Dairy Free, Real Food Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting

I always find myself trying to convert recipes for our family’s health needs- real food ingredients and dairy free- for special occasions.  So, I wanted to share a new favorite recipe for yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting!

A few tips: To make a real food powdered sugar, just grind your sucanat in a blender or food processor to a powdered consistency.  You can of course use regular powdered sugar, it is up to you!  I prefer real, pink salt but use what you have on hand.

Also, expeller pressed coconut oil will have NO coconut flavor, that is the kind we prefer in our family.   (coconut flavored eggs in the morning are not popular here!  haha)

Looking for a chocolate cake recipe?  See my post HERE

Dairy Free, Real Food Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting (gluten free options)

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Dairy Free, Real Food Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting (gluten free options)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour (I like to do about 3/4 freshly ground whole wheat and 1/4 all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 c expeller pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup rice, almond, or coconut milk, at room temperature
  • Frosting
  • NOTES: if you are gluten free as we are now, using a gluten free mix will work well here. I like to do 3/4c gluten free flour, and 1.4c almond flour)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners, or spray with nonstick spray.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  4. Beat the coconut oil and sucanat in a mixer using the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed
  6. Beat in the vanilla
  7. Reduce the mixer speed to medium low; beat in half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, then the remaining flour mixture until combined.
  8. Pour batter into the muffin cups, filling about half full
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 15-18 minutes
  10. Let cool and top with frosting!

For the Dairy Free Frosting:

  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/3 c rice, coconut, or almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 c powdered sugar

Frosting Directions:

  • In a large bowl beat coconut oil and cocoa together until combined
  • Add milk and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Adjust with more milk or powdered sugar if necessary for right consistency.

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How to Make (real food) Snowcream {snow ice cream} *with dairy free ingredients, too!*

Almost a year ago our family moved out to the midwast, {from the warm south}, to the great state of Nebraska.

Nebraska, where spring is cool and green, summer is warm and sunny, fall is crisp and orange, and winter is cold and snowy.

Yay for our first big snow!  We were supposed to get a “dusting” but instead wound up with a good 8+” in our backyard.  Coming from the tristate area of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, all we ever got was ice, so real snow was an absolute treat!

With our first real snow, we decided to make {real food} snow cream!


This isn’t your mama’s snow cream- there are no processed ingredients, and that means NO white sugar!

Brownie points for being an awesome mom making snow cream, and super brownie points for making it healthy for your family.

Here it is, you will need:

  • A big pan or bowl of clean snow (my picture above shows enough for at least 6 people ..)
  • Some Grade B Maple Syrup  (a little goes a looong way)
  • A little raw milk (or any milk will be fine)  *for a dairy free alternative we used rice milk*
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • maybe some cocoa
We added snow to our bowls, topped it with a few tablespoons of maple syrup (which surprisingly does’t taste like maple syrup when it’s not on pancakes…)
Then added about a 1/4tsp of vanilla to each bowl, and a few tablespoons of milk, maybe even a 1/4cup?
**For a chocolate variety, sprinkle with a bit of cocoa, but not too much because it can make it bitter**
And that’s it!  Delicious, and mostly healthy, snow cream!  Lexie loved it and has asked to make it every day since; I finally gave in today. Mister at 15 months isn’t crazy about cold foods, so he wasn’t a fan, and enjoyed a pear instead.
Have you ever made snow cream with your family?  What’s your favorite recipe?
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World’s Best Whole Wheat, Homemade Brownies {with dairy free options}

Whole Wheat, Dairy Free-Option, Homemade Brownies {QuietintheChaos}

This brownie recipe uses WHOLE, REAL foods, like freshly milled whole wheat flour, sucanat, and coconut oil.  These takes just like good, ole’ fashioned brownies.  *yum*

You really can’t go wrong with a homemade brownie- everyone loves them and it is a simple way to include the kids in the kitchen, and spend a little extra time with them.  And add in some math lessons for an added homeschool bonus!

Delicious, Whole Wheat, Super Chocolate Brownies

25 minutes

Number of servings: 16

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Delicious, Whole Wheat, Super Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil for dairy free, or 1 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Mix or beat slowly they: sugar, cocoa, eggs, and vanilla
  2. Gradually add in flour and salt (it will be suuuper thick)
  3. Blend in the oil/butter
  4. add any extras you like: chocolate chips, nuts, etc
  5. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch pan. bake at 350 for 20 minutes
  6. Now, I will tell you that I normally bake my brownies in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan, and take them out a few minutes before they're "done," because I like a chewy brownie. I went ahead and did these in a 9x13 pan, and they were a bit dry to me after baking for 18 minutes. So, adjust accordingly.

 

What’s your favorite, simple dessert?

Giant Dairy Free Skillet Cookie Recipe

Giant (Dairy Free) Skillet Cookie

What’s better than a giant chocolate chip cookie, you ask?

How about a giant, dairy free if necessary, chocolate chip cookie cooked in your cast iron skillet?!

Yes.  That is better.

Many Saturday mornings in our home are spent playing and reading while watching PBS- This Old House, Home Time, Woodwright’s Workshop, and of course the Master, Martha! (Stewart that is…)

So here, is a little different take on her recipe for a giant, cast-iron skillet cookie!

Giant Dairy Free Skillet Cookie Recipe

20 minutes

Number of servings: 8

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Giant Dairy Free Skillet Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 TBsp expeller pressed coconut oil (room temperature or a little softer)
  • 1/3 c packed dark-brown sugar (I have used sucanat instead of brown sugar before, and it is juast as good)
  • 1/2 c sucanat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat, pastry, or all purpose flour (I have used all of them and thought each one turned out great)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp real, pink salt
  • 1 c semisweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips (this brand is dairy free; always check your label though)
  • 10" cast iron skillet

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. In a large bowl, mix: coconut oil & sugars
  3. stir in egg and vanilla
  4. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt
  5. Lastly stir in your chocolate chips
  6. Pour into your 10" cast iron skillet, smooth the top, pop in the oven
  7. Bake until cookie is golden brown and just firm in the middle (about 18-20 minutes)
  8. Let cool
  9. Pour a big ole glass of milk and ENJOY!

This is SO good; you could change up your add-ins by using walnuts, raisins, peanut butter chips, etc.

This is fast, easy, and delicious!

What is your family’s favorite easy dessert?

Weekly Wrap Up: November 2014 {and Notebooking American Girl Books}

This month has flown by!  Thanksgiving is already over and everyone is prepping for Christmas.

We haven’t had any real weekly updates the last few weeks, because well … we haven’t done a lot of formal schooling.  Most everything has been relaxed and theme based.  And of course, we spend a lot of time just snuggling Ila.  =)  I mean, I spend 6 hours a day nursing her, and after every feeding Lexie and Max both request a turn to hold her.  So, we school when we can. 😉

Fall Indoor activities {quietinthechaos.com}

Lexie and “Jane Kirsten” having a picnic, building forts, happy baby ila

We worked on some pumpkin activities, which involved Max making his own pumpkin description book. (you can find it at www.ThisReadingMama.com) He really enjoyed it!  We are still working on NOT eating the markers … =)

Handwriting Practice and Fine Motor {quietinthechaos.com}

practicing handwriting, coloring with markers, gluing pumpkins in book

We also had our first big snow: (Lexie doesn’t mind the cold if she can play in the snow.  Mister refuses to keep his clothes on, so of course he gets “too cold” and needs to come in.  haha)

DSCN2822

Lexie is still notebooking her way through the Kirsten of American Girl series.  She loves doing this and I am so glad she does.  I am going to introduce her to a timeline soon.  We have been talking about so many things in history lately, and I know it will help her understand something so contrast if she can see a visual.  We have two chapters left to notebook, and then we will move on to the next book.  I got our blank notebooking pages from notebookingfairy.com.  I chose the biography pages, whole punched them, and put in a folder with prongs.  We will add to it as we go.

notebooking American Girl Books

Notebooking “Meet Kirsten”

Last Saturday I was working on some knitting, and Lexie asked if I could show her how to knit.  Of course I said yes!  I love that my girl wants to sew and knit!  So, this is the little progress we made.  You may be wondering how I helped a four year old knit- I sat on the edge of my chair, and had her stand between my legs, so I could get my arms around hers.  I place my hands over hers, and we just went through the motions.  By the end, she knew exactly what to do, although she struggled with the dexterity needed.  I have no doubt she will be able to do it herself before long!

knitting with a four year old

We did do lots of reading about Thanksgiving.  You can see my post of supplemental books for Thanksgiving HERE (link coming soon).  Lexie really enjoyed this and learned lots of new vocabulary from these readings.  She has been using the new words every chance she gets!

And then, of course, we had Thanksgiving dinner.  Usually we spend Thanksgiving traveling to see family, but this year with Ila being so little we just decided to stay home.  It was my first year to cook a real Thanksgiving dinner for my family- we had turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (from scratch, might I add…) and pecan pie.  And of course I am using my turkey bones to make bone broth!  As my sweet Lexie said, it was a “real Thanksgiving feast!”  She was so funny, she was kinda wiggling around on her seat during dinner, and she says, “I am just wiggling my belly so I can make room for more!”  haha  She definitely belongs to us!

Thanksgiving "feast" www.quietinthechaos.com

Between all this I have slowly started back running on the treadmill, and decorating for Christmas.  I hope to get you a recipe for that DELICIOUS green bean casserole soon, and an update on our Advent activities.  =)

Happy Holidays, and stay warm!

For the Foodie In Your Life {a holiday gift guide}

I have always had a love for all things home, kitchen, and cooking. In the last five years, I have fallen in love with real food and all things made from scratch. To help me save a bit of money with this, my friend told me about something called Makro specials which can help save people a bit of money when it comes to buying food. I know I will certainly give it a try and maybe I might use it to help when it comes to giving gifts to my friends.I love giving gifts that are just right. How good would it be if you can personalize all of your kitchen utensils to you or your loved? Your cooking experience would be so much more exciting. These cutting board designs would be a great place to start if you are looking to find a custom gift for someone who loves cooking. If you have a foodie in your life, check out the gift guide I have compiled for this holiday season!

1. A custom made, ruffle, zebra print apron

2. 1 Gallon Compost Bucket for the kitchen– I *love* this bucket! It is not only country-chic so it will look great in the kitchen, but it is a 2-in-1! You can easily lift the inside bucket out and take your compost scraps to the compost outside. Can you use a kitchen bowl? Yes- but this keeps your foodie friend from needing to use one of their handy mixing bowls. This is so easy, and so awesome.

3. Fermenting Crock The real food lover inn your life will also *love* a fermenting crock. I don’t own this one personally, but have had my eye on it for quite some time. It comes with the stones and lid, which is what most crocks are missing. And, it is the perfect size- not too big, not too small. Perfect for making kraut, pickles, and salsas!

4. Heirloom, Organic Vegetable Seeds I think the titles speaks for themselves! =)

5. NutriMill Classic Grain Mill I love, love, love my grain mill. Love it. We use it all the time, and every time we use it I know we are saving money. How? Because we buy organic wheat berries in bulk from Azure, I mill them myself using my grain mill, and bake everything from scratch. It saves a *ton* of money- everything from whole wheat biscuits and tortillas, to sourdough bread and pizza crusts- we essentially pay pennies by making them from scratch with our own milled wheat. This has been one of the best gifts I have ever received.

6. Bench Knife In the kitchen, this can be used for so many things, but is mainly used when working with dough. This would make a great stocking stuffer!

7. Dough Rising Bucket and lidThese food containers are perfect for someone who makes a lot of yeast breads. but don’t forget the lids!

8. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French (Dutch) OvenThis is the mother of all foodie gifts. Really. Everyone who works in their kitchen needs a good stock pot, and this is it! If I could put any one thing in my kitchen, it would be this pot! It comes is many beautiful colors that match an decor, or not if you like a pop of off the wall color. Need a big gift idea? This is it!

9. KitchenAid 5 Qt. Stand MixerIf you want to make your foodie’s heart skip a beat, and make their life easier let them open one of these puppies for Christmas. I use mine all the time, for so many different recipes. It was a wedding gift, and I love it!

10. Ball® Collapsible (wide mouth) Funnel Another great stocking stuffer! I love mine; it fits in any drawer because it collapses down and it is adjustable for regular or wide mouth jars!

11. Classic Cast Iron Skillet Think bacon, and eggs … and pancakes. Enough said!

12. Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt Real salt has so much flavor, isn’t over salty, is healthy, and a foodie’s best friend!

13. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats You know I love this cook book. It is so much more than a cook book and anyone that enjoys cooking and learning about health, nutrition, and food will love this book!

14. The Pampered Chef Deep Covered BakerI love mine! Actually, mine doesn’t have the pretty enamel exterior, and I don’t have a cover (man …) but I use it for everything! From roasting chickens and pork loins, to baking rolls and roasted veggies. I use it for so many meals!

15. Double Stove Top Gill/Griddle We got rid of our electric skillet a few years back. Honestly, I just hated the clean up, the bulkiness, and the fact that I had to plug it in near an outlet (obviously… hence the name “electric” skillet). I have been meaning to replace it with a double stove top grill, because A) it is easier to store, B) it is easier to clean, and C) it is NOT a non-stick surface. Win-Win-Win!

16. Jars Yep. Jars. Chances are if you’re buying gifts for someone who loves their kitchen, then they probably already have regular ole canning jars. So grab something cute- small jelly jars, the short fat jars, or blue canning jars will be different and have lots of uses in a foodie kitchen!

Seriously, if you need a gift for someone who loves to be in the kitchen, look no further than this list! And Happy Holiday shopping!

For more gift giving ideas, check out more lists from the Crew!

Holiday Gift Guides
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{healthy} Whole Wheat, Dairy & refined-sugar-free, chocolate cake

Say that 5xs fast!

Yesterday, we made this ah-mazing cake.  Oh my goodness, really.  It is so good.  And much healthier than your average homemade of boxed cake.

Healthy, whole wheat (dairy and refined sugar free) chocolate cake- Better then regular homemade chocolate cake. And easy!

It doesn’t take long, and makes either two round cakes, or one 9×13 cake.

Whole Wheat, Dairy-and-refined-sugar-free chocolate cake {with Marriage and Menu Monday linky}

20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Ingredients

  • This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Garden chocolate cake recipe
  • 3/4 c coconut oil (not melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking sode
  • 3/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp real salt
  • 2 c sucanat
  • 2 tsp real, organic vanilla (or homemade)
  • 1 1/2 c rice milk (or you choice of non dairy milk)

Instructions

  1. Grease your 2 round, or 1 9x13 pan(s)
  2. In a medium bowl stir together: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt- set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 350*
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat coconut oil on med-high speed for 30 seconds
  5. Gradually add sucanat 1/4c at a time, beating at med speed until well combined
  6. Scrape side of bowl; beat 2 minutes
  7. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition (trust me, it makes a difference)
  8. Beat in vanilla
  9. Now, Alternately add flour mixture and rice milk to coconut oil mixture, beating on low speed until combined
  10. Beat on medium to high speed 20 seconds more
  11. Spread into pans
  12. Bake 30-40 minutes, check doneness with a toothpick in center.

Notes

**If you want the healthy recipe but don't mind the dairy, replace the coconut oil with butter and the rice milk with cow's milk. 1:1


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