Rhubarb-Apple Cupcakes

We’re coming up on birthday season in our family and I’ve been craving my favorite cake from childhood – carrot cake with apricot filling and cream cheese frosting. Now clearly there will need to modifications – we’ve successfully added eggs to little man’s diet but are still gluten and dairy free.

Enter Minimalist Baker’s 1 Bowl Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake. Plus she has recipes for vegan cream cheese frosting!

I didn’t have carrots or applesauce on hand but I did have a lot of organic rhubarb from our weekly delivery plus mealy apples (blegh). I had read a suggestion to use grated apple in place of applesauce so I tried and it worked well. Plus little man loves the food processor.

Finely grated apple – two medium size were just right for a cup of grated apple.
Rhubarb – three stalks thinly sliced rather than grated because of the fibers.
Rhubarb-Apple Cupcakes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Cooling Time
1 hr
Total Time
55 mins

Adaption of Minimalist Baker's 1-Bowl Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: dairy-free, Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free
  • 3 large eggs (or 3 chia or flaxseed eggs)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil (or sub other neutral oil)
  • 1/4 cup honey (maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1 cup loosely packed grated apples (or scant cup applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2-3/4 cup plain unsweetened dairy-free milk (or other non-dairy unsweetened milk)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats (whole or ground)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or 3/4 cup walnuts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Put cupcake liners in cupcake pan. I used a pan that makes 24 smaller cupcake with a little batter left over. Set aside.

  2. Add eggs, oil, and honey then whisk to combine. Next, add applesauce, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.

  3. Add lesser amount of dairy-free milk (1/2 cup or 120 ml) and stir. Add grated rhubarb and stir. Then add gluten-free oats and gluten-free flour blend and stir. The batter should be thick but pourable. If too thick, add remaining dairy-free milk (1/4 cup or 60 ml). Add raisins at this time and stir.

  4. Fill cupcake liners until just below the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  5. Remove from oven and move cupcakes to a cooling rack to let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Notes from Minimalist Baker - https://minimalistbaker.com/1-bowl-vegan-gluten-free-carrot-cake/

  1. NOTE: This cake needs to cool completely. It benefits from plenty of airflow, and the flavors develop as the cooling process goes on. If short on time, you can speed the cooling by placing the cakes in the refrigerator or freezer until very cool to the touch.
  2. Once cooled, you can serve as is or frost! For frosting, you have several options! See options at her blog.
  3. Store leftovers at room temperature, covered, for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or covered well in the freezer for several weeks. However, it's best when eaten fresh.
  4. Do note that, if using vegan cream cheese or yogurt in the frosting, the cake should be stored in the refrigerator. From the refrigerator, let set out for 10-15 minutes before serving so it warms a bit and becomes more tender. Let thaw completely from the freezer.

The results were delicious. The cupcakes were moist and flavorful. Should be amazing with the vegan cream cheese frosting once I make some.

Pineapple-Banana “ice cream”

[Belated post originally from February- teething toddler has taken up my time!] It’s been really hot here in Nairobi as we wait for the rainy season and we really needed a cool treat.

We always have bananas on hand for our banana-fiend and I had some pineapple that needed to used up so pineapple-banana “ice cream” it was!

Banana-Pineapple "ice-cream"
Prep Time
10 mins
9 hrs 20 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Dessert
  • 3 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced and frozen
  • dash salt
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free milk or other liquid
  1. Blend bananas, salt, and liquid in food processor until creamy. 

  2. Add pineapples. Blend again. 

  3. Enjoy!

  4. Save any extra in the freezer. It will get hard so take out 15 minutes before you want to eat.

Family Biscuits (now gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan)

I am from the American South and grew up on biscuits. They are one of the first things I learned to bake and were always prevalent at family meals.

Now that I’m gluten free and going back for a family visit in July, I really needed to update and tweak our recipe so that I (and my mom and toddler) can eat them.

gluten free biscuits

I’ve made three batches to bring you this recipe – the first was very crumbly, the second was very dry (though the toddler still loves them), and then this third batch! Moist, crunchy bottom, holds together!

As I delve more into gluten free baking, I keep trying new blends of flours to see what works best. A lot of blends use xantham gum which I prefer not to add or have dairy in them or soy or bean flours which we can’t do. So far this new all-purpose blend is working great.

All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

No xantham gum, soya/bean flour, dairy, or corn. 

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: All
Servings: 9 cups
  • 384 grams Brown Rice Flour (3 c) (1 c = 128 g)
  • 414 grams Sorgum Flour (3 c) (1 c = 138 g)
  • 170 grams Tapioca Starch/Flour (1.5 c) (1 c = 113 g)
  • 228 grams Potato Starch (1.5 c) (1 c = 152 g) not potato flour!
  1. Mix all ingredients well then shake together. 

  2. Store in airtight container.

Recipe Notes
  • 9 cups of mix equals 1196 g.
    • 1 cup mix equals 133 grams.

You can also use a rice flour blend (white and brown). 1 cup of white/brown blend equals 135 g/3 cups is 405 g (adjust final weight and divide by 9 cups).

  • 9 cups with white/brown rice blend is 1217g
    • 1 cup is 135 g

Now on to the biscuit recipe!

The big changes are the addition of ground chia seeds and an increase in liquids and baking powder. Both gluten free flour and chia seeds need extra liquids. If you don’t add it, they turn out very dry. I also increased the baking powder because without gluten, the flour doesn’t rise as well.

These changes turn out a super moist dough. It’s tacky. It’s going to make a mess as you form the biscuits. Resist the urge to add more flour.

These biscuits turned out fluffy with a crunchy bottom. Heavenly. Now if only there was a vegan butter I could eat in Kenya…

Family Biscuits
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

My family biscuit recipe made gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free to continue enjoying.

Course: bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, southern
Servings: 11 biscuits
Author: Edge-of-the-Sea
Dry ingredients
  • 238 grams all-purpose gluten free flour blend (1 3/4 cups - spooned in and leveled if you don't have a kitchen scale.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
Wet ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups dairy free milk
  • 1/3 cup chilled coconut oil or shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 450/500 degrees (F).

  2. Place cast-iron skillet or baking stone in oven to warm.

  3. Mix all dry ingredients with fork.

  4. With pastry cutter (fork if you don't have one), cut in chilled coconut oil.

  5. Add milk and mix with spoon. The dough will be very moist but will form up after a few minutes.

  6. With you hands, form up round shapes for the biscuits and place on hot skillet or stone.

  7. Bake for 25 minutes until tops are slightly browned and internal temperature with a quick read thermometer is around 190 (F).

  8. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.

  9. Enjoy!

Lemongrass Beef Bowl

Little man is doing playgroup during the weekday mornings. He loves it and comes home covered in sand. (In an impressive move, he somehow managed to get sand in his diaper while wearing a onesie and leggings.) On the less awesome side, he wants to nurse and nap immediately because he’s too busy to do either while he’s there. This means I need quick, easy to heat meals I can eat one-handed. Enter this lemongrass beef bowl.

Our weekly delivery included lemongrass this week and I had a pack of beef mince that needed to be cooked – this recipe for round beef skewers was a great starting point! I made some substitutes to account for ingredients that I had and baked them rather than grilled. I also had several large beets that I decided to roast with the rhubarb that came the week prior. I had also previously made sauerkraut and then threw together a vinegar mint sauce to brighten up the flavors.

Lemongrass Beef Bowls

  • Lemongrass Meatballs (recipe)
  • Roasted Beets and Rhubarb (recipe)
  • Homemade Sauerkraut (recipe)
  • Vinegar Mint Sauce with Carrots and Onions (recipe)
  • Lettuce
  • Rice

Continue reading “Lemongrass Beef Bowl”

Muffins – Chocolate Chunk and Raspberry

Having come down with a cold a week after having a bad stomach bug, I was feeling sorry for myself and wanting chocolate chip cookies. I also had homemade cashew milk that I needed to use so I settled on raspberry, chocolate chunk muffins (no hardship).

Luckily, I had found the GF flour blend recipe already so this muffin recipe from Natural Chow came together quickly and easily. Very important when you are sick and chasing a very active toddler!

Ingredients (Adapted from Natural Chow’s recipe)

  • 2 cups GF flour blend
  • ¾ cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Chia egg substitutes (1 TBSP ground chia seeds + 3 TBSP warm/hot water per egg. Mix and let set for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup dairy free milk or add 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil to a measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup mark with water. Mix with a fork and use in place of milk.
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or raspberries mashed (or both!)


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease or line a muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Lightly mix in the chia eggs. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chunks/raspberries.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin and fill each muffin cup of the way. The batter was the correct amount for 24 mini muffins.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (if there’s chocolate on the toothpick that’s okay). I find that it needs 20 minutes for GF mix #1 and 25 minutes for GF mix #2.
  6. Place the muffins on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

These muffins (mix #1) hold together amazingly and don’t have the mealy texture that the all quinoa or all rice flour ones tend to get. They also haven’t dried out the second day which is really nice. I think this will be my go-to muffin recipe for now.

After little man had a tantrum because I ate a muffin and didn’t give him one, I made a second batch with the GF mix #2 and milk alternative (1 TBSP lemon juice + 1 TBSP sugar + 1 TBSP oil + water to the 1 cup mark – ran across this tip when trying to figure out if I could use just water instead of milk as I didn’t have rice milk on hand for his batch. The lemon juice, sugar, and oil mimic the properties of milk in baking) with just raspberries. He was thrilled and my ear drums thank me.

GF flour blend

I’ve been doing a lot of gluten free baking lately. Little man doesn’t seem to tolerate it and pregnancy and postpartum hormones seem to have triggered issues for me with it as well. One thing I have found is that most recipes call for GF mixes or GF AP flour which are pricey and/or have things we can’t eat.

While looking for a different recipe, I stumbled upon the Minimalist Baker’s DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend and realized it was close enough to what I had on hand that I could adapt it. Her recipe yields 2.5 cups.

Original Recipe Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups (240 g) brown rice flour

• 1/2 cup (96 g) potato starch

• 1/4 cup (40 g) white rice flour

• 1/4 cup (30 g) tapioca flour

• optional: 1 tsp xanthan gum (not necessary)

My Ingredients #1 (166 g per cup)

• 1 1/2 cups (240 g) brown rice flour

• 3/4 cup (144 g) potato starch

• 1/4 cup (31 g) millet flour

My Ingredients #2 (260 g per cup)

• 1 1/2 cups (240 g) brown rice flour

• 1/2 cup (96 g) potato starch

• 1/2 cup (55 g) quinoa flour

I substituted based on weight in grams per cut. This interactive chart by Bob’s Mill was very helpful.

I weighed out each ingredient and tared the scale before adding the next. Wished it with a fork well and then shook the sealed container until well blended.

The two different mixes have distinct tastes. The first is very mild and the second has a nutty taste from the quinoa.

My assistant insisted on handing me the bags of flour one by one after I put them away

Gluten free baguettes

Finding gluten free bread in Kenya is hard, unless you count those really dense, square seed breads. I wanted something more yeasty and the first mix I used only sort of turned out. I didn’t know to let it cool before cutting and it started crumbling fairly quickly.

Some internet recipe searching brought me to this recipe for GF baguettes which wasn’t a mix and didn’t use AP GF flour. I did change to recipe to be egg free (and if you wanted it vegan you could substitute the honey for maple syrup or something) and I didn’t have access to the Fibrex so I substituted as well. I used a kitchen scale to weigh out ingredients.

  • 96 g brown rice flour or 101 g millet flour
  • 82 g sorghum flour
  • 54 g corn starch – I used potato starch
  • 20 g physillium husk
  • 2 tablespoon fiber for baking*** (fibrex in Sweden) – here I used ground chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon marine salt
  • 25 g fresh yeast – I used 11 g of instant yeast which is a little more than the conversion from fresh
  • 350 g water, luke-warm (about 105F)
  • 1 egg white – substituted 1 chia egg replacement (1 TBSP ground chia mixed with 3 TBSP warm to hot water, stir and let sit for 5 minutes until gelled.)
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and the yeast with the wet ingredients (other than the chia egg) in another bowl.
  • Mix all together (dry, wet, and chia egg) and knead for 5 minutes in stand mixer.
  • Let rest 45 minutes covered.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees (Celsius, 475 Fahrenheit). Put your baking stone in, if you have one, or a baking dish in the medium rack and also an empty baking dish in the lower rack.
  • Transfer dough on a clean surface (on baking paper) and divide in three pieces. Delicately make each piece into a baguette and roll in rice flour. I’m going to try for a boule next batch.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel. Leave to rise another 1/2 hour.
  • Score the loaves and transfer them on the baking dish in the middle rack or on the baking stone. At the same time, throw some ice cubes on the lower rack and close quickly.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches about 205-208 F.
  • Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.

(Adapted from Bread & Companatico website)

The bread turned out really well. It developed a great crust, hasn’t turned mealy or dry, and isn’t super dense!

This is definitely a repeat recipe.


This recipe also makes a great boule loaf! I shaped it gently before the first rise into a ball. The baking time is doubled.

Farm bounty quiche

Our weekly farm deliveries bring lots of vegetables and it can be hard to use them before they spoil. Enter this crustless quiche!

Farm Bounty Quiche
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
Our weekly farm deliveries bring lots of vegetables and it can be hard to use them before they spoil. Enter this crustless quiche!
Course: Breakfast
  • 2-4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 400 grams streaky bacon
  • leeks
  • potatoes
  • zucchini
  • broccoli (including the stem sliced thin)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 200 grams VioLife aged cheddar cheese (or other dairy-free cheese) grated
  1. Preheat oven to 400 (F).

  2. Sautee leeks, potatoes, zucchini, and broccoli (including the stem sliced thin) in sunflower seed oil to soften. Place in baking dish

  3. Diced up streaky bacon and fry it up. Combine with vegetables.

  4. In another bowl, beat together 12 eggs with seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme) and grated Violife aged cheddar (vegan) cheese.

  5. Bake until cooked through. About 60-80 minutes depending on size of baking dish.

For this version, I sauteed leeks, potatoes, zucchini, and broccoli (including the stem sliced thin) in sunflower seed oil to soften. I preheated the oven to around 400 F and placed the vegetables in my baking dish.

Then on to bacon! I diced up a whole 400g package of streaky bacon and fried it up.

Then added it to the vegetables.

In another bowl beat together 12 eggs with seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme) and a whole package of grated Violife aged cheddar (vegan) cheese.

I also made a smaller one with no cheese for the toddler.

Both of these went in the oven. The little one baked for about 45 minutes and the big one took longer (60-85 minutes) to fully bake through.

They were a huge hit – so much so I forgot to take a picture of the final product!

Peach muffins

My weekly produce delivery has peaches this month which inspired me to make peach muffins. Little guy is a huge fan of peaches and some of these were going to school with him. His class had a birthday party the week before and he was very jealous of the other kids having birthday cake. A 14 month old doesn’t understand why he can have the frosting and cake, just that he wants it but isn’t being given any. His pterodactyl impression apparently came into play.

I used this peach muffin recipe as the basis for my muffins. I used rice flour (1.5 cups) and quinoa flour (.5 cups) and no xantham gum. I only used 1/4 cup of sugar and increased the liquid by the same to compensate. I used DF milk and sunflower seed oil. I used flaxseed egg.

Peach Muffins
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Servings: 12 mini-muffins
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds heaping
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1.5 tbsp flax ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp hot water) prefer chia for taste
  • 6 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 cup fresh peaches chopped into small chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, flax/chia, and cinnamon together.

  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine milk, flax/chia eggs, vanilla and oil.

  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in peaches.
  6. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.
  7. Bake 25 minutes.
  8. Serve warm with dairy-free butter and/or dollop of peach preserves.

  9. Store in air tight container.
Mixing it up

I had a helper who wanted to eat the peaches. The batter was just right for one full size tray of mini muffins.

Ready to eat!

We made these the same day as the banana bread and they were a hit as well. One thing to keep in mind is that they do dry out over time so seal them up or eat then fast.

Yummy goodness

Quinoa Banana Bread

I love banana nut bread. It’s a great snack and so tasty. Given that I wanted to share with little man, I looked for a recipe without nuts. Luckily, quinoa has a nutty taste which goes well. I used this recipe and switch out the egg for a flaxseed egg alternative.

It turned out really well. Little man loved it so much he wouldn’t share (he likes to feed me his food). The recipe was easy to follow and has minimal clean-up afterwards. I did grease and flour the pan with quinoa floor to make it easier to remove.

Finished loaf