seasonal baking

Lemon Balm Scones for Strawberry Shortcake

Lemon Balm Scones for Strawberry Shortcake

Right after I picked 22 pounds of strawberries at a local Oregon farm a couple of weeks ago, I knew right there I had to have strawberry shortcake! I remember when I was a little girl- maybe 4-5 years old and my grandparents took me to a strawberry festival. I was so excited! The festival basically involved lots of strawberry shortcake. YUM! There was a building and ladies by a table ladling servings of sweet strawberries over shortcake and then putting ice cream on top. I must have eaten 2-3 servings of it all by myself. I was in heaven! I'm not sure I could eat quite as much today but I enjoy it just as much. I hope that you enjoy this shortcake recipe & remember when you were a kid and relished every bite! 

Lemon Balm Scones + Strawberry Shortcake: 

Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 cups gluten free flour mix (without xanthan gum) 

2 tablespoons organic sugar + extra for dusting the tops of the shortcakes

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons vegan margarine or butter

2 eggs

2 tablespoons lemon balm leaves, minced

1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

2. Mix together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. 

3. Mix together the flour mix, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl. With a pastry cutter, cut the margarine or butter into the flour mixture. Make sure the margarine or butter is well incorporated and it resembles a coarse meal. 

4. Beat the eggs well in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment or until they are frothy. Add the milk mixture and flour mixture. Mix at medium low speed for 1 minute. 

5. Pat the mixture into a large round on a floured board. Make sure it is about 1 inch thick. Cut rounds out of the mixture with a cookie cutter. It will make about 6-8 large rounds that you can split in half and fill with berries for the strawberry shortcake. 

6. Place the dough rounds on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with coconut milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Place the sheet on the center rack of the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 375F. Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  

Strawberry Mixture: 

4 cups sliced strawberries

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Place in a bowl and mix. Let the mixture macerate for about 10-15 minutes to soak up the flavors. 

 

Spiced Apple Cider Pumpkin Bread

spiced apple cider pumpkin bread

One of a household's fall "must-haves" in my opinion is pumpkin bread! It is such a great breakfast, snack, dessert. I just love the spices in this bread. It is so moist and flavorful, perfect along with a cup of tea or coffee while you are cozy with a blanket reading a book. Hooray! 

This is a recipe I adapted to gluten free/dairy free from Southern Living magazine. I different flours and lot more spices to this bread. I am believer in using several separate spices to build up flavor instead of pre-made spice mixes like pumpkin pie spice. That way you get a lot more flavor into your baked goods. 

Actually, as I worked on this bread yesterday I realized I had left out the coconut oil, however, when my son and husband ate it- they loved it! So, I decided to leave the oil out. The bread has such a fantastic pumpkin-spice flavor and I think this is a "perfect mistake!" 

I hope that you enjoy this fall "must have" in your house today! 

Spiced Apple Cider Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Southern Living

Makes two 9x5 loaves

1 cup organic sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup honey

2/3 cup apple cider

4 eggs

15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 cups gluten free flour mix

1 1/2 cups almond meal

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 

2. Grease two 9x5 pans with coconut oil and add in 1-2 teaspoons of gluten free flour and shake out excess to coat the pan in flour. 

3. Beat the sugar, coconut sugar, honey and apple cider in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed until combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, beat after each addition. Add in the pumpkin and mix. 

4. Whisk together the gluten free flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda and spices in a separate bowl. 

5. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture in the mixer bowl and beat at low speed just until combined. 

6. Divide the batter between the 2 pans and smooth the tops of the batter with a rubber spatula. 

7. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes or so or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. You can put foil on top of the pans towards the end of baking so that your bread doesn't over-brown on top. 

8. Cool the pumpkin bread in pans for 10 minutes. Then, un-mold the loaves onto a wire rack and let the bread cool for 30 minutes before slicing. 

Enjoy! 

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election coming up, I wanted to make something special for the November 8th Election Night Dinner I'm making. I had heard about an election cake that used to be made around election time a long time ago from one of my mom's old cookbooks. First, I tried a traditional yeasted version, but it ended up tasting more like very dry bread. Back to the drawing board on that one! 

Then, I thought that a light pound cake with some of the same dried fruit that the yeasted version of the cake had would be much tastier. I was right & am so delighted with this version. I hope that you stop by for some on election day, or if you live too far from me, you will make your own. 

Enjoy! 

Apricot and Cherry Election Pound Cake

Adapted from "Vanilla Pound Cake" from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Makes one 9 inch bundt cake

--melted coconut oil to brush bundt pan--

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 large eggs

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt for a dairy free version

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

1/3 cup dried cherries, finely chopped

Glaze: 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons coconut milk

 

1. Heat the oven to 350F. Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven. 

2. Brush melted coconut oil on the inside of a bundt pan. If your pan is highly detailed, like mine, make sure to brush every surface inside with the coconut oil. 

3. In a medium bowl whisk together: gluten free flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum, spices and salt. Set the bowl aside. 

4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the eggs at medium high speed. Then, slowly add sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture until it is light and thickened. 

5. Add in the flour/spice mixture, yogurt (Greek or coconut yogurt), coconut oil and vanilla. Beat the mixture at medium low speed for about 30 seconds or until thoroughly combined. 

6. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or up to 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If you use a convection oven it will take less time to bake. Most conventional ovens used need to leave the cake in the oven for at least 45 minutes. 

7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it carefully onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool. Then, whisk together the glaze. Spoon a thin layer of glaze all over the cake. Slice and serve! Yum! This cake may be made 1 day ahead. You may wrap it and store it in the fridge. 

Enjoy! 

Cinnamon Applesauce Cakes

Cinnamon Applesauce Cakes

 

 

What wonderful timing! While my son and I were visiting my parents the other day, my mom told me about a wonderful apple cake recipe that she had found. It was a moist loaf cake with raisins added in. I decided that I would take this recipe and convert it to gluten free/dairy free and also at the same time add my own flair to it. It was a big success! 

Even my husband, who usually doesn't care for apple desserts, really enjoyed these cakes! I love the addition of the sauteed apples instead of the raisins and I think that cakes should always have a decorative topping that really makes it special and makes the ingredients shine. I prefer my decorating to be more rustic and so I used the sauteed apples on top. 

I hope that you enjoy these cakes soon! Let me know how you like them in the comments below. 

Cinnamon Applesauce Cakes: 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup coconut sugar

1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1 teaspoon  xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups sauteed apples, divided. (Peel apples, slice thinly and chop finely into small pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add in the apples, add in honey to taste and about 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Saute this mixture until the apples are soft- about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool before adding to the batter and as a topping.)

1. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with coconut oil. Heat the oven to 350F. 

2. Cream coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in coconut sugar, mix and beat until smooth. 

3. Add in applesauce and mix together. 

4. Sift together the gluten free flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda and spices. Add to the batter and mix. 

5. Add in 1 cup of the sauteed apples and reserve the other cup for the topping. Mix together. 

6. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool and top each cake with sauteed apples. 

Enjoy! Hope you enjoy these yummy fall cakes! Let me know in the comments who you plan on serving these to.