Sugar-Free & (GF, Vegan) Chocolate Chip Cookies

This past week was the worst week of my life. Without starting this post of really negative, we had a really scary thing happen with our sweet baby dog. She’s been with us for 4.5 years and truly my best friend. She’s all I have and has been my rock. We have moved to California together, Utah, Florida, back to Utah and now Montana with each other.

Wednesday, 1/8

Last week she started feeling really sick and so we took her to the emergency vet, she spent 3 nights in the doggie hospital and pulled through. All I felt like doing last week was crumbling into a million pieces. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and Drew and I were just a puddle of fear. Our baby is home with us now. She is resting and recovery and we are just holding her so close to our hearts now that she is back in our arms.

I was restless and started baking. Since I personally gave up refined sugars, I baked these and had some friends try them and let me know how they tasted! For sugar free January this year, I gave up stevia and 0 calorie sweeteners as well, but if you are looking for a refined sugar free cookie, these are your cookie!

These chocolate chip cookies, are ideally sweet, soft and bendy but full of chocolate chips. Let’s get to baking!

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Sugar-Free & (GF, Vegan) Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 40 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

sugar free, gluten-free and vegan chocolate chip cookies! did I mention these are also low carb?! they are!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup of sugar free maple syrup or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • 2 tbsp of creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of cashew milk (almond milk works too!)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar free chocolate chips ( I like Lily’s brand)

Instructions

  1. preheat your oven to 350° F and line your baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat
  2. in a bowl with a fork, mash your banana into delicate chunks
  3. add in your maple syrup, salt, baking powder, vanilla and peanut butter until well combined
  4. next add in your 1/2 cup of cashew milk and stir until the dough has loosened
  5. add in your flax meal and almond flour until the dough combines and becomes thicker, this batter will be looser than most cookie dough
  6. add in your chocolate chips and combine until evenly distributed
  7. place cookie dough into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes
  8. after you have chilled your dough, with a cookie scoop, scoop out your cookies
  9. bake for 15-20 minutes until cracked on the surface
  10. enjoy!

Notes

*you can use any dairy alternative

*honey is a great option if you aren’t vegan


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie

Keywords: vegan cookies, gluten free cookies, sugar free cookies, sugar free january

These are so delish (from what I have heard from my taste testers!). Super soft and easy to munch on, but not bad for you in the slightest!

Try them and see how you like them! Sugar free January or not! For the next foreseeable future, I will be snuggling my best friend and cherishing all the moments of my little warrior! <3

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No Sugar January 2020

Every New Year I set out to do no sugar January. I want this to be very clear, this is not a diet or diet culture or any other reason than to personally do this goal for myself.

Diet culture for new years resolutions is not something that I support. Eating healthy and mindful indulgences is a way of life. A life without a treat is just sad, so let’s change the mindset of why we are doing this challenge.

For myself, this is a challenge to create new recipes that are amazing, sugar free and tasty as can be! It is also a challenge, as a recipe developer to remove sugar from my diet. Like many other pastry chefs, we are taking a bite here and there to sample and make sure out recipes actually work, this is hard when you are cutting out sugar. I have been fortunate, with my celiac to only work with brands that are gluten-free and this has been a god sent.

When I first started as a recipe developer, tons of companies were reaching out but I couldn’t act on those brand deals because they didn’t align with my diet and auto immune disease. This goes with sugar free January as well. I am only working with brands that support this lifestyle for this month to make sure all the content is genuine and there is radical transparency.

This challenge, again is for myself, but I do hope you join in! The mental clarity you get from eliminating sugar is amazing, and not to mention sugar is in freaking everything! Slow down, read labels on sauces and notice that this challenge is about mindful eating and whole foods.

Below I have laid out this challenge according to the ways I like to do this challenge!

If you guys are doing the challenge tag me in your daily meals so we can do it together! More fun recipes to come during this sugar free challenge!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Twix Bars

The gluten-free and vegan pantry gourmet version of your favorite candy bar, the Twix Bar!! Gourmet Twix bars are the recipe of summer!


2019 – A Year in Review

Where to even begin on this past year.

2019 was a big freaking year.

Sisters, Oregon

There was a lot of big change in 2019, that to be honest, I am still wrapping my head around. This past year brought some huge life changes and some huge career changes for both Drew and I. Let’s start at the beginning.

Sisters, Oregon

In January of 2019, I was in a horrible place in my full time job. Working towards my final days at a company that I once loved so dearly. A company that felt like my family for 2 years, suddenly became a stranger to me. I stepped away from my friends, my career with this brand and this opened many doors. For the first time in my career, I had to step away from something that I once loved so much. I truly felt like I had lost something so major in my life. In February, I stepped out of one door and right into something that truly did change my life. I had the opportunity to travel to North Carolina, meet some incredibly people in my industry and heck we truly contemplated moving there for this career move. Something about that felt so right, but also Drew and I both had a weird pull to move closer to our family for this next chapter in our lives.

Come April, I had been flown to a few interviews around the country, left my old job of 2 years, and Drew’s time on Active Duty in the military was transitioning to Guard Dutyx. We decided to take a leap of faith, an opening that we hadn’t had in our careers, and move back to Bozeman.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Bozeman, MT. This quant mountain town that houses Montana State University (my alma mater), the town my parents moved to after 24 years in the Bay Area, and 1 hour away where Drew’s parents live, just felt right.

In our 3 years of life and careers post our college graduation, Drew and I have lived in many states; Texas (Drew), Florida (both of us), Utah (twice – yea weird I know), California (me after college, I worked on the Food Web Development Team at Williams Sonoma Inc. in SF) and now Montana. In July of 2019, we moved back to Bozeman. We had so much excitement, and trust in this move that unlike our past moves, of exploration and newness we were finding who we were in a town where we were babies when we last were living here.

TDY

Upon moving to Montana, we decided it was right time to move into my parents house for a few months to see if we could buy a house. I started my full time job (while balancing my freelance clients, my food development and photography) and Drew was back and forth on TDY’s for 5 months of our new move. A few days after we moved back with our parents, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This diagnosis rocked my family. If you have had the pleasure of meeting my mom, she is a force. Nothing will stop her, including this diagnosis. She took with so much grace, tact and clear mind that her energy to fight was radiated for 10000000s of miles. She never let this stop her and even continued to dive deeper into her PhD studies, at University of Souther California during treatment.

My cute parents skiing opening weekend, Bridger Bowl, Montana

Not only were we all hands on deck with my mom and helping my dad rest enough to help her make it through chemo, radiation and her PhD, we decided to put an offer on a house…to buy!

They say when it rains it pours. 2019 f*cking poured the entire year. We were well into my moms treatment when we heard the news that we didn’t get accepted on our house. My parents were in the process of finishing a remodel and we were just unsure where we were going to go. We ended up finding the cutest dang rental house, 6 blocks from my office and settling in. This was the best thing for my family and my parents. We were so close to the hospital, they could come and rest between treatments and have a place to put their head. I truly feel this whole shitty process we went through in 2019, played out how it was suppose to, and that is why we had such a strong feeling to get up and move back to Montana.

As challenging, eye opening and exhausting this year has been, it will end on a good note. My mom is cancer free and finished with her daily treatment, my sister and her amazing boyfriend are engaged (@lwbean), Drew has an incredible job that continues his military career into civilian life and for me, I have the most incredible dog out there! Oh and the most amazing clients that fill my day with so much joy!

Oh! And for 2020, Drew and I are going to Grad School! Go Sun Devils!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

There is a trend with me and chocolate cookies. I absolutely love chocolate cookies that are tender and sweet but also really taste the cocoa!

Christmas seems to be the time where you get endless tins of mediocre peppermint bark in varying shapes, thickness and more. I am starting a trend where we give out these cookies instead! They are still full of peppermint and chocolate flavor but will switch up the annual cookie or sweet give!

These cookies are so easy to make, soft on the inside with a brownie like crunch on the outside! The soft peppermint filling in the cookie chunks add a delicious peppermint flavor to the chocolate flavor of the cookie.

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 28
  • Yield: 60 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

sweet, bright and full of rich cocoa flavor! 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 10 gluten-free & vegan peppermint sandwich cookies (I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • 1 3/4 cup of gluten-free flour

Instructions

  1. preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking sheet
  2. in a food processor or a blender, pulse your 10 peppermint sandwich cookies
  3. in a separate bowl, mix your melted coconut oil with your sugar and almond milk
  4. next, add in your baking powder, salt and vanilla extract
  5. fold in your almond flour, cocoa powder and your gluten-free flour to form a cookie dough
  6. add to your finished dough your pulsed pieces of cookies and lightly fold into the dough
  7. using a cookie scoop or a spoon, spoon 2″ dough balls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly cracked 
  8. remove the sheet pan and finish baking the rest of the cookies
  9. eat and enjoy!

Keywords: gluten-free and vegan chocolate peppermint cookies

This recipe yields about 60 cookies that are perfectly bite sized. Due to the yield you can fill your friends, co-workers and family with a huge batch of these cookies during the holiday season!

The perfect cookie for any holiday gathering! Bake up a big batch and share them on instagram! Tag me so I can see your creations!


Gluten-Free & Vegan Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread

A few years ago I randomly decided to test out a recipe for apple cinnamon bread. After 15 fails I was frustrated and posted when I had 96 follows on my website.

This summer I launched a new site, moved to another state, started a new phase of life and re-tested my apple cinnamon quick bread recipe. Not only did this bread need some delicate attention, it needed a new perspective on spices, bake time, rise time and more. Not to sound to philosophical but I feel like that is a metaphor for my life. Slowing down and breathing through the challenges rather than rushing to get it down. Age is beautiful in that it teaches you self patience.

Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread also taught me that same patience.

Not only is this bread sweet, spicy with tender apple chunks, it taste damn great with a big cup of tea on a cold winter day. The crumble just hits the spot and served warm makes you want to sing to the winter gods, because truly it’s that delish!

Quick Bread by definition is a quick style bread. No kneading, not proof time and no double rise. Banana bread is probably the most commonly known quick bread next to pumpkin (here and here) and lemon bread (recipe here). You can also try my true holiday quick bread recipe here for a Peppermint Chocolate twist on quick bread.

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread

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

Description

sweet, spicy and full of fresh apple flavor! this apple bread is bright and sweet, a great afternoon snack!


Scale

Ingredients

Bread

  • 1/2 of a honey crisp apple cubed (I leave the skin on) approx. 1 cup of cubed apple
  • 1/2 cup of semi soft vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup of dairy alternative milk
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour (I tested and use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1)

Crumble:

  • 2 tbsp of soft vegan butter *not melted
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 45 tbsp of gluten free flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease your loaf pan with vegan butter, then dust with 1 tbsp of gluten free flour, tap the excess flour into the sink
  2. in a mixing bowl or a stand mixer, beat your butter with your sugar until creamy
  3. add in your vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder
  4. once combined, add in your 1/2 cup of dairy milk alternative
  5. the batter will be loose, so slowly add in your flour 1/2 cup at a time
  6. once the batter thickens and is the texture of a loose cookie dough, remove from your standing attachment and using a rubber spatula fold in your cubed cup of apple 
  7. in your prepared loaf pan, pour your quick bread batter into the loaf pan
  8. in a separate bowl, mix together your crumb, I use my fingers or a fork to keep bigger chunks of the crumble in tact
  9. coat the top of the bread with the crumble and bake in the oven for 55 minutes to 1 full hour
  10. at 55 minutes, insert a toothpick or a cake tester, if the insertion tool comes out clean or with a few formed crumbs your bread is done!
  11. let your bread cool completely before slicing *or semi cool – I can never wait longer than 20 minutes!
  12. eat and enjoy!

Keywords: gluten free apple bread, gluten free bread, vegan gluten free apple bread, fall bread

These bread styles are efficient, sweet and have a true crumb like a dense pound cake or a coffee cake. But hey, years ago they were classified as quick bread so we are running with this! Bread they are! And bread they will stay!

So this bread! It’s easy to make, full of delish spice, fresh apples and a crumb topping that is to die for. Make it for yourself for an afternoon snack or slice and eat for breakfast!

gluten-free & vegan apple quick bread, is the perfect bread to bring to a party or have for a snack! Easy to make and even more fun to eat~

If you try out this recipe, give me a tag or a comment and tell me what you think! I love hearing from my fellow gluten-free & vegan bakers! Bake on!

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Gluten-free & Vegan Ginger Lemon Quick Bread

Every Christmas we make our favorite family recipe, the lemon bread. This year I teamed up with Health-Ade to create a take on my families favorite recipe with their ginger-lemon flavor. This flavor is bright, spicy and the perfect drink for the winter months.

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Gluten-free & Vegan Ginger Lemon Quick-Bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 85 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf of bread 1x
  • Category: Quick Bread
  • Method: Baking

Description

the easiest, yummiest cake for every occasion!


Scale

Ingredients

Bread:

  • 1 cup of vegetable shortening (rainforest certified)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 zested lemon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 flax eggs or 4oz of whipped aquafaba

Topping:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. pre-heat your oven to 350°F, grease your loaf pan with vegan butter and dust with gluten-free flour
  2. in your bowl with a electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip your vegetable shortening with your sugar
  3. next add in your baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest
  4. add in your flax eggs, lemon juice and your almond milk until combined *batter might separate here but it will come together 🙂
  5. lastly mix in your gluten-free flour until a soft batter forms
  6. when your batter is smooth with no lumps, scrape down the bowl and do one more pass through with the mixer to get the last of the mix combined
  7. in your prepared loaf pan, scrape all your batter into the pan
  8. place in the oven and bake for 65-70 minutes
  9. once cooked through, remove the cake and drizzle on your combined sugar and lemon juice mixture
  10. bake for a remaining 5 minutes to set the topping
  11. remove from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes before slicing
  12. serve with ice cream or plain (my favorite way!)

Notes

* the batter might break after you add in the liquid but it will come together with the flour * make sure you don’t toss out the ends when you bake the bread, this is the best slice so save that slice for yourself

Keywords: gluten-free lemon bread, lemon bread, quick-bread

The flavors of ginger and lemon combined is hands down my favorite combination year round. Every night before bed I make my own tea that is grated ginger and freshly squeezed lemon. When Health-Ade asked me to create a recipe with their ginger-lemon flavor I knew I needed to make a lemon bread. Combining my two favorite flavors was a must!

This gluten-free and vegan bread defies the stereotypes of gluten-free & vegan baking. It’s so soft, tender and full of flavor. This quick bread has a soft but tangy top that allows you to get the tang of the lemon with the sweet sugary crunch!

Add this delish bread to your holiday table this season! A great breakfast for the day after Christmas or New Years Day!

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Gluten-Free Peppermint Chocolate Quick-bread

The holiday season isn’t the only time of the year when it’s important to show people you care. Extend the human interaction of love and giving; the holidays bring out these traits in people. I started to bake when I was around 8 years old, and I realized that my favorite part of the baking process was giving my goodies to my friends and family. The thought of making someone happy through your time and hard work is something that brings me so much joy.

At the start of December, I like to plan out my baking for the holidays for the end of the month. My family and I celebrate Christmas, and with our festivities come years of traditions that started when I was a kid and full-on took over the holiday treats. A few years back, I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. While reading this book, I realized that I thrive on acts of service and gift-giving. That’s what fulfills me most and how I show I care about my friends is giving them something I spent my time on. 

This holiday season, since we’re back in Montana with our family, I’m excited to host, cook, and create for my friends and family. A few years back, I dabbled into peppermint baked goods. The combination of peppermint and chocolate is such a rich and classic holiday flavor profile. Whether you enjoy this flavor in a cup of warm cocoa or chocolate covered pretzels, I know you’ll love this cake. 

Chocolate cake is a family staple for our Christmas dinner. Holiday food traditions differ for every family, and I think that is what makes each dinner special. We always have a warm chocolate quickbread, chocolate crinkle cookies, lemon bread, and classic sugar cookies. A few years ago, I switched our classic chocolate quickbread to a peppermint chocolate quickbread, and the excitement over this cake was overwhelming. Not only was the chocolate flavor rich, but the brightness of the peppermint helped develop the flavor profile with the sweet and bright elements in the cake. 

With all the cooking, family time, and work hours during December, I made sure to create this recipe in a way that is a set and forget style recipe. Take 15 minutes to make the batter, pop it into the oven for 55 minutes, and walk away. Easy, fluffy, sweet, and warm, this cake is a holiday must! If your family is sensitive to peppermint, you can always bake the cake with half the amount of candy, or omit it altogether. 

Let’s bake and turn on music that speaks to your holiday!

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Gluten-Free Peppermint Chocolate Quick-bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf quick bread

Description

like Christmas in a bread! Gluten-free, and full of yummy holiday flavor!


Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup of freshly brewed warm coffee

  • 1 cup of hot water

  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ cup of vegetable or coconut oil (melted)

  • 2 tsp of baking soda

  • 2 tsp of baking powder

  • ¾ cup of cocoa powder

  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour (bobs red mill 1:1 is a great one!)

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar

  • 1 cup of peppermint candy crumbles ½ in the cake the other for topping

Icing:

  • ⅓ cup of cashew, almond milk or regular milk or milk alternative

  • 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp of salt

  • ¼ cup of peppermint crumbles for topping


Instructions

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and grease your loaf pan with butter, gently tap in 1 tsp of cocoa powder to coat your loaf pan (this allows a quick release after baking)

  2. Brew your 1 cup of coffee and start heating your 1 cup of hot water

  3. In your bowl using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine your oil, warm coffee, and hot water; mix until the bowl is cool to the touch (this is important, you don’t want to scramble your eggs in step 5)

  4. When your bowl is cool to the touch, add in your sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and cocoa powder

  5. Once those items are combined and your bowl is even cooler to the touch, add in your two large eggs

  6. Combine the eggs into your mixture and then add in your 2 cups of flour ½ cup at a time until the batter is smooth

  7. In a blender or food processor, pulse 2 cups of peppermint candies (you can also buy store-bought pieces), until they are the size of peas to sea salt

  8. Using a rubber spatula, fold in your ½ cup of peppermint candy until equally distributed in your batter

  9. Pour your batter into a loaf pan until you have a ¾” from the top edge of the pan

  10. Top with another spoonful of peppermint candy and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

  11. Let the loaf cool for about 1 hour 

  12. While your quick-bread is cooling, mix together your icing ingredients. This icing will be thick in texture, so it won’t run over the cake too much

  13. Once your loaf is fully cool, pour your icing over the cake and top with peppermint crumbles

  14. Slice and enjoy!


Keywords: gluten-free peppermint chocolate cake

The best part about this cake is how easily it comes together— it’s a true set-and-forget style cake that makes your holiday baking easy but fun! I love to triple the recipe and give a loaf to my neighbors a few days before Christmas, so if they need to, they can share the recipe with their friends, family, or work potluck!

Holidays are so unique to each family, each tradition— that’s what makes it all worthwhile. Starting your own family traditions can be the best part of each year. I love sharing my favorite food with my friends and family! Happy holidays and a prosperous 2020 to you and your family!


Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate Cake

Sometimes I feel like there are few things better than a chocolate cake. The sweetness of the frosting mixed with the bitter cocoa add such amazing flavors on your tongue.

My chocolate cake production ramps up in the fall. Between my sisters birthday in September to the last birthday of fall being my moms in October, I probably make about 5 chocolate cakes. The majority of my family loves chocolate cake and they all happen to be born in two months back to back! Funny how those things work!

After a few years of being states away for my families birthdays, I took advantage of the fact that we were close together this year to test out a no fail chocolate cake recipe!

I can honestly say this is my favorite chocolate cake to both make and eat. It is easy, truly no fail, and full of rich chocolate flavor. This cake even lasts up to 3 days in the fridge post baking, pre-frosting. You can make it ahead and frost it the day of!

Let’s start baking!

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 35
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x

Description

the chocolate gluten-free & vegan cake of your dreams!


Scale

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup of fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable or coconut oil melted
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups of gluten-free flour *for high altitude do 2 cups

Chocolate Frosting

  • 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 almond milk (might need more depending, add 1 tbsp at a time)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F and grease two 7″ or 8″ spring form pans
  2. Place 1 tsp of cocoa powder in each pan and toss the cocoa powder over the butter you used to grease the pan and toss the extra once every wet edge is coated
  3. Brew your 1 cup of coffee and start to warm up your 1 cup of water
  4. In a bowl or your stand mixer mix your sugar, vanilla extract, salt, cocoa powder and oil
  5. Next, add in your warm coffee and hot water into the sugar mixture and on low speed combine until the bowl feels cool to the touch, about 6 minutes
  6. Once your bowl is cool, add in your flax eggs, gluten-free flour, at this point your batter will start to come together but still be on the thinner side
  7. Pour your batter evenly into each prepared cake pan, and tap on the counter to release any air bubbles
  8. Place each cake pan into the oven to bake for about 55 minutes, each oven will vary but once it starts to firm on the top test with a toothpick around 55 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting
  10. In a bowl with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip your vegan butter by itself for a few minutes until fluffy
  11. Next add in your cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time
  12. Your frosting will start to be fluffy and soft
  13. Once your frosting is soft and fluffy, coat your cake payers with a thin layer as your crumb coating and set in the fridge
  14. After about 6 minutes remove from the fridge and frost with a thick layer of frosting, place the second layer over the cake that is frosted.
  15. Frost the top of the cake and the sides, top with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Notes

* if you eat eggs, feel free to use 2 eggs rather than flax eggs

The key to this cake is the fresh brewed coffee. Coffee adds the best flavor to chocolate cake. The richness in the coffee melts the cocoa powder in this cake.

If you make this cake, tag me so I can follow along on your baking adventure! @frontpaigebakes


Apple Spice Holiday Cocktail

Let me just say, we had 0 fall in Montana. Fall for us lasted all of 3 days and then it snowed for a week and was below -8°F…which was rough for October.

I have found myself as I get older moving away from straight apple cider and finding ways to spice up my fall apple drinks. When I was recipe testing for this cocktail, I tried multiple variations of spice levels and landed on the recipe below. I felt that this level of spice, was perfect to carry fall into the holidays for November and December.

This recipe is bright from the apples, subtly gingery from the kombucha and spicy from the cinnamon. Truly a balance on the palate that gives you life in the holiday months!

Let’s start mixing!

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Apple Spice Holiday Cocktail

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 7
  • Total Time: 7
  • Yield: 4

Description

sweet, spicy and full of holiday flavor — this apple spice holiday cocktail is my go to party favorite!


Ingredients

  • 4 oz of vodka

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

  • 8 slices of fresh apple

  • 1 handful of ice

  • 6oz of fresh apple juice

  • 5 oz of Holiday Cheers Health-Ade kombucha


Instructions

 

  1. In a shaker add your cinnamon, apple slices, ice, apple juice and kombucha

  2. Shake your shaker for about 1 minute until all mixed together

  3. Make sure you don’t put your shaker lid on too tight and shake your shaker vertically to ensure the bubbles don’t build too much pressure

  4. Pour with a strainer into 4 coupe or old fashioned glasses and enjoy with a garnish of apple

  5. Drink responsibly!


Keywords: apple spice holiday cocktail

With all the holiday parties coming up this season, you can make a big pitcher of these goodies by tripling the recipe above and leaving it in a beautiful serving pitcher or bowl.

Tag me if you make it for your friends and family and always enjoy responsibly!

This post was sponsored by Health-Ade Kombucha, but the recipe, images and opinions are my own!


gluten-free & vegan pumpkin bread

Fall came, lasted for a day. It snowed and then fall came back! Yesterday, the temperatures were rising from mid 20s to low 40s and all the leaves were fragrant and yellow! Pumpkin bread was calling my name!

I have a great recipe for maple pumpkin baked doughnuts here, and felt that there needed to be a friend of that recipe to go along with the fall theme. This pumpkin bread is full of delicious organic pumpkin flavor, spice and melty vegan chocolate chips.

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gluten-free & vegan pumpkin bread

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Description

easy to make and full of gluten-free flavor!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of melted vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2.5 cups of gluten-free flour 
  • 2 cups of vegan chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. pre-heat your oven to 350°F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the ends with vegan butter
  2. in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer combine your melted vegan butter, pumpkin puree and maple syrup
  3. next add in your baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and pumpkin pie spice
  4. add in your almond milk and combine well
  5. lastly add in your 2 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour 1/2 cup at a time
  6. remove the paddle attachment from your stand mixer and hand fold in your chocolate chips with a rubber spatula
  7. pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes
  8. test with a tooth pick and ensure it comes out clean with a few tight dry crumbs 
  9. let sit for 30 minutes before slicing

Notes

*can sub almond milk for any dairy alternative milk

*can also omit chocolate chips

This recipe is a perfect afternoon treat to go with a cup of tea. My favorite way to enjoy a slice of pumpkin bread is on the porch in a jacket enjoying the crisp fall air! Follow my instagram for more details!


cranberry sage brussel sprouts

To me food is like music, it fills your soul, makes you feel loved, brings people together and dances around your palate. In my family, we cook from the heart. We know a good cookie can turn your frown around. A warm home cooked meal makes you feel loved. And sharing those moments are the connections that we think of when life feels like a lot. 

I don’t dabble in savory much here on my website because baking sweets is my happy place. But I wrote this recipe for Montana Women Magazine and needed to share!

I come from a big loud greek family. We always had at least 1 extra person at dinner, you never left to my YiaYia’s house (greek for grandma) hungry or without a cake in your hands and you knew you could always be fed far beyond your hunger level. 

Growing up around family made leaving for college and post-graduate life hard. Suddenly Sunday’s were sleepy and consisted of a salad in my college apartment and thinking of those loud Sunday dinners that lasted way past the point of bedtime for school on Monday. 

When my husband and I got married and moved from Bozeman, Montana to Florida, we became even farther away from both of our families. We were in a big kid house, with just the two of us and our dog. November 11th, we got the keys to our house and moved into an empty house with a few boxes and duffle bags of what were “ours” from our wedding and before. Mostly, clothes, silverware, pots and pans and my husbands Air Force uniforms. With my husband at training all day, I took to the new house with fury to make it feel like home. Moose, my 9lb rescue pup at my ankles going from room to room to add little to no decor, since we had only what fit in my Subaru to move to Florida with us, I tried to make a house a home. I started to realize that the biggest thing we were missing was that warm smell of orange, sage, cranberry and olive oil that made November the most savory month of the year. 

On November 15th I had successfully invited every person in Drew’s Air Force class over for Thanksgiving dinner, although we had no table and no chairs. I knew that was next on the list! We had only a handful of friends who weren’t going home for the holiday and that was all I needed to show Drew and our friends some much needed family love during this time of year. 

I am a deep planner. I had the desire to emulate my mom’s menu for Thanksgiving this year. Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, in a big kid house, with our friends, all very very far from home. I started to plan out my menu, and then called my mom. She walked me through the recipes that she had made up years prior while prepping meals for our big fat Greek family. 

Our menu every year consists of:

  • Turkey
  • Cranberry Roasted Brussel Sprouts 
  • Pumpkin & Sage Muffins
  • Orange Cranberry Sauce
  • Green Salad with seasonal delicata squash, sunflower seeds, and more fixins!
  • Garlic Mashed potatoes 
  • Apple + Pumpkin Pie

I made my menu off of my mom’s and headed to the Air Force base grocery store. I filled an entire cart with all my goodies and ran home to prep-out the meal so Thanksgiving day could be spent walking to the beach, and eating at least 3 cinnamon rolls each! Cinnamon rolls, that is a tradition that Drew and I started when we lived in Florida. At least once a month I would make homemade gluten-free & vegan cinnamon rolls for him and his class. I would prep them the night before, and wake up 15 minutes before him to bake them off so they were warm for his friends at school. Those little moments are why I love food so much. 

Furiously, I peeled potatoes, sliced brussel sprouts, prepped veggies for the salad, and tossed muffins into the oven, with Moose staring at me like I was a crazy woman. I face-timed my mom to make sure I had the right ratio of brussel sprouts to cranberries on the baking sheet. She was also prepping our her vegetables for the holiday. I had a moment where the whole world stood still and I felt like I was back in her warm kitchen slicing brussel sprouts with her. That’s what is so amazing about family. Although we were 2,000 miles apart, we were both performing the same tasks to make our families feel loved through a special meal. Recipes that have been passed down from generation and generation stand the test of time and link us back to times of love and laughter. 

That Thanksgiving, I had prepared enough food to feed 20 people and we ended up having just 3 of us, and 3 dogs for our holiday dinner. The wine was flowing, we were laughing and the dogs were sleeping off their ½ pound of turkey dinner. 

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cranberry sage brussel sprouts

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x

Description

sweet, roasty and delicious for Thanksgiving or any other occasion!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of cut & washed brussel sprouts

  • 2 cups of washed whole cranberries

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil (enough to coat the veggies)

  • 5 sprigs of fresh sage 

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with tin foil

  2. Rinse your brussel sprouts and peel the outer few leaves off to ensure they are bug free

  3. Slice the end off and slice 2-3 cuts widthwise down the sprout so each slice has a flat side

  4. Rinse your cranberries and add to the bowl of sliced brussel sprouts

  5. Roughly chop your sage to allow aromatics to shine through

  6. Add olive, sage, salt and pepper to your bowl of cranberries and brussel sprouts, using your hands or tongs toss gently to allow the oil, salt and pepper to coat your veggies

  7. Place vegetables on a baking sheet and place in the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown with crunchy edges

  8. Serve warm and enjoy!


My heritage, my family and my connection with food makes me who I am. Those moments in the kitchen that may look like a disaster are why moms, grandmas and great-grandma’s always want you around. Feeling the love of your family in each bite holds a special place in my heart with food. As silly as it may sound, the recipes that were my YiaYia’s and my moms are the most special recipes in my collection. When I cook them for my friends and husband, I feel their connection to that moment as well. 

Take a breathe, hug your loved ones and say thank you to the traditions and special moments. Those are what you look back and and tie you together many miles apart.


gluten-free & vegan lemonade cake

Before I decided to completely re-do my website, I made the most delish cake. This gluten-free & vegan lemonade cake, is like taking a sip of iced cold lemonade on a hot day. Although it is currently snowing in Montana, I am determined to find the last batch of strawberries at the grocery store.

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gluten-free & vegan lemonade cake

  • Author: Paige

Description

soft, bright, tangy and sweet just like lemonade


Ingredients

Cake:

– 1/2 cup of softened earth balance butter

– 1 1/3 cup of sugar

– juice of 1 whole lemon

– 1 tsp lemon zest

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 3/4 cups of Strawberry Lemonade Kombucha

– 1 tsp salt

– 2 cups of gluten free (1:1 flour)

Glaze:

– 3 tbsp of Strawberry Lemonade Kombucha

– 1 cup of powdered sugar


Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and grease your loaf pan with butter, dust with flour and set aside

2. in a bowl, cream your vegan butter with your sugar

3. next add your lemon juice, vanilla, salt and baking powder until combined

4. alternating 1/2 cups of flour to 1/2 cups of Strawberry Lemonade Kombucha mix those into your butter and sugar mixture until smooth

5. next lemon zest

6. spread evenly into your loaf pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes

7. steep black tea in hot water for 5 minutes, set aside to let cool

8. once it is cool add your strawberries and ice to the tea and drink

9. let your cake cool completely and mix your glaze

11. once the cake is fully cooled, cover in the glaze, top with strawberries and enjoy!


This cake is moist, soft, and full of bright citrus flavor. I have a family recipe for lemon bread, that recipe is amazing but this cake embodies all things that lemonade has. The bright, the sweet, the tart and the palate dance.


grapefruit rosemary spritzer

Grapefruit, like many citrus. fruits doesn’t get enough recognition. The zest, the tang and the sweetness all in one deliciously beautiful package. Summer evenings after a long day of work call for a refreshing cocktail that not only lingers flavor on the tongue but adds excitement to your cocktail. This rosemary grapefruit spritzer is perfect for this. The sweet but savory combination of the rosemary adds an element to this drink that would’t be nearly as tasty without it.

When I think of my ideal cocktail, it has to include fine bubbles, some tasty tequila (YAY), a citrus spike and a herbaceous element.

Not a tequila fan? I would sub Tito’s vodka instead. Another clear alcohol will do the trick here!

Let’s talk muddling!

I was never a big drinker, and still am not. I will dabble in a healthy cocktail on the weekend, but dug into the purpose of muddling herbs, fruit and rinds in a cocktail before adding in your liquids. The muddling element with fruit and herbs means you press them with strength against the side of the glass. This motion releases the flavor elements and helps them bind with the alcohol. Once combined there is a seamless infusion with the alcohol into the cocktail.

I find that muddling the rosemary in this spritzer truly brings out the flavor without being harsh and bitter how some cooked rosemary can come off. These flavors together truly make a cohesive and refreshing drink.

I hope you enjoy my go to summer beverage! Tag me so we can cheers together!

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grapefruit rosemary spritzer

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cocktails
  • Category: cocktail

Ingredients

– 1 bottle of grapefruit health-ade kombucha

– 2 sprigs of rosemary (muddled)

– 5 sprigs for plating

– 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice

– 1/2 cup of soda water

– 7 shots of tequila

 

*serves 4 people with 1.5oz of alcohol per person*


Instructions

    • pour your grapefruit kombucha into a pitcher
    • muddle your 2 sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of the pitcher into the kombucha
    • add your tequila, soda water and fresh grapefruit juice
    • pour 4 servings and garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of fresh rosemary
    • drink responsibly and enjoy!

Notes

each cocktail has 1.5 oz of alcohol

you can make this recipe without alcohol – tastes just as good!


tropical punch sangria (mocktail)

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Back to summer when you were a kid, when the days were long, filled with laughs, snacks and tropical punch free flowing!

When Health-Ade told me their new flavor of kombucha was tropical punch, with notes of pineapple and mango, I about fell to the floor with excitement! Not only is pineapple my favorite fruit, but tropical punch booch, GUYS, this is the best thing since sliced bread! The heat of summer has hit, and the days are long, meaning there are more hours in the day to plan for picnics, days by the river and hours spent sipping tropical punch Health-Ade.

Two years ago, my summer looked different, there was an ocean and a pool involved. This year, since we moved back to rural Montana, we have an abundance of creeks, ponds and rivers to enjoy a picnic by. Landscape stretching as far as the eye can see in this big sky state. Scenery changes, moments change but the one constant of summer that stays with me from June into Labor Day weekend is the desire to be outside, 99.99% of the day.

The inviting summer breeze bouncing from mountains beckons me to the creek for my evening walks with my dog. The water dances in the eddys and bubbles natures music. With the flick of a wrist, the snap of the Health-Ade bottle opens and magically the easiest Tropical Sangria punch is made. A perfect compliment to a summer picnic. 

When I think of Sangria, I think of sweet fruit, light tang and a whole lot of flavor. When the new flavor was released I knew that this flavor would pair perfectly with more fruit, a titch of tang and those delish notes of tea from the Health-Ade!

Slice some fruit and let’s assemble!

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tropical punch sangria (mocktail)

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 5 servings

Description

the best summer mocktail that makes you think you are on the beach!


Ingredients

– 1 bottle of tropical punch Health-Ade Kombucha

– 3 cups of pineapple chunks – 1 pineapple roughly

– 3 cups of slices mango chunks – roughly 2 mangos

– 4 sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

– 1/2 cup of pineapple juice

– 12 oz of sparkling water


Instructions

1. on a cutting board prep your pineapple by slicing off the outer layer and the top

2. slice your pineapple fruit into 2″ pieces and place into a pitcher

3. next, slice your mango, slice the edges off the pit and score into squares, push the skin towards where the pit would be and scoop out the chunks, place into your pitcher

4. in your pitcher add your sparkling water, pineapple juice and kombucha

5. let the mixture set for 5 hours in the fridge to marinate, or overnight for best flavor

6. drink and enjoy the summer moments!


One of my favorite things about sangria is how easy it is to make! You take your favorite flavors and marinate them together to form arguably the most delicious drink ever! Another reason that I find sangria to be the best summer drink is that you control your own destiny, whether you want to add wine, or not the possibility is up to you. In this particular case, I felt that alcohol would hinder those sweet and sour notes in the pineapple and mango fruit punch flavor in Health-Ade.

Tag me in your summer adventures, so I can see what you are doing this summer!


gluten-free & vegan skillet peach cobbler

Friends, Family and peach cobbler lovers. I gather you all here to shout from the rooftops about the most epic giveaway that I am bringing you all! 

Let’s start by stating the fact that I simply cannot bake a peach cobbler without a few essential products. Peaches is of course number one priority in this process but coming in next is my new MadeIn knife, my skillet and a cutting board all made in America with love from MadeIn. One thing that I have learned through my cross country moves these last 4 years is that I tend to get rid of products that break and truly move only the goods. Products that will last me a lifetime and that wear beautifully with time and millions of peach cobbler.

When it comes to summer, I feel that an appropriate way to measure time is in peach ripeness. From this peach is too firm to cook with to it is time to make a cobbler soft. You might be thinking to yourself, “oh lord, I have never made a cobbler”, or “I really don’t want a mess”. These are very valid things to think when you are a new cobbler maker, but let me assure you, this is hands down one of the easiest desserts of the summer. It’s a 1 pan dish that you mix your ingredients in, cook in and I mean heck you can eat it right out of the skillet too! Your cobbler, your rules

MadeIn came to me and asked me to create a delish recipe for summer that included my favorite products from their site, and my favorite kombucha flavor. To me this was a no brainer! With the ease of a 1 pan dessert, I wanted to share my cobbler recipe with the world. Come to think of it, I am not sure why I haven’t share this recipe sooner, since like I stated above, I count my summer in peach ripeness!

Now that I have peaked your interest, let’s start baking this cobbler!

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gluten-free & vegan skillet peach cobbler

  • Author: Paige

Description

elevate the flavor of a good summer peach in this easy to make 1 pot peach cobbler!


Ingredients

Filling

– 6 ripe peaches

– 1/4 cup of tropical punch Health-Ade Kombucha

– 2 tablespoons of corn starch

– 1/2 cup of granulated sugar

– 2 tablespoons of vegan butter

 

Topping:

– 1/2 cup of sugar

– 1 cup of gluten-free flour

– 1/2 cup of vegan butter

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 tsp salt


Instructions

  1. slice your peaches 1/4″ thick using your MadeIn knife and butcher block, when you finish cutting all your peaches and set aside in your MadeIn saucepan
  2. add your Health-Ade, sugar and corn starch to the peaches and place your saucepan on a low powered burner until your peaches are getting soft and your sauce is thickening up & bubbling
  3. a small bowl mix your vegan butter, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt and using your hands or a fork cut the butter into the flour to create a biscuit
  4. remove the bubbling peaches from the heat and place the biscuit on top of the peaches
  5. place in a 350° F oven for 45 minutes to cook the biscuits
  6.  serve warm with a scoop of vegan ice cream

Notes

best when served warm with a scoop of vegan ice cream or for breakfast! 🙂

Not only is it a perfect recipe for summer, if you can’t find peaches you can easily substitute any stone fruit. I love to add plums and peaches together if my local farmers market is low, or nectarines for an extra zing! One thing to note is that you can’t go wrong with this recipe! If you don’t have something, use your best baking self and or channel me and add in what you think! If you are stumped at the local selection of fruit, go ahead and DM me. I will point you in the right direction.

As always, all opinions, recipe creation and images are my own. I feel that in true transparency, like I always am with you, I want you all to have great success in the kitchen and as a baker, and chef, those initial confidence boosts come from your tools. Tools, great ingredients and a smile are the building blocks to any delicious meals, dessert or day in the kitchen!

Tag me in your posts, comment away and let’s get you guys the tools to make an incredible cobbler! Happy summer! And even happier baking!