Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake (Gluten Free, Low Sugar)

The fall holidays, aka Baking Season, can be very hard to navigate for anyone with a gluten intolerance. So many delicious seasonal treats are wheat flour-based, and let’s admit it, their gluten-free counterparts just aren’t very good. So I’ve gone on the hunt for some truly delicious seasonal gluten-free treats, starting with this tasty bake loaded with protein, fruit, and all your favorite holiday spices!

This is called a “bake”, because it’s difficult to classify. It’s an egg-based dish, and the final texture lands somewhere between a baked custard and a bread pudding with chunks of apple instead of bread. You could serve it for breakfast; you could also serve it for dessert. I was thrilled to discover that it’s not the gummy, glue-like consistency so common with other gluten-free products. In fact, it eats so well, I wholeheartedly recommend this dish even for those who can eat gluten without any problems. This would make a fantastic, filling yet delicious Christmas morning casserole for any diet!

In addition to being gluten-free, this bake is low sugar. The original recipe relied solely on a banana and an apple for sweetness, which made the flavor very delicate. I, however, wanted to make this more of a sweet treat, so I added a brown sugar substitute in both the mixture and the topping. Feel free to customize yours to the sweetness you prefer; use the sugar substitute, use real sugar if you’re not on a restricted diet, or leave out the sugar altogether if you want a more savory flavor profile. All three options work beautifully!

Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake
(Original recipe: Wholesomelicious)

1 C pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
2/3 C coconut milk
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 C + 1 TBSP brown sugar, divided (or sugar substitute; I used brown Swerve)
1 tsp + a pinch of cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1 large apple, peeled and diced (I used honey crisp)
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 square pan with coconut oil or spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, banana, eggs, coconut milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar (substitute), pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt. Using a hand mixer or immersion blender, beat the ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, sprinkle remaining cinnamon on the diced apples and toss to coat. Fold the apples into the wet ingredients. Pour the combined mixture into your prepared pan.

In a separate bowl, toss pecans in remaining 1 TBSP brown sugar (substitute) and a pinch of cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture on the top of the dish.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and mostly firm.

Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. You can also chill and store in the fridge for up to a week. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

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