 8 hours, then bring to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until spreadable. 
  4. make the cake.  preheat oven to 350°F.  line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, then grease the sides of the pans with coconut oil.
  5. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour cacao powder, baking soda, and salt.  in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.  a little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until a batter forms.
  6. divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  invert the cakes onto racks, and allow to cool completely (*my note: i let the cake cool in the pan on a rack, then inverted them onto a rack to then cool completely).
  7. place one layer on a cake plate and top with 1/2 cup of the fudge frosting, smoothing it evenly over the entire surface.  drizzle a few tablespoons of the caramel on top.  add the second layer and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of frosting, then drizzle more caramel over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. 
  8. refrigerate until ready to serve.  take out 20-30 minutes prior to serving.  decorate with fresh blooms, sprinkles, herbs, herbs flowers, etc.!

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