AIP or not, the holidays can be stressful and rushed. You are trying to prepare for guests, fun with the kids, holiday dinners, parties, school events, cookie exchanges, neighborhood gatherings, and so on.
The best way to manage your holiday baking is to have a plan. Get your calendar out and mark off the dates where you are going to need to bring a dessert. Pencil in what you need, i.e. apple pie for party at Joe’s, two dozen cupcakes for elementary class party, cookie dough and decorations for nieces and nephews to roll out and bake. Get your list prepared in date order and create a plan of attack.
The main goal:
Don’t Stress Out!
You do not want to be doing everything at the stress-filled last minute as people are arriving. The main tip I can share for you is to bake ahead and freeze as much as possible. AIP baked goods freeze incredibly well. You will need to set aside some freezer space for this, but the time you save will be well worth it.
Examples of items that freeze well
- Drop cookies can be baked, cooled, and placed in freezer safe bags. Just pull out and bring to room temperature when you are ready to serve.
- Cupcakes and cake layers can be pre-baked, cooled and frozen. Just make sure to wrap them very carefully and lay them flat on a cardboard round or tray so they don’t get damaged. When you need them, pull them out and decorate them frozen. They will be soft and ready to eat within an hour or two.
- Rolled cookies such as sugar or gingerbread or our new Carob Cookie Dough can be baked and frozen, laid out flat on trays and well wrapped with parchment in between to prevent breaking. Pull them out and decorate on the day you need them.
- Pies freeze well also. Bake and completely cool your pies, double wrap and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator the day before you need them.
Cookie dough can be made ahead and frozen – or better yet, get it from us this year! Pull it out and defrost overnight in the refrigerator the day before you need it. This can be particularly helpful if you want to have the kids rolling out cookies during the season, you can pull out a tub of dough and let them roll out, cut and decorate a few dozen with minimal effort.
Keeping your pantry well stocked with AIP flours, fats, and sugars will make life easier so you aren’t scrambling around for cassava flour or raisins at the last moment. If your local store doesn’t carry some of these items, they are widely available online.
Here is a list of suggested AIP baking pantry items
Cream of tartar
Grass fed beef gelatin powder
Pure vanilla extract or paste
Tips and Tricks
Cake/cupcakes: When baking cakes, line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment cut to the size of the bottom of the pan, then grease the sides of the pan. When the cake is fully cooled, run a thin knife around the outer edges of the pan to loosen the cake and then invert a large plate over the top of the cake and flip the cake over onto the plate. Remove the parchment. It’s a good idea to freeze the cake layers before frosting them as they are very delicate right out of the oven. For cupcakes, either line your cupcake pan with paper liners or use a silicone muffin pan. If using silicone, it is way easier to pop the cupcakes out if you freeze them in the silicone pans first. Otherwise they tend to get damaged.
Here are a few simple AIP recipes to help you get started. You can switch them up to your own taste. Surf around on the net. There are tons of awesome AIP bakers sharing their magic online.
Basic Vanilla Cake/Cupcake
1 ½ cups tigernut flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbl. vanilla extract
5 Tbl. avocado oil
1 cup water
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another and add the wet to the dry and mix well to combine. Line an 8” round pan with a circle of parchment then grease with coconut oil and spoon the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
Frosting for cakes and cupcakes
1 cup palm shortening
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 T. vanilla extract
¼ cup arrowroot starch
1 T. coconut flour
¼ cup melted coconut oil
Put everything into the bowl of a processor and process until fluffy. If you are piping it, you may want to refrigerate it for a few minutes to firm it up a little.
AIP frosting can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. You will need to take it out to soften a few hours ahead of time, or place it into your food processor and whip it for a few seconds to soften it up enough to pipe or spread.
Basic Rolled Cookie dough
2 cups Cassava flour, plus more for rolling
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat shortening, maple syrup, and vanilla in a standard mixer or food processor.
In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
Add the dry to the wet and beat until just combined.
Transfer the dough a plastic container and refrigerate 3 hours before using. Can also be frozen. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Icing for cookies
1 cup of coconut butter (also called manna), softened in microwave until creamy
1 cups coconut cream
3/4 cups honey
1 T. vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Don’t refrigerate or it will harden.
AIP icing needs to be made when you are going to use it. It is fast and easy to make as long as you have all of the ingredients on hand.
Some natural AIP friendly ways to color your icings and frostings
Red/Pink: natural beet powder, just add a teaspoon of the beet powder to a teaspoon of water and gradually add the paste to your icing until you like the color.
Yellow: add a teaspoon of pure turmeric powder to a teaspoon of water and gradually add the paste to your icing until you like the color.
Green: take a handful of fresh parsley and chop it finely. Wrap it tightly in a piece of cheesecloth and wring it out really tight over a bowl until a few drops of juice come out. Add the juice gradually to your icing until you like the color.
Blue/purple: take ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries and chop them up. Wrap them tightly in a piece of cheesecloth and wring it out really tight over a bowl until a few drops of juice come out. Add the juice gradually to your icing until you like the color.
The more juice you have the darker your colors will be. If you have a juicer that may be beneficial in helping you create the desired colors.
Recommended Baking Equipment
Good quality food processor with large bowl
Good quality cookie sheets
Piping bag with a few tips
Shaker with large holes to sprinkle flour evenly on surface for rolling cookies
Silicone muffin pans for cupcakes
Qt. sized Ziplock bags
9” Cake pans
9” Pie tins (disposable)
When baking cookies, it helps to line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. This will prevent sticking and help the cookies to spread evenly. Your drop cookie dough should be cool, not warm, to avoid it spreading too much. If you use a small ice cream scoop, you can get perfect uniform even rounds and then gently press down on top to flatten a little before baking.
AIP baked goods generally need to be baked at a lower temperature than regular ones. It is important to check items for burning and rotate your pans halfway through baking. Use a toothpick or skewer to test the middle of your cakes to make sure they are baked through.
Even though you are not using raw eggs, it is still a good idea to refrain from eating raw cookie dough or cake batter. You can get indigestion from uncooked flours. The frosting however, is perfectly safe!