Bob’s Red Mill bakes up too-good-to-share Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix

Product: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix – $5.79+

I have a confession to make.

Originally, I didn’t pull out the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix for me.  Nope.  You see, I have an amazing podiatrist who has gotten me back on my feet and running better than I did prior to the injury that put me on crutches for three weeks.  And after setting two new PR (that’s personal records for the non-running lingo peeps) in my last two races, I wanted to bake them something as a thank you.  I have quite a few of these Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix bags in my pantry (thank you Big Lots!), so I thought…why not?

Prep work was easy because I do my bread baking in a bread machine.  Yes…this takes awhile, but it takes all the ‘let it rise after kneading it’ hassle out of the equation.  Following the simple instructions on the bag, I simply took room temperature water, two eggs, and 1/4 cup of canola oil and placed it into the pan of my bread maker.  Then…the mix was added.  Finally, the yeast packet that came with the bread mix was added.  Now, my bread maker is not specifically designed for gluten-free bread making, but it is a dedicated gluten-free bread maker.  So…I set it for the basic setting on a medium crust, hit start and let it run for the 3 hours it takes.

And at first, I was less than excited about the little glob of dough that was being worked by the machine.  In fact, I let it run while I settled in on the couch and watched “Thunderball” (the James Bond film…mmm…Sean Connery!).  I even wandered into the kitchen to air pop some popcorn at some point and was still set on just baking this up for my podiatrist and his staff.

But then, the baking part kicked in around the end of the movie.  Suddenly, my entire apartment smelled like fresh-baked cinnamon raisin bread.  It was making my mouth water.  And despite having just snacked on popcorn…there was nothing more that I was craving than taking a slice of that and trying it.  After the movie, I only had a few more minutes left on the bake cycle, and the aroma was making both myself and my roommate really want to dive into the bread.  We were going to try it regardless…just a slice split between us. Then I was going to cut it up and package it up for my podiatrist with a couple of icing options.

But after the bread machine beeped to alert me that the cycle was done and my bread was ready, I eagerly took the pan out of the machine, overturned it to let the bread easily slide out onto my cooling rack, and then…let it sit and cool.  That only lasted 10 minutes.  I had to try it.  Onto the cutting board it went.

It was still probably too early to slice into it…but I needed to try it.  It smelled so fantastic.  So, my bread knife glided through the still fresh bread loaf and sliced off the end piece.  I saw the rise of fresh steam as the slice fell away and I let it sit for a moment to cool.  But that was just long enough for me to snap a picture.  Then…out came the margarine.  I sliced the one slice of bread in half and gave a little spread of the Smart Balance spread over each slice.  I handed one to my roommate and I took the other.

One bite…and the first words out of my mouth were…

“I don’t want to share this!  I want to keep this here for us!”

She totally agreed.

Good.  We were on the same page.

So, aside from making my entire apartment smell like a bakery (and a delicious, gluten-free bakery at that), how was the bread?

Well, the loaf is not going anywhere if that indicates anything.  Most gluten-free breads (even those made from mixes), have the tendency to be very heavy and very dense.  Not Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  Nope.  This was light and soft.  The inside was moist without being heavy.  And the Smart Balance spread that I spread across the sliced part melted right into the bread like a cinnamon-raisin sponge of awesomeness™ just begging to be devoured in seconds.  I savored it as much as I could, but the half of a slice that I had was disappearing quickly.  The crust on this bread baked to a perfect golden brown and has this amazing flakiness to it.  The inside is moist and soft.  And the raisins aren’t just an afterthought.  Raisins explode from every bite of this bread.  They aren’t just randomly scattered.  There are plenty to go around and plenty to fill up the bread.  No need to even add extra.  In addition, the cinnamon flavor is there without overpowering and taking away from the bread.  It adds a sweetness to the bread that really compliments the raisins.

So, apologies to my podiatrist’s office, but this bread is staying here with me.  In fact, it’s my post-workout snack this morning after hitting up the gym.  I’m taking some of my vegan vanilla cream cheese icing in because I think this bread could easily make me no longer miss cinnamon rolls if I dress it up like one.  I can’t wait to give this bread a little warming at the office and spread it with some vanilla icing love.  Epic breakfast at the office.  I hope the aroma of the bread makes others inquire as to what I’m eating.  My office is so anti-gluten-free anything that I love being able to make something and get them to try it (few often do) and fall in love with it.

Gluten-free baking and cooking doesn’t get the respect that it deserves.  Too many people go into it with a closed mind.

Well, if they were able to try the Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread that the Bob’s Red Mill mix created, I bet their minds and mouths would both be open…and ready for more.

I know mine is.

The trick is getting through my workout before devouring my slice for breakfast.

If cinnamon raisin is your thing, if you miss cinnamon rolls, or if you just want to give gluten-free bread making (by hand or by machine…there are instructions for both on the bag of the mix) a try, I encourage you to give Bob’s Red Mill mixes a try.  I haven’t been disappointed yet.  It’s another one of those, “No way this is gluten-free!” moments…which I love.


A loaf of bread made with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix and baked in a bread machine
A loaf of bread made with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix and baked in a bread machine

A delicious start to the day at Annie May’s Sweet Café

Annie May's Sweet Café, Louisville, Kentucky
Annie May’s Sweet Café, Louisville, Kentucky

Restaurant: Annie May’s Sweet Café, Louisville, Kentucky

When I developed food allergies as an adult, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that eating breakfast anywhere was going to mean a lot of egg dishes.  And even then, I have to be careful about what goes into the egg dishes that I order while out.  Interrogating the waitress over how things are prepared is not always something I want to do.  But I have resigned myself to the fact that if I want to eat out safely…it’s something that has to be done.

Little did I know, until very recently, about a wonderful allergen-free bakery/café in Louisville, Kentucky…on Frankfort Road.  And once I discovered it and tasted what they had to offer…I don’t want to go anywhere else.

You see, life can still be sweet, savory, and scrumptious thanks to the fantastic people at Annie May’s Sweet Café.  Honestly.  When someone like me can walk in and safely order a delicious waffle and a doughnut (seriously…why choose?) because I have a gluten intolerance…it makes me feel happy.  Because I can’t do that anywhere else in this area.  No one has really fallen into that niche yet…but Annie May’s stands here to fill that void.  But…here’s the best part.  My roommate was with me.  She is neither a vegetarian nor does she have a gluten intolerance.  She also got one of the waffles…and a doughnut as well.  She can eat whatever she wants to at other breakfast/brunch/food establishments.  Including regular waffles and regular doughnuts.  So…she’s the real test.  I eat like this because I have to…but that’s not the case with Cathy.

We placed our orders.  Annie May’s offered three different varieties of waffles today.  A regular allergen-free waffle served with your choice of maple syrup or agave syrup and your choice of butter or Earth Balance.  Also a regular allergen-free waffle served with a blueberry compote.  And finally a regular waffle with whipped cream and strawberries (gluten-free, but not vegan).  Both Cathy and I were feeling the first option.  So, I ordered a regular waffle with maple syrup and Earth Balance ($7.99), while Cathy opted for a regular waffle with maple syrup and butter ($7.99).  Then, we had to get the delicious pumpkin doughnuts that are currently being baked up there.  LOVE this time of year for pumpkin…everything.  I previously had the cinnamon & sugar pumpkin doughnut, so this time I went with the allergen-free maple glazed pumpkin doughnut ($2.49).  Cathy stuck with the one she had previously (because, let’s face it…chocolate = epic yumminess) and got the pumpkin doughnut with a chocolate ganache ($2.49).

We paid for our orders and went to have a seat at one of the tables inside the little café.  It’s a quaint, very homey setting that just makes you feel comfortable.  I could tell our waffles were done to order because it took some time to arrive at our table.  But that was okay.  Cathy and I sat there and just discussed a few things from my run (11 miles) and her trail hike this morning, to what we needed to get at the round of grocery stores we hit up while in Louisville.  Before we knew it, our plates arrived with our breakfast goodies on them and we could hardly wait to dig in.

I spread my Earth Balance across one section of the waffle, then began to slice into it.  This was waffle perfection.  Not only was it a beautiful golden color, but it was crisp on the outside, with that perfect amount of softness on the inside.  Not doughy softness, but waffle-softness.  All you waffle fanatics know what I’m talking about.  That bread-y delicious center that sops up all that syrupy goodness that you drizzle or dip it in.  Yeah…waffle perfection.  I was totally satisfied at first bite.  The flavor was buttery good.  It wasn’t dry.  It wasn’t mushy.  It was that right level of waffle crisp that I want…with every bite.  Yes…even as I worked my way through it, it didn’t get mushy or soggy.  The syrup was rich and sweet and the perfect complement to the waffle itself.

I already knew that Annie May’s made a killer pumpkin doughnut.  I mean, I had one a couple weekends ago.  But since then…I had been craving more.  And thankfully they had some baked up and ready.  The maple glazed pumpkin doughnut went perfect with my waffle.  Honestly.  Okay, so I was carb loading post-11 mile run.  But…mmmmmmm…can you blame me?  The doughnut was soft, rich, cake-y and light.  It isn’t a heavy doughnut so you don’t feel guilty about eating it (not that I ever do when I get to indulge in gluten-free doughnuts!).  Fresh baked are always better than the frozen ones I usually get to eat.  And the evidence is clear with the first bite.  Atop of today’s pumpkin doughnut was a sweet, amazing maple glaze.  It reminded me of autumn on the first bite.  Seriously.  What better way to take a bite out of October and the new cooler weather than with an allergen-free pumpkin doughnut with a sweet maple glaze.  It was love at first bite.

Nothing caps off an 11 mile run in the morning like a fantastic breakfast.  Thanks to Annie May’s Sweet Café in Louisville, Kentucky…I can do that without having to question what is going into my food.  Peace of mind makes me want to continue to frequent there whenever possible.  In fact, I stated today that whenever we’re in town, Saturday breakfast needed to be at Annie May’s.  Why not?  I love supporting local businesses…and a local business that fits into my dietary restrictions is even more amazing.

But…take it from someone like Cathy, who doesn’t need to eat allergen/gluten-free…who devoured her doughnut and her waffle with sweet abandon.  She raved about the taste, the texture, the flavors…and that chocolate ganache, which she loves to say is “to die for.”  And…trust me…it is really that good.

We both walked out of there completely satisfied and happily full.  And every bite of it was savored, enjoyed, and devoured with gusto.  Even if you aren’t vegan or someone with food allergies…trust me…you’ll still love the food and sweet treats that Annie May’s has to offer.  So, head over to Frankfort Avenue and take a bite of one of their allergen-free, gluten-free, and/or vegan offerings.  Everything there is gluten-free…but you wouldn’t even know it.  Don’t take my word for it though…go on and show your support for a local business and try something new or out of the norm.  You’ll be hooked.

I guarantee it.

Annie May's Sweet Café's Allergen-Free Original Waffle with Maple Syrup and Earth Balance with a Allergen-Free Maple Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut
Annie May’s Sweet Café’s Allergen-Free Original Waffle with Maple Syrup and Earth Balance with a Allergen-Free Maple Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut

Recipe: Apple Cider Spiked Hot Cereal with Caramelized Apples, Pecans, and Cream Cheese Icing

I love the fall.  Not only does cooler weather get ushered in, but so do some of my favorite things to eat.  Pumpkin is one.  Apples are the other.  And I especially love this time of year for the apple cider.  I love to drink it…and even more…I love to cook and bake with it.

This morning, after a 5 mile run, I decided to get a little creative with some of the ingredients laying around my pantry and fridge.  After all, I have a new CSA bin arriving tomorrow with new produce for me to enjoy, so why not get a little creative?

The base of this recipe is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal, which instead of cooking in water with salt, I cooked in apple cider with cinnamon.  Then I caramelized two Gala apples to top it all off with.  The result…a mighty tasty hot cereal for this cool morning.  I happened to have some cream cheese icing left over.  This is a totally optional addition.  A drizzle of maple syrup or honey would work just as well.  Without further adieu…the recipe is below.

Recipe: Apple Cider Spiked Hot Cereal with Caramelized Apples, Pecans, and Cream Cheese Icing

Apple Cider Spiked Hot Cereal with Caramelized Apples, Pecans, and Cream Cheese Icing
Apple Cider Spiked Hot Cereal with Caramelized Apples, Pecans, and Cream Cheese Icing

Servings: 2
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 15 minutes


  • 1-1/2 + 2 tablespooons cups apple cider
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup hot cereal mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 Gala apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 oz chopped pecans (optional)
  • maple syrup (optional)
  • cream cheese icing (optional)


Heat a nonstick pan on medium-high heat.  Add butter and allow it melt down, swirling it around the surface of the pan in circular motions to spread the butter and prevent it from burning.

Meanwhile, pour the apple cider into a pot and add the cinnamon.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to very low and pour in the hot cereal.  Stir until mixed.  Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Peel and cube the apples.  Drop the apples into the butter.

With a wooden spoon, stir them around until they are completely coated with butter.  Continue to stir until the the butter in the pan is no longer bubbling.  Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and continue to stir.  Add a dash of ground nutmeg as you stir.  Then, cook the apples for approximately 10 minutes, or until the fruit begins to soften and brown slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat. Using your wooden spoon, remove the apples from the pan and place them into a bowl.

Pour the cooked hot cereal into two bowls.  Add the caramelized apples to the top of the cereal.  Sprinkle with a few chopped pecans.  Then add any syrup, honey, or cream cheese icing to the cereal.

Dig in!


This hot cereal tastes like fall.  It is sweet and savory all at the same time.  Not to mention…healthy and filling.  I loved how amazingly soft the apples turned out.  It was my first attempt at ever caramelizing apples, so the result was perfection.  This would make a great breakfast on a cold winter’s morning as well.  If you love the flavors of fall…give this one a try.  I promise…you won’t be disappointed.