Category: baking

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

For many, Valentine’s Day equals chocolate, right? This year, I asked Nick what he would like his ultimate Valentine’s Day treat to be. If you remember from last year’s Pink Heart Cake, you know Valentine cakes are my thing! This year Nick wanted a chocolate cake, filled with delicious fresh raspberry. And here you have it! Our delicious and decadent Raspberry Truffle Cake! Completely grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free! Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

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Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

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Decadent Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry infused Ganache

A Valentine’s Day Cake


 

Ingredients:


 

For the cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup cacao

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the ganache

8 ounces/266 grams Unsweetened 100% baking chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut milk

1 cup raspberries, gently smashed, plus extra for garnish

Optional raspberry spread (for garnish)*

2 cups raspberries

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice


 

Directions:


 

To make the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease one 8-9 inch pan or two 6 inch pans with coconut oil.

Mix almond flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir until batter forms. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make ganache

In a double boiler or a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt baking chocolate and coconut oil. When completely smooth, remove from heat and pour in maple syrup, coconut milk, and raspberries. Gently stir and allow to sit a room temperature until you are ready to frost your cake.

To build the cake

When your cakes are completely cool, place on a layer on a cake plate and smooth about 3-4 tablespoons of ganache over the first layer. Repeat with the second layer. Add optional berries spread and garnish with fresh berries!

*To make optional raspberry spread

Place raspberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in saucepan, and then cook on low for about 10-20 minutes, gently smashing down berries as the mixture cooks. Allow mixture to simmer additional 10 -15 minutes, and then remove from heat. Garnish cake with complete cool raspberry mixture.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Sliders \\ Sweet Laurel

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and I’m dreaming of last year’s Nachos !! I will definitely be making those, and also my new favorite: Sweet Potato Sliders! These are the ultimate game day special, and an easy and healthy make ahead dish! It’s a slam dunk, or should we say touch down??!! 😉 Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Sliders \\ Sweet Laurel

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Ingredients:

4-8 sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil

1 cup cashews

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon lemon or lime

1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)

Pinch of cayenne or chipotle

To garnish- chopped peppers and cilantro


 

Directions:

Allow cashews to soak in 3 cups of water for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare sweet potatoes by washing the outsides and poking the outside of the sweet potato with a fork all around the potato. About 4-5 pokes per potato will do.

Cut sweet potatoes in half. Brush the underside of each sweet potatoes with coconut or avocado oil. Place the prepared potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil, then place in preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour – 1.5 hours, until sweet potatoes are nice and soft.

Meanwhile, finish the cashew creme. After the cashews have soaked for about an hour, remove the cashews from the refrigerator. Pour the cashews into a high-speed blender or food processor, but do not toss the liquid just yet. You may need this during the processing. Combine the coconut milk, lemon and remaining salt in the blender. Blend the cashew creme on full speed until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of the soaking liquid, blending until desired consistency is reached. Pour the cashew creme into a container and store in

Combine the coconut milk, lemon and remaining salt in the blender. Blend the cashew creme on full speed until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of the soaking liquid, blending until desired consistency is reached. Pour the cashew creme into a container and store in refrigerator until serving time.

When ready to serve, place sweet potatoes on a platter and drizzle cashew creme over potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped peppers and cilantro.

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Mom needs energy! That’s something I’ve learned these past 11 months with the Nico boy! It usually happens like this: Baby is hungry, and you are hungry… At the same time. The only problem is mom only has one hand, because she’s feeding baby with the other hand (breastfeeding, bottle, spoon, etc). I designed this recipes for all the mamas out there! You can pop these into your mouth with one hand! I like to make a batch and keep them in my fridge for snacking when necessary! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites

Yields about 12 balls


Ingredients:

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/2 cup collagen protein

1 cup almond butter

3/4 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for coating

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons date paste or 3­-4 dates, pitted

Optional: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs


Directions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Use a tablespoon to scoop 1 tablespoon at a time from batter and form into balls. Coat with remaining coconut shreds.

Refrigerate or freeze for up to 3 months

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

This recipe was inspired by English Toffee. Here’s a paleo, refined sugar-free version of the delicious treat, It doesn’t have the firm ‘bark’ texture of English Toffee, but definitely has ALL the flavor. Once cut, keep refrigerated until serving for best results. Enjoy!

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy


 

Ingredients:

16 tablespoons grass-fed butter *

1 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups coarsely chopped almonds (divided)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)


 

Directions:

Melt butter and maple syrup in saucepan over medium to high heat. Allow to come to a soft boil. Bubbles will deep brown.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, then 1/2 the almonds. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Top with chocolate chips. After two minutes, spread chocolate chips evenly over toffee. The chips will be melting.

Top with remaining almonds and put in refrigerator until nice and firm. Break into small pieces and enjoy!


 

Homemade chocolate chips


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (or more depending on how dark you like it)

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch piece and place in a thick saucepan or double boiler. Melt baking chocolate over a very low heat.  When melted, add agave and stir.  Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches.  Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break off pieces and use as needed.  Store in freezer.

*Unfortunately, coconut oil or ghee will not work as a substitute for this recipe

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies \\ Sweet Laurel

In my humble opinion, a cookie party is not a cookie party without a Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie!  My dear friend and partner at Sweet Laurel hosts a festive holiday cookie swap every year.  You can be sure I’m bringing these cookies this year! Complete with our homemade, refined sugar-free jam, this cookie satisfies the sweet tooth and is healthy as a vegan and paleo cookie can be!

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Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies


 

Ingredients:

Cookie dough

2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Jam

2 cups raspberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper.


 

Directions:

First, prepare the jam:

Place all ingredients for jam in sauce pan and cook raspberries with the maple syrup and lemon while gently smashing berries. Allow berry mixture to come to a soft simmer for about 5 minutes. Continue to gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Jam should be thick. Set as aside and allow to cool.

While jam is cooling, prepare cookie dough.

Place almond flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir gently. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of batter from bowl, and form into a ball. Place cookie dough on prepared sheet. Press thumb into cookie dough ball. Fill imprint with jam. Repeat with remaining dough and jam.

Bake cookies 8-10 minutes until golden brown and jam is bubbling. Allow to cool 10 minutes.  You can finish the cookies with extra jam on top if you’d like.

Festive Cacao + Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

I just love coconut butter (sometimes called coconut manna) and use it as a frosting most of the time. Today, we’re using coconut butter to make this delicious Festive Cacao + Coconut Butter Bark! The fun thing about this recipe you can add peppermint essential oil to make it taste festive, or add dehydrated raspberries to make it look festive! If you aren’t a coconut butter person,  sub in white chocolate. Enjoy!

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter

Yields one 8 x 8 sheet of chocolate


Ingredients:

1 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

4 oz 100 % cacao baking chocolate

1/4 cup maple syrup (divided)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional:

1 cup freeze dried raspberries, finely chopped

1 small drop peppermint essential oil

 


 

Directions: 

In a saucepan, place coconut butter over very low heat, or over a double boiler. As the coconut butter melts into a liquid, slowly stir almond or coconut milk. If the coconut butter turns brown, it has overheated, so try and keep your stove at its lowest setting.  Off heat, add the 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. If you don’t want your bark too sweet, feel free to leave the maple syrup out. (I prefer it sans maple syrup). Once the mixture reaches a pourable consistency, spread mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly over the parchment.

Working quickly, melt the 100% cacao baking chocolate over low heat. Slowly add 3-4 tablespoon maple syrup. This is where you can optionally add the peppermint oil to make a peppermint flavored bark. Take care not to add too much peppermint however.

Dollop one tablespoon of chocolate over coconut butter mixture. I like to do three rows of four round dollops. Using the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate into the coconut butter mixture, making a fun, swirly design. Top the bark with finely chopped freeze dried raspberries. Place in fridge until completely firm, then cut into squares. Keep in fridge or freezer until serving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake \\ Sweet Laurel

Dairy-free dreams come true with this cheesecake. My husband Nick is a cheesecake guy. It is his favorite dessert, and if he is craving a really special treat, cheesecake is usually at the top of his list. When we changed our lifestyle to be grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, I needed to figure out an alternative to the classic dessert, and one that Nick would love just as much as the dairy and sugar full version. After lots of testing, I came up with this recipe. And as a little teaser, the Sweet Laurel Cookbook has a delicious version of this recipe, Creamy Cheesecake, which I’m excited to share with you when it comes out April 3. But for now, here’s my pumpkin spice and everything nice version!

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Yields 1 Cheesecake


To make the crust:


Ingredients:

2 cups pecans or almonds, or nut flour

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare a springform pan by lining the base with parchment paper and greasing the sides with coconut oil.

In a food processor, blend the nuts, maple syrup, coconut oil and Himalayan pink salt. Press into the base of a springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Allow to cool while you prepare your filling.


To make the cheesecake filling:


Ingredients:

1 cup coconut yogurt

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons date paste, or 3 pitted dates

3/4 cup pumpkin

2 eggs

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Directions:

In a blender, pulse the coconut yogurt, maple syrup, pumpkin, and date paste together until mixture is congealed. Pour into a bowl, and beat coconut yogurt mixture with eggs using a hand whisk or stand mixer. Slowly add arrowroot powder, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and spices. Mix until batter is well incorporated.

Pour into cooled pie crust and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

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Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

I tricked Nick with these fries. He used to think sweet potatoes were one the nastiest things ever (can you imagine?). Now these fries are his side of choice. A few years into our marriage and I had enough with the anti-sweet potato antics. I decided to make a batch of fries using white sweet potatoes, which look almost identical to regular potatoes and see if he’d notice a difference. Is that mean? Well, see if you can tell the difference. Bake these up and you’ll see (and taste) why!

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Yields 4 servings


 

Ingredients:

4 pounds sweet potatoes (I use the white ‘Hannah’ or ‘Japanese’ sweet potatoes)

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 -2 tablespoons Bragg Organic Sprinkle Seasoning or Italian Seasoning (blend of oregano, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary and marjoram)

1 -2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


 

Directions:

Preheat oven 420 convection.

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper. This makes for an easy clean up!

Wash sweet potatoes and cut in half, then cut into strips.

Place fries in bowl with remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Put cut potatoes on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake at 425 convection for 40 minutes. Halfway through baking, scrap from pan with spatula and continue to bake.

After 40 minutes, remove from oven and enjoy!

***You can prep a day or two before, place the marinated fries in a sealed container, and bake 40 minutes before you plan to serve.

Mini Caramel Apples \\ Sweet Laurel

Caramel apples are a nostalgic classic and bring instant memories of childhood and fall’s bounty.  Here’s an easy way to clean up the old-time treat with wholesome ingredients, just in time for Halloween.

Mini Caramel Apples \\ Sweet Laurel

Mini Caramel Apples \\ Sweet Laurel

Mini Caramel Apples \\ Sweet Laurel

Mini Caramel Apples


 

Ingredients:

3­-4 large apples

1/4 cup ghee *

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Toothpicks

* can be subbed for grass fed butter


Directions:

Prepare a 9×13 pan by lining with parchment paper.

Prepare apples by cutting in half, then using a melon baller, make spheres. Alternatively, you can use the whole apples. Set aside.

To make the caramel sauce:

Melt ghee over low heat. Slowly add maple syrup and salt.

Bring to a low boil while stirring constantly for 4 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to draw a line with the back of a spoon in the base of the pan.

Let caramel cool off heat and slightly thicken. Coat each apple with caramel and place on parchment. Repeat for a second round for thicker caramel coating. Place the coated apples in the refrigerator until serving. Enjoy!

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Fall in a dish! Here’s our take on a classic roasted butternut squash. As you know, we like to keep it simple at Sweet Laurel, and here we let the flavors of the butternut squash shine amongst delicious cashew creme, pomegranate seeds and a dash of fresh parsley.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate


 

Ingredients:

1-2 butternut squash

1 cup cashews

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

1/2 cup pomegranate

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Chopped parsley for garnish


 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Place cashews in a bowl with 2 cups of filtered water. Set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to soak.

Prepare butternut squash by washing the outside, cutting them in half and de-seeding. Lightly salt the squashes with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Rub the flesh of the squash with coconut oil. Optional: you can add cinnamon & maple syrup here for added flavor. 

Place butternut squash cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 1 hour, then remove pan from oven and allow them to cool.

Meanwhile, finish the cashew creme. After the cashews have soaked for about an hour, remove the cashews from the refrigerator. Pour the cashews into a high-speed blender or food processor, but do not toss the liquid just yet. You may need this during the processing. Combine the coconut milk, lemon and remaining salt in the blender. Blend the cashew creme on full speed until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of the soaking liquid, blending until desired consistency is reached. Pour the cashew creme into a container and store in refrigerator until serving time.

To serve, place butternut squash cut side up on plate. Drizzle cashew creme over squash, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Enjoy!