Category Archives: Muffins, Scones & Quick Breads

Crumb Topped Gluten Free Cranberry Muffins

gluten free crumb topped cranberry muffins with millet and oat flours, yum!

Cranberry Crumb Topped Muffins, Gluten Free

Crumb topped cranberry muffins and they’re gluten free too! This time of year fresh cranberries are flooding the stores and although I usually use dried cranberries in salads, for snacking and in cookie and muffin recipes throughout the year, I have to say using fresh cranberries in muffins is unexpectedly delicious.  I happened to pick up 2 bags of cranberries while I was doing some last minute Thanksgiving shopping, a) because my 8 year old spotted them and said we should buy them and b) because there was a 2 for 1 sale (and I have a hard time passing up a sale), then I went home and realized I had no idea what to do with all these cranberries.  I scoured through my recipes and decided to adapt one of my favorite gluten free muffin recipes to use the cranberries.  And, crumb topping, because why not, who doesn’t love crumbs, really?  The results were delicious and I proceeded to make them 3 more times over the next couple of weeks! 

 gluten free, cranberry crumb topped muffins, yum!

These crumb topped cranberry muffins are going to make the perfect Christmas morning breakfast for my family.  Christmas morning is always pretty rushed in our house, opening presents with the kids before we clean up and dash off to spend the rest of the day with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and old family friends.  But it’s Christmas and I still want to have a special breakfast with Colin & the kids, so we usually have smoothies, caffeine for Colin & I (of course!) and some kind of muffin, scone, bagel or pastry…yum.  And since I’m trying SO hard to be gluten free, this year I plan to start out the day that way even though I know I’ll be sneaking in my dad’s cookies later on. 

 crumb topped, gluten free cranberry muffins

I have been experimenting a lot with gluten free baking over the last couple of years and one of the hardest things to do is create a gluten free muffin that will not just fall apart to crumbs the second you pick it up or take a bite, and I am happy to say I have discovered the way.  Millet flour and oats seem to be the perfect combo of flours for making gluten free muffins, that do not fall apart and actually look and taste like a regular (albeit healthier than white flour) muffin.  The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity.  Two flours, that’s it, unlike most gluten free recipes that either rely on a premixed and very expensive gluten free flour blend or mixing up your own blend of 3 or 4 different flours, plus starches and gums.  No starches or gums here and only one specialty flour.  Granted millet flour may not be in every pantry, but it’s definitely worth seeking out, not only is it gluten free, it’s actually a seed not a grain, but it is super nutritious and alkalizing.  I find baking with rice flour can sometimes result in a grainy texture that I never experience with millet.  Oats, as everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock can tell you are heart healthy and high in fiber, not to mention delicious and are also great for baking gluten free.  Beware though, a lot of oats may be produced in the same factories as gluten grains and can become contaminated, so if you have a true gluten allergy like celiac or are baking for someone who does, be sure to seek out certified gluten free oats.  I save money and extra pantry space by never buying oat flour, instead I just blend up old fashioned rolled oats as needed, it takes about 30 seconds in a blender and you’re done.  I also find that blending my own oats into flour, produces a lighter end result, which I prefer.   

 gluten free, cranberry millet and oat, crumb topped muffins

So I recommend you bake up a batch of these crumb topped gluten free cranberry muffins, pronto…maybe even for Christmas morning, for an easy, delicious and healthy breakfast treat.  Enjoy!

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Coconut Almond Blueberry Scones – vegan & gluten free

gluten free and vegan! scones bursting with juicy blueberries and dusted with coconut and almonds, yum!

gluten free and vegan! scones bursting with juicy blueberries and dusted with coconut and almonds, yum!

Hallallujah!  The birds in my head are singing and I’m doing a happy dance around my kitchen for I have finally discovered the magic of baking a GOOD gluten free scone. Coconut Almond Blueberry Scones to be exact and not only are they gluten free, but vegan too!!! 

Just baked and oozing blueberries...

Just baked and oozing blueberries…

This simple dough is made from coconut flour (or leftover coconut pulp!) and oats, studded with blueberries and almonds and rolled in a few extra oats, flaked coconut, raw sugar and almonds just for fun and a little extra yum. 

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – gluten free

moist and lemony gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins

moist and lemony gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins

My lemon poppy seed muffins are lightly sweetened with a tender crumb and a nice little crunch from the cornmeal, and poppy and chia seeds.  The perfect little something for a school day snack, an early morning bite, or an afternoon tea.  lemon poppy seed gluten free muffins
I’ve started a new gig where I’ll be a contributor to the Westchester County Mom’s Blog.  I’ll be posting all new recipes, not found here on SweetGreenKitchen.  Check out my first post, where you can find the recipe for these delicious, moist and lemony Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins here.….Enjoy!


The Best Vanilla Cupcakes with Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Birthday Cupcakes

Happy Birthday Celebration Cupcakes

Simple, but definitely not basic, this is my go to cupcake recipe for birthday celebrations, it’s simply the best vanilla cupcake I’ve ever tasted. 
Simply the best vanilla cupcakes with my favorite cream cheese frosting

Simply the best vanilla cupcakes with my favorite cream cheese frosting

Now, this is not my usual health foodie, super food, gluten free, hidden avocado type of recipe.  What this is, is a celebration cake and we all deserve a little celebration every once in a while.  Although, not a health food by any means, you still won’t find in here anything artificial or super processed (save the white flour), I use whole foods and organic ingredients and I promise you that makes a difference!  This is not my recipe, I did not develop it and believe it or not I have not modified the recipe in any way, shape or form. With that said, I’m choosing to share it with you here in the month of May (birthday month for both of my kids, my mom & sister-in-law, phew that’s a lot of celebrating!) because I think it’s the type of basic that every person, and most especially every parent should have in their repertoire.  Yes, making these cupcakes takes slightly more effort than opening up a box mix, but the effort is minimal and the results are worth it. 
Pink frosted cupcakes really are the best!

Pink frosted cupcakes really are the best!

I’m also including my all time favorite frosting recipe.  For anyone who’s a fan of red velvet, you will love this cream cheese based frosting, so delicious! Even though I cook all the time and bake a lot of muffins and cookies, I really don’t consider myself a baker.  A baker follows the rules, I like to improvise, modify, change on a whim pretty much every recipe I encounter.  I have been working on a variation of this cream cheese frosting for years and my results have mostly been less than outstanding and sometimes even colossal failures. As a lover of healthy food and a conscious eater, the amount of sugar and butter called for in most frosting recipes makes me cringe and let’s not even mention shortening, no, don’t even talk about it.  So I have tried and failed over and over again to make a frosting that’s a little bit healthier than the norm, my results are usually pretty tasty (I mean we are still talking butter, cream cheese and sugar here and sometimes a little mascarpone and/or heavy cream!), but also pretty disastrous. My frostings are usually too runny and my most recent effort for Evan’s 7th birthday was just a horrific lumpy mess (luckily it was just the celebration for our family of four!).  I have to say the lumpy frosting was my worst yet, it started out great, but than Colin said it was a little too buttery tasting than I made a colossal error and I knew it as it was happening and I just couldn’t stop myself…note to all never, ever, ever add cold cream cheese to your frosting mix, never! Enough said.  
Red Velvet Cream Cheese Frosting, yum!

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Frosting, yum!

So, for Evan’s classroom birthday celebration today, I made my perfect go to vanilla cupcakes and I used my dad’s perfect frosting recipe, no modifications whatsoever.  Evan was really concerned about the frosting and told me “please, mommy do not use the lumpy frosting for my class, I’m afraid everyone will hate it and stop going to your blog”.  He is always honest and will always tell you how he feels, just ask Colin’s sister Megan what happens when you buy the wrong color Angry Bird’s blanket for the kid who loved nothing but blue for two years, until he suddenly switched to now favorite color red and no one informed the aunt, it was a priceless moment of honesty no one in our family will forget! I got the point, so I let Evan do a taste test of the frosting this morning before school, he gave me the thumbs up with a big smile on his face, told me it was perfect and that he was so proud of me for making the best cupcakes ever and now finally the best frosting!  This was a happy mom moment to say the least.
Happy 7th Birthday Evan!

Happy 7th Birthday Evan!

I would be remiss if I didn’t state here and now, that my dad is an amazing baker who treats us to some of the tastiest, most beautiful, whimsical and creative desserts ever, if he gives you a recipe for frosting or any other dessert, you do not change a thing and you and everyone around you will be doing a happy dance. Enough said, now on to the recipe…
The Best Vanilla Cupcakes
 with Poppy’s Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: Jen Jones of
Recipe credits –
Cupcake recipe from Cook’s County Magazine “Easy Birthday Cupcakes” – very slightly modified
My dad’s frosting recipe
Makes 24 cupcakes
Cupcakes: *
3 cups unbleached all purpose Organic flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 extra large organic eggs – at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups organic cane sugar
12 tablespoons ( 1 ½ sticks ) unsalted organic butter – melted and cooled slightly or very, very soft left on the counter on a hot summer day
1 ¼ cups organic buttermilk
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound ( 2 8 ounce packages ) organic cream cheese – NOT low fat or Neufchatel
1 ½ sticks unsalted organic butter
2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar – adjust to taste
A good splash of pure vanilla extract
food coloring or 1 – 2 Tablespoons of jam (not too much or the frosting will be too runny)
**** NOTE – cream cheese and butter MUST be softened at room temperature – do NOT use cold ingredients or melted butter.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two standard cupcake/muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Next pour sugar into whisked eggs, continuing to whisk the mixture as you pour the sugar.  Slowly, whisk in the melted or very soft butter into the sugar and eggs.  Once the butter is incorporated, whisk in the buttermilk.
Next, add the flour mix to the wet ingredients, by first whisking in 1/3 of the flour until it’s mostly incorporated, then do the same with the next 1/3.  Lastly, add in the remaining flour and mix to fully combine without over mixing.  This will be a nice thick batter.
Using a spring loaded ice cream scoop (or a small measuring cup), fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake in a 325 F oven with the two tins side by side on the center rack for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 5 minutes on a wire rack.  After 5 minutes, turn out the cupcakes onto the wire rack to cool completely, about an hour, before frosting.
In a large glass bowl add the softened cream cheese and butter and mix together with a hand held electric mixer. Mix in the vanilla.  Then slowly mix in powdered sugar about a cup at a time.  With the powdered sugar, start the mixer on the lowest setting and then gradually increase the speed until it is incorporated.  Taste as you go and stop adding sugar once the frosting is sweet enough for you.  IF you wish to color your frosting, add in the food coloring now. Continue to mix the frosting until it’s lighter and fluffy.
If you plan to make the frosting ahead of time, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use, taking it out of the fridge about 10-15 minutes before frosting the cupcakes and remix to lighten it up again.
Frosting can be applied directly to the cooled cupcakes with a palette or for more flourish, piped on.
 * Recipe Notes:
True confessions, even though I said I didn’t modify the cupcake recipe at all, I did make some very minor, slight changes –
Original recipe calls for cake flour, I just use unbleached all purpose. 
Original recipe calls for large eggs, I always buy extra-large so that’s what I use, no problems detected.
The original recipe also does not call for organic ingredients, but that’s what I use and I really think it makes a difference, especially the sugar, organic cane sugar just tastes better to me than bleached white sugar. 
Another note on sugar, as I made this recent batch of cupcakes I discovered at nearly midnight that I did not have enough sugar (this almost never ever happens to me, since I’m a little crazy and always have an extra bag or box of pretty much everything in my pantry at all times!).  So what to do…I subbed in organic brown sugar for about 1/3 of the sugar and the cupcakes came out just as perfect as they always do. 


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
It’s back to school time, but summer’s not over yet and there’s still plenty of summer squash available at the market.  These chocolate chip zucchini mini muffins are packed with good for you oats, yogurt and zucchini, but enough chocolate to satisfy and fool the kids into happily eating their veggies.  They make a perfect breakfast treat, lunch box snack or afternoon pick me up. 6-year old veggie hater approved and adults love them too! Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini Muffins stacked up

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