Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Nadia Cakes: Update September 9, 2014

I’ve tried many, many treats from Nadia Cakes now, so I wanted to write a quick update. they now have about 4-5 daily kinds, not just chocolate or white, but triple chocolate and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes too. but I usually go on weekends, because they have ever-changing offerings on Saturdays and Sundays, check their menu online to make sure you hit a day with something great, but sometimes there are surprise ones that show up there unexpectedly, in addition to what’s published online. there are often 7-8 gluten free cupcakes to choose from on the weekends. the GF cupcakes are displayed in a little dome-top cake platter, on top of the regular cupcake shelves, first thing when you get to the display cases. they keep the inventory below and will change gloves to grab your cupcakes and give you separate containers (I ask, just to be sure). if you know that you’ll want a lot of a given type, it’s nice to call ahead of time, even a day or two in advance, so they know if they should make more. (if you arrive later in the day, your first choice may be sold out already). and at any time, with I think 48 hours notice, they can make almost any flavor of cupcake gluten free, as long as you order at least a dozen cupcakes.

here are some of my very favorite cupcake flavors: Salted Caramel, which not only has a great caramel frosting, but caramel melted in the center of the cupcake. Dalmations are gluten free Oreo-like sandwich cookies blended into the batter and the cream cheese topping, with half a cookie sticking out the top. the Inner Goddess is a red velvet/chocolate cupcake. with I believe a chocolatey filling inside (but I’m not positive, it could just be super moist!) and then a whipped topping frosting mound that’s got toffee bits covering the frosting. the Grasshopper is a chocolate cupcake with a fudgey filling and a mint cream cheese frosting, even the Birthday cupcake is amazing, though it’s just vanilla cake and chocolate frosting, because the frosting is a chocolate cream cheese frosting. yum! they have tons and tons of original flavors, and it’s hard to choose which days NOT to go!

and besides gluten free cupcakes, they have several other items. there’s a cookie case, where they’re all gluten free. there are usually monster cookies and some type of cookie sandwich (and they’ll make any cookies in there INTO a cookie sandwich, if you ask). these are probably my biggest weakness! thankfully they’re too rich for me to eat a whole one in one sitting!

and then in the larger case, towards the register, they have some other gluten free items sprinkled throughout. they have a gluten free cookie dough square, that has layers of chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate, and frosting. they also have “trifles”, which are chunks of goodies (cookies and frosting and such) piled into a cup. there’s also a non-GF version of this, so be sure it says gluten free. but just make sure to check out all of the cases to be sure you’ve found all the treats to choose from 🙂  I highly recommend this bakery!


Nadia Cakes November 10, 2013

Filed under: .Bakeries — rebeccagf @ 3:36 pm
Tags: ,

Nadia Cakes isn’t a dedicated gluten free bakery, but they have a lot of great, unique, gluten free items, so they’re definitely worth mentioning!

On weeknights, they usually have chocolate and vanilla cupcakes on hand. but weekends are when the fun flavors come! (I’ve heard that that’s when they have time to scrub down the kitchen to reduce cross-contamination, though I haven’t verified that for myself).

the fun weekend GF flavors change all the time. one weekend when I stopped by, they had “lucky charms”, which had some sort of marshmallow filling. and a special Breaking Bad cupcake for the finale weekend, with some blue rock candy on top. the second time I stopped by we tried a raspberry cupcake, which had a cream cheese frosting and a raspberry filling, which was amazing!! I also tried the salted caramel one, which had, of course, a caramel filling. all of them were absolutely delicious, and I always wish that I’d bought more! the calendar of flavors is here.

they also had a little gluten-free cookie case. I missed it the first time, but on my second visit tried the butterscotch chocolate chip cookies. they were a little thin for my taste, but still tasted great. while the cupcakes cost $3 each, the cookies are only $2 each.

Nadia Cakes started in LA, and the owner, Abby, has appeared on several cake/ cupcake shows. she was even a winner on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. so they’ve got national attention. in fact, they only opened their second location, here in Maple Grove, MN, in 2012. but they already have quite a following!

if you check out their facebook page, you’ll see how fun and creative they are, but be warned that it’ll make your mouth will water 🙂


My Gluten Free Favorites 2013 May 8, 2013

Triumph Dining recently came out with their “best of ” gluten free awards, and since it’s been years since I wrote about my favorite things, I thought I’d do an update a la Triumph Dining.



Favorite Pizza Sauce: Davanni’s (Green Mill is my second choice)

Favorite Pasta Sauce: HyVee Traditional

Favorite Enchilada Sauce: HyVee

Favorite Ketchup: Simply Heinz/ Heinz (beware of Organic Heinz though~ it used to contain gluten, not sure about currently)

Favorite Barbecue Sauce: Sweet Baby Ray’s Original

Favorite Mayonnaise: Vegannaise Grapeseed Oil “Mayo” (surprisingly way better and lighter than normal mayo, can’t go back to the regular now! at Whole Foods, Co-ops, etc)

Favorite Soy Sauce: San-J GF Tamari Sauce

Favorite Soup Broth (Beef): Full Flavor Foods packets

Favorite Soup Broth (Chicken, Vegetable): Whole Foods 365 Brand

Favorite Gravy: Full Flavor Foods, second choice is Imagine


Favorite Bacon: Oscar Mayer Sliced Bacon  (Hormel Black Label is my second choice)

Favorite Pepperoni: Hormel

Favorite Hot Dogs: Hebrew National (Beef), second choice is Oscar Mayer (Beef)

Favorite Italian Sausage: Kowalski’s (normal refrigerated store meats)

Favorite Summer Sausage: Johnsonville (Beef)

Favorite Rotisserie Chicken: Kowalski’s, second choice is Whole Foods

Favorite Ham: Costco (very cost-efficient!)

Favorite Deli Meat: Hormel Natural Choice (also Boar’s Head, which is more difficult to find)


Favorite Frozen Potatoes: Ore Ida Crispy Crowns (Whole Foods’ 365 Brand tater tots is my second choice)

Favorite Frozen Snacks: Trader Joes Beef Mini Tacos

Favorite Snacks on the Go: Trader Joe’s nuts and/or dehydrated fruits, second favorite are Lara Bars

Favorite GFCF chocolate chips: Trader Joes (really inexpensive!)



Favorite Gluten Free Pasta (cheapest): Tradar Joes Brown Rice Ziti

Favorite Gluten Free Pasta (tastiest): Bionaturae brand (any style)


Favorite Pizza crust (all purpose): Udi’s pizza crust

Favorite Pizza crust (Italian-style): Venice Bakery (order online)


Favorite Bread (all purpose): Whole Foods brand sandwich bread

Favorite Bread (most sandwiches, grilled cheese, anything requiring soft, fresh bread): Udi’s

Favorite Bread (thick or many toppings): Food For Life Millet Bread

Favorite Bread (splurge): French Meadow

Favorite Bread (dinner rolls): French Meadow (available at select restaurants only right now, like Donatellis and Victorias, not in grocery stores), otherwise Schar ciabatta rolls

Favorite Bread (Italian dipping bread): Venice Bakery’s flatbread (order online), second choice: Canyon Bakehouse’s Foccacia


Favorite Pancakes: homemade with this easy recipe

Favorite Bread Crumbs: Kinnikinnick Panko-Style Bread Crumbs

Favorite Croutons: Gillian’s Garlic Croutons

Favorite Pretzels: Glutino

Favorite Graham Crackers: Kinnikinnick S’Moreables

Favorite Crackers: Yehuda Matzo-Style Squares, Toasted Onion Flavor (available only before Passover, so stock up!)


Favorite Bakery (local): Bittersweet Bakery

Favorite Bakery (order online or on vacation): Babycakes

Favorite Donuts: Kinnikinnick, though I’ve been testing out many more lately!

Favorite Cookies (Baked): Liz Lovely Chocolate Chip Cookies (any of their GF cookies are amazing though!), second favorite is Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle Cookies

Favorite Sandwich Cookies: Kinnikinnick’s Kinnitoos (vanilla) and Josef’s Cinnamon O’s

Favorite Cookie Dough Mix (with no intention of baking): Cherrybrook Kitchen (egg-free)

Favorite Frozen Cookie Dough (with no intention of baking): French Meadow

Favorite GFCF “Ice Cream”: Good Karma Rice Divine brand (any flavor!)

Favorite Raw Food Treats: Pure Market Express (just moved out of MN, but still available online) – I highly recommend the “cinnamon rolls”


Favorite all-around: Pizza Luce (eggs benedict, pizzas, spinach dip, caesar salads)

Favorite Brunch: Pizza Luce

Favorite Seafood: Oceanaire

Favorite Steakhouse: Wildfire

Favorite BBQ: Dickie’s BBQ

Favorite Burgers; Five Guys AND Red Robin (Red Robin has unlimited steak fries and fantastic GF buns, Five Guys has better meat and toppings, state-fair-like fries)

Favorite Soup (Chili): Crumb Deli

Favorite Soup (Variety): Jason’s Deli

Favorite GFCF Pizza: Z Pizza (Pizza Luce and Pizza Ranch’s taco pizza without cheese tie for second)

Favorite Pasta: Victorias (in Rochester)

Favorite Asian: PF Changs

Favorite Mexican: Rojo (La Casita second, Don Pablos third)

Favorite Salads: Biaggis, second favorite is French Meadow

Favorite Raw Food/ Vegan: Ecopolitan

Favorite Fast Casual: Chipotle

Favorite Mall of America Restaurant: Cadillac Ranch

Most Anticipated (what I think could be a favorite all-around if I finally got there to try it out): Mad Jacks

Favorite Food Destination: Disney World, followed by Las Vegas


Favorite Cookbook: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli & Peter Bronski

Favorite Baking Book: Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Favorite Cookbook Series: Gluten Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman (in particular, her GF Comfort Foods Cookbook)

Favorite Magazine: Living Without

Favorite Blog: Gluten Free on a Shoestring, second favorite is Tartelette (only about half are GF, and are marked as such)

Favorite Local Chef: Angela Litzinger (she does cooking classes locally and has a wonderful blog with recipes and ebooks, all of which are GFCF)

Favorite GF Grocery Guide: Cecelia’s Marketplace


Madwoman Foods Closed November 19, 2010

Filed under: .Bakeries,News — rebeccagf @ 8:57 pm

for those of you who don’t already know, Madwoman Foods closed down earlier this month. Madwoman Foods was dedicated to making low-glycemic foods, and made lots of GFCF goodies. I believe they were a peanut-free bakery as well, which was also important to many people. they will be missed!

it’s been a sad year for gluten-free bakeries, as Cooqi also had to shut its doors months ago.

we should all try and support our last remaining local gluten-free bakery, Bittersweet Bakery, to ensure that we keep it around! if you haven’t tried their chocolate cherry muffins or their cakes/ cupcakes, you’ll love them!! and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pre-order some gluten-free stuffing cubes and gluten-free pumpkin pies. their products are available at their bakery (in Eagan), in many local co-ops, and for order through Coborns Delivers.

thank you to Madwoman Foods for all of your years of service to the gluten-free community!


Cooqi: Open One Last Day July 13, 2010

Cooqi will be open one final day this Thursday, July 15th from 1-5pm. you need to pre-order by emailing:, and she’s accepting cash or checks only (no credit cards).

here are some of the things you can order: Ellie bread baking mix, pancake mix, flour mix, pizza/ pita mix, granola, brownies, baked Ellie bread (very limited quantity), pizza crusts.

make sure to email her right away if you want to order any of these items for the one-day opening!


Cooqi Bakery: Closing Shop April 19, 2010

sad news today in the gluten-free realm of the Twin Cities! Cooqi just announced that they’re closing on April 30, 2010. so head there in the next couple of weeks if you’d like to stock up on any last-minute baked goods.

the only good news is that they’ll still be offering mixes of their most popular items, to be sold in stores and co-ops across the metro, in the near future.

also, they will post videos on their website of how to make their items step-by-step, to obtain bakery-quality results.

As for the countless pizza places across the metro that make their gluten-free pizzas with Cooqi’s gluten-free and vegan crusts…   I believe they’re working with Madwoman Foods to continue making these pizza crusts without interruption.

Cooqi will be missed greatly!


Bittersweet Bakery March 16, 2010

Bittersweet Bakery is my favorite gluten free bakery in the Minneapolis/ St Paul metro! it’s a completely gluten-free, dedicated bakery, with many of their items marked as dairy-free as well. and they’re the most reasonably priced gluten free bakeries that I’ve come across~ the portions are normal sizes, and the prices aren’t much more than their gluten-containing counterparts available elsewhere, which is impressive to do while baking gluten-free!

it’s located in Eagan, between I-35E and hwy 77 on Cliff Road, so it’s a straight shot from and not too far south of the Mall of America. (if you’re not from the area, and make the trip, you could make an afternoon of it by visiting the bakery, and then heading further south on hwy 77 to the Red Robin in Apple Valley (eventually on the left in the same lot as the movie theater).

I absolutely love their cakes/ cupcakes~ they usually keep their chocolate cupcakes on hand in the freezer, so if you want the white ones or any other flavor, you have to order them ahead, for at least a half dozen. most of the cakes/ cupcakes (including the white and chocolate) are dairy-free as well, as are their white and chocolate frostings. and for cakes, they have a ton of sizes and shapes available. sometimes people will even have a small gluten-free side cake made for their wedding~ they’re very flexible. and if you need a cake in a pinch, I think they sometimes keep little square chocolate cakes with white frosting on hand.

they also have a wide variety of cookies and muffins (the chocolate cherry is unbelievable). they also have various bars (if you want the pumpkin bar with dairy-free frosting, again you need to call ahead. and of course they make a few different breads (Crumb Deli uses one of Bittersweet’s breads for their GF sandwiches).

they make their own pizza crusts, which are used in various restaurants across the metro. unlike Cooqi’s pizza crusts, Bittersweet’s do contain dairy. one of the unique things they do (for the gluten-free world) is going one step further and making take-n-bake pizzas! I’m pretty sure they offer both cheese and pepperoni, and perhaps more.

if you want to order their products, but find that Eagan is too far to drive, many of the co-ops around town sell their muffins, cookies, pizza crusts, and breads. and now there’s a huge selection of their products at Coborn’s Delivers (the local grocery store that makes deliveries) for the Twin Cities and St Cloud metro areas.

I just ordered Bittersweet’s banana bread from Coborn’s and was amazed at how good it tasted. I have a really good gluten-free banana bread recipe of my own, so I never bothered to try Bittersweet’s before. but it was so light and airy! I immediately ordered more 🙂

that’s how I feel about most of their products~ very light and airy (and moist!), and I would contend that it would be difficult for a “normal” person to figure out that it’s gluten-free unless they were told.