Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

This recipe for banana pecan cake stemmed from a well-loved recipe on the New York Times.

Following recipes has never been my style—I’m guess many of you are the same way. I like to have an outline, but then I go from there: Frosting? Hmm, too much sugar for an afternoon snack for me. Will this work with a gluten-free flour blend? Let’s give it a shot. Ingredient by ingredient I swap in and swap out. This is how I like to navigate a kitchen, and I find, when I follow my gut, I like the output more.

Everyone has unique tastes and preferences. It’s for that reason that I hope everyone will do some tweaking and twisting while they prep their dinners. It’s for their own good! There have been countless times when I followed a recipe to a “T” and later regretted it, wishing I had swerved in a different direction.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake
Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Baking (more of a science) provides less wiggle room for adjustments, though you can still make changes if you know your ingredients well. An easy personalization here would be to swap pecans for walnuts, or leave out the nuts all together. I know that nuts are an extremely divisive ingredient in banana bread … the original NYTimes version does not call for them, however since I skipped the frosting, I wanted to add something that would give this cake a second dimension. No regrets.

The line between bread and cake is blurry, especially when it comes to sweet breads, like banana bread. It is really bread? You can call it what you want — I’m calling this one a cake, though, it’s a cake I would (and do) eat for breakfast.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Published April 16, 2019 by
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Serves: 9   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas) 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups measure for measure gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (affiliatel ink))
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Optional- 1/4 cup pecan pieces

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and fit a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer.
    3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and blend until a uniform batter forms.
    4. Spread batter in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecan pieces.
    5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then lift from baking dish and slice into squares. Serve.

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    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    Caution: the following recipe is not “healthy,” by any definition of the word, but oh — is it good!

    About a ten months ago this recipe for no-churn chocolate ice cream landed on my screen. Was it possible? A no-churn ice cream that was worth an almost perfect rating? Even after making it, I was boggled by how darn good (and easy to make) it was.

    That moment was a game changer, because I realized how easy it would be to adapt that chocolate ice cream recipe into any flavor I could dream of.

    First I folded chunks of grain-free peanut butter cookie into the chocolate base. (That was amazing, highly recommended for PB lovers).

    Then, I skipped the cocoa and folded in instant coffee powder, along cacao nibs and extra caramel sauce I had in the fridge (from this recipe). Also a hit — best afternoon pick me up. 😍

    Next, I made pistachio paste and mixed that in. This recipe was proving itself to be extraordinarily adaptable. I even squeezed the juice from fresh mint leaves, and made mint-chocolate swirl ice cream. (I promise to share some of these adaptions in the coming months!)

    But there was one thing I couldn’t get out of my head: rhubarb crisp ice cream. I have a thing for ice creams named after baked goods — or at least, the few ice creams I’ve had that fit this bill have been amazing. One was Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Pie Ice Cream, which they later discontinued (though I found out in the process of writing this post that they now have a similar flavor as a regional special). The second was oatmeal cookie ice cream from Lucky’s Bakehouse & Creamery in Boulder — wonderful with fresh peaches!

    Anyways — the best part of this ice cream, to me, is when the sweet vanilla cream swirls with the crispy, butter oat topping. 🤤

    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    Published April 9, 2019 by
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    Serves: 12   |    Active Time: 20 active minutes; 5 hours in freezer



    Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 1 cup of leftover rhubarb crisp, full cooled! — if crisp is at all warm, it will melt the ice cream into a slop. Tip: the oaty crisp is the best part! Make sure you have some of that in there.

  • Directions:

    1. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
    2. In a separate large mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until peaks form (about 2 minutes on medium-high speed with a hand mixer).
    3. Fold 1 cup of the whipping cream into the condensed milk with a rubber spatula, then fold condensed milk mixture into whipped cream, folding gently so as to keep as much air in the whipped cream as possible. Fold until fully incorporated and few to no streaks of condensed milk remain (avoid over mixing).
    4. Pour mixture into a a 9x9 glass dish with a lid (a bread pan, or large pyrex Tupperware will work too). Cover and freeze for about 2 hours.
    5. Meanwhile, cut or crumble rhubarb crisp into small pieces. Rhubarb chunks should be bite-sized or smaller (aim for 1/2 inch pieces or smaller). Sprinkle rhubarb crisp over ice cream mixture, and then use a rubber spatula to gently swirl into the ice cream. Smooth ice cream in container, and then return to freezer for 3 more hours before serving.
    6. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

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    Soft & Chewy Flourless Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

    In January, well after holiday season was over, a client sent a big box of Tate's Cookies to the office, where they filled the kitchen counter for half a week. It was the worst (but also the best) kind of way to kick off January. I had been wanted to make a gingery version of these tahini chocolate chip cookies for some time -- I even had made a batch over the holidays that didn't quite work out. Despite it being peak resolution season, that counter full of cookies was just the push I needed to dive back into recipe development. 

    The dream: a chewy, rich, flourless ginger cookie with chunks of crystallized ginger. 

    I knew that tahini would be the perfect base, but my first attempt used far too much molasses and the cookies were WAY too soft. I learned, on that attempt, that coconut sugar really imparts enough molasses-y flavor anyhow, as it's unrefined so still carries all of the minerals that are stripped from refined sugars when molasses is made. 

    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies
    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Tips for making these chewy tahini ginger cookies: 

    • STIR THAT TAHINI. This is in all caps because it's no joke. Tahini separates fast and if your tahini is all oil or all solids you're batter won't work. Last time I published a tahini cookie recipe someone asked about how to best stir tahini, which is a really good question because it's not the easiest to stir. But don't worry! Just scrape the entire jar into a blender, and let it rip. OR, carefully put your immersion blender into your tahini container (this is what I do, but also can foresee what a mess this might make in the wrong circumstances) 

    • Let them cool. Really! I too like hot-out-of-the-oven cookies, but these cookies need a minute to set up. More like 5-10. They'll still be warm, and they'll stay soft for a week at room temperature. BUT, if you try to pick one up while it's still piping hot it will just collapse and melt in your hand (if you can even get it into your hand). 

    Ok, "mom" warnings over. Now, the recipe! 

    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Soft & Chewy Flourless Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Published February 21, 2019 by
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    Yields: 16   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup tahini (stirred very well - try blending it with your blender if it is separated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated on a microplane
  • Optional: 1/3 cup ginger chips (like this - affiliate link) or finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. Whisk briefly.
    3. Add tahini, vanilla, egg, and fresh ginger to bowl, and use a spatula to stir until a stiff, sticky batter forms.
    4. Optional: place bowl of batter in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow dough to stiffen a bit more.
    5. Using your hands, roll dough into spheres by the heaping tablespoonful. Place spheres at least 2 inches apart of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatted slightly with your fingers.
    6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies have spread and are golden. Cookies will still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool at least 10 minutes before attempting to move them to a cooling wrack or a plate.

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