I love baking, but in the past I haven’t indulged in it too much because, typically, baking recipes use a lot of fat and refined sugar. So recently I’ve been experimenting with substituting refined sugar for natural sweeteners so that I can, excuse the pun, have my cake and eat it too! On top of that, through my work as a dietitian, I’m aware that gluten and dairy intolerant people often struggle with baking in general, as the typical ingredients are wheat flour and butter, so in these recipes I’ve given options for making them gluten and dairy free too.
Baking is a meticulous science (unlike cooking where you can free-style more), so I’ve developed my healthy baking recipes through a lot of trial and error. It’s fair to say it’s been quite a challenge and an education, but I’m stoked with the end result — delicious baked treats that use nutritious ingredients and can be enjoyed by those who are gluten/dairy intolerant too.
On top of that, I’ve streamlined these recipes, making them incredibly easy to make, so there’s no faffing about with several complicated or time-consuming steps. You can prepare both these recipes in under 10 minutes, in less than two steps, so they’re perfect for the "lazy’' baker, or the kids!
Chocolate and raspberry cupcakes with chocolate coconut frosting
These cupcakes (pictured above) are made all in one pot and can easily be made gluten-free by using buckwheat flour in place of wheat flour. They are dairy free too, and use honey in place of refined sugar. They freeze well. This recipes makes 10 cupcakes.
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or butter
6 Tbsp liquid honey
100g dark chocolate (60%)
1⅓ cups frozen raspberries (defrosted)
⅔ cup plain flour (note: to make them gluten-free, you can use buckwheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
4 free-range eggs
- Heat oven to 150C. Line a 12-pan muffin tin with 10 patty pans.
- Place coconut oil/butter, honey and dark chocolate in a medium pot and gently heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly.
- Mix in raspberries, flour, baking powder and eggs into chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.
- Spoon mixture into patty pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Once completely cooled, ice with chocolate coconut icing.
Chocolate coconut icing
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped good quality dark eating chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
- Gently melt chocolate, coconut oil and vanilla in a small pot
- Then pour into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes until thickened.
- Use a whisk to "whip'’ the icing before using to ice the cooled cupcakes.
This is one delicious loaf that everyone will love. It’s so easy to make — mash bananas and mix all ingredients together, that’s it! Perfect for the kids to make. This loaf is sweetened with banana and honey. With no refined sugar, it’s a great healthy lunch box option too.
Makes 1 loaf, enough for 8-10 serves
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup liquid honey
3 large ripe mashed bananas
2 cups coconut thread
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup self-raising flour (or substitute with 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder to make loaf gluten-free)
Pinch of salt
- Heat oven to 180C.
- Gently melt coconut oil and honey together in a small pot.
- Use a fork to mix mashed bananas, coconut thread, flour, melted coconut oil and honey mixture, eggs, lemon zest and salt together in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
- Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Will keep (unsliced) in an airtight container for up to 5 days.