Pumpkin Doughnuts

IMG_6513Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been very quite this past couple months. While I’ve been baking for the family, I haven’t had the time to write posts like I’d like too. Why? My event strategy business is blossoming and I have several new clients and many projects that occur in the fall and spring! Blessings for this Thanksgiving indeed.

We woke this morning and I thought pumpkin doughnuts would be a great Thanksgiving treat for everyone this morning breakfast! We’re planning on heading to Disney World for some weekend fun and these treats will be enjoyed by all on our short journey to the Magic Kingdom.

Super easy and so much fun to make! The great things, if you have pumpkin puree, you more than likely have all the other ingredients you need to make these delicious doughnuts. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, just make them as muffins! Delicious!

The aroma from the baking these great breakfast treats is sublime. Make the house smell festive and certainly Thanksgiving!

Enjoy and I look forward to baking more and sharing over the next few weeks as we prepare for the Holidays!

Enjoy the bake!


3 cups unbleached flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil

3 cups pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Glaze – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons of buttermilk

Grease or use a oil spray a six cavity doughnut pan or muffin pan.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla and oil. Combine with a whisk. Add dry ingredients slowly and combine thoroughly. Add your batter to a pastry bag and then clip the end about 1/2 inch wide opening. Pipe batter into pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes. For muffins you will have to bake a little longer until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool.

Dip doughnuts into a small bowls with glaze and set on a cooling rack to set.


Grain Free Apple Ginger Cake

Grain Free Apple Ginger Cake

Nothing is better than caramel with apples. I was inspired to make a bake this weekend that combines that and gives the cake a bit of a delicious spice as well. Grain Free Apple Ginger Cake. Delicious combination, combined with coconut whipped cream and vegan caramel sauce.

I was inspired by our friends at Sweet Laurel, but wanted to make it a bit of my own. Not only does the recipe contain unsweet apples, I took it a step further and added one delicious apple cut-up into small bite size pieces.

The recipe base is coconut oil, maple syrup and almond flour, adding the applesauce, apples and spices makes for quick and easy grain-free dessert.

I then made the caramel sauce with the base of dates, coconut oil, and almond butter. Delicious and a healthy alternative caramel, if you’re looking to curb your refined sugar in-take.

Below is the complete recipes for all three components, cake, filling and topping! Enjoy the bake!

Grain Free Apple Ginger Cake

Using two 6″ pan, use coconut oil and parchment paper to line the bottom. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3 tbs coconut oil melted

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 tbs vanilla extract (I used my homemade version with white tequila and 2 vanilla beans that has been in a dark cupboard for over 8-weeks now)

2 cups almond flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 large gala apple, peeled and cored, cut into 1/2 or smaller pieces

In large bowl, using a whisk combine the coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the almond flour, spices and baking soda. Use a whisk to combine throughly. Slowly pour dry ingredients into the large bowl and whisk until a batter forms. Add your diced apples.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 40 minutes.

Let sit in pans for a few minutes before carefully turning out cakes onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before proceeding to next steps.

While the cakes bake, you can make your caramel.

Caramel – Double Sweet Laurel’s Recipe

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

4 tbs coconut oil

4 fresh dates, pitted

2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of pink Himalayan salt

In a blend combine all ingredients and grind/chop speed before moving to high-speed and let blend to thoroughly combined and giving the appearance of caramel.

Remove with a spatula and place in a bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Coconut Whipped Cream – Sweet Laurel’s Recipe

2 – 13.5 oz cans of full fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight

2 tbs pure maple syrup

1 tbs vanilla extract

Remove the solid coconut cream and place in mixing bowl from both cans. Beat the coconut on high speed with whisk attachment until it thickens and soft peaks form.

With a spatula, add your maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Place in refrigerator to let stiffen before placing between both cooled cakes.

Before I began, be sure to place your cakes in the fridge to be sure all your ingredients are ready to be iced.

Super easy and so moist! I topped with a gentle sprinkle of sea salt granular for a salty caramel taste. Enjoy the delicious results.



Mini Strawberry Meringue Tortes

Making bite size desserts is one way to keep the calories in check. And there is nothing better than strawberry preserves and meringue atop an almond crust.

I used my almond flour base for the crust, simple and easy to make. Then I made a delicious strawberry preserves using maple syrup rather than refined sugar. The meringue is also sweetened with maple syrup.

What I’m learning using almond flour as a base for many of my bakes (Lemon Bars) and others…  Continue reading “Mini Strawberry Meringue Tortes”

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars



Lemon Bars are one of my favorites. I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with alternative ingredients again this past week and came up with a recipe that is super delicious. Lemon Bars, a very refreshing and sweet dessert, without refined sugars and gluten-free.

I used a base of blanched almond flour and maple syrup. Coconut oil doesn’t work so well, so I stuck with grass-fed butter. The results were fantastic.

Taking from the traditional lemon bar recipe I have from my grandmother, I not only substituted the sugar with maple syrup, I also added a tropical twist with unsweetened coconut flakes as part of the top crumble. So refreshing.

The biggest differences that I have noticed is the consistency of the cake/cookie base being softer than it’s flour counterpart and the lemon curd isn’t as yellow because of the maple syrup. It does firm up overnight or once completely cooled. I would also put in the refrigerator for longer storage. These two differences didn’t impact the taste!

I hope you like this version of lemon bars as much as my family has!

Enjoy the bake!



Lemon Bars Recipe

Lemon Curd

3/4 cup maple syrup

6 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs of lemon zest

2 tbs cornstarch

6 egg yolks beaten

1/2 cup grass-fed butter cut up

Combine the maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest and cornstarch in a sauce pan. Over medium heat bring to a boil, this will happen quickly so keep a good watch. Stir for about 1 – 2 minutes until thick, then in a separate bowl, add a little at a time of the hot liquid to the beaten egg yolks to temper the eggs and not turn to scrambled eggs. Once half of the hot liquid is incorporated, then add the egg yolk mixture to the remaining liquid in the sauce pan. Over low heat stir until completely combined and thick. Remove from the heat and add the butter and stir until melted. Let cool and then set aside.

I cooled my curd overnight, but you could use after about an 30-60 minutes of cooling.

Cake/Cookie Base

1 cup softened grass-fed butter

3/4 cup maple syrup

3 cups blanched almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and the maple syrup until combined. Then add the almond flour/baking powder to slowly to the butter mixture until fully mixed.

In a prepared 13 x 9 x 2 greased pan or a torte pan, spread the dough evenly and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degree oven. Or until edges and top are slightly brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before spreading your lemon curd overtop, being careful to not “tear” the dough from spreading too hard. Spread curd until you leave just a little edge all around.

For the crumble, mix 2/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/2 slivered almonds, 1 tbs of softened butter. Using your fingers, completely combine the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined and not large portions of butter remain.

Sprinkle the crumb on top of the curd. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the crumb becomes a bit browned. Remove and cool the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.


Sunflower Butter Cookies

Sunflower Butter Cookies

Sunflower Butter Cookies

Sunflower Butter Cookies

Last week my son started Summer Day Camp. He was so excited to see his friends from last summer, especially Alex! Both of them were inseparable at camp, we did get together occasionally during the school year, but not enough for Donavan.

Once camp started, Donavan asked if I wouldn’t pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his daily lunch. I asked him why. He told me, he wanted to eat lunch with Alex! “Alex is allergic to peanuts. Can you buy sun butter for me so I can eat lunch with Alex?” he exclaimed. How adorable and caring is that?? Such a sweet kid. I told him yes, I would look into it. I’d never heard of sun butter, so I investigated.

Sun butter is sunflower seed butter, who knew! They have two varieties, natural and crunchy. I accidentally bought the crunchy, not realizing they had two types, I was just excited to find it!

If you read and follow my blog, you’ll also know that I’ve stumbled across this new cook book from Sweet Laurel, a bakery out of California, that uses alternative ingredients for baking. Low and behold as I was researching a new bake I came across Sunflower Butter Cookies! I reviewed the ingredients and realized, I have everything I need to make these! So here are the results and the recipe.

These cookies are great for individuals with nut allergies and dairy aversions. So I thought I would make them for this post. And, Donavan would have a treat that he could take to his friend Alex, yummy Sunflower Butter Cookies.

One thing to note, sunflower butter isn’t low in calories, in fact it has more fat and calories than peanut butter, but it’s a great alternative when your little ones need to take an alternative cookie to summer camp for their friends with peanut allergies!

Enjoy the bake!

Sunflower Butter Cookies

1 cup sunflower seed butter

1 large egg

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup arrowroot powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat a 350 degree oven. Stir all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until a dough forms. I used a cookie scoop and place the dough on a Silpat or you could use parchment paper.

Place the tray of cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to give them a chance to firm. Remove and use a fork to push down onto the cookie dough, just like a peanut butter cookie.

Bake the cookies for about 11-12 minutes. My oven runs on the cooler side of 350, check the bake after 10 minutes. Since it’s a dark dough, be sure to thoroughly bake. My first small tray (trial) came out doughy/raw in the center. My second bake I left in for 12 minutes and they were perfect!

Cool and serve!

Enjoy the bake and be sure to share your results!



Nutrition Facts – Sunflower Butter Cookies
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 111
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.1g 9%
Saturated Fat 0.8g 4%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 103mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 10.2g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 5.3g
Protein 3.1g
Vitamin D 1mcg 4%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 32mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
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