I am beyond excited to share this recipe with you today because it created a LIFE-CHANGING moment for me when I first made it a couple of weeks ago.  No joke. It honestly made me teary-eyed after I took my first bite.

After suffering weird health issues for almost 20 years, I was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease eight years ago by two doctors that I consider to be my guardian angels.  Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease that is triggered by a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it can severely damage the intestines.  While I was relieved to have a diagnosis, I was also overwhelmed with how to navigate my new gluten-free life.

In 2011, there weren’t as many gluten-free choices available as there are today. There also wasn’t as much awareness so I had to constantly tell people why I needed to bring my own food to dinner parties (total buzzkill, guys).  I didn’t know anyone else with Celiac Disease that I could lean on for support so I felt very isolated.  My whole life instantly turned upside down, but it turned out for the best.  It took over a year to heal my badly-damaged body, but I’ve been healthy ever since and I’m so grateful. 🙂

This recipe has one single magical ingredient that has reawakened my dormant pre-Celiac baking passion and turned it into a new full-fledged baking addiction.  I made three – THREE – of these pies in the last 2 weeks, y’all.  FOR MYSELF!


Before my Celiac diagnosis in 2011, I used to LOVE baking – sweets were ma thang.   I really enjoyed whipping up desserts from scratch so I was beyond devastated when I realized I wouldn’t be able to bake freely the way I used to.  I tried using all the different flours, the starches, the gums – all the crap used to take place of gluten – it just didn’t taste the same anymore so I quit baking from scratch.

In addition to following a strict gluten-free diet, I also eliminated dairy since many people with Celiac Disease also have issues with the casein protein found in dairy.  I also have sensitivities to soy, eggs and nuts so I stay away from those as well.  Imagine all the “fun” I have shopping for food that is free of these ubiquitous ingredients. 🙄

So now imagine my sheer delight when I discovered Ryze Gluten-Free Flour Mix earlier this year.  Unlike other gluten-free flours, this flour consists of only 2 ingredients:  whole grain rice flour and rice flour.  No starches, no blend of multiple flours, no gums – just rice flour.  PURE MAGIC!  I purchased the blue bag of Ryze several months ago and only used it for breading chicken and stuff – baking wasn’t even on my radar at the time.

Then a few weeks ago, I got a crazy hair up my ass and suddenly wanted to get into baking again.  I found this wonderful apple pie recipe on Ryze’s site and slightly tweaked it to fit my dietary (and taste) needs.

Side note:  I didn’t have flax meal on hand when I made my first apple pie a couple of weeks ago so I substituted it with 2/3 cup of applesauce.  It made the dough a little trickier to handle, but the end result was delicious!

So if you don’t have flax meal stocked in your pantry, don’t let that hold you back from making this pie.


If you have gluten sensitivity, Celiac Disease, or other food sensitivities, you know what a pain in the ass it is to discover an awesome recipe only to find out that the actual products used aren’t listed. If you’re new to the gluten-free world, I know how frustrating it is to be left on your own to find products just to make a simple recipe.  It’s a must to read every label every single time because you never know if the ingredients have changed.

So I am giving you links to every product I actually used to make this pie to alleviate some of that stress for you.  I am super crazy when it comes to making sure any food I purchase is safe to eat since I have to stay away from gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts. But as always, make sure to check the labels before using to make sure the ingredients are safe for you or your loved ones to consume.


2 cups             Ryze Blue Flour Blend
1 tsp                salt
12 Tbsp          shortening
2 Tbsp           unsalted butter – melted (I can’t find the soy-free sticks locally but this works too!)
6 Tbsp           cold water
1 Tbsp           cider vinegar
2 tsp             flax meal
1                    egg (I substituted with 2/3 cups of applesauce)


5                     large apples – I used 3 Granny Smith and 2 McIntosh but use whatever you prefer
1 pint             strawberries
1 1/2 Tbsp    fresh lemon juice (I squeezed a fresh lemon)
1 cup             granulated sugar
2 Tbsp          Ryze Blue Flour Blend
1 tsp             ground cinnamon


Print out the full recipe below and get your tastebuds ready because they’re about to embark on a magically delicious pie-eating ride!

If you make this recipe, I’d LOVE to hear how you liked it.  I’m always open to ways to make my recipes even better to share with others, especially with those that have Celiac Disease, gluten or food sensitivities.

Click here to check out some other super delicious gluten-free/dairy-free recipes.  You never know what goodies you might find. 🙂

And if you enjoyed reading this article, make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter so you never miss another post. The signup box is conveniently located below the recipe.

From my tasty Sanctuary to yours, enjoy! ❤︎

Gluten-Free|Dairy-Free|Egg-Free Chocolate-Cranberry Explosion Cupcakes

A chocolate cranberry explosion that's sure to delight your gluten-free tastebuds!
Prep Time10 hrs 40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, cranberry, cupcakes, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, soy free
Servings: 24



  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup cane sugar


  • 1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice (I just squeeze the orange I zested)


  • 1/2 cup of your favorite butter substitute
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp coconut milk or other dairy-free milk


  • 1 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 cups Ryze Yellow Bag Rice Flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 Tbsp flax meal + 3 Tbsp warm water. Let it sit about 10 min. to form a gel).
  • 1 cup coconut milk or other dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 cup vegatable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup boiling water (for activating the cocoa)



  • Heat maple syrup in a saucepan over medium-low heat for about 1-2 minutes (just until warm). Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries. Cover and chill in fridge for 8 hours.
  • Put cranberry mixture into a colander over a bowl and let it drain for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to save the maple syrup for another use - it'll have a nice, subtle cranberry flavor!
  • Put sugar into a plastic storage container (that has a lid). Add a small bunch of cranberries at a time, put the lid on and gently shake so the sugar coats the cranberries. Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheets. Repeat with the remainder of the cranberries. Let the cranberries sit out until completely dry, about 2 hours.


  • Place all filling ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat until cranberries break down and mixture thickens - roughly 10 minutes.
  • Pour the cranberry mixture into a blender. Place the lid on the blender, but remove the center piece of the lid, using a clean kitchen towel to cover the hole (this is to let the heat escape). Be careful so you don't burn your hand! Process the mixture until it's smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let it cool for about 2 hours on the kitchen counter.


  • Preheat over to 350°F (180°C) and position rack to the center of the oven (you don't want the cupcakes too close to the heating elements).
  • Line two 12-serving cupcake pans with liners (I use eco-friendly silicone liners).
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until there aren't any clumps in the mixture.
  • Add flax eggs, coconut milk, oil, and vanilla to the mixture. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the boiling water. At first, the mixture will look a bit watery, but just keep stirring. It will start to thicken nicely.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into all of the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the cupcake pan for about 5 minutes. Then remove each cupcake from the pan and let them all completely cool on a rack.
  • After the cupcakes are completely cooled, use an apple corer to easily scoop out the middle of each cupcake. Try not to go all the way to the bottom of the cupcake (so the cranberry filling won't seep out of the bottom). Make sure to pop those tasty cupcake middles right into your mouth!
  • Using either a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with a corner cut off, squeeze the cranberry filling into the middle of each cupcake.


  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter substitute and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the cocoa powder and beat until well combined.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Between each cup of powdered sugar, add a Tbsp of coconut milk and beat it in. Beat in additional coconut milk if necessary in order to obtain your desired consistency.
  • Frost your cupcakes to your heart's content!
  • You can store the frosting in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.


As always: NO gluten.  NO dairy.  NO soy.  NO nuts.  NO eggs.  NO bullshit.

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