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Dani VennSweet Treats

Since becoming a mum being able to make fast, nutritious and yummy treats has been imperative. I don’t think I actually understood the concept of ‘time poor’ before having a baby. It’s not that I don’t have time on my hands, I’ve probably had more than I’ve ever had before, but after getting Harlow up, changing her, feeding her, cleaning up after her, changing her again, singing her songs, feeding her again, reading her books, cleaning up after her again, getting her to go to sleep, then trying to do the washing… you get my drift. My time is now baby’s time. That has meant I have seriously had to change my style of cooking on a day-to-day basis, goodbye fiddly and technical time consuming desserts, hello combine, mix and bake!

With all the catching up new mum’s seem to do and with all the bring-a-plate invitations I have been receiving, I’ve needed to whip up some simple baked treats that everyone can enjoy without feeling guilty and that I feel comfortable giving to Harlow. Now that Harlow is ten months old if she sees something going into my mouth, she wants a bite too, and I don’t want to be shovelling store bought Boston Bun (as yummy as that is) in her mouth. So I will be sharing with you some recipes that are ideal to take to mum’s group catch ups, work morning teas or just to keep on hand when you need a sweet pick me up or someone pops over for a cuppa.

Despite my lack of ‘me’ time, being a mum has been the most freaking awesome thing that has ever happened to me. But no one ever tells you how hard it is. Or maybe they did but I just didn’t listen to or believe them? One of the greatest parts of becoming a mum has been meeting so many new people in my local community and bonding over shared experiences, the good and the bad. This support network of lovely ladies has got me through some tough and tiring times, especially when Harlow was a newborn. I remember thinking what an achievement it was that I had somehow showered and dressed, fed baby and myself and made it to the maternal health centre by the early hour of 10am! Times now have changed and I get on with my life like I did before, kind of, but I still cherish my weekly catch up with my mum’s group. It’s like therapy, if your therapist served you really yummy sweets.

I hope that this recipe is helpful to all the time poor people out there that still want to feed themselves and their friends and colleagues something healthy and homemade. Enjoy, Dani x

Dani Venn

Dani Venn


Makes about 12 squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 – 25 minutes


½ cup desiccated or shredded coconut

½ cup almond meal

½ cup coconut flour (If you don’t have coconut flour you could use an extra ½ cup of almond meal)

¼ cup pure maple syrup (please don’t use fake maple syrup you may as well use refined sugar)

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

2 free range eggs

1 lemon, juice and zest finely grated

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup chopped apple, peeled and diced (Alternatively if you have stewed apple you could also add in about 1/3 cup of this – I tend to always have soft apple in my fridge for baby and it works well in this recipe)

¼ cup melted coconut oil (If you don’t have coconut oil you could use olive oil)


3 cups desiccated or shredded coconut (Use desiccated if your blender or food processor isn’t that high powered)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon lemon zest


Preheat fan-forced oven to 160 or 170 degrees, if your oven is super hot try it at 160. This slice can easily burn.

Line a 20cm square baking pan with baking paper.

Combine coconut, almond meal, coconut flour, maple syrup, vanilla bean, eggs, lemon juice and zest, baking powder, apple and oil into a bowl and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared baking tin and smooth out the batter so that it’s even. Pop into oven and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, keep an eye on it, the slice should spring back when touched when ready.

To make your icing you will need a good blender or food processor. Add in the coconut, maple syrup, rosemary and lemon zest and blend on high until a smooth paste is formed. Add water if needed to make the icing smooth.

When slice is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before icing. Cut into squares to serve.

Keep slice in an air tight container for up to a week or so. But I like to eat it slightly warm!

PS: Thankyou, as always, to Iron Chef Shellie for the gorgeous photography and bringing my dishes to life!

Dani Venn

Dani Venn


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