Birthday Brunches and Almond-Flour Banana Cupcakes

There is something magic about opening up your home for entertaining.  Whether it’s the cleaning up the “lived-in” qualities of your rooms, planning the menu, considering the food restrictions of the guests, buying flowers for the vases or just anticipating the arrival of the guests, it’s magical!  It fills my thoughts for days before and drives me to spend way more time than I have preparing food.

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This past fall, my younger sister Anna moved to my town!  I wish I could say it was to be with her cool older sister, but really it was so should could get an awesome education, explore Chicago and make great new friends.  Check, check and check!  For her birthday this year, I decided to throw her a brunch!  Because I am a selfish cook that wants to eat all of the food that I make (and because I fear cross-contamination) I made all foods either SCD legal or Paleo.

A is for Anna!

A is for Anna!

I wanted to serve a variety of foods so after weighing my options, I settled on this menu:

  • Crust-less quiche made with SCD goat milk yogurt (Find my recipe here)
    • Broccoli, sautéed onion and swiss chard
    • Bacon, sautéed onion and kale
  • Grain-free granola served with fresh fruit and coconut milk (Find Danielle’s recipe here)
  • Fresh fruit with Paleo chocolate fondue (Find my recipe here)
  • Paleo chocolate cupcakes (Find the combo of recipes I used here)
  • Annie’s Blend Tea (A mix of two of her favorite teas in fill-able tea bags)
  • Anna Banana Cupcakes (Recipe below!)
Grain-free granola with coconut milk and topping options

Grain-free granola with coconut milk and topping options

When we were growing up, we would celebrate our birthdays at our Grandma Beth’s house and she would inevitably make us her famous Banana Chocolate Cake for our birthday cake!  Sweet, almost to the point of being too sweet, it was sheer birthday indulgence and we always look forward to it.  Since being diagnosed with Crohn’s, I haven’t been able to tolerate sweets as well and since beginning SCD, there has been no Banana Chocolate Cake for me.  I decided to try and re-create one of our childhood favorites in Paleo form.  I experimented with several different versions of this recipe before settling on this one.

They are light and moist with a lovely fruit driven sweetness.  Topped with rich Paleo chocolate, they brought a rush of nostalgic childhood memories for me and smiles for us all!

The original Anna Banana and her darling friends!

The original Anna Banana and her darling friends!

Anna Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients: Cupcakes 2

  • 2 1/4 cups of  almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or a mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove in diminishing proportions
  • 3 medium bananas (Make sure they are over ripe or they won’t mash and give you the texture you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Icing:

For the frosting, I launched from this recipe of Elana‘s at Elana’s Pantry.  However, I made some alterations.  First of all, I halved the recipe.  I used 1/2 of the Ghiradelli 100% Unsweetened Pure Cocoa Baking Bar (about 1/2 cup).  Second of all, I added 1/3 cup of raw honey and kept the 1/3 cup of coconut oil.  I decreased the vanilla to 1 tsp.  I followed all other instructions.

Instructions:

1.    Preheat your oven to 300.  Line a cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners.

2.    Mix together all dry ingredients until well mixed.

3.    Blend eggs, honey and bananas in an electric mixer until smooth with no large chucks of banana.

4.    Fold in dry ingredients.

5.    Fill the tin about 3/4 of the way with batter.  They won’t rise a lot but aren’t too dense.  (I use an ice cream scoop to fill mine).

6.    Cook at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

7.    Top with Elana’s icing after letting the cupcakes completely cool.

Me posing with empty plates and feeling soooo smug.  :)

Me posing with empty plates and feeling soooo smug. :)

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