Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes {vegan + gluten-free}

With all the flavor of your favorite fall beverage, these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the perfect treat! Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with 100% of the taste–they are a dessert everyone will love!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

My husband is so weird. Every time I start baking he asks me what I’m making. Lately, the answer starts with pumpkin, then he groans and goes on and on about how he supposedly doesn’t like pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Then as soon as whatever I’m making is ready, he’s digging in, and going on about how good it is! I don’t understand him. I think he just likes to say he hates pumpkin because he knows I’m obsessed with it. Sometimes I make pumpkin muffins in July. True story.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Even in my quest for new pumpkin recipes all year long, I always come back to these cupcakes every fall. I’ve made them over and over, and this year I wanted to make a version that was both vegan and gluten-free so that all of my friends could enjoy them with me. Even my silly pumpkin hating husband (who, btw, ate his fair share!).

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Simple, easy pumpkin cupcakes spiked with a little espresso powder then brushed with coffee create the perfect pumpkin spice latte flavor and ultra soft texture. Topped with freshly whipped coconut cream (or regular whipped cream if you prefer) — they are just like your favorite fall coffee indulgence in cupcake form!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with ALL of the flavor!

Also, if you want to make them even more dreamy, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your whipped topping. You will thank me later. ;)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes {vegan + gluten-free}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes {vegan + gluten-free}

With all the flavor of your favorite fall beverage, these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the perfect treat! Vegan, gluten-free and lightened up but with 100% of the taste--they are a dessert everyone will love!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso for brushing
  • whipped coconut cream (or regular whipped cream if not vegan) for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, and apple sauce. Add almond milk and dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill lined muffin tin 3/4 full with batter and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. You want them to be fully cooked with no crumbs sticking to the toothpick, otherwise they will be mushy. Cool completely.
  5. Pierce each cupcake 2-3 times with a fork, then brush cupcakes with fresh coffee. Top with whipped coconut cream or regular freshly whipped cream (add some cinnamon to it for an even more delicious topping). Keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Pumpkin Irish Cream

Rich and creamy homemade Irish cream with a fall kick! Pureed pumpkin + pumpkin pie spice make this taste like pumpkin pie in cocktail form! Shhh it’s secretly lightened up and vegan.

Pumpkin Irish Cream: Like pumpkin pie in cocktail form!

Youuuuu guuuyyyyys! I have been waiting almost an entire year to share this recipe with you! For the last two weeks, I’ve been asking my husband if it’s “fall enough” yet to post it, and his response, as someone who could care less about pumpkin, and could care even less about when I post things on my blog, is to shrug his shoulders and hardly reply. So, I’ve decided. It’s fall enough. Here we go.

Pumpkin Irish Cream: Like pumpkin pie in cocktail form!

Last year, I started experimenting more with homemade liqueurs and cocktails thanks to my drink-spiration, and I made a huge batch of this baby for Thanksgiving. I couldn’t believe what a huge hit it became! My family couldn’t get enough, and even my family members who don’t generally drink kept coming back for more.

Pumpkin Irish Cream: Like pumpkin pie in cocktail form!

I even had a signature Thanksgiving drink where I mixed the Pumpkin Irish Cream with Pumpkin Pie Vodka (<– OMG a MUST try!) and a spiced simple syrup (<–not that exact one, but similar). There are seriously no words. Everyone thought I was super fancy, but the truth is, the recipe is so so easy. In fact, it takes less time than going to the store to buy a bottle of Irish cream!

Pumpkin Irish Cream: Like pumpkin pie in cocktail form!

One thing I love about making Irish cream at home is that I can control what goes into it. This stuff has just a handful of ingredients including pure pumpkin puree and a homemade vegan sweetened condensed milk.

Pumpkin Irish Cream: Like pumpkin pie in cocktail form!

The result is strong, rich, creamy and filled with pumpkin flavor without overwhelming the non pumpkin lovers (why do these people exist??) in your life. You will want to drink it all fall year long, and I’m pretty certain it will become a staple at your Thanksgiving also!

Pumpkin Irish Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: approx 3 1/2 cups

Pumpkin Irish Cream

Rich and creamy homemade Irish cream with a fall kick! Pureed pumpkin + pumpkin pie spice make this taste like pumpkin pie in cocktail form! Shhh it's secretly lightened up and vegan.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Store refrigerated in an airtight contain for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

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Creamy Frozen Coconut Margaritas

Thick and creamy frozen coconut margaritas beat anything you could order at a restaurant. Naturally sweetened with no sour mix, and blended with ultra creamy coconut milk.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

Is it bad that I just had a 3 day weekend and all I can think about is the next 3 day weekend? To be fair, my long “weekend” was mostly spent in the back of a van. Oh, and ya know, running to Seaside.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember that I ran Hood to Coast last year. Or…at least I ran some of it. After being out for 6 months with an injury, I had just started running again basically from scratch a couple of months before, and the race was just too much too soon. My injury started acting up during my second leg, and I knew if I wanted to avoid an other 6 months on the sidelines, I had to step back.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

It was hard. I took a break from running, rode my first century, and now that I’m almost a year back into running consistently, it was absolutely freaking amazing to go back and finish this year! It was a total whirlwind, and I swear after being awake for a solid 24 hours, I started to lose my shit, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! I mean, like, can we do it again this weekend? Because I’m already missing it.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

Anyway, after being home for less than 2 weeks, going back to Oregon, running this race, and then landing Monday morning to go straight into work, I am really ready for this 3 day weekend. And I plan to spend it lounging by my pool drinking frozen coconut margaritas. Oh, maybe you’d actually like to know a little bit about them, and not just about how I’m obsessed with relays?

What makes these babies so special is the coconut milk / tequila / orange liquor ICE CUBES! It takes an extra step, but making the coconut milk ice cubes is essential to getting the right creamy texture for your margaritas. We’ll use regular ice too, but too much, and you’ll have a watery mess on your hands. They are also made with a to-die-for coconut simple syrup and they include coconut extract for triple coconut-y flavor! And ya know what? Even my husband who usually hates coconut enjoyed them!

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margaritas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: 6 margaritas

Serving Size: 1 margarita

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margaritas

Thick and creamy frozen coconut margaritas beat anything you could order at a restaurant. Naturally sweetened with no sour mix, and blended with ultra creamy coconut milk.

Ingredients

    For the coconut milk ice cubes:
  • 1 x 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (like triple sec, grand marnier, etc.)
  • For the coconut simple syrup:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup sweetened toasted coconut
  • To make the margaritas:
  • 8 coconut milk ice cubes
  • 2 shots coconut simple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 handfuls regular ice

Instructions

  1. To make the coconut milk ice cubes, whisk together coconut milk, tequila, and orange liqueur. Transfer to ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  2. To make the coconut simple syrup, bring water and agave nectar to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add toasted coconut, remove from heat and let sit for 30-60 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Return to heat and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool.
  3. To make the margaritas, blend all margarita ingredients together until smooth. Repeat with remaining ingredients when desired.
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them!

 

 

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites {The Recipe ReDux}

Rich & fudgy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites are super easy to make with just a handful of wholesome ingredients. They are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and delicious enough to please any crowd!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

I have a pet peeve. I seriously hate when people call things “brownies” or “cookie dough” when it literally tastes like a protein bar. I’m glad you like it, and I’m sure it really is “OMG so delicious”, but let’s be real for a second: a protein bar does not taste like a brownie. It might taste like a chocolate protein bar that is so good you could enjoy it for dessert, but that does not a brownie make. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

So, that being said, I almost called these brownie bites. They are so ridiculously rich and fudgy that you could probably call them brownie bites and no one would call you on  it. But, at the end of the day, they do not have the flakey top, and they are more the consistency of cookie dough, so we’ll stick with Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites. Because I am incapable of coming up with a title less than 40 characters long. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

Okay so while they may not technically be “brownies” that doesn’t stop these little guys from feeling like a totally indulgent treat. In fact, they are like a totally indulgent treat that works like a snack! The ingredients are kind of all rock stars in the way they fill you up and give you energy. I found myself kind of addicted. Every time I wanted something sweet, I kept reaching in the fridge to grab an other one.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

I had to bring them into work because I couldn’t stop, and Steve was so upset that he only got 2. I strongly  suggest you let them sit in the fridge for a few hours. I tried one right after I made them and liked it enough, but the texture is much better cold, and the flavors are even more delicious after they’ve had some time to meld together.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

They are the perfect after school or pre/post workout snack, or you can even grab a couple for breakfast as you’re walking out the door, and they are without a doubt delicious enough to be eaten for dessert too!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: approx 16 bites

Serving Size: 1 bite

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites

Rich & fudgy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites are super easy to make with just a handful of wholesome ingredients. They are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and delicious enough to please any crowd!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • small pinch sea salt
  • 2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together almond butter, coconut oil, honey/maple syrup and vanilla until mostly combined. Add almond meal, cocoa powder, espresso powder and sea salt. Use your hands to mix ingredients together. Once dough is mostly formed add chocolate chips and incorporate.
  2. Roll dough into 1-1 1/2" balls (or however large you'd like them). Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

*If you use maple syrup (or even a store bought honey), it will not be as thick and you may need to increase almond meal. If the mixture is still sticking to your hands/the bowl, increase almond meal by 1 tablespoon until you reach the desired texture.

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White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Rich, crumbly white chocolate shortbread-like scones filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries are the perfect treat on Christmas morning, or any time year round. Vegan & gluten-free.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

Okay, let’s take a quick break from cookies for a minute. Actually, I have a confession. These were supposed to be cookies. I wanted to make white chocolate cranberry cookies, and I took one of my chocolate cookie recipes and started to modify it, and at the end I looked at the dough and thought “these are not cookies”.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

So I went rogue, and decided they would be scones. I had no idea how they would actually turn out, but as soon as they came out of the oven, I knew I had made the right choice.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

These scones aren’t flakey like a traditional bakery-style scone, but more crumbly like a shortbread. They have that buttery (without butter) melt-in-your-mouth kind of feel, and you will find yourself picking at every last crumb.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

Instead of using white chocolate chips, the white chocolate is melted into the dough so you get tons of delicious white chocolate flavor in every single bite. Ya know when you’re eating something with chocolate chips, and you get a bite without chips? How it’s basically the most disappointing bite ever? Yeah, none of that here.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

And as if there wasn’t enough white chocolate flavor in the scones themselves, of course I had to drizzle a little extra on top because, well, it’s my favorite. I know I should choose dark chocolates, and blah, blah, blah, antioxidants, but I’ve always been a white chocolate girl at heart, and mixed with cranberries? Let’s just say these babies didn’t last long, and I am already craving more!

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 scones

Serving Size: 1 scone

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Rich, crumbly white chocolate shortbread-like scones filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries are the perfect treat on Christmas morning, or any time year round. Vegan & gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces white chocolate*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free baking blend, or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a small baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan heat white chocolate and coconut oil over medium heat until melted, stirring constantly. Alternatively, you can heat them in a small bowl in the microwave in increments of 30 seconds stirring after each.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together baking blend, sugars, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in melted white chocolate and coconut oil. Mix in cranberries
  4. Roll dough into a large ball and press down into a 1-1 1/2" thick disk. Cut into 6-8 equal pieces. Do not separate.
  5. Bake as if for 10-12 minutes until golden and set. Set baking dish on wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle extra melted white chocolate if desired, and let set for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Notes

*For vegan scones, use vegan white chocolate.

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