Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chocolate Barbecue Sauce


Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chocolate Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of barbecue season, and deserves a bang-up grill-fest. I’ve always loved barbecues. When I worked at the Green Street Grill, in Cambridge, MA, the annual highlight was when we entered the yearly Rib-off.  Hundreds of barbecue experts from around the country came to compete with their various special sauces, and such exotic delicacies as barbecued rattlesnake (from Texas), and grilled alligator (from FLA!).  Barbecue is a varied, and richly textured culture and cuisine.  But sadly, most barbecue sauces are off limits for people with food allergies. Well, no more! This recipe contains no soy or gluten, (common allergens usually found in barbecue sauce). And Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips add a rich sweetness that is irresistible.  Try this sauce on your favorite barbecue meats. Brush it on as you’re cooking your meat or serve it warm on the side at the table.


  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons barbecue seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups water


1. Puree shallots and garlic in food processor. Add chocolate chips. Puree. Add raisins. Puree.

2. Add chili powder, ginger, optional barbecue seasoning, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Blend.

3. Add cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and molasses. Blend. Add water.

4. Transfer to a sauce pan and bring mixture to a simmer over very low heat, cooking 45 minutes and stirring often. Add a little more water if you like a thinner sauce.

5. Let cool. Store tightly covered in refrigerator until ready to use.

Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chocolate Barbecue Sauce © 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.



What better way to celebrate Valentines Day this year, than with an Allergen-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Red Velvet Cake that can be eaten by all your favorite sweethearts?  This cake is to-die-for.  Eat it and weep.

Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting

makes one 8-inch layer cake

My whole family goes crazy for red velvet cake. It’s so gorgeous and festive and sounds so luxe. This old-fashioned Southern favorite can be made even healthier by using Seelect Natural Food Coloring, which I order online.That way, you can let them eat cake without the slightest tinge of guilt.

  • 2 3⁄4 cups Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix (recipe follows)
  • 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1⁄2 cups rice milk
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 3⁄4 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 1⁄2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
1 recipe Velvet Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, line with cutout parchment paper, grease again, and dust with a little cocoa powder.
  2. Whisk together the flour mix, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the rice milk and cider vinegar. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the food coloring and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the rice milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans, and smooth down the surface using a frosting spatula.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
  7. Let cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cover the cake pan with a large plate, flip, peel off the parchment paper, and flip the cake back onto the rack, right side up, to cool completely. Repeat with the other cake.
  8. Once the cakes have cooled completely, you may use a serrated knife to trim the tops to make them level. Frost with Velvet Frosting. Once the frosting has set, store covered at room temperature. This cake is even better on days two and three!

Velvet Frosting

makes enough to frost one 8-inch layer cake

  • 1 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and salt on medium speed for 1 minute.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in three batches, beating after each addition.
  3. Add the rice milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

makes 6 cups

The key to the very best gluten-free baked goods is Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour; it is the Cadillac, or cashmere, of brown rice flours and is worth its weight in gold. It is not grainy like other rice flours, and bakes the most fantastic cookies, cakes, pie crusts, and so on. If you can’t find it at your local natural foods market or Whole Foods, order it online. Both Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flours will also work in these recipes, but they won’t turn out quite as well. I do not recommend Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour, which I find too gritty. The brands of potato starch and tapioca flour or starch are not important; I find them all interchangeable. (Please see Resources, page 177, of The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook for more information.)

  • 4 cups superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 1⁄3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 2⁄3 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
  1. To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

All recipes reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.