Tag Archives: unrefined sugar

Champagne Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

Champagne Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting Print

Here we are at 2018!! For many, a new year is a beginning, another chance to keep those promises to yourself and others that maybe didn’t get kept the previous year? For me, the energy that comes from the fresh start of a new year is motivational, so I try to ride that “wave” as long as I can. Here’s hoping that we can all achieve our goals, large and small, in 2018!

For my first post of this brand-spanking new year, I whipped up some delicious and celebratory Champagne Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting. These cupcakes are subtly sweet with just enough of that sparkling wine flavor to tell that it’s there, and the crumb is moist, but still fairly light. I hope you’ll try them! Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and productive new year!!

Champagne Cupcakes

Champagne Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


    For the cupcakes:
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Sucanat, ground*
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons champagne
  • For the icing:
  • 6 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used clear vanilla extract to keep the icing as white as possible)
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 350ºF

      For the cupcakes:
    1. Put liners in a cupcake pan.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside
    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and ground Sucanat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg whites, vanilla, sour cream, and champagne and mix on medium speed after each addition until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
    4. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed for 1 minute, being careful not to over beat the batter. You can finish with a spatula.
    5. Fill cupcake liners just over half full.
    6. Bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan half way through. Test with a toothpick, it’s okay if there are a couple of crumbs left on it.
    7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
    8. For the icing:
    9. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth, about 2 minutes.
    10. Add the honey. Mix until combined and smooth. (If you beat too long the frosting will be too soft to pipe. If this happens, place the frosting in the refrigerator or freezer until it firms again). Or you can forgo the piping and just spread the frosting on each cupcake with a spatula. It’s still pretty and little less work and fuss!
    Yields: 12-14 cupcakes


    *Grind Sucanat in two batches in a blender until fine and powdery.

    Makes 1 1/2 cups of frosting which will frost about 12-14 cupcakes.

    Cupcakes adapted from: Life, Love and Sugar
    Frosting adapted from America’s Test Kitchen – Naturally Sweet cookbook
Pumpkin Upside Down Muffins

Pumpkin Upside Down Muffins Print

Yep, it’s another pumpkin recipe! But it’s pumpkin season and these amazing Pumpkin Upside Down Muffins are just too good not to share! As if I would ever hold out on you…. Not a chance! Another bonus of these moist, but tender-crumbed, perfectly pumpkin-spiced, pecan-caramel bedecked muffins is that they are lightly and more healthfully sweetened with unrefined sugar. Making them that much more awesome!

I usually try to sweeten all of the desserts I bring you with either maple syrup or maple sugar, and I will continue to incorporate them into my recipes, but I’ve been experimenting with using Sucanat, as well. If you aren’t familiar with it, Sucanat is natural, unprocessed cane sugar. As much as I love maple syrup, there are some recipes that it doesn’t work well in, and maple sugar, while very versatile, isn’t super easy to source, so I thought it would be nice to bring you an alternative. I’ll also be trying some recipes with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined too and has a mild flavour profile that will work well with a lot of different recipes.

I hope you’ll check in to see the new treats and try the recipes I come up with as I continue on this amazing dessert blogging adventure.


    For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • For the muffins:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup Sucanat (finely ground*) or brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


    Preheat oven to 425ºF

    For the topping:
  1. Bring butter and maple syrup to a low simmer over medium-high heat. Stir caramel until it turns a medium golden brown. Remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream and pinch of salt. Divide chopped pecans into the bottom of the individual tins of a greased 12-cup muffin tin. Top each with about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon caramel sauce. Set aside.
  2. For the muffins:
  3. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, Sucanat, eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and all of the spices. Gently fold flour mixture into liquid mixture, stirring until just combined.
  4. Divide muffin batter evenly between muffin cups, spooning batter over nuts and caramel. Bake muffins at 425ºF for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and continue baking 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a couple of crumbs showing.
  5. Cool muffins in pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around muffins, inverting onto a cooling rack.

Yields: 12 muffins

Adapted from: Whole and Heavenly Oven

Note: *Process Sucanat in a blender until it’s fine and powdery. Do not grind brown sugar.

Key Lime Pie Print

I have never made a Key Lime pie. Crazy, right?!! I’ve wanted to make one for a while now but the idea of changing the granulated sugar that’s normally used in the recipe to maple syrup or honey was more of a challenge than I was up for. Then in a surge of energy and because I’ve been on a serious citrus kick lately, I decided to take the challenge on. And now with the task complete, I’m so glad I took the time and effort to make it happen. The custard turned out creamy, with an almost curd-like texture and with the not-to-sweet, bright lime flavor you’d expect. Keeping the pie free of refined sugar, the graham cracker crust was made using honey and molasses sweetened graham crackers; you can usually find them in your local health food grocery store. If you’re a long-time fan of Key Lime pie or have just been wanting to give it a try, I hope you’ll try this naturally sweetened version!

Key Lime Pie


    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used Mi-Del brand)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar*
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the custard:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup*
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • For the meringue:
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered maple sugar*
    • Directions

      Preheat oven to 375°F

        For the crust:
      1. In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, maple sugar and melted butter, mixing with a fork to combine.
      2. Pour crumb mixture into an 8″ spring-form pan, patting firmly into the pan with your fingers.
      3. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
      4. For the custard:
      5. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl. Set the whites aside (they should be room temperature before whipping).
      6. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the water, whisking briskly to ensure you don’t have any lumps, then stir in maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool for 10 minutes.
      7. Gradually stir the cooled, cooked syrup mixture into the beaten egg yolks, beating constantly. Return the mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the butter, lime juice and lime zest. When done, the consistency should be similar to pudding or a fruit curd.
      8. For the meringue:
      9. Beat egg whites until light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in the maple sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
      10. Pour the lime filling into the prepared crumb crust. Then pile the meringue on top, spreading it to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to swirl peaks into the merigue. On the middle rack of the oven, bake pie at 325°F for 10 – 12 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown.
        1. *NOTE: If you don’t have a problem with consuming cane sugar, just substitute equal amounts of granulated white sugar for the maple syrup and maple sugars (In the “For the custard” section of Ingredients, add an additional 1 cup of water to compensate for the liquid that’s in the maple syrup).

Chocolate Chip Cookies Print

When I want a cookie, my first choice is that most classic of cookies: the Chocolate Chip Cookie! Whether its chewy or soft, with nuts or without, chocolate chips or chunks, or flat or rounded – it doesn’t really matter because while we all may have our absolute favorite, let’s face it – all chocolate chip cookies are pretty easy to love.

I knew going in that making refined-sugar-free chocolate chip cookies would be a bit of a challenge; and sure enough, by the fourth batch, I was feeling like I needed to go back to school to take a chemistry class. Persistence paid off, though, and the end result was a slightly rounded, nicely sweet, golden-brown cookie studded with delicious chocolate morsels. Mmmm, just barely out of the oven, all melt-y and gooey-that’s cookie heaven!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard. So good!)
    • Directions

      Preheat oven to 350°F

      1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
      2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
      3. In a large bowl combine the butter and maple syrup, adding syrup a little at a time and beating on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating well to combine. Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
      4. Scoop heaping 1 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.
      5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
        1. Yields: 30-36 cookies