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Apple Spice Skillet Cake


square skillet cake for madeI absolutely love the fall! The crisp sunny autumn days in Colorado showcase the breathtaking golden aspen leaves as they pop against an evergreen background. This time of year I live for apples! I love trips to apple orchards, and the farmers market for the season’s best apples in all of their glory. Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, McIntosh… I love them all!  This particular recipe was made with empire apples from my husband’s family’s farm in central New York. A special thanks to Paul & Roz for sending us such a wonderful fall care package. 


Empire apples w larger thank youAnother thing I love about this time of year is baking, of course! In my mind October marks the beginning, of what I like to call, “baking season”. Preheat your oven and dust off your mixer! I’ve got some great recipes coming your way this fall.


As a new featured maker on Made Collection, I was inspired by the fabulous Lodge cast iron skillets they offer as a part of their collection. Confession: My kitchen cupboards are filled with expensive stainless steel pots and pans, but the truth is I rarely use them. I do nearly all of my stove top cooking in cast iron. From pancakes in the morning, grilled sandwiches for lunch and seared salmon for dinner, my cast iron pan is my go to. I even cook with it on my grill! So, its no wonder I was inspired to create this delicious apple spice skillet cake for my friends at Made Collection. And speaking of Made Collection, visit their sight to shop for Lillabee online!!


 apple spice skillet cake for made collection 2

Although this apple spice skillet cake is a simple recipe, the warming flavors of cinnamon and spice and the pop of tart apples are really spectacular. And baking in a skillet gives it a ton of rustic charm! The best part of this recipe is that you can make it any time of the year. It’s delicious served warm on a cold day for breakfast and equally appropriate to bring to a summer picnic and serve with ice cream.

Enjoy the season and happy baking!

Lillabee Apple Spice Skillet Cake:

  • One box of Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix
  • ¾ cup of milk (cow, rice, almond, etc)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tb ground pumpkin pie spice blend (cinnamon,clove, nutmeg, ginger)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tb sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup butter or non-dairy butter substitute
  • 2 large eggs (vegan substitutions here)
  • 2-3 tart apples (granny smith, Cortland, empire, etc.)
  • 10¼” Lodge cast iron skillet


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven 350º F.

Lightly grease cast iron skillet and set aside. Mix ¼ cup sugar with 2 tsp cinnamon and set aside. Sift Lillabee flour pack with 1 Tb pumpkin pie spice blend.

Mix cake batter as directed on the back of the Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix. Once batter is mixed, measure out ¼ cup and mix with 1 Tb pumpkin pie spice blend and 1 Tb sugar. Set aside. Pour half of the remaining batter into the greased skillet. Top with dollops of the spiced batter mixture, then pour remaining batter over top. Use a knife to draw zig-zag lines through then entire skillet contents to create the swirl. Do not overmix.

Next, core and slice apples thin. Arrange on top of cake batter and generously top with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place skillet in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Use caution, as the skillet handle will be hot. Let cool, slice and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

PS- Now you can buy Lillabee online! Visit Made Collection to shop Lillabee.

Local Lillabee Love!

Granola Pancakes…. Inspired by The Buff Restaurant in Boulder, CO

Homemade Granola Pancakes with Almond Butter

            I Love The Buff.  Everyone loves The Buff.  One of my favorite weekend activities is to go to this local breakfast joint for more than enough, delicious breakfast food!  No matter when I go, there is always a wait.  The food is worth the wait so I never really mind, and plus waiting for a table makes the food taste even better when it does comes.   My friends always seem to laugh when I order because no matter how tempting their menu sounds, I always order the Lillabee GF/DF Granola Pancakes with Almond Butter.  I have an unlimited supply of Lillabee Perfect Pancake Mix at home but there is something about the awesome combination of Boulder Granola, Justin’s Almond Butter and Lillabee Perfect Pancake Mix that always snags my interest.  It truly is the perfect breakfast, as it is packed with protein, fiber and just the right amount of sweetness.  They are so delicious that I went on a little pancake investigation to figure out exactly how these pancakes are created. 

Boulder Granola at the Summer Farmers Market

            Throughout this endeavor I visited with The Buff twice and shadowed the chefs.  I learned tons about the history of The Buff, how the kitchen operates and ultimately how these tasty pancakes are created.  I also met with Jody, the owner of Boulder Granola, to learn about her delicious granola and chat about pancakes.  She was so nice and even donated some of her Gluten Free Boulder Granola to my baking endeavor.  If you haven’t tried her granola yet, be sure to stop by the Boulder Farmers Market to try it out or grab some at your local market.  

After talking with the chefs and owners at the Buff and Jody, I started out in the kitchen to create my own (Buff) Granola Pancakes.  After a few attempts, I created my version of the perfect Buff Pancake!!  Although I can now make my own, I have a feeling you may still find me dining at the Buff on random Sunday mornings…

Some of The Buff Employees with their popular Lillabee Granola Pancakes!


I would like to thank both The Buff Restaurant and Boulder Granola for all their help and support; these are two awesome companies!  Enjoy and Happy Baking!!

  • 1 cup Lillabee Perfect Pancake Mix
  • ¾ cup Milk (Almond, Rice, cow etc.)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 Tbls Organic Canola Oil
  • 1 Tbls Agave Nectar
  • ½ cup Boulder GF Granola plus more for topping
  • Almond/Peanut Butter to serve
  • Maple Syrup/Agave Nectar to serve


Heat and grease a large, cast iron pan or griddle over low heat.


Whisk the egg, oil, milk, vanilla and agave nectar in a large bowl.  Once fully combined, slowly whisk in the pancake mix until flour is fully incorporated.  Let batter thicken 5-10 minutes.  After the batter has set, mix in ½ cup of Boulder GF Granola. 


Using a large ladle, scoop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the prepared pancake skillet.  Cook a few minutes until the edges brown and bubbles begin forming throughout the pancake.  Flip the pancake and cook a few more minutes.  Continue with the rest of the batter.

Lillabee Granola Pancakes cooking at The Buff

Top the pancakes with Almond Butter or Peanut Butter and sprinkle the top with more delicious Boulder GF Granola. I always use Justin’s Nut Butters, but any brand will work.  Serve with Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar.  Voilà… your very own Buff Lillabee Granola Pancakes!!

I hope your pancakes turn out as well as they do at The Buff. 

Happy Baking!

PS: When you just don’t feel like cooking, head over to The Buff to try these and their 4 other delicious GF pancake options made with Lillabee Perfect Pancake/Waffle Mix. Check out their menu here:











Rocky Road Brownie with Graham Cracker Crust


Hooray! Winter is finally here! When the snow falls and the temperature outside drops, I love to retreat to my kitchen to warm my home with the heavenly aromas of fresh baked sweet treats. Lately, I have been dreaming of toasted marshmallows around an open fire. Which, lead me to memories of s’mores as a child and then, rocky road candy. Random, I know, but I haven’t been able to get it off of my mind. Chocloate, peanuts, marshmallows, graham crackers…. Yes, please! So check out this delightful brownie creation. These treats are so simple and delicious! I think brownies are the perfect everyday indulgence. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy a rich fudgy rocky road brownie. So go ahead, enjoy!

  • 1 box Lillabee Fudgy Brownie Mix 
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free graham crackers (crushed very fine into crumbs)
  • 6 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/4 c. chopped peanuts (optional)
  • 1/3 c. mini marshmallows

For graham cracker crust: 

Preheat oven to 375. Line 9×9 baing pan with aluminum foil leaving extra hanging over on two sides. Grease foil. Chop graham crackers into fine crumbs using your food processor, or place in a plastic baggie and crush with a rolling pin. Combine graham crumbs with 1 Tbsp. sugar and 6 Tbsp soft butter/margarine until well combined. Transfer into your 9×9 foil lined square baking pan and press a thin layer into the bottom of pan with your fingertips. Bake graham cracker crust for about 8 min., or until the edges begin to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool as you make fudgy brownie batter as directed on the back of the Lillabee box. Reduce oven temp to 350.


Transfer fudgy brownie batter into the graham cracker crust. Gently spread batter around using a spatula. 

Here’s a Lilla-tip: Use a greased rubber spatula to spread the thick and rich brownie batter evenly in the pan. You can use a little melted butter/ margarine or non-stick spray oil of your choice. It works like a charm every time. 

Bake brownies for approximately 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted one inch from edge comes out mostly clean with some fudge. Brownies are always more fudgy when a little underdone.

Remove from oven and top with chopped peanuts, mini marshamallows and mini chocolate chips. Bake for 3 min, or until marshmallows puff and brown slightly. In these photos I did not chop the peanuts… They seemed too chunky. Next time I will definitely chop them into very small pieces and sprinkle all over the top.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes, lift from pan by using the longer sides of foil as handles. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and share with someone you love.

Happy Baking!








Paonia Pear Upside-Down Ginger Cake



What happens when Lillabee teams up with MM Local? A heavenly match made in Boulder! This delicious holiday tasty treat is surely one to share! You will impress any crowd with this show stopper.


  • 1 box Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix 
  • 1 jar of MMLocal Paonia Pears
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c + 2 Tbsp butter/ Non-dairy butter substitute
  • 1 tsp gluten free vanilla 
  • 1/2 c milk (cow, rice, almond, soy, etc.)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 c molasses 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 2 Tbsp black currants (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp spiced rum or pear brandy (optional)

Place rack in the center of oven and preheat to 325.

Grease a 9″ round pan. Slice pears and arrange in the bottom of cake pan. Add currants if desired. Reserve pear juice for glaze.

In a small bowl, combine milk, vinegar or lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.

Open Lillabee sugar packet and measure out 1/4 cup. Discard this 1/4 c of sugar and use the remaining contents in the next step.

In the mixing bowl of your electric mixer combine remaining contents of Lillabee sugar packet, butter or non-dairy butter substitute, molasses, ginger and 2Tbsp pumpkin pie spice. Mix until combined, making sure to scrap the sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate all ingredients. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add in milk mixture and Lillabee flour packet. Mix until just combined. 
Pour batter into cake pan over top of arranged pears and currants. Bake at 325 for 35-40 min. Since all ovens are slightly different, it is wise to check your cake at 30 min, then every 5 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Make glaze: On stove top, combine pear juice, rum or brandy and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend in a small sauce pan on low heat. Stir frequently until liquid reduces to approximately 2 Tablespoons. Remove from heat and set aside.
Let cool in pan for 15 min. Flip cake over onto a cooling rack. Brush glaze over top and sides of cake while still warm. Let cool completely. 

Transfer to a festive holiday cake plate and head off to the party.

Happy Holidays! Happy Baking!