Gluten Free Raisin Bread

Can you really enjoy bread while on a gluten and dairy free diet?  Absolutely!  And thanks to Elana at Elana's Pantry, you can indulge in a heavenly slice of cinnamon raisin bread any time your heart (and tummy) desires.

The base ingredient of this recipe may surprise you.  It is none other than roasted almond butter. That's right, a nut butter is the main flour replacement in this recipe.  Add in some almond flour and arrowroot powder as binding agents and the result is spectacular.

Nutella Pretzel Brownies

Salty and sweet, packed with chocolate and a wickedly delicious crunchy crust, these brownies ROCK!

I was surfing the web for foodie ideas, as I usually do, when I stumbled across this amazing recipe for Nutella Pretzel Brownies. Seriously?  Does it get any better than this?  I don't think so.

The crust is made with a mixture of salty pretzels, brown sugar and butter.  Ummm, yes please!   Then the pre-baked crust is topped off with a rich chocolate and nutella brownie batter.  The icing on the cake, no pun intended, is the finishing touch :  Nutella spread over the semi-cooled brownies and topped with more salted pretzels.

I have always been a tremendous fan of salty and sweet - chocolate dipped pretzels have been a longtime love of mine.  But throw in Nutella and things just get crazy; in a good way!

Somerset Apple Cider Cake

With fall fast approaching, what better way to celebrate early than with a sweet apple cake?  This recipe comes from across the pond - all the way from merry old England.   Somerset Apple Cake is moist, rich, and screaming out for a side of warm custard or a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

This cake requires tart apples, ones that will still have a "bite" both in taste and texture after baking.  I used Granny Smith and they worked perfectly.

If you don't have apple cider, don't panic.  You can easily switch it up with apple juice. It won't have the same depth of flavor as the cider brings to the baked treat but it works nonetheless.

This cake bakes in a springform pan and needs a good hour in a 325F oven.  You can eat it warm or cool and it is best eaten the same day. 

S'mores Cupcakes

Call them Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting, call them S'more doesn't matter.  In the end,  you will call them DELICIOUS!  No, these are not gluten-free or dairy free but so be it.  They are heaven wrapped up in a sweet cupcake topped off with a swirl of marshmallow cloud.  And I love them.  Plus they gave me an excuse to use a kitchen torch and I am all for it !

I found this recipe while meandering through Martha Stewart's website. The photo lured me in initially.  They looked so pretty and so fun too.  I especially adore the layers of goodies that create this luscious treat: a crunchy graham cracker crust, a layer of chocolate, the devil-food cake like cupcake itself and lastly, a browned 7 minute frosting finishes the deal.

Blueberry Boy Bait

I have been meaning to make this cake for ages but every time I about to I realize I am missing one key ingredient...usually blueberries.  Today was different.  I planned for this day and with all ingredients on hand I made the best gluten-free blueberry coffee cake I have ever eaten.

It is light, buttery, fluffy, studded with blueberries and the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping is amazing.

Of course I once again have Cybele Pascal to thank for an incredible GF recipe.  Her cookbook never fails to amaze me.   Each recipe is nothing short of perfection.

This time around I only switched things up a bit.  I added 3 eggs instead of egg replacer and used almond milk instead of rice milk.  Other than that, I stuck to her recipe and it turned out brilliantly.

Get this book - seriously, GET IT!

Loving Britain Giveaway Winner !

Thank you to all my followers for your participation in this giveaway.  I am excited to share with you all today the name of the winner of this great British cookbook.

Decadent Lemon Cupcakes

I have been and always will be a cupcake girl.  I love any flavor, frosted or plain, filled with ganache or just dusted with icing sugar.  It all works for me.  Is chocolate at the top of my list? Second. The top is lemon. Nothing quite beats the taste of a fresh, citrus dessert where I am concerned. I love pies, puddings, cookies and squares but most of all I love sweet cupcakes infused with the gorgeous flavors of lemon.

And this cupcake does it for me:  moist, cakey, sweet and gently scented with the zest of a lemon.  The frosting is smooth, creamy and , you guessed it,  lemony.  Pair this with a cup of tea and all your worries will melt away.  Perfection.

Loving Britain Giveaway

It is giveaway time here again on Lemon Drop.  This one is very special for me.  You see, I love, I mean LOVE Britain.  I have wonderful friends there, the countryside is to die for  and the food - oh  my, the food.  Think Eccles Cakes, Victoria Sponge, creamy and rich Custard Sauce, Bakewell Tarts, Chelsea Buns.  I am drooling as I write this.

So in honor of my love of Britain, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Year and London 2012,  I am offering you, my sweet followers, a chance to win an amazing cookbook COOKING BRITAIN.

This glossy book is fantastic.  It is filled with incredible recipes from England, Scotland and Ireland. There are savory and sweet recipes peppered throughout along with some delectable food photography.   Absolutely mouth-watering.

My fave part of the book though are the tidbits of history for the featured foods.  Want to learn the origin of the Bakewell Tart?  Or how a Lardy Cake came to be? It's all right here.

The "food dictionary" at the back of the book is also heaven-sent.  Not sure what a Bramley apple or know what it is but cannot find it locally? Then head to the back of the book where you will find a description of the item as well as substitute recommendations. For us non-Brits this is essential.

Now you will need to act fast if you want to participate. This giveaway closes at 11 PM next Saturday, July 28th.   Just follow the steps outlined below for your chance to win! 

Hummingbird Bakery Frosted Brownies

This recipe yields, without a doubt in my mind, the BEST chocolate brownies I have ever eaten. The base is a rich dark chocolate that is thick, sweet and chewy.  The chocolate cream cheese frosting is just that - icing on the cake.  Smooth, creamy and rich with dark cocoa powder.  This combo is a winner!

Thank-you, Hummingbird Bakery, for another amazing recipe.  Every one I have tried so far from their gorgeous cookbook has been a huge success.  This one is no different.

Gluten-Free Baking Soda Biscuits

I will be honest - I don't have many memories from my childhood...maybe 10 at most? Don't ask. But one memory that I do have is crystal clear:  making baking soda biscuits with my mom.

I have loved those somewhat salty, flaky and fluffy biscuits my entire life.  They are perfect eaten as-is, or filled with savory or sweet goodies.  My all-time fave is an egg and ham sandwich with one of these babies as the bun!  I would eat one daily if I could.

After having gone the gluten-free route, I really missed my biscuits. Then one day I wandered on over to Elana's Pantry and found a recipe that changed my world.  Gluten-free biscuits that use almond flour as their base ingredient.  They are very easy to make and they taste great; especially when eaten still warm from the oven with a dab of butter (or dairy-free butter substitute).

Old-Fashioned Cherry Clafloutis

As always, I was thrilled to see the new edition of the Food Network Magazine arrive in the mail the other day.  It was jam-packed with goodies and an abundance of recipes that I couldn't wait to start testing out in my kitchen.  But when I stumbled upon their section featuring cherries I put all other thoughts aside and zero'd in on an amazing yet simple recipe for Old-Fashioned Cherry Clafloutis.

Paleo-friendly Banana Pecan Muffins

Muffins that are Paleo friendly and taste great? Of course !

If you follow the Paleo diet you know that both dairy and gluten are out - eggs are ok if you don't have an intolerance of course.  As far as bananas go, many people seem to be on the fence about this sweet fruit.  Yes, it is a great source of potassium and adds lovely flavor and moisture to baked goods but is it too high on the Glycemic Index?  That choice is up to you.

But if you love your bananas then you are gonna love these Paleo inspired muffins! They are slightly spiced, moist and fluffy with a crunchy pecan topping.  Feel free to toss in some ripe berries into the batter too if you wish; blueberries or raspberries would be great.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Citrus Glaze

Combine the delicious recipes from Hummingbird Bakery and Martha Stewart along with some fantastic gluten-free flour and what do you get?  An amazing cupcake !

These beauties bake up light and fluffy. They are perfectly sweet and speckled throughout with vanilla bean.  Topped off with a lovely lemon glaze these are sure to please.

Gluten-Free Baked Donuts

I was searching for a baked donut recipe that could easily be converted to gluten-free. I didn't want to mess with yeast or an array of GF flours either.  I wanted it simple, tasty and easy to prepare.

Persistence paid off because I located a recipe that fit all of my criteria without any gluten-free changes required. It was already done for me and was such a simple recipe that I couldn't wait to test it out.  Testing was a huge success! I now have a new favorite donut recipe that I will make again and again.

Gluten-Free Nutella Muffins

Soft, cakey and swirled with Nutella.  Even better they are gluten-free, sweetened with coconut palm sugar and can be dairy free to with just a few changes.

These are best served warm from the oven topped with a dollop of your fave vanilla ice cream (rice and coconut varieties are wonderful).   A decadent dessert!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are not just gluten-free - they are also egg and dairy free too. Perfect for someone with allergies but not willing to compromise on taste.

These are chewy, sweet and filled with mini chocolate chips. These puff up during baking and take on a lovely golden brown color. As they cool the cookies settle and become more flat in nature. The texture is super moist but won't fall apart when you are indulging in them.  

Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

This is a fantastic cake based on Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Classic Banana Bundt Cake.  It is reminiscent of banana bread but has a finer crumb. Perfect to serve for dessert topped with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream!

I love the flavor of banana and chocolate so adjusted the recipe and added dark chocolate chips. I am also a huge fan of spices when bananas are the main player in a recipe so cinnamon and nutmeg were a must for me.  The flavors all work together incredibly well and result in an exceptionally delicious cake. Lastly, I wasn't keen on adding the required 2 cups of sugar to this recipe so exchanged it for coconut sugar.  Great results!

Gluten-Free Orange Cranberry Scones

It has been some time since my last post and I humbly apologize.  I took some time off for a pre-summer holiday and didn't get much baking done at all.  Though I enjoyed the relaxation I did miss feeding my baking addiction.  To get things kick-started I wanted to dive back in with a gluten-free treat truly loved by many - the scone.

I have tried many GF scones before and none have lived up to the hype. They were either too dense, too dry or had some kind of funky aftertaste.  After much searching I found a recipe online that seemed promising and gave it a whirl.  I am very pleased with the baking results and can safely say these are scones that are not just "edible" but downright delicious.  My son who won't touch dried fruit scarfed down 2 of these while still warm, dried cranberries and all !

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cream Pie

I love pudding but when you put that velvety heaven in a bed of crunchy graham crackers crumbs - well let's just say the word "nirvana" comes to mind.

Your first bite is like a texture and flavor explosion!  The crunch and sweet taste of buttery and cinnamon spiced graham crackers....then the smooth richness of a delectable chocolate cream.  My, oh my.  Take it a step further and top it with a cloud of lightly sweetened whipped cream.  Yes, folks - we have a winner.

Easy-Peasy Pizza Crust

Though not a gluten-free recipe, this one is a keeper. Nothing beats a homemade pizza crust but so many recipes can be time consuming requiring kneading, kneading and kneading, right?  Once again, we can let our mixers do the work for us.  Sit back, have a tea, and watch it all happen.  Leave your bicep workouts for the gym.  No manual kneading required!

As my followers know well, I am not a dough fan but when I can use my mixer with dough hook attachment my fears of kneading become a thing of the past. This recipe is perfect for me and will be for you too!

Xanthan and Guar Gum – Don’t Be Intimidated

Many people want to bake gluten-free goodies but the somewhat standard list of GF ingredients that appear in most recipes send bakers running. First off they are usually hit with an array of various flours which many have never heard of before…and then come the gluten replacers. I remember the first time I read Xanthan Gum and thought, huh, what the heck is that?! Something else I don’t know how to use, let alone spell, which of course will require a road trip to some remote natural food store to purchase. But rather than flee screaming from the kitchen I decided to educate myself on how these 2 items work in recipes and what the replacement ratio is for various baked treats. I also was delighted to find that nearly all grocery stores carry these gluten-free replacement ingredients in that natural food section of the store.

I hope that by sharing the information with you that I have learned, it too will expand your mind, your collection of family foodie favorites and perhaps, just perhaps, a space in your pantry.

Gluten-Free Apricot Tea Squares

I rarely bake with apricots but I saw a gluten-free recipe that sounded amazing and one I had to test out asap.  In fact, I think this is the one and only apricot recipe on Lemon Drop to date.

These Apricot Tea Squares are simple to make, use wholesome ingredients and get this - contain NO SUGAR or sugar substitutes!  The apricots and natural sweetness of coconut is all you need. That, my friends, is a winner in my book.

The other great thing about these squares is the easy preparation. Everything comes together in minutes with your food processor then you simply press the dough into a prepared pan.

Babycakes NYC Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Who doesn't adore chocolate chip cookies? These ones are gluten-free, dairy free and egg free but you would never know it. I opted for chocolate chunks to add even more taste and texture. Amazing!

What flours are used to make these gluten-free? Oat flour, GF all purpose flour and lastly, though not technically flour, the addition of flaxseed meal. Flaxseed meal adds even more fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids plus works wonders at binding all the ingredients together.

For both the GF all purpose flour and the flaxseed meal, I used Bob's Red Mill brand. They also carry oat flour too but I opted for a different brand because I had it handy. Feel free to use whichever one you like best. If you want to ensure egg and dairy free cookies, I recommend Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks. These are pretty much as good as you can get.

Easter Giveaway Winner

It's time to announce the Easter Giveaway Winner.  Are you ready? Fingers and toes crossed?

First off, I would like to thank all of you who entered this Easter draw.  These giveaways are my chance to thank my followers for all their support!  As far as prizes go, the cupcake kits seem to be a big hit so I think including one in each giveaway is going to be a must.

The Easter Giveaway prize winner is in for a real treat - 1 incredible Meri Meri kit suitable for decorating up to 24 cupcakes.  Such cute liners and toppers!  Plus a secret prize too :)

A recap of the grand prize

1 Fantastic  Easter Cupcake Kit
Plus a secret prize

I again used my preferred online giveaway tool,, to select the 1 winner!

And the winner is: My 3 Kids (Janice)!

Please email me at to claim your prize.

For those who didn't win, be prepared for the next giveaway coming soon!

Linda @ Lemon Drop

Gluten-Free Banana Muffins

I stumbled upon this gorgeous muffin recipe while surfing foodgawker the other day.  The photo lured me in and once I saw the ingredients list I was hooked.

Now, as is the norm for me, I switched things up a bit - adding some extra spices and going with my all-time fave Agave Nectar as sweetener.

These muffins are light, moist and taste just like banana bread.  Consider tossing in some mini dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts too. They would make great additions to this yummy baked treat.

Easter Cupcake Giveaway

Let's welcome spring with an Easter themed giveaway. This one has a twist too - the winner will also receive a surprise baking/decorating treat as well as the main prize.

What is the main prize?  This great Meri Meri Easter Cupcake Kit -  24 liners and 24 toppers in bunny and egg designs.  How cute is that?

I love Meri Meri products but they can be quite hard to find. I spotted this one on a recent shopping excursion and new it was perfect for my spring giveaway.

The extra surprise gift will be a lovely compliment to this cupcake kit and you won't be disappointed. 

Now you will need to act fast if you want to participate. This giveaway closes at 11 PM next Wednesday to ensure enough shipping time for Easter.

Just follow the steps outlined below for your chance to win ! 


Minimum requirements (1 chance to win):

  • Be a follower of this blog and add a comment to this post stating you are a follower. To follow, simply scroll down on the right until you see the Follow button in the sidebar. Then join up!
Please do ensure that you meet the minimum requirement or I regret to say that your entry won't be counted.

Additional chances to win:

  • Minimum requirements must still be met
  • Publish a post on this giveaway in your own blog and link it back to this post (+2 more chances to win)
  • Add a link at the side of your blog (sidebar) to my blog. Feel free to use any image from this post if you want to (+ 1 more chance to win)
  • Provide a link to your blog in your comment and leave the post/link on your blog for 1 more week after the giveaway has closed for compilation purposes.


Contest closes 11 PM EST, March 28th, 2012. An online random selection tool (@ will be used to select the winner. Name of winner will be announced on Lemon Drop at 12:00 PM EST, March 29th, 2012 and a request will be issued to the winner to contact me privately. The winner has 24 hours after winner announcement to contact me and claim their prize.

Good luck to all !

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

I love oatmeal.  I eat it nearly every single day.  It is a great source of fiber, low on the Glycemic Index, helps lower cholesterol (though thankfully I don't have any concerns in that area of my health) and is a wonderful way to give you the energy you need to kickstart the day.  Pair it with a food high in protein, such as scrambled egg whites on the side,  and you are good to go.

This dish is not just your everyday morning oatmeal but rather a baked version that is so sweet and delicious you will want to eat oatmeal every day too.  It is excellent topped with some agave nectar and a splash of milk.

The combo of apples and cinnamon are always a warm welcome at our breakfast table.  Who doesn't love that flavor? When added to oatmeal it makes for an extremely heart-healthy and comforting meal.

Irish Barm Brack

As a tribute to upcoming St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to make an authentic Irish baked treat. After some research and contemplation I decided upon Barm Brack.

What is Barm Brack?  It is a dense yeast-bread filled with raisins and currants, spiced with mixed spice and cinnamon and then baked up either as a traditional loaf or in a round cake pan.

The history of Barm Brack  (meaning speckled loaf) actually revolves around Halloween.  As per Wiki and other sites, the Halloween version of Barm Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune telling game.  There would be a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring all wrapped up individually in bits of greaseproof paper. Each object, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolize going into the priesthood or joining a convent.

For me, it is just a lovely way to enjoy a sweet yeast bread with a cuppa tea ! I will pass on the convent option. But coins are most welcome.

Double Chocolate Buns

Are these muffins?  Nope.  Cupcakes?  Nope.  These are in fact what the British refer to as a chocolate "buns".  They are a cross between a cupcake and a muffin. They have a somewhat cake-like consistency, though not nearly as sweet yet are definitely richer than a muffin.  They are also frosting-free.  These are wonderful eaten plain and without any fuss needed at all.

They are named Double Chocolate Buns because of 2 types of chocolate in the batter:  Dark Cocoa Powder and White Chocolate Chips (the latter not really being a chocolate at all).

You can make these all in one bowl and you don't even need your mixer as long as you have some decent upper body strength to blend the butter and sugar.  Everything else gets folded in and blended just until combined then baked up for 20 minutes.

These rise up beautifully and your house will be infused with the smell of chocolate. They are tender, moist and hard to resist.  My daughter inhaled 2 while they were still warm.

Chocolate Shortbread

I love shortbread - plain, lemon, cut into bars or triangles.  I love the crumbly dry texture and the heavy scent and taste of butter.
I get a great thrill out of dipping mine into a cup of hot tea.

I cannot recall the last time I made shortbread.  I am like a lot of you and buy the cookies all packaged up in those sweet, red boxes at the local grocery store.  You know the brand - Walkers. Boxes of Walkers shortbread fill this house at Christmas. Yum, Yum, Yum.

But here we are slowly moving into spring and not a Walkers box to be found in my pantry.  What's a girl to do?  This type of situation is one of the main reasons why I love to bake.  When I really want something, when the craving takes over so bad I can taste it, I know that any sweet treat I truly desire is one I can whip up myself in my own kitchen if I choose to do so. How great is that? What a liberating feeling!

And a few days ago I did just that and created a darn good, if I do say so myself, chocolate shortbread.  Yes, these are exactly the kind that melt in your mouth.

The Perfect White Rustic Loaf

Ok let me begin by being honest - I am not a bread person. To clarify, I could eat loads of it but unless I can make a loaf in my bread machine, I rarely dabble in bread making. Main reason? Kneading. Blech. I get no joy out of manual labor. Sure, I could use the knead cycle of my bread maker but I rarely do.  Then I became the owner of a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook. I haven't looked back since. It is the best thing next to sliced bread, no pun intended.

Which brings me to the recipe I am sharing with you today for a sinfully good White Rustic Loaf. The crust is golden brown, crispy and somewhat chewy. The inside is like biting into a cloud. Serve warm with a pad of butter and some top-notch jam and you will grin from ear to ear. And trust me, you will come back to this recipe time and time again. Seriously, it is that good.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Muffins

What better way to start off the week than with a fresh batch of chocolate chip muffins. Buttery, cakey, and sprinkled with dark chocolate chips. I absolutely adore these !

Not all muffins are created equal. Some are too dense, don't rise, filled with air pockets or as dry as dry can be. I can assure you these are none of those things. They are perfectly moist, rise high and are a thing of beauty.

I like to sprinkle muffins with coarse sanding sugar right before baking - makes for a lovely shine and delectable crunch. I also recommend topping the muffins with a scattering of chocolate chips too so they stand out really well when baked versus getting hidden in the batter.  A golden top, studded with chocolate chips and shimmering with sugar. You won't be able to resist these when they come out of the oven!

Homemade Almond Milk

Low carb, sugar, gluten and dairy free - how perfect is that?  Sure you can buy store bought almond milk but if you are like me and use it to make protein shakes or smoothies at least once a day the cost can add up quickly.

Why not make your own at home?

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

I was surfing fellow foodie blogs recently and stumbled across this amazing recipe for Cinnamon Streusel Muffins. They looked simply too good to resist so I filed the recipe away with the intention of making it at a later date.  That "later date" came sooner than I thought when I couldn't get the idea of cinnamon streusel outta my head so without further delay I set about making a dozen of these incredible muffins.

I am so glad I didn't wait longer to enjoy these ones.  OMG, so soft and sweet, spiced just right, and crunchy too thanks to the buttery streusel and the addition of chopped walnuts

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Chocolate heaven in the form of a gluten-free single layer cake. YUMMO!  That is my fancy-dancy description of this sweet treat.  In fact, the family titled it "The Chocolate Monster".  When you take your first bite you are hit with the smooth creamy fudge frosting then your teeth sink into the moist, chocolatey cake.  A double dose of chocolate and who doesn't love that?

The original source recipe comes from my most trusted gluten-free baking cookbook The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal.

As many of you know,  I LOVE this cookbook!

Meyer Lemon Meringues

This is my first time making small meringues and I am happy to say, they turned out pretty darn good. Crispy on the outside and a little bit of chew on the inside.  Nicely sweetened and brimming with citrus flavor thanks to the addition of both meyer lemon peel and juice.

You would think these cookies were extra delicate but they aren't.  They are quite sturdy and won't crumble into bits with the first bite. Sandwiched together with some lemon curd would be wonderful!

Banana Vanilla Protein Shake

As we all know, maintaining healthy eating goals can be challenging. Moderation is always key but so is great taste. How many times have you opted for the "healthier" choice and been disappointed with the the taste and texture? I cannot even begin to count the times I have had that experience especially when it comes to protein drinks. Some are just nasty - loaded with a granular texture and a wicked chalky aftertaste.

I make my own protein shakes and rarely buy pre-made. I just think homemade "anything" tastes better than store bought. This recipe for a Banana Vanilla Protein Shake puts prepackaged ones to shame.

A protein shake recipe on a baking blog?  I know, I get the disconnect but you see usually I would have posted a recipe like this on my other blog: A Baker's Journey on Low Carb but it isn't low carb given the banana ingredient. 

This recipe is too good not to share and I think it warrants a spot here on Lemon Drop for that very reason. After you try it you will agree !

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

This is my first post as a proud new member of The Secret Recipe Club.  This month I am sharing with you a recipe from The Daily Dishes Recipes site for Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies.

You know me, I love easy to make recipes when running short on time and this one was quick and simple to prepare.  Plus anything with chocolate is a winner in my books.  This recipe gets an A+ !

Everything begins in the bowl of your stand mixer.  First you combine the dry ingredients (except cocoa) then gradually add in wet until finally mixing in the crowning glory - 1/2 cup of heavenly cocoa powder. That's it - cookie dough is done!  No sifting, no multitude of mixing bowls...nada.  Just one bowl, a few key ingredients and you are good to go.

Spelt Banana Bread

I know, I have a slew of banana bread recipes here on Lemon Drop but this one is a tad different.  Plus the recipe is accidentally well-timed as today is National Banana Bread Day!

This golden quick-bread is egg-free, dairy free and made with spelt flour.  It is sweetened with honey and has the added moisture of 3 big ole bananas, some glorious grapeseed oil and last but not least, unsweetened applesauce.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I am always searching for great gluten-free recipes and trying out my own creations too.  Granted, several are dismal failures and many gluten-free bakers will relate to this - those muffins that didn't rise, the hockey puck cookies, the sticky and gooey cakes.

The fact is that when you start messing around with xanthan or guar gum you will most likely run into issues. Some baked goods will be too pasty or too heavy.
It is truly trial and error.

I am happy to say that this recipe only took one attempt and I had SUCCESS!

Devil Food Cupcakes

Wishing you all a wonderful day filled with pink hearts, red roses, dark chocolate and LOVE!  Valentine's Day would not be the same without a sweet treat and cupcakes are a great way to celebrate the day.  These cupcakes are rich devil's food topped with a creamy, buttery frosting tinted pink for the occasion.  I piped on a rose design but swirls would look great too.

The cupcake crumb is light, fluffy and  simply of divine - nothing dense or dry about these guys. The rich frosting is the perfect topper and super simple to make:  just butter, powdered sugar, some cream,  vanilla extract and voila - an amazing frosting!  Tint it with some red or pink gel until you have the color you want.  Initially I was thinking a deep red for these but when I saw the pink color I fell in love.

Black Chocolate Party Cake

A short and super sweet post that is a MUST read with a MUST bake recipe link!  This all boils down to chocolate and my love of it.  Dark, bittersweet, milk..I'll take it.  I particularly love chocolate in the form of rich cocoa powder - the darker, the better in my opinion.  What better way to use my fave Valrhona cocoa powder than in a Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe for Black Chocolate Party Cake.

I have been a proud owner of Rose's Heavenly Cakes cookbook for quite a while now and have tested and loved many a recipe within those gorgeous bound pages.

I have eyed up her Black Chocolate Party Cake for quite a long time too but never got around to making it.  I think the fact that the batter contained walnuts that you need to first toast , remove the skins and then grind was the deterrent.  But then, as if my magic/destiny/fate, I stumbled upon an adapted recipe on Technicolor Kitchen and the rest, as they say, is history.

Treacle Raisin Bran Muffins

These healthy, sweet, moist and fluffy muffins (yes a fluffy bran muffin does exist!)  are a perfect way to start the day. Filled with plump raisins, rich dark treacle and coconut sugar they are not overly sweet and are in fact, good for you. A combo blend of unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour boost nutrients.

The moisture comes from eggs, unsalted butter and creamy plain yogurt. The resulting muffin texture is divine; not coarse or crumbly as what one might expect from a bran muffin made without added oil. Rather than adding unnecessary extra fats the trick is to grind 1/2 of the bran cereal before adding it to the batter. This provides such incredible lightness in the finished product.

Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes

Nearly everyone I know, young and old, loves brownies. Dense, rich and fudgie are the words that come to mind when I think of sinking my teeth in a decadent chocolate brownie. Nothing beats a good brownie.

I have made plenty of brownies in my lifetime from milk chocolate to dark chocolate; ones filled with nuts, caramel, even swirled with cream cheese but I have never made peppermint ones or have I made them in the shape of a beloved cupcake.

Fresh Raspberry Crumb Bars

Fresh fruit bars in the middle of winter? You betcha ! You can always find fresh berries in your local grocery store. Opt for organic if you can. This recipe will work with blueberries, blackberries, even strawberries. Just use the same fruit flavored jam along with whatever fruit you choose. I went with raspberries because I had both the jam and some fresh berries on hand.

You can also switch up the batter itself. Why not try chops almonds instead of walnuts and add 1/4 tsp of pure almond extract to the batter? Or chopped pecans and a teaspoon of ground many ideas !