Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lemon blueberry crisp with almond cookie topping (gluten-free and vegan)

lemon blueberry crisp with almond cookie topping (gluten-free and vegan)

My mother is not one to make exotic vegan or gluten-free foods, nor does she appreciate me substituting butter for coconut oil and such things (for whatever reason). So imagine my surprise when one day, I amble into the kitchen to find a bag of brand-spanking-new coconut flour sitting on the counter.

Yes. Coconut flour. That Paleo-friendly, grain-free, ultra-expensive health food that some people think smells like feet and other swear behind as the magical secret to healthier baked goods. Its unique properties as an absorbent have always interested me, but I never thought that I, the ultimate plebeian baker, would have the luxury of attaining a whole pound of the stuff for my own use.

cat jumping away at smelly feet gif

Naturally, I was somewhat afraid that it would end up smelling like feet and I would have nothing to do with it. Those fears were quickly assuaged when I took a sniff and realized that no, it doesn’t smell like feet (more like sweaty armpits). Even more importantly, I hoped that I would be able to find a recipe that would make the flour’s high price tag worthwhile.

Already I have tried out a coconut flour pancake recipe. It was supremely shitty. Therefore, I am not posting it on the blog (that’s my integrity you’re seeing right there).

eminem likes to wear those little gray hats he also likes to say "i'm pretty awesome" on talk shows in gifs
You're welcome, everybody. source

It took a bit of luck to find this recipe. After going blueberry picking, my family has been burdened, alongside our slowly dwindling mountains of zucchini, with a rapidly rising mountain of the berries; and though they can be frozen for the winter, it’s always best to enjoy them while they’re fresh.

So I was out looking for a blueberry pie, cobbler, tart, anything, when I saw this oatmeal cookie peach cobbler recipe pop up in my reader. Genius! Just think—juicy, sweet fresh fruit cobbler topped with a gooey cookie crust. Hot diggity damn. Obviously I had to make my own variation using blueberries. Blueberries, lemon, and almond being one of my favorite flavor combinations, it was easy to settle on almond cookies as the topping; and it only took a quick google to find a gluten-free almond cookie recipe on Tasty Yummies which uses—wait for it—COCONUT FLOUR! Just what I needed.

It all worked out so perfectly, I just have to wonder if the baking gods were smiling upon me that day.

lemon blueberry crisp with almond cookie topping (gluten-free and vegan recipe)

Now, one caveat before I give you the recipe: there are two tablespoons of flour in the filling, which originally called for all-purpose flour. In order to make this gluten-free, I substituted almond flour...but apparently this just demonstrated my ignorance of gluten-free baking, as the filling didn’t quite thicken as well as it should have. Because of course putting ULTRA-ABSORBENT coconut flour in the filling is too hard. If you wish to try this, I suggest substituting either a) coconut flour or b) gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. Or regular ol’ all-purpose, if you couldn’t care less about the gluten status of this particular dessert.

Here’s the recipe.


Lemon blueberry crisp with almond cookie topping


Lemon blueberry filling (adapted from Week of Menus)

592 grams • fresh blueberries, washed • 4 cups

27 grams • brown sugar • 2 tablespoons

14 grams • gluten-free flour of choice (try coconut) • 2 tablespoons

30 grams • lemon juice • 2 tablespoons

Zest of one lemon

Almond cookie topping (adapted from Tasty Yummies)

54 grams • coconut oil, melted • ¼ cup

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

2 grams • almond extract • ½ teaspoon

107 grams • maple syrup • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

132 grams • almond flour • 1 1/3 cups

16 grams • coconut flour • 2 tablespoons

1 gram • salt • 1/8 teaspoon

2 gram • baking soda • ½ teaspoon

Handful of sliced almonds, optional


Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make blueberry filling, simply toss together all ingredients. Spread in an even layer in the baking dish and set aside.

To make cookie topping, whisk together coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, and maple syrup. Add almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and baking soda and mix just until a dough forms. Using your fingers, crumble over blueberry filling. Sprinkle almonds on top, if using, and press into dough gently.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookie topping is lightly browned and the blueberries are bubbly. Let cool for half an hour before serving.

lemon blueberry crisp with almond cookie topping (gluten-free and vegan)
All I want is to dance upon that cookie crust.

I will add that, because this crisp is so low in sugar and fat (compared to my other desserts, anyway), it is perfectly fine for breakfast. I actually ate it for lunch, this being that part of summer vacation where you can faff around all day and eat cupcakes for dinner and stuff. 

I mean, almond flour? That’s basically green juice.


  1. That foot GIF with the kitten made me LOL into my coffee! This is my kind of dessert, love the sound of an almond cookie topping! : )

    1. Thank you! GIFs like that are why the internet is amazing. :)

  2. My mom LOVES to bake vegan and GF, and I LOVE to eat what she bakes. I can't complain when I come home to treats. Until my pants get too snug. This looks so good, I made a berry crisp recently and ate the whole thing in two days...oops.

    1. Haha I can so relate to that! But it's fruit, so...healthy! :)

  3. I have never seen coconut flour in stores but your recipe sounds wonderful and I shall keep my eyes peeled for it when I go to my favorite health food store - your crisp has all those flavors that I really enjoy - lemon, blueberry and almond are all wonderful alone but even better when thy come together in a comfort-style dessert like yours!

    1. Thank you! And as for where to purchase coconut flour we actually bought it at Trader Joe's. It was a new featured product. Which is great, so you don't have to get it at Whole Paycheck *ahem* Foods :P

  4. I'm not a fan a blueberries (I know, I have the palate of a 5-year-old), but I bet this would be as delicious with raspberries. Which I just might try.

    1. I'll bet it would be, since raspberries + almond + lemon is such a nice could even add chocolate chips if you wanted. :P

  5. Blueberries, lemon and almond are one of my faves too! You cannot go wrong with the combo. This would make me way too happy! My Mom is the same way about baking - very traditional - she doesn't appreciate these newfangled flours and things.

  6. Yay for triumphant coconut flour baking! Glad it worked out : ) I've never used it personally, but I'm curious! The smell, I think, would deter me a little though. But, your crisp looks like perfection, so I will just have to keep that in mind!

    1. Thanks so much! I think it worked well with the almond flour, and you couldn't taste it at all. So I hope you do try it! :)

  7. Wait - no zucchini in this?! I am.... confused! Hah :P

    Ahhh coconut flour smells amazingly coconutty, but it does have a strange texture indeed. I reckon it's always best to mix it with other flours as well, especially when baking! Hopefully someone out there in the interwebs have spun some thoughts and made some discoveries as to how to make baked goods with coconut flour successfully for you to try :)
    This crisp looks pretty fantastic though - yum! x

    1. You're probably right, it's probably best to use it with other flours. Maybe there's a good recipe out there for coconut flour zucchini bread :D

  8. I'm glad you posted this--I bought a bag of coconut flour...oh, 8 or 9 months ago?...and haven't really known what to do with it sense. And I definitely don't want to make anything that smells like feet or armpits. Lemon blueberry crisp sounds like the perfect solution!

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you do make it!! If you do, let me know how it came out :)

  9. This crisp sounds delish!! :) I love the blueberry lemon combo so much!