Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee CakeI welcomed the official start of Spring by walking to the farmer’s market to pick out the delicious ingredients for this coffee cake. The tartness of the lemon mixed with the sweetness of the berries, and the vanilla notes from the cake make for a wonderful start to the day!

Farmer's market fresh lemons and blueberries

I made a simple coffee cake, easily made gluten free by using a gluten free all purpose flour blend, and then swirled in fresh lemon curd and sprinkled blueberries over the top before baking. I’ve made similar coffee cakes with wheat flour, and you could easily use that instead if you or your guests don’t have gluten free needs. I was pleasantly surprised that the berries did not sink to the bottom in the gluten free cake the way they do in wheat based cakes! And for anyone who is curious, my gluten loving husband and co-workers gobbled this up joyfully. It tastes just as good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all purpose gluten free flour (I used Cup for Cup brand, regular AP flour can be used for a non gluten free version)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • zest of a lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons oil – I used coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd – recipe below
  • 8 oz fresh blueberries, washed, stray stems removed

Coffee cake needs to be quick and easy to make because often you are making it on a weekend morning and life is hard in the morning. This fits the bill. No mixer required, and if you had the lemon curd made ahead of time (or – gasp – used store bought) you could probably manage this even before you’ve finished your coffee.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk (flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt). In a slightly smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (egg, milk, sour cream/yogurt, coconut oil, and vanilla). If you’re using coconut oil, you may want to warm this in the microwave for a minute to help the coconut oil melt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir it up!

Pour the batter into a greased 8×8 dish. Drop the lemon curd on top by tablespoon-fuls and then swirl it by running a butter knife through it in many directions. Sprinkle the blueberries on top and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.

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Lemon Curd – makes just enough for this recipe

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter

In a double boiler, or a heatproof bowl over simmering water, whisk together the egg yolk and the sugar. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk again. Cook this until it begins to get thick (will take somewhere around 8 minutes). Remove from the heat, and transfer to another container. Stir in the butter until everything is melted. Chill the finished curd, it will become much thicker. Since this is a small quantity, I chilled it in just a few minutes by putting it in a large bowl in the freezer and whisking once or twice. It was chilled in 10 minutes or less and ready to be put in the cake.

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This would be perfect to serve with Easter brunch or any other spring gathering. I hope you love it!

JillianCupcake

Lazy Day Desserts: Lucky Charms Cereal Treats

Lucky Charms Treats

Sometimes, you need a whole lot of dessert and you need it quick. Like, for example, when you’re going to a 20 person BBQ at a friend’s house on Saturday after a long week at work. Sometimes, you also need to not turn on your oven because it’s 90 degrees outside when it’s not even technically Spring yet. Thanks LA…

Potluck dessert

Usually, Rice Krispy treats are the perfect, throw-together, crowd-pleasing, no-bake potluck dessert. But, it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and I wanted to do something a little more festive. Enter, the Lucky Charms Treat.

These follow a classic cereal treat method, but there’s something about the extra colorful marshmallows mixed into the treats that makes them…magically delicious. ^.^

Recipe:

So here’s the thing, these are cereal treats, not science. You can be a little rough with the exact amounts of ingredients, and everything will be fine. I used these rough measurement and they turned out amazing.

  • 1 standard bag of marshmallows (about 10 oz)
  • 1 normal box of lucky charms (about 11.5 oz)
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

The key to cereal treats is to melt the butter and the marshmallows over low heat. Be patient! Marshmallows are made of sugar, and if sugar gets too hot it gets really hard when it cools (like candy). If you melt the marshmallows over high heat, they will end up much hotter than they should be, and you will have hard, brick-like treats. Not good. So just take you time while melting the butter and marshmallows together in a big pot.

When they’re melted, pour in the box of cereal and start stirring and folding them in. Mix until all the cereal is just coated in the marshmallow mixture, then stop. If you keep stirring, the marshmallows in the cereal will start melting and smearing color all over. Swiftly pour everything into a waiting, buttered 8×8 inch pan. I made a double batch and used a half sheet cake pan.

While everything is still warm, butter pieces of waxed paper, a spatula, or your very clean, heat-resistant hands and press the cereal mixture down into the pan evenly. You need to use butter because otherwise whatever you touch to the melted marshmallow will start sticking immediately. Press down firmly to get everything into the corners and to remove air bubbles, but don’t crush them to death. We’re still trying to avoid making bricks.

Let everything cool for about 20 minutes(or less if you put them in the fridge), then invert the pan and use a serrated knife to saw them into small squares.

Magically Delicious These were a big hit, and they’re perfect for St. Patrick’s day, or any day!

I hope you enjoy them.

JillianCupcake

Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalong Milkshake

Tagalong Milkshake

Thin Mints and Samoas seem to get all the Girl Scout Cookie love and attention, but my favorite is neither of these.

This indulgent milkshake is all about my favorite cookie:the Tagalong. The creamy, chocolate coated, peanut butter filled cookie is perfection.

Girl Scout Cookie Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of high quality chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 rounded Tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 5 Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Get out your blender and put all of the ingredients inside. Blend till smooth. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and a whole cookie if you’re feeling generous.

If it’s not Girl Scout Cookie season, this chocolate peanut butter shake would still be amazing on its own, or even with Reeces cups or pieces blended in. There’s really no going wrong with this classic flavor combo.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake

Go on, treat yo self 🙂

-JillianCupcake

Girl Scout Cookies: Thin Mint Ice Cream

Thin Mint Ice Cream

Girl Scout Cookie season is brilliantly timed. Once everyone is done with their crazed, January induced, fitness plans and is feeling really hungry, adorable girl scouts appear on every corner and knock on your door with the most delicious cookies in the world. Very clever Girl Scouts, very clever.

I am defenseless against cute children selling things for a good cause, so needless to say, there are a non-trivial number of Girl Scout cookies in my apartment. I wanted to make some desserts with the iconic cookies, and decided to start with the ultimate classic: the Thin Mint.

Chocolate and MInt

This ice cream flavor blends fresh mint with rich chocolate and folds in actual cookie crumbs. If you’ve never had ice cream made with fresh mint instead of mint extract, you are in for a treat. This is a rich and indulgent dessert for all mint & chocolate lovers.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cone

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups (80g) fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 oz (about 3/4 cup) chocolate
  • 1 sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, crushed

Get your ice cream maker ready. For me, this means putting the canister in the freezer for at least a day.

In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream, the milk, sugar, and salt. Begin heating it over medium heat. Wash the mint leaves, and pluck off the leaves (leaving a bit of stem is fine, but you want mostly leaves). Add the mint leaves to the warm milk and stir. Heat until steaming, but not a full boil. Take the pot off the heat, cover, and let the mint steep in the warm milk for about an hour.

In a separate pan, warm the remaining 1 cup of cream with the cocoa powder. Bring to a boil and let it boil for about 30 seconds, while stirring. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Stir well until it’s all melted. Pour this mixture into a big bowl and set aside.

Now, come back to the mint mixture. Strain out the mint with a fine mesh sieve. Return the mint milk to the pan and start warming it again. Put the 5 egg yolks and a medium size bowl and whisk them. When the mint milk starts to steam, pour it into the egg yolks very slowly, whisking the eggs the whole time so they don’t cook. Put all of this back in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it gets thick (about 170F on a thermometer).

Place the mesh sieve over the bowl with the chocolate in it. Pour the thickened mint mixture through the sieve into the chocolate. The sieve will catch any egg bits that might have gotten cooked. Stir very well, and place in the refrigerator until chilled. This can wait overnight if you wish.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions. When the ice cream is at a soft serve consistency, pour in the crushed thin mints. Transfer the soft ice cream to another container (I use a plastic Tupperware-like container), and put it in the freezer for a few hours to get firm. Serve and enjoy!

Ice Cream Cones

So get out there, support your local Girl Scout Troop, and enjoy this delicious ice cream!

-JillianCupcake