last minute Christmas carrot & cinnamon cupcakes (no flour & low sugar)

Not everyone are happy to spend their time in the kitchen before Christmas, but everyone likes to eat something homemade and delicious. If you’re this kind of person, or you simply absolutely don’t have time for Christmas baking, this recipe is for you. Moreover, if your on a ketogenic diet or you’re diabetic, and you feel like you’ll need to suffer all Christmas struggling with forcing yourself not to eat sweets, this recipe will be exactly what you need! (also take a look on my other Christmas cake recipe: coconut and orange cake)

These carrot and cinnamon cupcakes are: made with no flour, gluten free and low in sugar, as I’ve used xylitol instead of regular sugar. With couple cheap ingredients and a little bit of your creativity, you can prepare yummy Christmas cupcakes for all the family and friends.

Why you’ll need baking soda and baking powder?

I never remember which one I should use: baking soda or baking powder, so decided to finally make my research and hopefully now I will remember which raising agent I should use and when. So if you’re, also interested, keep reading.

The use of coconut flour and lots of carrots makes the muffin batter very heavy and quite wet. Heavy ingredients thanks to baking soda are lifted at the initial stage of mixing the batter, and during baking this process is enhanced by the effect of baking powder. This prevents from making slack-baked or underbaked cake. In this case it worked perfectly. Baking with coconut flour, like in this recipe or that one makes the cake very dense, but these cupcakes are perfectly fluffy and light like with regular wheat flour.

Baking soda:

causes the batter to rise thanks to the carbon dioxide it produces. Acid is also required for the chemical reaction to produce bubbles. Therefore, baking soda works well for baked goods to which acidic ingredients are added, such as cream, buttermilk, butter, cocoa, honey, molasses, lemon or orange juice or sour fruit. These ingredients also promote the rapid release of sodium carbonate, so that finished cake is doesn’t have unpleasant smell and taste. When baking soda is combined with acidic ingredients, there is an immediate reaction of releasing carbon dioxide and rising, therefore cakes made with baking soda should be baked immediately after combining the loose ingredients with liquid ingredients, preferably at a temperature of at least 200 degrees C. Of course, there are exceptions. If we use too much soda or too few acidic ingredients in relation to the amount of soda, it will cause the dough to have an unpleasant smell and aftertaste. When baking with baking soda, you should be aware of cracks on the top of your baked goods. This is due to the rapid rising of the dough in the first phase of preparation.


Baking powder:

is a product consisting of several substances that act as raising agents, triggers and stabilizers, including baking soda. Triggers are essential because sodium bicarbonate serves its raising role in combination with acidic compounds. Additionally, triggers eliminate unpleasant aftertaste and smell, which is left behind by sodium bicarbonate after baking. Baking powder is used to bake heavy cakes containing a large amount of fat and sugar.
Baking powder works throughout the entire preparation process, which means that the raising reaction takes place both when it is mixed with liquid ingredients and during baking.

So simply:

  • use baking soda when you bake cakes with acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice, buttermilk or yogurt
  • use baking powder when the recipe doesn’t feature an acidic ingredient, as the powder already includes the acid needed to produce carbon dioxide
  • use both when your cake is made with heavy ingredients and maybe difficult to rise, but do not overuse them.

Now when we sorted it out, we can start baking this yummy, flavorsome carrot and cinnamon cupcakes. I did my best not to make cream cheese look like a poo 😉

carrot & cinnamon cupcakes (no flour and low sugar)

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS (for 8 cupcakes):

  • 3 large eggs
  • about 3-4 carrots
  • 1½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp natural rock salt
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter (melted)
  • about 5 tbsp xylitol or other sugar alternative
  • cream cheese for decoration
  • tangerine

DIRECTIONS

Start with carrots – grate them finely, and leave aside.

Beat eggs and xylitol using handheld mixer until fluffy and light. Then start adding dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, also melted butter. Mix until no coconut flour lumps remain. At the and add grated carrots and give it a good stir with a spatula or a spoon. Batter will be quite thick. Set aside, heat the oven to 180°C and prepare muffin tray.

If you have ready made muffin liners – you’re good to go. If not, you can make your own muffin liners with baking paper. Simply cut baking paper in squares, give them a liner shape using a cup or a glass. Pop them into the muffin tray and you’re ready to bake (for more kitchen swaps click here).

Put about a heaped spoon to each liner, so you’ll have about 8 medium size muffins. If you want them to be quite big, or you want more than 8, you’ll definitely need to double or triple the amount of ingredients. Bake for about 20 minutes.

After baking you can take them out of the oven straight away. Leave to cool down completely. If you have the special piping bag and nozzles, you can make some nice decoration with cream cheese (cupcakes are sweet enough for me, so I didn’t add any sugar to cream cheese, but if you feel like it will be not enough sweet for you, simply beat cream cheese with some xylitol). If you don’t have piping bag, like me, just take a plastic bag, place couple spoons of cream cheese in the corner of it, cut of the corner tip and squeeze it on the cupcake trying your best, not to make it look like a poo 😉

At the end, wash tangerine under hot water, cut in pieces and decorate each cupcake.
They are ready to serve!
Enjoy!

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cacao cream cheese muffins (keto, no flour, gluten free)

Basing on the idea of this small cheesecakes, I’ve made this cacao cream cheese muffins. Using absolutely no flour, so for all of you who are gluten intolerant or on ketogenic diet, this recipe will be a good option. They are very easy and fairly cheap to make, you can upgrade them using low sugar chocolate chips or white chocolate chips – they will melt nicely giving extra chocolate flavour.

Comparing to the cream cheese cupcakes from that recipe, this one came out completely different. The other ones were very moist, more like real cheesecake. These ones, are very light and fluffy and quite dry, almost like sponge cake. They don’t have eggy taste, and a bit of crunchy walnut on top gives them a bit of nutty flavour.

The same as the other small cheesecakes, they rise nicely during baking, to sadly deflate when the temperature goes down. Why this happens? – you can read right here.

I’ve used raw cacao powder, it’s slightly different in taste (more about difference between cacao and cocoa you can read here), but regular cocoa will work as well, although you might need to use more sweetener, because in my opinion roasted cocoa is much more bitter than the raw one. Also instead of clarified butter, you can add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil. I prefer butter – in my opinion it works much better than coconut oil. For example I’ve been making keto courgette cake and keto chocolate courgette cake with butter and with coconut oil, and the last one always gives the cake that weird oily taste and like it settles on the bottom of the cake. It’s hard to explain, but maybe you’ve noticed that as well. Like the oil couldn’t combine with the rest of the ingredients. While butter not only gives nice flavour, but seems to combine very well with the rest of ingredients.

I’ve also used handmade liners, which is a very handy idea and I think I won’t be buying muffin liners any more.

cacao cream cheese muffins (keto, no flour, gluten free)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp xylitol (or other sugar replacement) or more – they are not very sweet
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • optionally: handful of walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter and leave it to cool down. Beat the eggs with xylitol until light and fluffy using handheld mixer. Add cacao powder, baking powder, butter and cream cheese. Beat again until all the ingredients will combine. You will get quite runny consistency.

Prepare muffin tray and liners. If you don’t have them cut baking paper in about 5-6 inches (15cm) squares and give them a muffin liners shape using a glass turned upside down. It’s very easy and you can get as big (in height) muffin liners as you want.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Pour the batter to each form and place a piece of walnut on top. I’ve managed to fill up full tray of muffins and had leftovers of batter for another few. If you want to make just one round use 2 eggs instead of 3.

Bake them for about 20-25 minutes. They will rise nicely, and deflate later on, that’s normal, so don’t you worry about that.

After baking let them cool down slowly by opening slightly the oven. This way they won’t deflate so much. They can be stored in a room temperature for about 3 days.

Enjoy!

linseed flour peanut butter muffins #keto

If you’re on keto and don’t like coconut flour taste and/or can’t use almond flour, this linseed (flaxseed) flour peanut butter muffins are a great option for you. Quick and easy to make, can be treated as a snack or quick lunch when you’re in a run. Made with just couple ingredients, that if you’re on keto diet you probably already have in your kitchen.

Due to high fiber content, it has a laxative effect – it eliminates constipation, and thus accelerates the cleansing of food residues from the intestines, contributing to the elimination of heaviness. These muffins are great option if you tend to have cravings – thanks to large content of fiber, we feel a psycho-physical feeling of feeling full, which makes us less hungry, eat smaller amounts of food and do not eat snacks so often. Linseeds are often compared to chia seeds, as it’s cheaper option. There is a lot of similarities between this two seeds, although they are not the same. Comparing the composition of both products we will notice some differences. Linseed contains about 20% more Omega-3 than chia seeds and a much larger amount of lignans (human health-promoting molecules). Thanks to this, it improves blood parameters, affects the proper functioning of the kidneys, prevents depression and improves the appearance of the skin. Chia seeds, on the other hand, has 50% more fiber, and also contains more magnesium and iron, and also has lower calorific value than flax seeds (source).

So it is impossible to clearly determine what is better: linseed or chia seeds. Both products carry a number of beneficial properties resulting from their consumption. Regardless of what we choose, it will be a healthy and good decision.

Although they don’t look very pretty, they taste batter than they look. Of course they are not going to taste the same, as the one made with regular flour. I hope, if you’re on keto, you’ve already noticed, that keto replacements of regular snacks like muffins, cakes or pizza, will never taste the same, as the regular one made with wheat flour and sugar. And because of the large content of fiber, muffins made with linseed flour won’t be as fluffy and light as the one made with wheat flour. Also I’ve added four tablespoons of xylitol and they are not very sweet, I like them this way, for my partner they were not sweet enough, so keep in mind that you might need more sweetener.

linseed flour peanut butter muffins

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 muffins):

  • 1 headed cup linseed flour
  • 3 large eggs (or 4 small)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 4 tbsp xylitol (or other sweetener of your choice)
  • smooth or crunchy peanut butter (I’ve used smooth)

DIRECTIONS

I always use freshly made linseed flour. I use coffee grinder to make the amount of linseed flour I need. Because grounded linseed oxidise quickly, they should be used fast, not lose its nutritive value. If you make your own linseed flour it’s good to keep it in a airtight container and in a dark place.

Muffins are very easy to make. Just combine together all dry ingredients: linseed flour, baking powder and sweetener. Melt coconut oil, whisk the eggs. You can also beat the eggs with handheld mixer, it will make the dough more fluffy, but it’s not necessary. Also you might need to add more sweetener, as for me it was enough, for my partner they were not enough sweet, so please keep it in mind.

Add eggs to the dry ingredients, then add coconut oil and stir to combine. The dough will be quite thick.

Prepare muffin liners or make them using baking paper, like I did. Cut baking paper in stripes and then in squares (it doesn’t need to be perfect squares). Take the cup, put it upside down, and shape the piece of baking paper so it reminds the muffin liner. Place them in the muffin tray.

Add some dough to each muffin liner (you’ll need to help yourself with a finger or another spoon), then place a teaspoon of peanut butter and some more dough on the top.

Heat the oven to 180°C and bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes, depending of the oven. After baking let them rest for couple minutes and they are ready to eat.

Store them up to 4 days in room temperature, in airtight container.