Category Archives: Desserts

Easy Cranberry Cake for the Holidays

Photo: Cranberry Nut Cake

… or any other time you feel like eating it. I even like it for breakfast.

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com and adapted it to both low carb and low sodium. The original recipe is called a Cranberry Pie, but it’s really a very moist cake. I’ve made it three times now, varying the third version to use 1 cup of apples in place of 1 of the cups of cranberries. I believe it will also make a great blueberry, raspberry, peach, or pear cake. The carbs will vary depending on the fruit you use. I also used pecans instead of walnuts, but either will work well with it, and I suspect almonds or macadamia nuts would be good also.

As a cranberry cake, it’s festive and delicious for an easy holiday meal dessert. Warm it up a little, then top it with a little whipped cream or ice cream.

Photo: Slice of Cranberry Cake

Low Carb Cranberry Nut Cake

1 cup Low Carb Flour
1 cup Sugar Substitute
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 cups fresh Cranberries
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans
1/2 cup Butter, melted
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Almond Extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.). Prepare a 8″ pie pan or a cast iron skillet or other oven-proof pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper, then spraying the bottom and sides with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, sugar and salt and whisk together. Add the cranberries and nut, then stir to coat them with the flour.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, then add to the flour mixture along with the melted butter and almond extract. Stir to mix the liquid into the flour, making sure to get all the flour mixed in. The batter may be thick, but if it is too thick to spread, add a little water.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to even it. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Makes 8 servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info - Cranberry Nut Cake

Photo: Low Sodium Cranberry Cake

Low Sodium Cranberry Nut Cake

1/2 cup Almond Flour, finely ground
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 cup Sugar Substitute
2 cups fresh Cranberries
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil, melted
2 Eggs
1 Egg White
2 to 4 tablespoons Water
1 teaspoon Almond Extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.). Prepare a 8″ pie pan or a cast iron skillet or other oven-proof pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper, then spraying the bottom and sides with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the almond and coconut flour, and sugar then whisk together. Add the cranberries and nuts, then stir to coat them with the flour.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and egg white, then add to the flour mixture along with the oil and almond extract. Stir to mix the liquid into the flour, making sure to get all the flour mixed in. The batter may be thick, but if it is too thick to spread, add a little water. a tablespoon at a time to get the mixture to a spreadable consistency. When using coconut flour, it will absorb a lot of liquid, so add liquid, mix it in, then let it sit and add more if necessary.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to even it. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing. Nut flours are delicate and might break when you lift them out of the pan.

To flip to a plate, let the cake cool completely, then put the plate on top of the pan and turn it over. The parchment will allow it to release easily. Remove the parchment, then put another plate over the cake and flip it to get the top up. Serve with a low sodium whipped topping.

Makes 8 servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info - Low Sodium Cranberry Nut Cake

Apples and Cinnamon Equal Fall Favorite

Photo: Apple Upside-down cake

So, a couple of weeks ago, I spotted a recipe on the social media for an apple upside down cake. It looked fabulous, which prompted me to quickly convert it to a low carb version. Like all baking recipes, the challenges come in with the flour, the sweetener, and the higher carbs of the fruit used. Luckily, I have a low carb flour that I really like for making cakes, Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Flour. It’s a finely milled flour and mixes into the recipe easily. While it’s not readily available at your grocery store, it can be ordered. I get my supply from Netrition.com, but you can also order from DCC.

If you want to try this with more available flour options, try almond flour mixed with either coconut flour or soy flour. If you use this option, use 1/2 cup almond flour and 3 tablespoons coconut flour and add an extra egg white.

For the brown sugar, the lowest carb option is Swerve Brown Sugar, and it happens to be the one most like brown sugar. You can get a Splenda Brown Sugar mix, but it has a higher carb count.

I cut the recipe in half, so it makes four servings, or six if you prefer a smaller piece. Since I am only cooking for two people, I tend to cut most recipes to half-size. You can easily double the amount and make a larger cake.

Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

FOR THE APPLES
1/4 cup lightly packed Swerve Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Kosher Salt
1 apple, cored, and sliced 1/2″ thick

FOR THE CAKE
Cooking spray
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup lightly packed Swerve Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Almond Milk

Preheat oven to 350° (F). Spray a small loaf pan or 6″ square pan with cooking spray.

Core, peel, and slice apples. (If the apples are thin skinned, you can leave them on.)

Over medium heat, add brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and melt, stirring. Continue to cook and stir about two minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour the sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan, spreading it around evenly. Layer the apples over the top of the sauce.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together. Spoon half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, beating until combined. Pour in almond milk and mix until it’s blended in, then add remaining dry ingredients and hand stir to mix completely.

Spread the batter over the apples. Bake for about 40 minutes and test with a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, remove from the oven. If the toothpick is sticky, cook another 5 to 10 minutes until it is clean. Let the cake cool about 15 minutes then invert onto a serving plate and let cool completely before slicing. Serve with a bit of whipped cream if you wish.

Makes 4 servings.

Image: Nutrition Info for Caramel Apple Cake

Easy Pumpkin Pie – Regular and Heart Healthy

Photo: Easy Pumpkin Pie

Hey, it’s Autumn… and that means Pumpkin Pie season! Actually, I love pumpkin year ’round, but it’s definitely a Halloween treat in my book.  This recipe is the easiest one I’ve found for making a rich, tasty pumpkin pie.

But there’s a twist… I have a friend who is on a limited-sodium, low-cholesterol  diet for her heart, so I wanted to adapt this recipe to make a crustless pumpkin pie that is within her range. What a revelation learning how much sodium is in almost everything. I trimmed this down as much as I could, and it still tastes delicious.

So I am printing the regular recipe and the heart-healthy recipe. The instructions are basically the same, only the ingredient list changes a little.

If you use a baking mix such as Bisquick, Bakesquick, or Carbquick, it will make a thin crust that adds just a little more support for a pumpkin pie. If you just make it as a crustless pie, you can put it in 1/2 cup ramekins or cups for a pumpkin pudding. If you use Bisquick, it will add many more carbs as that isn’t a low-carb flour.

This recipe is super-easy to mix and cooks in about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s rich and creamy. I’ve used a couple of specific brands to make this since they are the lowest I could find in both carbs and sodium. Swerve Brown Sugar Blend is 0 carbs and 0 sodium, which is the only brown sugar substitute I’ve found that meets that criteria. It is optional in the recipe. If you omit the brown sugar, then add 2 more tablespoons sugar substitute.

Easy Mix Pumpkin Pie Regular

1 cup canned Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup Bakesquick or similar low carb flour mix (optional)
6 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar Blend (optional)
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Butter, softened
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
Pinch Salt
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Prepare a 6-inch square baking pan or an 8-inch round pie tin by putting parchment paper on the bottom. (This will prevent it from sticking to the pan.) Lightly grease the pan’s side with a little butter or a baking spray.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir until it is well-mixed. Add chopped pecans, if you wish. These will add 0.4 net carbs to each serving.

Pour into pan or pie tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The pie tin will be closer to 45 minutes, while the baking pan will be closer to the hour since it is deeper. Check with a toothpick. It should come out clean when inserted in the middle.

Remove from oven and let cool about thirty minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours before serving. Top with a little whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Makes six yummy servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info for Pumpkin Pie

Photo: Pumpkin Pudding

Easy Mix Pumpkin Pie Heart Healthy

1 cup canned Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
6 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar Blend (optional)
1 cup Unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon Butter-flavored Crisco, softened
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 cup Liquid Egg Whites
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Prepare six 1/2-cup ramekins or cups by lightly greasing with Crisco.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir until it is well-mixed. Add chopped pecans, if you wish. These will add 0.4 net carbs to each serving.

Pour into ramekins and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. It should come out clean when inserted in the middle.

Remove from oven and let cool about thirty minutes. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours before serving. Top with a little Cool Whip.

Makes six servings.

Photo: Info for Pumpkin Custard with Coconut Milk

Info: Pumpkin Custard with coconut milk & Egg Whites

Fall delight is spicy peach cobbler

Photo: Spiced Peach Cobbler

One of my favorite foods is peach cobbler. You can still grab peaches in grocery stores, so this is a great time to make this fabulous Spiced Peach Cobbler. Now, if you’re not a fan of cinnamon, you can move along and go eat your plain peach cobbler. But, if you’re like me and you love spice, this is the cobbler for you.

I made these from a batch of fresh peaches I’d parboiled, peeled, sliced, and frozen, so you can work from frozen or canned peaches with this if you don’t have fresh. I also use a little clove to add more zing to it, but my secret ingredient -well, not so secret anymore – is Swerve Brown Sugar. This is the only brown sugar mix with sugar substitute that I’ve run across that is 0 carbs! It’s made from sugar alcohol, and it’s really good. So, give this a try and you might just fall in love.

I also used Bakesquick from Dixie Carb Counters, but you can substitute almond flour or soy flour in it. If you use coconut flour, cut the flour to 1/4 cup,  add extra water, and one egg white in order to get the dough to rise.

Cinnamon Spiced Peach Cobbler

Photo: Serving of Spiced Peach Cobbler

1 cup peaches, with juice, sliced
2 Tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves (optional)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 oz. Sugar-free Peach Syrup

1/2 cup Bakesquick or other Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Cream
1/4 cup Water
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 385 degrees (F.).In an 8 or 9-inch skillet that can go to the oven, add the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, butter, and peach syrup. Stir all together and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about ten minutes. Turn off heat.

In a bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix together to form a dough. Drop one tablespoon dumplings on top of the peaches in the skillet. It should make about eight dumplings.

Bake for 15 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Remove and let cool about 5 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes four heavenly servings.

Photo: Nutrition Information Spiced Peach Cobbler

Fresh Taste of Blueberry Panna Cotta

Down to the last post of July 2019 and this is a simple recipe with all the delightful fresh flavor of blueberries and cream.  This is so easy to make that you’ll love it. The buttermilk adds extra richness to the taste.

The recipe says to use heavy whipping cream, but I made it with the slightly less heavy cream and it works fine. I adjusted it from the original recipe to use sugar substitute and I used lemon juice, which is just a tad lower in carbs than the orange juice. Either works really well with it.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Sugar Substitute
1 teaspoons unflavored Gelatin
2 tablespoons Water
1 cup Buttermilk

For Blueberry Topping:
1/2 pint fresh Blueberries
2 tablespoons Orange Juice or Lemon Juice
1/4 cup granulated Sugar Substitute

Either put 8 4 oz. ramekins on a tray that will fit in your refrigerator or you make this in one bowl and scoop out servings.

Either use a double boiler or use a pot filled half-way with water that a 3-cup bowl will fit into snugly without the bottom touching the water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to simmer. In the bowl, add vanilla, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar substitute. Whisk or stir vigorously to mix, then place bowl over simmering water. Stir or whisk until the cream mixture is just warm and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small recipe bowl ans gentle stir with a toothpick. Pour gelatin into cream mixture and stir or whisk to mix it in completely. Let sit until the mixture cools, around 20 minutes,

Add buttermilk to cream mixture and divide equally into ramekins or leave in the bowl to set. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about six hours.

Make the Blueberry Sauce:

In a small pot, add the blueberries and cook for about five minutes to get them to release their juices. Add orange or lemon juice, and sugar substitute, and stir over reduced heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced about fifty-percent. About 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool. It should get thicker as it cools. Place in a container and refrigerate until ready to serve panna cotta.

Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to loosen the cream and slide into a servings dish. Or, if you used a bowl, dip out about 1/2 cup of creamy panna cotta into a serving dish. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of blueberry sauce over te top and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Info - Blueberry Panna Cotta