Celebrating The Chow Down with Cake Batter Puppy Chow!

Sprinkles! Sugar! White Chocolate! It’s time to celebrate with some Cake Batter Puppy Chow! Sweet, crunchy, and over the top delicious – and it’s gluten free too!

Cake Batter Puppy Chow | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis is one of the most festive recipes I’ve ever made! Look at those sprinkles! And I’m in a festive mood today because we are celebrating my friend Lynn’s cookbook: ‘The Chow Down’. Lynn is the owner, baker, photographer, recipe writer, and general awesomeness-maker behind the wonderful blog Fresh April Flours. Her first book is filled with over 20 puppy chow recipes for every occasion – and I can’t wait to try them all! ‘The Chow Down’ is currently available for pre-sale (get your copy today) and will be officially released on June 1st. If you head over to Fresh April Flours today you can buy the book, or enter Lynn’s giveaway competition – and see her first video!

Cake Batter Puppy Chow | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBecause Lynn is such an amazing lady a few of us have come together to throw her a little blog party featuring our own interpretations of her famous Cake Batter Puppy Chow! Leah from Grain Changer has created red, white, and blue Patriotic Cake Batter Puppy Chow ahead of the US Memorial Day Holiday; and Cate from Chez Catey Lou used her Cake Batter Puppy Chow as a crunchy sweet topping for chocolate ice cream.

And me, well I’ve chosen to enjoy this dessert – breakfast hybrid in the ultimate dessert-breakfast way. Piled into delicious little bowls and topped with ice cold milk. Oh yeah – brea-ssert.

Cake Batter Puppy Chow | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAnd this little treat is so dangerously easy to make. Following Lynn’s recipe I used a crunchy, plain cereal (I couldn’t get Chex here in Australia so I used this gluten free cereal from Freedom Foods). The cereal is coated in a mix of melted white chocolate and butter, vanilla and almond essences, sprinkles, and a dusting of sweet powdered icing sugar. The result: the most moreish, nibbleish, can’t-stop-won’t-stop snack-dessert I’ve ever tried. So easy, so popular at parties, and so customisable too! I can’t wait to make a Christmas-themed batch later this year!

Lynn, my sweet friend, congratulations on the launch of your first book. You have worked so hard to make this dream come true, and we are all so happy for you! Dear readers, head over to Fresh April Flours today to enter Lynn’s Giveaway, watch her video, and BUY a copy of her delicious book!

Cake Batter Puppy Chow | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCake Batter Puppy Chow

Gluten Free | Makes about 5 cups | Store leftovers in an airtight container at temperature for up to a week.

Note: use good eating white chocolate not chocolate chips because you need a smooth, consistent melt.

Try different colours/shapes of sprinkles for different occasions! Make this recipe your own!


  • 4 1/2 cups gluten free cereal (like this)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 250 grams white chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles
  • 1 cup gluten free icing sugar
  • Milk, to serve, if desired


  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with baking paper or aluminium foil. Set aside until required. Also ready a large, lidded container.
  2. Measure cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Place butter, white chocolate, almond extract, and vanilla extract into a small saucepan. Melted butter and chocolate over a low heat, constantly stirring, until smooth. Once the mix is smooth remove from heat.
  4. Pour chocolate over cereal and mix carefully until cereal is coated.
  5. Put coated cereal into lidded container along with sprinkles. Tightly close lid and shake gently, but thoroughly, until the sprinkles are mixed completely throughout the cereal.
  6. Add icing sugar and put the lid on, shake to coat.
  7. Spread puppy chow over the prepared baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
  8. Enjoy! Serve as a sweet treat snack, or pour ice cold milk over and enjoy as a special breakfast or dessert!

Cake Batter Puppy Chow | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free

Sweet cinnamon and brown sugar crumble tops sweet roasted baked fruit inside an almond pastry shell. This is a celebration of the height of summer, and the coming autumn, in the combination of sweet late summer peaches and tart early season apples. I love this crumble topped pie because it means you get the best of both worlds: no need to choose between my favourite summer desserts when they are combined into one delicious dish.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe story of this pie is the story of a happy Sunday. The story of a Sunday that started with a sleep in and a quiet breakfast in the light of my kitchen. I slowly chopped peaches and apples, sweetened them with a touch of brown sugar and tumbled them into an almond crust I had prepared the night before. The extra chilling time for the pastry rendered it superiorly flaky and shortbread textured. I crowned my pie with an oat, brown sugar, and cinnamon kissed crumble and then watched it bubble and brown in the oven before Chris and I headed to lunch.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe sat on the verandah with our friends that have become family, and my family, and ate, drank and laughed long into the afternoon. The feast was not just the food lovingly prepared and shared by all, but the love around the table. You could taste the sweetness of affection long-held, ripened into honey like a late summer peach.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe laughter never stopped, the conversations tumbled on top of one another, and there may have been a minor lychee seed fight between two members at the table (I’m looking at you Jess and Matt…). I sat back with my slice of pie, and looked around the table and felt in my heart, in my heart that never stops racing forward to the next moment, that I had found peace and love in a golden afternoon. Love is sweeter than any pie.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy Peach Apple Crumble Pie features a crust very similar to my Linzer Torte crust, but here the tart shell is filled with ripe peaches and an apple and topped with an oat and cinnamon crumble. The shell of the pie is flaky, not too sweet, and spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. The addition of two eggs to this pastry makes it extra rich and helps the gluten free crust to bind and have a flaky rather than crumbly texture. The filling is the simplest part of the pie, merely fruit, brown sugar, and cornflour to help fruit juices released during baking to thicken into a sweet peach and apple sauce. The crumble topping features oats, and more cinnamon and brown sugar. Oh my, I want this crumble on top of everything now! I had to stop myself from eating all of it before it even made it to the top of the pie!

Each bite of pie brings you to sweet peach and spiced crumble pastry heaven. Like mixing your favourite oat and almond cookie with the sweetest summer peach jam. This is the pie you serve to your loved ones with a jug of cream on a bright summer afternoon when all you feel is love and contentment.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Peach Apple Crumble Pie

Gluten Free | Serves 8-10 (makes 1 10-inch pie)

Notes: Use very ripe peaches so that your filling will be naturally sweet. You can increase the brown sugar in the filling if your peaches aren’t as sweet as you would like.

Serving suggestion: ice cream, cream, creme fraiche, or Greek yoghurt would go very well with this late summer pie.


For the pastry

  • 85 grams brown rice flour
  • 90 grams white rice flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
  • 125 grams butter, frozen
  • 120 grams almond meal
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the crumble

  • 40 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 20 grams gluten free cornflour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 60 grams butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1 kilogram (2 pounds) ripe peaches (about 5 large)
  • 1 tart apple (Granny Smith or similar)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free cornflour


  1. Grease a 25 cm (10-inch) removable base tart pan well and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Sift together brown rice flour and white rice flour.
  3. Using a box grater, grate frozen butter into sifted flours. Stir gently with a fork and then rub butter into flours until large pea-sized chunks of butter remain.
  4. Add almond meal, caster sugar, and cinnamon to butter and flour mixture. Gently stir with a fork to combine.
  5. Beat together vanilla extract and eggs and add to bowl. Mix until the dough starts to come together into a large ball.
  6. Sprinkle a large piece of baking paper with rice flour. Place dough onto baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out to a circle about 35 cm (12-inch) diameter and 0.5-.0.7 mm (~ 1/4 inch) thick.
  7. Transfer dough to tart pan and gently lift and press into tart pan. If you experience any tears, just patch them with the dough that overhangs the sides. Trim the sides to be level with the top of the tart pan. Place pie base in refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  9. Make the crumble. Mix together brown rice flour, white rice flour, cornflour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon.
  10. In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Heat in 10 second bursts until melted. Stir into your dry ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside crumble until required.
  11. Prepare the filling. Halve peaches and remove stone. Then chop into 1.5cm (1/2 inch) squares. Halve apple and remove core and dice to similar size. Place fruit in a large bowl. Sprinkle brown sugar and cornflour over fruit and stir gently until well coated.
  12. Remove pie base from the refrigerator. Tumble fruit into the bottom and spread out into an even layer.
  13. Sprinkle crumble evenly over the top of the fruit.
  14. Place pie in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the fruit filling is bubbling and the crumble is golden.
  15. Remove and allow to stand for a half hour before serving.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free

These brownies are what I imagine it would taste like to be caught inside your house during a snowstorm with a mug of hot chocolate and a candy cane in hand beside a crackling fireplace. Candy cane and white chocolate pieces sprinkled throughout the batter, a thick coating of fluffy chocolate frosting, and a shower of candy cane pieces make these brownies into a festive treat sure to please the sweetest of teeth.

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe idea for these brownies came to me last week while I was completely uninterested in actually eating food, but still of course dreaming about food! Mint and chocolate is a classic Christmas combination, and what better way to combine the two than in a brownie – with frosting and candy cane sprinkles!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese brownies are based on my Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies, but this time they are gluten free and all gussied up for Christmas. You will love these brownies for the following reasons:

  • they are full of chocolate (white and dark) goodness,
  • you can taste the peppermint in each bite,
  • they are a contrast of chewy, under-cooked brownie and fluffy sweet frosting, and
  • you can put them together quickly (only one bowl required) so that you have more time for all your other Christmas tasks – Santa’s not the only one who has a list!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I made these brownies for the people who run the farmers market coffee shop. Every week rain, hail or shine they are there making us perfect cups of coffee and bringing warmth and caffeinated cheer. There were eye rolls of pleasure as they bit into the chewy brownies and licked my best fluffy chocolate peppermint buttercream off their fingers. Some of my colleagues saw the photo on Facebook and were most disappointed that there weren’t any left to share! Never fear guys and girls, there are plenty of treats coming your way this week!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies 6

You are going to love how easy these are to make. One bowl, one spoon, one pan to bake it all in! Wash your bowl and spoon and use them to make the frosting once your brownies have cooled down. The less extra mess in the kitchen this December, the better.

You are also going to love the chewiness here. The small amount of gluten free flours in ratio to the chocolate, butter, and eggs makes for chewy, dense brownies – the kind that are so rich that one should do, but never does. Add crushed candy canes, white chocolate bits, and a cap of peppermint frosting and the Christmas flavouring is complete!

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Frosted Peppermint Brownies

Gluten Free | Makes 16-20 (depending on how big you cut them) | Store for up to three days in the fridge


For the brownies

  • 8 medium candy canes
  • 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 white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

To frost and decorate

  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Place candy canes into a plastic freezer bag. Place bag inside a doubled over tea towel. Use a rolling pin (or meat tenderiser) to crush candy canes into small shards. Divide into two even piles and place aside until required.
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter and chocolate together over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients. Reserve half the crushed candy canes for decorating the top of the brownies.
  5. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  6. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. This should take about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired.
  8. To make the frosting: place butter in a large bowl and use a handmixer or wooden spoon (earn those brownies!) to beat until smooth and light. Add icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, peppermint extract and 2 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth. You may have to add the extra tablespoon of milk if your frosting is too stiff.
  9. Spread frosting over cooled brownies and sprinkle with remaining crushed candy canes.
  10. Slice into pieces as desired and serve.

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

For more peppermingoodness try these:

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Did you know there is a man employed by NASA to smell everything that becomes part of a space mission? From the freeze-dried food to the material that covers the seats to everything in between, it all has to pass the test of the Staff Sniffer. The smell of the smallest things gets important when you are going to spend weeks or months breathing recycled air.

I may not be an aeronautical engineer, or a cosmonaut, but I would like to proffer my home made solution for keeping people happy with the scent of their environment: Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Believe me, if you were stuck in space with the smell of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and brown sugar you wouldn’t mind. You might get extremely hungry, but you wouldn’t mind as long as someone handed you a piece piled high with spiced cream cheese frosting. (Side note: do they give astronauts freeze-dried cake?)

I wanted you to be able to really taste the chai spices in this cake, so I infused the milk with teabags, and also boosted the spices by adding them in powdered form to the batter. The result was a soft, light-crumbed cake with a heady aroma and deep flavour. Cream cheese frosting spiked with its own dose of spices is the perfect cap to the sweet cake below. This cake is a little bit of everyday fancy too. The batter comes together quite quickly and then all you have to do is wait and enjoy the scents filling your home.

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The spices in chai tea, and this cake, certainly remind me the most of home. Cinnamon from fresh baked buns or fruit toast breakfasts; ginger from the gingersnap cookies my Mum loves with a cold glass of milk; and cardamom, which features heavily in Danish sweets and calls to mind the traditional baked goods my grandmother made as treats. I can guarantee the scent of the warm spices emanating from your oven will call to mind your own fond memories, or perhaps over a slice or two of this you can create some sweet moments in the present. NASA – you should definitely send this into space with your next mission.

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chai Spiced Cake

Gluten Free | Makes 1 x 9-inch round cake | Leftovers will keep up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator


For the cake:

  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 120 grams butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 60 grams white rice flour
  • 75 grams almond meal
  • 60 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 125 grams cream cheese (full fat is best), softened
  • 50 grams butter
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (a decent sprinkle)
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Heat your milk gently in a saucepan until steam starts to come from the surface. Do not bring to the boil. Add tea bags and steep for twenty minutes. Allow to cool. Once cooled remove teabags, cut open and empty contents into spiced milk mixture.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Butter the sides and base of a 9-inch round cake tin. Line bottom with baking paper. Set aside until needed.
  3. Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Melt butter by heating in 30 second bursts in the microwave and stirring well in between bursts. When butter is melted whisk in sugar and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together white rice flour, almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.
  5. Mix eggs, yoghurt, and vanilla extract into cooled milk mixture.
  6. Whisk flour mixture and milk mixture into cooled butter mixture. Do not overmix but ensure there are no large pockets of flour. This batter is quite loose, don’t worry it bakes up very well.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and place in preheated oven.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in cake tin. Then remove from cake tin to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  10. To make frosting: beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add 3 cups of icing sugar, spices and milk. Beat until combined. You want a slightly stiff mixture. If frosting is too loose add extra cup of icing sugar. Spread evenly across the top of the cooled cake.
  11. Serve and enjoy.

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Peanut Cookies (gluten free)

Do you listen to the radio? Are you a Top 40 fan? An alternative station faithful? Do you make cool playlists that are the hit at parties far and wide: are you that friend who always knows what’s next?

I do not listen to the radio. I rely on the years of exposure to Mum’s choice in music (50s-80s and heavy on the saxophone solos), Jess’s iPhone playlists when we are in the car, and Chris’s latest obsessions, to inform my music choices. When I do have to listen to the radio, that is, when I have forgotten to plug my iPhone into the car with a preloaded podcast, I often fall back on news and information heavy stations like Radio National or classical music stations. I am not a cool kid. When I listen to music at home I turn to the classics: Edith Piaf, Dean Martin, Cher… My point is, I am not the person you come to when you need a musical recommendation. I am, however, the person you come to when you are in need of a cookie recommendation.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies 4

The combination of dough and mix-ins seems infinite to me. A whole orchestra of flavours and textures at my fingertips. I am the composer, the conductor and the soloist. While I know I will never write a symphony, I am certain that I can keep conducting sweet treats from my kitchen for many years to come.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies 2

These cookies were born from the flavours of one of my new addictions: Mayver’s Organic Peanut & Cacao Spread. I blame my blog friend Jennifer from Milk and Honey for introducing me to its intense chocolate and peanut flavour. With this as my background tempo (is that a real music term?) I set about layering on the other notes: salted peanuts, chocolate chips, brown sugar. In the end these all came together in a tangle of salty sweet chunky perfection. These are similar in texture to my Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies, but the taste of the Cacao Spread comes through in the dough. They are a cakey cookie, a brownie in more portable biscuit form, studded with milk chocolate chips and moreish salted peanuts. Maybe not worthy of Mozart (I am working up the courage to attempt gluten free pastry Wolfgang), but welcome on the side of plate while listening to whatever pleases your ears.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies 5

Chocolate Peanut Cookies

Gluten Free | Makes approximately 24 cookies


  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 80 grams Mayver’s Organic Peanut & Cacao Spread at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 90 grams buckwheat flour
  • 75 grams sorghum flour
  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two large cookie sheets with baking paper. Set aside until required.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, peanut and cacao spread, brown sugar, caster sugar and vanilla essence. Beat until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and beat until well incorporated and smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add whisked flours to egg mixture and beat until combined. This is a dry dough so watch out for pockets of flour.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and salted peanuts.
  7. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets, leave a few centimetres between dough balls for spreading. Press down lightly on top to flatten slightly.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Rotate trays halfway through cooking time. Cookies are done when the edges are firm to the touch.
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  10. Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or wrapped well and frozen for up to 2 months.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies 3

Oat and Apple Pancakes with Stewed Apple

Sunday was one of those quietly blessed days. The sky was a bright blue glass dome and the sunshine was a water-colour stripe across our sunroom floor. We slept easily and well as the sun crept into our bedroom and lit the walls and the wind brushed the leaves of the tree outside against the window panes. We rose, we pottered around and introduced ourselves into the world on that bright cold morning. We escaped from the thickening crowds and entertained ourselves inside our own four walls for the remainder of the day. I stayed close to the stove all day. Warming my body and warming my soul with old favourites and new ideas. It was a simple kind of day. It was a deeply enriching simplicity where you realise that all you have right now is all you really need to make you happy and nourished forever if only you remember to look through the eyes of gratitude.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI dreamed of these pancakes all week and Sunday felt like a brunch day. Too late home from an early morning errand to be breakfast and too sweet and cake-like to be called lunch. I whisked together the batter, waited patiently for each pancake to bubble and be flipped and then wait for its siblings to join it in the plate to keep warm. I listened to Edith Piaf and Dean Martin and padded across the wooden floors on bare, cool feet. A gift of apples from a friend-in-passing became the caramelised topping for the substantial but fluffy pancakes. When all was complete I curled up in a sun-washed chair and devoured my oat and apple pancakes. I looked out across the bay and realised that my heart was calm, my mind was completely in the moment: I felt thoroughly nourished.

These are thick, cake-y pancakes. Hearty, winter morning pancakes for mornings where you linger in a sunny spot with a book and a pot of tea. They are filled with all the best winter things: oats, apples, cinnamon and stand up very well to reheating for an afternoon snack (or second breakfast helping). They also do well when cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer. Perfect for those extra lazy winter mornings, or for a lunch box friendly snack. These Oat and Apple Pancakes are perfect for cooking with children, and you can even make the batter the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. Then all you need to do is heat the pan and cook them in the morning. The stewed apples are worthy of multiplying. Any leftovers are delightful reheated for dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream or some thick Greek yoghurt.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Oat and Apple Pancakes

Gluten Free. Makes 8 large pancakes.

Ensure your quick oats are gluten free. I used Freedom Foods Free Oats. I topped mine with stewed apples, you may wish to add a dollop of thick yoghurt, some golden syrup, or for extra indulgence, some ice cream.


  • 80 grams almond meal
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 70 grams buckwheat flour
  • 70 grams quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup greek/natural yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • Stewed apples to serve, recipe below


  1.  In a medium size bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, quick oats, cinnamon, gluten free baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together yoghurt, milk, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar until well combined. Gently stir in apple.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add apple mixture. Whisk until just incorporated.
  4. Heat a non-stick heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil or butter to grease the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add approximately 1/4 cup of batter to the pan. You may have to spread the mixture out a little in a circular shape. Cook until bubble appear on the surface of the batter, about two minutes, once most of the bubbles have popped, flip pancake over and cook for another two minutes on the other side.
  6. Transfer pancake to a plate and keep covered while you repeat with the remaining batter. You may be able to cook more than one pancake at a time depending on the size of your frying pan.
  7. To serve, top with with stewed apples and other toppings if desired.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Stewed Apples

This recipe is easily multiplied. I suggest making at least a double batch. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.


  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and cook, covered until apple is soft.
  2. Uncover and cook until juices have thickened slightly. Serve with pancakes.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Chip Orange Muffins

It’s Friday. Let me share some true things with you.

These things are true:

I love taking walks outside the office in the middle of the day just to stare at the sky. When I reach the end of the street I can see the city and I believe if I squint hard enough I can see Chris working busily away in his office.

Our maintenance man, Ted, is the sweetest gentleman I have ever met. Every time he comes into the office he gives me a hug and sometimes it’s the best thing about those 9 ½ hours.

I will never be a size 0. I cannot give up the chocolate, the cookies, the fun. I’m okay with that.

I drink my green tea sweetened with Splenda. I figure that the antioxidants cancel out the chemicals, and it keeps me insulated against the arctic air-conditioning.

When I finish an especially awesome run I really want to burst into a song and dance routine at the end, but I would probably fall over. Also, dogs would howl.

Sometimes when I sit down to study I have to bribe myself with something fun to do or yummy to eat after doing an appropriate amount of work. Sometimes this bribery takes the form of muffins.

Choc Chip Orange Muffins 1

Truth: these muffins are the second time I have tried to make Chocolate Chip Orange Muffins to share with you. My first trial on Monday was a disaster. This is what happens when you try to cook without using a scale and just guess-timating ingredients because you really, really want muffins. Lesson learned.

I bought a new scale! So last night I stepped back into the kitchen appropriately armed. I had run, washed, and was setting out to bake in order to bribe myself into sitting down to write after dinner.

This time: success! With the muffins and the writing. I won’t bore you with the writing part, but the muffins are tender of crumb, scented with orange zest, and studded with little dark chocolate morsels. I used a bar of dark chocolate, but you can use chips instead if you would like, or substitute milk chocolate if you aren’t a fan of dark. The rest of these have been safely wrapped up for a weekend breakfast or midweek snack…or for bribery tactics when needed…

Choc Chip Orange Muffins 2

Chocolate Chip Orange Muffins

Gluten Free. Makes 12 large muffins.

I used Woolworths Free From Gluten Plain Flour because I spotted it in the supermarket last week and really wanted to try it out. You can of course use your own favourite gluten free mix, or feel free to use the same weight of plain wheat flour instead.


  • 270 grams plain gluten free flour
  • 80 grams fine polenta (cornmeal)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 190C (375F) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with papers.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together plain flour, polenta, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, caster sugar, olive oil, milk, orange juice, vanilla extract, and zest. Beat until smooth.
  4. Stir wet mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in chopped dark chocolate.
  6. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Fill each cup about 2/3 of the way.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes away with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Remove and allow to cool.
  9. Muffins are best eaten the day of baking. Well wrapped these will keep for 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to 2 months if frozen.

Choc Chip Orange Muffins 3

Okay, dear reader, your turn, what are some true things about you? Do you ever resort to bribing yourself? Any plans for the weekend?

Sprinkled Coconut Ice

I know a sweet recipe is good when my little sister, who is usually collected, healthy and wholesome about her diet, loses her control and eats two or three pieces in one fell swoop. When I was thinking about an Easter gift for Jess I knew that chocolate eggs wouldn’t be her style, and then I remembered her delight over the presence of coconut ice at a wedding we attended recently – I knew what I needed to make immediately.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

Coconut Ice has been a tradition in our family for a long time. Every Christmas as part of our huge Christmas dessert spread there is a crystal plate filled with little pastel squares. The same at Easter, and most other family gatherings. I must admit that we usually purchase our coconut ice, but after making this batch for Jessica’s Easter present I don’t think we will be buying it any more. Coconut ice is easy to make, no pots, pans or oven required. Perfect for making with little kids, especially since they can get their hands dirty while kneading the mixture together (this appeals to big kids too). This colourful offering is an old-fashioned sort of treat, but whenever you bring a dish people can’t help but smile.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

The hardest part about making coconut ice is waiting for it to set, and I am not ashamed to admit that I did nibble at a few stray crumbs after I had pressed the majority into the baking tin. (I did go for a run beforehand, balance people). The addition of sprinkles here is entirely extraneous to the flavour, but it certainly adds a festive element. You can leave them out, but when given the opportunity to use sprinkles I think one should always seize upon it. Also, I just happen to be in a sprinkle mood: Exhibit A, my cookies from last week. Jess’s eyes lit up with delight and the jar was soon opened and shared. The sprinkles weren’t extraneous at all, not when I saw Jess’s smile.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free


Sprinkled Coconut Ice

Gluten Free – Check that your icing sugar and sprinkles are gluten free. I use Dollar Sweets Bright Sprinkles because they are certified gluten free. 

Makes about 64 pieces (2.5cm square)


  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 1 x 390 gram can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
  • 2 tablespoons milk (may be required)
  • 1/3 cup multicoloured sprinkles (see head note)
  • Pink food colouring


  1. Line an 8-inch square cake tin or baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Sift icing sugar into a large bowl. Gently whisk in dessicated coconut.
  3. Add condensed milk, vanilla and coconut essence. Mix well until all dry ingredients are included. If your mixture is too dry and you can’t get everything to incorporate you may need milk. You may need to wet your hands and knead the coconut ice by hand.
  4. Divide coconut mixture in half. Knead sprinkles into one half. Colour the other half with pink food colouring to desired tint.
  5. Press sprinkled half into prepared tin/dish. I roll a flat sided glass across the top to banish my finger dents. Then press pink portion on top and roll glass across to flatten.
  6. Cover dish with cling wrap and place in refrigerator for three hours, or until set.
  7. When set remove from fridge and cut into small slices to serve. I cut mine into 2.5cm x 2.5cm.
  8. Coconut Ice will keep in fridge for up to three weeks.

This would make a lovely gift for Mother’s Day! Simply place in a jar and wrap with a big pink ribbon. This would definitely be welcomed by my Mum and Mormor.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

Ten Recipes Perfect for Easter Baking

We are planning a quiet Easter weekend filled with family and friends and feasting. Luckily I come from a family of cooks and bakers so I know there will be plenty of delicious dishes filling the tables at whichever house we are at. I am crossing my fingers hoping that my little sister makes her chocolate caramel slice on Saturday night and I know that my Aunt will have a table groaning with salty antipasti, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit and oh so much cheese for Sunday lunch. The most nourishing thing about each of these occasions will be the company surrounding me.

I will be bringing baked goods to these occasions (did you really expect anything else?), so if you are looking for a little inspiration, here are my top ten recipes perfect for Easter baking (and sharing), and come back tomorrow for a quick, cute gluten free cookie recipe that will be welcome in any Easter basket.

Ten: Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake – this bundt is simply stunning displayed as the centerpiece of your Easter brunch.

Nine: Coffee Banana Date Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream  – pack a basket of these and share the happiness.

Banana Cupcakes 1

Eight: Peanut Butter Lindt Ball Filled Chocolate Cakes – a sweet and salty surprise inside!

Seven: Violet Crumble Brownies – oh do make these. Better than a Crunchy Easter egg in my opinion…


Six: Coconut Blondies (gluten free) – these tummy friendly treats will disappear very quickly, trust me…

Coconut Blondies (gluten free)

Five: Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze (gluten free) – miniature doughnuts perfect for some Easter fun. Try using pastel sprinkles on top!

photo 1 (8)

Four: Espresso Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cookies – not easy to say, but easy to make and super easy to eat!


Three: Ricadonna Cupcakes with Ricadonna Buttercream – add a little sparkle to your Easter lunch with these bubbly cupcakes!

Ricadonna Cupcakes

Two: Citrus Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free) – this tall pretty cake looks impressive but is simple to make and the bright cream cheese frosting is worthy of licking the bowl.

photo 1 (5)

One: Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream – dress yourself up in your fanciest Easter bonnet and bring along some fancy cupcakes too!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life


Plenty of sweet inspiration for your Easter baking. Come back tomorrow for some pastel sweet treats, perfect for last minute baking, or making with kids!

Tell me dear reader, what are you making for Easter? Or have you been cooking up a storm for Passover instead?

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies

I gave you a smoothie on Monday and a confession of my gluttony over the weekend. These cookies are the reason I needed to start the week on a lighter note. Not too long after they had come out of the oven I had already greedily gobbled one down while the caramel chips were still slightly molten. Then of course, I had to try one when they were cooler and I was taking photos, which turned into two because I had crowded the photos and I needed to keep my strength up while shooting (obviously).

Then there was the cookie that I had to eat later in the afternoon just to see if the crunchy, sweet, snappable texture was good enough to share with all of you. And, it was.

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These cookies taste like comfort to me. They taste like rainy days and big cups of tea and thick delicious books and woolly socks. They aren’t delicate, lacy, fancy cookies. These are nubbled with caramel chips and oats. They are the size of the palm of your hand (or bigger if you’d like). They are a cookie to dunk into a cup of tea, to hold in one hand for nibbling while the rain pours down outside and you snuggle under a blanket on the couch.

That’s how I plan to eat them next time anyway. This time I gobbled them greedily. I snapped each biscuit into thirds and ate them while standing over the kitchen counter while I was making a salad for lunch. It’s not irony, it’s reality, balance. Next time I plan to be more restrained, but this time, greed was good. I have also heard reports that these are delicious with a scoop of ice cream on top (note: this wasn’t me, I didn’t have any leftover to experiment with).

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies

Note: I used Freedom Foods Quick Oats in this recipe. They are guaranteed wheat free, which works for my belly. If you are a coeliac, please consult your doctor for advice on whether oats are appropriate for you, or simply leave the oats out. If you do not require this smoothie to be gluten free, you can use traditional rolled oats in this recipe for the same flavour.

Wheat-free. Makes 18-20 cookies.


  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 1 cup wheat-free quick oats
  • 3/4 cup caramel chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line three cookie sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together baking powder, baking sodar, salt, cinnamon, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, and white rice flour.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I used a wooden spoon, you could use a handheld mixer instead.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
  5. Dump in flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add oats and caramel chips and mix until distributed.
  6. Chill dough for approximately an hour. This makes all the difference to the final product.
  7. Drop rounded tablespoons of chilled mixture onto prepared cookie sheets. Leave about 5cm between each mound because these biscuits will spread.
  8. Place cookie sheets into the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are golden around the edges. Swap position of trays half way through baking time.
  9. Remove from oven, place cookies on a wire rack to cool completely (if they last that long).

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies | Thoroughly Nourished Life