Ham and Gruyére Grilled Cheese with Sweet Pea Spread | a Guest Post from The Modern Proper

Welcome friends!  I want to introduce you to my sweet friends Holly & Natalie of The Modern Proper who are guest posting here on Sweet Anna’s today!  Holly has been a friend of mine for years, and I am impressed over and over again by all the delicious recipes she & Natalie come up with, and the beautiful photography they share.  You will absolutely fall in love with them after just a few minutes of browsing around on their beautiful blog!  Go say Hi!  (And then come right back and get ready for this amazing spring-inspired recipe below!)  If you didn’t have spring fever before you got here, you will now!


Hi there, Holly here from The Modern Proper.  So happy to be guest posting today here at Sweet Anna’s. Annalise is one of my first (and favorite) foodie friends!  She has taught me a lot about blogging and our time spent together is always fun and filled with talk about new recipes.  I am excited to share this special sandwich we created just for her blog and all her faithful readers (that’s you!)  Ok, here we go…


 Last week, my kids and I went on a walk around our neighborhood just to breath in the fresh air.  I realized that since getting a gym membership a few months ago I’ve been missing our usual afternoon strolls.  Much to my surprise we saw our fair share of budding flowers on trees and daffodils popping their bright yellow heads out of the wet soil.  My delight in these discoveries made me realize just how ready I am to embrace spring and say goodbye to winter.  The older I get the sooner that desire seems to creep up each year.

ham & gruyére grilled cheese with sweet pea spread

Natalie and I are definitely ready for the sun’s return, for our gardens to be in bloom and to be able to once again release our kids to turn our backyards into their own adventure wonderlands.  The greening of our browned grass and budding of the many forgotten perennials not only makes me look forward to the warmer times ahead, but to the change it will surely bring for what’s on our plates.  When I think of a spring menu ham and sweet green peas always comes to mind.  Such a delightfully fresh combination, don’t you think?

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dairy-free coconut streusel pumpkin coffee cake

And I’m back!  After way too many long months of cookbook writing (and some health-craziness that I am still wading through) I am finally ready to get back into my kitchen!

This easy pumpkin coffee cake was the perfect way to ease back into things on this last-day-of-summer-that-feels-entirely-like-fall.

Dairy Free Coconut Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Sweet Anna's

Why dairy-free?  Well, let me fill you in.  My dairy-loving norwegian-self just found out that my body really can’t process dairy.

Yes, there were lots of tears shed.  No, there is no pill I can take.  And yes, I actually feel MUCH better already after just a few short weeks of this journey.

Am I happy about this turn of events in my life?  Not one bit.  Am I excited to actually feel good after spending way too many years of my life feeling ‘meh’?  Absolutely!

So, we journey on.  Yes, there will absolutely still be dairy involved in the recipes on this blog, but you will see more and more dairy-free recipes as I adjust to my new normal.

Dairy Free Coconut Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Sweet Anna's

With fall strongly in the air today, this coconut-streusel laced coffee cake was a no-brainer on the list of recipes I needed to convert first.  No dairy at all, but not missing a bit of flavor, you are sure to love this easy fall treat as much as I do!

Dairy Free Coconut Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Sweet Anna's

dairy-free coconut streusel pumpkin coffee cake


    for the streusel:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sweetened-flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • for the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin purée
  • 3 large eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9" square baking dish (or a similar size pan - I used a very deep dish pie plate!); Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients until combined; Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon and salt for the cake; Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup brown sugar until well blended. Stir in the pumpkin, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just well combined.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined (don't over-mix!) and then spread half of the pumpkin batter into the greased baking dish and then top with half of the streusel mixture. Carefully spread the rest of the batter on top of that, and then sprinkle evenly with the remaining streusel.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, with just a few crumbs on it - no wet batter.
  7. Let cool a bit before cutting and serving, if you can stand it!

double dark chocolate banana bread

Because you can never have too many recipes for Banana Bread.  Especially when said banana bread is laced with luscious dark chocolate and studded with chocolate chips.

Double Dark Chocolate Banana Bread | Sweet Anna's

Now don’t worry, this is not just another chocolate cake.

This is a very dense, moist dairy-free banana bread that is loaded with dark chocolate, but still tastes like banana bread.

Kind of like the love child of banana bread and a perfect chocolate muffin.

Actually, these would make really great muffins.

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