Desserts, Food

Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Vegan

What do you do when you’ve got a dozen apples and a rainy day? Make an apple crisp, of course! Apple crisps are an great way to take advantage of apple-picking season and to bring some fall flavor into your home…without rolling out any finicky pie crusts!

You’re going to love this apple crisp for a number of reasons: it’s easy to make, it’s allergy-friendly, and it’ll make your house smell great when you bake it! It also tastes better than your average apple crisp (and maybe your grandmother’s) because I’ve tweaked the traditional spice blend and reduced the sugar. The result is a sweet and tangy vegan apple crisp that’s sure to please the whole family.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream (or nice cream) and a drizzle of caramel sauce for a perfect fall treat.


How to Make Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

Ingredients

For the Filling:
10 medium-sized apples (any variety), cored and sliced
2 TBS golden or white sugar
1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the Oat Crumble Topping:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose 1:1 Baking flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup solid coconut oil

Note: For a coconut allergy, substitute coconut oil with butter.

Preparation

Place sliced apples in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and spices. Pour the dry ingredients and the vinegar into the bowl of apples and toss to coat. Arrange the apple slices on the the bottom of a 9 x 11 inch baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients for the oat crumble topping. Then cut in the solid coconut oil until pea-sized clumps begin to form. Spread the topping evenly over the apple filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the apples are tender, the juices are bubbling, and the topping is beginning to turn golden brown.


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Want to try another fun fall recipe that’s also dairy, egg, and gluten-free? Try my vegan Green Tomato Mock Apple Crisp!

Desserts, Food, Sides

Pumpkin-Spice Plantain Chips

Autoimmune Paleo (AIP), Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Low-FODMAP, Nut-free, Paleo, Vegan

Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has had a small farm stand on the side of the road where we sell sunflowers and garden produce. It’s been a busy season for my dad, so this year he put me in charge of picking the flowers and opening and closing the stand every day. I’ve been getting up early to put out the stand, early enough to see the sunrise, and I’ve been noticing a cool, crispness to the air that July lacked. Fall is on the way.

But it’s not just the weather that’s pointing to autumn. In our garden, the pumpkins are almost ready for picking and some of the leaves on the nearby trees are starting to turn brown and fall.

The radio advertisers are also telling me it’s fall. Time for pumpkin-spice everything, they say! Buy this pumpkin-spice latte and that pumpkin-spice doughnut. I love pumpkin-spice, but a lot of the foods they want you to buy are full of added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors. No thanks!

If you’re in the mood for fall food, but don’t want to eat junk, I have a healthy recipe for you that will satisfy your sweet tooth and your craving for pumpkin-spice. This recipe is great because it takes minimal effort to prepare and only has three ingredients. It’s suitable for people following a variety of diet plans too: Low-FODMAP, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian and Whole30. If you’re following the AIP diet, just be sure to check that your pumpkin spice blend doesn’t have any ingredients you know you can’t have.

This recipe calls for ripe plantains, so look for plantains that are yellow or almost black. The darker they are, the sweeter they will be. Alternatively, if you’d like a more savory chip, use unripe (green) plantains because they tend to be less sweet.

Enjoy!

How to Make Pumpkin-Spice Plantain Chips

Ingredients

2 ripe plantains
avocado oil
pumpkin spice blend

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel ripe plantains by slicing off both ends and making a few shallow cuts in the skin down the length of the fruit before removing the skin.

Slice peeled plantains into discs, about 1/8-1/4 of an inch thick. Arrange on a lined baking sheet and brush or spray with avocado oil until covered. Lightly sprinkle with pumpkin spice.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown.


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Desserts, Food

Mocha Cake

Gluten-free

For my sister-in-law’s birthday, I decided to surprise her with a freshly baked cake. Her husband wasn’t sure of her favorite flavor of cake, but told me “You can’t go wrong with chocolate.” I agreed. When I looked around for a Chocolate Bundt cake recipe, I couldn’t find any that I liked. They were either too boring or I didn’t have all of the ingredients. So I decided to get a little creative and make a Mocha cake, combining both chocolate and coffee. The results were fantastic and I think this is the best cake that I have ever made!

One great thing about this Mocha Bundt cake (other than the fact that it’s full of chocolate and coffee of course) is that it’s gluten-free, making it a great choice for festive social occasions. More and more people are finding out that they are sensitive or intolerant to gluten these days, so it’s always a nice idea to bring a dessert to the table that everyone can enjoy.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

How to Make Gluten-Free Mocha Cake

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose baking flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one Bundt cake pan or two 9 inch round baking pans.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Begin to brew an 8 oz cup of coffee.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium for two minutes. Stir in coffee and pour batter into cake pan(s).

For two 9 inch pans, bake 30 to 35 minutes. For a Bundt pan, bake 40 to 50 minutes until toothpick or knife comes out clean.

Cool ten minutes and remove to a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

What if I want Gluten-Free Mocha Cupcakes Instead?

No problem, glad you asked. For cupcakes, follow the directions above but instead of greasing and flouring the cupcake tins, I’d recommend using paper bake cups. You’ll want to fill them 2/3 of the way full with batter and cook them for 22-25 minutes. When you’re finished, you should have about 30 cupcakes. Remember to cool before frosting!

Gluten-Free Mocha Frosting

Ready to frost your cake? Skip the store-bought frosting and head on over to my recipe for Gluten-Free Mocha Frosting instead. You’ll be glad you did!


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What did you think of this recipe? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Desserts

Beth’s Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-free, Reduced Sugar

Doesn’t homemade frosting sound intimidating to make?

It’s actually not too difficult. And, it tastes so much better than anything you might buy in the store. Maybe that’s because it has four essential ingredients, instead of the twenty or so questionable ones hidden in store-bought frosting.

This frosting is great for cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and eating straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Assuming you don’t eat too much of it, the recipe below will frost about 30 cupcakes or one bundt-sized cake.

If you’re making your dessert in the summer, you may want to chill the frosting before working with it, and store your creation in the fridge until you need it. Otherwise your decorations might melt a little and lose their definition.

How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla (add a little at a time, to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 TBS milk

Preparation

Cream softened butter with powdered sugar, adding sugar a little at a time.

Mix in vanilla, milk, and cinnamon (if desired).

Beat together for 3-4 minutes.

Note: The cinnamon is optional. I like to add it just to make vanilla frosting a little more interesting! But, it’s not necessary. The vanilla is something you can adjust as well. Add it to taste because while I like a strong vanilla flavor, you may not. Everyone’s different so mix it in a little at a time and try it every so often to make it to suit your palate.


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Have the buttercream blues? If your frosting isn’t quite the way you like it, check out this article here about how to troubleshoot your buttercream.

Desserts, Food

Mocha Buttercream Frosting

Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Reduced Sugar

This Mocha Buttercream Frosting is simply the best. Rich dark cocoa paired with finely ground coffee gives this frosting a depth of flavor you won’t find anywhere else, especially not in a can! It just can’t be beat.

You only need six ingredients to make this quick, easy buttercream frosting recipe. Even though this is a beginner-friendly recipe, the results will impress your relatives and friends. Seriously, they’re going to think you went to culinary school.

This Mocha Buttercream Frosting recipe is perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes. It will yield enough frosting to make one Bundt cake or twenty to thirty cupcakes. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family did!

Note: This recipe does contain caffeine, so if you are sensitive to it, you may want to use decaf or use my Basic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe.


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Desserts, Food

Green Tomato Mock Apple Crisp

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegan

One of my favorite things about ordering organic produce from Misfits Market (other than how inexpensive it is) is that I get to try new fruits and vegetables that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy at a regular grocery store, like last week’s leeks for example. This week I got a handful of green tomatoes. I didn’t even know you could eat green tomatoes! I thought that if you ate unripe tomatoes you would get sick!

But apparently, you can eat green tomatoes and they have a wide variety of culinary uses. When I asked my dad (my go-to gardening expert) what I should do with my green tomatoes, he promptly replied: “Make a mock apple pie.” Apparently when he was growing up, not a single fruit or vegetable went to waste in the family garden. When tomato season came to a close, the remaining green tomatoes were gathered and made into pies!

Intrigued, I decided to give it a try. I opted to make a green tomato “apple” crisp with a cinnamon-oat crumble topping instead of a pie though because I was too lazy to make a gluten-free pie crust. But, if you’re in the mood for a pie, feel free to plop the green tomato filling into a pie crust instead. Just be sure to adjust your bake time.

When I baked this green tomato “apple” crisp, I was astonished to find how much it tasted like a real apple crisp! It was amazing, really. In fact, when my brother and my husband tried it last night, they had no idea that they were eating green tomatoes until I told them!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, let me know what you think! Could it pass for an apple crisp?

How to Make a Green Tomato Mock Apple Crisp

Ingredients

Filling

5 medium green tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose baking flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1TBS apple cider vinegar

Topping

1 cup gluten-free all purpose baking flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
6 TBS dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid

Preparation

Filling

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then add the cider vinegar and tomatoes and toss to coat. Arrange tomato slices in layers on the bottom of a 9 by 11 baking dish.

Topping

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in solid coconut oil. Break it up with your fingers, a whisk, or other tool until it forms clumps.

Sprinkle on top of tomato slices and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes until tomatoes are tender and the crust is golden.


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Desserts, Food

Mocha Cupcakes

Gluten-free, Reduced Sugar

I made these cupcakes recently for a family birthday celebration and I can’t believe how many raving reviews I got about them afterwards! My original intention was to simply use the recipe on the back of the box of the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa that I was using. But…I can never follow a recipe exactly, so I made some substitutions.

The first thing I did was swap out the regular flour for Bob’s Red Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour since I knew I would be serving some folks with gluten sensitivities. Then I looked at the amount of sugar the recipe was calling for, and I noticed that it called for more sugar than flour! Two cups of sugar for thirty cupcakes seemed excessive to me, so I cut it down by half.

The recipe also called for canola oil and milk, both of which we didn’t have. I don’t like to use canola oil for cooking, so I swapped it out for some coconut oil, which gave the cupcakes a nice, subtle coconut flavor. But we still didn’t have any milk so I had to run to the store. (I actually literally ran to the store, too. Packed the baby in the stroller and off we went).

Since we don’t typically drink cow’s milk, I didn’t want to buy any more than we actually needed. I spied a small container of coffee milk, debated with myself for a moment, and decided to go for it. Turns out everybody loved the hint of coffee flavor in the cupcakes, so I’m glad I tried it!

Everybody loved the frosting, too. I made a basic buttercream with hints of cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla. Unfortunately though, when I first made the frosting I didn’t write down the ingredients or measure anything (which is typical for me), so I had to take some time to recreate it. But fortunately I figured it out, so you will find the frosting directions below as well.

I hope you enjoy my adaptation of Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. (You can find the original Hershey’s recipe here, if you are interested.)

This recipe makes roughly thirty 2 to 2 1/2 inch cupcakes.

Below is my basic recipe for buttercream frosting. For the Cocoa frosting, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (or to taste) after you beat in the sugar. For additional tips, check out my post on how to make buttercream frosting.

Did you make these cupcakes? Share your creation with us on Instagram with the hashtag #asimplefamilykitchen