Pumpkin Poppers Gluten-Free Grain-Free

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Pumpkin Poppers with Cinnamon ToppingThis recipe was adapted from: Craving Chronicles Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes which was adapted from: Tasty Kitchen Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins.

Something about the weather cooling down brings out the pumpkin [affiliate link] lover in me.  In my twenties when my children were very little, we always roasted a big Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin, usually after we'd carved it earlier in the day. However, when I started gardening seriously in my 30s I learned that the big pumpkins are apparently not actually meant for human consumption, and to make the best pumpkin pie you should use the special (expensive) little pie pumpkins. Purportedly the big pumpkins are less sweet and can have a grainy texture, and are mostly fed to livestock.

I was shopping at one of the local discount food stores and they had a large supply of Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins for $1.99, and they were all larger than a basketball. We had been invited to a potluck and I called to ask the hostess if she would like me to buy a couple for her to use as decorations. And then I bought two for myself.

We never did carve the pumpkins, and I got to thinking that less sweetness is probably a good thing for those of us on GAPS. And winter squash has been so expensive so far this year. I decided that I was going to try roasting one of the big pumpkins and I was happy with the result. I did find that the pumpkin texture had a slight bit of crunch, but that was not enough of a deterrent to finding ways to use them.

I was browsing around the Internet and I found these cute little pumpkin bites (see attribution links above) which were made with regular white flour, sugar and other non-GAPS allowed ingredients, so I decided to test my coconut flour [affiliate link] conversion skills.

I brought these to work with me on Halloween to share with my coworkers and my boss liked them so much that she requested that I bring them to our Christmas potluck.

Baker's Dozen Pumpkin Treats

These remind me of cake doughnut holes… they are moist and delicious with a hot cup of tea or GAPS Friendly Hot Chocolate. They also freeze perfectly well so you can make ahead of time – just remember to thaw to room temperature which will take about two hours. You will find a printable version of this recipe at the bottom of the post.

Oh, and one more thing: These are dairy-free, but of course butter is legal on GAPS. If you do not have to avoid butter, you may want to substitute the cinnamon [affiliate link] topping mixture with butter instead of coconut oil [affiliate link]. It is quite delicious.

Yields: 18

Pumpkin Poppers

Be sure to get an exact 1/2 cup of coconut flour by using the back of a straight edged knife to level off the flour even with the top edge of the measuring cup. Measure all dry ingredients (coconut flour down to ginger) in a large mixing bowl. If you freeze your coconut flour (like I do with mine to keep it moist and fresh), you may sift after measuring to make sure there are no little hard clumps.

Mix together.

Pumpkin Poppers Dry Ingredients
Place 3 eggs into your Magic Bullet [affiliate link], blender or food processor with 1/2 cup of cooked carrots and 1/2 cup pumpkin. Feel free to use any kind of winter squash or any combination of pumpkin, winter squash or carrots.

Blend until completely smooth.

Place melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla [affiliate link] into a small bowl. Add the winter squash and eggs mixture into the bowl and whisk.Pumpkin Poppers Wet Ingredients

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Using a hand mixer, blend for 1-2 minutes until completely mixed. As the coconut flour absorbs the liquids the mixture will go from a very runny consistency to a thicker consistency.

Pumpkin Poppers Batter
Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes so that the coconut flour can absorb the liquids.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Pumpkin Poppers Batter

Use coconut oil to grease a mini muffin tin.

Lightly sprinkle coconut flour into the bottom of each muffin cup.

Measure out two tablespoons of batter for each popper. It would be awesome to have one of these:Norpro 703 Grip-EZ 2-Tablespoon Stainless Scoop

The batter should be of the consistency where you can pick it up in your hands and form into a little ball. If you have to use a tablespoon measurement like me, be sure that you completely meld the two parts together, otherwise when they bake you will end up with little splits and fissures where you placed them together. If by chance your batter is not thick enough, add in coconut flour by the teaspoon waiting a minute or two in between adding more. If your batter is too thick, you could try adding more pumpkin.

Drop into the muffin tins. I don't advise using cupcake papers for this recipe – in the last step you will drizzle a liquid cinnamon topping which will make a sticky mess of the papers so it is best to just put them bare naked into the muffin tin.

Pumpkin Poppers in the Mini Muffin Tin
Bake for 20 minutes.

For the topping mix 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or butter) with 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

When the poppers are done, as soon as you remove them from the oven using a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon drizzle 1/4 teaspoon of the topping mixture on each popper.

The topping will melt into the popper and will also spill down and soak into the bottom.

Carefully remove each popper, they should not stick because of the coconut flour placed under each one but I had a couple that were still a little stubborn and didn't want to come loose.

 

Pumpkin Poppers with Cinnamon Topping

Click here to discover how to Mastering the Art of Baking with Coconut Flour

Mastering the Art of Baking with Coconut Flour

And if you love pumpkin… you need to get my e-book Pumpkin TreatsBaker's Dozen Pumpkin Treats

Happy baking!

4.9 from 8 reviews
Pumpkin Poppers made with Coconut Flour
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These little pumpkin bites are moist and delicious with a hint of cinnamon.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut flour, firmly packed (I used Tropical Traditions)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + ½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup cooked pumpkin and ½ cup carrots (canned pumpkin will work also)
  • ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil, melted + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or butter), divided use
  • ¼ cup raw honey + 1 Tablespoon honey, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Be sure to get an exact ½ cup of coconut flour by using the back of a straight edged knife to level off the flour even with the top edge of the measuring cup. Measure all dry ingredients (coconut flour down to ginger) in a large mixing bowl. If you freeze your coconut flour (like I do with mine to keep it moist and fresh), you may sift after measuring to make sure there are no little hard clumps.
  2. Mix together.
  3. Place 3 eggs into your Magic Bullet, blender or food processor with the 1 cup of winter squash.
  4. Blend until completely smooth.
  5. Place melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla into a small bowl. Add the winter squash and eggs mixture into the bowl and whisk.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  7. Using a hand mixer, blend for 1-2 minutes until completely mixed. As the coconut flour absorbs the liquids the mixture will go from a very runny consistency to a thicker consistency.
  8. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes so that the coconut flour can absorb the liquids.
  9. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  10. Use coconut oil to grease a mini muffin tin.
  11. Lightly sprinkle coconut flour into the bottom of each muffin cup.
  12. Measure out two tablespoons of batter for each popper.
  13. The batter should be of the consistency where you can pick it up in your hands and form into a little ball.
  14. Drop into the muffin tins. I don't advise using cupcake papers for this recipe.
  15. Bake for 20 minutes.
  16. For the topping mix 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil with 1 tablespoon honey and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  17. When the poppers are done, as soon as you remove them from the oven using a ¼ teaspoon measuring spoon drizzle ¼ teaspoon of the topping mixture on each popper. The topping will melt into the popper and will also spill down and soak into the bottom.
Notes
You may use all pumpkin or winter squash - I used ½ carrots for more orange color since my pumpkin was not orange enough for my liking. These freeze well and are just as delicious once brought to room temperature (about 2 hours). Also, if you can have butter, consider using butter for the drizzled topping instead of coconut oil.
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91 thoughts on “Pumpkin Poppers Gluten-Free Grain-Free

  1. These are good and moist. Be sure you add enough coconut flour, I didn’t get mine dry enough to handle and it took longer to cook them. They were still good. I can’t do too much of the spices in this recipe, so will work on my own combination of spices or extracts to make it low oxalate. I used maple syrup in this and I like the flavor that it gives over the honey.

  2. Hi Sandy, perhaps your coconut flour was very fresh, it seems to need less liquid when it’s very fresh. If you packed the measuring cup it will add quite a bit more coconut flour than lightly scooped. Oh, the maple syrup sounds wonderful! We can’t have it on the GAPS Diet but I’m sure it would be very delicious. Maybe you can use essential oils in exchange of the spices. My friend Patty at Loving Our Guts does some experimentation with essential oils replacing spices. She’s at http://www.lovingourguts.com. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. I just made these using sweet potato instead of pumpkin (we have a pumpkin allergy in our house). I used slightly more sweet potato puree (about 1.5 cups total) and 1/4 c coconut sugar. Subbed maple syrup for the honey in the topping. I cooked them 22 minutes and probably could’ve cooked them a minute or 2 longer…guessing it needed longer because I used extra sweet potato.
    SO GOOD! Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  4. I made these this morning. Used 3/4 cup pumpkin, 1/4 c sweet potato, as it’s what I had on hand. I don’t have mini-muffin pan, so I used mini paper cups, which worked fair. Next time I’d put them on a cookie sheet, they don’t really move, so don’t really need cupping. My 7 year old, who I made them for, loves them!! She loves anything pumpkin, and we’re trying to get away from grains. Thanks!

  5. Hi Becky, thanks for the feedback, when I’m able to have sweet potatoes I’ll definitely try using them and it’s good to know they work in the recipe! I’m glad your little girl liked them, they are such a nice treat when you can’t have “real” doughnuts. Best, Starlene

  6. I make my own coconut flour. It works best if you make coconut milk first, then dry the pulp, blend it well and you have a flour. Coconut flakes in the blender will work but if you blend it too long it will turn into a coconut butter. The homemade flour, make either way, will not be as fine or as dry as commercial coconut flour, I have had some trouble with some recipes and overall the texture is more fibrous, but since I try to be as whole foods as possible I work with the homemade flour anyway and it works out with some adjustments to recipes to get the right texture.

  7. So I did two batches with homemade almond flour and coconut flour (about half and half) I had to use almost twice as much flour (and I have farm eggs that are more medium than large) and the consistency was still pretty runny. However I put them in mini muffin tins and they are amazing, they taste just like pumpkin pie. I may use this as a pie filling this holiday season.

  8. Hi Amy, I have never tried making homemade coconut flour but your experience confirms what I’ve read while researching the texture of homemade, that it is not as fine or dry and more fibrous. In fact, the first time I ever used coconut flour, which was years ago, it was a commercial brand which seemed to be more like the homemade product. It was very fibrous and nowhere near as absorbent as the brands I use nowadays. Thank you for your comment! ~Starlene

  9. Amy, I realized the other day that I actually feel a little thrill of excitement when my recipes flop, because there is almost always a way to salvage them in another way. Just like you are saying your version of this recipe would work as pie filling! Neat! Thanks for sharing with us! ~Starlene

  10. Hi! Thanks for the detailed recipe. Have you ever tried canned pumpkin instead of cooked pumpkin? We don’t have Fresh pumpkins yet but I’m anxious to try this now!

  11. Aloha! These look super yummy ! Forgive me if this has already been asked, as I have not read all the comments … I need a last minute potluck dish and have no squash on hand – can I substitute canned pumpkin??

  12. I’m not a pumpkin lover, can you make this with Apple sauce a small just have spiced poppers? Any thoughts?

  13. Hi – so sorry I didn’t get your question answered days ago!! But yes, canned pumpkin will work! I’ll make a note in the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! ~Starlene

  14. Oh my gosh!!! I had high hopes for these when I pinned them and when I saw the recipe I was a little nervous because of the coconut flour. I thought these had the potential to be dry because of the coconut flour but it was quite the opposite! I’ll also admit that I was a little judgmental in my head when someone else commented that they ate like 8 of these at once. I’m no longer judging. These are no joke! I think I ate 5 tonight. Ha! I used half a cup of steamed carrots and half a cup of canned pumpkin. My dough was initially pretty watery so I did add more coconut flour as was suggested in the post. These came out very moist and soo tasty! I think they would be great with mini chocolate chips mixed in too! I also wanted to comment that I didn’t have a mini muffin pan and I just used my regular sized silicone muffin pan and they didn’t stick at all.

  15. LOL!! I’m glad the Pumpkin Poppers turned out for you, Katie! I hide them from myself in the freezer, but I like them just as much cold! 🙂 Thanks for sharing about the silicone muffin pan. That sounds like something I need to look into as these can be sticky. Best, Starlene

  16. Followed this recipe to the t and thought they were horrible!! Trying to figure out what went wrong..they were good texture, but tasted not sweet, pasty, and kind of burnt although they were not..so strange.

  17. Hi Katie – you could try using flax “egg” which would be 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons water for each egg but I don’t think the texture will be right. ~Starlene

  18. Is there an egg substitute for this recipe?
    I am GF/DF/Nut free but just found out that I have
    to now add no egg as well 🙁
    These sound amazing!

  19. Absolutely amazing. Made a batch for my son when he came to visit. O my they went so fast. Now I am making them for a church fall festival. Soooo good.

  20. I made these for my weekly treat only I subbed sweet potato for pumpkin (1:1). Just plain they taste amazing, but with coconut cream they are out of this world. I will absolutely be trying to turn this into pie filling for ANY 2015 holiday. July 4th celebration? “I’ll bring the pie!” haha! thank you for sharing this!

  21. just wondering if I can substitute eggs with Great Lakes unflavored gelatin and if so how much would you recommend? I am on AIP and can not have eggs. Thanks so much

  22. Thank you for this recipe. I’m doing AIP Paleo and have been dying for a baked type yummy and these were great. I followed the recipe exactly and they were just wonderful. I liked them better cold out of the fridge though. This is the best use I’ve gotten out of coconut flour yet. Thanks a million!

  23. Hi Pam, I haven’t tried substituting gelatin at all so I’m not sure if it would work. I’m thinking it wouldn’t but you could sure try and let us know. Personally I would probably experiment with flax eggs, I think that would be more likely to work. ~Starlene

  24. Hi Arielle, I’m glad you enjoyed these! Good that you are at a point where you can have eggs! 🙂 ~Starlene

  25. Tried these today and they’re just ok. I’m always expecting something different, I guess. As another reviewer said maybe they’re better cold. Followed recipe exactly.

  26. Hi Jane, are you new to baking with coconut flour? Coconut flour products do have a different texture than wheat flour products due to the lack of gluten. Thanks for your feedback. 🙂 ~Starlene

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