Icy Cakes

I received the sweetest email a few days ago from a reader named Ella.
Her note was short but really spoke to me in so many ways.

Ella is from Stockholm, Sweden.

(And, can I stop there and just say, Wow! This whole blogging thing is still so surreal to me. It’s hard to believe the little things I make, reach out to people in so many places. Some near and some so very far away from my ordinary kitchen. But, I’m glad they do. It wouldn’t be the same around here without all of you.)

Ella’s six-year old daughter, Emelie has celiaki, which I can only assume is the same as what is called Celiac’s Disease in the U.S.

I have to admit, I’m not very familiar with it. I don’t know anyone that suffers from it. But in a nutshell, she cannot have anything that contains gluten which makes baking a little more complicated. Ella is having to learn a new way to do things for her little girl.

And thanks to a lot of snow and cold this Christmas in Sweden, Ella and Emelie came up with this fun food alternative.

Presenting Delicious Icy Cakes from Emelie.


I think this is just the sweetest thing. These little cakes made of colored ice really warm my heart. Notice the coordinating doilies? Swoon.

I about teared up when I saw these and how much it reminds me that the best memories can be from the the simplest things.


I wanna play.

I know I wasn’t this creative as a child. Not at all.


These little lawn figures make me happy. So whimsical. It feels like a scene straight out of a fairy tale. Don’t know which one, but definitely a sweet one.


I could only be happier if Emelie’s face was looking at the camera here. I know she would be smiling with pride.

Emelie, with your lovely red locks, you rock!

And, since I’m not much help, if anyone knows any good baking resources for those with Celiac’s Disease, please share. I’m sure Ella and others would appreciate it.

But if you don’t know either, just give a shoutout where you’re from. I’d love to hear.


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629 comments on “Icy Cakes”

  1. I know what I’m doing tomorrow.

  2. I’d love to know as well. One of my daughter’s classmates suffers from the same disease. We don’t send baked goods to school because I don’t want her to feel left out. We send plain chocolate instead, which is still a hit with the kids.

  3. Bob’s Red Mill has alot of flours that I hear are helpful for those with celiac disease. I personally don’t have experience with this illness, but I know that http://www.glutenfreeda.blogspot.com & http://www.glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com DO!

  4. Oh, and I’m from NJ, though I’m originally from NY.

  5. That is really sweet! Now I have to hunt for gluten-free products…

  6. This is the sweetest thing I’ve seen in a while. Thanks for posting it. I’m from boring Maryland USA.

  7. There are tons out there. My favorite is http://www.glutenfreegoddess.com

    There is also an organization called Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.).

    The main thing is not to focus on what you can’t have, but to all of the wonderful things that you can.

    Did you know that if you order a burger at a McDonald’s in Sweden they ask if you want it on a regular or gluten-free bun.
    Too Cool!

  8. Those are so adorable!

    We’ve had so much snow and ice here recently. Wish I had been that creative. heh – I can’t even make a proper snowman with my little one.

  9. I’m from Athens, GA. Not far from you, so not very exciting ;)
    But I did just make your cake balls for the first time over christmas break. They were, of course, a hit!

  10. Oh, forgot to add –

    I’m from rural Kansas.

  11. http://www.celiac.com is full of all kinds of information regarding the disease. Recipes, links, treatments. It has it all. There are so many things you can still enjoy. This post was just so sweet. I am in Washington State right now but I am originally from Wales. Love your blog.

  12. Betty Crocker actually has a line of Gluten Free Baking Mixes
    http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/gluten-free On the page there is a link to other recipes using the mixes.

  13. That little girl is amazing! So creative! My mom was diagnosed with Celiac about 7 years ago (I can hardly believe it’s been that long). There are lots of resources out there, you just have to search to find them. One of my favorite blogs is http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/
    She has terrific recipes and product recommendations!

  14. whoops, forgot as well- I’m in southern California.

  15. what a sweet post!

  16. SO Sweet! Texas native, living in California with my Air Force hubby and kiddos.

  17. So sweet! I have been following a blogger that has a gluten free home and she has over a year’s worth of crock pot meals that are gluten free!
    She also has a book that just came out!

  18. My roommate has celiacs disease. She is able to find a lot of cake and brownie mixes from Whole Foods. Just a thought… For her birthday, I made her this flourless cake: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Flourless-Chocolate-Cake-II/Detail.aspx

  19. Those are beautiful! I’m in New Mexico

  20. These are so cute! We have tons of snow here!

  21. if only theres such thing as snow in singapore. then i can mke some ice/snow cakes too!

  22. Amazingly, here in the US there are quite a few options for Celiac baking! My 5 yo daughter was diagnosed when she was 18 months, so we’ve been dealing with this for a long time.

    Since I don’t bake from scratch, I use Gluten-free mixes. I’ve even made the Hello Kitty cake pops from a gluten free mix! The cake tends to be quite heavy, so I made them smaller so they would stay on the sticks.

    And here recently, none other than Betty Crocker released a line of Gluten free baking mixes!!! I can’t tell you how happy I was to see a familiar brand with Gluten-free mixes! We’ve tried the brownies (delish) and the chocolate chip cookies (not as good as some other mixes). We also have the vanilla cake and the devil’s food cake mix to try!

    I’m sure there are many online stores that would ship over seas if she were interested in buying the pre packaged mixes. If not, I would buy them and send them to her! I feel for every mom who has a girl with Celiac. Baking is one thing that I love to do with my little girl and I would hate for them to lose out on that experience.

    Love the icy cakes, but am really glad I live in Florida. (where it’s rather cold this week!)

  23. http://www.elanaspantry.com/




    I know a lot of people use coconut and almond flours.
    The last website given is the place we ordered my daugther’s wedding cake…totally gluten free dedicated bakery. It was the best cake we have ever eaten and none of us are gluten intolerant. The guests were raving about it…of course is was made with all REAL food ingredients, so fresh! We chose A Bountiful Harvest because of their use of organic ingredients and sweetners. I’m not sure how far they ship their products, but they are the best gluten free we ever tasted. Since checking into the GF thing, I personally have GF days to rest my body from having wheat 7 days a week.
    Anyway, hope this helps some. Most of it is trial and error on recipes, but these blogs really help out.

  24. …oh, BTW- a lot of over the counter GF foods are nasty ingredients…read..read..read the back of the box.

  25. Very sweet! Love the enchanted ice forest. Will look forward to seeing resources for gluten-free baking. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee but have lived in Southaven, Mississippi for the last 5 years.

  26. From Ohio – have not tried any of your pretty cake pops, but have a sister-in-law that has made beautiful ones. I like seeing the pictures. :) Happy New Year.

  27. I don’t have any suggestions for gluten free baking, but those cakes are fabulous! I’m from Northern VA, Metro DC area.

  28. Originally from AL- now from Raleigh, NC! Love your blog, you are precious!

  29. Omaha here…. I watch gluten free stuff as well, because my 6 year old is allergic to corn & soy and some gluten free products are ok for us too. What is hard for us is no store bought cakes, breads candies etc… so birthday parties are hard… I would love a GOOD frosting recipe that doesn’t use corn syrup or confectioners sugar (has corn starch in it) that is fairly easy & kids would like…

  30. Shoutout from Melbourne, Australia! I unfortunately can’t give any helpful advice, but I do know what it’s like to have a child that requires special dietary care, having a 4 year old with anaphylaxis myself. Good luck to Ella and her little girl on their hunt!

  31. What a beautiful entry! I would love to try a few gluten free recipes! I am from New Hampshire, and me and my friends fell in love with your site back when you made the cupcake pops!

  32. What a beautiful story! Stories likes these warm my heart!

  33. These cakes are SO creative and so adorable…I love imaginations!

    I’m in Ontario Canada, and here we have a great store called Bulk Barn that has a ton of specialty baking mixes for all kinds of sensitivities…my little niece benefits from their variety :)

  34. One of my best friends daughter and husband are Celiac.
    I do have one recipi for sugar cookies that i will include.

    Gluten-free Sugar Cookies

    Even though I advocate finding joy in foods that are naturally gluten-free, it is the holidays. And I still like some traditions. No matter what, I still like roll-out sugar cookies, thick and threaded through with vanilla, cut into Christmas-tree shapes and frosted with buttercream frosting.

    This is a recipe I adapted from Sonya Joseph’s gluten-free cooking class I took at the beginning of the month. They work. They’ll fill that need.

    2 1/2 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum (omit if your gf flour mix already contains this)
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup margarine
    1/2 cup butter
    1 egg
    2 teaspoons vanilla (make sure it’s gluten-free. Use only pure vanilla, please.)
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    After you have preheated the oven to 350°, mix all the dry ingredients together and set that bowl aside.

    Cream together the shortenings and sugar, preferably with a standing mixer. Then, add the egg and vanilla. Beat these as long as you can. The more airy and whipped they are, the better the cookies will taste.

    Add the dry ingredients, along with the nutmeg.

    Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This is essential for gluten-free doughs.

    When the dough is properly chilled, roll it out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutters.

    Bake on an ungreased baking sheet (preferably with a silpat), for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven

  35. My friend actually has celiac’s disease… check out these cookbooks & links:

    1) http://www.glutenfreechefrob.com/

    2) http://www.glutenfreebaking.com/

    3) http://www.glutenfree.com/

    4) http://www.celiac.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=48_49 (this is actually celiac.com which has TONS of info… but this is a list of their recommended cookbooks)

    I hope this was helpful!

  36. Such pretty colors! I’ve heard of Gluten Free Girl’s blog: http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/ I don’t have any gluten free experience, but it’s probably worth a look for some recipes.

    I’m coming to you from the cold, snowy suburbs of Milwaukee Wisconsin!

  37. All I can say is WOW! That might be the sweetest thing I’ve heard. The power of a mom is endless when it comes to giving the best to her child.

  38. Those are freakishly adorable! I wish I had some information to contribute, but I just wanted to say hello and Portland, OR loves you!

  39. From a bit west of the ATL, but still in Georgia! The specific carbohydrate diet has been used to treat a wide range of issues, including celiac disease, and my mother in law and sister in law and benefited greatly from it. It eliminates gluten, sugar and grains and many other things. It is not the easiest thing to follow, but I have seen great results. Whether or not you adhere to the complete diet is up to the individual, but if you search for specific carbohydrate diet recipes, there is a wealth of wonderful info out there. http://www.scdrecipe.com/
    is a good starting point

  40. Absolutely adorable and a great inspiration for turning life’s lemons into lemonade! ;)

    Texas-native currently living in San Francisco, CA.

  41. p.s. how could i forget to mention the pioneer woman’s tasty kitchen blog, it has gluten free recipes.
    pioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen and also the gluten free girl is amazing with her chef husband! glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com hope this helps! not sure what they enjoy in sweden.

  42. so precious! I’m in Bowling Green, KY

  43. Raw Food Desserts are great! Check out this link:


    Do a “Raw Food Desserts” search on the web…you will find tons of yummy good for you desserts….no gluten allowed!

  44. I was going to suggest crockpot365 too. Also, Elisabeth Hasselbeck has a book “G Free Diet” that might be a good resource too.

  45. I don’t have Celiac but I am allergic to wheat, so I face a lot of the same challenges. Oddly it seems to be very common with many of my friends around my age (30s). I have a few people I know with Celiac and even more that are allergic to wheat (which contains gluten). The best resource I have found so far for information is Living Without magazine. They also have a website with information and recipes (www.livingwithout.com).

    I am also in pastry school and unfortunately there isn’t enough information in my classes about this challenge either. So, what I have learned I have learned from friends or from my good friend google. Good luck to everyone out there who have food allergies and love to bake! There are resources, you just have to be patient about finding them.

  46. Nothing on Celiac’s disease, but I have a friend who’s been experimenting with a lot of gluten free recipe’s – I’ll send her your link. Those cakes are gorgeous! And I call Maryland home, too :-)

  47. The Icy Cakes are beautiful! Emelie has created a new art form.

  48. so precious, and amazingly creative!

  49. my first comment didn’t print hence the p.s. above. i have celiac as well as my daughter, i am not a big baker because of this but have a gluten free blog at glutenfreeinhawaii.blogspot.com. which might give her some new recipes. a google search would provide a host of results too. oh and i am from hawaii!

  50. Utah ?
    I think it would be difficult and expensive to cook for someone with special dietary needs. I have a hard enough time cooking ‘normal’ things night after night for my fam. This is such a nice post and Emelie’s creations are beautiful. I hope Ella can find lots of yummy things to bake that are gluten free for Emelie. Thank goodness for the internet!

  51. I wanted to add this one as well.


    A lot of the recipes are both gluten-free and vegan and look AMAZING!

  52. Oops! I was trying to do a smiley face and it turned into a question mark. I’m from Utah (2002 Winter Olympics) and I love your blog Bakerella!

  53. Those cakes are so cute! I’m from Troy, IL which is about 20 miles east of St. Louis. We are supposed to be getting about 5 inches of snow tonight, so I’m hoping for a snow day tomorrow. I might have to talk my husband into making some of these ice cakes!

  54. i am in NE Texas and LOVE this website, your sweet creations and your awesome photography are both inspiring

  55. I want to try making an ice cake too!
    Manassa, CO

  56. Shout out from Fort Worth, TX! Probably my favorite thing I have made from your site are the red velvet cake balls. I overeat every. single. time.

  57. Lovely ice cakes. I’m in Arizona. It was in the 70’s today…no ice cakes for me!

  58. I’m right down the road in Atlanta, but I still adore your website. Wouldn’t matter if you were in Spain or Siberia, you would still be just as loved.

    And this post just proves that.

  59. What sweet ice cakes. Sounds like there are a lot of good resources out there. From Wyoming here, thanks for sharing this with us.

  60. I don’t know much about this cookbook but Ive had some friends say that many recipes are gluten free. She may want to check into it. http://www.babycakesnyc.com/books.html. Hope that helps.

  61. I’m going to have to take my daughter out to make ice cakes this weekend. I’m a California native living in Nebraska on an Air Force base.

  62. There are lots of resources on the internet for gluten-free living. I’d start with http://www.celiac.org/. My favorite cook books are The Gluten-Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberb, Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Riley or any of Bette Hagman’s cookbooks. Also look at the recipe section of Pioneer Woman’s website; there are gluten-free recipes there too.

  63. Oh lovely ice cakes! We’re in the 70s here too … no ice cakes for us! The kids would love those though!
    Check out this waffle and yellow cake recipe (gluten free) – It’s always a winner with people on a gluten free diet, since it has a lovely cakey mouth feel and taste. And btw, use the recipe to make it as a cake and it works just wonderfully for cake balls / cake pops too :)
    I also posted some of my other gluten free recipes there too – just check out my recipe box!

  64. The Icy Cakes are beautiful ! I’m from Kuwait

  65. I love, love, love baking! I am having autoimmune issues and I am waiting for test results to come back and I fear that I have become gluten-intolerant. Ugh!! I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t consume all of my sweets!

  66. West Texas area here =)

    I love your blog and I love your baking spirit! Since I’ve been following your blog I had to get my own copy of Cookies Crafts Book and I tried to make the famous cake balls! My girls and family absolutely loved em’! Thanks so much!

  67. These are so adorable – I can hardly stand it! Love your blog!
    I’m in Minnesota, and with the high today of only 7 degrees F (nightime low will be -30), we’re definately cold enough to make these :)

  68. So sweet! – from Dallas, Texas

  69. I’m from Ontario Canada. I’ve been following http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com for a few years now too. I have a couple relatives and friends who have celiac disease and she’s been a great resource and advocate for celiac awareness.

  70. Really adorable!

    We are in Virginia just outside DC. My girlfriend and I got together and made cupcake pops a few weeks before Christmas! We didn’t get any pictures though :(

  71. Tooele, Utah – Love your blog and your oreo truffles!! Thanks for sharing!

  72. What a delightful cold weather activity. It looks so beautiful. It must be so hard for a child to do without baked treats but Emelie seems to be making the most of a wintry day.

  73. I love seeing stuff like that . I’m from Canada, so we have lots of ice!!

  74. http://getthegritout.blogspot.com/
    this is one of my best friends! My darling daughter has a severe bakers yeast allergy, so we bake alot, she can not eat the enriched flours you find in store bought foods. So out cake pops and cookies are from white winter wheat and durham wheat. It is hard to find but worth it so she can enjoy a treat ow and again!

  75. I recently found yout site. I am hooked! I have 2 young daughters I love to create with. Thanks for helping us make memories! (South Carolina)

  76. I wish it got cold enough here to make those. I’m from sunny Wellington, New Zealand! I love your blog and LOVE the cake pops!!

  77. Bakerella, I love your blog and I love the stories you share! Not too long ago on her site Gwyneth Paltrow shared information on this bakery: http://www.babycakesnyc.com. The owner makes gluten-free sweets. Maybe it can be a reference point for little Emelie (FYI: my daughter’s name is Amalie!).

    I live in beautiful Eagle Mountain, Utah, and originally hail from sunny Phoenix, Arizona.

    My best to you!

  78. Those Ice Cakes are fantastic! I have Celiac Disease, and my blog is all about delicious gluten-free baked goods and my life as a teen with Celiac: http://www.celiacteen.com/

    I’m just dying over those ice cakes though, they are stunning. I love how when faced with a restriction, we find something ven more fantastic!

  79. Okay, those are just adorable!!! And, what a sweet little girl!

    I know “the crock pot lady” as she’s known in our house (crockpot365 is the blog) is always cooking gluten free so she might have some tips.

  80. I have actually made gluten free cake balls for a baby shower this past November as one of the hostesses has Celiac Disease. I found a Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix and icing (don’t remember the brand) at Target then dipped them in chocolate. NO ONE could believe they were gluten free because they were delicious! Brought them also to church- a huge hit there too.
    There are numerous cookbooks (including desserts) and cooking blogs that have gluten-free recipes. I know in Austin, TX Whole Foods and Sprouts have tons of products that are gluten free and yummy too!

  81. what gorgeous cakes! (I’m from sunny Sydney, Australia!)

  82. As mentioned by two others before me, http://www.babycakesnyc.com has a fantastic baking book out. It’s vegan and gluten free and some recipes are even sugar free!

    I have made 10 recipes from her book so far with great success!

  83. OK so I am a bit slow tonight, (whew glad the holidays are over) That was Pam’s Blog but here is her WEB SITE:
    If you love chocolate run, now, very fast and look it up. She is living a realtivly pain free life WITH the big CEL!
    Love you BAKERELLA!
    And out HOLLA is from the small spot call Bonham, Texas!!

  84. She really should check out http://www.elanaspantry.com/ for gluten-free and sugar-free baking. My mother isn’t supposed to have wheat, so I’ve been making things from this blog (and also bought the cookbook as a gift). Our favorite thus far are the cinnamon-roll muffins. I have to say, these things are pretty tasty, and nobody in the house turns them down, even if they can eat wheat.

  85. I gasped out loud when I saw that you had a new post up today. My husband was all “what’s wrong!?” and I said “Bakerella has a new post up! She usually only posts on Sundays!”

    I’m from Toronto, Canada and I love, love LOVE cake balls. I don’t decorate them all fancy-like the way you do because I’m too impatient and I just want them in my belly.

  86. So fun. We had big snow drfits on Christmas Eve and I saw a lot of tunnels and Igloos on my friend facebook pages. I guess this would be better to eat than dirt cakes…. That is what I made growing up.

    I’m in Oklahoma….. All my life~

  87. This is a really cute idea!
    I am from the north part of Germany but at the moment stayin in Japan near Kobe^^.

  88. I don’t have any recipes or info, but here’s a shout out from Garland, TX!! Keep rockin’ on Bakerella!

  89. Oh, and I forgot to answer your other question…I live in the Netherlands, but right now I’m visiting my parents in Montana.

  90. Those are the cutest cakes ever!!
    I wish I could make some here…. Hilo, Hawaii !!!!

  91. From Arizona:
    Wow, these ice cakes are the cutest things! I know that many of the “mainstream” American companies are starting to get on board with Gluten free cake mixes, frosting mixes and cookie mixes. It’s nice to see a start to making things a little easier for so many who suffer with this disease. My friend does and I know she goes to great lengths to get gluten free bread, etc. – it’s a full time job just finding something you can eat!
    Good luck Emelie and I love your work.

  92. My father in law has celiac. Once diagnosed it’s life changing. You feel so much better. Living gluten-free is much easier than one would think and if you are creative, like these lovely gals…it can be fun too. Thanks for bringing up a very current and relevant problem! And making it pretty!

  93. oh, bakerella!

    please, please, please tell her about this:



  94. Checking out your blog from Kodiak, Alaska! I love your posts!

  95. btw, what’s with all of the Utahns?

  96. You guys are awesome. Thank you so much!

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