When I think Halloween, I think CANDY! When my stomach thinks Halloween, I can almost feel it cringe. As much as I love Trick or Treating, a treat binge would only tickle my taste buds for as long as it would take to swallow. Talk about a trick!
How does someone with Crohn’s Disease make it through the seasonal Halloween festivities without developing a twitch from restraining, or worse, giving into temptation? Let me tell you, it’s not easy. Most of us would rather stay in and watch a scary movie than endure the torment of watching people eat things we can’t have. BUT there’s something we can do! Let’s turn Halloween around this year by creating our very own Crohn’s fun in the kitchen!
Introducing…the SPOOKtacular Crohn’s Disease Halloween party! Filled with Crohn’s-approved recipes to help keep your tummy from being haunted, this table top is sure to put a smile on your face this Halloween! Why should we have to endure a Halloween with only a cup of ice when we can create an entire table full of goodies that we can eat with glee?!
Gluten-Free Haunted House Chocolate Cake
In my sugar-crazed opinion, an epic Halloween party isn’t complete without CHOCOLATE! This Halloween, I was determined to create an amazing Halloween feast that included chocolate I could actually eat without sending me into a food coma for days afterwards and it came to me…chocolate cake! Now I can bake a cake mix like a pro, but I wanted something more than just the typical add water and eggs combo. I’ve tasted homemade cakes from my fantastical friends who love to bake before, and I knew that to satisfy my chocolate craving, I just HAD to have a fabulous homemade chocolate cake! In order to make this cake more Crohn’s-friendly, I teamed up with a fellow cake enthusiast and baking pro, The Caked Baker, who was so sweet to not only share her favorite gluten-free chocolate cake recipe with me, but to provide us with a bonus dairy-free frosting option to go with it AND some decorating tips to help us beginner bakers create a SPOOKtacular Haunted House masterpiece from our own home!!
Are you drooling yet?
Let’s get to baking!
Gluten Free Haunted House Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend*
1 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
2 tablespoons King Arthur Cake Enhancer, optional
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups water
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
*This recipe is from King Arthur Flour – you can find this recipe on their website HERE:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8″ or 9″ round pans.
- In a medium mixing bowl (not the bowl of your stand mixer), whisk together the sugar, multi-purpose flour or brown rice flour blend, cocoa, Cake Enhancer, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.
- Place the oil, eggs, water, and vanilla into your mixer bowl, and beat well.
- Blend in the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, beating for 1 minute and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, to make a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake the cakes for 30 to 33 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes past the point where a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. The cakes’ internal temperature should be 210°F.
- Remove the cakes from the oven, and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
1/2 c. Butter, room temp
1/2 c. Crisco
1/2 c. Milk room temp
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Salt
7 1/2 c. Powdered sugar
1/2 c. Cocoa powder
1. Whip butter and crisco in mixer for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
2. Add in vanilla and salt and mix until combined.
3. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl.
4. Alternate adding 1 c powdered sugar and splash of milk and mix well after each addition, until all milk and powdered sugar are added
5. Whip 5 more minutes until light and fluffy. You may need to add a little more milk or a little more powdered sugar, depending on the consistency
*Dairy-Free – use 1 c. Spectrum shortening and omit butter (or do 1/2 c shortening and 1/2 c your favorite dairy free butter. Use soy or unflavored almond milk.)
Completely cool cakes BEFORE adding frosting. If you try to frost while the cake is warm, you’ll end up with a Nailed It! situation and the heat will melt the frosting resulting in an unstable structure.
Use a separate bowl for frosting for your crumb coat to avoid excess crumbs being spread throughout all of your frosting for the entire cake.
Keep frosting at room temperature so it’s easy to spread.
Use cake decorating cardboard circles to use as a base for your cake. A spinning cake decorating stand will also help make your cake easier to decorate.
Create a dam with your frosting and then spread your filling in the middle.
Repeat this process for each cake layer. Gently stack each cake layer on top of each other.
Next comes the Crumb Coat! Put on a base layer of frosting to catch all those extra crumbs before putting on the final layer.
Use a cake scraper to smooth out your frosting.
Color and roll out your fondant.
I should add right about now that I am particularly proud of the fondant because Heidi allowed me to dye AND roll it out myself! That may not sound like a big deal to anyone else, but as this was my first time working with fondant EVER, I have to admit that I’m still basking in my success, however minimal 😉
I wasn’t able to capture the fondant and decorating process, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging so I found a tutorial online from Sweetness & Bite that I think might be able to help a fellow newbie cake decorator like myself for a first fondant adventure!
Apply a piece of scrapbook paper to a wooden board.
Hot glue ribbon around the edges of the board.
Place cake on top.
All that’s left is to eat and enjoy!
I hope this tickles your taste buds as much as it did mine! I normally am unable to enjoy cake, but this one was such a delight and what’s a party without cake, right?!
Full Liquid Diet: Orange Jack-O-Lantern Pops
A few weeks ago, I experienced a major flare up. My abdomen was throbbing and everything I ate made me sick to the point I was afraid to eat. Instead of just going without food, I decided to take a step back to the full liquid diet. A full liquid diet means that I only consume liquids and foods that turn to liquid at room temperature. To most, that may seem rather limiting. Especially at Halloween time with all the fun treats as far as the eye can see! However, I didn’t know how long the flare would last this time around and I was determined not to miss out on the Halloween fun this year, so it was off to the kitchen!
After a look through my freezer and a quick trip to Hobby Lobby, I had the answer!
Introducing…Orange Jack-O-Lantern Pops!
One thing I just LOVE about full liquid diet recipes are how simple they are to put together! These cute lil’ Jack-O-Lantern pops are no exception! These treats can be enjoyed at any time of day (even for breakfast!) and are jam-packed with orangey goodness (not to mention Vitamin C…bonus for the immune system).
Orange Jack-O-Lantern Pops
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1 can concentrated orange juice
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp. imitation vanilla flavoring
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour drink mixture into Jack-O-Lantern mold. Freeze until firm.
Gently press pumpkins out of mold and put on a plate. Carefully slide a cake pop stick in the bottom of the pumpkin mold.
Tie a ribbon around the stick and ta-da! All ready to serve and enjoy!
Candy Corn Jell-O
Whether you’re having a major flare up, just want to give your tummy a break this Halloween, or even if you’re just a HUGE Jello-O fan, this Candy Corn Jell-O treat is a colorful addition to your Crohn’s Halloween party table this year!
*Crohn’s Tip: If you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy prep and want to use this recipe for Halloween, check with your doctor to see if they allow orange food coloring before consuming. If you are unable to have orange food coloring, consider switching out the orange for green Jell-O.
Follow the instructions on your Jell-O box.
Fill a glass cup halfway with Orange Jell-O.
Refrigerate until firm.
Fill the top portion of the cup with Lemon Jell-O.
Refrigerate until firm.
Frozen Yogurt Poison Apples
Fairy tale poison apples have nothing on these yummy (not to mention HEALTHY) treats! I’ve seen pictures of candy apples all over Pinterest and it’s always been on my bucket list to be able to eat one! I decided I couldn’t wait! These Frozen Yogurt Poisoned Apples include probiotics and if apple peels bother your tummy, you can peel them before dipping and you can barely tell the difference!
3 cups Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
Black Gel Food Coloring
Wash and peel apples (peeling is optional)
Mix honey and black food coloring into yogurt until honey is evenly mixed and color is dark.
I have to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of honey, so I only added in enough to sweeten and flavor the yogurt. You can add more or less depending on your taste preferences.
Dip apples into yogurt mixture.
Put apples in freezer until apples reach your desired consistency.
Bloody Italian Cream Sodas
One of my FAVORITE treats for date nights is Italian Cream Soda! They can be sipped from a straw and the cream tones down the carbonation enough so it doesn’t bother my tummy. However, I should point out that this may not hold true for everyone, so if this doesn’t work for you, you can even turn this into a Jell-O treat with raspberry Jell-O topped with whipped cream and get the same look!
Sparkling mineral water
Flavored syrup – my favorite is raspberry
Heavy whipping cream
Fill a glass with ice cubes
Add 1/2 cup of Sparkling Mineral Water
Add 3 TBSP flavored syrup
Add 2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Spray whipped cream on top
Top with maraschino cherries
Alcohol-Free Vampire Cranberry Martinis
When I’m experiencing a flare, I often find that returning to soft, bland foods can help ease my symptoms until the flare passes. This can often be boring and seriously affect my motivation to eat or drink anything at all. When the flare goes on for an extended period of time, it can be difficult to talk myself into eating or drinking foods just to do it when I have a hard time talking myself into believing I’ll actually enjoy it. Part of the fun of experimenting with recipes, even when they’re considered ‘soft and bland’ by nature doesn’t mean they have to LOOK bland! No matter what is on the ingredients list, I find presentation plays a huge role in turning drab to FAB!
When I found these martini glasses at Walmart, I thought they would be perfect for a party table drink, even though I do not drink alcohol. Even with all the amazing sweet treats, these ended up being my FAVORITE item on the Halloween party table!
After a bladder infection from a MRI contrast drink, I discovered I loooove unsweetened cranberry juice! My hubby finds the taste really bitter, so if you prefer a sweeter taste but want to tone down your sugar intake, you will love what the honey can do to even out the flavor of this drink! It was just enough sweetness for me to add a little extra natural sugar to the taste without it being too sweet for me to handle.
Unsweetened cranberry juice
Dip edges of glasses into honey. The honey will drip down the sides, giving the glass a creepy cool effect! If you find your honey dripping too much, you can place your glass in the freezer after dipping in the sprinkles to help solidify the honey so it doesn’t drip down too far.
Pour black sprinkles onto a plate. Dip edges of the glass in black sprinkles to coat the honey.
Pour unsweetened cranberry juice into the martini glass.
Sip and enjoy!
Dairy-Free Googly Eyes Blueberry Donuts
Fall is officially in the air! For some crazy reason, the coming of Fall makes me want to bake, bake, and bake some more. I love to try new recipes for foods I’ve never had before!
Fried foods definitely bother my tummy, so I generally try to stick to baked cake-like donuts. The idea of baking my own healthy donuts has always been on my baking bucket list but I’ve always been so intimidated by these tasty treats that I’ve always steered clear of them. Perhaps I’ve developed a ‘Krispy Kreme’ complex from my husband’s deep love of Krispy Kreme donuts. Who knows?!
Thanks to the beautiful invention of Pinterest, I came across some beautiful looking Raspberry Vanilla Baked Donuts by No Spoon Necessary that inspired me to combine my favorite pancake flavor with these donuts to see what would happen. On top of the tastiness, I also got to expand my baking selection with new baking pans in the shape of DONUTS (yippee!) along with my ingredients! I’ve Halloween-ized them for us to make them more festive for our Crohn’s Halloween party!
Blueberry Infused Donuts
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Salt
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 TBS Shortening, melted
1/3 Cup almond Milk
1/4 cup blueberry juice*
1 tsp vanilla extract
*I like to use fresh or frozen blueberries.
Lemon Glaze (optional)
1 cup low-fat dairy-free yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
Food coloring (optional)
Add all ingredients in a small bowl until well-mixed.
Add food coloring until you reach your desired color.
Use sprinkles to decorate!
Serve and enjoy!
Part of the fun of Halloween is DECORATING!
This is so adorable for a party table top or even to frame and display in your kitchen!
Click HERE to download your 5×7 Free Printable!
*Disclaimer: As gastrointestinal diets are HIGHLY individual, please consult your doctor before consuming any recipes found on this blog. Please confer with a healthcare professional if you have any questions about your personal diet restrictions.