Skinny Southern Baking

Skinny Southern Baking
65 Gluten Free, Dairy Free,
Sugar-Free Southern Classics

By: Linda Kissam

Includes 2 recipes: Mimi’s Cheese Straws & Apple Spice Cake

I don’t know about you but when I hear the words “Southern cuisine,” thoughts of grits, collards and hush puppies come to mind- as they rightfully should. From Virginia to Florida, and Kentucky to Texas, the South is full of classic, comforting home-cooked meals that make you forget what your waistline is going to look like for the next week. A couple of extra trips to the gym are pretty much worth the whole rendered bacon fat, buttermilk, or anything fried stuff that makes Southern recipes so darn good.

We all love the classic ingredients of Southern food… the pecans, the corn, the okra and tomatoes… These Southern staples are close to our hearts. However if you know anything about Southern food, you know it’s not the healthiest. So what is a health-conscious Southern food lover to do?

Chef Lara Lyn Carter

Georgia Chef Lara Lyn Carter‘s cookbook, Skinny Southern Baking is a love letter to all things yummy and local in the South, but with a twist. The title might suggest a diet-themed cookbook, but it’s not. It was made for those of us who love Southern cooking, but want it a bit lighter and healthier. Think 65 Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar-Free Southern Classics. I am pretty sure if I didn’t tell you the end product was made with a “healthy attitude,” you’d just think with each bite it was amazing food.

This book includes recipes for favorite at-home, comfort style bakery items. The simple items such as Butter Pecan Cookies and Double Chocolate Brownies are drool worthy, as well as fancier dishes like Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie and Lemon Poppy Seed and Lavender Bread.

The Parmesan Cheese Straws and the Apple Spiced Cake are to die for…and I’ve included the recipes for them below!

Why do these recipes taste so good? The author is a Taste Award winner and is considered Georgia’s “go-to authority” on Southern entertaining. Lara Lyn has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, television, and radio shows across the US and Canada.  She won her first Emmy in the category of On Camera Talent for hosting Thyme for Sharing with Lara Lyn Carter. All that talent means a yummy experience for us.

In this cookbook, readers will be introduced to the Skinny Southern journey through completely gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free recipes that don’t skimp on flavor, including:

  • Lemon squares
  • Gingersnaps
  • Herb biscuits
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread
  • Sweet Potato Meringues
  • Nut butters
  • Refined sugar-free jams and fruit butters

Skinny Southern Baking reinvents Southern baking. The recipes are simple and the many gorgeous photos help show the way to what success looks like. The author attests to the transformation that can take place when lightening up recipes while maintaining flavorful food, Think good health in the long-term.

This groundbreaking cookbook is an invaluable addition to any health-conscious kitchen and lifestyle. Take the book for a taste spin through these two recipes.


Mimi’s Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws


From the author, “My Mimi always made cheese straws during the holidays. Cheese straws are perfect for parties, as well. I will often top them with a dollop of homemade strawberry preserves for parties and showers!”

1 1/4 cups almond flour, packed tight

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

5 tablespoons plant-based butter, melted

2 cups plant-based cheddar cheese, shredded and at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Pour in the melted butter and cheese. Stir the dough well; the batter will be very stiff.

Using your hands, shape a melon ball–size scoop into a flat circle. Arrange the cheese straws on the baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

# # #

Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake


From the author, “This is one of the easiest cakes you will ever make. It is just as good for breakfast as it is for dessert!”

2 cups almond flour

1 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups of sweet apple, shredded*

3 eggs at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 cake pan.

Combine the almond flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Add the apples, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30–35 minutes.

*The author/chef likes to use Gala apples for this recipe.

# # #

Title: Skinny Southern Baking: 65 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined

Sugar-Free Southern Classics

Author: Lara Lyn Carter

Publisher: Familius

Publication: October 2020

Price: $24.99

ISBN: 978-1-64170-198-3

Format: Hardback 136 pages

Linda Kissam


Note: I only review wine that I find have value for my readers. This article is not an endorsement, but a professional review. Familius provided a free cookbook for review purposes. No fee was paid by the author or publisher for this review.

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