Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is here! My favorite time of year. At school we have a Starbucks on each campus I see everyone enjoying the pumpkin muffins, pumpkin coffees etc. and it drives me crazy that I can just run in and grab one of those delicious looking muffins with the cream cheese on them…you know the ones I’m talking about!

I am always stuck for breakfast ideas during the week because I’m usually up by 4am and out of the house by 5 so making a big breakfast or anything just doesn’t work for me. I needed something new, something besides my lovely quinoa muffins, which are delicious but its time to mix it up a bit.

So here is my attempt at those beautiful looking pumpkin muffins that you are seeing out right now – we should all be able to enjoy the lovely tastes of the fall, gluten-free or not. I gave one of these to a co-worker and she said you can’t tell they are gluten-free so I’m going to say that this was a success! These are super moist and delicious. I think it has just the right amount of spice to it.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Agave Cream Cheese Filling

Muffins:

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/3 Cup Potato Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tablespoons plus 2 Teaspoons of Tapioca Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

3/4 Teaspoon Allspice

1/2 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt

2 Large Eggs

3/4 Cup Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

1/4 Cup Almond or Soy Milk

1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin (Fresh or Canned – not the pumpkin pie filling if you use can)

Maple Cream Cheese Filling

4 Ounces 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese – room temperature

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

1 Tablespoon Maple Agave Nectar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

Method of Prep:

  • Preheat oven to 350•
  • Line a cupcake pan or muffin pan with liners and set aside
  • In a bowl add brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt – mix until well combined.
  • In another bowl add the Sugar and Eggs and mix until smooth.
  • Add the oil, milk, and pumpkin puree – mix until very smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet slowly and mix until fully blended.
  • Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way with the pumpkin mixture, set aside.
  • For the filling: In a stand mixer (or small bowl and use an electric hand mixer) add the cream cheese and beat until smooth – about 1 minute.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat well.
  • Finish by adding the maple agave nectar and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each muffin tin – you can leave it as it is, or press them down a bit, or even add a little bit more pumpkin over the cream cheese. Either way you do it, its delicious!
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few crumbs on it.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the tin then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Enjoy!
  • Store in the refrigerator!

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

It’s not chilly here today, its flat-out cold and windy!  I think waking up this morning it was about 42 degrees, I so didn’t want to get out of bed but I knew the house needed to be cleaned and laundry had to be done.  Lately I’ve been feeling like Cinderella – YUCK!  Since moving across the country, I have yet to find a job, even a part-time job and if you know me at all I am a worker, even on vacation or when I am sick I am doing stuff around the house, cooking baking etc, I don’t know how to relax very well.  On a side note, I’m not a fan of Cinderella or many of the Disney princesses – I am more of a Belle and Mulan kind of girl.  Belle was intelligent, she read books and didn’t fall for the dumb-ass and ummm Mulan, ya she saved her country-seriously, what else could you ask for!! Now those are my kind of Disney princesses.

Back to my post🙂

Seeing as it was so chilly today, I really had the need to bake something to warm the house up a bit.  We are very determined to not turn our heat on as long as possible.  So to keep putting that dreaded day off, I will be baking and we’ll be using the fire-place.  I have really been craving cupcakes lately.  A few weeks ago I FINALLY found a box of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix in one of the local grocery stores (it is SO hard to find around here!) so I picked up a box and tried so hard to not use it that day.  Bryan LOVES chocolate, way more than I ever will.  I’m more of a chocolate with something kind of girl (peanut butter cups, chocolate with nuts etc.).  So I thought I would make him a triple chocolate cupcake: chocolate cake, with chocolate chips and chocolate cream cheese frosting – it might be chocolate over load now that I think about it.

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

1 Package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 Cup of Water

1 Stick of Butter – Softened

3 Eggs

2 tablespoon Espresso or Strong Brewed Coffee

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips – I used the DF, GF, NF chips that I also used in my pancakes.

In a stand mixer combine all ingredients and mix on low-speed for 30 seconds to combine.  Mix on medium speed for two additional minutes.  Add chocolate chips and stir with spoon until they are combined in the batter. Scoop into cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes.

Let cool for four minutes in the cupcake pan(s) then remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Top with chocolate cream cheese frosting (see recipe below) and serve!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz Butter (1 stick) – softened

6 oz Cream Cheese – softened

1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Sifted

1 cup Powdered Sugar – Sifted

1 tablespoon Espresso or Strong Brewed Coffee

In the bowl of a stand mixer mix butter and cream cheese until they are well combined.  Turn mixer off and add the remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed until combined.  Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for an additional minute.

These are super chocolaty!!

Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting

Not that long ago I received a box of products from Katz Gluten Free to review.  There were so many delicious looking gluten-free goodies in the box that it has taken me a little while to do a review (another one will be coming shortly). At first I was going to review them all in one post, but I think this post will go specifically to their Chocolate Cupcakes.  After reading the ingredients I noticed that they added coffee to the mix – and I personally love adding coffee to chocolate cakes, cupcakes etc.  I just think it helps enhance the flavor a bit. The first thing I thought of after reading the ingredients was “I should make some espresso frosting for these!”.

Ingredients:
Gluten free flour (White Rice, Corn, Tapioca,) Sugar, Fresh eggs, Canola oil, Cocoa, Baking Soda, baking powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Coffee, Xanthan Gum, Vanilla (Pure).

These cupcakes were very tasty – almost a brownie like texture to them, which Bryan really liked.  I let them come to room temp before frosting and enjoying them (they suggest that you freeze them and keep them frozen).  Great chocolate flavor too that went well with the espresso frosting.  The combination is very mocha like – who wouldn’t love that?  Katz makes some great gluten-free products – so far everything we have tried, we have really enjoyed them.  I have noticed that some times after freezing them and bringing them to room temp they become a bit dry and crumbly, but I haven’t had that problem with these cupcakes.

Last month I was very generously blessed with an amazing coffee/espresso machine from Small Appliance (for more info click here).  Since receiving my lovely coffee maker I have been trying to think of recipes that incorporate coffee or espresso. Of course my thought was Tiramisu but I have yet to come up with a gluten-free version of this, but it is one of my goals.  Tiramisu is by far one of my favorite desserts and I tried as many pieces as I could while in Italy (pre GF).  This machine is amazing, I truly love it.

So seeing as I haven’t quite figured out a gluten-free Tiramisu I made the espresso frosting first:

Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz butter softened

4oz cream cheese softened

1-2 cups powder sugar divided (depending on how sweet you like your frosting, I used about 1 1/4 cups)

2 tablespoons espresso (cooled to room temp or very strong coffee)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~In large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese with electric mixer
~Switch the mixer to low-speed and add the powder sugar 1/2 cup at a time until smooth and creamy
~Beat in the vanilla extract and espresso, and chill for about 20 minutes before frosting (to help thicken it up a bit, but you don’t have to)

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Katz Gluten Free products, you really should.  I have been told that Friedman’s Lunch uses their Challah Rolls for their burgers!  I think I’ll be trying the burgers there next time we go to NYC!.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

gf2584Cheese cake is so good, but the idea of a whole cheese cake is to tempting for one person. I would be tempted to eat the WHOLE thing! A while ago I made some crust-less cheesecake cupcakes and they turned out pretty good so I thought, why not make cheesecake cupcakes again, but with pumpkin and gingersnap crust. Talk about the perfect little fall treat. These would be great for Thanksgiving instead of the typical Pumpkin Pie. Little individual cheesecakes for everyone, especially the kids.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

2 cups of gluten free gingersnap crumbs (I use Trader Joe’s)

6 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 8oz packages of cream cheese – softened

1 cup sugar

1 15oz can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tins with paper liners. I only have one regular cupcake tin and an mini cupcake tin, so I used both.

Crust:

Crumble the ginger snaps either in a plastic ziplock back with a rolling pin or in a food processor. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar and butter to the crumbled ginger snaps in a medium bowl and mix until all crumbs are moist.

Scoop about one table spoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down (I used the bottom of one of my spice jars…it fits perfectly for the regular tins, for the mini tin I used the back of my coffee scoop).

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, let cool in pan on wire rack.

gf2573

gf2574

Filling:

In a stand mixer, cream the sugar and cream cheese together until smooth, add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin spice and salt. Mix well. Add one egg at a time. Continue to mix until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.

gf2578

Scoop the mixture into the prepared cupcake liners. I used the same coffee scoop that I used to press the crust into the bottom to do this. It was the perfect size – three scoops for the regular tin and 1 1/2 – 2 for the mini ones.

gf2581

For the regular tins bake for 40 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through. For the mini tins bake for 30 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through.Cool in the pan on a wire rack until completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.

gf2582

Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce or candied pecans if you wish. I hope you enjoy these tasty little treats!

gf2590

Simply…Gluten Free Photo Contest and Scan Pan Giveaway! (Please visit Carol of Simply…Gluten Free‘s blog for so many great recipes and ideas!)

Coconut Cream-Cheese Squares

DSCN2121

I found this on Tropical Traditions website when I first ordered their Coconut Flour.  I was a little skeptical about making them because the Coconut flour is very dense and I’m not used to baking/cooking with it yet.  But these turned out great.  I didn’t have coconut oil so I just used canola oil. I added a chocolate topping to them too.

Coconut Cream Cheese Squares:

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F. Brush pan with coconut oil.

Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well. Add sugar gradually, continue mixing. Add coconut flour and vanilla; beat until well blended.

Pour batter into a 11×7 inches rectangular pan (pre-greased, see above.)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Topping:

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1 tablespoon of Butter cut in fours

1 table spoon of water

Add all ingredients to a microwave safe bowl.  Melt together in 30 second intervals, until completely melted.  Spread evenly over the top of the lightly cooled squares.  Once chocolate and squares have cooled completely, cut and enjoy.

Cheesecake

Cheese Cake187

I had a huge craving for cheesecake the other day. I’ve made some mini crust-less ones in cupcake pans before but never a full cheese cake. I figured I have the pan, why not try it. I’m so happy I did. I have to say it came out pretty tasty for being my first attempt at it. Best part, its 100% gluten free!
Crust:
1 bag of the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Ginger Snaps (about 1 1/2 cups of the crumbs)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter

Mix the melted butter, sugar and cookie crumbs together in a bowl and then press into a 9 inch spring form cheese cake pan. Make sure that the crumbs come up a little bit on the sides.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375° – COOL

Cheesecake:

3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbs Lemon Zest
3 eggs, at room temperature

Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until creamy and smooth in an electric stand mixer
Add eggs (one at a time) until blended
Pour mixture into cooled crust
Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool and then refrigerate for a minimum of three hours or over night.

Serve with fruit or your favorite topping!

Cheese Cake189

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Vanilla Frosting

gf1636

The cupcake recipe is from Bob’s Red Mill.  I was on the hunt for a new cupcake recipe and didn’t find too much right away.   I went on Bob’s Red Mill site and looked to see if he had any and found this chocolate cake recipe instead.  I figured why not just make cupcakes out of this cake recipe.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Vanilla Frosting

1-1/2 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Milk (cow, soy or rice)
1/3 cup Butter, Margarine or Shortening
1 large Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 cup warm brewed Coffee

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper lingers. Set aside. Place all ingredients, except coffee, in large bowl and blend with electric mixer. Add coffee and mix until thoroughly blended. Pour into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20 minutes minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Serves 16.

Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz butter softened

4oz cream cheese softened

2 cups powder sugar divided

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~In large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese with electric mixer
~Switch the mixer to low speed and add the powder sugar one cup at a time ~Mix until smooth and creamy, add cinnamon
~Beat in the vanilla extract

(I really do heart cupcakes!)

Happy Birthday Lisa

dscn1503

Last night we went out to celebrate Lisa’s 30th birthday at the Swiss Bistro in Carmel.  After dinner we headed back to my place for some cake and ice cream.I used the Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix (which by the way is wicked good!!) with a little home made cream cheese frosting colored purple, just for her.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz butter softened
4oz cream cheese softened
2 cups powder sugar divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~In large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese with electric mixer
~Switch the mixer to low speed and add the powder sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy
~Beat in the vanilla extract