Pumpkin Bread

we are all settled in at our new (temporary) home in cleveland! finally, i’ve made time to do a little baking, and started with something seasonal. i had been craving pumpkin bread since the chill in the air hit a few weeks ago, and it seemed that everyone around me was indulging. i have been unable to avoid the sights of people eating their pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin spice lattes, and all other goodies that are a major “no-no” for me.

i took my loaf pan out of the cardboard box it was packed in and got to work.

i was so excited to find a recipe using no nut flour. i am trying to cut down a little on baking with nuts, since they can be inflammatory when heated. coconut flour is so easy to digest, and is really a health-bomb all the way around. i found this beautiful recipe that the lovely coconut mama had conjured up. since i wasn’t about to dig for my smaller loaf pans, i doubled the recipe and made a few adjustments.

i am thrilled to say that this recipe was a total win. this bread is unlike other gluten-free or grain free quick breads. the texture is much more like a wheat based bread than an eggy or crumbly loaf that sometimes results from coconut flour or almond flour. it is simply perfect. i think the amount of sweetener used here is just right, so i would wait until you try it as-is before adjusting the levels of sugar added.

this is my little ramekin tester.


*just follow the instructions. the step using tin foil to cover the loaf is essential, don’t even think about skipping it. you would end up with a hard-as-a-rock top on your bread.

*since i doubled the recipe, i was able to pour a little extra into a medium-sized ramekin. it took 1 hour to bake. i immediately poured whole milk over it and ate the whole thing.

*use parchment paper to line the bottom of your loaf pan. trust me, your loaf will rip in half if you don’t line the pan. i don’t care how much oil you use. coconut flour sticks.

*you may wish to sweeten with something other than coconut sugar. in that case, i would just use cane or turbanado sugar. don’t attempt a liquid sweetener here. it could be fun, however, to experiment with using a few drops of stevia in place of 1/4 of the sugar.

*yes, 14 eggs.

*yes, 315f.

*as always, i would love to encourage comments regarding substitutions, adjustments, failures, and success! this is a give and take blog, so please let the readers know what this bread is really about!

pumpkin bread

(adapted from the coconut mama)

approx 12 servings


1 cup coconut flour, sifted

1/4 cup tapioca flour (tapioca starch)

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

14 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla

method: grease up and line a standard loaf pan (8.5 x 3, roughly) with parchment to cover at least the bottom.

preheat oven to 315f.

begin with beating the egg whites in a large, dry bowl, until stiff peaks form. set aside while you complete the next steps.

combine the melted oil with the egg yolks, pumpkin, and vanilla. stir well.

mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

combine the dry with the wet. you will get a paste.

now fold in the egg whites.

pour into your loaf pan, then make a tent out of tinfoil to go over the loaf. this is where you may also wish to pour some batter into a ramekin, or a few muffin cups.

bake covered loaf (and other portion) for 45 minutes. remove ramekin portion, it is likely done.

remove tinfoil from loaf and continue to bake for 15 more minutes.

turn heat off after 15 minutes, and allow loaf to set up in oven, about 20 additional minutes.

loaf may now be cooled on countertop. allow a bit before removing from pan.

i love warm pumpkin bread served with cold milk poured over it. that, or a chunk of melty butter and sometimes a drizzle of maple syrup. this would be such a phenomenal treat with vanilla ice cream, also!

yes, this is a treat. enjoy a slice slowly and occasionally! the carbs, although high, are much less than most snacks are.. heck, lower than a large banana!

here are the facts per 1/12 of the loaf:

calories: 300g

carbs: 32g

protein: 9g


coconut almond pancakes

throughout the week, i have a rotating breakfast menu of eggs & bacon breakfast sandwich, and eggs & bacon sweet potato hash. weekends are for sweets in my house. something really special and memorable to linger over slowly with my husband and kiddo. we always choose either waffles or pancakes, then whatever fruit is in the house or yard, and flour combinations of flavors i crave.

this weekend’s flavor craving was coconut, as has been for months now. i just can’t get enough coconut. i made a simple berry coulis from strawberries that were homegrown down the street from us and blueberries. smother everything in butter and syrup, and have a stack of pancakes that the big box pancake house has trouble competing with.

crisp, brown edges for a little “crunch” and a soft middle to soak up extra berry sauce. -not spongy or eggy. shredded coconut gives them an awesome texture, and coconut cream and gold label virgin coconut oil are really the source of flavor for the whole recipe. coconut oil has a slightly sweet, fragrant quality, while coconut cream has a rich, buttery coconut flavor. it has a concentrated coconut flavor that surpasses any flavoring extract or artificial product. my husband (who is not a coconut lover) has announced, officially, that this was his favorite pancake session we have had, ever.

i urge all of the coconut fans out there to purchase a jar of coconut cream. its uses are endless. it is commonly used as coffee creamer, ice cream topper,  or even stirred into a cookie or cake batter to add some coconut love.

we use coconut oil in our home to fry our pancakes, among other uses. the beauty of frying pancakes in coconut oil is that it has a difficult time burning. your pancakes will turn out crispy and crunchy without burning prematurely like olive oil will.

a jar of coconut oil is infinitely useful, too.

i use it on my face at night instead of cleanser, rubbing it in then wiping it off with a warm washcloth.

i put it on juniper’s dry hands when they get chapped from her sucking on them. i much rather her suck on the coconut oil than hand lotions for obvious reasons.

we do lots of stir fry with coconut oil, especially curries. i like a coconut milk based curry, and sauteing the veggies and meat in coconut oil is essential.

i can’t recommend this product enough! click here to check out the home page, where you can find coconut cream, coconut flour, shredded coconut, coconut vinegar, and pretty much anything else coconut you can imagine. don’t forget to poke around the website, too, to check out meats, beauty products, and tons of unique foods (coconut peanut butter?! OMG.)

to see how the product is harvested (responsibly), click here to watch a fun video.

to purchase the oil, click here.

If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

this pancake recipe serves 2 with a large stack of pancakes. we generally have room for sausage, also. throw some chocolate chips on top of your stack to replicate your favorite chocolate-covered almond & coconut candy!

coconut almond pancakes

1/2 cup packed almond meal

3 tbsp protein powder or 2 tbsp coconut flour

1/4 cup shredded coconut (i prefer fine)

3 tbsp tapioca starch

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk, plus a little to add to batter if needed

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp coconut cream or coconut butter, melted*

1 tbsp vanilla

dash of almond extract, optional

a few tbsp coconut oil for frying pancakes

*coconut oil & coconut cream or coconut butter can be melted by placing into a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water with milk. keep it stirring so it doesn’t get dried out. keeping heat low will also preserve the fresh, tropical taste of the coconut.

method: combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

separately, combine your wet ingredients, including the milk, oil and coconut cream.

mix wet with dry. allow batter to sit for a few minutes so coconut can soak up some of the milk.

if, after this time, your batter appears too thick or dry, add a splash of milk to give it some moisture. alternatively, if it appears too liquidy and runny, add a few tbsp shredded coconut to soak up some liquid.

heat up your favorite skillet, and spread some coconut oil into your pan.

once oil is heated, pour batter into skillet. it is time to flip pancake when bubbles just come through.

gently flip. keep cooked pancakes warmed in oven at 200f until ready to serve.

berry sauce:

1 cup of berries, cleaned and dried

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp applesauce


if using strawberries, slice in half.

over medium heat, warm berries and water until mixture bubbles. add in applesauce, stir for a minute, and turn heat down, stir for one minute. turn heat off, allowing sauce to thicken as it cools slightly.

serve warm over pancakes with tons of butter.

lemon meringue cake

is it just me, or does lemon meringue provoke nostalgia? it always reminds me of the 70’s. it feels like such a retro dessert!

this dreamy cake made its way into my life far too late. tart, cold lemon curd in a sweet, cakey layered sandwich?

of course.


with meringue?

yes, meringue instead of frosting!

why didn’t i think of that? where has this been all of my life? the pillowy swiss-style meringue is honey sweetened, and is more like a lightly sweetened, toasted marshmallow blanketing the cake than a traditional, dry, stiff coating over that lemon meringue pie at the grocery store.

this recipe is a culmination of many put together. while i will reference all of them, i will write out the recipe as i made it.

the guilt-free treat is loaded with protein from the eggs both in the cake and in the filling and topping. don’t forget about the healthy, clean fats, fiber, and its refreshing and light flavors on a hot day. we demolished it during out 90 degree day last weekend at our BBQ, and there were only leftovers because i hid the last slice deep into the refrigerator before friends came back into the kitchen for seconds.

what a crowd pleaser! i could not detect the taste of coconut that people are always anticipating with coconut flour, so don’t be afraid. alternatively, if you love the flavor of coconut, a little coconut butter (1/4 cup or so) would be delicious in this cake if you want to give it some concentrated coconut flavor. the texture is much like a sponge cake, but a little denser. it would make an excellent base for any yellow cake, poke cake, or pound cake.

i halved the recipe, making only one layer, then slicing it through to make a layer cake. i am posting the recipe for one layer, double it if you have a big crowd.

this recipe works best if all of the liquids are at room temperature. it should be made a few hours before, or the day before you put it together with the curd and meringue.

lemon meringue cake

adapted from nourished kitchen’s coconut flour cake

6 eggs

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup coconut flour, sifted to remove clumps

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

method: preheat oven to 350f, place racks in center of oven. cut a round of parchment to stick to the bottom of an 8″ cake pan. use butter or oil to stick it to the bottom, and grease up the sides of the pan.

beat eggs, honey, vanilla and milk until well combined.

separately, combine all dry ingredients together in a dry bowl.

combine the wet with the dry ingredients, and stir until everything is evenly mixed. allow it to sit for 2 or 3 minutes to let the coconut flour soak up some of the wet ingredients. the batter will be thick, but pourable.

pour the batter into prepped pan. bake for 40 minutes.

allow to cool for half an hour before carefully separating the sides of the cake from the pan, then inverting onto a cooling rack.

cake should cool completely before you cut it in half to layer it. also, the flavor will be most excellent when cold. you may refrigerate it to get it cold before you make the curd.

lemon curd filling

variation of my own recipe

4 egg  yolks at room temperature (save whites for meringue)

2 whole eggs

2/3 cup honey

zest of one organic lemon

1 cup of lemon juice

12 tbsp coconut oil or butter

method: whisk first 3 ingredients in a bowl. transfer to sauce pan and, over low heat, whisk like crazy until it gets a little pale in color. remember, you don’t want to be making scrambled eggs here, so low and slow is the key here.

add coconut oil, whisk for a few seconds until melted, then quickly whisk in lemon juice.

cook over medium heat whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and a few bubbles rise from the mixture.

remove from heat immediately after you see your first few bubbles, and pour through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a clean bowl, pushing mixture through. discard pulp in sieve.

allow curd to cool at room temp for an hour before pouring it into the center of your cake. once you place it between the layers of cake, refrigerate it for a few hours so it sets up nice and firm without layers slipping around.

swiss meringue

adapted from cook, eat, love

1 tbsp cornstarch (or 2 tbsp arrowroot or tapioca flour)

1/3 cup water

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup honey

method: mix the cornstarch and  honey in a small saucepan, then add the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. using a wire whisk stir briskly and boil for 15 seconds. remove the thick paste from the heat and cover.

in a clean, very dry bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.

add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites, and slowly pour in hot honey and cornstarch mixture while continuing to beat. thick white waves will form, and when you continue, stiff white peaks will form.

once stiff white peaks form, stop mixing.

spread all over cooled cake while meringue is still warm. this way, it will really stick to the cake and take a stiff form. you may fire the meringue now, or put it into the refrigerator until ready to serve. use a kitchen torch to fire the meringue until it is dark brown.

store assembled cake in the refrigerator or at room temp. it will keep in the refrigerator for no longer than one full day. meringue, even cooked, will weep slightly over time.

banana coconut muffins

can you believe i managed to bake 12 muffins with a new-born baby?! and on the first day without daddy home?!

i am obviously quite impressed with myself. juniper and i have spent no time apart since she was born, aside from my shower times. i have been giving her all of her naps on my chest, but today i decided to try letting her nap alone. i waited until she was all drunk and sleepy after i fed her, then put her in her carrier.


it worked.

time to bake.

i have been pretty hungry at night during our 3am feedings. i think i just need excess calories right now. i got to feeling guilty for snacking on gluten-free pretzels and starchy store-bought items like this, and had been itching to bake anyhow. searching for a high protein recipe, i found this one from all day i dream about food. she uses raspberries, and glazes them with a coconut milk treat. i modified it using bananas instead of raspberries, and used coconut sugar in place of stevia and granulated erythritol. also, i used yogurt instead of cream cheese., because that’s all i had on hand. it all worked like a charm! i have also subbed the coconut milk out for more yogurt, just because i didn’t have any coconut milk.

this recipe is pretty darn guilt free, high in satiating, heart-healthy fats, high in protein, and pretty low in carbs for a muffin! nutrition info is at the bottom of the page.

these muffins are slightly sweet, full of banana coconut flavor, and really moist. the tops are a little crisp, which is my favorite part of the muffin.  and i love that they have me feeling filled up but not bloaty and sugared up!

this recipe makes 14 muffins

banana coconut muffins
2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup palm sugar or other sweetener
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz yogurt, room temp
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten and room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups chopped ripe bananas


preheat oven to 350f. line muffin tin with paper liners.

combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

separately, combine all wet ingredients in a bowl.

mix the two together, then fold in bananas. scoop batter into lined tins.

bake for 25 minutes. allow to cool 10 minutes before you dig in.

nutrition per muffin: 229 cals, 18 grams carbs, 7 grams protein, 15 grams fat

mixed berries layered pound cake

oh so messy!

this is probably the best fruit based dessert i have ever made. -at least, it is MY favorite. i made this beautiful and messy layered pound cake for my sister in-law’s shower this past weekend. it was made with the huge mix of berries i had stocked up on from local sources, whether it be from local farm stands or my own back yard. any berry, or fruit for that matter, would work wonderfully here, but i loved the sweet and mellow blueberries playing with the tart, sour raspberries, so a good mix of stuff is best here.

to play up the sweetness and tartness of the berries even more, i used balsamic vinegar to help reduce the berries. it only took a little to give it some real real flavor, and also to help thicken the berry sauce.

i made a sour cream topping that was flavored with the same balsamic reduction. i used the sour cream between the layers as well as a final topping. oh my, was this a great idea or what? it gave the whole thing a “berries ‘n’ cream” feel, without dumbing the fruit down a bit. it may seem like a lot of steps, but it comes together more easily than expected. -especially for a fancy pound cake.

yes, i will probably be making other variations of this, but no time soon. i am still obsessed with the tart blue and black dots that keep falling out of the sky and onto my plate this summer!

the whole idea of this cake was to simply to make a cake packed with summer’s best berries. i wanted the berries in AND on the cake, as much as possible. i wanted that sweet juice to drip into the cake without making it soggy. that’s why i made 2 cakes and layered. the berries IN the cake burst while baking and added lots of moisture to the base, and the berries ON the cake, well the berries on the cake were just ridiculous. for a smaller crowd, sure you could cut the recipe in half. OR you could make the whole thing and share it with friends.

don't skip the sour cream topping!

mixed berries layered pound cake

1 1/2 cups sugar or honey

1 1/3 cups butter, softened

4 cups almond flour, packed

1 cup coconut flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

8 eggs at room temp

1 cup milk + 3 tbsp

2 tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (goes in very last)

1/2 cup cleaned berries, will be sprinkled on top


preheat oven to 350f, position racks in center of oven. prep 2 9″ x 9″ cake pans or glass casserole dishes with parchment cut outs in the bottom and nice coating of butter on the sides. if you want a round cake, you may also use 2 8″ x 8″ rounds here.

begin by creaming butter and sugar with electric mixer. once combined and fluffy, add milk, vanilla, and almond extract at a low-speed, until it is all wet and combined. add eggs, a few at a time, and let it slowly mix.

combine all dry ingredients together.

add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. quickly stir in apple cider vinegar.

let them mix for a few minutes until well incorporated, stopping a few times to scrape straggly bits from the bottom and sides of the bowl. pour batter evenly into prepped pans.  sprinkle berries evenly on top.

bake for 45 minutes or so. watch them closely, and check with a toothpick to be sure they are cooked in the center.

allow to cool completely. while cooling, make berry filling and sour cream topping.

sour cream topping

16 oz good quality sour cream, very cold

1/4 cup fruity balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or honey

1 vanilla bean, sliced vertically

method: in small saucepan over medium heat, reduce vinegar and sweetener and vanilla bean, stirring frequently, until it becomes syrupy. remove from heat and allow to cool for just a few minutes. whisk into a large bowl with sour cream until well combined. taste. if it needs a little honey, add a little honey. place into refrigerator until ready for use.

berry filling

4 cups rinsed and dried berries

2 tbsp sugar or honey

3 tbsp fruity balsamic vinegar

1 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch

method: in a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the arrowroot powder. cook over medium heat. allow mixture to come to a good bubble. quickly whisk in arrowroot powder. cook for a few more minutes, maybe 5 or so. remove from heat and allow to come to room temp.

to assemble cake

remove cooled cakes from pans. place bottom layer onto a nice plate or serving platter. using a toothpick, poke a few holes into cake so the toppings flow in. spread a few tbsp of sour cream mixture onto bottom layer. now pour about half the berries on top of that. place top layer of cake on, and poke holes into it. repeat by spreading some sour cream onto cake. reserve the rest of the sour cream for serving. pour remaining berries onto cake. wrap sides of cake in tinfoil or plastic wrap to contain filling until ready to serve, and refrigerate for at least an hour so everything stiffens up a bit.

when it comes time to serve, remove wrapping and pour the rest of the sour cream on top.

leftovers do great refrigerated!

i had 3 pieces!