Sweet Spring Treats with Simple Mills

Since we aren't hosting any Easter festivities this year, I thought I would come up with an easy yet adorable dessert to bring to my friend's Egg Hunt Brunch! Although this is a kid-friendly event, I thought I would bring something that the moms would appreciate: chocolate.

I recently discovered Simple Mills products at a Chicagonista Live! show (LOVE these ladies- they are THE social talk show of Chicago), and I am so thrilled that I did! Katlin, the founder and CEO of Simple Mills, started this company in response to all the sugar-filled, unhealthy, processed foods available. Simple Mills uses ingredients found in nature, not in a laboratory. You can pronounce and identify every ingredient- no monosaturatedpoly yada yada here. Since their baking mixes are made with Almond Flour they are naturally Gluten-Free, and they use coconut nectar to sweeten instead of refined sugar.

They have a variety of mixes, from sweet to savory:

Chocolate Chip Cookie 
Artisan Bread
Pancake & Waffle
Pizza Dough
Vanilla Cake
Banana Muffin
Chocolate Cake & Muffin
Pumpkin Muffin

Let's get down to baking business!

I purchased some mini flower pots at a garden center years ago, and I keep re-using them to make spring desserts for brunch and showers. I used the Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin mix to make mini cupcakes and simply popped them into the pots for the base! I thought of using edible flowers (nasturtium) but I only use ones that I have grown to ensure no pesticides have been used. I tried my hand at making strawberry roses and pineapple daffodils- I may not be a pastry chef, but I had a blast trying!


Flower Pot Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 1 box Simple Mills Chocolate Cake & Muffin Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tablespoon oil (coconut oil works well)
Prepare muffins according to directions on box and pour into a greased mini muffin pan; fill all the way or else they might sink into the flower pots. I usually take a paper towel dipped in coconut oil to grease the pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean; let cool.


Meanwhile, prepare chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting (adapted from Food Network)

Ingredients
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift sugar and cocoa together and set aside. In another bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar mixture with butter and a splash of cream, mix until smooth. Repeat with another cup of sugar and another splash of cream until all ingredients are combined and frosting is fluffy. Add in vanilla and mix until smooth.


Fruit Flowers

I won't even attempt to explain how to make a strawberry rose- this is a great video that explains it all! It isn't that hard once you give it a shot- you basically make petal cuts around the base and a swirl cut around the top.


As for the pineapple daffodils, chop off the end of a pineapple and slice very thin rounds from the body. Trim the outside from the round and place on a lined baking sheet; cooking scissors work well for this. Bake for 3+ hours at 200 degrees until golden and dry; flip halfway through.

Remove from oven and press rounds into muffin tins while still warm to create flowers; allow to cool in the tins. You can also cut smaller pieces like I did below and mold them/stack them to create smaller flowers.



For the final step, place the mini muffins into the flower pots. Frost tops with chocolate frosting and add a fruit flower to each!

To purchase Simple Mills baking products, use their Store Locator or purchase online at SimpleMills.com or Amazon.com.

Thank you to Simple Mills for providing samples for me to use in my "mini test kitchen"!

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