Ancient grains have a spectacular history that dates back to … well, ancient times. Ancient Greeks and Romans were said to have offered spelt to the gods and farro is mentioned in the Old Testament. Amaranth was used in Aztec religious rituals, which eventually lead to its ban by Spanish colonials. Ancient grains are way more than modern relics of a time before the hybridization of grains like wheat and corn. Many who have issues with modern hybrid grains like wheat and corn will typically have no issue with ancient grains, so they’re quite allergy-friendly.
If you can’t stomach wheat-based flour and eating more plant-based foods, then it’s likely that you know the feeling of going to a party and seeing all the delicious-looking desserts that are off limits. The solution? Make your own, but make it ten times better than any other dessert on the table. You can make desserts from quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, spelt … If it’s a grain, you can turn it into flour! Please note, though, if you are gluten-intolerant or allergic, then under no circumstances should you use spelt, which contains gluten.
There’s no limit to the type of dessert you can make, even when you’re not using all-purpose flour. Cakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls … The possibilities are endless! Try these 15 amazing desserts made from ancient grains and you’ll see what we mean.
1. Walnut Carrot Cake With Maple-Cashew Frosting
This Walnut Carrot Cake With Maple-Cashew Frosting is the best you’ll ever have. Walnuts and flaked coconuts are folded into the spelt flour batter to create a unique texture and flavor. It’s then topped with a rich and creamy frosting and a sprinkle of raw walnuts and cacao nibs. This is the perfect cake to bring to any event. Enjoy a slice with a cup of hot coffee or tea.
2. Spelt Chocolate and Cinnamon Babkas
Spelt Chocolate and Cinnamon Babkas — which is better? In this recipe, you don’t have to choose because you can make one of each! A subtly sweet cinnamon babka and a deeply rich dark chocolate babka. This dough is not identical to the brioche-like bread in a classic babka recipe. Spelt flour gives it a decidedly wholesome flavor. Brushing the finished loaves with maple syrup instead of simple syrup saves a bit of time, adds extra flavor, and accomplishes the same beautiful shine.
3. Sugar-Free Peanut Butter and Quinoa Brownies
Sometimes sugar-free desserts are met with scepticism, but trust us, you’ll love these. Not only are these Sugar-Free Peanut Butter and Quinoa Brownies delicious, they’re also 100 percent gluten-free. Oh and not to mention, they’re made with black beans and have a scoop of peanut butter on top, so they’re filled with protein and healthy fats.
4. 8-Layer Pancake Tart With Cashew-Buckwheat Ricotta
You’ve probably had pancakes before, but have you ever had anything as awesome as this Eight-Layer Pancake Tart With Cashew-Buckwheat Ricotta?! This towering masterpiece layers creamy cashew ricotta, decadent date-chocolate cream, and fruit in between fluffy millet buckwheat pancakes. Mouthwatering and beautifully presented, your guests will never be able to forget this one!
5. Cinnamon Spice Spaghetti Squash Cake
This Cinnamon Spice Spaghetti Squash Cake is a game changer, folks! If you thought you had nothing left to do with squash, you clearly haven’t tried this cake yet. The squash, once baked, is quite sublime and really the only flavor that really shines is the cinnamon and spices. It’s such a warming snack cake and is a pretty interesting way to use up some leftover squash.
6. Cake Batter Doughnuts
Mmm… Doughnuts. These secretly healthy Cake Batter Doughnuts look and taste like they came straight from the nearest bakeshop. These cake doughnuts are made from spelt flour, which typically gives things a more “rustic” texture, but not here! Add sprinkles into the batter and a simple glaze of confectioners’ sugar and non-dairy milk and you’re good to go!
7. Chocolate Teff Cake With Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
The secret to this cake’s dense texture is bananas! The bananas make the cake more moist and sturdy. This indulgent Chocolate Teff Cake is great on its own, but the frosting takes it to the next level. The chocolate hazelnut frosting and roasted hazelnuts on top make it just that little bit more special and perfect if you like something more decadent.
8. Buckwheat Buns With Coco Whip and Raspberry Jam
These Buckwheat Buns With Coco Whip and Raspberry Jam take traditional Shrovetide buns to the next level of deliciousness. Stuffed with whipped cream and jam, these cinnamon-bun-like pastries perk up any afternoon lull! Serve these fruity gems with a hot cup of passion tea.
9. Black Forest Cake
This Black Forest Cake made with spelt flour and no refined sugar beats the original recipe, hands down. Just one slice contains almost a half of the daily recommended intake for fiber, and around 25 percent of your iron, magnesium, and phosphorus needs per day! The cake is also a source of high-quality carbohydrates and healthy fats from the avocado and chia seeds, as well as a surprisingly high amount of protein. You can even eat a slice for breakfast and feel good about it. And the best part? It tastes amazingly decadent.
10. Cinnamon Apple Chunk Cake
This Cinnamon Apple Chunk Cake is perfect for those comfy nights when you just want to curl up into a comfy chair and read a book. It’s fragrant and spicy from cinnamon, sweet from coconut sugar, rustic from spelt flour, and studded with crunchy walnuts and chunks of apples. Yum! Warm a slice up and enjoy with a glass of almond milk or a cup of hot tea.
11. Cookie Dough Blondies
These chewy and gooey Cookie Dough Blondies look so delicious, you won’t believe they are only made with six ingredients. They’re sweet, buttery, wheat-free because they’re made from spelt, and can be whipped up in just 30 minutes. This indulgent version is definitely one worth trying, but if you want to lighten the recipe up in the future, simply sub in coconut sugar and coconut oil for the brown sugar and butter.
12. White Millet-Coconut Cheesecake
There are a lot of ways you can make a vegan cheesecake; it can be made from cashews, coconut milk, vegan cream cheese, or a combination of any of those ingredients. But did you know that you can also use millet? This creamy, nut-free White Millet-Coconut Cheesecake is made from creamy coconut milk and millet. It has a subtle vanilla flavor that makes it the perfect base for topping with warm, gooey berries, chocolate, or cinnamon.
13. Chocolate Cauliflower Bars
Cauliflower in a chocolate treat may not sound like everybody’s cup of tea, but like black bean brownies and chickpea chocolate chip cookies, the hidden healthy ingredient in these Chocolate Cauliflower Bars is undetectable. The cauliflower makes the bars creamy and mousse-like and chopped walnuts are mixed in for texture. Alternatively, you could stir some extra chocolate pieces into the mix before baking for even more chocolatey texture. Keep these buckwheat bars stashed in your refrigerator and snack on them when you feel like a little something sweet.
14. Hazelnut and Chocolate Chunk Spelt Cookies
There’s nothing like the sweet stuff and how much better can you get than a classic chocolate chip cookie? These Hazelnut and Chocolate Chunk Spelt Cookies are a little different, but simply divine. They’re made from a blend of coconut flour and spelt flour, sweetened with banana and maple syrup, and are speckled with crunchy hazelnuts and dark chocolate chunks. A glass of non-dairy milk is mandatory when you’re eating these!
15. Apple Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Vanilla Icing
Cinnamon rolls always have a soft, doughy texture, so who would have thought that these Apple Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Vanilla Icing would be so good? They’re made from spelt flour, but their texture is soft and gooey when drizzled with plenty of the amazing maple vanilla icing. Have these cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven for breakfast on a chilly morning with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Which of these flours is your go-to for all your baking needs? Tell us in the comments!
Lead image source: Black Forest Cake