Adaptable Recipes, Dessert, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Let There Be Cake!


Whether it’s a fancy wedding or birthday cake, or maybe an all-butter pound cake at a barbecue,  people can’t help but smile and get ready to dig in.  Cake makes the dessert world go around and round.

Nevertheless, there are times when you’re not in the mood to tackle making a cake from scratch. You want something fast and easy. So, before you pick up a box of cake mix, this recipe for vanilla cake comes together in a snap. Moreover, it doesn’t contain any butter or dairy.

King Arthur’s Vanilla Cake is reminiscent of a recipe that became popular first during the Great Depression and then again around World War II when items like butter and eggs were rationed. The result is a light and tender cake with just the right amount of sweetness. It’s also vegan and can be adapted for gluten sensitivities.


Vanilla Cake Pan Cake by King Arthur adapted by Still a Chick Lit


PREP 10 mins
BAKE 30 to 35 mins
TOTAL 1 hr


2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour  (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour plus 2 tablespoons of xanthan gum)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (198g) water

1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil

3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar. (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)

4 1/2 teaspoons (21g) cider vinegar or white vinegar

1 tablespoon (14g) clear vanilla or vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


4 tablespoons (57g) butter, regular or vegan, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups (283g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if it’s lumpy.

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla or vanilla

about 2 tablespoons (28g) water


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8” square or 9” round pan that’s at least 2” deep.

To make the cake: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the water, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, vanilla, and almond extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. It’s OK for a few small lumps to remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top feels set, the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and either serve the cake warm from the oven or allow it to cool completely in the pan before frosting.

To make the frosting: Beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until no large pieces of butter remain.

Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the water, beating to incorporate. Add enough additional water, a teaspoon at a time, to make a spreadable frosting.

Leaving the cake right in the pan, if desired, use a spatula or flat knife to apply the frosting.

Storage information: Store the cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for more extended storage.


Adaptable Recipes, Dessert, Weekend Baking Warrior

Weekend Baking Project Chocolate Cupcakes


There’s nothing in the world like cupcakes. It packs a lot of taste into every bite.  Nevertheless, there are times when a dozen is just too much temptation especially when it comes to chocolate. This is the beauty of small-batch recipes. This one comes from Just So Tasty

This makes 6 standard-size cupcakes or 4 jumbo-size cupcakes.


This recipe has been adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcake original recipe by Just So Tasty


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, brown rice, white rice, or sorghum flour)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or canola
  • ½ cup white sugar (Swerve Sweetener, Splenda granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, finely pulsed)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg(3 tablespoons of Aquafaba, 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer = 1 egg, liquid vegan egg replacer = 1 egg)
  •  cup buttermilk (dairy: low-fat, light, or whole-fat buttermilk)
  • (Non-dairy buttermilk 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, let stand for at least five minutes)

Chocolate Frosting*

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (unsalted vegan butter)
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups powdered sugar (Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute, organic powdered sugar, vegan powdered sugar)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons milk or whipping cream (Dairy: heavy or light cream) (Non-dairy 1-2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk or almond milk)


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees and line a muffin tin with muffin papers. You’ll end up with 6 or 7 cupcakes in total. I always use the middle 6 muffin cavities because I find the cupcakes cook more evenly.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg. Then whisk in the buttermilk.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each about ½ – ⅔ full. You should end up with 6 or 7 cupcakes total. Be sure not to fill the cupcake liners to the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting*

  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter until soft.
  • Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. If it’s lumpy, be sure to sift it first.
  • Add in the cocoa powder (again, sifting if lumpy), vanilla extract, and salt and beat until combined.
  • Mix in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of milk/cream until the desired sweetness and thickness is reached.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes with a knife, or transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost. I used a piping bag and a Wilton 1M piping tip.

Adaptable Recipes, Dessert, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals-No Bake Dessert Edition


We are dedicated to bringing you recipes to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner a little easier for you on a Monday. However, now that it’s almost summetime, a lot of us will be taking things outside to grill and spending less time in the kitchen.  That said, we will continue tobring you recipes for the grill along with easy salads that come together in a flash.

Nevertheless, there’s one thing that everyone loves and that’s dessert. The only problem is when the mercury is rising, no one wants to turn on an oven. Ice cream, gelato, Italian ices, milkshakes, and sorbet are great frozen treats that are perfect for those hot summer evenings, but we found a dessert that you can make at home and it only has two ingredients.

This no-bake berry cloud cake comes from Kirbie’s Cravings

I’d long been intrigued when I see posts for cakes recipes that only have  2, 3, or 4 ingredients. I’m an old-school baker and I love to make everything from scratch, which means the minute I see a cake recipe with a box mix, it’s a pass for me. (By no means do I have anything against cake mixes, if you love them, use them). Nonetheless, in this case it was the two ingredients and no butter, eggs, sugar, flour, or oil that moved me to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure what to think, but it worked. I didn’t add any sugar to the mixed berry applesauce, and I whipped it for 15 minutes to get a light cloud-like texture. It took no time to prep or cook, then all I did was put it in the refrigerator for an hour. The consistency is very light and airy. I reccommend using an 8-inch or a 6-inch square pan.

I adapted the recipe for vegans, by adding the substitute for gelatin.

All in all, I think this dessert would be a breeze and something everyone can enjoy guilt-free.

Servings: 12 slices


Prep Time: 20 minutes


Cook Time: 3 minutes


Chilling Time: 1 hour


Total Time: 1 hour 23 minutes



Course: Dessert


Cuisine: American



2 Ingredient No Bake Berry Cloud Cake by Kirbie Cravings


1 2/3 cups (408 g) unsweetened mixed berry applesauce

4 1/2 tsp (15 g) unflavored gelatin powder

  • For vegans use 3 teaspoons (6g) agar-agar powder to replace gelatin


Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

Add applesauce and gelatin to a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is fully incorporated. The gelatin powder should make your applesauce thick and a little chunky.

Using the double boiler method on the stove, dissolve the gelatin completely. When the gelatin is dissolved, your mixture should become thinner and smoother. The applesauce should feel warm to the touch, but not hot. Be careful to not let the mixture get hot or boil. Remove bowl from stove and let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool to room temperature.

Pour applesauce mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat on highest speed for about 15 minutes. Your mixture should more than triple in volume and should look like airy whipped cream. When you stop your mixer, your wire whisk should be able to hold a soft peak. See photo in post for reference.

Pour the applesauce mixture into your prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly across and smooth the surface. Place into the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.

Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Before serving, you can first decorate the cake with whipped cream or another frosting. Slice the cake with a very large and sharp knife. The cake is best served chilled. Store any uneaten cake in the fridge.


This recipe must be made with unsweetened applesauce. Sweetened applesauce will not work because the added sugar makes the cake batter too dense and moist.

This berry cloud cake is tart from the berry applesauce. It doesn’t really have much sweetness to it. If you are on a low sugar diet, I don’t think you will mind. The cake is flavorful even though it’s not sweet.

If you want to add sweetness, it has to be in the form of the frosting. I made a whipped cream frosting lightly sweetened with sugar. The whipped cream can also be sweetened with stevia or other sugar substitutes.

I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one to mix this. You do need to whip the batter for about 15 minutes on highest speed and it’s just easier to do with a stand mixer. There is also less splatter because a stand mixer bowl is generally deeper.

The double boiler method is a stovetop method used to heat up your applesauce mixture using indirect heat. Use a saucepan that is smaller than your mixing bowl and add about 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. You want to choose a saucepan where you will be able to place the bowl on top that fits snugly and won’t touch the water in the saucepan. Once the water has reached a simmer, place your mixing bowl on top. Stir the applesauce mixture with a whisk to dissolve the gelatin as the mixture begins to heat up. Be careful to not let the mixture boil or get too hot.

For the whipped cream frosting, add 1 cup of cold heavy cream and 3 tbsp of sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat on highest speed until stiff peaks form.  You can add more or less sugar to taste. You can substitute the sugar with stevia or other sugar substitutes. You can also use Cool Whip instead.



Adaptable Recipes, Dessert, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals- Who Needs A Cookie Edition

Cowboy Cookies


After a long day of meetings, phone calls, IT issues, mass transit delays, and traffic, sometimes you just need a cookie. Whether large or small, you can’t stay mad when you have cookies.

Cowboy cookies seem to be a fusion combination of chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, coconut macaroons, and pecan Sandies with a hint of cinnamon.

This cowboy cookie recipe came to prominence courtesy of Family Circle magazine’s First Lady’s Cookie Contest. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookie recipe bested Tipper Gore’s Gingersnaps in 2000, and it remains one of the most popular recipes. In any case, if you’re a fan of chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut, and pecans, this cookie is for you.


This particular recipe comes from the Baker By Nature Blog and highlights melted brown butter to add a little extra nuttiness to the cookies. These cookies are also pretty easy to make for the perfect Monday post-work detox.

Cowboy Cookies by Baker By Nature adapted by Still A Chick Lit

1/2 cup unsalted butter melted until browned. (vegan unsalted butter)
1/2 light brown sugar, packed (Swerve brown sugar substitute, organic light brown sugar, vegan light brown sugar)
1/4 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, golden sugar, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)
1 large egg at room temperature (3 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 1 egg)

1/2 large egg yolk at room temperature (1 tablespoon of whisked egg yolk) ( ½ tablespoon Aquafaba, ½ tablespoon chickpea flour plus ½ tablespoon cold water, mix well, or ½ tablespoon full-fat coconut milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/3 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour. If the flour blend doesn’t contain a binder add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (178 grams) of old-fashioned oats (not steel-cut or quick oats)
3/8 cup (60 grams) sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup (64 grams) pecans, roughly chopped plus more for decorating
6 ounces (340 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt optional



Preheat the oven to 350 (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl using a whisk, beat together the browned butter and both sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Don’t worry if they look a little separated here.

Whisk in the eggs and yolk, beating until well combined. About 45 seconds. Whisk in the vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.

Scoop 2-inch balls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2-inches between each ball so they have room to spread.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden and set at the edges, and still slightly soft in the center.

Press extra chocolate chips and pecans on top of cookies when they come out of the oven (optional). Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.



  • Let the dough rest for about 5-10 minutes to give the flour an opportunity to hydrate. This is an optional step but helps to ensure a tender crumb.
  • Do not overbake
  • It’s important to let the cookies cool on the baking sheet to allow for carry-over baking.

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Dessert, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- You Deserve A Cupcake Edition


There are days when everything seems to go wrong, from sleeping through your alarm clock to printer issues just when you’ve got to run to a meeting. Conversely, there are days when you feel like a rockstar. You had nothing but green lights on the way to work, the barista nailed your coffee order, and you got a parking space close to the entrance instead of in the hinterlands.

Whether you fall into the former or latter category, cupcakes are great for commiseration and celebration. This recipe for a one-bowl vanilla funfetti cupcake comes from The Kitchn

This recipe has been scaled down to make 6 standard-size cupcakes or 4 jumbo cupcakes, perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth without too much temptation lingering around. We adapted the recipe for vegan/vegetarian, low-sugar, and gluten-free dietary needs.

Vanilla Funfetti cupcakes by Ktchn adapted by Still A Chick Lit

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour. If the flour blend doesn’t contain a binder add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
7/8 cups granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, coconut, turbinado, and raw cane sugar, pulsed finely)

3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/8 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs (2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 2 eggs)
3/8 cups canola oil, or melted and cooled unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)
1/2 cup milk (dairy: whole, 2% or, fat-free milk) (non-dairy: unsweetened almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup rainbow sprinkles  (vegan sprinkles)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line 6 muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the eggs, oil or butter, milk, and vanilla and mix with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fold in the sprinkles. Do not overmix or the sprinkles will streak the batter.

Fill each paper liner 3/4 full. Bake until the cakes are lightly browned, spring back when tapped gingerly, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.