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Paige

Another Year, Another Birthday

Each year I try to sit down and write a reflection about the last year of life. Like many of us, 2020 was a big year. In April of 2020 Montana entered it’s quarantine. We thought it would only last a short time but here we are in 2021. In the midst of a shut down I was working in my office with my fulfillment team member working at rapid speed to help continue growth for my old company. I took a day off for my birthday, baked a cake, went on a run and my Mom, Dad, Drew and I enjoyed a socially distanced cake on our front lawn.

Belton, Texas 2021

Last year tested my mental strength, physical strength and ability to push through. I feel extremely lucky to have spent most of COVID time in Bozeman Montana. The ability to go outside, quickly take a hike or go on a run without being close to people was a god sent. Between work, and life stress, 2020 was a hard year. I think it is very important to talk about because as much as we “push through” recognizing the times of sadness, loss and stress are hard.

Thanksgiving walk, Bozeman, MT 2020

Although, year 26 put me through the ringer with life, there were some incredible outcomes from last year. I officially started my business as a registered LLC (that was HUGE for me!). In my business Dot Digital Media LLC., I offer food photography, branding, social media and other digital marketing services. Front Paige is a section of my business and I feel so fortunate to now be in a place to be working full time for myself. If it wasn’t for 2020, I don’t know if I would have the urge to go full time on my own business! For the past 4 years I have been growing my digital marketing agency (Dot Digital Media LLC.) as a freelancing business and maintained full-time jobs. With the pandemic moving all efforts of business online, DDM took off! The things you see everyday on social are a small glimpse into my everyday life of a small business owner! The navigation has been an incredibly rewarding learning process!

Big Texas Snow 2021

When I was 24, I made a goal to buy a house before I turned 30. To me this was a huge goal to achieve. In 2019, we put an offer on a home in Bozeman and didn’t get accepted, I didn’t realize how much I wanted one until the sale fell through. Through all the crazy that was 2020, Drew and I made a conscious decision for our careers and that direction turned us back into Active Duty Army life. Read more about that here, but long story short, we were able to purchase our first home. Through all the crazy that was my 26th year of life, I love to look back on the posts from the years pasts and see the growth in myself each year.

As I sit here and write this, I can’t help but tear up. It could be because it is currently 4am, but the real reason is the ebbs and flows of life are hard to navigate. In every moment I do my best to make the best decision with the information I have at the time, but with so much change I find it hard to sit back and reflect. In a way, I haven’t wanted to look back at 2020 and year 26, but have had a lot on my mind in the last few months of our transition to a new area. With each move and transition of life it is very normal to feel a sense of excitement and also a sense of loss. I miss so many things about last year that sometimes cloud my judgement about the lows. I would say that I miss being close to family and my friends the most! I miss my family stopping by my office and our old neighborhood. My oh my was our old neighborhood a dream! But, with that being said, I have that much better of a jumping off point for year 27.

With every year, I am excited for the newness, the transitions and just learning more about myself. Bring it on!

Gluten Free & Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars

It has been a while since I thought of this recipe and truly it came to me in a dream! A few months ago, I was thinking of the best way to provide sugar cookies for my old office without wasting tons of time individually frosting 50 cookies. I absolutely LOVE sugar cookies and so does my husband, but there is no hiding they are time consuming to make!

Focusing on Flavor

I wanted this recipe to be so easy you could toss it together after a long day at work, or for your kids school activities without the hesitation of time. Traditional sugar cookies need to be chilled in the fridge for at least 4 hours before your shape the dough. This recipe has none of that! Goodbye chill time and hello eating time! Vanilla is key to delicious sugar cookies. I have been on an adventure with making my own vanilla extract. I was inspired by Claire Saffitz to make my own. I am surprising how easy it is to make, but it takes some patient waiting if you don’t use Claire’s recipe. I had some time on my hands and am letting the vanilla beans soak for 6 months.

I recently used my homemade vanilla in this recipe and I can honestly say that the flavor of vanilla is key for this recipe. The flavor shines not only in the cookie but in the frosting as well. To me, there is nothing better than thick, fluffy, vanilla vegan buttercream.

Sugar cookies are a weekly staple in our family. My husband can crush a plate of sugar cookies and they are so fun to make. When I was testing this recipe, we both were really happy with how easy they were to make, and honestly eat! You know when you make cookies with frosting and can’t stack them on a plate? There is no problem with that here. I make these in a 9×9″ square pan like a pan of brownies. My specific pan here makes this recipe that much easier because it comes with a lid that is great for transportation.

Let’s start baking

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Gluten Free & Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookie bars 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

The best part of sweet sugar cookies made in bar form. These gluten-free and vegan sugar cookie bars are full of sweet vanilla flavor, soft crumb and rich fluffy vegan buttercream. An easy and delicious recipe for everyday or special occasions. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp of flax meal
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cups of dairy free milk
  • 3 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour

Frosting:

  • 5 tbsp of vegan butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of powdered sugar
  • 34 tbsp of dairy free milk or water

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°f and lightly grease your 8×8″ baking pan
  2. In a bowl cream your vegan butter with your sugar until combined and fluffy
  3. While your sugar is creaming with your butter, in a small bowl whisk your 1 tbsp of flax meal with your 4 tbsp of water to form the flax egg – let this sit for at least 4 minutes 
  4. Next, add your vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt to your sugar and butter mixture
  5. Once that is combined, add your flax egg to your dough along with your 1/4 cup of dairy free milk
  6. Finally, add in your gluten free flour until the dough forms, but don’t over mix your dough too much – the majority will stick together and some will look dry
  7. Pour your batter into your prepared pan, using your fingers or the back of a measuring cup, evenly distribute the dough evenly in the pan pressing down slightly to compress the dough slightly
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it looks puffed and cooked through
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting
  10. In your mixing bowl using a whisk attachment, whisk your vegan butter, vanilla extract, dairy free milk until the butter is fluffy
  11. Next add in your 5 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time
  12. If the frosting looks dry add in dairy free milk 1 tsp at a time while mixing on medium 
  13. Once your cookie has fully cooled, layer a thick layer of frosting over the top of your cookie
  14. Top with your favorite sprinkles and enjoy!

I love to make this recipe for a little sweet treat for any BBQ or just because. I love how this recipe has all the most delicious flavors of sugar cookies without thee time spend chilling, rolling, cutting and frosting individual cookies!

Let’s talk sprinkles!

I never was a sprinkle person until recently. I think they just add such a fun brightness to any recipe! I really love to use rainbow nonpareils sprinkles because they add such a fun look to the white frosting, and a nice little texture. The thing is, you can use any sprinkles you want to, because that is what makes personalizing recipes fun! Sanding sugar works super well, and the fun pastel colors are perfect for summer.

If you try this recipe make sure to tag me! I would love to see your sugar cookie creations!

More Recipes to try!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Blueberry Crumble Muffins
These blueberry crumble muffins are everything you love about your bakery muffin …

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits! These little bubbles are so delicious and versatile. Last, amidst the first shut down, I was inspired by pantry ingredients for everyday treats. I created this recipe for blueberry jam muffins because my husband and I were craving blueberry muffins one morning but it was snowy and cold in Montana which meant there were only $10 blueberries at the grocery store. I decided to turn to my favorite jam and turn them into muffins. Those muffins are truly one the easiest recipes to make for any occasion!

One thing that I love about blueberries is when they bake they become jammy and lightly explode. Back in college, my go to breakfast was oatmeal with blueberries, cinnamon honey and chia seeds. The way the blueberries explode when you bake them is one of my favorite things about these little fruits. Fast forward to today, I am still obsessed! During the Christmas season I started to develop this recipe for a standard blueberry crumble muffins. A pretty standard muffin you typically see at a coffee shop or bakery, but gluten-free and vegan.

Getting the texture of the cake crumb perfectly moist but also fluffy and lightweight can be a challenge for gluten free and vegan baking, but the added liquid from the blueberries gives this recipe a little more of a challenge. I tested and tested and tested (and ate!) tons of these muffins to ensure they were just perfect for you all! I love the sweet and sugary crumble on top for added texture and sweetness.

Let’s bake these muffins!

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Gluten Free & Vegan Blueberry Crumble Muffins

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 muffins
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: baking

Description

These blueberry crumble muffins are everything you love about your bakery muffin but vegan and gluten free. A perfect sweet treat for any occasion, brunch or party!


Ingredients

Muffins:

– 1/2 cup of vegan butter

– 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar

– 2 tsp of vanilla extract

– 1/2 cups of almond milk

– 2 tsp of baking powder

– 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon 

– 2 1/4 cups of gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1)

– 3 tbsp of almond flour

– 2 cups of fresh blueberries

Crumble:

– 2 tbsp of butter

 – 2 tbsp of sugar

– pinch ground cinnamon


Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°f and line your muffin pan with muffin liners
  2. In your bowl with a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream your vegan butter and your sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Next add in your vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon and almond milk
  4. Add in your gluten-free flour and almond flour until a batter starts to form
  5. Remove from the stand mixer or the hand mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold in your fresh blueberries
  6. Using a scoop, scoop the batter into your muffin liners approximately 3/4 full
  7. In a separate bowl, combine your sugar, vegan butter and cinnamon to form sand like texture
  8. Sprinkle the sugar on top of each muffin 
  9. Bake your muffins for 37-45 minutes until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  10. Let your muffins cool for about 40 minutes before eating – blueberries will be very hot!
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

I use only Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1:1 flour in my recipe testing, it is the best on the market! 

Keywords: gluten free and vegan blueberry crumble muffins

Why fresh blueberries?

I developed this recipe using fresh blueberries rather than frozen because of the water content. As you know when you freeze blueberries they retain all their water and then start to melt and leak their juices out. This extra water content creates a gummy like texture within the cake crumb. I highly suggest using fresh blueberries for this recipe. If you don’t have access to fresh blueberries, try my jam recipe instead!

With Easter and Mother’s Day on the horizon, this the perfect recipe for a spring celebration! You can even make them ahead of time and store in a air tight container so your day of prep is just opening the container!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Sugar-Free Oatmeal Cookies

I mentioned in my last post how I have a huge list of recipes that I have been curating over my sugar-free January month! As February set in, I was still having a lot of fun with my sugar-fee recipes and felt like I needed to continue to develop these recipes more year round. Oatmeal cookies were a staple in my house growing up! I knew that this was the cookie my mom was baking when she wanted cookies. Not until I started to bake around age 8, did I really realize why these cookies were staples in our house. Not only are they truly delish, they are so easy to make! In just a few minutes the dough is ready and you have cookies at your fingertips!

Front Paige  Gluten-Free and Vegan Sugar-free oatmeal cookies

My mom loves her cookies crispy…but I love a crispy edge with a soft center. A big bonus if the cookies have deep pools of melted chocolate, literally drool worthy! I love how nutty the oatmeal is when it is cooked with the vegan butter. Thee flavor mixed with the rich dark chocolate is one of my favorites. But, hey, I also put chocolate chips in my breakfast oatmeal so like it is all good!

Front Paige  Gluten-Free and Vegan Sugar-free oatmeal cookies

When I was developing this recipe I wanted to create a cookie that was sweet, but not painfully sweet. I wanted to let the oat flavor shine through but also be paired well with the rich chocolate chips and mild nut butter flavor.

Let’s Bake!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Sugar-Free Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 28 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

All of the flavor of your favorite oatmeal cookie with rich dark chocolate but sweetened with natural sugar. The nutty oats, sweet maple syrup and rich dark chocolate dance in unison when baked together in this healthy oatmeal cookie.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of vegan butter
  • 4 tbsp of nut butter ( I like to use creamy peanut butter)
  • 6 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2/3 cups of gluten-free flour 
  • 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/3 cups of dairy free dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cups of dairy free milk ( I like to use cashew milk)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with a silicon baking sheet or  parchment paper
  2. In a bowl whip your vegan butter, nut butter and the maple syrup together until well combined
  3. Next, add in your vanilla extract, salt and baking powder until combined
  4. Alternate your dairy free milk and gluten free flour until combined into a dough
  5. Remove your hand mixer or mixing attachment and using a rubber spatula, fold in your oats and your chocolate chips
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop about 1.5″ balls of dough and using your palms, roll the dough into a ball
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes (10 if you want them softer), let them cool and repeat with the rest of your cookie dough 
  8. Enjoy!

Since these cookies are sugar free I love to eat them for breakfast! I have said a few times on my blog that I have the biggest sweet tooth when I wake up. The thought of savory breakfast makes me shudder! I think it is the combination of the spice and coffee that throws me off, but a stack of pancakes, a warm breakfast cookie or my favorite peanut butter toast is how I start my day. On more occasions than not, I find myself making extra batches of these cookies so I can munch on them for breakfast as I sip my morning coffee. Name a better way to start the day?!

Front Paige  Gluten-Free and Vegan Sugar-free oatmeal cookies

You should totally make these!

I know I might be bias because I developed this recipe, but truly, it is so delicious! Creamy, but nutty with a touch of sweetness. I think you should all give this one a try!

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread

I am in love with cinnamon. Truly, ground cinnamon is my favorite spice. It is so versatile for both savory and sweet recipes. I love adding it to my baking with chocolate to enhance the flavor and also add it into savory dishes as well. When I think of the ultimate sweet, and spicy treat, my mind goes to cinnamon rolls. There is something just so satisfying about the cinnamon sugar, gooey center and sweetness of the dough. If you haven’t gathered in the last 5 sentences, I love cinnamon sugar! My go-to recipe for yeasty cinnamon sugar is my gluten-free and vegan monkey bread, gluten-free and vegan cinnamon swirl bread, and even my gluten-free and vegan cinnamon rolls.

If I could eat cinnamon rolls everyday…I literally would but they are a lot of work. The rising, the yeast, the rolling the mess, it is a full production, even fro someone like me that bakes everyday! I had been brainstorming recipes and I knew that I wanted to make a quick bread, because quick bread recipe are one of my favorites genres to develop. There is something so satisfying about the texture and the ability to create unique flavors into sweet loaves.

After a few brainstorms, I decided I wanted this recipe to not be a coffee cake. Coffee cake is a delicious snacking cake, but they are in their own genre. I felt like this recipe needed the gooey center of a traditional cinnamon roll that would have you reaching for the corner piece. The soft and sweet center has the same sweet flavor of a yeasted cinnamon roll without the rising! Top with the cinnamon spiced icing and you will be smiling all day long!

Everything you love about cinnamon rolls but in quick bread form! Sweet and spicy with gooey cinnamon sugar ribbons topped with a sweet cinnamon glaze. Bake this delicious treat for an occasion without all the work of traditional cinnamon rolls!

Let’s Bake!

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf of bread 1x
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: baking

Description

Everything you love about cinnamon rolls but in quick bread form! Sweet and spicy with gooey cinnamon sugar ribbons topped with a sweet cinnamon glaze. Bake this delicious treat for an occasion without all the work of traditional cinnamon rolls!


Scale

Ingredients

Loaf:

  • 1/2 cups of vegan butter
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of unsweetened dairy free milk or water (I like to use unsweetened cashew milk)
  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour (I use Bobs Red Mill 1-to-1)

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl:

  • 2 tbsp of melted vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar

Icing Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 23 tbsp of water or dairy-free milk
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease your loaf pan with vegan butter
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream your vegan butter and sugar together until lighter in color and fluffy
  3. Next, add in your vanilla, baking powder and salt
  4. Alternate adding the dairy-free milk and gluten-free flour until your batter has formed
  5. In a separate bowl, stir your melted butter, sugar and cinnamon together to form a sugar paste
  6. Pour half of your batter into your prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly with your rubber spatula
  7. Spoon half of your cinnamon sugar mixture on top of your batter
  8. Using a knife, gently swirl your sugar into your batter
  9. Pour the rest of your batter onto of the sugar swirl and spread evenly with a spatula
  10. Using your remaining sugar mixture, swirl your cinnamon sugar on top of your batter
  11. Bake your quick bread in your heated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  12. While your quick bread is cooling, mix your glaze together until it forms a semi-loose glaze
  13. Drizzle the icing on top of your loaf when your quick bread is completely cooled
  14. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

* this recipe has only been tested with Bobs Red Mill Gluten-free Flour 1-to-1

Keywords: gluten-free and vegan cinnamon rolls, gluten-free and vegan cinnamon roll quick bread, cinnamon roll bread, cinnamon rolls

Look at the glaze!

One thing that sets this recipe aside from others is the sweet + spicy glaze! The added cinnamon gives the traditionally sweet glaze a little kick! The little pieces of ground cinnamon add to the color of the glaze giving it some life!

Go ahead and try it for yourself!

This is now my go to recipe for a brunch, sweet snack or dessert when I am craving cinnamon rolls! Give it a try yourself and tag me if you make it!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I started baking with sugar today for the first time after 35 days of sugar-free recipes. During sugar-free January I was so inspired to create, develop and experiment in the kitchen. With our move and this shift in life, I feel more inspired than ever to create. When we moved to Texas in early December (see my here) I was really burnt out. Like everyone, 2020 took a huge toll on my mental health and ability to cope. As everyone transitioned to working from home, my work went through the roof. The beauty of setting up and scaling a digital marketing business. In the middle of the pandemic, my husband was at training for 5 months (3 of which we couldn’t talk for – think old school snail mail every day). While I was in the middle of that 5 months apart, dealing with the everyday fear of covid from work, getting closer to my graduate degree, and also balancing a full-time job and clients, I was barely hanging on. I decided when I moved to take time for myself. Adapt to a new setting, settle into our house, and establish a baseline again.

I classify myself as a hummingbird, constantly moving, researching, and trying to grow myself. As much weight as I hold in always pushing, I never put any importance into the slow moments of recovery. At 26, I realized I need to recover as much as I need to push myself. I felt my creativity coming back in and the excitement I always felt when I baked filling my cup back up.

During the holiday, I put some serious effort into creating a list of recipes that I wanted to try to make. After a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, and yes I said quick, I left with a few boxes of Joe Joe’s (gluten-free!), and 3 pounds of dark chocolate. I would say that is a great trip to the store! I got one box of the peppermint Joe Joe’s because I need them to make my favorite holiday cookies! The other two boxes, well I hadn’t figured that out yet!

I was daydreaming about Oreos the other day and was thinking why not combine my sandwich cookies and my favorite chocolate cookies?! So, I did just that! These cookies are soft, rich, and full of rich cocoa flavor! The ultimate cookies n’ cream cookie!

Let’s Bake!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 35 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

The flavor of a rich brownie with chunks of sweet chocolate cream sandwich cookies for added texture! These gluten-free and vegan cookies will satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 3/4 of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cups of dairy free milk (I like to use cashew milk)
  • 1/2 cups of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of gluten-free flour – I always use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1
  • 1 cup of broken sandwich cookies (options: 1, 2, 3) – about 8 cookies

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat
  2. In a mixing bowl with either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Next, add your vanilla extract, baking powder, salt and dairy free milk
  4. Slowly add your cocoa powder one tablespoon at a time to your dough
  5. Mix until combined and there are no lumps in the dough
  6. Add your gluten-free flour to your cookie dough and beeat until just combined
  7. Using your hands, break about 8 sandwich cookies into bite size pieces or smaller and add to your dough
  8. Gently fold your cookies into the dough until there are pieces of cookie chunks ribboned in the dough
  9. Using a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons, scoop your cookie dough into 1″ cookie balls and place on a baking sheet
  10. Chill your cookie dough balls in the fridge forr 30 minutes until thtey are firm
  11. Bake for 10 minutes at 350° F until they spread slightly, repeat with your remaining cookie dough
  12. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack before eating
  13. Eat and enjoy!

Notes

* this recipe was tested using Bobs Red Mill Gluten-free 1:1 flour

 

Keywords: double chocolate cookies, gluten free cookies, vegan cookies

One thing that I love about these cookies is the texture! I love the crispy edges and the soft fudge center. The pieces of broken sandwich cookies keep their integrity but the creamy center slightly melts adding a delicious richness to the cookie. If you can’t tell, I am obsessed with these cookies!

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Refined Sugar-Free Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Sugar-free January is off with a bang! I have been really excited so far with this challenge and how my body has reacted. Like I have said before, in my last sugar-free January post (here), I talked about the ‘why’ behind this challenge for me. I do this challenge every year to change my habits, clear my taste buds, and reconnect to whole foods after about 6-months of recipe testing for Christmas. As a recipe developer and food photographer, holiday baking starts in the summer and continues through December. I start working with brands on content in mid-July and typically wrap holiday content by October and then I start for myself! The months of sugar starts altering my tastebud’s sweet receptors. Come January, sweet things are not as sweet as they should be.

One thing that I have been enjoying this month so far has been bananas! I am not someone who gravitates towards bananas for fruit. To me, there are so many more enjoyable fruits. But lately, I have been really into bananas. Bananas and peanut butter on toast, frozen dark chocolate-dipped bananas, and my all-time favorite sugar-free banana bread. I had a realization the other day, my craving for sugar is more craving for snacking when we watch a show after dinner. My go-to after dinner snack is PopZero Cinnamon Toast popcorn. It is an unreal snack! I am a huge cinnamon lover and a huge popcorn fan. I also love to add little chocolate chips when I needed that cinnamon and chocolate fix after dinner. That is where the double chocolate chip banana bread was born.

Let’s Start Baking!

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Sugar-Free Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: sugar-free
  • Method: baking

Description

A deep chocolate take on the best banana bread, but sugar-free! This bread is sweet, rich and full of rich chocolate flavor without the sugar! Not only is this bread sugar-free but it is gluten-free and dairy as well!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cups of melted vegan butter
  • 3/4 cups of maple syrup
  • 3/4 cups of almond or cashew milk (I use cashew milk)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg or flax egg
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cups of gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease your loaf pan with vegan butter
  2. Melt your vegan butter and add to your bowl
  3. Add your maple syrup and almond milk
  4. Mix your egg or flax egg  until well combined 
  5. Next, add in your vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, baking soda until combined
  6. Slowly add in your 1/2 cups of cocoa powder, scraping the sides of the bowls down to make sure nothing is dry
  7. Peel and add your ripe bananas to the batter and mix until the banana is broken into smaller pieces, but not fully broken down
  8. Add in your gluten-free flour one 1/2 cup at a time and scraping the sides down to ensure all the flour is mixed in
  9. Lastly, fold in  your sugar-free dark chocolate chips 
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, level the top and spread to the corners
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick that is inserted comes out clean
  12. Enjoy! 

Notes

*to make a flax egg mix 1 tbsp of ground flax meal and 2.5 tbsp of water, let it sit for 5 minutes to form a thick texture and add to your mix

Keywords: sugar-free double chocolate banana bread

One thing that I want to make clear is that sugar-free January is a personal challenge. I got the funniest call from my grandpa yesterday making sure that I am not giving health advice. He is in fact a doctor so I definitively appreciate his concern. As a food blogger, and recipe developer, I make it very clear that I am not going to give health or nutritional advice on my platform. My expertise is in the development of recipes for flavor, texture and allergies (ie celiac, and gluten-free). The reason that I do this challenge is purely personal. As a blogger, I find it fun, encouraging and more to share my daily adventures with my audience! So from my Grandpa Dr. Joe and I, enjoy this challenge as a personal challenge for yourself!

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Gluten-Free & Refined Sugar-Free Banana Bread

To kick off sugar-free January I am bringing you one of my FAVORITE recipes. I am a banana bread stan! I find it funny because I don’t necessarily love a plain banana, but there is something about banana bread that just makes me weak. The subtle cinnamon spice, the vanilla, bananas, and dark chocolate chunks just sing when they are paired together. I eat this recipe on the reg even when I am not participating in sugar-free January!

Sugar-free chocolate?

I love dark chocolate, but I haven’t always been a fan! I use to love a nice creamy piece of milk chocolate but then I became lactose intolerant with age and boy I can’t even think about eating milk chocolate now. There are so many incredible options for low sugar, dairy-free chocolate options that are delicious and so rich. Here is a list of my favorite sugar-free and dairy-free chocolates to eat and bake with, also a little discount for you as well! I get all of my specialty foods on Thrive Market and save those big bucks – truly – save so much money! Use this link for your discount and shop my list here.

Kick off of 2021

I don’t think I need to be the one to say this but…what a year 2020 was. There were extreme highs, and some crazy lows, add in a pandemic, and what a recipe for a year. One, thing that I focus on every day is the positive things that I love. A few of those things are being able to move my body (workout or take my doggie on a walk), how does my head feels (I have chronic cluster headaches – some days they are debilitating and other days I can push through), is my mood good? or what can I do to help my mood? These things may sound small but I really focus on the little victories every day that got me through each day. This year especially, I have had to focus on the little wins rather than the hardships that came with the year. This time last year, came with many challenges, sugar-free challenge aside.

I wrote a little bit about my career here, but 2020 was really a year of running and running and running! Between starting my graduate degree, working a full-time job, and maintain Front Paige Bakes along with my freelance clients – oh and starting a business, I needed a moment to breathe and reflect. I knew that I needed a moment to breathe when I moved down to Texas. And I have been doing just that. It has been glorious! I needed some time to adjust to my new schedule, house, and area down here as well as let some of the stress from the last year wash away. I am not good at allowing myself time off or less of a go-go-go routine, but this new season of life has given me clarity on the unsustainability of this lifestyle. A big goal of mine for 2021 is to allow me to have weekends off. This is HUGE for me…more on this later ;)!

Let’s bake!

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Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free Banana Bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: sugar-free
  • Method: baking

Description

Arguably the most baked recipe in my kitchen! Gluten-free and sugar-free but not short of sweet banana flavor or soft texture. Plus, this loaf is refined sugar free but full of rich sugar-free dark chocolate chunks. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cups of melted vegan butter
  • 3/4 cups of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg or flax egg
  • 23 large ripe bananas (preferably with brown spots)
  • 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cups of sugar-free dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°f and grease your loaf pan with vegan butter
  2. Melt your vegan butter and add to a bowl with your maple syrup
  3. Next add in your vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon
  4. Whisk your egg into the mixture until the egg or flax egg has been full incorporated
  5. Peel your bananas and add them to your bowl, gently break apart your bananas with your whisk but leave large chunks of the banana
  6. Add in your gluten-free flour using a folding motion to keep the banana chunky in the batter
  7. Chop your sugar-free dark chocolate into chunks or add your dark chocolate into the batter
  8. Pour your banana bread batter into your prepared loaf pan
  9. Bake your loaf for 45-55 minutes

Notes

* you can use honey rather than maple syrup – usee 1/2 cup of honey 1/4 cup of almond or dairy free milk

* you can use a flax egg rather than a chicken egg

*and you can always omit the chocolate – but it is delicious!

How’s it going?

How is sugar-free January going for you so far? I have had so much fun baking and creating delicious treats in the kitchen. I have made a huge batch of sugar-free banana bread and haven’t had many sugar cravings. I have found like I do every year, that when I am hungry and need a quick bite, I reach for a small handful of candy, a cookie or something sweet rather than something nutritious to fight my hunger. Those moments are the exact reason that I LOVE sugar-free January! I feel like I am reteaching my hunger queues and feeling my body rather than filling space while I make a meal.

Let’s continue on together and don’t forget to tag me in your yummy creations!

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Sugar-Free January 2021

For the past 4 years, I have done sugar-free January. This is less of a “detox” and more of a mental and physical break from the sugar intake during the holidays. Well, 2020 was a weird year and I have to say there were times I was only eating sweets (queue the Monkey bread, pumpkin cookies, lemon bread, and more) and then this December, my sugar intake was less than I expected. Typically, December is full of family parties, platters of homemade cookies, and sweet quick-breads before breakfast and dessert. 2020 was very different for the holiday. It was just Drew, Moose, and I in our new home in central Texas (read more about that here). Our dinner of two didn’t bring platters of cookies or cakes, but it did bring, cinnamon rolls and a few sugar cookies!

Why Sugar-Free January?

A few years ago, I was inspired by Pinch of Yum and her sugar-free January challenge. Rather than focusing on what I am cutting out, I try to focus every meal and snack on healthy foods that nourish. One thing that I find incredible is that in a few days into the challenge food starts tasting better. Does that make sense? My sweetness meter on my tongue decreases so apples, oranges and berries taste fresh. Greens taste more vibrant and I crave more salads than ever before! This challenge can be hard come 8:30pm and we are sitting on the couch watching a show and all I can think about are my little candies in the pantry, but that craving slowly leaves after about 1 week!

My “rules” for the challenge:

Setting Sugar-Free Boundaries

There are so many “sugar-free” options out there. From 0 calorie sweeteners to 0 calorie syrups for coffee, the options for “sugar-free” these days are endless, but that isn’t the point of this challenge. To my husband and me, this challenge is to remove all the refined sugars from our diet. Honey and maple syrup are naturally occurring sugars but, the reason that I allow these is because we don’t really eat these two options…like at all! When I crave sweets during this month, I aim for a handful of berries, an apple, or a clementine rather than pancakes or drenching something in honey. I make the choice to choose fruit over maple syrup or honey. Setting these boundaries allows me to stick to the rules for 30 days and I have to say, every year it gets easier. The best part of sugar-free January, setting boundaries and sticking to them is that my “need” for sugar decreases tremendously after the month. As a recipe developer – for mostly desserts, I am snacking on cakes, cookies, and treats all day and this challenge shows me ways to make treats delicious with less refined sugar. That was a long-winded way of saying, I set boundaries for many reasons and the biggest reason is for myself!

Who’s with me?!

If you want to join, I would love that! I will be sharing some gluten-free and vegan recipes that are sugar-free for the month! Let’s indulge in the good and leave the sugar out of the picture (for a little bit 😉 )! If you are craving some cookies, I have you covered! I am a sweet CRAVER in the morning! I love a breakfast cookie, a pancake, or a cinnamon roll! I developed a few recipes last year that are guilt-free and oh-so-delicious!

Sugar-Free Recipes View All

Let’s Conquer this challenge!

Let’s do this fun challenge together! Tag me if you make a yummy sugar-free recipe and I will post fun recipes through the month! Remember, to have fun, enjoy and don’t take it too seriously! The challenge is for yourself, your tastebuds and your mental clarity! Bring it on!

xo, Paige

Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

I am a firm believer that there is nothing better than a slice of cake, a cookie, and a rich and fudge brownie. Sometimes I think there is no better medicine than a brownie. Growing up, brownies were always the thing that took forever to make and honestly was never fun! As an adult, I am realizing that the recipe I used just sucked. I had to melt the chocolate. Shave the chocolate and yada yada. After years of dreading the process of making brownies, I have created the most delicious gluten-free and vegan brownie. Say goodbye to dry and boring brownies.

It is no surprise that chocolate is amazing. But something about the holiday season makes chocolate taste that much better! Last year, I was on a chocolate kick with my chocolate snickerdoodles, chocolate crinkle cookies, peppermint chocolate chunk cookies (these are amazing!), and peppermint chocolate chunk quick-bread. This year, with our move I have been focusing on my favorite recipes from the past!

When I created this recipe, I wanted this to be the easiest go-to recipe for gluten-free brownies. Brownies to me need to have a gooey center, crispy edges, and that nice crinkly top! Chocolate chunks are a plus – and sometimes the occasional walnut! These brownies have all those components but are gluten-free and vegan. I mean…woah, am I right?

What makes a good gluten-free brownie?

Consistency with gluten-free baked goods is key! I always use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 flour and Earth Balance vegan butter. Bob’s Red Mill flour (specifically the 1:1) is the BEST gluten-free flour. Not all gluten-free flour is created equally. Some contain different blends that have too much or too little of certain grains. If your baked goods are turning out wet they have too much almond flour in them, if they are dry there is too much rice flour or coconut flour in your mixture. I write all of my recipes with gluten-free 1:1 flour for consistency and texture that emulates all-purpose flour.

Let’s bake some brownies!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies (2.5×2.5″) 1x
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

The best gluten-free and vegan brownies you will ever taste. They have crispy edges, crinkly top and the soft and gooey center makes these a dream! These brownies are easy to make and a crowd favorite.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups of melted vegan butter ( I use earth balance)
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  •  2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk or dairy free alternative
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 cups of unsweetend cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cups of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°f and lightly grease a 9×9″ pan with vegan butter
  2. Melt your butter and chop your chocolate into chunks – set the chocolate aside
  3. In your bowl, combine your melted butter and sugar
  4. Add in your vanilla extract, salt and baking powder
  5. Next add your cocoa powder and almond milk
  6. Finally, mix in your gluten-free flour until a batter forms
  7. Fold in your chocolate chips or chunks with a rubber spatula and spread evenly into your pan
  8. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the top is crispy and the middle comes out with minimal crumbs when tested with a toothpick
  9. Let the brownies cool for at least 15 minutes before eating
  10. Enjoy!

Keywords: gluten-free brownies, gluten free vegan brownies, vegan brownies

Are you ready to bake now?

My mouth is watering is yours? One thing I have to remind myself with this recipe is that I shouldn’t eat a brownie without a big glass of water or cashew milk (my favorite milk), because dang they are fantastic! The rich chocolate flavor shines with the soft center and the crunchy edges are oh-so mouth watering with every bite!

Follow along for more!

Follow my social for my day to day, my email for new recipes and tag me if you make any of them!

Other posts:

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Gluten Free & Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars
Gluten Free & Vegan Sugar Cookie Bars are sweet, soft and everything …

We Bought a House!

I’ve re-written this post probably three times now and I just feel like I have to get it out! If you are new here, HI and WELCOME! Over the past four years of post-college graduation, my husband and I have been mobile for his career in the military. Last year, after three years of service in the Air Force he transitioned to civilian life. We moved back to Montana to be closer to family. Between settling back into the place where I started http://www.frontpaige.net, we met and went to college we had an itch we couldn’t quite scratch. I took a leap of faith and rebranded my digital marketing business (that Paige Bakes is a part of!) and Drew had the opportunity to take training in South Carolina for a few months. He was presented with an incredible opportunity to join a new EOD team in Texas.

It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks and let’s just say there have been incredible highs and some lows. It has been incredible to be so close to both our parents and around an incredible group of friends. But this transition has given us some amazing highs! I am taking the leap to go back to working full time on my business, and help grow my clients business – and finish my graduate degree in the spring! There are so many exciting moments that have happened in the last few months.

When I turned 21, I made a list of goals I wanted to achieve in my 20s. One of those was to purchase a house, with no help by the time I was 30. In 2019, we made an offer on an adorable house in Bozeman, right after we moved back to Montana. I was devastated when they didn’t accept our offer. Something about the process and the excitement made the possibility so real. We found an adorable rental that made the past year 10x better! I was able to walk to work every day – semi year-round. The negative temps were too cold for my moose and me!

In early July of 2020, in the rush of this COVID-19 world, my husband Drew got to go to training for his military work. Three months led into four with some very exciting news for his career. He was presented with the opportunity to join a new team in Texas on active duty. After careful and quick consideration, we took the leap for our family. With Drew being on orders in Texas and Moose and I finishing up my work at Heyday in Bozeman, (I am their e-commerce manager), it has been a crazy almost two months. Since this is the first location we will be stationed at for longer than a year, we decided to start looking for a house to buy. When I say we, Drew actually! He was able to get 48 hours to come back to Montana to gather his car and we could lay some groundwork on looking at areas to purchase in central Texas.

Drew’s 48 hours in Bozeman before leaving for Texas again

As soon as Drew got back to Texas he started working with another EOD wife who is a realtor. She made my life so easy from afar, that I couldn’t recommend working with her enough (Kylie – Pelham Group)! Drew found an adorable place, I have only seen on facetime – crazy I know! We closed this past week and our household goods are en route from Montana to our new home. In a few short weeks, Moose and I will be hitting the highways and headed south to join Drew!

It might sound silly, or even hard to understand but military life isn’t for everyone or every spouse. It’s hard to explain that this excitement and constant moving excites me. When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I jumpstarted my career with a long and hard year of long-distance before we got married. I started to establish my career remotely and turning my passions into a business. When I started Paige Bakes, I was always hustling and bustling with a full-time job and Paige Bakes took the brunt of it. I am so excited to be able to bring more to you through this platform, share more of my life, and really bring you along for the exciting moments in and out of the kitchen! PS. I can’t wait to give you a kitchen tour of MY new kitchen!

Along with my work here, you can catch me building brands strategies, e-commerce and marketing through my business – Dot Digital Media LLC.

In the meantime! Check out my instagram for more updates and exciting things – like pictures of our new house!

Gluten-Free + Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

One of the most iconic cookies of the holidays in our family is the chocolate crinkle cookie. These little cookies are not only full of rich chocolate flavor, the powdered sugar makes them so festive for the holiday season! Really, anything with a powdered sugar dusting makes me so excited for Christmas! If only snow was as sweet and delish as powdered sugar!

The chocolate cookie! Let’s start there! Most gluten-free treats are dry and bland, but these chocolate cookies are soft and pillowy. The deep chocolate flavor with the touch of cinnamon adds a flavor similar to Mexican hot chocolate (which is amazing!). By adding a touch of cinnamon to these cookies the cocoa powder shines with every bite!

Let’s start baking!

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Gluten-free + Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

Chocolate crinkle cookies are the best cookie of the holidays! This gluten-free and vegan take on thee classic cookie is a great addition to your holiday treat menu!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cups of vegan butter
  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of 1:1 gluten-free flour (bob’s red mill is my fave!)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  •  1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment, reusable silicon pad or grease with vegan butter
  2. in a bowl with a mixer cream your vegan butter with your sugar – about 3 minutes until light and fluffy
  3. once they are mixed add in your vanilla extract, almond milk, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and ground cinnamon
  4. next add in your gluten-free flour, 1/4 cup at a time until well combined
  5. in a separate bowl, add your powdered sugar
  6. pinch 1″ ball of dough and roll in the palms of your hands to form a ball, roll each ball in the powdered sugar and set onto the baking sheet 2″ apart
  7. repeat until your dough is all rolled
  8. bake for 10-12 minutes and enjoy warm!

I love to bake these cookies for all my friends, neighbors, and co-workers because they last a really long time in a Tupperware on the counter! From the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas dinner I have these cookies on repeat in the oven. My chocolate snickerdoodles, chocolate peppermint bread and these are my go-to chocolate recipes for the holiday season!

Every Christmas I make a charcuterie style platter but with all cookies and treats! This year, I am filling the platter with chocolate crinkle cookies, pumpkin bread cookies, bites from my gluten-free and vegan monkey bread, and my gluten-free and vegan peppermint chocolate chunk cookies. The combination of all of these on one big platter makes the most ultimate Christmas treat platter! I’ll let you in on a secret! These recipes will fool any gluten-free teasers! My father-in-law personally loves all these recipes and secretly thinks they are healthy – we will let him have that one!

I can’t wait to see you all try these recipes and more importantly these cookies this holiday season! Tag me in all your baking adventures! @frontpaigebakes

Gluten-Free + Vegan Chai Quick Bread

I have been trying to track down a gluten-free and vegan chai powder for a little while now. After finding the ideal chai powder, I was overjoyed! Since being diagnosed with celiac disease 6 years ago, my dairy intolerance kicked up a notch. Most coffee shops use a chai powder that has powdered milk in it as a thickener. I never knew what I was missing until I had my first dirty chai! The warmth of the spices mixed with the espresso and a splash of coconut milk form the most delicious fall drink. That cup of warmth is what I wanted to recreate in a quick bread form.

What is Chai?

Chai is a combination of black tea, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper. In a powdered chai, the black tea is dehydrated and ground with the other spices to create a consistency that dissolves in your warm milk of choice. When baking with the chai powder, the spices bloom when they are heated in the batter and create a rich warm spice blend. The rich and warm chai spice combination is spicy, sweet, and bakes so well! In this quickbread, it was key to balance the spice with enough sugar to create a delicious balance. The moist crumb of the cake from the vegan butter is light, fluffy, and full of just enough moisture to hold in the flavor!

Let’s start baking!

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Chai Quick Bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: bread
  • Method: baking

Description

This chai quick bread is sweet, spicy and so warm! The perfect fall recipes for afternoon tea or a tasty dessert!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tsp of chai powder
  • 1 cup of almond or dairy alternative milk
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour

Glaze: 

  • 1/2 tsp of chai powder
  • 2 tbsp of almond milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 24 cups of powdered sugar (depending on how thick you want your glaze)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and grease your loaf pan with vegan butter
  2. In a bowl cream your vegan butter with your sugar until it is light and fluffy
  3. Add in your vanilla extract and combine well
  4. Next add in your chai spice, baking powder and salt
  5. Alternating between your gluten-free flour and your almond milk, combine until the batter starts to form
  6. Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour
  7. While your quick bread is baking, combine your chai spice, vanilla, water and powdered sugar
  8. Once the quick bread is fully cool drizzle your icing over top
  9. Enjoy!

How to enjoy your chai quick bread:

Like your apple, zucchini or pumpkin bread, this bread is so delicious to eat for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a sweet dessert! I love to have a slice when the temperature dips around 4 pm and the couch is calling for an after-work break before dinner. Name a better appetizer?! When I indulge and have a slice for breakfast, I love to have it slightly warmed with a cup of hot coffee. Talk about a cozy way to start your fall morning!

Whether you eat it in the morning or night, you will enjoy a slice of this chai cake to really bring in the fall vibes!

Gluten-free & Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin season – deep sign. Yes, it is that amazing. I love pumpkin bread because of the cinnamon and nutmeg combination with the pumpkin. These flavors together are so warm and cozy that it makes so much sense to be associated with fall! I have a few pumpkin bread recipes on my sites like this classic gluten-free and vegan pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, and then this delicious pumpkin bread with a streusel topping. Both are so fun but something about pumpkin cookies that have the same properties of a muffin top gives me fall goosebumps.

I grew up in the hills of the Bay Area, and falls in this region are absolutely perfect. They are fresh and crisp in the morning, warming up for beautiful midday and cooling off in the evening while the bay fog rolls over the hills. As a kid, my sister and I would rush home from school, bake pumpkin bread from the trusty Trader Joe’s box mix (not gluten-free haha!), and watch the fog settle in over the hills while it baked. Filling the house with warm spices and sweet sugary scents. We would slice off a thick piece of bread and rush downstairs to snuggle on the couch after dinner while we settled into our favorite show, Psych (y’all need to watch it!).

Why Pumpkin Cookies?

Why not pumpkin cookies is the real question! I love that pumpkin cookies are soft, fluffy, and the best parts of the top of pumpkin bread but in an easy to eat cookie form. These cookies are not too sweet, but have a really nice balance of spice, sweet, and chocolate! I brought them to my team at work and they were gone instantly! Each bite is melt in your mouth deliciousness for fall!

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