Best Recipes of 2012 – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Low Carb Bundt CakeWhat determines the popularity of a recipe?  Who gets to decided what constitutes “the best”?  I always think it’s interesting to look at this from several different perspectives.  If I were to simply go by sheer numbers, the results can be misleading as certain posts go viral for reasons beyond my control.  I have recipes that see tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of views, simply because the right person pinned them or stumbled them or they get included on some round up on a major website..  I also have posts that get many, many comments because they seem to inspire people in some way, shape or form.

And then I have my personal favourites, the ones that I have made over and over, or are useful as building blocks for other recipes.  Or ones that I loved so much and want to make again but simply haven’t manged to find the time.  And you, of course have your favourites according to your own personal tastes and lifestyle.  So this little round-up includes all of the above categories: the recipes that went viral, the ones that inspired the most comments, and the ones that I loved best.  And since I asked both here and on Facebook for your favourites, I am including many of those as well.  It’s a great list and every recipe is one of which I am very proud.  2012 was a great year for recipe development on All Day I Dream About Food!  Enjoy.

Magic Cookie Bars with Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Most viewed recipes of 2012:

1. Light and Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes: It surprises me that this continues to be so popular.  It’s a great recipe, no question, but I think the search engines are the culprit here.  “Coconut Flour Pancakes” is a highly searched term on Google (who knew?) and this recipe just keeps on truckin’!

2.  Magic Cookie Bars:  These definitely deserve a top spot on this list.  But I also happen to know that part of the reason they rate so highly is the fact that the post includes the recipe for Low Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk, from which I keep building other recipes.  So I just keep sending you all back there to read it!

3. Almond Flour Pizza Crust:  This one took me by surprise.  As of a few weeks ago, this wasn’t anywhere near the top in my stats, but it suddenly surged forward to jump ahead of a few others.  I guess people are craving pizza.

4.  Crispy Rosemary Sriracha Chicken Thighs:  I am happy that these make it on the top viewed list because I love this recipe.  It’s a standard in our house.

5.  Mini Maple Pumpkin Cheesecakes:  Thanks to the Huffington Post, these sweet little guys have managed to stay on people’s radar.  And they are well worth it.

Most commented recipes of 2012:

1. Almond Crusted Butter Cake:  When I eliminated all posts that include a giveaway, this surprised me by coming up as the top commented recipe.  It’s one of my all-time faves and it’s on my personal favourite list too.

2. Magic Cookie Bars:  This is a highly popular recipe, both in terms of views and in terms of comments.  And it’s no wonder, really.  Who doesn’t love a sweet, chocolatey, caramel-y magic cookie bar???

3.  Homemade Nutella Truffles:  Again, I was somewhat surprised to see these on the list.  It’s a great recipe, but it may also be my “thank you” post to the food-blogging world at large that garnered so much attention.

4.  Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls:  I was not at all surprised to see that this was a top-commented recipe.  Think about it…you’re on a low carb diet and you can have cinnamon rolls?  Heck yeah!  Now, some people mention that they do have trouble with the dough, that it stays too soft and I can only guess that those folks are using almond meal instead of almond flour.  It really does make a difference.

5.  Chocolate Layer Cake with Sour Cream Frosting:  It makes me happy to see such a great recipe make it onto this list.  This is a solid recipe and I’ve made it several times (once as cupcakes).  It usually garners rave reviews, with people coming back to say they made it for a loved one’s birthday and no one could tell it was low carb and gluten-free.

low carb dulce de leche

My Personal Favourites:

1. Most Adaptable Recipe – Almond Crusted Butter Cake:  Yup, I love this one enough to put it on my own list too.  It lends itself to endless adaptation.  I’ve made it as muffins (Almond Raspberry Jam Muffins) and as other flavours of cake (Nutella Swirl Tea Loaf), and I’ve made the original many times over.  It will forever rank as one of my favourites.

2. Most Useful Recipe – hands down, this goes to my Low Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk.  Insanely useful.  I’ve already created 5 or 6 other recipes based on it, including Dulce De Leche, Coconut Flan, and Truffles.  And it keeps in the fridge for at least a week, so make a double batch!

3. Easiest Recipe to Please the Kids:  Chocolate Mint Fudge Pops – do yourself a favour and put this recipe on speed dial.  Or whatever it is you do with recipes that you make over and over.  We made these at least 10 times during the summer months.  They are easy, easy, easy.  And delicious.

4. Recipe That Wins Everyone Over:  Have a stubborn friend or relative that thinks low carb and gluten-free can’t be delicious.  Blow their minds with  my Cheesy Skillet Bread.  We had this on Christmas Eve and my father kept saying “this is low carb?  Really?”.  And if you cube it and dry it out in the oven for a few hours, it makes amazing stuffing!

5. Recipe I Keep Dreaming About and Want To Make Again But Haven’t Found The Time:  Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake.  ‘Nuff said.

Low Carb Fudgsicles

Readers’ Favourites:  I wanted to hear from you about your favourites.  I don’t have room to mention them all, and many are already listed above.  But here are a few others you said you loved.  There is a preponderance of chocolate here…go figure…

Cinnamon Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze





Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Kahlua Sauce

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

Peanut Butter Cream Filled Cupcakes





Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins

Cranberry Ginger Butter Cookies

Gluten-Free Butter Cookies





Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints

Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Goddess Chicken Satay!  An quick and delicious meal for the kids.



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  1. says

    I haven’t tried your coconut flour pancakes, but your coconut flour blueberry waffles were awesome! Love the way you put this together, highlighting the recipes that were tops for different reasons! Have a fabulous NYE!

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Kim! Sorry I didn’t work in the blueberry waffles. I wanted to touch on everything people mentioned, but didn’t really have space and time. Sorry! :)

  2. Alice B. says

    Awesome list, and I love the view from different perspectives!

    Honestly, I’m convinced anyone could cook anything from your blog and have a winner, Carolyn!! Congratulations on so much yumminess in one place and continued success to you.

    Happy and healthy 2013 to you and your family and everyone here!

    Alice B.

  3. says

    OK, I just bookmarked this page :) I’m looking for help for my gluten and sugar-free way of eating…thank you! Making cinnamon buns this weekend :)

  4. Pam says

    I am sorry I missed your FB post asking for favorites, because mine is definitely your Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake! I made it for Christmas morning and using the Honeyville Grains almond flour made a huge difference over the previous time I had made it with Bob’s Red Mill. I had my husband taste it (before he went to the store to buy cinnamon rolls), and, despite declaring he doesn’t like blueberries any way but fresh, he kept the whole piece! Needless to say, we both enjoyed it on Christmas morning! As we begin 2013, I’d like to say that I am SO thankful for you and your blog and I can’t wait to see what you come up with this year…and I wish you a happy and healthy one!

  5. Melissa H says

    I was so happy to come across this post! I am quite health conscious and always looking for new ways to drop some weight. I have quite often reached a point in which NOTHING seemed to work and I would struggle to lose those few extra pounds. My new years resolution is exactly this! I need to stop microwaving meals and going out to eat! I need to get in the kitchen and take control of my food! I have been religiously searching blogs for recipes that seem manageable and delicious (hence I’ll be trying your Almond Flour Pizza Crust tonight!) I have quite a few friends who are gluten intolerant and have heard from a number of them that there are some amazing gluten free recipes out there that are delicious and extremely healthy (and assist with weight loss!). They have opened my eyes to the wonderful world of gluten *and even dairy free cooking* and I would highly recommend the website I recently purchased her book, Nina Cucina: Your Healthy Gourmet and I have become addicted to gluten free recipes! I am not a great cook but I found this book (and website) so informative and so easy to follow. For every single recipe the author, Nina Pucillo, gives the nutritional value of each dish and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the dish. All of the dishes featured in the book are totally gluten-free and Nina has included many recipes that are dairy-free too! Thanks for sharing! I hope my suggestion helps too :)


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