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Paige

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 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!

Sugar-Free View All

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
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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 & Refined Sugar-Free Banana Bread
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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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Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Bread Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

All the flavor of pumpkin bread but in cookie form! These cookies are sweet, spicy and fluffy speckled with rich chocolate chips for extra flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp of ground clove
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup of gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream your vegan butter with your sugar until the butter and sugar become fluffy in texture
  3. Next add your spices and baking powder, stir until combined
  4. Next add in your vanilla extract and your cup of canned pumpkin
  5. Stir until the batter is incorporated
  6. Next add in your flour 1/2 cup at a time until the batter starts to form
  7. Remove the paddle from your stand mixer and fold in your chocolate chips
  8. Using a big spoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop your cookie dough onto a lined cookie sheet
  9. Bake your cookies for about 18-20 minutes for 2.5″ cookie
  10. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before eating
  11. Enjoy! 

Notes

* can use pumpkin pie spice – omit the other spices and use 2.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Keywords: gluten free pumpkin cookies, gluten free and vegan pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin is a great egg substitute!

I love using pumpkin for not only pumpkin forward desserts but for an egg replacement as well! The natural moisture in the squash and volume mimics an egg when you bake! In this recipe, the 1 cup of pumpkin not only adds flavor but it gives these cookies tons of moisture. The canned pumpkin also gives these cookies a fluffy texture. Talk about moist, fluffy, and heavenly cookies!

Give them a try!

You should 500% make these and get into the fall spirit! Not only have I made these 4 times since I created the final recipe, but I will be making them ALL year long! I am that person that stockpiles canned pumpkin so when I test recipes in July for November, I have pumpkin on deck! Maybe that is just a funny thing food bloggers do? You tell me! I would love to see if you test them out, tag me in your posts @frontpaigebakes! Happy Fall baking!

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Apple Butter Muffins

It’s that time of year, pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, and more! I live for 60°F weather, warm cinnamon baking in breads, cookies and maybe even a dash in my coffee. This past summer was hard for me. I love to bake every day but with no AC in our house and the work piling up, I felt like my baking inspiration missed me.

I don’t talk about it much, but I briefly talked about it in this post here, my husband is in the military, and with his job comes months of training, deployments, and time apart – which is not fun. The weight of the world in our country has been a lot to handle alone and my outlet has always been cooking. Since the temperature has dropped I am starting to find my groove again in the kitchen. Filling my mornings with a cup of coffee, a phone call with my husband, and something delicious baking in the oven.

In Montana, we don’t really have fall. We go from 90°F to a week of freezing cold, back to 60° for a little bit then bring on the snow! I try to capitalize on the fall feeling as early and much as I can before suddenly I wake up to 5′ of snow on the ground and sub-zero temps! So, I am definitely having my moment while it lasts!

One of my favorite apples to bake with is quite contrary to the baking world! The most common apple is by far the tart granny smith, but when I make spicy loaves of bread with cinnamon, nutmeg and apples I love to cook with Honeycrisp apples. They are bright, fresh, and crisp tasting and they hold those notes when they are baked, adding a delicious flavor to the recipe. One thing I love about these little muffins is that you can have them for breakfast and afternoon snack or dessert! They are perfectly sweet, bright, and literally taste like fall in one bite!

Let’s start baking!

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Apple Butter Muffins

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9 muffins 1x
  • Category: muffins, bread
  • Method: baking

Description

These gluten-free and vegan apple butter muffins are perfectly sweet, spicy and full of bright apple flavor. A perfect snack, or dessert to capture fall perfectly.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 or 1 cup of cubbed honeycrisp apple (skin on)
  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of dairy alternative milk
  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup of apple butter
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 3 tsp of sugar for the top

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°f and line your muffin tin with parchment muffin liners or grease each cup with vegan butter
  2. In your bowl with a mixer cream your sugar and your butter together until smooth
  3. Next add in your vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder
  4. When that is combined alternate adding in 1/2 cup at a time, the dairy alternative mik and the gluten free flour until a batter forms
  5. Next cube 1/2 of your apple and gently fold it into your batter with 3 tsp of your apple butter
  6. Using a tablespoon, add one tablespoon to the bottom of your muffin liner, then a teaspoon of apple butter and top with another 2 tablespoons of muffin batter
  7. Continue this layering technique until you have filled 9 spots in your pan or until the batter is gone, sprinkle each some sugar before baking
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean

Why Apple Butter?

When it comes to apple butter, I think people think it is actually butter. Like a Pecan whipped butter or cinnamon honey butter, but in fact, apple butter is just essentially fancy apple sauce…with way more sugar! I love to spread it on toast like a jam, bake with it, and even cover a fresh log of goat cheese with it for a holiday appetizer. The possibilities are endless!

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3-Person Gluten-Free Cherry Cobbler

The little things lately are what get me through this weird time we are in! I love summer for many reasons, but arguably I love it most for the fresh fruit, vegetables and copious amounts of vegan ice cream I can eat!

Up in Montana we have a short window of Flat Head Cherries…if you ever visit, buy yourself a bag because they are unlike anything in the world. They are tart on the skin, but deeply sweet inside. So dark in color they are almost black and the firmest little cherries you ever ate!

What is a cobbler?

Besides peach cobbler, cherry cobbler is my favorite way to enjoy the rest of summer cherries…and even better with a scoop of vegan ice cream! Cobblers are a really effortless dessert. The cobbler originated in England when they didn’t have enough food to make a traditional pie and would cover puddings, custards, and baked fruit with a layer of dumpling or biscuit. They slowly developed more into the various kinds of cobblers we see today. If you head to the south your traditional cobbler will have a big flakey biscuit on top, but I like more of a crumble style cobbler. Whatever your preference, just enjoy it!

This recipe is more of a crumble style cobbler, with a crust made from oats, gluten-free flour, vegan butter, sugar and a touch of cinnamon. I think the subtle spice in the cinnamon adds great depth to the sweetness of the cherries and the sugar on the topping.

Let’s bake a cherry cobbler!

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3-Person Cherry Cobbler

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 ramekin cobblers
  • Category: baking
  • Method: baking

Description

The perfect summer dessert perfectly proportioned for you and 2 other people! This 3-person cherry cobbler is a must for using sweet summer fruit!


Ingredients

– 2 cups of pitted cherries

– 1/4 tsp of salt (only if the cherries are super sweet)

topping:

– 4 tbsp of butter

– 3 tbsp of gluten-free flour

– 2 tbsp of gluten-free oats

– 1 tbsp of sugar

– 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon


Instructions

1. pre-heat your oven to 350°F 

2. wash, pit and half your cherries

3. mix with your 1/4 tsp of salt (only if your cherries are very sweet) and place in your 3 ramekins

4. for the topping, using a fork or your fingers, create a crumb with your cinnamon, gluten-free flour, gluten-free oats and vegan butter

5. place the topping on your cherries and place in the oven for 25-35 minutes until the top is golden and the cherries are bubbling

* place a piece of parchment or baking sheet under the ramekins to control the bubble over


Notes

– scale to 3x for a 8×8 baking dish too feed 6

– use ripe cherries for a better taste

Keywords: cherry cobbler, gluten-free cherry cobbler, vegan cherry cobbler, 3 person cherry cobbler

What do you top your cobbler with?

Let’s talk cobbler toppings. I am a plain vanilla ice cream gal when it comes to a cobbler. One big scoop while the ramekin is still warm so the ice cream starts to soften into the fruit is my version of summer heaven. If you are not an ice cream lover, plain is a great way to eat this too, and arguably better for breakfast (wink wink!). One of my favorite ways to eat cobbler is for breakfast if you haven’t tried it, now is your chance! It’s like having apple pie for breakfast after Thanksgiving, it just works so well!

3-Person Recipes

If you have a family structure like mine, you don’t need a pan of a cobbler, as much as I could eat one myself (bring on the tummy ache!). When it is just Drew and I and we need a sweet treat, I like to half the recipe for pies, cobblers, and sometimes even cakes because it turns into food waste when we don’t finish it. When I was working at Williams Sonoma in San Francisco, I attended one of their sample sales (my favorite sale of the quarter), as I was walking down the warehouse aisles searching for all the little kitchen goodies through shelves of floor samples and more, I found 3 Apilco porcelain ramekins just waiting for me. They are hands down my favorite little bakers and make perfectly proportioned desserts from cobblers to personalized brownies. I highly recommend getting a set for yourself!

Try this recipe for yourself!

Enjoy your summer baking and try this recipe for yourself! Tag me if you make it!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Zucchini Bread

I love summer! The fresh fruits and vegetables, the warm sun on my skin and all the birds chirping! Arguably one of the happiest seasons!

This summer is a little different for our family. I don’t tend to share a ton of information about my family but my husband is in the military. His career allows us to move every year for the past 4 years, typically in June! It is surreal that this year we are still in Montana! At first we thought this summer was going to be full of adventures and more with us both being in Montana. But, he is on a training trip for the next three months which means all the loafs of bread, pies and cakes are filling my house with no one to eat them!

Being a military spouse is a sacrifice.

If any of you guys are military spouses you understand the intense sacrifice and hardships it is when your spouse leaves for a trip, deployment or you move from a place you loved. It never gets easier. In fact, I find it harder with every trip he takes. My heart aches, my days feel weirdly long and my concept of time is shot! I am an early riser by nature, thriving in the mornings, but when Drew is on a trip my concept of nighttime and the end of the workday is gone. I find myself puttering around in the kitchen until 12 am. Then waking up at 5am and filling my time to not be lonely.

A few weeks ago, while I was in my in-laws garden I had this intense desire to make zucchini bread! Last summer my diet consisted of zucchini bread, strawberries and lemonade. A very well rounded diet (ha!). This summer is no exception to the zucchini bread diet!

What is Zucchini bread?

Zucchini bread sounds really strange, and to be honest the first time that I tried it, I was a little skeptical. The flavor of the zucchini is earthy and the spices of the nutmeg, and cinnamon add richness to the bread. The chocolate chips balance the spice with the deep chocolate flavor and then the butter in the bread gives great moisture to the loaf.

I can honestly say, don’t know it till you’ve tried it!

Let’s make a quick bread!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 90 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: bread
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: gluten-free

Description

The gluten-free and vegan zucchini bread of the summer! Use your fresh vegetables in a sweet, spicy and moist quick bread!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini or 1 cup of shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup of melted vegan butter ( I use earth balance)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of dairy free milk
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup of gluten free flour ( I use Bobs Red Mill 1:1)

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven too 350°F and grease your loaf pan with vegan butter
  2. Shred or make very small cubes with your zucchini and set on a towel with the 1/2 tsp of salt sprinkled over the cut zucchini (this causes it to sweat out the liquid)
  3. Gently melt your vegan butter and add to a stand mixing bowl or a bowl with a hand mixer
  4. Add your sugar, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda to your melted butter
  5. Combine well, and add in your almond flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg until well combined
  6. Next add in your almond milk and mix until the batter is loose
  7. Then add in your gluten free flour blend and mix until the batter thickens slightly
  8. Take your zucchini and with your towel, squeeze the liquid out of your zucchini and add in your zucchini to your batter
  9. Next fold, in your chocolate chips 
  10. Pour batter in to your loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  11. Let cool and enjoy!

Why Zucchini Bread?

Let’s talk why we use zucchini in bread rather than a different squash. Zucchini is mild in flavor, but adds pairs incredibly well with sweet elements like cinnamon and chocolate. Zucchini is really high in vitamins and minerals that aid in nutrition for your baked goods. Not to mention their moisture. If you have ever cooked with zucchini you know they have to cook down for a while to get a good texture, this is because they are a high water content vegetable. When you grate them and sweat them out before you place them in your batter, they release about 1/2 of their water. This allows the extra water to add great moisture to the quick bread and bulk to the batter. So really, why not use zucchini!?

Tag @frontpaigebakes

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Twix Bars

Through this pandemic I have been baking up a storm (per usual!) and like everyone else finding new ways to include pantry ingredients into recipes! A few years back I made milky way bars and boy are they so good – but they are some major work. Making coconut caramel at home is so fun but also a lot of work if you can’t get the proportions right and to be honest, every can of coconut can be different!
I recently received this vegan coconut caramel that is UNREAL. Skip making homemade caramel and just use this! I am all for pantry recipes and this twix bar recipe takes pantry cooking to the next level!

Front Paige, gluten-free and vegan gourmet twix bars.

I have been obsessed for the last two years with Bon Appetite’s youtube channel, especially Claire when she makes gourmet versions of food. These twix bars are my gluten-free and vegan gourmet version of a twix bar – pantry edition! Unlike the Bon Appetite recipes, this gourmet twix bar is SO easy to make! No boiling sugar and cream for the caramel or even tempering chocolate, the only thing you have to bake is the sugary sweet shortbread base!

Front Paige, gluten-free and vegan gourmet twix bars.

Why Gourmet Twix Bars?

During summers as a kid our family would head to Idaho for a week every summer to spend time by the lake with our best friends. We would jump off the docks, swim to the sandbar and eat rolo’s and twix bars until our stomach hurt. As a kid we were lucky enough to have a very balanced healthy diet. When we went to the lake our nutrition revolved around 3 major food groups, caramel, chocolate and cookies.

Now that it is starting to get warm, I was craving a twix bar. Having celiac and a dairy allergy means I simply cannot have a twix bar – so I had to make them! I had so much fun making the shortbread, melting the Bloom vegan caramel and drizzling dark chocolate over the top!

Front Paige, gluten-free and vegan gourmet twix bars.

Let’s make gourmet twix bars!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Gourmet Twix Bars

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes, 60 Minutes to chill
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 bars 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking

Description

A pantry version of your favorite candy bar! But also, vegan and gluten-free for all you guys and gals like me!


Scale

Ingredients

Shortbread

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup of gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Caramel:

Chocolate

  • 1/3 cup of vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F and lightly butter your loaf pan (you can use a square 8×8 as well – the cookie won’t be as thick)
  2. In your bowl with a hand mixer or a stander mixer, cream your butter and sugar until fluffy
  3. Next add your baking powder, salt and vanilla extract
  4. Finally, add in your gluten-free flour, until a dough forms
  5. Put the dough into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes until golden on the edges
  6. Let your cookie cool completely and warm up your caramel either in the microwave for 15 seconds or using a double boiler so your caramel is easily spreadable
  7. Once your cookie is cool, pour your melty caramel overtop and place into the fridge for 40 minutes to chill
  8. Once your caramel has set, melt your chocolate chips with your coconut oil and still until combined
  9. Using a fork, drizzle over the caramel topping and let chill another 30 minutes
  10. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to eat
  11. Enjoy!

Keywords: gluten free recipes, gluten free twix bars, gluten free dessert

Front Paige, gluten-free and vegan gourmet twix bars.

let gourmet twix bars be the recipe of summer!

I know this summer (once we are over social distancing) these are going to be my go-to recipe for summer parties. I can’t stress how easy these are to make and they taste like they take a million years to make!

Add your own flair with other types of caramel, even adding flakey salt on top would be a dream! I know the Bon Appetite test kitchen would approve of the salt usage on top!

Front Paige, gluten-free and vegan gourmet twix bars.

Tag me if you make them!

If you make these delicious treats, tag me so I can see your creations! As always, all

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paid in partnership with Foodlyn, all opinions, research and recipe created by Paige Bakes

Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free Cinnamon Almond No Bake Superfood Bites

I am all for a quick healthy treat! I love to make protein bites, super food bites and all things that can be grabbed and taken out the door!

These little no bake bites are full of natural flavor, healthy fats, omega 3 fatty acids and allergen fighting properties (ie honey!). I love the crunch, the sweet and the chewy texture that these bites provide.

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Cinnamon Almond Bites

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bites 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking

Description

  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  •  2 tbsp of chopped raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour

Scale

Ingredients

  1. In a mixing bowl mix together your almond butter, cinnamon and honey
  2. Next add in your chia seeds, raw pecans and gluten-free flour
  3. Scoop out about 2 tbsp bites and place on a piece of parchment paper
  4. Top with 1 whole pecan and place in the freezer to set for 30 minutes
  5. Keep in the fridge and enjoy!

Keywords: gluten-free vegan superfood bites

Why add sugar and junk to your little protein bites? When was the last time you read the ingredients on a power bar wrapper? Yea, yuck! Those bars claim to be full of protein, low carb blah blah blah, and the reality is some are really great and most are full of crap. Make these, skip the non-recyclable wrappers and enjoy the flavor!

The thing that I love about these tasty treats is that they are no bake! Sometimes the texture of no bake cookies are something you just need in your life! These are sweet, chewy, crunchy and really satisfy that craving!

You can change the nuts you use, add flax and even use peanut butter! The almond butter adds such a nice chewy texture that aids in the no-bake appeal! But peanut butter would work too!

Make sure you tag me if you make them and enjoy these little superfood bites!

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Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Sweet Honey Buns

One of my all time favorite foods are loukoumathes, a greek honey cinnamon yeasted dough that is fried and then while still pipping hot, rolled in cinnamon and honey. These little pillows of heaven call my name all the time! Since I don’t have a giant pot to fill with bubbling oil to boil my own, I decided do my take on the easy baked version.

Boy oh boy these little buns are unreal! They are soft, doughy, sweet and bright like honey can be!

Did I also mention they are easy to make? These little buns are one of the easiest yeasted bread recipes that I have created to date. Just a few quick stirs, an hour to rise and a quick bake these little buns are to be eaten warm!

Can you tell that I have been on a major kick for making yeasted gluten-free bread lately? It is so so so fun for me to get into the science of the yeast with gluten-free bread!

Let’s get to baking!

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