a balanced plate with room for dessert

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Rhubarb Ginger Crisp {GF & Vegan}

Rhubarb Ginger Crisp {GF & Vegan} |

I’m a bit of a cheater. This month’s What’s Baking theme was “Baking with Fresh Fruit”. Rhubarb is a veg, but I’m going to go and act like it’s a fruit. Because rhubarb is seriously one of my favorite things to bake with in the summer. Over the years, I’ve drifted towards a preference of rhubarb dishes that are a bit more in-your-face tart. The tartness of rhubarb is one of the reasons I love it so much. I’ve mentioned that I’m obsessed with sour candy, right? Rhubarb is nature’s sour candy and I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Rhubarb Ginger Crisp {GF & Vegan} |


Want to know how much I loved this? I served this during dinner with Mike’s family and instantly regretted it. I selfishly kept the leftovers to myself and managed to eat them before I crawled into bed. So, do yourself a favor and just make a double batch: one to share and one to keep for yourself. Or just keep both for yourself. Good food is meant to be shared, but really good food is meant to be hoarded and eaten in secret without the threat of someone swooping in to take a bite.

Rhubarb Ginger Crisp

for the filling:
5 cups chopped rhubarb (about 2 pounds)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons oat flour
zest and juice of 1 orange

for the topping:
1 cup oat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
7 tablespoons Earth Balance, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish and set aside.
  2. To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, crystallized ginger, sugar, 2 tablespoons oat flour, orange zest and juice. Stir until well combined. Spread filling into the bottom of the prepared dish.
  3. To make the topping: In a separate bowl, stir together the oat flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and grated ginger. Using your clean hands, work in the softened butter until the mixture coarse crumbs the size of a pea. Spread topping evenly over rhubarb filling.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour in preheated oven or until filling is tender and bubbling and topping is golden brown.

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Dairy Free Cranberry Pear Crisp

dairy free cranberry pear crisp |

This crisp made its first appearance at Thanksgiving along with my favorite dairy-free iced pumpkin cookies. I’m hoping to make it again for one of the many Christmas meals I’ll be chowing down at. It’s super easy to throw together and it’s kind of pretty to look at. At first, I was a little disappointed that the cranberries didn’t all burst during baking, but it turns out that the whole berries are kind of fun to bite into. And the topping? Well, the coconut oil used in it is a million times better than butter. Trust me.

dairy free cranberry pear crisp |

Dairy-Free Cranberry Pear Crisp

5 cups sliced pears
1 1/2 heaping cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not thaw)
3 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch

for the topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
5 tablespoons coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2 1/2 quart baking dish with melted coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together pears, cranberries, honey, cinnamon and cornstarch until well combined. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut oil. Mash with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over fruit in the baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

recipe adapted from Gluten Free Goddess


Vegan Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Vegan Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping |

I’ve finally given in to pumpkin. Pumpkin treats, that is. I suppose it’s that time of year – leaves are turning, it’s getting colder, days are getting shorter… there’s even a threat of snow around here.

I love all things pumpkin except for pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cinnamon rolls… you name it, I’ll eat it. This pumpkin cake has won over my heart. It is definitely the pumpkin treat of choice for me. I will eat and eat and eat and eat until it’s gone. Seriously, it’s that good. Pumpkin cake with a streusel topping and some icing – what can be better than that?

I came across this recipe when I was looking around for a brunch dish for a work party. I made the coffee cake and it smelled (and looked) so good that I knew I couldn’t wait until the next day to eat it. So, I made another one. Big mistake. Mike and I ate about a quarter of the cake that night. And then we kept eating it the next day… and the next. And then it was gone. I was heartbroken when it was gone because I was also out of pumpkin. I stocked up on pumpkin this weekend so I can make sure we have a steady supply of this amazingness for a couple weeks 😉

Vegan Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping |

Vegan Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake
serves 10

for the streusel topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dairy free butter substitute (I use Earth Balance)

for the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup plain almond milk

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×11 or 9×9 baking pan and grease with butter substitute or nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. To make the streusel topping, combine flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a fork, two knives, or a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oil, maple syrup and milk until well combined. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top.
  4. Sprinkle prepared streusel topping over the batter and gently press down into the batter. Bake in preheated over for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. When cake is almost done baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and almond milk and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Serve immediately, or keep at room temperature for up two three days.

recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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Lightened Up Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry and rhubarb are the perfect combination. Fresh-picked strawberries and just-harvested rhubarb are even better. I always try to find new rhubarb desserts that don’t involve strawberries, but I can’t help but go back to an old favorite – strawberry rhubarb crisp. Some day I will branch out and try something new, but I’m in no real rush.

This version is a bit healthier. There’s less sugar and butter in the recipe. It’s perfect, because it allows the tartness of the rhubarb come through and blend perfectly with the natural sweetness of the strawberries. There’s something just so dang good about fresh-picked strawberries that will never, ever match up to grocery store berries. Ever. I mean, just look –

lightened up strawberry rhubarb crisp |


Now look at all that goodness baked into a perfect crisp.

lightened up strawberry rhubarb crisp |

Lightened Up Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

for the filling:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2″  pieces
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the topping:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients until well combined. Pour into a 13×9 baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients. Stir in the melted butter and Greek yogurt until well combined. Place spoonfuls of the toppings over the filling. Gently break up the topping with your fingers or a spoon until it is well distributed over the top of the filling.
  3. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.



Strawberry Rhubarb Cast Iron Skillet Crisp

Summers as an adult aren’t quite as fun as summers as a kid. You don’t get 3 months off, you have responsibilities, and days during the summer feel just like days during any other season. Except hotter and less enjoyable to run in. I think this summer might be a less exciting than usual. Instead of just working, I have studying on top of it.

There is one thing that I will always love about summer though – rhubarb. Lots and lots of rhubarb. When Mike and I bought the house last year we transplanted a rhubarb plant. It looked so sad last year. It still looks sad this year. I hope next year it magically comes to life. Until then, I’ll be stealing rhubarb from my in-laws.

When I peeked in our first CSA bag and saw rhubarb, I did a little happy dance. I knew it would be perfect paired with the strawberries my mom had picked and I couldn’t wait to bake something up. The recipe below was a first take on the crisp. I was a little unsure of how  it would turn out, but it was pretty darn tasty!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cast Iron Skillet Crisp

For the filling
2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 cups strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons whole wheat flour

For the topping
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Preheat oven 450°F.
  2. In the bottom of a 9 inch cast iron skillet, combine all filling ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together all topping ingredients until well combined and  sprinkle on top of fruit.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  5. Serve warm.

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White Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Cobbler vs. Ice Cream. Spoiler alert – ice cream wins. I tried my darndest to get a picture of the cobbler with a scoop of ice cream. For some reason, I thought I would be quick enough to get one photo of it before the ice cream turned into a puddle. I even tried taking the picture inside since it was a bit cooler.

I lost.

Darn. I quickly ran this plate out to my father in law before the ice cream turned to complete liquid and the whole dish became inedible. Then, I tried again.

Eh, a little better. Food photography is obviously not my forte. Moving on… here’s the recipe!

White Peach Blueberry Cobbler
serves 8

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 white peaches, peeled and sliced
1 pint blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
Vanilla ice cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter an 8×8 pan and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Add milk and butter, whisk until smooth. Pour into pan and scatter fruit evenly over batter.
  3. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  4. Bake until batter is a golden brown and the fruit bubbles, about 60 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

I love fruit crisps. They’re pretty idiot-proof, meaning I don’t need to rely on a recipe to make it taste good. I was so excited to use the first batch of rhubarb that my in laws’ garden yielded*, especially since the rhubarb that we transplanted into our garden was looking pretty pitiful.

I kept waiting for a nice day so I could take good pictures, but Wisconsin decided to rain on my parade. Literally. Our sump pump has been running 24/7 and our yard is a lake. We now have water-front property, folks.

I love the simplicity of this recipe – it takes so little effort and time, and it’s so delicious!

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp
makes 9 servings 

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix filling ingredients together and let sit.
  3. Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients of topping together. Pour in butter and stir until large crumbs form.
  4. Pour filling into an 8.5″ square pan and top evenly with topping.
  5. Bake 40 minutes, or until done.
  6. Eat as soon as it’s cool enough to shovel into your mouth.

*Grass may or may not have made its way into this dish. I will neither deny nor confirm this. I kid. I think I picked most of it out from the rhubarb 😉

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Apple Crisp

Apple crisps are tricky. They almost always look and smell great, but only sometimes taste good too. It’s hard to find the right balance between tart and sweet; more times than not I think an apple crisp is too sweet. This recipe, however, is a perfect match of the sourness of Granny Smith apples and the sweetness of the sugar.

Apple Crisp

10 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup water

2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, cubed

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F .
  2. Mix sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Pour in apples and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and pour water on top.
  3. Combine the oats, 2 cups flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda together. Cut in butter until crumbly and sprinkle over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes.


Peach Cobbler

When I went home for the weekend I was asked to make a dessert for dinner. I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make a rhubarb crisp. When I got there, there was no rhubarb to be found. I stared at all the fruit in front of me and decided to pick peaches. It turned out to be a great decision because this cobbler was amazing.

You know it’s good when my brother, who dislikes most desserts, and my step dad can polish off the majority of it within 20 minutes!

Peach cobblerPhoto taken by Becca Li

Peach Cobbler
serves 8

8 fresh peaches: peeled, pitted and sliced wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the peaches, 1/4 cup white and 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and corn starch. Let sit until the sugar thickens. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the peaches are baking, mix together the flour, 1/4 cup white and 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture represents a coarse meal. Add water and stir until just combined – be careful not to over mix.
  4. Drop dollops of the flour mixture on top of the baked peaches.
  5. Mix together the 3 tablespoons white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinammon to make a topping. Sprinkle over the cobbler.
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!

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Crumb-Topped Rhubarb

The massive amount of rhubarb I get when I go home during the occasional weekend is overwhelming. There is only so much pie a girl can make (and eat)… and force others to eat. I decided to whip up something new! This was so incredibly easy to make and it tasted amazing, too!

crumb topped rhubarb

Crumb-Topped Rhubarb

4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the topping-
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking or rolled oats
6 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Spoon into a greased 9×9 in baking dish and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, brown sugar and oats in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until light brown and bubbly.