Gluten-free Dough Cakes (Inspired by The Secret Garden)

This family-pleasing flat bread will bring the smell of a Victorian cottage to your kitchen!

By Andrea Fabry of It Takes Time

You, like Dickon, will love these Dough Cakes. A gluten-free dough is gently patted into discs and enriched with butter and sweetener. Fifteen minutes later these lovely lightly sweetened cakes emerge from the oven ready for tea time.

These Victorian-era Dough Cakes are based on the book The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Dough cakes are made from old fashioned cottage loaves, a favorite of English “cottagers”.

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite children’s book. It’s filled with references to natural health, extolling the benefits of fresh air, clean water, and wholesome food.

In Chapter eight, Martha, Mary Lennox’s  good-natured maid, and companion, offers a glimpse into the life of a poor, loving family.

Martha recounts her recent visit to her home and tells Mary about the delicious Dough Cakes she and her mother prepared for each of the 12 children.

“I had’em all pipin’ hot when they came in from playin’ on the’ moor. An’ th’ cottage all smelt o’nice, clean hot bakin’ an’ there was a good fire, an’ they just shouted for joy. Our Dickon he said our cottage was good enough for a king.”

Text from The Secret Garden

What is a Dough Cake?

Dough Cakes rely on bread dough taken from cottage loaf dough, a rustic Victorian bread made in the bottom of a brick oven.

Amy Cotler, the author of The Secret Garden Cookbook, describes Dough Cakes this way:

“Stotty cake or oven bottom cakes were often made for a quick meal. Pieces were pulled off the bread dough; they were flattened and baked quickly at the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes, then split and buttered for served with bacon. As there was plenty of bread dough on hand, cottagers baked small pieces and filled them with brown sugar for a special treat. ”

This recipe can be adapted to suit any preference. Add some sweetener and cinnamon to the dough for even more flavor!

Resources:

(Amazon links affiliate)

Other Recipes Inspired by Books

 Dough-Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of your favorite bread dough. (Since we’re grain-free I rely on my Gluten-free Sourdough Quinoa Bread which uses kombucha as a starter. Find the recipe here.)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee.
  • 4 teaspoons sweetener of choice. (We use Monk Fruit sweetener)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Divide dough into four portions.

3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.

5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

6. Let rest for 15 minutes

7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through. (Approximately 15 minutes.)

Serve warm.

Makes four medium Dough Cakes.

Gluten-free Dough Cakes (Inspired by The Secret Garden)
 
Author:
Serves: 4 medium Dough Cakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups of your favorite gluten-free bread dough
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
  • 4 teaspoons sweetener or sweetener alternative
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide dough into four sections.
  3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.
  5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with ½ teaspoon of butter.
  6. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through.
  8. Serve warm.

 

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

By April Swiger, Contributing writer

Comfort food at its finest – this unique chili recipe is satisfying, nourishing, and quick to put together for any night of the week. Vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene-rich butternut squash serves as a delicious base for this recipe, making it hearty enough to prepare without any additional grains (something our family has experimented with eliminating recently). This winter gourd is my favorite for cold-weather recipes, and a staple in my kitchen until spring starts to make its appearance.

Chili is my go-to recipe for crowds, and I typically make it 3-4 times a month for my family. It’s a relatively simple meal, especially for busy moms who desire to cook nourishing food for their families. Put everything in a pot, let it simmer, and serve it with a variety of yummy toppings. To be honest though, my typical recipe was beginning to bore me. I served chili with rice, roasted potatoes, tortillas, organic corn chips, you name it I probably tried it! It was time for a change.

Butternut squash is jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients essential to help combat cold and flu season. A mere one cup serving will give your immune system a very nice boost. On top of that, who can resist that gorgeous tangerine color? I use a strong vegetable peeler to easily take the skin off, and then quickly chop it into small pieces for this recipe.

This recipe makes a very large pot and serves our family of three a hearty dinner, as well as a filling lunch the next day. The leftovers are equally as delicious, and it freezes great as well!

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
 
This simple chili recipe has a unique twist with the addition of butternut squash! It proves to be filling, nourishing, and perfect for any night of the week.
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small - medium butternut squash (2-3lbs), chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans
  • 1½ cups crushed tomatoes (I love the BPA free Pomi cartons during the winter when fresh tomatoes aren’t as accessible)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 3 cups broth
  • OPTIONAL: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, chopped green onions, etc.
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped onion, beef, and butter in a large pot. Cook on medium high heat until the meat is browned and completely cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the squash, garlic, and gather the rest of your ingredients.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (garlic, squash, beans, tomatoes, spices, broth) to the pot. Bring everything to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the squash is soft.
  4. Top with your favorite chili toppings. I love avocado and cheddar cheese!

 

Easy Mint Chocolate Fudge (Dairy and Gluten free)

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Velvety smooth fudge, rich in chocolate, mingled with refreshing peppermint is a must-try this season. This mint chocolate fudge is the perfect way to satisfy a craving, or finish off a hearty meal this holiday season. Even better it’s surprisingly quick to make, and can be boxed up easily to give as a lovely gift.

I am a huge fan of fudge. It’s always my go-to treat during summer vacations at the beach, and my top pick off the Christmas dessert table. The first time I made fudge at home I used Kimi’s recipe for the easiest, healthiest, most scrumptious fudge ever (also see this version using maple syrup). It definitely lived up to its name, and I have made it many times since then to satisfy those pesky little chocolate cravings. I love that her recipe, and the one I created as well, is free from refined sugar, dairy, gluten, and all other kinds of yucky ingredients the more typical fudge recipes have. This version starts with chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder for a more stable fudge for gift giving.

My 3 year old son is a major chocolate lover. He saw me pull out my bag of chips and immediately wanted to help with whatever I was doing. I purposefully made this recipe as simple as possible because, well, life can be a bit crazy with a toddler in tow…especially during the holiday season! He had so much fun helping me dump all the ingredients into a big bowl (not as much as he enjoyed trying to finished product though). I received a hearty “yum yum yummy in my tum tum tummy!” after his first bite 🙂

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

There are some fantastic chocolate chips on the market that are completely allergy free, and would be a great option for this recipe. I have used the Enjoy Life Brand of chocolate chips, which are very allergy friendly, a number of times and find the flavor and texture top notch!

You can use either the (Affiliate links)  Semi-Sweet chocolate chips, or the dark chocolate chips in this recipe. Truly though, any chocolate of your choice should work, and the amount of honey you add to sweeten the recipe can be adjusted to your liking as well. I used Frontier’s Natural Mint Extract for flavoring my fudge, and it was delicious!

Homemade gifts are some of my favorite to give. Even the most frugal and simple recipe can be made extra special with its presentation. This fudge wrapped in parchment paper, tied up in colorful bakers twine, and a special box makes for a very thoughtful gift.

Other healthy, and homemade, gifts you may enjoy:

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
 
This velvety mint chocolate fudge is simple to make, includes nourishing ingredients, and is a lovely gift to give this season!
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teapoons peppermint extract
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl, and create a double boiler by placing it over a pot of lightly simmering water.
  2. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly. Stir continuously until all of the ingredients are smooth and incorporated.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. If desired, top with crushed candy cane pieces. Refrigerate until hardened, and cut into small square pieces to serve.

 

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Sweet, tangy, and a little bit of red-pepper-kick, these honey garlic drumsticks are the perfect meal for a hot summer night. I love the flavorful dark meat that chicken legs have to offer. Not only are they an incredibly frugal cut of meat, but the seasoning possibilities are near endless. Add in the simplicity of a slow cooker/Crockpot, and you have a nourishing meal for the whole family, or a crowd, without much effort.

When the weather is beautiful and warm, it’s much more difficult to give up time outside for prepping meals. We don’t have central air in our home, so turning on the oven during the summer can be a little uncomfortable. It’s easy to forget that crockpots aren’t just for hearty wintertime soups, stews, and chillies! I’ve learned that it’s a great option to beat the summer heat, and a convenient way to enjoy a delicious meal after a fun day outside.

This recipe can be easily prepared in the slow cooker crock itself, minimizing the amount of dishes needed to be washed. It’s also easy to adapt based on how much “kick” you desire. You can thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder after the chicken is cooked. Pour it over the meat, or into a bowl for dipping. You definitely don’t want to skip this part as the sauce is absolutely delectable!

More time in the sun with family and friends, and less time in your kitchen – a win all around in my book! Keep it simple and serve these drumsticks with a side salad, carrot and celery sticks, rice or quinoa, or some sautéed veggies with butter or coconut oil.

Kimi uses this (affliate links)  slow cooker, and uses this clay cooker for making quinoa or rice on hot days.

Time at the stove: 10 minutes if you choose to sauté or steam some vegetables. 20 minutes if you make rice or quinoa. Or none if you serve it with cold vegetables or a salad.

Time at the oven: 5 minutes if you choose to broil the legs for a crispy skin.

Other drumstick/wing recipes:

Other crockpot recipes:

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
 
These drumsticks are a perfect mixture of sweet and tangy, with a bit of kick! They are effortless to prepare and make a great summertime meal for your family, or a crowd.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken legs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 Tbls coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced (garlic lovers use 5!)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated, or about ¼ tsp dried
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbls arrowroot powder or cornstarch (used at the end to thicken the sauce)
Instructions
  1. In the crock of your slow cooker whisk together the honey, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
  2. Add the drumsticks to the crock, and toss them until they are fully coated with the sauce.
  3. Cook the drumsticks on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-4 hours.
  4. When the chicken legs are fully cooked, remove them from the crock, leaving the sauce inside.
  5. OPTIONAL - If desired, you can place the legs under the broiler at this point to crisp up the skin. About 5 minutes at 400 F should be sufficient.
  6. Ladle out ½ cup of the sauce into a small bowl, and whisk in the arrowroot powder or cornstarch (this step may not be necessary, but I find it's easier to get the lumps out in a smaller amount of sauce).
  7. Pour the sauce and arrowroot/cornstarch mixture back into the crock with the rest of the sauce. Whisk it in and allow it to thicken for a few minutes with the crock on 'high.'
  8. Serve the drumsticks with the sauce poured on top, or in a small bowl for dipping!