Delicious Grain-Free Carrot Cake

There is no better way to celebrate Spring than with a light, fresh Carrot Cake! 

This dessert always makes an appearance at my family’s Easter celebration in one form or another…cupcakes, mini-bundt cakes, 6-layered round cake and this year…a sheet cake.  No matter what size or shape it takes it never disappoints!!!

I am really into sheet cakes right now…no particular reason why, but they are functional, casual and great for serving a crowd.  I also love bar recipes for the exact same reasons.  This cake recipe works for both but I do prefer the different frosting variations since the whipped frosting is a bit thinner and seems to drizzle better over the individual bars which are a little thicker than the sheet cake.

Carrot Cake Bars

Carrot Cake Bars or Sheet Cake

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ Tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
1 ½ cups carrots, grated
½ cup walnuts plus 2 Tbsp., chopped
½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325° F
Grease a 8×8 baking pan for bars or a 9×12 quarter sheet pan for cake and line with parchment paper
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil and maple syrup
Stir carrots, walnuts and raisins into wet ingredients
Stir wet ingredients into dry
Spread batter into prepared 8×8 baking pan or 9×12 sheet pan
Bake at 325° for 22 to 25 minutes
For Bars: Cool to room temperature and then turn cake out onto cutting board
Using a sharp knife, cut into 9 bars
Top cooled bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

For Sheet Cake: Cool to room temperature and then turn cake out onto cutting board, remove parchment paper
Wipe out the sheet pan and return the cake to the clean pan
Spread Classic Cream Cheese Frosting over the top of the cooled cake, sprinkle with chopped walnuts
Serve and Enjoy!

Frosted Sheet Cake

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (For Bars)

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Whip heavy cream until stiff
In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
Store leftover frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting (For Sheet Cake)

1 stick butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
½ Tbsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
Store frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use

These are great un-frosted too!

This recipe is shared at:

Wednesday Extravaganza, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Made From Scratch Monday,

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Pumpkin Spice Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

Anyone that knows me knows that I love dessert AND that dessert really isn’t dessert for me unless it has some sort of ice cream in it or on it!  This recipe for Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce was featured in the Paleo Magazine last year but didn’t list the recipe creator so I don’t have a link to the original recipe for credit, the only thing I changed was adding pumpkin pie spice rather than cinnamon and nutmeg.  I took the liberty of adding a nice healthy scoop of Homemade Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream to the top of this delightful holiday treat to help usher it into the “perfect dessert” category, the addition of the Pecan Praline topping is just enough to put it over the top!!!  These are equally good without the ice cream and even without the topping…but it’s dessert after all…just go for it!  You could even skip the cakes and just have the Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with the Pecan Praline Topping!

Pumpkin Spice Cakes

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Lightly grease 6 ramekins and set on a baking sheet.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  With a hand mixer blend eggs, oil or butter, maple syrup, pumpkin and vanilla until well combined.  Add in dry ingredients and mix well.  Divide batter among the prepared ramekins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and springs back when lightly pressed.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the cakes from the ramekins and cool completely.

Pecan Praline Topping

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture thickens and reduces a bit, about 10 minutes or so.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Serve while still warm or refrigerate in a glass container for up to 10 days.  If storing in the refrigerator, warm the topping in the microwave or on the stove before serving.

No ice cream necessary...

No ice cream necessary…

This recipe is shared at:

 Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays

Texas Sheet Cake – Gluten and Refined Sugar-Free

Texas Sheet Cake…just like I remember it.

Have you ever heard of a Texas Sheet Cake? Yeah, me neither.  When I grew up we just called it Sheet Cake…of course we lived in Texas so maybe that’s why we didn’t need to include the “Texas” part.  I have very fond memories of this moist, intensely chocolatey (almost brownie like…but not) cake with a super sweet icing that looked almost crackle-y (is that even a word?) on top when you cut into it.   I remember this cake being a part of just about every family celebration we had and after much research on this heavenly cake so do a lot of other southerners!  No one really knows the origin of the “Texas Sheet Cake” that may date back as far as the 1900’s but almost every recipe I came across has a slightly different name (Aunt Velma’s Chocolate Cake, Texas Sheet Cake, Cocoa Sheath Cake, Mexican Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cookie Sheet Cake…) but nearly identical ingredients.  The most information I found as to why it’s called “Texas Sheet Cake” can be found here, you can follow the links in the post for some fun information on this wonderful traditional southern dessert.

I had a hankering for this dessert today but I didn’t feel like messing around with the recipe to come up with a grain-free version…mostly because I really wanted it to taste, look and feel like the chocolate cake I remember having at my grandmother’s house.  I opted to make a gluten and refined sugar-free version using quinoa flour and coconut palm sugar, all the other ingredients are the same as the original recipe.  Now, one theory on the name “Texas Sheet Cake” is because it makes a cake the size of Texas since it is traditionally baked in an 12×18 half sheet pan, which is HUGE.  I cut the original recipe in half to make a 9×12 quarter sheet cake, which still yields 12 generous servings!

Gluten-Free Texas Sheet Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa flour

1 cup palm sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. cocoa, heaping

1 stick butter

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup buttermilk

 1 egg beaten

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Icing:

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

7 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. cocoa, heaping

3 Tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

8 ounces coconut palm sugar, powdered**

**Powder the coconut palm sugar by placing it in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high until it reaches the consistency of finely powdered sugar.

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat and enjoy!

Just a few thoughts…

This cake turned out just as I remembered it.  I was completely thrilled with this recipe and how well the quinoa flour and coconut palm sugar didn’t change the texture or taste of the original recipe.  With that said…this cake was WAY too sweet for my taste now!!!! Did I love it? Yes.  Did it satisfy the craving I was having for a childhood memory? Yes.  Will I make it again? Yes.  Will I play around with the recipe to make it grain-free and less sweet? Probably not…This will be one of those recipes that is pulled out on a special occasion or when in need of a comfort food fix, anything different would defeat the purpose of this recipe!

Moist and dense…but not too much of either one…

the perfect combination.

See…crackle-y!

The best way to eat it is warm with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream!

This post is shared at:

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fresh Bites Fridays, Tasty Tuesday, Fight Back Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesdays

Grain-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Maple Drizzle

Grain-Free Coffee Cake with Maple Drizzle

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me…no matter what time of day I eat it.  I generally like to have bacon and eggs, omelets, frittatas or sometimes even coconut pancakes but every once in a while on the weekends or for holidays a nice sweet treat served with homemade spicy sausage is where it is at!  This recipe is adapted from one in Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and is truly the best gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free coffee cake I’ve ever eaten…as a matter of fact it is better than any coffee cake I’ve ever had that was full of sugar, gluten and grain!!!

This past Friday was my mom’s birthday followed by Mother’s Day on Sunday so I thought I’d treat my mom, dad and husband (and let’s be honest…ME, too) to a fun, decadent breakfast dessert…and it really hit the spot!

Out of the oven…resting.

Grain-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake (makes 9-12 servings):

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil, melted
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or pan with butter or coconut oil and lightly dust with almond flour.

To make the cake:

Combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, pecans and raisins in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter or coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla.  Make a well inside the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, the batter will be very thick.  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Using a spatula, gently push the batter into place making it as level as possible.

To make the topping:

Combine cinnamon, butter or coconut oil, maple syrup and pecans or almonds in a bowl.  Spread the topping over the cake batter. 

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour on a wire rack.  Slice cake into squares and drizzle with Maple Frosting before serving.

This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.  Once you drizzle it, store it in the fridge.

Maple Drizzle:

3/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste)

1/4-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, almond milk, or coconut milk

pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients over medium-low heat, stir until well combined.  Consistency should be thin enough to drizzle over the coffee cake.

***If you eat dairy and prefer a maple cream cheese drizzle…substitute 4 ounces softened cream cheese for the coconut butter and reduce the heavy cream to 2 Tbsp.-1/4 cup and blend in a small bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.  Again the consistency should be thin enough to drizzle***

This coffee cake is delightful with or without the drizzle.

This recipe is shared at: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Beyond the Peel

No drizzle necessary for complete yummi-ness!

But then again…why not just go for it!

Pumpkin Cake or Pumpkin Pie? Yes, Please!

 Merry Christmas and Happy National Pumpkin Pie Day!

Everyone who knows me well generally understands that when I say “I made dessert” what I really mean is “I have made something yummy with chocolate”.  Now, my dad, who shares my chocolate addiction love, would never object but my mother and husband are a different story…they constantly request desserts without *gasp* chocolate. Although I think you can never go wrong with a decadent chocolate dessert I have been branching out a bit in order to satisfy the non-chocoholics in the family.

Thankfully, the last several years I have developed a taste for all things pumpkin (I know, I feel so grown-up!).  Last month I posted a recipe for my favorite go-to muffin, Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins, and promised a posting for my favorite Thanksgiving dessert (Pumpkin Pecan Pie) once I was able to rework the recipe to better fit into the paleo/primal lifestyle.  My first attempt failed miserably…I had just come off of my Whole 30 and the pie was so sweet I couldn’t even eat it!!!  I was determined to get it right for our Christmas dessert but in the meantime I came across another recipe in the December issue of Paleo Magazine that I knew I had to fit into our Christmas menu…Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce.  So, Pumpkin Cakes for Christmas Eve and Pumpkin Pie for Christmas Day…it just doesn’t get much better than that…well, unless you add chocolate!

Although this recipe is over-due I’m really happy with the outcome.  It is sweet enough to be considered a treat but not so sweet it makes your teeth hurt.  The recipe can be made as a simple Pumpkin Pie or amped up into a Pumpkin Pecan Pie by adding the pecan topping…you really can’t go wrong either way.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Crust:

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup pecan meal (or omit and add an additional 1/4 cup almond flour)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

2 Tbsp. maple syrup, honey or coconut palm sugar (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine the almond flour, pecan meal, salt, baking soda and spices.  In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup (or other sweetener, if using) and vanilla.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Press the dough into a 9″ pie pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.

Filling:

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

2 eggs

2/3 cup maple syrup (or 1/2 cup honey)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Add the filling evenly into the slightly cooled crust and return to the 350 degrees F oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the filling is set.  A knife inserted into the middle should come out clean.  Remove from oven to a cooling rack.  If you are just making the Pumpkin Pie, cool for 30 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate.  For Pumpkin Pecan Pie, proceed to Topping directions…

Topping:

3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

3/4 cup pecan halves

Preheat broiler.  Combine honey or maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a low boil. Remove from heat and stir in pecans to coat.  Arrange coated pecans on top of pie and drizzle remaining topping over the pecans.  Place under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown, watching carefully, about 2 minutes.  Remove from oven to a cooling rack.  Cool for 30 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate.

Serve both the Pumpkin or Pumpkin Pecan pies topped with freshly made whipped cream.  If you refrigerated the pies bring them to room temperature before serving (or not…some people like their Pumpkin Pie cold!)…about 4 hours on the counter-top.

Pie…it’s a beautiful thing.

 Now…what about those Pumpkin Cakes?

The recipe in Paleo Magazine for Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline caught my eye immediately…I knew this was definitely making the Christmas menu this year!  It was delightfully light and ridiculously easy to make.  I decided to add a nice small scoop of Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream (dairy-free) to the top of the cake before drizzling the Pecan Praline topping over the whole thing…oh my, it did not disappoint!  Here is a picture of our Christmas Eve dessert, check out Paleo Magazine online to download the latest issue, it’s chocked full of great recipes including this one for Pumpkin Cakes.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop, All Gluten Free Desserts

Banana Muffins and Mini-Cakes

Banana Mini-Cakes with Chocolate Chips

Hello, my name is Andrea and I am a sugar addict.

It has taken me several years of intense struggle to finally admit that I have a real problem with sugar.  I stopped eating all kinds of refined sugars about 4 years ago (along with gluten and soy) but I have intermittently experimented with agave nectar, maple syrup, honey and more recently coconut sugar.  You see, I love dessert and really felt like I couldn’t live without it…so I adapted every recipe I craved into a “healthier” version using natural sugar substitutes.

However, as I am living a “cleaner” primal lifestyle these days, no gluten, soy, refined sugar or grains I find that even the “natural” sugars sometimes bother me.  And when I say bother what I really mean is that they tend to make me a wee bit of a crazy person!!!!  It’s like a drug to me as it is for many people.  My saving grace is that my will power (I like to use that term way better than saying my obsessive-compulsive tendency) doesn’t allow me to over-indulge in the desserts I make, I only experience the mental torture…

Whew, now that I’m past the denial stage…I will admit that I still like to enjoy sweet treats on occasion which has led me to seek out desserts and baked goods that are fruit or stevia sweetened.  I visit the blog What I Crave regularly and to my delight found a recipe for Date Sweetened Banana Bread.  I made this recipe into muffins and a few heart-shaped mini-cakes (with mini chocolate chips added).  These muffins have the perfect texture and sweetness, they are wonderful with a pat of homemade butter or a schmear of cream cheese.  I like to have them for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Muffins and Mini-Cakes

Date Sweetened Banana Muffins

Makes 18-24 muffins

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted (5 – 6 dates)

5 eggs

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners
  2. To a blender add two peeled bananas, pitted dates, eggs, and melted butter or coconut oil.  Puree until smooth.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  5. Chop the remaining banana and add to batter along with the nuts and chocolate chips (if using).
  6. Divide evenly between the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop which is about 1/4 cup of batter).
  7.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely on rack before serving.

Banana Muffins

Enjoy this wonderful recipe and check back often for more “sugar-free” treat recipes. 

 Remember…Life is too short to not have dessert!

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,  Tasty Tuesday & Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes

Do you really need a special occasion to make a batch of cupcakes?  I think not, but…when I came upon this adorable cupcake display at Williams Sonoma last month I knew without a doubt that Easter dessert this year would be CUPCAKES!  At least this holiday occasion would give me the opportunity to make several different kinds and lots of them (the display holds 24-36)!!!  From all the wonderful flavors, fillings and frostings to choose from…here are the ones that made the cut…Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is of course a must, being Easter and all…humm, you have got to have something chocolate so I settled on a Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting…fruit? definitely, Raspberry filled Vanilla Cupcake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and a light and airy Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcake with Blueberries.  It was so much fun making and decorating these little treats but the real joy was sharing them with my family, especially since they were all grain-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free!

The Final Four

My favorite was the Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, for several reasons…1) it’s peanut butter and chocolate, 2) well, it’s peanut butter and chocolate and 3) should I say it again?  it’s peanut butter and chocolate.  This recipe is adapted from one that my grandmother makes called Carol’s Fudge Muffins, I don’t know who Carol is but this woman is a genius, these muffins are rich and fudgy but still light enough to be a cupcake rather than a brownie…Mama always made them with pecans and no frosting but I chose to omit the pecans this time since I was going to use a peanut butter frosting…they are equally delicious both ways!  Now, since I’ve been eating a mostly primal diet I don’t eat peanuts or peanut butter and would normally substitute almond butter in the frosting recipe but for Easter…its just got to be peanut butter!

Chocolate Fudge Cupcake

2 ounces dark chocolate (I used Dagoba Chocodrops 70%)

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup + 2Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup quinoa flour

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F and line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

In a large bowl mix together flour and sugar.  In a small saucepan melt butter and chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Add butter and chocolate to flour mixture and stir until smooth.  Add slightly beaten eggs, stir in – do not beat.  Add vanilla and chopped nuts (if using).  Divide evenly between muffin cups.  Bake 22-25 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp. agave, honey or palm sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup cold heavy whipped cream

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter, agave, vanilla and sea salt on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl beat heavy whip cream until stiff peaks form (for best results chill bowl and whisk in freezer before beating the whip cream).  Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Frosting can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Be sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Chunkey Monkey Cake

Chunkey Monkey Cake

I love dessert, I eat it everyday at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s the best part of my day.  Most days it’s just berries and whipped cream or yogurt, an apple with almond butter or a frozen smoothie, but several times a month I like to make something really decadent.  I am always on the lookout for gluten, grain, refined sugar and especially GUILT free healthy options for my special treat days.  Yesterday I came across a wonderful recipe for Carob-Banana Bars at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen website, I could hardly wait to make these today…I have made a few alterations to the original recipe to include cacao powder rather than carob and added walnuts for some extra texture, it came out perfect!  I will try this recipe with carob powder sometime as I really do like the taste of carob…I was just out of it today and didn’t want to make an extra trip to the store since I had everything else.  My dad is coming over today so I am excited to see if he likes it…he loves dessert as much as I do so I’m sure he will!
A few recipe tips:
Make sure all ingredients are room temperature (even the eggs) otherwise they will cause the coconut oil to harden.
Use slightly over-ripe bananas for a sweeter cake.
If you choose to use the carob powder rather than the cacao powder the additional sweetener isn’t necessary, stevia can sometimes have a bitter taste so you may add the 1/4 cup palm sugar instead of the extra plain stevia listed in the recipe below.

 

Enjoy with a dollop of fresh whip cream

Chunkey Monkey Cake

 

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup cacao powder (or carob powder)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 – 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 heaping cup)
2 large organic eggs
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
24 drops chocolate liquid stevia + 10-20 drops plain stevia or 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish with coconut oil.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use your fingers to break up any clumps in the almond flour. Then whisk the ingredients together. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the bananas and mash with a fork. Measure the mashed bananas to make sure they are just over 1 cup. Add more banana if needed or remove some. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir together with the fork.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool before cutting into bars.  Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or glass of ice-cold almond milk.  Enjoy!

Yep, Daddy liked it!

This recipe is linked to:
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