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. You have no idea how I excited I am for this recipe! I literally am jumping for joy! Wish it wasn’t almost time to put my daughter to bed, otherwise I would make them right now!

  2. Now I know what I can take to my Thanksgiving pot luck at work next week! Can’t wait to try them. 🙂

  3. Hi Jolene, you are welcome! Let me know if you get a chance to try them, I would love to hear how they turn out for you. They were so yummy!

  4. Hi Jennifer! I’m just grinning ear to ear right now. Please let me know how they turn out for you!

  5. Hi Beth, I think everyone will love them, I know they did at my job. 🙂 My boss even asked me to bring them at our upcoming Christmas potluck. I would love to hear how they turn out for you. 🙂

  6. DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN! I am 10 poppers in and doubt the rest of the batch will last long! HOLY. WOW! I love you Starlene!

  7. Can you substitute the sugars with the stevia and/or xylitol? (candida diet) and is coconut flour the only flour that will work? How about rice flour? thanks

  8. what can I use to substitute the honey? I have a diabetic dad in-law that cannot have honey & would love me to make these for him. Thanks a bunch, can’t wait to try them!

  9. These look delicious! I am curious if you could tell me how to substitute wheat flour for coconut. We are not gluten-free but we do try to stick to whole foods.

  10. Hi Sue, I’ve not worked with rice flour but from what I understand coconut flour is unlike any other flour. I would think rice flour would be very delicate, but again I have not worked with it. And I also have not worked with stevia or xylitol, sorry. If you want to try eliminating the honey that is going to reduce your liquids by 1/4 cup – if you stick with coconut flour and eliminate the honey I would say that you will need to back off on the coconut flour, or add more pumpkin. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  11. Hi Hannah, at the bottom of the post, just before the printable recipe I link to the recipe from which these were adapted. You probably have experience with white flour vs. wheat flour yourself and I think I remember that it is usually possible to switch out cup for cup with wheat vs. white. On that original recipe if you want to sub honey for the brown sugar I would just do 1/4 cup honey and you may need to also decrease the flour since you are decreasing your liquids. Sorry I can’t be of more help, but that is what I would try. Thanks for visiting!

  12. Hi Mileni, my best recommendation would be to replace the honey with pumpkin and then use a sweetener with which you are comfortable. I have never liked stevia, but some do and that might work to put in a few drops. If you use all carrots or butternut squash those are usually sweeter than pumpkin so you might not need to sweeten it up very much at all. I hope that helps.

  13. I’ve never used coconut flour before. Can I just use a blender to make coconut flour out of my coconut, or is there other ingredients added when you buy a package of coconut flour?

  14. Hi Kristin, I really don’t know if this would work as I have only used commercially prepared coconut flour. I really like Tropical Traditions brand, but before I started using TT I used Bob’s Red Mill which is readily available in most grocery stores that have a health food section. I did find that Bob’s Red Mill tended to be a drier product than TT so you would probably need to use less in the recipe. I did a quick Google search and found that people do make their own coconut flour but there are a couple ways to do that and I haven’t tried them so I can’t really comment.

  15. What a fantastic recipe, healthy and they sound delicious! I think I will make these for Thanksgiving! I came over from Pinterest, and my website pin4ever.com lets pinners save a copy of of their pins, boards, and likes. Anyone can get a free backup right now, I hope you will check it out!

  16. Can I use regular canned pumpkin? I usually don’t have time to cook my own. I can’t wait to make these!

  17. Can use canned pumpkin instead of cooking my own? I don’t always have the timeor patience to do that (plus I loaded up on organic canned pumpkin this year and have lots).

  18. Yup, these are dangerous alright! I made a batch last night, ate 12 of them (!!!) and then finished off the remaining 6 this morning!
    My dough was pretty moist (I didn’t add additional coconut flour because I wanted it to stay that way), and I ended up needing to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
    I had no problems at all getting them out of the mini muffin tins. And oddly enough, these tasted even better once they were cooled. This morning I was marveling over how moist these are! They went great w/my coffee. 🙂

  19. Hi Beth! LOL – sounds like me. On the second batch I think I ate 8 before I put them into the freezer for safekeeping. I like them cold also, and they are pretty good for nibbling on straight out of the freezer. 🙂 Thanks for reporting back with your experience! Starlene

  20. I made these using canned pumpkin and they were a little moist. Had to bake them an extra 10 minutes. I think next time I will add another tablespoon of coconut flour. Also, I used my great new silicone muffin pan liners and they came putnlikema dream and so much easier to wash than a sticky muffin pan. I sprinkled a little extra coconut sugar on top after putting melted butter/honey cinnamon on it. Yum!

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  22. mmmmmm…doh-nuts (that was in my best Homer Simpson voice). The heck with poppers! These bites of heavenly goodness are just like donut holes. Yum! I have an awesome mini muffin pan that fits 24 muffins. I just made them a bit smaller and filled up 23 out of 24 of the slots. They smelled so good that I didn’t even have the patience to wait until I got the sauce on them. And the popper was so hot I burned my mouth. But whoa, was it worth it! I quickly got that sauce on and ate 3 more in succession. Since my incentive for making these is my 7 year old daughter, I figured I better quit eating these so there will be some left for her snacks this week!

  23. Hi Nancy, so I’m sitting here with this big ol’ grin on my face. Love love love that these turned out for you and that you love them too. 🙂 Thank you for letting me know, you made my night. Hugs, Starlene

  24. HUGE hit with my daughter. She ate 4 of them when she got home from school, and wanted more. I had to nix that so that she’d have room for dinner! I packed her some of these delicious goodies for snack at school tomorrow. My husband is not specifically on GAPS with us, but will try just about anything, and he really liked the poppers too (which a lot of the GAPS snacks he hasn’t cared for). Thanks for this really delicious recipe!

  25. Awesome, so glad they went over well. Awww, and glad your hubby liked them too. It is sometimes hard to please adult palates that are so used to “regular” baked goods. Thanks for letting me know how they turned out!

  26. These are beyond awesome. Perfect for my grain/dairy/soy/yeast-free diet.
    I double it every time. A single batch is not enough!

  27. Hi Nance! I am so glad you like the Pumpkin Poppers! It is so nice to have a treat like this on a limited diet. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know! 🙂 ~Starlene

  28. I just wanted to share with you and other readers that this recipe works without the honey! We are anti candida right now and I tried this recipe with spaghetti squash instead of the pumpkin and/or carrot mixture. And also doubling all the spices. I also increased coconut oil by another 25% to 50% (I kind of wing it each time I make this). Based on consistency, sometimes an additional egg needs to be added. I had also tried part of a batch with a bit of stevia (the actual dried and ground up leaf), which works to add sweetness, but none of us care that much for the actual taste of stevia. But if people like stevia, they can substitute that. Of course, my anti candida version of the poppers doesn’t hold a candle to your original version which wind up tasting like donut holes, but they work well when you can’t have the sweetness 🙂

  29. Nancy, thanks for reporting back and letting us know! I have recently been experimenting with spaghetti squash and have learned that I like it very much nowadays. Oddly enough I didn’t care for it years ago. I hear you on the winging it part. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your findings!

  30. 1/2 cooked pumpkin? not sure how do you cook a pumpkin, a fresh pumpkin, Could please explain?

  31. Are you able to substitute the coconut flour for plain flour? I am allergic to coconut 🙁
    Thanks so much!!!

  32. Hi Jenna, if you look toward the bottom of the post you will find the original post which I converted from and the original recipe is regular flour. Hope that helps! 🙂

  33. Is there a flour you can subsititue for the coconut flour and oil in the pumpkin poppers? My son is allergic to coconut of all things.
    Thanks they look yummy.

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