Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread with Caramelized Walnuts and Figs

It’s time to spice up the traditional Irish soda bread that we see this time of year. The addition of caramelized walnuts, dried figs and fennel seeds combined with the nutty textures of gluten-free flours makes this bread  perfect toasted for breakfast or with a cup of tea to brighten up your day.


1 cup dried Mission figs1 tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup hot black tea

3 cups gluten-free flour (store bought or I use this recipe:

1 tsp. xanthan gum  (if your flour mix does not contain it)

1/4 cup cane sugar

1 tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1 tbs. fennel seeds

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (cultured butter adds a nice tang)

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg, room temperature

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a small skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat. Add the walnuts and stir constantly until the nuts are slightly brown and smell toasted, 3-4 minutes. Spread nuts on a plate too cool.
  3.  Place the figs in a bowl and cover with hot black tea. Let the figs soften for 10-15 minutes and then slice into 1/4″ pieces.
  4.  In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if using), cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and fennel seeds.
  5.  Add the butter cubes and using a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut in the butter until the mixture looks like small peas.
  6.  In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and egg.
  7. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, begin to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the candied walnuts and fig slices.
  8. Continue to mix the dough, using a spatula or your hands. Mix until you have a dough that is a bit sticky, but still able to be formed into a ball. Place the ball on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Using a knife, cut an “x” in the top of the loaf. Brush the loaf with a little buttermilk to help it brown.
  9. Bake at 375 F. for 45-55 minutes. It should be golden brown and a toothpick when inserted in the center of the loaf, should come out clean.Let cool before slicing. Enjoy with butter and jam.

Gluten-Free Salted Apple Bread

As it turns out, spring has not arrived early and on this cold day, I found myself craving a rich apple bread to enjoy with a cup of tea. This bread was inspired by a recipe in the Ovenly cookbook, by Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin.


1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup almond milk

3/4 cup cane sugar

2 large eggs, room temp.

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups gluten free flour or your choice (store bought or I use this recipe:

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if your mix contains it)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ginger

1 1/2 cup peeled, cored and cubed apples (1/2″ in size)

Salted oat topping (see below)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the almond milk, sugar, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and olive oil. Add the melted butter and coconut oil. Whisk until blended.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, oats, almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum (if using), salt, nutmeg and ginger.
  5. Using a spatula, stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until almost combined and then fold in the apples. Mix until the apples are mixed in.
  6. Pour into a prepared pan. Top with the oat topping.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Salted Oat Topping:

  1. In a small sauce, melt 1 tbs. coconut oil.
  2. Add 1/2 cup oats and 1 tbs. almond meal.
  3. Stir to combine.

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Tart (dairy-free too)

Winter is on it’s way out my friends! The light has changed- it’s brighter and warmer in color and temperature. I bought orange tulips today and I am have a new spring in my step. As I seem to be channeling spring, I am craving light and summery treats. These coconut lime bars were adapted from Sara Forte’s recipe in the wonderful cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen. They are just what you need to get spring started!


For the Crust:

1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend of your choice (store bought or I use this recipe:

1/3 cup almond flour

2 tbs. honey

5 tbs. coconut oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

2-3 tbs. of water

Lime Filling:

1 (13.5-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk

1/3 cup cane sugar

grated zest and juice from one and a half limes

1 tbs. coconut flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. lime extract (if you don’t have lime extract, use all  vanilla extract)

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted (for the topping)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Grease and line a 8-inch square glass baking pan with parchment. Be sure to cut the parchment so it come up over the sides of the pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, place the oats, gluten-free flour, almond flour, and salt. Pulse to combine.
  3. Add the honey and coconut oil and pulse until it looks like wet sand. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan.
  5. Chill for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  7. Prick the crust all over with a fork and bake until lightly browned, about 13-16 minutes.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. Turn the oven down to 325 degree F.
  10. To make the filling, place the coconut milk in a small pan and bring to a simmer on low heat. Add the lime zest and simmer for 3 minutes.
  11. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the coconut flour and sugar.
  12. After the mixture has cooled to slightly warm, whisk in the lime juice, egg, egg yolk, salt and vanilla (and lime if you are using it) extract. Let cool until warm.
  13. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve and pour in to the crust.
  14. Bake until the center of the filling is just set, about 30-40 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven and let cool to room temp. Chill in the fridge
  16. Toast coconut in a 350 degrees F. oven until light browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  17. Sprinkle coconut over bars and cut into squares.
  18. These bars are great with fresh raspberries.


Gluten-Free Strawberry Cornmeal Muffins

I recently found some beautiful looking cornmeal from Songbird Farm in Maine. It’s made from Abenaki Flint corn which is uniquely adapted to New England’s short growing season. It’s slightly sweet and nutty with flecks of deep yellow and red. I have visions of spring in my mind this week so I decided to make strawberry muffins using this beautiful cornmeal.


1 cup gluten-free flour blend of your choice

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking  soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1  5 oz. container of strawberry yogurt (I used Siggi’s brand)

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup grape seed or melted coconut oil

1 egg

1 cup chopped strawberries (about 1/4″ in size)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Grease or paper the muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a 2-cup measuring cup or small bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, orange juice, oil, and egg. Lightly whisk to combine.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  6. Add the chopped strawberries and stir until distributed throughout the batter.
  7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
  9. Yield: 12 muffins





Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Dark Chocolate

For these little treats, I used an old recipe that belongs to my mom. Instead of using tons of white sugar, I decided to try honey and cane sugar which worked beautifully. This recipe would work with any citrus fruits and would be perfect for homemade panettone bread.


3 oranges ( I used two Cara Cara and one blood red orange)

2 cups of water

1/2 cup of honey

1/2-1 cup cane sugar

Dark Chocolate Coating:

1 cup dark chocolate chopped

2 tsp. coconut oil

Method of Preparation:

  1. Cut orange peels into 1/4-inch slices. Be sure to cut off most of the white pith.
  2. Place peels in a saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil and drain. Repeat this process two more times to remove the bitterness from the peels. Place the peels in an ice bath to cool.
  4.  Combine water and honey in the same saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the orange peel and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat so the mixture is barely simmering. Cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Drain well and place on parchment lined sheet pan to cool.
  6. Roll cooled peels in cane sugar.
  7.  Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring often.
  8.  When the chocolate is smooth and melted, dip 3/4 of the orange peel in the dark chocolate. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.


Gluten-free Lime Pound Cake

In these winter months when citrus fruits are at their best, I love to use them in cakes, muffins, tarts, salads and more. This recipe was adapted from the NY Times Key Lime Pound Cake by Kim Severson.

I used a gluten-free flour blend adapted from Dana at the minimalist baker:

Gluten-free Flour Blend

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/4 cup white rice flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

Blend together in a large bowl and store in a jar or zip lock bag


1 cup unsalted butter (I used cultured butter for an extra tang)

2 cups gluten-free flour (see above)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

4 oz. soy cream cheese

1 1/4 cups cane sugar

4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten

2 tbs. lime zest

1 tbs. lime juice


3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

2-3 tbs. lime juice

Method of Preparation:

1. Grease and flour (using rice flour) a 9×5 loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and soy cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the beaten eggs, slowly and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the lime zest and mix for 30 seconds.

3. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the lime juice. Be sure to begin and end with the dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix  until thoroughly incorporated.

4. Pour batter into the pan being careful not to overfill. You want 3/4-inch of space between the batter and top of the pan.

5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-60 minutes. Check the cake after 20 minutes and if it’s browning too quickly, cover the top loosely with foil. When the cake is done, a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.

6. Cool for 30 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a rack. Prepare the glaze by whisking the confectioner’s sugar and lime juice until you have thick glaze. Pour it over the warm cake. Garnish with some lime zest. 8-10 servings



Gluten free Chocolate Coffee Blondies

These blondies and a quick and easy gluten free treat. Add nuts or white chocolate chips if you are in the mood! This recipe was adapted from the Silver Palate Good Times cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.



1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (I like this one from Dana at the minimalist baker: I substituted 1/2 the brown rice flour with almond flour) (you will have a little flour left over)

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

7 tablespoons unsalted, melted and cooled

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 large eggs

2 tbs. brewed coffee

3 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips


Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat over to 325 F.
  2. Line an 8″ square baking pan with tin foil or parchment paper, making sure to leave extra foil hanging over the edges. Grease pan and paper or foil.
  3. Place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and whisk.
  4. Place the butter, coffee and brown sugar in medium saucepan and place on low to melt, stirring often. Cool slightly. Whisk in the cane sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Mix until fully incorporated (1-2 minutes).
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comets out clean.
  7. Let brownies cool completely before cutting.
  8. Makes 16 brownies