Pumpkin Pancakes with Almond Maple Syrup {gluten-free}

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup for a really special bank holiday brunch.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Pumpkin Pancakes, I am all in. Let’s go, just you and me. We can run away right now. I’ll pack the Almond Maple Syrup as that is really all we need and we can forget the world. Forget physio appointments, nursery pick-ups, laundry, taking the dog to the vet. Leave it all behind. Come on, what are we waiting for?

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple SyrupI’m pretty excited by this recipe as it includes all my current favourite ingredients, tinned pumpkin, coconut milk, almond butter and maple syrup. At the moment I am trying to squeeze all the above into every recipe I create. Muffins, check. Layer cake, check. Chocolate truffles!! Check, check and check some more. I am aware that pumpkin is perhaps more of an autumn predilection than the beginning of Spring but I am in love goddammit and love cannot wait for the right season.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Luke and I have been talking recently about making more of the holidays. We are often caught up in our own bubble, he works like crazy during the week as I look after Cole who is delightfully engaged with toddlerdom and all the mischief (read: tantrums) that entails. Then I work at the markets at the weekend which doesn’t leave us much time together as a family, just enjoying each other’s company.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

When the calendar suddenly informs us that it is Mother’s Day, May Bank Holiday, Easter, we are often caught by surprise and scrabble around to try and make something of the day. We decided we need to be a bit more organised in carving out time for our family on these dates. Back in the days when laziness seemed the aim of the game at weekends and holidays we used to scoff at those that took these calendar dates so seriously. Bah to Valentines Day, we love each other all year round. As time has become more sacred though it’s hard to remember how to take care of each other in the every day and I don’t think it hurts to allow the calendar to nudge us in the direction of family every now and then.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

This weekend Tottenham Green Market is taking a last minute Easter Break due to London disappearing over the bank holiday so I’ve been left with an incredibly welcome weekend off. Now I’ve got Easter Sunday ahead of me I wish I had been more organised, taken the day off anyway and planned a big family lunch, the kind we used to have when we were children, with roast lamb and Easter eggs galore. Still, it’s not too late for us to make last minutes Easter plans with family this weekend and resolve to be a little better with our planning for the next holiday.

Of course all this talk about family is completely by the by as I’ve already said I’m absconding with my Pumpkin Pancakes the second this post is published.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

These are particularly special pancakes and I have already made them several times for breakfast which is a little unusual for me as my sweet tooth normally doesn’t kick in until after lunch. Although to reserve these pancakes just for brunch seems unfair when really your day would be much improved to substitute them in for every single meal.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

This was my first time baking with gram flour (chickpea flour) and I had heard warnings that the flavour can tend to overtake the rest of the ingredients but it works incredibly well here. The flavour definitely comes through but it marries so happily with everything else that I am completely won over by using it judiciously in my gluten-free baking from now on. Plus I’ve paired it with oat flour and the combo really works.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

These Pumpkin Pancakes are so fluffy and rich with flavour, there is not an ingredient in there which is just filler. They take mere minutes to prepare in blender, 10 minutes until all the pancakes are cooked and then once you drizzle over the (two-ingredient!) Almond Maple Syrup, well you can just retire on that prospect right there. The pancakes are great, so good in fact but with the syrup, they are wondrous. Pumpkin Pancakes with Almond Maple Syrup, I love you.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Pancakes with Almond Maple Syrup {gluten-free}
Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup.
Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4 large pancakes
Ingredients
  • 60 g gram flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 120 g tinned pumpkin puree
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
for the almond maple syrup:
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4 large pancakes
Ingredients
  • 60 g gram flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 120 g tinned pumpkin puree
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
for the almond maple syrup:
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside for a moment.
  2. Place the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a blender and whizz until smooth.
  3. Pour in all the dry ingredients and blend again until smooth.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a skillet and pour in a quarter of the pancake batter (about 100g). Heat for 3-4 minutes until the underside is golden brown. Turn the pancake over and cook on the other side for a couple more minutes until golden brown. Remove the pancake from the skillet, pat dry with kitchen towel to remove the excess oil.
  5. Repeat the process with the 3 other pancakes, adding more coconut oil to the skillet if needed.
  6. For the almond maple syrup, warm the maple syrup and almond butter together in a small saucepan until smooth and runny. Add a small splash of water if you would like to make the syrup a little more runny. Serve over the warm pancakes.

Easter Cookies {gluten-free}

Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips for bank holiday baking.

These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.

I’ve been craving the odd biscuit lately which hasn’t normally been my snack of choice but it’s probably something to do with them being ultra portable which is the only way I am eating anything these days. Cookie in mouth whilst my hands are free to zip up coats, prepare toddler lunches and take the washing off the line.

These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.

I’m also trying to introduce Cole to my happy world of baking and quick and easy recipes are the order of the day to keep him interested. Cookies are effortless to mix, minutes to bake and you can eat them straightaway warm off the baking tray so it’s easy to taste the results of your hard labour.

These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.

This past week we have been baking these particular cookies for Easter. They borrow inspiration for the flavours in a traditional simnel cake with marzipan, currants, stem ginger and mixed spice. I also couldn’t help but add chocolate chips as there would be an Easter riot on our hands without chocolate.

These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.

Not to snitch on anyone but these add-ons are not so surreptitiously robbed directly from the mixing bowl by chubby little fingers. Some of them at least manage to make it into the final cookie.

These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.

Print Recipe
Easter Cookies {gluten-free}
Loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips
These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
12 cookies
Ingredients
  • Zest ½ orange
  • Zest ½ lemon
  • 80 g soft light brown sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 115 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • teaspoon ½vanilla extract
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 50 g buckwheat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 75 g dark chocolate chips
  • 50 g chopped marzipan
  • 50 g currants
  • 1 ball stem ginger finely chopped
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
12 cookies
Ingredients
  • Zest ½ orange
  • Zest ½ lemon
  • 80 g soft light brown sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 115 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • teaspoon ½vanilla extract
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 50 g buckwheat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 75 g dark chocolate chips
  • 50 g chopped marzipan
  • 50 g currants
  • 1 ball stem ginger finely chopped
These gluten-free Easter Cookies are loaded with spices, currants, marzipan and dark chocolate chips.
Instructions
  1. Whisk the orange and lemon zest with the sugars until fragrant. Drop in the butter one cube at a time and mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Whisk the flours, almonds and mixed spice together and mix into the rest of the cookie batter.
  4. Finally stir in the chocolate chips, marzipan, currants and stem ginger, reserving one of each for the top of each cookie.
  5. Using a spring release ice cream scoop, portion out 12 balls of cookie, the place on a baking tray an inch or two apart. Top the cookie balls with the extra chocolate chips, marzipan, currants and ginger.
  6. Place the baking tray in the fridge for one hour.
  7. Bake the cookies in an oven pre-heated to 190 °C for 10 minutes. Leave for 5 minutes to rest on the baking tray then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Mint and Apple Relish

Mint and Apple Relish
I do like a bit of tradition at Easter so on Sunday I shall be having a slow cooked shoulder of lamb with roasted potatoes and spring vegetables. There is also no question that I will be pairing my roast lamb with a very English mint sauce, however I had always been a little disappointed with my homemade efforts and have been buying it in for the past few years.

Mint and Apple Relish

The recipes I had found placed too much emphasis on just the mint and the vinegar which always seemed to be too watery and pungent. Although I have found success with mint jellies I sometimes find them a bit too sweet for this exact meal. Mint jelly is infinitely better run through steamed new potatoes with a bit of butter on another day. For lunch on Sunday you do need the acidity of the vinegar to cut through the rich unctuous lamb.

So I have turned my back a little on the sauce and jellies and instead gone down the relish route for this recipe. The result is a honeyed but vinegary finish bolstered by bramley apples and shallots for good texture and given more strength of flavour by the inclusion of mustard and coriander seeds.

Mint and Apple Relish

The relish has lost none of its required piquancy however. It is fresh with the buoyancy of mint and quick to make alongside your roast lamb. Actually I could also quite happily see this also accompanying pork belly for lunch next Sunday as well.

Mint and Apple Relish

Mint and Apple Relish

½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
150ml white wine or cider vinegar
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon honey
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
100g fresh mint, finely chopped

  1. Crush the mustard and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine.
  2. Place the seeds and shallots in a medium sized saucepan with the vinegar, bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the sugar, honey and salt and stir for a couple of minutes until dissolved.
  4. Mix in the apple then place the lid on and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the apple has just softened but not broken down.
  5. Turn off the heat then add the mint, stirring until well combined.
  6. Serve warm or cooled.
  7. The relish will keep in the fridge for a week or two.

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins

These muffins were borne from a sheer craving for chocolate and the fact that I have several bags of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs in my cupboards at the moment were an absolute bonus.

Cadburys Mini Eggs

Mini Eggs

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins

There is something about Cadbury’s Mini Eggs that bring out your inner child. I know of no one who is no less than delighted whenever a bag is produced, at parties, in the office or as a treat on the way home from your weekly Sainsbury’s shop. Or is that just me surreptitiously tucking into my bag as I’m stopped at the traffic lights?

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins

Now these muffins were not 100% successful as the baking of the Mini Eggs inside the muffins hid the pastel colours which I now remember was a problem with the Mini Egg cookies which I baked last year but never got around to posting as they weren’t pretty enough. No matter because the taste is all there in these muffins. The not-too-sweet cocoa sponge is shot through with the sweet joy of large chunks of milk chocolate oozing within and the crisp outer shells add a smart bit of texture throughout.

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins

Mini Egg Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12
Adapted from Call Me Cupcakes’ Double Chocolate Muffins

300g plain flour
80g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
250g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
230ml buttermilk
2 eggs
200g Cadbury’s Mini Eggs

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk up the sugar, butter, buttermilk and eggs.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until everything is just combined.
  5. Roughly chop about half of the Mini Eggs, making sure you keep some of them whole.
  6. Stir the chopped Mini Eggs into the batter.
  7. Divide the muffin batter equally between the cupcake cases.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake
Simnel cakes have been on my Easter to do list for years. They are a traditional Easter cake which has been baked in Britain since medieval times to celebrate the end of Lent fasting, although Wikipedia says that they were originally baked during Lent to break up the fasting. It’s also interesting that they were adopted for a time by Mothering Sunday as they were a constant presence in our house during Easter due to my Mum’s love of them. My aunt would dutifully make her one every year where it would scooch down happily in our larder, pecked at over a couple of weeks with the magical preserving properties of the rich fruit making the cake moister and fuller of flavour every day.

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

Having said all that, the only time I can actually remember eating any of the prized cake was when I reached for one of the eleven marzipan balls, which represent the eleven disciples minus Judas, cruelly decorated and coloured by my aunt to resemble the size and shape of Cadbury Mini Eggs, to be wholly disgusted by the intense almond taste. From there, my eight year old self decreed a complete abhorrence to marzipan which survived intact up until my mid-twenties when I gave marzipan another shot and it turned out that actually now I wasn’t expecting a chocolate treat it was very nice indeed.

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

That said, I sometimes think the two thick layers of marzipan, in the middle of the cake and the one which drapes over the finished Simnel cake is a little sickly so I wanted to disperse my marzipan more evenly throughout the cake by dicing it up finely and adding it in to the end of the batter. So this isn’t what you would call a traditional Simnel cake at all. I have done away with the disciples, not through any religious predilections but because those marzipan balls never get eaten. I have also made it as a bundt rather than the traditional round cake, added diced apples for an superbly moist cake, dark chocolate chips which ooze throughout the sponge and because it’s Easter so why not and then I bound the batter together with zesty buttermilk which makes the crumb a lot lighter and not weighted down with the fruit like a heavy dense Christmas cake. It’s a more spring like version of a Simnel cake if you will.

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

I read somewhere that the reason our traditional British fruit cakes are not popular with our friends across the pond is because Americans don’t trust a cake that can last for over a week, let alone the months we nurture and feed our fruit cakes. However this is what makes our fruit cakes such a useful addition to your Easter larder. This bundt cake bakes up large but we don’t have to worry about guzzling it all down over a weekend, it won’t be as long lasting as a traditional recipe but it could certainly be chipped at over the course of a week without become stale or dry. Although, there is no way this cake could possibly last a week in our cake crazy household.

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

Easter Simnel Bundt Cake

225g dark brown muscovado sugar
175g light soft brown sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 1 lemon
175g unsalted butter
4 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
400g plain flour
125g ground almonds
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
350ml buttermilk
2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced into small pieces
140g marzipan, chopped into small pieces
150g dark chocolate chips
75g stem ginger, diced
100g glace cherries, diced
125g sultanas
125g currants
200g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra chocolate chips, marzipan and glace cherries to decorate

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C then grease and lightly dust a 12cm x 7cm bundt tin with a coating of flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Beat the sugars together with the orange and lemon zest until fragrant.
  3. Add the butter, a cube at a time so it creams with the sugar, then continue beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time followed by the vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl sift the flour with the almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  6. Add flour mixture into the rest of the batter, alternately with the buttermilk, one third at a time until just combined.
  7. Stir in the diced apple, marzipan, chocolate chips, stem ginger, glace cherries, sultanas and currants.
  8. Pour into the bundt tin and bake for 75-80 minutes, covering the tin with foil after about 30 minutes if the cake is browning too much.
  9. Remove from the oven, and leave for 5-10 minutes to rest in the tin before carefully turning out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  10. To make the icing mix together the icing sugar with the lemon juice until smooth and thick but just pourable. Spoon over the top of the cake then finish decorating with more marzipan, choc chips and glace cherries on top.

Easter Welsh Cakes

Easter Welsh Cakes
I can happily say that the first time I had Welsh cakes was in the most honest way possible, in Wales. We went for the long Easter weekend a few years ago and I might have got a bit addicted to these tea time treats which are neither scone nor biscuit nor really cake but a perfect amalgamation of all three. One of the local delis where I was getting my welsh cake fix over the holiday was a bit adventurous in their flavour combinations, as well as the usual plain version they also did a special Easter one, dotted with marzipan and chocolate. Unfortunately this incarnation has spoilt me and this has been the only way that I like to eat them since.

Easter Welsh Cake mix

Thus begun my Easter tradition of making sure I always have plenty of Welsh cakes to hand and I take such pleasure in making them on Good Friday to last the weekend. To be honest I don’t know how I manage to only keep this recipe for this specific time of the year as I developed a bit of an unhealthy obsession with them directly after that holiday and made them All. The. Time. The best thing about making Welsh cakes is that it is so wonderfully simple that the whole family can get involved. Cats can oversee dough production and puppies can also be of use, by running around the kitchen, making sure that any loose currant is hoovered up, providing the chef with less cleaning at the end and not at all providing multi tripping opportunities.

Wesley and Welsh Cake Mix

Easter Welsh Cakes

Easter Welsh Cake roll out

Puppy in the kitchen

There is something about doing ultra traditional recipes which denotes you simply must do everything by hand, using a Mason Cash mixing bowl like we had in school and the oldest wooden spoon and rolling pin you can find.

Easter Welsh Cakes

Easter Welsh Cakes

The only way to eat these treasures is to swipe them off the cooling rack as soon as they have been set there to cool. The chocolate chips will have casually melted and the hot cakes will be steaming with juicy fruit and plump marzipan pieces.

Easter Welsh Cakes

Easter Welsh Cakes

225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
100g butter
75g caster sugar
40g currants
25g mixed peel
30g marzipan, cut into small chips
30g chocolate chips
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp milk

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and mixed spiced.
  2. Rub the flour together with the butter by hand, using the tips of your fingertips until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar, currants, mixed peel, marzipan and chocolate and mix well.
  4. Pour in the beaten egg and bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough, if more moisture is needed add some milk but you shouldn’t need more than 2 tbsp.
  5. Roll out the dough until it’s about 1 cm thick and then cut the cakes using a 68mm pastry cutter.
  6. Bring a large frying pan up to a gentle heat and add a good knob of butter. Once the butter is melted add the cakes to the pan in batches. Cook for 2-3 mins on each side until just turning golden and slightly risen.
  7. As soon as you remove the welsh cakes from the frying pan, sprinkle with caster sugar.