Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free

Today we are spending the day with our friends Lynn and Matt in Philadelphia! But I remembered to bake you a few delicious morsels that you could enjoy while Chris and I are off on our grand USA adventure! Today I’m bringing you these tender, spiced muffins studded with creamy pistachios. Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy latest career aspiration: become The Muffin Woman. You know, the one who lives on Drury Lane? Okay, I don’t live on Drury Lane, but maybe I can become The Muffin Woman. Or the muffin and cookie woman? Or the muffin, cookie, and way-too-many-quinoa-salads woman? I think I’ll just stick with Moonlighting Food Blogger Woman. Who also happens to make lots of muffins. Because make muffins I do.Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI baked these beauties one Friday night in anticipation of a sweet, slow breakfast the next morning. The smell of baking spice and brown sugar wafting through the house was so tempting – and I managed to only gobble one of them down when they came out of the oven. The combination of creamy pistachios and hearty spiced chai is delightful and these muffins are definitely better on the second day. The spices settle and become more pronounced when they are cooled down, and the tops become slightly crispy-chewy while the crumb stays moist, fluffy, and soft. The chai taste here comes not from a mix of spices, but directly from the tea bag! You just cut open two chai tea bags and add them directly to the batter – direct flavour delivery!Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhile these muffins taste decadent, they are actually secretly healthy! There’s only 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of oil in the whole recipe! The secret to great-tasting healthier muffins is to amp up the spice factor, and these Pistachio Chai Muffins deliver! They are also kept moist by a healthy dose of Greek yoghurt in the batter – another healthy muffin making secret. Pistachios are one of my favourite nuts, and these creamy green delights are both mixed into the batter and sprinkled on top. Put the kettle on my friends, pour yourself some chai and make a batch of muffins today!Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Pistachio Chai Muffins

Makes 12 muffins | Gluten Free | Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek (or natural) yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and oil a 12-hole (1/3 cup) muffin tin very thoroughly.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together sorghum flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the contents of the two tea bags.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, yoghurt, oil, vanilla essence, egg and brown sugar until very well combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add 1/3 cup of pistachios and mix until distributed.
  5. Divide mixture evenly between holes in pre-oiled muffin tin.
  6. Roughly chop extra two tablespoons pistachios and sprinkle over the top of the uncooked muffins.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched.
  8. Remove muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. To remove easily run a thin-bladed knife around the baked muffins to loosen them from the tin.
  9. Serve with a cup of chai!

Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins | Gluten Free

Carrot cake lovers rejoice! Now you can eat your favourite sweet treat for breakfast in a healthy, gluten free form. Grab those carrots and let’s get baking!Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comCarrot cake is high on my list of favourite cakes. It’s right up there with coffee and walnut (my absolute favourite), funfetti, and orange and poppy seed. But, alas, I cannot eat cake for breakfast anymore and so, these muffins came into existence. I wanted the classic flavour of carrot cake but packed into a portable, and healthy, breakfast item. When it comes to carrot cake there are a few points of importance that must be achieved:

  • Moist crumb
  • Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
  • Sweet, but not too sweet
  • Studded with tasty bits and pieces

These four important points provided my guide posts for the perfect healthier version of carrot cake in muffin form.Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comA moist crumb isn’t always easy to achieve when you are trying to create a healthier version of a baked good, but we have four ingredients working to ensure our healthy muffins aren’t hockey pucks: apple puree, oil, Greek yoghurt, and a touch of brown sugar. These four ingredients work together to weave a magically moist but still healthy muffin. Moist crumb: check!

My healthier muffin is spiced with my favourite warm and welcoming spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. These are the holy trinity for carrot cakes in my opinion, and each brings a little something special without overpowering the others.Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comKeeping baked goods healthy but still tasty requires smart use of sweeteners and natural sugars to back them up. These muffins are still sweetened lightly with some brown sugar and maple syrup, and the apple puree provides a background of natural sweetness too. I don’t like my breakfast baked goods too sweet, so these are lightly sweetened. If you want a special treat, serve them warm and spread them with honey for extra sweetness. Or perhaps a little cream cheese for that true carrot cake touch.

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Now, I understand that the inclusion of, and variety of nuts included, in a carrot cake is a controversial issue (or is that just my circle of friends?). Are you a walnut person? A pecan person? A no-nut person? There is room for all in this healthy carrot cake muffin recipe. If you like pecans, simply substitute them for the walnuts. If you don’t do nuts in your perfect carrot cake, then leave them out. Simples. Similarly the issue of dried fruit. My Mama is not a fan of the sultana, and it is not welcome in her baked goods. Because I filled her freezer with these muffins so that she has quick, healthy snacks when she gets back from holidays, I left out the sultanas. But I would totally add them in if I was making them for myself…

I made these on a Sunday morning before heading out for a big walk under a cloudy grey sky. When I returned they made the perfect morning snack with a big cup of sweet tea. They are fluffy and light. No dense, dry, or gluey gluten free muffins here. These rise up tall and proud and beckon you back for ‘just one more’ every time you think you’ve eaten your fill. I hope there are some left by the time Mum and Dad come home…Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

Gluten Free | Makes approximately 20 muffins | Best eaten on the day of making. Freeze leftovers well-wrapped in plastic wrap for up to two months

Note: If you do not need these to be gluten free you can replace the first four ingredients with 250 grams plain flour.

Ingredients

  • 60 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple puree
  • 3 tablespoons rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup Greek/natural yoghurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot (2 medium carrots)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped, reserve 2 tablespoons for topping muffins if desired.

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and spray 2 x 12 hole muffin tins with cooking spray. Make sure you coat them very well to prevent sticking.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a medium size bowl whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, apple puree, rice brain oil, yoghurt and eggs.
  4. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Add carrots and walnuts to the batter and stir until distributed.
  6. Divide batter between muffin cups. Fill to about 3/4 of the way. This will ensure nice tall muffins.
  7. Baked for 15-20 minutes, rotating trays halfway through cooking time. Bake until tops are slightly golden and bounce back when lightly touched.
  8. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in the tin before removing and cooling to room temperature.

Someone else wanted in on the carrot cake muffin action too!Toby Carrot Cake Muffins

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free

Buttery gluten free cupcakes filled with sweet-tart passionfruit curd and topped with creamy white chocolate frosting. My passionfruit curd cupcakes with white chocolate frosting bring a ray of sunshine to any day that needs just a little sweet treat.Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI am crazy about cupcakes, just in case you couldn’t tell. In a world of hearty soups and grain-filled salads, they are the perfect (couple of) bite-size treat. And the cake : frosting ratio is far more favourable for a frosting fiend like me. A few weeks ago at the markets I spotted some beautiful winter passionfruit and I needed, needed I tell you, to do something more with them than just drizzle their sunshine-coloured innards over some thick Greek yoghurt for breakfast. Cupcakes were the perfect solution.Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI whipped up a batch of buttery, gluten free cupcakes, hollowed out the insides and then got to work making passionfruit curd. If you are apprehensive about making fruit curd, or have had a bad experience in the past, don’t worry. This curd is super easy to make. In fact, this was the first time I had ever made fruit curd so I was scared too! But this technique is easy to master, and once you do, the world of fruit curds is open to you! The three things that are important to remember when making curd are:

  1. have everything in place and measured before you start
  2. keep stirring, stirring, stirring
  3. pay attention to thickness and remove it from the heat when it resembles a thick custard

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhen the curd was cooled it was oh so perfectly sweet but tart and smooth and buttery, and nestled eagerly inside the cupcake hollows. To conceal this tart buttery treat I whipped up a batch of easy white chocolate buttercream and finished the cupcake with swirls of frosting. Chris and I both love this buttercream, and there may have been some post-frosting bowl licking done…Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSitting on their platter these cupcakes look very unassuming, but once you bite into a tiny treat you are rewarded with the surprise of passionfruit curd paired with the sweet white chocolate buttercream. I took these to work on Monday and they were by far the most popular flavour on display that day – and until I told someone they were gluten free, no one could tell!

Whipping up my favourite treats in gluten free form is one of the best results any kitchen experiment could have. So enjoy some experimenting in your kitchen! Get to making some gluten free passionfruit curd cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream for your nearest and dearest. Let me know if you do! Just tag your creations #nourishedlifecupcakes or @achatwin and let me know how your kitchen experiments are going! Remember, the sweetest part of making cupcakes is sharing with the ones you love!Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

Note: make the curd first so that it has time to cool while you bake the cupcakes. This recipe will make extra passionfruit curd, which will keep in a well-sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to a week. It is rather enjoyable spread on toast, or swirled into yoghurt as a healthy dessert!

Gluten Free | Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the passionfruit curd

  • 1/3 cup passionfruit pulp
  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 60 grams butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks

For the cupcakes

  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt

For the frosting

  • 100 grams white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 125 grams softened butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two 12-hole cupcake tins with papers for 15 cupcakes.
  2. Make the curd first. Whisk together all ingredients in a small, heavy-based sauce pan. Set over low heat, and cook while constantly stirring, for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. The curd will resemble a thick custard at this point. Remove immediately from the heat and pour into a clean jar or container. Refrigerate for an hour, or until cooled and set.
  3. Now, to make the cupcakes. In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
  6. Add vanilla extract and beat in.
  7. Add flour in two parts alternating with the yoghurt. After each addition mix until just combined.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners fill only two-thirds of the way to avoid spill-over.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
  10. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool before decorating and frosting.
  11. Once cupcakes are cooled use the small end of a piping tip or a very sharp knife to cut a small (~1cm diameter and 1cm deep) cone from the top of the cupcakes. Spoon about a ½ teaspoon passionfruit into each cupcake.
  12. To make the frosting place the butter in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) and beat until light in colour and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  13. Add melted and cooled white chocolate, icing sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  14. Fit a piping bag with your choice of decorating tip, spoon frosting into bag and frost the top of the cupcakes.

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | Gluten Free

Soft and sweet miniature banana, peanut butter, and chocolate chip muffins make the perfect afternoon snack. These tiny sweet treats are super simple to make, and healthy too!

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy afternoon pre-gym snacks have been a little lacklustre lately: carrot sticks, celery sticks, plain rice thins – not exactly the sort of power snack that inspires a powerful workout after riding a desk all day. The key to a successful afternoon snack I feel is a combination of a few elements: something slightly sweet (to get over that 3pm slump); something healthy (to support my health goals); and something light but still filling (to stop the tummy rumbles but not weigh me down).

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese adorable little bites contain all of my favourite pre-run nibbles: crunchy creamy peanut butter, sweet ripe bananas, and oh-so-nice milk chocolate chips. Yes, chocolate chips are a perfectly acceptable pre-run nibble on occasion. And when paired with protein and healthy fat packed peanut butter and complex carbohydrate containing banana in my mini muffins they are just the cherry on-top of a healthy little nibble. You can leave them out of course, at your own risk….

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins are super quick to make too. I whipped these up on a busy Tuesday night so that I would have running fuel for the rest of the week. They also make a great quick and easy breakfast. Simpy grab a few mini muffins and some yoghurt or fruit and you have a great on-the-go breakfast. If you are making these for kids who go to a no-nut policy school you can simply substitute the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter, or use two extra tablespoons of yoghurt instead.

Get out that mixing bowl and spoon tonight – you are only twenty minutes away from a sweet healthy treat for your lunchbox tomorrow!

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Gluten Free | Makes about 24 mini muffins | Best eaten within two days | Freeze leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 1 large banana, well mashed
  • 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt (or plain, natural yoghurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and spray a 24-hole mini muffin baking tin with baking oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat together mashed banana, yoghurt, egg, oil, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips (reserve a few for dotting onto the top if you’d like) and stir until distributed through batter.
  6. Divide batter between holes of mini muffin tin. Fill only to 2/3 of the way to avoid the muffins spilling over the top.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then tip out to cool completely.

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Gluten Free | Vegan

Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little baked treats are made of. In my house, spice reigns supreme especially when the nights grow darker and winter deepens. Warm yourself by the oven and make a batch of my Ginger and Apple Muffins to share with some sweet friends.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWere you taught the ‘what little girls are made of’ rhyme as a child? I remember hearing ‘sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of’ now and again as a little girl. As a grown woman, I like to think that I have grown up to be a good mix of sugar and spice, but I just know my personality errs on the spicy side most of the time. Oh, and I have a surprisingly salty vocabulary (that’s what comes from being an ex-Navy cook’s daughter) that comes in handy from time to time (especially when you forget to use a tea towel to grab a sheet pan out of the oven…

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten FreeWhen it comes to baking I am definitely a spice lover. Opening each different jar or grating and grinding the fresh spices instantly whisks me away. Spices connect us to other places and times. The scent of cardamom is my Danish grandmother’s kitchen where abelskiver are cooking on the stove. Cinnamon is the bakery in New York where my best friend and I recovered from a long flight. And ginger, ginger is my Mum dunking gingersnap cookies into ice cold milk on a summer afternoon. Ginger is home.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese muffins are for cold mornings in the kitchen, tramping around in stocking feet and brewing strong black builder’s tea, chopping dusky skinned apples and waking up slowly to the aroma of ginger and brown sugar warming in the oven. These Ginger and Apple Muffins are damp and sweet from brown sugar and golden syrup and studded with chunks of tart apple. They bake up tall and generous and make a house smell like home. Invite someone over, anyone, these muffins are gluten free and vegan so everyone can enjoy them, or eat them alone with only a book and the slow-rising sun for company.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Ginger and Apple Muffins

Vegan | Gluten Free | Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients

  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil e.g. grapeseed)
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 2 medium apples (Sundowner are my favourites)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking papers.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, white rice flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together almond milk, oil, golden syrup, and brown sugar until smooth and well combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Quarter and core one of the apples, and chop into cubes. Mix into batter until distributed.
  6. Divide batter between muffin papers.
  7. Quarter and core the second apple. Cut into thin slices and place a few on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove. These are best eaten the day they are made, but can be wrapped in plastic wrap (once completely cooled) and frozen for up to two months.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free

Tomorrow is my Christopher’s birthday. For 28 years this tall, smiley, ginger-haired man has been bringing light and laughter to the world, and for the past 2 ½ years I have had the greatest blessing to be in his life and by his side.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeChris, you bring the sparkle, you are the party, and you know how to drop the Boom! There is no one who knows how to live in the moment and love every minute of it better than you. You inspire me to leave the heaviness behind and remember the joy of life. You are joie de vivre personified. My sweetheart, you are my safest harbour, my surest compass, and my greatest adventure. I am so proud of the man you are. Happy birthday my love. Here is to many more years of midnight ice cream runs, snuggles in front of the television, sunset harbour walks, and dancing in the kitchen.

Oh, and many, many more cupcakes.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI made these cupcakes a few weeks ago as part of a super-secret special project that I will share with you soon. Chris loved them! Fluffy, sprinkle-speckled cupcakes topped with birthday cake flavoured frosting showered with more sprinkles. Message: you can never have enough sprinkles, or frosting. In honour of the birthday boy I had to share the recipe for these super-festive cupcakes with you all!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhen you take your first big bite of this cupcake you will be taken back to childhood days of boxed mix sprinkle cakes (funfetti for my US readers) – this special memory conjuring flavour comes from the addition of almond extract as well as vanilla extract. These cupcakes are just like Betty Crocker makes, only better! The buttercream is my super fluffy birthday cake buttercream frosting covered in even more sprinkles! Yes, they really do taste just as pretty and perfect as they look (no, modesty is not a problem I suffer from when it comes to cupcake making). Imagine the best bakery vanilla cupcake you have ever had – the lightness of crumb, the perfect lip-smacking sweetness of the fluffy whipped buttercream frosting, the sugary crunch of a rainbow of sprinkles – this is that cupcake, now yours to make at home.

I couldn’t believe how quickly these disappeared when I brought them along to a family lunch. All that was left was a few wrappers and lots of buttercream-induced smiles! Need a treat for an upcoming birthday party? My Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes are sure to make the party! You can change the sprinkles up to suit your colour palette too. Try red and pink for a little girl’s party, or how about red and green for Christmas!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese cupcakes are gluten free but you would never know it – and you don’t need any special gums or ground chia seeds to get the perfect light and fluffy (not crumbly, gummy or gluey) cake – the secret: Greek yoghurt and the perfect balance of flours. A few notes of getting the perfect cupcakes everytime:

  • Make sure your butter, eggs, and yoghurt are at room temperature. This is really important for the texture of your cupcakes.
  • Believe me when I tell you to whisk all of your flours together. Evenly whisked/sifted flours make for a fluffy crumb, and ensures that your leavening ingredient (baking powder in this case) are distributed throughout the batter so you get consistent happy cupcakes from every batch!
  • Really cream your butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. You want fluffy cupcakes? Put that mixer to work! Cream that butter and sugar until it is pearlescent for the best results.

Enough technical baking stuff! Now, you need to turn your oven on, get our your prettiest sprinkles and some matching cupcake papers and get to work because every day deserves a little celebration!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Gluten Free | Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond essence
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
  • ¼ cup multi-coloured sprinkles

For the frosting

  • 125 grams softened butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond essence
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles, to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two 12-hole cupcake tins with papers for 15 cupcakes.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
  5. Add vanilla extract and almond essence and beat in.
  6. Add flour in two parts alternating with the yoghurt. After each addition mix until just combined.
  7. Use a wooden spoon to mix in sprinkles.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners fill only two-thirds of the way to avoid spill-over.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
  10. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.
  11. To make the frosting place the butter in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) and beat until light in colour and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  12. Add icing sugar, vanilla extract, almond essence and milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  13. Fit a piping bag with your choice of decorating tip, spoon frosting into bag and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free

Fudgy,dark chocolate brownie bites topped with creamy sweet white chocolate buttercream are the perfect last minute gluten free sweet treat for weekend celebrations. In under an hour you can have them on the table or wrapped up to give to the ones you love!

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTomorrow is Easter Sunday and these tiny double chocolate treats are my contribution to our family morning tea. I made these as an Easter gift for Chris’s parents, and they were so quick and easy and full of my favourite sweet flavours that I just needed to make them again! I based my brownie bites on my favourite melt and mix brownie mixture. These brownies are based on melted chocolate and butter with a simple dump and stir method, which yields a chewy brownie, and they feature a double-chocolate dose with the addition of cocoa powder to the mix. Double chocolate? Double yum!

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhite chocolate buttercream is my new favourite buttercream. I could (and have) eaten this sweet, caramel, fluffy frosting until I feel sick. The pure sweet blankness of white chocolate buttercream contrasts with the slightly bitter dark chocolate brownie bites so well. These might be tiny treats, but they make an impact. Each little cake is just enough to satisfy any chocolate cravings that your Easter eggs might not have satisfied. And they are just so cute!

If you look closely at the sprinkles on top of my little brownie bites, they are tiny little pink rabbits, blue birds, yellow chicks, and green eggs. I loved these pastel sprinkles when I saw them at the cake shop a few weeks ago and I was so excited to use them in my Easter baking. If you need a last minute treat for the table, try these delicious triple chocolate treats, and if you have kids who want to help make Easter gifts these are perfect for little hands. I hope everyone has a sweet holiday with plenty of time with their families. Happy Easter to you all.

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBrownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream

Gluten Free | Makes about 24 bites | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Ingredients

For the brownie bites

  • 125 grams dark (60-70%) chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 40 grams hazelnut meal
  • 40 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs

For the frosting

  • 85 grams good quality white chocolate
  • 120 grams butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and grease a 24 hole mini muffin pan.
  2. In a large saucepan melt butter and chocolate together over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients.
  4. Divide brownie batter evenly between holes in the tin.
  5. Bake until tops of brownies bounce back when lightly touched, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Allow brownie bites to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired.
  7. To make the frosting. Melt white chocolate and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Beat butter in the bowl of an standmixer (or in a bowl with a handheld mixture) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add cooled white chocolate, icing sugar, milk, and vanilla essence. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  10. Frost and decorate brownie bites as desired. I used a piping bag fitted with a small star tip.

Brownie Bites with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Top Ten Gluten Free Treats For Your Sweet This Valentine’s Day

Florists are hurriedly filling their shelves, rose petals dripping to the floor; chocolatiers present rows of gleaming handmade creations for lovers to gift to each other; and restaurant staff starch tablecloths, polish cutlery until it gleams, and cook plates of perfect aphrodisiacs. These are all beautiful ways to show your love on Valentine’s Day, but I’ve always been more of the homemade type. Something made with hand and heart for the one you love. The time is the gift, and love is a verb.

Here are my Top Ten Gluten Free Treats for Your Sweet this Valentine’s Day from Thoroughly Nourished Life:

Two forks and a plate with a massive slice of my Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting would be a sweet end to Valentine’s Day.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOr how about two spoons and a tub of my Irish Coffee Ice Cream? Chris and I bonded over our love of whisky, so this would be a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

Irish Coffee Ice Cream | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a vegan salty sweet treat for your beloved? Tahini and Peanut Butter Cookies would be welcomed by anyone – bonus points if you wrap them up in a cute little box with tissue paper!

Peanut Butter and Tahini Cookies | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a little spice in your life this Valentine’s Day? (Don’t worry, this isn’t about to turn into that kind of blog!) Try my Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeChocolate and Peanut Butter, not since Romeo and Juliet have there been two more meant for each other. Here in my Peanut Butter Doughnuts with Chocolate Peanut Glaze, rather more successfully than those teenage lovers, chocolate and peanut butter are united in heavenly doughnut form.

Peanut Butter Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOh so you aren’t going away to a tropical island with your lover for Valentine’s Day? Neither am I, but I’m tempted to bring the tropical home with a batch of Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream. These gluten free cupcakes are also perfect for a Gal-entine’s Day celebration too! Perfect for that Sex and the City / Friends marathon!

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeHow about some pure, lustful, lush chocolate indulgence? My Frosted Peppermint Brownies are an aphrodisiac for sure….(leave out the mint and candy canes for pure chocolate sin…)

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIs your sweetheart a cookie monster? I’m lucky that I have found a fellow cookie monster to love, and my Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of our favourite indulgences. Best when paired with binge watching Parks and Recreation.

Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comBreakfast in bed, or maybe brunch in bed in your plans for this weekend? My Zucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes (with plenty of maple syrup) are a sweet and wholesome start to the day.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAnd now, for the pull-out all stops, don’t bother going out for dinner, just grab a fork and your stretchy pants and let’s eat in bed, piece de resistance – Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Layer Cake. It’s over the top, it’s more than over the top. It’s magnums of champagne, 25 carat diamond, a thousand red roses strewn on white silk sheets over the top, but sometimes, that’s exactly what love needs to be.

Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Layer Cake 3

And a few more love-ly links from around our internet world:

  • Just in time for our Lady and the Tramp Valentine’s Day re-enactments, Not Quite Nigella gives us perfect Bean and Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs. The call it bella notte….
  • Red Velvet is Chris’s current love language, and doughnuts, well of course, doughnuts are the ultimate symbol of love – they look like a hug after all. Lynn from Fresh April Flours combines the two in her delightful Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts.
  • If a jar of Nutella is one of your ultimate couple foods (just add two spoons for happiness) – this Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake from Urban Bakes is the perfect up-your-game treat for Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! And even if Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing, I hope you have an extra sweet weekend too!

Lamingtons for Australia Day | Gluten Free

Lamingtons are an iconic Australian treat, and you are going to love my gluten free lamingtons. They are just like the treat you remember: a soft, vanilla sponge with a sweet and simple dark chocolate glaze and a coating of powdery coconut. It’s time to celebrate Australia Day with the sweetest of treats!

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comLamingtons are an essential part of any Australia Day celebration. These little squares of vanilla cake coated in chocolate glaze and dunked in coconut might appear strange to visitors to our shores, but since 1896 they have been beloved by Australians, and as iconic on our dessert tables as Pavlova, custard slice and Peach Melba. Now, I present my gluten free lamingtons to you so that all your Australia Day guests can enjoy a true blue Australian treat.

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comAustralia Day is a time for us to celebrate our history as a nation, our heroes, and our villains. As is true of any country, there are parts of our history that we aren’t proud of and events that haunt us still, but to me Australia Day is a time to celebrate how far we have come in building our nation and the hope that lies in our better tomorrows. It’s also a day to gather round the barbecue with our families and friends, to play odd Australian bush games (two-up anyone?), make fun of our accents and strange words, call each other ridiculous Aussie nicknames, and just enjoy a public holiday in the beautiful summer weather.

The barbecue (that’s barbie in Australian) is the most common way to celebrate Australia Day along with sausages (Aussie: snags); steaks; salads (usually based on iceberg lettuce); and backyard cricket. When dessert time comes around the Pavlova (Aussie: Pav) is usually the centrepiece of the table; crowned with a thick draping of whipped cream and slices of kiwi fruit and strawberries it is a looker, but if you look off to the side there is always, always a packet of lamingtons – and they go fast!

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comMy homemade lamingtons take a basic gluten free vanilla cake recipe, dunk it in a thick chocolate glaze, and sprinkle it with desiccated coconut. These are the perfect treat to make with kids. Just prepare yourself for a messy kitchen, messy kids – and a delicious homemade treat! The most important thing about these lamingtons is to keep the cake in the fridge until you are ready to slice, glaze, and dunk them. This gluten free cake recipe is not crumbly, but it helps to make the cake a little hardier before it gets handled in this way (I would do this with non-gluten free lamingtons too).

They look a little strange when you first make them, but once you bite into the soft spongy, vanilla scented cake and get a lick of deep chocolate glaze with the tiniest hint of coconut you will understand the lamington’s allure. They are just the treat for long, hot summer nights; workplace morning teas; or for sneaking out of the fridge for a midnight snack. It is an Aussie truth that only the sneakiest gets the last lamington of the night – so be quick!

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Gluten Free Lamingtons

Makes 16 lamingtons | Gluten Free | Leftovers will keep in airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.

Note: if you want to dress these up you can try serving them with whipped cream and berries.

Ingredients

For the lamingtons

  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 55 grams white rice flour
  • 55 grams brown rice flour
  • 55 grams buckwheat flour
  • 55 grams almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds

For the frosting

  • 4 cups gluten free icing sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and grease a 9-inch square pan with butter. Line the bottom with baking paper and set aside until needed.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together white rice flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a small jug mix together milk, vanilla extract, and chia seeds.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well to incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom between additions.
  5. Switch mixing speed to low and add flour mixture to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
  6. Add milk mixture and beat on low until well incorporated.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove cake from the pan and cool completely before decorating with frosting.
  8. Once lamingtons are cooled trim the sides of the cake so that they are even and then cut the cake into 16 equal squares. Transfer the cake squares to the freezer for two hours.
  9. Once the lamingtons are chilled you can decorate them. Combine icing sugar, cocoa powder, and water and beat until thoroughly mixed. Measure coconut into a large bowl.
  10. Using two forks dip one piece of cake into the frosting so all sides are covered. Shake off the excess. Place in coconut and toss until sides are covered completely.
  11. Place on a lined baking tray. Repeat until all cake squares are covered.
  12. Stand for an hour or until set. Store in fridge. Stand at room temperature for half an hour before serving.

Australia Day Lamingtons | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Happy Australia Day dear readers! What are your plans for the holiday long weekend? We are hosting a board games night and eating lamingtons and ice cream!

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream | Gluten Free

Fluffy, gluten free vanilla cupcakes crowned with a cap of fairyland pink vanilla buttercream. These are a classic treat that will transport you back to childhood delights and have been known to cure a case of the Mondays too.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I know, its Monday, and we’ve only made it twelve days into the New Year and you’re all trying to be so good. Trust me, I’ve been salad crunching and smoothie sipping (and indulging in some chocolate to keep me sane), but today is my first day back at work and I think we need some cupcakes this Monday. Let’s make an exception, okay?

While we’re sitting here at our desks combing through databases and getting reports set up for the new year, let us indulge in some spun sugar childhood fantasy with these fluffy gluten free vanilla cupcakes and their pretty-in-pink vanilla buttercream frosting. These cupcakes take me back to baking cupcakes from Mum’s high school Day to Day Cookery Book. When it came to decorating our finished product, the frosting colour decision was always a unanimous cry for pink. From blush pink to the deepest magenta the cupcakes were always decorated in pink (Dad’s man enough to eat pink frosted cupcakes with the best of them) with multi-coloured sprinkles – and that kind of nostalgia is just what I need this first working Monday of the year.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The perfect gluten free vanilla cupcake has been an elusive dream of mine these past three years, and now I can safely say that I have achieved my dream. The cake here is moist, tender, fluffy, and soaked in enchanting vanilla sweetness. A good buttery vanilla cupcake is the foundation to so many fantastic cupcake creations – be prepared Thoroughly Nourished friends! This cupcake is celebratory, a fantasy of sugar and sprinkles, the glitter bomb of nostalgic cupcakes sent to drag us out of Mondays in a cubicle and into a shower of happiness.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy vanilla cupcake experimenting took me through a lot of different combinations of wholesome gluten free flours (how much almond meal makes the crumb too soggy, how to balance the starchy rice flour with the protein-rich sorghum and buckwheat flours, etc) and methods (creaming method, or melt and mix?) before I landed on this combination.

There are five different flours in this mix, all of which are easily found at large grocery stores or health food stores, and all of which are integral to the perfect fluffy texture of these cupcakes. The other important ingredient for a non-crumbly cupcake is ground chia seeds – we’ve talked about the importance of these wonder seeds for elasticity in gluten free baked goods before. If you are serious about making the perfect gluten free cupcake it’s worth hunting down these different flours and the chia seeds. The results are worth it – buttery, intensely vanilla, and just like the wheat-based ones I’ve been missing.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’m so happy that I have the perfect gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe to share with you all. These cupcakes are a nostalgic classic that beats any commercial gluten free cupcake baking mix hands down. No chalky taste, no weird ingredients that you can’t pronounce, no gums, just good old-fashioned butter, sugar, eggs and wholesome flours. Time to create some new memories with this gluten free version of a classic childhood treat (that’s perfect for grown-ups too).

A tray of these is a sure way to bring a little sparkly, sprinkled happiness to a Monday, or to your next celebration in need of a perfect gluten free vanilla cupcake with fairy land pink frosting, also known as the glitter bomb of happiness cupcake.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Gluten Free | Makes 12 cupcakes | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before eating for maximum enjoyment

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 20 grams buckwheat flour
  • 20 grams almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds

For the frosting

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Few drops pink food colouring
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a 12-hole cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together sorghum flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a small jug mix together milk, vanilla extract, and chia seeds.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well to incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom between additions.
  5. Switch mixing speed to low and add flour mixture to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
  6. Add milk mixture and beat on low until well incorporated.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden and spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool completely before decorating with frosting.
  8. While cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter on high speed until pale. This should take about 3 minutes and will make for extra fluffy frosting. Turn mixing speed to low and add remaining ingredients. Beat until just combined then turn mixing speed to medium-high and beat for a further 2 minutes or until frosting is extra fluffy and pale.
  9. Fit a piping bag with your choice of decorating tip, spoon frosting into bag and decorate as desired. Alternatively, you can use a knife to frost the cupcakes.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAre you a pink frosting lover? What cures the Mondays for you?

Also, thanks Jennifer from Milk and Honey for the perfect name for this frosting colour ‘fairyland pink’!