Cara Reed’s ‘Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking’ – an Interview, a Recipe & a Giveaway! Closed

 Giveaway is now CLOSED.Yeast Free Cinnamon Buns from Cara Reed's 'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' - an Interview, a Recipe & a Giveaway on

 I recently had a chance to talk with Cara Reed, author, blogger and Gluten-Free goddess.  She has a new book out that takes Gluten-Free baking to a new level.  She’s already made headlines on her blog, Forks & Beans, with her famous gluten-free flour blend and mock ups of the world’s favorite candy bars and baked goods.  If you’re not familiar with her site you’ll love it.  I try not to read Cara’s posts on an empty stomach though….too frustating looking at all my childhood sweets so beautifully re-created into healthier treats.  Cara is a real sweetheart herself.  I had a chance to ask her about the book, life and her health changes recently.

‘Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking’

'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' by Cara Reed


Me:  Cara, congratulations on the book.  Is it your life’s ambition?  Or a total surprise to be a published author now?

Cara: The moment I began blogging I could have never dreamt that I would be where I am today. Every step has been some of the most delightful surprises I have experienced, with this cookbook being not an exception.

Me:  Can we all look forward to your writing another soon?

Cara: I already have an entire list of recipes for the next one so I hope so 🙂

Me:  The recipes are all baked or basic ingredient techniques for baked goods.  Was the idea of the book just tied to your Gluten Free flour formula?  I know so many of your other great ‘copy cat’ recipes for traditional sweets are not always baked.

Cara: For the most part, you will find all baked options with the exception of a few no-bake goodies, like my Key Lime “Cheesecake” Bars or Strawberry Swirl “Cheesecake.”  Otherwise you will find a treasure trove of recipes from Pop Tarts, to donuts, to muffins, and cupcakes.

Me:  Are there any Gluten-Free recipes that you’ve found just won’t work like they do with a gluten flour?  You seem in the book to be able to make them all work fabulously.

Cara: I have failed time and time again with croissants or any sort of puff pastry. It’s a very time-consuming and tricky thing to accomplish but I am hard-headed so I won’t stop until I figure it out.

Me:  How can going Gluten-Free change someone’s health in your experience?

Cara: For me, once I stopped eating a diet high in processed foods and made the switch over to fresher options, I really did feel an improvement in my health. That has a lot to do with the fact that my digestive tract is a bit slower and weaker than most people’s and not necessarily because of gluten, but also because I am eating foods in their more nature state. Anyone who makes that type of switch will most definitely feel an improvement in their health. 

Me:  I’d love to be inside your head when you’re creating those traditional treats you’re so famous for.  Is it fun still to come up with a good re-creation?  You’re posts are so creative.  And the candy bars and cookies are a perfect match made healthier!

Cara: I think that is one of the “delightful surprises” that I have experienced over the course of starting Fork & Beans. I had no idea prior to starting this site that this was something I was even good at until I started to try. Those type of recipes probably give me the biggest boost of motivation and creativity–it’s one of my favorite aspects of doing what I do.

Me:  Which candies will we see to come, any favorites that still have you struggling to re-create them?

Cara: That you will have to stay tuned for, specifically around Halloween. If you have never celebrated that holiday with me over at Fork & Beans, I say you must stop by! It’s by far my favorite holiday and that is when I go crazy over candy, chocolate, and Halloween-inspired treats.

Me:  Who would you credit most with getting you through the book writing process?  

Cara: My partner in crime, Matt. He is the reason why I am able to do what I do. Without his support and constant encouragement, I’m not sure if I’d be here.

Me:  I know lately you’ve been doing a lot of more raw ingredients in your own diet.  What are your thoughts about the blend of baked and raw in a healthy diet these days?

Cara: I am a full advocate of everything in moderation but my recipe creation tends to revolve around creativity more than anything. I am fueled by my 9 year old niece who has severe food allergies so I have her in the back of my mind when creating new recipes. My mission to find new ways to invent my favorite treats but to do it in an accessible and allergen-friendly way so if I can achieve a fun new way to eat a Snickers Bar in raw form that makes it available to a vegan or someone who cannot consume gluten because it makes them sick then I will do it. I love that!


Yeast Free Cinnamon Buns from Cara Reed's 'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' - an Interview, a Recipe & a Giveaway on

You can taste that icing with the brown sugar and cinnamon swirled in,  can’t you?


Yeast Free Cinnamon Buns
From Cara: I get a lot of feedback about people’s experiences with yeast and how frustrating it can be. Either they are unable to properly proof it, or for some reason it falls flat throughout the duration of baking. I would hate for those people to have to skip out on one of the greatest foods ever, cinnamon rolls, just because of yeast, so I created a recipe that is made from biscuit-like dough. Look at that! We all win and get to eat cinnamon rolls. Makes 8 cinnamon buns
  1. DRY
  2. 3 c/495 g Cara’s All-Purpose Blend (page 166)
  3. 2 tsp/7.5 g baking powder
  4. ½ tsp baking soda
  5. 1½ tsp /5 g xanthan gum
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. WET
  8. 1½ c/360 ml nondairy milk
  9. 1 Tbsp/15 ml apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  10. 6 Tbsp/84 g vegan butter, melted (divide into 3)
  12. 1 c/220 g brown sugar, packed
  13. 2 Tbsp/28 g vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  14. 2 tsp/5 g cinnamon
  15. ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  17. 1½ c/180 g powdered sugar
  18. ¼ c/60 ml melted coconut oil
  19. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  20. 2 Tbsp/30 ml hot water
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Grease an 8–inch/20-cm round glass or tin pie pan.
  2. Combine 2 1⁄2 cups/413 g of the flour (set 1⁄2 cup/83 g to the side) and the
  3. remainder of the dry ingredients until well blended. In a small bowl, whisk together
  4. the nondairy milk, vinegar and 2 tablespoons/28 g of the melted butter. Add the
  5. liquid ingredients into the large bowl with the flour mixture and stir
  6. with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. The dough will look ugly at this
  7. point.
  8. Line the counter with a piece of parchment paper and coat with 1⁄4 cup/41 g of the
  9. reserved flour mix. Transfer the dough onto the floured counter and begin kneading until the flour is incorporated. Add the remainder of the flour reserve until the
  10. dough becomes less sticky and easier to work with.
  11. To make the filling
  12. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until it’s the texture of wet sand and set aside.
  13. With your hands, shape the dough gently into a 9 x 13-inch/22.5 x 32.5-cm
  14. rectangle. Spread 2 tablespoons/28 g of the melted butter and evenly sprinkle the
  15. cinnamon-sugar filling onto the dough. Using the parchment paper to guide you, roll
  16. the dough from the length side over. If your dough breaks apart at the seams, just
  17. use your hands and pat the dough to correct the problem. Slice the roll into 8 even
  18. pieces.
  19. Place each piece into the greased pan. Brush the top of the rolls with the remaining 2
  20. tablespoons/28 g of the melted vegan butter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until
  21. golden brown. Allow to cool slightly for about 5 minutes before coating with the
  22. icing.
  23. To make the icing
  24. Combine sugar into melted oil. Add vanilla and water until thick but thin enough to
  25. stir with ease. Add more water if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin.
  1. Printed with permission from Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Cara Reed
  2. Page Street Publishing (August 5, 2014)

Thanks so much Cara for letting me share your Cinnamon Bun recipe with my readers!

In addition to the Cinnamon Buns, I also had the opportunity to try out a couple other delicious bites from Cara’s book.  

Yeast Free Cinnamon Buns from Cara Reed's 'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' - an Interview, a Recipe & a Giveaway on


I combined two of her quick breads basically because I couldn’t decide which to make first.  Cinnamon Raisin Loaf and the Pumpkin Streusel Bread.  I made the Pumpkin recipe and added in the brown sugar, cinnamon filling from the other loaf.  Awesomely delicious.  I would make this loaf just to smell it baking in my kitchen alone….okay, then I would also want to gobble it up so…I did!

Cara Reed's 'Peanut Butter Cup Bars' from 'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' on

After that, I had to struggle through taste testing the Peanut Butter Cup Barsoh my.  Enough said Cara!

You can find Cara around the web at her website, Fork and Beans, on Facebook,  Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google +

Yeast Free Cinnamon Buns from Cara Reed's 'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' - an Interview, a Recipe & a Giveaway on

 To enter to win a copy of Cara’s book, ‘Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking’ leave a comment on this post letting us know your favorite baked goods.

For extra entries, follow Canned-Time or Forks and Beans on Facebook, then leave a comment letting us know you follow us.

 'Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking' by Cara Reed

 One winning entry will be chosen at random.

Contest ends on August 25th.  U.S. and Canadian residents only please.  

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I was provided with a copy of ‘Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking’ for review but was not obligated to do so.

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35 thoughts on “Cara Reed’s ‘Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking’ – an Interview, a Recipe & a Giveaway! Closed

  1. Pingback: Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking Cookbook Giveaway | Fork and Beans

  2. Laurel

    Great interview and I love that question “What is your favorite baked good”? Basically it’s anything that’s within a 50 yard radius. Today though I’ll have to go with Black Forest Cake. All I have to do is figure out the stablilized whipped cream. 🙂

  3. Emma

    Favorite baked good = sweet potatoes 🙂 I also like muffins since they’re single-serving sizes and I tend to go a little crazy sometimes!

  4. eValerie

    I have been on a quest for a yeast-free cinnamon roll recipe, and I’m also gluten-free and dairy-free, so I figured that I would need to convert it into something that I could eat. But here you’ve gone and posted one. Thanks!! This is awesome!!!! And I would love a copy of that cookbook if you draw my name.

    1. Angela @ Canned Time Post author

      Hey Shelley.
      Just sent you an email to let you know that you’re the winner in the Cara Reed Giveaway.
      Check your mail for further instructions so we can get your book out to you.
      Congrats and thanks so much for reading

  5. Amber

    Chocolate chip cookies are my go-to. I always have the ingredients to make them and they’re just so simple, and satisfying to my sweet tooth. Although, those peanut butter cup bars are making me drool!

  6. Amanda Jay

    My favorite desserts are raw vegan or no-bake desserts since they tend to be gluten-free. I love the peanut butter-chocolate combo, so those PB Cup bars above look downright heavenly to me!

    I follow Canned Time & Fork & Beans on FB.

  7. Pingback: Aster Fliers » Decadent(ly) Gluten Free!

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