Valentine’s Day Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Coconut Muffin Heart Shortcake Recipe

February 4th, 2008 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Dessert, Muffin, coconut, fruit 16 Comments »

heart2.jpgheart5.jpgThe last time I ordered gluten-free flours from Bob’s Red Mill, I noticed that they sold GF coconut flour. I had been hearing rumors about the wonder of low-carb, high-fiber coconut flour and couldn’t resist adding yet another flour to my collection. South Beach or other low-carb dieters use coconut flour straight in their baking, but this kind of baking demands a lot of eggs, and I’m not that crazy about eggs. So, I decided to try the coconut flour as a supplement to my favorite gluten-free blend in a recipe. For some reason, I kept thinking about vanilla muffins, thinking that the coconut flour would add complimentary dessert-like notes, so I took a (non GF) recipe from Recipezaar as my inspiration and came up with the coconut flavored, vanilla muffin recipe below. I sneaked off to the kitchen to make them one night, leaving DH unaware at his computer. As you know, I have a serious crush on mini-muffin-tins, so I baked some of the batter in those tins, some in my mini bundt cake tins, and some in these wonderful heart shaped baking cups that I’d found in a local store. As the smell of the coconut flour and vanilla wafted through the house, DH looked up from his computer and said “Hey, are those cookies I smell?” I hated to break it to him that they were actually muffins- but he enjoyed them anyway. The coconut flour gave them a wonderful spongy texture not unlike that of bean flour, and was the perfect compliment to the copious amounts of vanilla in the recipe. However, it was the early Valentine’s Day Shortcake recipe that I came up with a day or two later that earned the rave review in our house.

A heart for your Valentine I had been thinking about Kochtopf’s Heart for my Valentine blog event. (Roundup is Here) I knew I wanted to use the heart shaped muffins as the base for my entry, but it wasn’t until I tasted the faintly sweet coconut and vanilla flavors of my creation that it occurred to me- it would be the perfect base for a strawberry shortcake! Trader Joe’s didn’t have fresh strawberries, but they did have lovely fresh blackberries and organic frozen strawberries, so I modified my initial vision. I wouldn’t just use them in strawberry shortcake, but rather, a shortcake topped with strawberry sorbet with hints of meyer lemon juice, macerated blackberries, and fresh cream (or cashew cream).

The result was one very happy Valentine (DH.) His rating? A nine out of ten, which from this picky libra boy is no small compliment. He raved that the muffins were not only as good as regular shortcake but actually better than regular shortcake. Not too shabby considering it was my first experiment with coconut flour! I’ll definitely be trying my coconut flour in other muffin recipes… and soon. I’ve already got mango cubes in the freezer, dried pineapple, and dried cranberries just crying out to be used in a tropical coconut or cranberry coconut recipe… And I can’t wait! Now, where’s that mini-muffin tin…

heart4.jpgNo coconut flour in the cupboard?
Try Lea’s Gluten-free shortcake biscuits
Elise’s Strawberry Shortcake with Gluten-Free Variation (scroll down)
Or Elise’s Marion Blackberry Shortcake with GF Variation (scroll down)

Looking for more Gluten-Free Treats for your Valentine? Try this low-carb agave-sweetened vegan brownie recipe

Looking for more Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Recipes using Coconut Flour? Try these:
BytheBay’s Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Cindalou’s Cran-Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffin Recipe
Glutenagogo’s Coconut Gluten-Free Bread
GF Teff Coconut flour Pancake Recipe
Gluten-free Dessert’s Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour Recipes- Biscuits, Scones, and Almond Cake

Toys for making YOUR OWN yummy muffins in Fun Shapes. GF Mini-Baked-Coconut-donut anyone?

Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Vanilla Muffin Recipe
1 1/2 cup Bette Hagman GF mix (rice, potato starch, tapioca blend)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lg egg, beaten
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (or 1 cup plain yogurt with 1 tsp vanilla and confectioners sugar to taste) [DF option: use soy yogurt]
1/4 cup milk [DF option: use rice, almond, hemp or soy milk]
1 tbsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. butter, melted [DF option: use dairy free margarine, shortening, or oil]
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare mini muffin tins, muffin tins, mini bundt cake pans, or mini heart baking tins for a Valentines Day treat by spraying with butter flavored nonstick cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix them together, quickly, combining ingredients thoroughly but not over mixing.

Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on size of tin, with mini muffin tins baking for 12-15 minutes and larger tins baking longer…)

Try subbing some applesauce for the butter next time!

After the first day or two, these are best heated briefly in the microwave. It’s best to slice them AFTER you heat them for the moistest muffin, or even to avoid slicing them.


Valentine’s Day Heart Blackberry and Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Gluten-free Vanilla Coconut Flour heart shaped muffins (1 or more per person)

Macerated Blackberries:
Fresh or frozen blackberries, defrosted
powdered sugar to taste

Strawberry Sorbet:
Frozen strawberries, half defrosted or still frozen
Sugar, to taste
lemon juice, to taste (I used meyer lemons)

Dairy or Dairy Free Whipped Cream:
For dairy, whip cream with powdered sugar and a glug of vanilla in your mixer.
For Dairy-free, try my cashew cream recipe

Macerated Blackberries:
Mash at least half of your blackberries with a potato masher or a fork. Add sugar and combine thoroughly. Let rest for 30 minutes or so.

Strawberry sorbet:
Combine ingredients in your food processor and blend until you have a lovely, icy mix. Taste and season to your preference. Sugar may not be necessary, especially if you don’t add much lemon juice.

Use slightly warmed muffins, either heated in microwave or fresh from the oven. If you like, you can cut them in half horizontally, or just leave them as is. (I like the second method.) Layer Strawberry sorbet, Macerated blackberries, and Cashew Cream OR Dairy Cream. Garnish with fresh berries and sprig of mint (optional).

Serve to your sweetie in exchange for lots of kisses!

Cashew Vanilla Cream
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Soak 1 cup of cashews in 2 cups of water. If you’re in a
very warm climate, soak them in your refrigerator. After 8-12 hours,
discard the soaking water and rinse the nuts. In a blender, place the
nuts and enough fresh water to allow the blender to operate. Blend,
gradually adding enough water to achieve a smooth consistency. Yields
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups.

Really lovely served with fresh fruit and chocolate fondue as a substitute for whipped cream, or collect an assortment of beautiful organic fruits from the farmers market and top with Cashew Vanilla Cream. You can even add edible flowers for garnish!

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Gluten Free Desserts: Vic and Hallie’s Easy Cranberry Pie Recipe

October 25th, 2007 yum Posted in Blog Event, Cranberries, Dessert, Party Food, fruit 16 Comments »

cranbpie6.jpgcranbpie.jpgI generally put more energy into my savory menu than my sweet menu. I like sweets sometimes- especially in the form of dark chocolate or fudgey brownies- but I’m often fairly indifferent to cakes and other bready sweets. However, the other night, I went to a gluten-free party and found a sweet recipe I just HAD to have. Isn’t it nice to stumble across gluten-free baking geniuses in your own backyard? Vic and Hallie, our gracious hosts, served an amazing spread, supplemented by many of their gluten-free guests. The most exciting dish was something Hallie had adapted some time back from a “regular” gluten recipe. It was something they called Cranberry Surprise Pie – a variation on an easy, mix style cake that looks, from some angles, like a pie and has that same pleasing buttery mouth feel. I’ve always liked cranberries- but mostly have enjoyed them in sauces and juice. I’ve never had a gluten-free cranberry pie- OR a gluten-free cranberry cake, for that matter. Even though I was totally full from the pizza and breadsticks and other italian delights at the party- I took a slice of “pie” and was totally sold on it with the first bite. It is tart, yet sweet; light but yet satisfying- the cranberry cake-pie is a mix in contrasting flavors and the best word I can use to describe it is just plain YUM! It had rave reviews from everyone at the party, and DH gave it thumbs up too, when I tried Vic and Hallie’s recipe in my own kitchen. I really like how the tartness of the berries contrasts with the mild sweetness of the cake- and it makes a great breakfast with coffee! (Should I not be eating pie/cake for breakfast? Oops, my secret is out!) Vic gave me permission to post the recipe here to share with you all, but I hope you will all also head on over to his Gluten Free Baking Site and enjoy his other lovely gluten free recipes.

cranbpie4.jpg cranberryfilling.jpg cranbpie5.jpg

Garten-Koch-Event: CranberriesConsidering I have a major crush on cranberries right now, I was super happy to find out that there was a special blogging event with a cranberry theme! Isn’t this tag the prettiest ever? So, I am thrilled to present this post to the Garden-Cook-Event: Cranberries. Sometimes these things are just serendipity… ;)

Looking for more pie recipes?
Lately Gluten Free by the Bay has been a pie-baking-fiend, with a
Gluten-free apple raspberry pie recipe
Flourless streusel with no refined sugar recipe
and Gluten-free Apple Quince Pie Recipe
Check out her healthy takes on a more traditional pie!

In the mood for some more sweet cranberry baked goods?
Be inspired by Ginger Lemon Girl’s Cranberry Apple Muffins

Vic and Hallie’s Surprise Cranberry Pie Recipe
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup Sliced almonds (optional)
1/3 cup Sugar to sprinkle the fruit
3/4 cup Sugar for the crust
2 Eggs
3/4 cup {1-1/2 stick) Butter or margarine (I used 1/4 cup margarine with 1/2 cup butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum (or xanthan gum mixed with guar gum)
1 cup of your favorite mild GF flour blend.
This recipe makes one large pie or large cake, or two smaller pies or two smaller cakes. I used one large pie pan and one small gratin type dish.
* Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease the pie plates.
* Wash the cranberries or other fruit, leaving a little water on them.
* Place the fruit on the bottom of the pie plate. If you use nuts, put them on top of the fruit. Next sprinkle sugar over the top.
* In a mixing bowl, cream the remaining sugar with the eggs and butter. Stir in the vanilla extract and then finally fold in the flour and xanthan gum.
* Pour or spread the batter over the fruit.
* Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center of the crust comes out clean.
* Important step: Cool for 10 minutes and gently loosen the edges. If you are using a springform, it is particularly important to loosen the edges at this point. Wait until the pie cools completely before taking off the springform sides.
I used 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and think I would try 1/4 tsp. next time.

For the GF flour blend, Carol Fenster’s or Bette Hagman’s work well- I used a Brown rice version of Bette Hagman’s featherlight blend, but anything will work. Make sure it has a delicate flavor that won’t overwhelm the fruit.

You can use different fruits in this recipe, and adapt the flavorings as desired.

I think the pie tastes best cool, but it’s good either way. If you want to be really crazy you can add whipped cream or ice cream on top.

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