Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake (And Giveaway!)

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake

This moist bundt cake has that lovely, childhood favorite flavor combination of chocolate and banana. It not only is enriched with cocoa powder, but it also is studded with chocolate chips. My inner child swoons. The inner adult serves it with a cup of coffee and enjoys them both.

This bundt cake also happens to be gluten free, dairy free, and egg free, and was made in a Teflon-free pan. I’m feeling pretty thrilled! My kids enjoyed it with a side of ice cream at my youngest’s birthday party, while the adults had cups of coffee with it. Either way, it was lovely. (Check out the giveaway below for a glass bundt cake pan and a Chemex coffee maker!)

What I love about bundt cakes is that they look so beautiful, even with just the lightest dusting of organic powdered sugar. I love frosting just as much as anybody else, but it certainly makes it easier for the cook when you don’t have to frost and decorate a cake! This cake took me several tries to get right. Because the cake batter has to keep its form more in this pan, making a gluten-free, egg-free version was a definite challenge. I tried out my regular soaked gluten free cake recipe, and it rose beautiful, and then fell into a gloppy mess while cooling. I tried a grain-free version, and it looked so promising while in the oven, but then also fell into a gloppy strange mess.

Finally, I got smart, and adapted a recipe that contained very little liquid, and went to the store to buy xanthan gum to help stabilize it. The girls and I watched it anxiously cook…it looked alright, but what would happen when it was taken from the oven? We gingerly removed it from the oven, and all of us held our breaths as it cooled, but it was stable! We made the recipe again, and once again, it not only didn’t collapse, but was delicious! Success was sweet for many reasons.

Plus, I was so excited to make the coffee and the cake free of any plastic or Teflon! It’s always my goal to reduce toxins whenever I can, and so I was really excited to learn about a heavy duty glass bundt pan, as well as enjoy the beauty and plastic-free-ness of making Chemex coffee. (One lucky reader gets to win both as well!). It was this beautiful cake pan that made me feel inspired again to try to make bundt cakes. I had gotten rid of my Teflon-coated bundt cake pan a while back, so it was pretty exciting to be able to make one in a glass pan!

If you are curious about some of the cautions with Teflon, you can check out this post by EWG. The Simax glass bundt cake is much thicker and sturdier than I thought it would be. I was worried it would be a thin, easily breakable pan, but it’s not. It’s made with borosilicate glass that is safe to heat up to 572F degrees (Tempered glass is safe to 425F). I started trying to buy borosilicate glass whenever I could because it doesn’t shatter like tempered glass does. I was also worried about the cake sticking to the surface of the pan, but everything has come out easily so far.

Plastic and heat is a no-go if you are avoiding leeching of chemicals. Learn how to make coffee without any plastic!

Why you should make your coffee plastic free

The Chemex coffee maker is one beautiful way to make coffee without any plastic. Why go plastic-free? There are many problems with plastic, some of which involve the chemicals they leech into your food and beverages. And here is why it’s so important to make your coffee plastic-free – heat breaks down those toxins into your food/beverages even faster, plus many of us have coffee every single morning. Between plastic and heat being a no go in my mind, and the frequency with which we drink coffee, I am much more comfortable drinking my coffee sans plastic. The Chemex is also made out of borosilicate glass, plus has a beautiful wooden collar and leather cord. Coffee making can be beautiful! Making coffee using a Chemex is as easy as slowing pouring hot water over coffee grinds, and it lends itself to a less bitter, smoother cup of coffee. Delicious!

(To enter the giveaway, check out the information below the recipe)

Recipe notes:

Unlike most of my recipes, this recipe does not contain soaked flours. When working with certain gluten-free flours, they aren’t as important to soak (for example tapioca flour doesn’t need to be soaked at all), but you could certainly use sprouted gluten free flours.
This makes a smallish bundt cake with the above cake pan, You can use a regular bundt pan, but because it will be larger in size, it may not rise as much in the pan. The texture is like a pound cake – rich and slightly dense, so go for small slices when serving. You can get 8-12 slices out of a cake.

A few supplies need in this recipe (affiliate links):

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake (And Giveaway!)
 
Serves: 8-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • ¼ boiling water
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed well
  • ½ cup of applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil (melt over low heat until just liquid – don’t get hot)
  • 1 ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease bundt cake pan really well with coconut oil.
  2. In a heat safe cup, mix together the chia seeds and boiling water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, applesauce, maple syrup or honey, vanilla extract and vinegar. Whisk together. While whisking, gently pour in melted coconut oil. Mix in the chia seed mixture. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, coconut sugar, salt and xanthan gum. Using a hand mixer, blend the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scrap into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the cake batter. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the cake feels firm to the touch. Let cool in pan for about 7 minutes, then carefully turn out over a cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Dust with organic powdered sugar, if desired. Freeze leftovers.

 Giveaway Info

Giveaway Items for making Teflon Free cakes and plastic free coffee MightyNest is sponsoring this giveaway worth $200, and I am happy to work with them! They sell quality glass and stainless steel kitchen products, lots of great home products – all of which are earth-friendly and family-friendly products. Plus, they give back 15% to your school with each purchase you make. That’s a pretty sweet deal. Today, they are giving away one Chemex coffee maker, one Simax glass bundt cake, a food-grade silicone coaster, plus $100 to your local school!

US addresses only, winner to be announced the 15th of November. Entering the giveaway will automatically sign you up for a newsletter (that you can easily unsubscribe at a later date if desired). No purchase necessary, winner randomly selected.

Thanks to MightNest for sponsoring this giveaway! And thanks to my readers who buy through any affiliate links.

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

These cookies should come with a warning: Utterly addictive. Be forewarned. They are everything that I love about Mexican Wedding cookies – nutty, buttery, lightly sweet, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. They also happen to be grain and gluten-free.

(These cookies are also commonly called Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes.)

If I was just going to make one cookie recipe a year, this one would be it. Mexican wedding cookies and I go way back. They are a deeply impended favorite, so I am thrilled that I finally have an allergy-friendly version to enjoy for a special treat!

We made these for our daughter’s “Frozen” themed birthday party – we went with a snowy theme, and “snowball cookies” fit into that well, and looked lovely on the table with the décor. But truthfully, I would eat these if they looked like reindeer poo’ because they simply have such a wonderful flavor!

I used just two flours in this recipe – almond and tapioca flour. I’ve been noticing many, many paleo-ish recipes using this combination, and so have started experimenting with it myself. It really works well in this recipe! I’m excited to continue to experiment with other recipes with this flour combination.

(Amazon links below are affiliate)

I adapted this recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I continue to be amazed that often I get better results adapting from old gluten-filled recipes, then when starting with a gluten-free recipe.

I use a very finely ground almond flour (like this one). I am not sure how they would turn out using a more coarsely ground flour. I also choose to go ahead and use organic powdered sugar for this recipe. Because I was making these for a crowd of friends, I wanted the flavor to be very similar to traditional Mexican Wedding Cookies. However, I think that they could be very delicious with coconut sugar! Coconut sugar tends to add a caramel undertone to baked goods that I actually like; it’s just not quite as delicate. You can also powder coconut sugar for a more delicate texture (and even add a little arrowroot powder to it to mimic store-bought powdered sugar). Regardless, one of the aspects I love about these cookies is that they aren’t very high in sugar.

I choose to use chopped almonds in place of the more traditional chopped pecans simply because I was making a double batch, and it was so much cheaper. However, they tasted just perfect! So use whatever nut you prefer.

I did use a food processor in this recipe, and made the cookies small (they will hold together the best this way – and they seemed very much like regular cookies!).

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies 2

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped almonds (or pecans or walnuts)
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) room temperature butter (I recommend organic and/or pastured butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup organic powdered sugar (see notes above)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour
  • Extra powdered sugar for dusting, as desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. On a large sheet pan, place the chopped nuts, and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes, or just until you start to smell their aroma released. Set aside to cool, and turn off oven. Once cool, grind further in the food processor (you want fairly fine bits, not chunks). Don't over-process and make it oily or powdery.
  2. Dump out into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Now place the butter, salt, ½ cup powdered sugar, and vanilla extract into the food processor and process (scrapping down the sides as needed) until smooth and fluffy. Add the nuts back in and process until combined. Now add the two flours. and process once more. If you have a small food processor that can't handle all of the ingredients, simply scrap out the butter/sugar mixture into a bowl, and hand mix the flours into it.
  4. Now place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes at least, or until the dough has firmed up enough to be able to roll into balls (You may find it necessary to leave for up to 2 hours, depending on how cold your refrigerator is).
  5. Once ready, preheat the oven again to 350F, and use a teaspoon to scoop out batter and roll lightly into balls, and place on a parchment covered sheet about 1-inch apart (there will be some spreading). Baking one sheet at a time (placing dough back into the fridge between batches), bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for about ten minutes to firm before removing to cool rack. Repeat rolling/baking/cooling process until all of the cookies are cooked.
  7. Using a sieve, lightly dust the cookies with powdered sugar, if desired, for that snowy sweet look.

 

Super-Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Chips

Super-Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Chips - The Nourishing Gourmet

Peanut butter, unrefined sugar, coconut oil and vanilla are combined, hardened in the freezer then sliced into bite-sized morsels of bliss. These silky, sweet & salty little chips taste divine on their own, but this is a dangerous path to tread! I try to reserve them for a special treat atop ice cream or in cookies and other baked goods.

You may also want to check out the many other mouth-watering peanut butter recipes on this blog!

It was my 3-year old daughter who first opened the door to peanut butter chips. We were shopping at Trader Joe’s when she made the decision to place a bag into her kid-sized cart. My knee-jerk reaction was to quickly and nicely veto it, then redirect her to the dried mango. But I paused and skimmed the ingredients. Could have been worse. I decided to stroke her confidence and bring them home.

Last time she did this I ended up with 5 cans of sardines! I got a little creative them them.

Super-Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Chips - The Nourishing Gourmet

How these chips act in baking (it’s a little different)

When you take out the additives, and use unprocessed ingredients, peanut butter chips melt at a lower temperature. So you have to store these in the freezer then take them out immediately before you use them.

  • In cookies and scones they work perfectly, leaving little pockets of gooey goodness.
  • In muffins they leave somewhat concentrated pockets of peanut butter but they get absorbed by the muffin so there is no change in texture. Could be a good thing, but I’m just letting you know what to expect. (I’ve only tried them in coconut flour muffins, so they might act differently with less spongy flours.)
  • In waffles & pancakes – I haven’t tried this yet but I’m assuming they will work similar to the cookies since they are cooked quickly.
  • Over ice cream they are absolutely delicious!

Super-Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Chips - The Nourishing Gourmet

Using unrefined powdered sugar

You’ll need to use powdered sugar in these. Thankfully making your own unrefined powdered sugar is easy!

I have also tried a different method, leaving the sugar un-powdered and melting all the ingredients over the stove. For whatever reason, I had a surprisingly difficult time getting the coconut sugar to melt so powdering your sugar first is definitely the way to go.

UPDATE: I think melting the ingredients gently on the stove-top then cooling would work. I thought the coconut sugar wasn’t melting but now I realize that the graininess I was tasting was the texture in the natural peanut butter – it was more prominent when it was melted. I think the  graininess would be unnoticeable when cooled!

I hope you enjoy them!

Super-Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Chips - The Nourishing Gourmet

Super-Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Chips
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Topping, Add-In
Serves: about 4 cup
 
These simple and delicious peanut butter chips come in handy for many purposes.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup powdered coconut palm sugar or powdered sucanat (it's easy to make your own)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sea salt, to taste (if your peanut butter is not salted)
Instructions
  1. Stir together the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour into a parchment paper lined baking pan (mine was 9x13)
  3. Freeze for 1 hour
  4. Slice up into chips (for best results, place the pan on cooling packs when doing this)
  5. Store in the freezer until immediately before use
Notes
You can certainly reduce the sugar! I put in a fair amount because we usually make our baked goods not-too-sweet so we like a sweet chip inside them.

Almond and sunflower seed butters would also work well.

Grain-Free Pizza “Pockets”

Grain free pizza pockets - These freeze well and are so fun!With a crunchy crust and a flavorful filling, no one complained about eating a grain-free meal last night! These flavorful pockets were very satisfying and filling, and make a very fun lunch or dinner (I’d recommend serving it with a homemade salad with a yummy homemade salad dressing!). We aren’t a grain-free family, but since we are gluten-free, our meals often end up being grain-free. And with beautiful foods like these homemade pockets, everyone is happy (even those in the family who CAN eat gluten!).

Proving that advertisement to children really does work, I still remember when “Hot Pockets” were a new and very cool product. I’m quite certain that I begged and begged my mother to buy me some. I think she did finally once, and I was pretty happy. But I’m not sure I was actually that pleased with the actual product. Regardless, I don’t remember much about my experience eating them, though I still remember exactly where they were placed in the freezer that day.

I think I will remember these ones for the flavor, not where I put them in my freezer ten years from now. ;-)

Some links are affiliate. Thanks for supporting this blog! 

My Inspiration

As I talked about yesterday, I have been really inspired to freeze more foods lately. I talked about being inspired by two of the books in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (only on sale for a couple more days, by the way). What I didn’t mention was that this project was already on the schedule for my first experiment! They were inspired by the Grain-free Grab and Go eBook by Hayley from Health Starts in the Kitchen. This book is also part of the bundle (hey, when you have 73 eBooks, you end up with a lot of good stuff in there!). She has some a-m-a-z-i-n-g recipes in there. She has pockets for breakfast, pockets for lunch, pockets for dinner. Some are very American, some are Ethnic. They all sound great. I knew I had to try them.

Here’s Hayley’s book, among the other books in one of the categories of the bundle.

Following my own advice, I wasn’t so much trying to make huge amounts to freeze, but try out a few recipes to see what we liked best. These were such a hit, I’m definitely adding them to my list of recipes that are “good to freeze.”

Here’s what I tried out

I made three crusts. I made a slight adaption of Hayley crust from her book (I didn’t have the same seasoning, so I substituted), which was a tapioca and almond flour based crust. Technically, almonds are a food I am not supposed to have a lot of, so I wanted to also try out a very interesting alternative – yuca root crust. The third crust was completely accidental! When attempting to make Hayley’s crust the first time, I accidently poured in potato starch instead of tapioca starch! Turns out, it works just as well! I figured that was a good substitution tip to share with you all.

The almond flour/starch based crust firms up nicely, and is quite crunchy and delicious when cooked. The taro root crust is quite soft, yet still manages to be “bread-like” when cooked. We also lightly pan-fried these pockets for a crunchy outside, and then they were perfect.

I don’t have permission to share’s Hayley’s beautiful crust recipe with you all, since it’s part of her lovely eBook. However, if you aren’t able to purchase her book or the bundle right now, you could try this similar recipe here (just be aware that the ratios are different and I haven’t actually tried this recipe yet). For the amount of filling below, I’d double it.  I DO want to share my own tips with on making them however, and my own filling recipe.

You can also buy the bundle by clicking on the button below.

Grain-free Pizza pockets - These freeze well and are so fun!

For an almond flour/starch batter:

  • Don’t expect your first few to look perfect. Like most things it takes a little practice. At first I wasn’t spreading out the batter in the pan thin enough, so my pockets were too small for the amount of filling I should have been using. My first few were not beautiful, but they were still delicious!
  • Don’t overcook the batter when pan cooking your pocket dough. If it gets too crunchy, it’s harder to press together (if that happens moisten your fork with a little water).
  • Instead of pressing the edges together in the hot pan, I removed it to a plate, poured in batter for the next pocket dough, and while the first side cooked, moved to the plate, and pressed the edges together.
  • Put some music on and relax while you are making them! It does take a little time, but once you get a rhythm going, it goes much faster.

Grain Free Pizza Pockets - made with a yuca dough!

For the yuca crust

I got my recipe from Predominately Paleo, who I believe first created the “yuca dough.” Kudos to her for developing them!

A few notes:

    • The yuca has to be peeled, boiled, blended, and then cooled before you can work with it. This takes some time, but each step is very simple, and most of the time is not hands-on time, but waiting time.
    • The dough is very soft, and a fairly easy to break, so you have to make much smaller pockets.
    • Pan-frying them after cooking is the way to go. We also found that they could be cold in the refrigerator (as leftovers), and panfrying them warms them up perfectly. Win-win!
    • You absolutely should watch this video to see what you are going to be doing. It should take away any fears about the recipe.

  • Don’t overheat your blender when blending.
  • I loved the dough, but definitely think salt should be added to it. I’d recommend 1 teaspoon during the blending process.

To get the recipe for the dough (and another delicious filling) go here.

I also wanted to note that this method of freezing breakfast burritos would probably work great for these pizza pockets too!

Grain-Free Pizza "Pockets"
 
 
Next time, I am thinking of adding a red pepper, cubed mushrooms, and olives to the mix! This is enough to fill one recipe of the almond/starch crust, or the yuca crust recipe. Our favorite was the pork. Follow the instruction for filling the crusts per recipe you’ve chosen to use.
Ingredients
  • ¾ pound ground beef or pork, grassfed preferred for the beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • A generous pinch of thyme and oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (we used goat), optional
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, brown the meat with the dried herbs and garlic. When cooked through, if needed, remove any grease with a spoon (tip the pan slightly to allow the grease to run to one side).
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and then salt generously to taste.
  3. If using the cheese, place a couple tablespoons on top of the meat filling before closing.