Sweet Laurel Grain Free Bakery
Sweet Laurel is a whole foods baking company, meaning, no filler, no weird stuff, just the glowiest of ingredients. Founded by two LA-based ladies, Laurel Galluci and Claire Thomas (who we did some glowy videos with back in the day!), this bakery brings all the stops when it comes to grain-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free baked goods. They only use the best organic, whole ingredients, which is what we love most about their treats— and of course, because they are absolutely delicious!! We are big believers of loving the food you eat, instead of punishing yourself for craving it. Laurel and Claire feel the same way, and that’s why they created their delicious baked goods for all to eat. They recently opened up their first brick and mortar, Sweet Laurel: Cake, Coffee + Tea!, at the new Palisades village, and it is a sweet pink dream. The new shop embodies Laurel and Claire’s approach to baking where you can have your cake and eat it too (guilt-free!) in a warm and inviting environment right in their neighborhood.
Most all of their treats are paleo, and some are vegan and raw too. Most of the items are made with less than five ingredients, and none of them are the wacky gums and stabilizers you'll find in most gluten free and paleo products. You can find both sweet and savory cookies, cakes (whole & sliced), mini loafs, and brownies exclusive to the location from the Sweet Laurel cookbook, as well as new treats, including a keto-friendly brownie! Everything on the Sweet Laurel menu is grain-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy free. There are kid’s offerings too (nut-free fairy cakes and baby-cinos)!
At the shop they also offer beautiful coffee & tea as well as Super Food Lattes, like a Vegan Caramel Latte, made with Sweet Laurel’s homemade vegan caramel, and a Collagen Breakfast Latte, made with organic coconut cream. You can also find so many goodies at their retail section, which carries Sweet Laurel’s pantry products for sale, including, Chocolate Cake Mix, Vanilla Extract, Vegan Caramel, a 100% Cacao Bar, and of course their newly released cookbook! We’re so grateful that this shop opened, because now we know where to find stunning, healthful baked goods and cakes for celebrations!
Laurel and Claire shared two of their incredible recipes with us, their fluffy Lemon Cake and delicious decadent brownies, below!
Sweet Laurel Bakery // 15279 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
FLUFFY LEMON COCONUT CAKE
MAKES THREE 6 - INCH LAYERS / OR TWO 8 - INCH LAYERS
One of Laurel’s strangest habits is her ability to eat lemons like apples. All through her pregnancy she found herself craving lemons. She created this recipe as an ode to her favorite citrus, so you can be sure the sharp brightness of lemon comes through in every bite. The lemon spread is our take on a lemon curd, and mixed with coconut whipped cream and a lemon-scented cake base, this dessert is heavenly. It was the perfect centerpiece to Laurel’s citrus-inspired baby shower.
1⁄4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pans
21⁄2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1⁄4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 cups Coconut Whipped Cream (page 30)
1 cup Lemon Spread (page 222)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, then grease the sides of the pans with coconut oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and zest. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until a batter forms.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert the cakes onto racks and allow to cool completely.
Spread the coconut flakes over the lined baking sheet and put in the still-hot oven for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant and just golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
Place one layer on a cake plate and top with 2 tablespoons of the lemon spread and 1⁄2 cup of the coconut whipped cream, smoothing each evenly over the entire surface. Add another cake layer, and repeat. Continue until all layers have been used, and top the cake with the remaining whipped cream and lemon spread. Finish with a sprinkling of toasted coconut. For two 8-inch layers, do the same build of coconut whipped cream and lemon spread, with the lemon spread and toasted coconut sprinkled on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
LEMON SPREAD ::
Makes 1 cup
Our spin on lemon curd, this lemon spread is perfect for your next tea and scones affair. When Laurel was growing up, her mother took her to afternoon tea on special occasions, where she taught her proper respect for lemon curd and clotted cream. Laurel now throws tea parties of her own, without the refined sugar and dairy, and this lemon spread is always served as an accompaniment. Pair it with our Coconut Whipped Cream (page 30) and Mother’s Scones (page 46), and your tea party will be complete!
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1⁄3 cup maple syrup
1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and maple syrup. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and coconut oil.
2. Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to thicken, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook, as the eggs will become lumpy. Slowly stir in the lemon juice and coconut oil and cook, constantly whisking, until the mixture thickens further, another 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re not sure if it’s thick enough, stop stirring for a few seconds and see if large, slow bubbles form on the surface. It should have the texture of loose pudding. Do not boil.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass jar. Let cool, then seal and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week.
NOTES: Because you want this spread to be a pretty, bright yellow, be sure to use A-grade maple syrup that is light in color. // This recipe is quite tart, and is meant to pair with sweet baked goods. But if you prefer a sweeter lemon spread, feel free to add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup. // This recipe is delicious when made with lime or grapefruit juice and zest as well!
COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM ::
Without a doubt, the most frustrating thing to prepare in our bakery is coconut whipped cream. You do everything right, and yet you’re staring down into a bowl of goop with a naked cake waiting impatiently on the table to be iced. After one too many restless nights worrying about whether the coconut cream would set, we figured out some workarounds to add stability and guarantee perfect coconut whipped cream, every single time.
First, be sure your coconut milk is left untouched in the coldest part of your fridge (but above 40°F to avoid freezing) at least overnight. (As long as possible is even better. Right after we come home from the market, the can of coconut milk goes straight into the fridge and lives there until we need to use it.) This gives the thick, white cream a chance to rise to the top and settle, making it easy to separate the cream from the clear, liquid coconut water. Second, whip still-solid coconut cream until completely smooth, but no further. This sounds counter intuitive, but if you overwhip the coconut cream, it will soften and become liquid. Once it’s whipped to soft or stiff peaks, you can use it as is, or pop it in the fridge overnight for a super-stable cream to fill cakes.
Two 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Remove the solid coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the coconut cream on high speed until it begins to thicken and peaks form. The remaining coconut water can be added, a teaspoon at a time, if the whipped cream is too thick. Otherwise, discard it.
2. Using a rubber spatula, slowly fold in the maple syrup and vanilla. Transfer the whipped cream to a metal or glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
NOTES: For filling cakes, we like to chill the coconut whipped cream in the fridge overnight, covered. This will stiffen the cream and make it stronger for holding layers of cake together. However, it becomes more difficult to style the cream on top of the cake, so we tend to do this only for the filling between cake layers. // The brand of coconut milk you purchase (see page 249) is not the only thing that can affect the final outcome. If coconut milk has accidentally been frozen or overheated, it can struggle to separate properly. For this reason, we recommend your not ordering coconut milk online, but buying it from a store familiar with storing the product properly, like Whole Foods.
Sweet Laurel Brownies
Fudgy, decadent, delicious…the description goes on. These grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free brownies are the real deal. I’m 100% ok with my husband eating these for breakfast most mornings, however they are a treat all hours of the day! Enjoy!
Yields about 24 brownies
2 cups almond, cashew or sunbutter
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup date paste or 4 dates (pitted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, beat the maple syrup and dates or date paste until creamy. Blend nut butter, then slowly add eggs and vanilla extract.
Add cacao, baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips, reserving some for the top.
Pour batter into 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 320 for 30-35 minutes.
Homemade Chocolate Chips ::
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao, organic is preferable)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
Break baking chocolate into one-inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat and add maple syrup or raw honey and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break into small pieces and use as chocolate chips.