Tag Archives: raisins

Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Coconut Cream Frosting (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Good day, everyone! I hope that this blog finds you well. I am truly appreciating the weather today, such a bright and sunny day, which is a welcome relief from all of the wind and rain we had this past week. The apples I have been purchasing at the local farm have been outstanding, so much so that I have not baked with apples yet this season because SensitiveHusband and I keep eating them before there is any chance of making a muffin or sauce. The carrots, however, I managed to snag for a cake (more on that in a moment). carrot cake cupcakes

Speaking of cake, have you ever eaten “too many slices of suboptimal, day-old cake,” which then inspired you to figure out how best to slice a cake so as not to expose the remains to the air and get dried out? No? To tell you the truth, I hadn’t thought much of it either. Yet this issue has been pondered for well over a century. In 1906 Sir Francis Galton, a British mathematician, discussed the scientific principles of cutting a cake in a letter written to the journal Nature. Galton, who was a first cousin to Charles Darwin, notes that instead of cutting a cake into wedges, you should cut the cake down the middle and remove a thin slice, then push the cake back together, which seals the cake back up. Galton goes a step further and suggests wrapping a rubber band around the outside of the cake to guarantee that no air dries out the baked good. He, who discovered regression to the mean, perhaps only ate cakes with fondant frosting – because I fear the effects of a rubber band wrapped around a luscious buttercream.

Need to see this to believe it? There is an excellent video demonstration by Alex Bellos – check it out here. And see if it convinces you that a wedge slice may not be the only option for parsing out dessert.

Since I continue to think of cake, I will share with you a recipe I made recently for my SIL’s (sister-in-law) birthday. This carrot cake was inspired by a fabulous recipe found in Elana’s Pantry. I chose to sweeten the cake with honey and I used grapeseed oil for the fat. I also crushed the walnuts and baked them into cupcakes. My notes are included in the recipe below. And then I topped them off with a maple coconut cream frosting! I again was inspired by Elana’s Pantry, although I sweetened the frosting with maple syrup, which paired so nicely with the flavors.

Still not sure how you want to slice a cake? No worries, just bake cupcakes!!

CARROT CAKE – INGREDIENTS
3 cups blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 eggs
½ cup honey (or agave nectar)
¼ cup grapeseed oil
3 cups carrots, grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped

PREPARATION
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, honey (or agave nectar) and oil
Stir carrots, raisins and walnuts into wet ingredients
Stir wet ingredients into dry
Place batter into 24 cupcake tins with liners (or 2 well greased, round 9-Inch cake pans)
Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes for cupcakes (35 minutes for cakes)
Cool to room temperature and spread with frosting

MAPLE COCONUT CREAM FROSTING – INGREDIENTS
1 cup coconut milk (in a can)
1 cup maple syrup
pinch sea salt
5 teaspoons arrowroot powder
3-5 tablespoons water
1¼ cup coconut oil

PREPARATION
In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, maple syrup and salt, simmer for 10 minutes
In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and water to form a smooth paste
Pour arrowroot mixture into saucepan
Whisk vigorously to combine, then bring to a boil, briefly, until shiny
Remove pot from heat and very gradually blend in coconut oil with a hand blender (or mixer)
Allow pot to cool for 10 minutes
Place pot in refrigerator for 45-120 minutes, until frosting solidifies
Remove from refrigerator and blend again with a hand blender (or mixer), until fluffy
Spread over cake or cupcakes

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(Gluten and Refined Sugar Free) Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

cinnamon raisin muffinsGood day everyone! Since I had some extra garbanzo bean flour in my cupboard, I decided to figure out how to use it. I found a delightful recipe for chocolate chip muffins that used that type of flour, and I decided to change it a bit so that I would make cinnamon raisin muffins. The result was a beautiful, golden-brown muffin that tastes great…and is free of gluten and refined sugar too!

Ingredients
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup coconut palm sugar
⅓ cup milk (almond milk for a dairy free option)
2 eggs
2 tbsp grapeseed (or canola) oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
⅔ cup raisins
3 tbsp gluten-free granola, optional

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until incorporated. Fold in raisins.

Divide muffin batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the tops of the muffins with granola, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

PS: For my friends who receive my blog posts via email, I apologize for the previous email. My keyboard commands recently changed and I posted a blog rather than making a word have a bold font. Whoops!

I am sharing my recipe at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Cybele Pascal Allergy-Friendly Cook, and Food Trip Friday.

Pumpkin Raisin Nut Bread with Honey and Maple Syrup

Another great addition to your holiday meal, or any meal for that matter, is pumpkin bread. I prepared a loaf for our thanksgiving meal (click here for other menu ideas) and it turned out to be a great alternative to a yeast-filled bread. Plus it has a moist texture and the addition of raisins and nuts is a real treat! I found this recipe about a year ago in the Joy of Cooking book, and made a few revisions: I used whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose variety, substituted shortening with canola oil, substituted the white cane sugar with honey, and substituted the brown cane sugar with maple syrup. You would never know that there is no sugar or butter in this delicious bread! I will warn you that this recipe uses three different bowls, but do not let that discourage you; it still is relatively easy to prepare. And now for the instructions…

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together:
  1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  1 teaspoon baking soda
  1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  1 teaspoon salt
  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1 teaspoon ground ginger
  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine in a small bowl:
  1/3 cup water or milk
  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat in a large bowl:
  1/3 cup canola oil
  2/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup maple syrup
Beat in one at a time:
  2 large eggs
Add and beat on low speed just until blended:
  1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in:
  1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  1/3 cup raisins or chopped dates
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Joy of Desserts, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine.

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with a Modern Twist

Recently my aunt shared some family cookie recipes with me. They were all recipes of her grandmother and passed down to my grandmother, my aunt and now me. Last weekend as the temperatures cooled and the first feelings of autumn were in the air, I decided to try the recipe for Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies. However, I gave the cookies a modern twist: I substituted the refined sugar with honey, substituted the solid shortening with canola oil, and reduced the amount of water. While I made the cookies, I felt a connection with my family – I really enjoyed making the same cookie that my aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother made for themselves and their families over the years. The entire house smelled of cinnamon and raisins while the cookies baked. And the result was a light and chewy cookie that tasted delicious. I hope that you enjoy this old-fashioned recipe with a modern twist.

Modern Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies


Ingredients:

1 cup raisins
1 cup water
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (a combination of all purpose and whole wheat works well)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

Simmer raisins and water in a saucepan over medium heat until raisins are plump, about 15 minutes. While the raisins are simmering, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the raisins and a bit (about 1/4 cup) of the water from the saucepan into the bowl and mix together with all the ingredients. Spoon level tablespoonfuls of the batter onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.

I am sharing this recipe with Joy of Desserts, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, This Chick Cooks, Lady Behind the Curtain, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Joy of Desserts – Vintage Recipes.

Inspired by Millet to Bake Raisin Maple Scones

Yesterday afternoon I found myself (yet again) walking slowly up and down the aisles of my neighborhood health foods store. There are many things to look at and try! I paused to check out all of the flours – there are so many kinds! Apparently I was feeling courageous because I picked up a kind of flour I had never tried before – millet flour. In fact, I have never used anything other than flour made from wheat, although the recipe on the back of the packaging caught my eye and persuaded me to get creative. I had not eaten a scone since incorporating a yeast and sugar free diet, and upon reading the recipe I suddenly had a hankering for the English biscuit. So I bought my millet flour and brought it home.

You may ask what millet flour is…I did the same, and did some online research. According to WiseGeek, Millet flour is made from millet, which is a whole grain and gluten free. A serving of the flour, which is one third of a cup, contains about 4 grams of protein, 15% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron; is high in B vitamins, magnesium and potassium; and has 12% of the U.S. RDA of dietary fiber.

Millet flour has a naturally sweet taste so you can often cut sugar in recipes when using the flour. A little millet flour in breads makes them lighter with a crunchy crust. However, many suggest that no more than a third of wheat flour in recipes should be replaced with flour from millet because it also requires a complementary binding agent.

It was now time to bake…the recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill Millet Flour package was my starting point. However, I substituted the sugar with maple syrup. I also added some oats for a little crunch and sprinkled some maple sugar on top for extra sweetness. My whole milk yogurt also worked just fine even though the recipe called for nonfat. These scones were delicious! I liked the taste of the millet flour…it has a nutty flavor. I hope you enjoy this very lovely treat.

Millet Raisin Maple Scones
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup millet flour
4 Tbsp oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher (or sea) salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
4 egg whites
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup raisins
maple sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl stir together the flours, oats, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl mix together the maple syrup, canola oil, egg whites and yogurt. Pour oil mixture into flour mixture, and stir until well blended. Next mix in the raisins. With your hands form the dough into a ball and place on a floured surface. Knead dough lightly 3 or 4 times, then place onto baking sheet. Pat into a smooth 8-inch circle. Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges; leave in place. Sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Yields 8 tasty servings.

I am also sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Joy of Desserts</a, Beauty and Bedlam, The Lady Behind the Curtain, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday, This Chick Cooks, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Everyday Sisters and Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine.