Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Pumpkin Muffins

For years, I had a bit of a pumpkin muffin reputation.  Once autumn rolled around, I would get multiple requests for The pumpkin muffin recipe.

You can still find that on this blog.  Worry not, old friends.

But over the years, we've cut out a few things from our lives, namely dairy, soy, eggs, and gluten.  We also avoid refined oils now.  (Besides, most vegetable oil is loaded in GMOs.)

But enough about me - let's talk MUFFINS!

I knew that there had to be a way to replace the egg and oil.  I tried applesauce, which is okay - but it gives baked goods that spongey texture that kind of bounces back and is hard to bite through.  (I have kids with sensory issues here, bear with me.)

I tried a combination of nut butter and applesauce and it was okay - but still had a lot of fat.

I tried ground flax slurries in place of the egg and what a disaster!  It was like biting into a glue ball.  Yuck.  Definitely did NOT do The pumpkin muffin recipe justice.

And then I started working in the kitchen again with something new: So Delicious greek style yogurt.

The heavens parted and a choir of angels sang (that's for you, Dannielle).

I had tried it in cupcakes recently, for which it worked, and in a gooey butter cake (St. Louisans) and it flopped.

But, I had to try it again.  Guess what?  SUCCESS.

I'm finally proud enough of this one that I think it takes the place of The recipe.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.

2.5 cups sugar 
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 can pumpkin
1 cup of So Delicious almond milk (original or vanilla)
1 individual size container of So Delicious vanilla almond milk greek style yogurt 

Mix well, until all ingredients are incorporated.

Stir in 2 cups of semisweet/dark chocolate chips

Bake at 400° for 18-20 min

Fleur de Sel Caramel Ice Cream

Our vegan voyage is going quite well and we've found loads of brands that are commercially prepared.  Don't get me wrong - I love, LOVE, So Delicious.  But, we have a big family and often have to buy three pints to get a serving for each of us.  

Speaking of So Delicious, I am eternally grateful for everyone who voted and "liked" my pin.  I was the grand prize winner, but it was each of you who really won.  I wish I could bring every one of you a three bite hot cross bun!  

The grand prize was a $500 gift card to Williams Sonoma and the first thing I added to my cart was an ice cream maker.  I was doubtful sure I could create a reasonable substitute for a commercial pint.  A few trials, and errors later, we have a winner!

I've mentioned before my obsession with caramel, right?  Even greater than that is my obsession with fleur de sel caramel.  The salt makes the sweet that much sweeter.  The sweet is taken down by the salt. The burnt sugary contrast to them both.  It's a harmony of perfection!

And so, I give to you, the most affordable, easy, decadent, even healthy non-dairy ice cream I've ever made!  May it make your summer evenings a little cooler.

2 cans of light coconut milk 
3/4 C sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
1 tsp of sea salt

Combine all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.  

Refrigerate overnight or for several hours (the colder you get the mixture, the creamier the end result will be).

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

WE WON! So Delicious Dairy-Free Recipe Contest Entry: Gluten Free Vegan Three Bite Hot Cross Buns with "cream cheese" frosting!

UPDATE:  The contest results are in and we were the grand prize winner!! Thank you all so much for your support.  I couldn't have done it without every one of you! :)

I developed a gluten-free hot cross bun recipe some time ago.  But, as I mentioned in the last couple of posts, we've been going through some major dietary changes around here.  Dairy and egg are out!  Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200...

So, naturally, when the kids started asking for Hot Cross Buns, I knew I had my work cut out for me.  Developing the first required many, many, failures.  But, I hoped that I could figure it out. 

Luckily, the first batch was a home run!

I'm entering this recipe into the So Delicious Dairy-Free Recipe Contest!  The icing alone will make your toes curl! :)

Moist.  Tender.  Not too dense.  Rich with spice.  Studded with fruit.  

Yep.  That'll do.

Caveat: what you think is a hot cross bun and what I have here may not be the same.  I apologize to the purists in advance.  However, if you just have to call this a spiced fruity sweet roll, that's okay with me.

 It's weird... but it's okay.  

I embrace weird.

I embody weird.

Hot Cross (spiced fruity) Buns

1 C So Delicious Original Almond Milk
1/2 C sugar
2 TBSP yeast


2 TBSP ground golden flax
1/4 cup water


The zest of 2 oranges, plus the juice of one.
3 1/2 C Gluten Free APF (As usual, I used Pamela's
1/4 cup of applesauce or oil

2 TBSP cinnamon (preferred: Penzey's Vietnamese)
1tsp nutmeg (c'mon you can grind it!)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice


1 cup of craisins (or dried fruit of your liking) soaked in enough hot water to cover.


Cream Cheese Icing*
(dairy free version below)

Microwave/warm the milk for about 45 seconds, or until it's no longer cold, but not too hot to touch.  
Think - baby bottle.

To the warm milk, add your yeast and sugar.  Set aside and let it do its frothy thing.

In a separate dish, mix together the flax and the water to create "flax eggs."  It's just a slurry, really.  But that will need to have a chance to set up, too.  Set that aside.

Out of counter space yet?  Hang in there.

Add the flour, zest, applesauce/oil, and spices to the bowl of a stand mixer.  

You'll want a paddle for this, not a dough hook.  Dough hooks are great for gluten-y bread, 
but not for this.  It will be like a thick muffin batter.

Pour the milk in, which should have a thick, foamy head by now.  Scoop your flax slurry into the bowl while you're at it.  

Turn it on.  Ease up to about medium speed and let it run until it's nice and airy.  
It takes about three minutes for this kind of dough.  
This is our "kneading" in the gluten free baking world.

Drain your dried fruit and toss that into the bowl when it's about finished.  
It can handle the beating, I promise.

Coat the inside of a bowl with baking spray or oil.  Scrap the dough out into the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place.  Mine took about an hour to fluff up.

It will be sticky, so you will need some tools of the trade.  As always, I use a sheet pan with a Silpat.  If you don't have a Silpat, a sheet of parchment will be fine.  If you don't have parchment, I think a stoneware pan would do.  If you don't have any of these... get creative!  I have faith in you.

Another helpful tool is a portion scoop.  You really can't roll gluten free dough by hand (if you can, it'll be tough and too dense in the end).  So, using something like this helps to keep it from getting everywhere.

Ready to roll? 

er... scoop?

On a silpat-lined baking sheet, scoop out mounds of dough.  I let mine touch each other on the edges because I love that little smooshy bit of dough where they fused together while baking.  

I'm not a fan of edges. 

My pan had 28 little dough balls.  Yours may have more or less, depending on the size of your scoop.

With wet hands, come back and smooth out the tops a little.  
You don't have to, but I wanted it to be pretty for you.

Brush the tops with your non-dairy milk of choice.

Now... here's another little trick I learned last year.  Take a 9x13 pan (like a brownie pan) and fill it halfway with water.  Place it on your bottom rack in the oven.

Then preheat the oven to 400°


It's kind of like a bain-marie, or a proofing box, for the dough.

Once the oven is pre-heated, slide the pan into the oven on the rack above the water.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

While cooling, prep (or open!? Gasp!) your frosting.

Since cream cheese frosting has always been my favorite, I had to find some way to replicate it.

We've been playing with soaked raw cashews, a favorite of the raw food world.  And now I know why.

You can find raw cashews all over the internet, at your local Trader Joe's, or Whole Foods. 

For the best results, soak them in the fridge overnight.  I don't always have time, though, and I've gotten good results out of them unsoaked (just don't tell the raw foodies!).

Also, if you don't have access to the new So Delicious Greek Style Yogurt, I'm sorry.  If you have a coconut allergy like one of my friends, just go ahead and substitute any other vanilla yogurt you like.  
I recently found an almond one that was very good, too.

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Cup of Raw Cashews (soaked, if possible, then drained)
The juice of one lemon (yep, juice a fresh one here.  You must.)
1 tsp gluten free vanilla

A bag of powdered sugar

In a high speed blender, puree the cashews with the yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice until smooth.

From this point, you can switch to your stand mixer or do it by hand, with a whisk. 

Start adding powdered sugar until you get the right consistency for the job. 
 (I make it quite a bit thinner for a glaze, and much thicker to frost cupcakes.)

This time I needed about two cups.  If it looks too runny, add more.  Nothing scientific about this one.

If it gets too thick, a splash of almond milk will loosen it back up.

Easy.  I promise.

Have your hot cross buns all nice and cool now?

If you don't have a decorator gun, or a piping bag set, there's a quick solution.  Just grab a ziplock bag.  Any size will do.

Scoop about a cup of your frosting into the bag.  

Snip off the corner (start off very small - this will come out quickly - about the size of a drinking straw)

Pipe one line across the length of the whole pan, then one across the width.  Repeat until you have a cross pattern on each of them.  

Hope you enjoy!