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Did Someone Say Birthday Cake? The (Gluten-Free!) Summer Citrus Carrot Cake for Community Partners of Dallas

01 July 2013

If I had to pick the three things I love writing about the most, it would be: interesting people, amazing foods and unique ways to help others. Welcome to the trifecta today, friends! If you thought the birthday project was going to be fun, wait until you read on to learn the, well...icing on the cake. 

Let's start with the interesting people. The biggest compliment I receive from my blog are the (extremely sporadic) times when I am emailed by someone who has enjoyed reading and wants to introduce him or herself. I was thrilled when Val Jean-art of Val's Food with a Twist wrote me and told me all about his interesting life and career. Val was born and raised in Haiti, growing up watching the show Dallas in French, before he moved to the states. A full time engineer, Val has a clear passion and skill for developing unique pastries and desserts that he makes in the commercial kitchen of the 104 year old St. Paul Methodist Church downtown. You may not know Val by name yet, but it's likely you've enjoyed his delicacies. Val's creations are on the dessert menus of some of my favorite Dallas restaurants: Oddfellow's in my beloved Bishop Arts District, Union Bear and Pearl Cup Coffee top the list. I found Val's story so intriguing and it led me to meet him in person where I learned the best part of it all. Val has a HUGE heart, a wonderful personality and a dedication to helping others. We got on like Milly and Vanilly from the moment we met.

Now on to the amazing food. Val's desserts are incredible, and a few of them are already naturally gluten free. But why stop there? Val and I began brainstorming a new dessert we could make together that would really be "food with a twist" and knock everyone's proverbial socks off. Starting with my love of veggies and juicing, it began as a carrot cake. Summery notes of citrus made all the flavors play off each other and really pop. 

Since I am an amazing person and friend, I was willing to go through round after round of prototypes until everything was *just* right. Think at least double what you see below...

All were delicious, but only one can be...Lilly's Summer Citrus Carrot Cake!
And now here's the best part, that unique ways to help others part, Val's creation of love and creativity is for sale all through the month of July! You can order the Summer Citrus Carrot Cake on the Val's Food With a Twist website beginning right now. Cakes are ordered online and can be picked up at two of my favorite stop in's: Urban Acres organic co-op and food store in Oak Cliff on Saturday and The Pearl Cup Richardson on Sundays.

These beautiful, zesty bundts are tasty and 100% gluten-free! Val is generously donating $10.00 of the $35.00 purchase price per cake to the Community Partners of Dallas school supply drive, knowing it is the cause closest to my heart. Everyone who attends the Spin Class for School Supplies party at Flywheel Sports on July 19 gets a free slice of this delicious cake! I promise you will want a whole cake to yourself, and, guess what, you deserve it. Go ahead, click on over and order one!

This amazing, gluten free carrot cake supports Community Partners of Dallas!
I loved blogging about all the wonderful things we found in our Urban Acres co-op membership last year, and the Pearl Cup has the best coffee in town. I am giddy that both local favorites who believe in business models that empower people through fair trade, shopping small and local and giving back are partnering with us on this project that it outside the wildest dreams of what I thought I could ever put together when I started my blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who worked on this and everyone who partners with us by ordering a delicious cake!

There's so much to celebrate in the summer. Birthdays (like mine! Did I mention it is my birthday in a few days? I must have forgotten, being so humble has its risks...), cookouts and holidays with family and friends, and more. Please join me in finding fun ways to support Val's Food with a Twist and sending abused children in Dallas back to school with help and hope by sweetening your summer with this marvelous cake! Val is donating a significant portion of profits to this worthy cause, and (because I would never want anyone to be confused) I am in no way being compensated for this fun project other than enjoying bringing talents and need together and getting to try a ton of awesome cake samples along the way. 

Step 1: Order your amazing new cake from Val's Food with a Twist . Orders placed by each Thursday can be picked up on the weekend. Orders placed after Thursday roll over into the next weekend. 
Step 2: Pick up your order of happiness at either The Pearl Cup Richardson or Urban Acres Market
Step 3: Spread love to abused children with new school supplies while celebrating the summer with your delicious treat!

What do you think you will order your cake to celebrate? I can't wait to hear how you enjoy it! Thanks, as always, for being along for the blog fun and joining with me to support such great small businesses and worthy causes in Dallas!


  1. YUM! I can't wait to order a few for me and some friends! Great Idea!

  2. I just placed my order!Val's web site looks amazing and I am totally excited about citrus carrot cake. :)'

  3. Wow!!! How wonderful of Val to be so generous, and you sweet Lilly, to be thoughtful enough to put everything together. #2 is planning on attending the spin class.

  4. What a cool idea! I may have to get me one of those cakes!

  5. Great blog!
    We are so proud of Carlene! One of these days I'll make it to the Pearl Cup!


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