Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven. 

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I have been on a serious s’mores kick lately. Pretty soon you’ll see what I’m talking about, but I have become a girl obsessed. It’s probably because of this frosting. The most perfect, decadent and beautiful marshmallow frosting that coming together in minutes. Every time I serve it, my friends and family are suuuuuper impressed. Shhhh….just don’t let them know how simple it is!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I was inspired to make these 2 years ago when I saw this recipe on How Sweet It Is. So pretttttty. So perfect for pumpkin season!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Okay so, to be fair, these take a lot of liberties for being “s’mores”. The graham cracker is replaced by a perfect gingersnap crust, and the regular chocolate is replaced by white chocolate. Have you ever had pumpkin and white chocolate together? It is like match made in heaven.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Even though it seems like there are a lot of components going on, these cupcakes are actually really easy to make. You can prepare the batter while crust is baking, then the ganache and the frosting come together in minutes. Brulee-ing is optional, but I mean….LOOK HOW PRETTY! It definitely will take your dessert to the next level.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

The pumpkin cupcakes are ultra soft and tender and pair perfectly with the spiced gingersnap crust and melty white chocolate. Speaking of that white chocolate…it is so good, you will want more. I tried a batch putting some on top of the crust and on top of the cupcake. It was sad because it seemed like such a good idea, but I was overzealous (shocking) and there was too much, and it stuck to the wrapper. You probably can still get away with adding extra if you you use a small enough amount that it stays perfectly in the little crust cup. Otherwise, just spread it on real thick on top. That’s what I did round 2, and it worked great!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Also, as you can see, I made normal sized and mini cupcakes. I prefer the minis–then you get to eat two cupcakes! But, again, make whatever you like. You’ll love them either way!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 15 standard cupcakes or 36 minis

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • For the white chocolate ganache:
  • 4 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • For the marshmallow frosting:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 15 standard muffin cups or 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick spray if desired (sometimes lower fat baking sticks to cheaper liners). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, stirring until well combined. Evenly divide crust mixture between prepared cupcake tins--about 1/2 tablespoon each for full sized, and scant teaspoon for minis. Use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a shot glass to press into a crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine baking blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined. Mix in half the flour mixture, then almond milk, then remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Fill each prepared muffin tin about 3/4 the way full with cupcake batter. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 18-20 minutes for full size, about 12 minutes for minis. Cool completely.
  5. To make the white chocolate ganache, place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20-30 seconds just to warm the white chocolate. Heat almond milk until almost boiling, then pour immediately over warmed white chocolate. Stir until melty and combined. Spread white chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake.
  6. To make the frosting, either use a double broiler, or create your own by bringing about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium pot and placing a large heatproof bowl on top. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on low and gradually increase speed to high, beating until stiff peaks form. The frosting should stand on the whisk attachment when removed. Frost cupcakes. Use a brulee torch to brown, if desired. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Notes

Recipe inspired by How Sweet It Is Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart

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Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you’d never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

After an incredible summer in Portland, I’m back in Phoenix. Back to real work, and back to 100++ degrees. And again I’m wondering…WHY DON’T I LIVE IN PORTLAND? Well, a fantastic husband, my puppies and an entire life time of family and friends make the heat livable I suppose.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Totally unreasonable amounts of frozen yogurt don’t hurt either. ;) You may have noticed that before I left I was on a bit of an ice cream kick. I finally figured out my ice cream maker, and I just couldn’t stop. The real deal, full fat ice cream is just so hard to recreate that I was a little nervous to go back to homemade fro-yo. I mean, I am a HUGE fan of soft serve, and I will eat it any time, any day, but it is just so hard to make something at home that doesn’t turn into an icy mess.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The good news? This is by far the BEST frozen yogurt I have ever made! The base is so rich and creamy, and packed with tart cherry flavor. You may remember a little bit about the benefits of tart cherries from this Tart Cherry Lime Elixir. They are said to reduce soreness and oxidative stress, and aid in recovery. Also, they are delicious. I’ve been drinking tart cherry juice plain for the 7 Day Cherry Juice Challenge, and it is the perfect amount of sweet and tart.

Tart Cherry Juice Challenge

This challenge is great leading up to a big race or event, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate! If you love the taste of tart cherry juice, just drink 8 ounces a day, or you can use 2 tablespoons of the concentrate as a shot–college flash backs anyone? Except I like the idea of actually feeling better the next day instead of worse (the woes of getting older)–or diluted in another beverage.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Okay, back to the fro-yo. We all know that cherries pair magically with chocolate. White chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, you name it. I went for a combination of white and dark chocolate to create more flavors, but you are free to use whatever you’d like. Or, if you’d like to keep this 100% fat free, feel free to skip the chocolate all together, and it will still be delicious!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you'd never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon bourbon or vodka, optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, tart cherry juice concentrate and vanilla extract until combined and sugar is fully dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Add bourbon or vodka in the last 2-3 minutes of freezing. This is optional, but recommended—it keeps the frozen yogurt from freezing hard and icy. Fold in chocolate chips. Frozen yogurt is best served immediately, but can also be stored in a freezer safe container, just allow 10-15 minutes thawing time before scooping.
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To learn more about tart cherries and their benefits, check out ChooseCherries.com, or follow their Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest / YouTube!

 

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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Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips–the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

So we’ve established how I have the maturity of approximately a 6 year old. On a good day. Also, kind of the taste buds…minus my love for vegetables. I’m just a…n eccentric 6 year old. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

Ever since before I learned to cook, I LOVED baking around the holidays. I would make a huge batch of puppy chow and put it in everyone’s stocking. It was kinda my thing. Such a simple little treat, but people went crazy for it! I never even strayed from the simple original recipe either until last year. I made a batch with cookie butter and a batch with nutella. I can’t even go there. They were ridiculous.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

But ya know what? I ended up falling equally in love with this batch! The apples bring a little tartness that cuts some of the super sweetness from the white chocolate and powdered sugar. Not to mention, apples + pb? It’s only the world’s greatest combo. Add a healthy (and I’m talking serious here, people) dose of cinnamon, and it’s kinda dreamy. In the way a little kid (AKA me) finds foods dreamy. The simplest no brainer foods that just bring you a happiness. Not like this girl’s bike apparently <—never gets old.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

I have been obsessed with those Apple Cinnamon Chex for a good year now. I put them on my Greek yogurt every.single.day. and while I know they are just a half step up from fruit loops, I just love them, and I can’t go without them. It’s only fitting that they would be a part of this perfect puppy chow. And the best part? Puppy chow literally takes all of 10 minutes to make. Just make sure you have lots of friends to give it to, otherwise you will find yourself with a stomach ache, and those slight pangs of regret after you realize you just polished off the entire batch in 24 hours. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips--the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips…)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 3 oz apple chips, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine peanut butter, coconut oil and white chocolate chips until fully melted and combined, stirring constantly. Slowly fold in cereal, mixing gently until cereal is fully coated.
  2. Transfer to a large trash bag or paper bag and pour in powdered sugar and cinnamon. For lack of a better term, shake the heck out of it! Just keep shaking it around (make sure the top is fully sealed! ;) ) until everything has come together. Lay out to cool on parchment paper. Evenly sprinkle chopped apple chips in with cooling puppy chow. Store fully cooled in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

You can easily make this recipe vegan by using vegan white chocolate if desired.

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White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Before I left for Portland, I made a lot of food. Sometimes, I would spend all day in the kitchen creating recipes, and by the time I left I was pretty sick of the inside of my kitchen. The best day, though? The day I blasted my newly purchased Matilda original cast recording, sang Revolting Children at the top of my lungs and made all lemon desserts. It was literally the best day.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Lemon pastries have always been one of my favorites. The tart lemon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of almost any dessert, but it needs to be a pastry for me. Cookie, cake, blondie, etc. Not lemon creamy things. They don’t do it for me. Lemon bars? Meh, take ‘em of leave ‘em. I shied away from creating my own because I am so in love with the way lemon and butter taste together. I didn’t think I could recreate a genuinely delicious lemon pastry without rich, flavorful butter. I was wrong. You may want to take note, because I don’t admit to being wrong too often. Just ask my husband.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Maybe it’s the melted white chocolate? Maybe it’s the tiniest bit of butter flavored extract? It’s optional, but when you don’t use butter, I find it can be magical. And that is how I would describe these bars. Magical. I know that’s a bold statement, but when you create a blondie that is ultra soft, gooey, and not the least bit cakey without using even a hint of butter, I call that magic.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

These babies are a full on indulgent treat without any of the guilt. They do have quite a bit of sugar that you could absolutely cut down on if you have less of a sweet tooth than me, but other than that, they are 100% whole wheat and fairly low in fat due to the nonfat Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is a must. It adds the perfect flavor and texture, and I wouldn’t try to sub it out for applesauce or any other type of fat substitute. If you love lemon pastries even half as much as I do, you will not be able to get enough of these blondies!

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 16 small, or 9 large blondies

Serving Size: 1 blondie

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Ingredients

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5.5 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1 x 5oz container (or about 1/2 cup) nonfat lemon Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp butter extract (optional)
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper or tin foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together lemon zest and sugar until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in melted white chocolate, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking until combined. Add vanilla and butter extracts. Gently fold in flour until just combined.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted about 2" from the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
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