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Strawberry Shortcake Whoopie Pies

Did you know it’s National Strawberry Month? It makes perfect sense, given that strawberries are coming into season all over the country right about now. Of course, in the southern climes, they’ve been in season for a while. And in the more northern regions, it may be a while yet before they’re ripe for the picking. But on average, May is when those lovely little berries start to really get going. And they seem to call to our collective psyche, begging us to start working them into recipes ahead of holidays like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July.

Strawberries are not quite in season yet in the Pacific Northwest. A few years ago, we had such an early, warm spring that they were ready in mid-April. This year it’s been so cold and wet, they are taking their sweet time. The plants barely have any blooms so it will be a few weeks before our local berries come in. But I was feeling so impatient for them so I had to purchase some strawberries from the grocery store, which likely had Mexican origins. While local berries always taste best, these were pretty delicious. They were big and juicy and they inspired me to create these delicious whoopie pies. A perfect early strawberry treat.

These tender grain-free whoopie pies have a delicious vanilla cookie and a filling of whipped cream and fresh strawberries. They taste exactly like strawberry shortcake but you can hold them in your hand. They’re easy to make and a lovely Mother’s Day dessert recipe.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup Swerve, Granular
  • ¼ cup unflavored whey protein powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp Swerve, Confectioners
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups chopped strawberries (chop them fairly small so the whoopie pies hold together)

Instructions

Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, Swerve, protein powder, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the eggs, butter, almond milk and vanilla extract until the dough comes together.
  3. Using wet hands, roll the dough into 20 balls, each about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Place the balls a few inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press each ball down to about ½ inch thick.
  4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until set and just firm to the touch but not really browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the Swerve Confectioners and vanilla extract until it holds stiff peaks.
  2. Spread the bottom of one cookie with about 1 ½ to 2 tbsp of whipped cream and top with a layer of chopped strawberries. Top with another cookie.
  3. Repeat with remaining cookies, whipped cream, and strawberries. Serve right away.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers (they can also be made a day ahead and refrigerated until served).

 

Mini Carrot Cake

mini carrot cake

Riddle me this. Why is carrot cake so closely associated with Easter? Is it because of the bunnies? It’s because of the bunnies, isn’t it? But while bunnies eat carrots, I am not sure they eat actually carrot cake. Too much butter and cream and flour (in this case almond flour) for those herbivorous bunnies, I would imagine. And carrots, good fresh carrots, aren’t even in season until mid to late summer. So let’s face it, there is a very tenuous connection between carrot cake and Easter. But who cares, right? Carrot cake is delicious and we’ll take just about any excuse to eat it. Easter is as good an excuse as any.

I don’t think I really used to appreciate carrot cake for the wonderful treat it is. I was always blinded by chocolate, oblivious to anything else. But as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have changed and I’ve come to appreciate that there are a world of flavors out there, each deserving of a little attention.

That’s why these little mini cakes are so perfect. I can make a cake and enjoy it, and then move on to an entirely new flavor of cake. I don’t have a week’s worth of leftover cake staring me in the face, making me feel guilty for wanting to move on to a new dessert.

So if your Easter celebrations include only a few people, or you’re craving just a wee bit of carrot cake, this is the dessert for you!

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 tbsp almond flour
  • 3 tbsp Swerve, granular
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (or more almond flour)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup packed grated carrots (about ½ medium carrot)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp water ONLY if your batter is overly thick

Frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Swerve, Confectioners
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325F and grease 3 (three) 4-inch diameter ramekins very well.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, Swerve, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  • Stir in the shredded carrots, egg, butter and vanilla extract until well combined. If the batter is too thick to spread in the ramekins, add 2 teaspoons water.
  • Divide evenly between the prepared ramekins and spread the batter to the edges. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the cakes are firm to the touch.
  • Remove and let cool in the ramekins, then run a sharp knife around the edges and loosen underneath with a thin rubber spatula. Flip out onto a wire rack.
  • NOTE: You can do just two layers if you prefer. They will be thicker so they will take longer to cook through.

Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, Swerve, and vanilla extract until well combined. Beat in the whipping cream until smooth.

To Assemble

  • Place one cake layer on a small plate and spread with ⅓ of the frosting. Top with the remaining layers and remaining frosting.

Refrigerate 30 minutes before cutting.

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