Drink & Dish: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups {gluten-free}

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

I would like to propose that the United States of America switch to 3 days weekends. Or, at least that my schedule could switch to 3 day weekends. I feel like one day I spend riding my bike all day (not at all an exaggeration! 2-5 hours is seriously allllll day), and the next day is filled with meal prep, grocery shopping, laundry (ew), and various other errands. Cleaning should probably be in there somewhere, but we all know I don’t actually do that.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

Today my husband ran his first 5k!! It didn’t go quite like he would have hoped, but I’m still beyond proud of him for getting out there and making it happen! I also convinced a few work friends to tag along, and two of them did their very first race as well! It was fun to get out there, but it turns out not doing any speed training for almost 9 months is not the way to run at your PR pace. Who knew? Anyway, that was my weekend. 56 mile bike ride Friday (okay so that wasn’t even the weekend yet…), 36 mile bike ride Saturday (my first group ride, I didn’t get dropped, and Strava told me I rode one of the miles @ 23mph!!!), and then a 5k on Sunday. I need a weekend from my weekend.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

The good news is the first day of fall is finally here, and I’m *finally* feeling a hint of it in the air. I couldn’t be happier. It’s no longer hot at 5am. In fact, there is a nice breeze, and the temperature feels perfect. I don’t see any triple digits on the horizon, and pumpkin spice syrup is sneaking its way back into my iced coffee every now and then. And also, my cheesecake.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

I know everyone says it, but I really do love this time of year. There is something so cozy about the fall, and knowing that the holidays are coming (<3 all things holiday spirit!). It just makes my heart happy. Not to mention the flavors. I’ve always been obsessed with the pumpkin spice latte. The last couple of years, I’ve made pumpkin spice latte cupcakes, but I wanted to share something a little different with you guys that still showcases the amazing flavor combination. Every year, I make pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving, and decided to do a little twist on that. The result? Like cheesecake and a pumpkin spice latte had a love child, and it only got the best genes from each parent. They are ridiculously good, and even include a gingersnap crust with a hint of coffee flavor to bring everything together.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

To pair with my cheesecake cups, Nicole made a spiced pear martini that is bursting with fall flavors. I’m not normally someone who jumps at pear flavored things, but the spices round it out perfectly to create a not-too-sweet, cozy pear drink that is a must try! And of course make sure you check out the latest episode of D&D and please subscribe on YouTube!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups {gluten-free}

All the flavors of the fall favorite pumpkin spice latte in individual cheesecake cups with a gluten-free gingersnap crust.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (start with 1 1/2, and add a little extra if it needs it--it depends on the brand of gingersnap and how much oil is already in the cookie)
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 lb reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For garnish:
  • Whipped cream
  • Freshly ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set. Aside.
  2. To make the crust, combine gingersnap crumbs, 1/2 tsp espresso powder and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Place approx 1 tablespoon of crust into each muffin tin. Press down with your fingers, the back of your spoon, or a shot glass. Bake until set, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, pumpkin puree and brown sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp espresso powder.
  4. Evenly divide the cheesecake batter between your 12 muffin tins.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and just set, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow cheesecakes to sit in opened oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 3-4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg (if desired) to serve. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week.
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Pumpkin Pecan Scones {vegan + gluten-free}

Pumpkin Pecan Scones #vegan #glutenfree

I promised myself I was going to wait until the first day of fall to post my first pumpkin recipe of the year, but I just can’t do it anymore. Heck, it was hard enough to wait until after the first day of September!

Pumpkin Pecan Scones #vegan #glutenfree

Like many of you, I make pumpkin recipes year round. Pecans though? I feel like they are the forgotten stepchild of fall amazingness. Pumpkin, apples and cranberries take the spotlight while sweet and crunchy pecans are often forgotten, left on the sidelines.

Pumpkin Pecan Scones #vegan #glutenfree

Well not here, my friends. These scones may be loaded with pumpkin spice, but the real star is the ultra-soft pecan flour. The texture of these scones is like no other. The outside is just like a regular scone, but the inside is melt-in-your-mouth smooth. Not at all dry and crumbly like some scones can be.

Pumpkin Pecan Scones #vegan #glutenfree

Pecan flour isn’t exactly a common ingredient. At least, I’ve never seen it in the store, and until after making my own was a slightly annoying (but still totally worth it) task, I didn’t even know you could buy it. King Arthur sells it, and you can also look on Amazon. I made my own by grinding the pecans in my food processor, then lofts of sift, grind, repeat. I can’t say it was a quick process, but the result was so incredible that I would do it again in a heart beat!

Pumpkin Pecan Scones #vegan #glutenfree

Other than if you make your own pecan flour, they are ridiculously quick and easy to make. 1 bowl–no mixer–quick bake time–practically fool proof!

Pumpkin Pecan Scones #vegan #glutenfree

I dusted mine with a pumpkin spiced powdered sugar topping, but they are equally great without, or with some fresh whipped cream or whipped coconut cream for an extra treat. They also stay super soft for a few days, so you can make them ahead of time for company, or throw them together at the last minute. Either way, once you make them, they won’t last long!

Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 scones

Serving Size: 1 scone

Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Ultra-soft pumpkin spiced pecan flour scones are sure to be your new go-to fall treat! Vegan & gluten-free.

Ingredients

    For the scones:
  • 2 1/2 cups pecan flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • For the powdered sugar topping:
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. To make the scones, preheat oven to 350. Line a medium baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together pecan flour, salt, baking soda, corn starch, and pumpkin pie spice. Add maple syrup and pumpkin puree. Mix until combined. Mixture will be slightly wet and sticky. If it is unmanageable, add more pecan flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Roll dough into a large ball and press down into a 1-1 1/2? thick disk. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Do not separate. Bake as if for 9-11 minutes until golden and set. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar topping. Lightly dust onto scones just before serving. Scones can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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Pumpkin Beer Cakes

This recipe brought to you thanks to my amazing friend Polly.

One day she wrote on my facebook requesting “pumpkin beer pumpkin cupcakes”. You, my friend, are brilliant.

Is there anything that screams fall more than pumpkin cupcakes made with pumpkin freaking beer? And oooooomg. These are not only the softest cupcakes I have ever tasted (yes, EVER), but the pumpkin flavor is so bold, and tasted like absolute perfection. The top even got this incredible texture that I don’t even know how to describe–almost like a cookie with the slightest crunch on the edges and a perfectly gooey center? That’s kind of what happened here.

Obviously I had to make a pumpkin beer glaze to go on top. Duh.

Don’t get me wrong, the glaze is awesome, but I found the cupcakes to actually be perfect on their own. It depends on how sweet you like them. The glaze is reaaalllll sweet. I mean, glaze is essentially powdered sugar so, ya know… Steve loved the glaze (he likes his desserts with a side of insulin), but I preferred mine plain.

I’m telling you, before the season is over and you are totally sick of pumpkin (does that really happen to people!?), do yourself a favor and make these cupcakes. Then drink the rest of the beer because, well, it’s the holidays… ;)

 

Pumpkin Beer Cakes

yield 1 dozen

  • 6 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbs turbinado sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer + more for brushing the tops
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk

For the Pumpkin Beer Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash salt
  • 1-2 tbs pumpkin beer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin and sugar. Combine almond milk, vanilla  and pumpkin beer in a measuring cup or small bowl.  Alternately add flour mixture with beer mixture to the pumpkin and sugar starting and ending with dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl when necessary.
  3. Evenly divide the mixture between the 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  4. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, then use a toothpick or thin fork to poke several holes in each cupcakes. Brush each cupcake 2-3 times with extra pumpkin beer and let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. If you would like to add the glaze, combine powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Very slowly, add in pumpkin beer whisking constantly until it reaches your desired thickness. Careful, a small amount of liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar. Glaze cupcakes and serve.

 

 

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Ultra-soft whole grain pumpkin muffins filled with a sweet and spicy cinnamon sugar swirl.

The weekend before last, most of my team was completing their longest training run bright and early Saturday morning. Even though I had already completed my 20 miler the day before, I wanted to go cheer on my friends, and Susan had ordered some muffins for the team to celebrate all of the hard work we’ve put in over the last 4 months.

Obviously I had to bring something pumpkin, and these were a huge hit! Of course, I had to taste one before sending them off, so I shared one with my pumpkin hating husband who loved them just as much as I did! I don’t know know if it was the pumpkin, or the perfect amount of baking time, or what, but the texture of these muffins was absolute perfection!

They are so light and fluffy and the cinnamon swirl really spices them up perfectly!

And GUESS WHAT!!! This was the first time I took all my own pictures without my fancy camera husband around to even help me get my settings and everything adjusted. 100% me (and, you know, the fancy camera helps a little ;) ). I feel like I know absolutely nothing about photography, so I was thrilled at how these came out!! I’m really excited to learn be learning more, and getting a little more self sufficient on the photography end, since it is such a big part of the blog.

Anyway, back to the muffins! They would be the perfect treat to wake up to on Thanksgiving morning for a quick and easy breakfast while you prepare for family and the big day. Cut them in half, slather them with pumpkin butter because there really is no such thing as too much pumpkin! Trust me.

These babies will definitely be a fall (well, pretty much year round since I’m an all season pumpkin lover) staple in my house!

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon milled flax seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins, then spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax seed, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and egg substitute until well-combined.
  4. Alternate adding dry ingredients/buttermilk to wet ingredients (flour mixture, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour).
  5. Fill muffin tins 1/3. In a small bowl, whisk remaining 2 tbsp sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the batter. Top with remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Ultra-soft whole grain pumpkin muffins filled with a sweet and spicy cinnamon sugar swirl.

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Pumpkin Filled Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

In case you’re wondering if I’m running out of things I want to make that include pumpkin…

The answer is no. Not even a little bit. In fact, the list has gotten so long. Longer than my To-Do List, and you can figure out for yourself which list I’m actually gaining more ground on…

I just wanna bake cookies all day long. Can that be my life? Except, then none of my pants would fit. No matter how much healthier my cookies may be than your average dessert, a cookie is a cookie, and if you eat a dozen a day (don’t judge me), then…well, we all know how that ends. Moral of the story? Bake cookies all day long, then bribe the love of everyone you know by feeding them delicious healthy desserts. That’s how I win friends in life. That, and rapping Gangsta’s Paradise at parties. Or maybe that was how I lose friends? I forget…

So as you can see, my tools for friendship are bribery and embarrassing myself. They seem to work pretty well. I attract awesome humans. I’m guessing it has more to do with the cookies. These cookies were, um, ridiculous. I used my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe + some pumpkin pie spice, then mixed together some canned pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar and a little flour for thickening, and I had a dangerous dessert on my hands. I loved the way the thick oatmeal cookies held up to the creamy filling. The filling was tricky. Pumpkin leads to a slightly runny cream cheese frosting, but I noticed that this girl used flour when she made almost the exact same thing, so I tried that and it solved all of the problems in the entire world. Or at least my very critical, life-or-death frosting problem. Thanks Sally, you’re my pumpkin frosting hero! ;)

These would be perfect for a more bite sized Thanksgiving dessert (I made some big ones too, but I ended up loving the minis the best!), or for any fall party, or really…just because. Who doesn’t love a cream filled sandwich cookies? It’s one of life’s happy things. ;)

 

Pumpkin Filled Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

For the cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 7 1/2 tbs apple butter
  • 1 1/2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup rolled oats

For the filling:

  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together apple butter, coconut oil, sugar, egg substitute and vanilla until combined. Slowly beat in dry ingredients, then fold in oats.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drop cookies onto the sheet using a small cookie scoop.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in remaining filling ingredients. Spread filling over 1/2 of the cookies, then top with an other cookie.