The thing is, I just love bread. And cake, and cookies. When I heard from my doctor that some of my inflammation (such as my fingers swelling to where I couldn’t take off my wedding ring after eating) and other painful symptoms was due to a grain allergy, it felt like I was banned from celebrating life. What is a party without cake?!
I’m not one for restrictive dieting, especially for children, so my hope has been to create a collection of grain-free recipes that all members of the family can enjoy without much of a feel of sacrifice on anyone’s behalf.
Grain-free baking intimidated me at first. Baking already calls for a precision that challenges how quickly I tend to work, which is why I consider it as much of a mindfulness practice as a preparation of food. The long list of previously unheard of ingredients that most grain-free recipes call for to make a cake was enough for me to justify closing my laptop and just going without for a long time. How many things can we make into flour?
With a little pantry organization and investment, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised to see how a minimalist but grain-free pantry can create a myriad of treats that are both delicious and decadent, just without the after-affects on my wellbeing.
In a year when the outside world has been confusing, my daughter and I have found baking to be a centering ritual. Stocking our pantry with a pantry list of grain-free baking ingredients has made it easy, affordable and fun to bake our own birthday cakes or a spontaneous batch of chocolate chip cookies to deliver to someone we love. We’ve even let baking take care of a lot of our home learning, from finding recipes that celebrate world cultures to using a good recipe to practice measuring, following instructions and fractions.
Here’s what we keep in stock at home so we’re always ready when our appetite calls, plus ten of our favorite grain-free baking recipes that we love to make together!I can typically find these items in bulk at Costco, or for even more convenience I order everything in the largest volume possible through Thrive Market (that link will score you 25% off your first order) before moving them to their labeled airtight containers. There’s even an additional discount for setting up autoship!
Grain-Free Baking Pantry Staples
Tapioca or Arrowroot Flour (I’m not a food scientist, but these typically give recipes the binding properties we typically achieve with gluten in flour and are for the most part interchangeable.)
Coconut Sugar or Maple Sugar (I think using an alternative sweetener like these to recipes adds plenty of flavor without spiking blood sugar in the middle of the day, but if the occasion calls for it we aren’t shy about subbing in some regular ol’ cane sugar too.)
Vanilla Extract (I’ll be honest with you. I’ve traveled with vanilla before. It always makes the difference and if i only had some form of milk and a dash of vanilla in my morning coffee I would be set!)
Maple Syrup or Honey
Lemon Juice (I can also typically use this as a sub for Apple Cider Vinegar as the acid in recipes if I don’t have any on hand.)
As far as the refrigerator goes, we always have eggs, butter and milk on hand which come into play for a lot of our recipes!
Family Favorite Baking Books and Supplies
Our Favorite Grain-Free Baking Recipes
Ambitious Kitchen’s The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are the ultimate after school snack and play date food. I have no problem reaching for these around 3:00 p.m. since the almond flour is filling enough to actually tide me over a while. I use the regular chocolate chips, and I always sprinkle a little salt on the tops of half the batch because science proves they taste better that way at night. 🙂
I love these scones on cold days. I’ll sub currants for the pantry chocolate chips, blueberries in the summer, orange zest and cranberry – you name it. My daughter loves cutting the circle of dough into the scones, which is a lesson in fractions in itself.
Paleo Running Momma’s Cut Out Sugar Cookies
I think I was a cut out sugar cookie factory the last two weeks of December thanks to this easy recipe. This dough has such simple ingredients, is so easy to make and actually works in terms of keeping the shape. I think this cookie base, filled with hearty almond and coconut flours and free of sugar, makes my favorite buttercream icing only more enjoyable.
Leite’s Culinaria Paleo Vanilla Cake
With all of the adjustment in game plans for birthdays this year, I’ve loved having a cake recipe where I know I have all of the ingredients ready at home. I double this recipe for a big, double layer cake that I love to smother in the buttercream icing I shared above.
Paleo Running Momma Banana Bread
Just in case you survived 2020 without a go-to banana bread recipe, here’s mine.
Against All Grain Blender Bread
I think there is something cool and self-sufficient for kids to be able to make an entire loaf of bread just through measuring and using the blender. (I also feel this way for myself.) We had a little rhythm this summer of making it every Monday, and I’ll probably think of this summer warmly every time I eat it. It takes a good chunk of cashews in addition to the pantry list above, so I keep a tub from Costco around.
A Clean Bake Paleo Lemon Pound Cake
If a lemon pound cake is around, a cup of herbal tea or even a moment sitting down to fully enjoy both starts to sound pretty enticing, and suddenly I’m restored.
Bakeritas’ Gluten-Free, Vegan Snowball Cookies
Rolling balls of dough in snow is so fun!
Bake it Paleo Almond Butter Blondies
This one will borrow a scoop of your almond butter (or whatever you have in that family), making it even more filling and delicious.
Nom Nom Paleo Berry Snack Cake
The best part of the year is when your refrigerator is just overflowing with berries. This recipe is great for that. I recommend a big dollop of whipped cream on top.
If you have to avoid grains due to a medical reason or just want to try alternative flours for your baking, I hope you enjoy these recipes we continue to go back to for second helpings! Do you have a grain-free recipe you love? I hope you’ll share it below!
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