First Day of School Celebration

We’ve started a back to school tradition at our house a few years ago. On the first day back to school we make a special dinner and dessert of the girl’s choosing and give them little gifts to celebrate. Dinner was an easy pick for them: spaghetti with noodles. I’m not sure what the spaghetti kick is about recently but I feel like it’s made a frequent appearance on the menu. I also love that they specified noodles. We had some black bean spaghetti in the pantry so I happily obliged. Like the mung bean fettucine, the noodles were made of just black beans and water, grain-free spaghetti! Dessert was more of a challenge. They couldn’t agree. Izzy wanted pie, Lexi wanted cake. Neither was budging on this one. So, we put our hands together. Pie, good; cake, good. Let’s put them together!

Now, this is not at all my idea. The piecaken has been making its round on the internet for a while. Basically, you take a pie and bake it inside a cake so that you have what appears to be a cake on the outside but it is stuffed with pie! Mind blowing, right? When I did some searching for the piecaken I couldn’t find anything that was refined sugar-free and not filled with regular flour. Maybe people who don’t eat sugar or flour don’t make piecakens. But I do! Can you imagine what would happen to my family if I had made the regular piecaken?! I mean it’s pie inside a cake! If that doesn’t sound like tummyaches I don’t know what does.

I let the girls choose the flavors of each element. So we have apple pie:


I can’t say this is grain-free because the crust has oat flour in it. The crust is made primarily of oat flour and walnuts. And the crumble is my standard crisp topping made with peanuts, walnuts, honey, and coconut oil.

The cake is chocolate cake. I used the recipe from the Wheat Belly cookbook. The cake is made of almond flour, coconut flour, and flaxseeds. No grains there! Honey is the sweetener in this cake. It’s the same recipe as I used for my birthday cake except that it’s chocolate.

Once you have baked the pie you put down a little cake mix and slap that pie right on top.


Then, you top the pie with the rest of the cake mix so that the cake bakes around the pie.


This baby was heavy! Each time I picked it up I was shocked by how heavy it was. Due to the density of the piecaken I used a whipped cream frosting to add some lightness.


And the verdict of our gluten-free, refined sugar-free piecaken:


So good! The apple pie kind of melts into the cake to create a moist delicious filling. And we all really liked the chocolate cake itself. The frosting was perfect, light and airy. Our better-for-you version of the piecaken was a success. And we have a lot leftover; small pieces are all you can handle.

This post really wasn’t supposed to be a step by step for piecaken but I was so excited about how it turned out especially after not being able to find much out on the internet for a healthier version. It can be done, my friends. And it can be done well!

Before we ate piecaken I did make spaghetti out of the black bean noodles and I made some zucchini noodles. Due to the special occasion I homemade the spaghetti sauce. The recipe was from the Oh She Glows cookbook and is a mushroom spaghetti sauce. That cookbook does not let me down and the sauce came out fabulous. I love pesto so I made a small batch of pesto to go on top of the red sauce (dairy-free by subbing out the cheese for salt and a little nutritional yeast).


Spaghetti and side salads, a match made in heaven! Another back to school celebration night in the books. As you can guess, the star of the celebration was the piecaken. Good thing for leftovers!


3 thoughts on “First Day of School Celebration

  1. Pingback: Football Food | Food to Live By

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