Home for the Holidays: Brittany of Real Sustenance with Cinnamon Chocolate Babka Bread & Giveaways

courtesy of Real Sustenance

It’s Day 12 of our Home for the Holidays … Gluten-Free Style event and today Brittany (Real Sustenance) shares her Cinnamon Chocolate Babka Bread. Okay, perhaps if you’re like me, you had never heard of Babka, but when you took one look at Brittany’s photo, you knew you wanted some of this bread. Immediately, if not sooner! Is that not one of the most beautiful gluten-free recipes you’ve ever seen? Now if you’re familiar with Babka, you’re probably very surprised to see a gluten-free version. Brittany says her recipe is the very first gluten-free version and I absolutely love that she shared it for our holiday event. Incidentally, Brittany is teaming up with Iris (The Daily Dietribe) to write two Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides. Some amazing recipes have been coming out of both their kitchens for many months now. Can’t wait to see their two guides that will be released in March!

A little history … Brittany and I first met virtually on Twitter over our love of all things pumpkin. I believe that was just a little over a year ago. Brittany cranked out a bunch of fabulous pumpkin recipes to kick off her then new blog and literally has not stopped since. Lately, she has been blowing us away with all her grain-free recipes, like this one for Cinnamon Rolls … free of most everything (gluten, grain, dairy, corn, soy, yeast) except the “good.”  I was so fortunate to meet Brittany in person at the Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo this past May. She demo’d her Gluten-free, Vegan Deep Dish Chicago-Style Pizza. I’m guessing by now that you’ve figured out that you will want to get her and Iris’ Essential Baking Guides … and you would be so right! (FYI:  I’ll write more on Iris when she shares her post later in our series.)

Beyond Babka and Brittany and Iris’ collaboration on their new cookbooks, there’s more exciting news … Brittany is giving away three books that are being offered for the first time during our holiday event!

First, there’s Kelly Brozyna’s Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts. This cookbook is Kelly’s second. With the emphasis on sweet recipes—but still gluten free, dairy free, casein free, and refined sugar free—this cookbook is the perfect complement to Kelly’s first cookbook, the “all-purpose” The Spunky Coconut Cookbook, which is now in its second edition. You can see my write-up here, including my review of her famous Bean Cake. Incredible grain-free cake recipe that is made from white beans. White beans are certainly an easy and inexpensive way to “super charge” a gluten-free cake IF one thinks of the idea to begin with. Kelly is a very creative cook and the taste of this cake (and several other recipes) is incredible! Incidentally, if you’re looking for some amazing edible gift ideas, Kelly has them for you on her blog … complete with printable recipe gift tags. Check out her Chocolate Hazelnut Spread gift idea. Anyone would be super lucky to get that as a gift. I love both the recipe and the presentation!


Second, there’s 7 Quick Start Tips for Living a Healthy Gluten-Free Fit Life from Erin Elberson. Erin blogs at Gluten Free Fitness and Nutrition and has an extensive background in nutrition and physical therapy. I reviewed her book earlier in this post. She even included a brilliant adaptation of one of my recipes in her book. Her book is not a cookbook though. It’s more about getting started living gluten free (or restarted if necessary) with common sense wisdom and guidance, that just happens to have several of Erin’s “non-recipes” included. FYI:  A non-recipe is one that Erin says is so simple that it doesn’t need a recipe. I love that approach and aspire often to that type of cooking. Erin’s book is really a great way to get started living gluten free the healthy way (or to revisit how you’re eating gluten free). Note that Erin’s book is also available via Kindle.

Last, one of Ricki Heller’s cookbooks, Sweet Freedom, sweetens the pot! I wrote about Ricki’s cookbook in the same post as the previous book by Erin. While Ricki eats gluten free now, she did not when writing this cookbook, so not all recipes are gluten free. They are wheat free, dairy free, and refined sugar free though, and many are gluten free or easily adapted so there’s still plenty to be happy about! Also, since I did my review of Ricki’s cookbook, it won honorable mention in the 2010 Cuisine Canada Culinary Awards and also got Ellen’s (yes, that Ellen!) endorsement on her new website—both very cool and well deserved! I’ve written about Ricki and her various cookbooks a number of times here on gfe … Ricki and her recipes never disappoint.

Brittany’s giveaway ends Saturday, December 10th, at noon PST. Please head over to her post to enter! 

A very important reminder to all … every entry during this entire Home for the Holidays event is also an entry for the final giveaway: third prize, a Caveman Cookies gift package ($89 value); second prize, a $150 Free From Gluten shopping spree; and the grand prize, the Vitamix 5200 Super Healthy Lifestyle package! But wait, there’s more … throughout the remainder of the event, I will occasionally be tallying all the entries and running the numbers through random. org to give away some additional prizes. For example, today I “drew a name” and identified a winner for organic coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. Note that these are very quick turnaround giveaways. I’m announcing them on Facebook and/or Twitter and then once a winner is chosen, s/he will be contacted via email and must reply pretty quickly or a new winner will be selected or the offer will be withdrawn. You don’t want to let either of the latter two situations occur so check your email regularly!

Tomorrow we have Elana (Elana’s Pantry) sharing her “home” and “holidays” recipe with us. But don’t forget that Lexie (Lexie’s Kitchen) shared her award-worthy Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters yesterday; her giveaway ends on Saturday. (If you lose your place or want to easily re-visit a post, you can get your bearings from my announcement post here, which is updated on an ongoing basis.)

Finally, do you know about Jules (Jules Gluten Free Flour and Jules Speaks Gluten Free) radio show? She has an excellent 30-minute long weekly radio show called Gluten Free Voice. You’ll want to tune in every Thursday at 7:00 pm EST or catch the podcast after the fact. Today Jules featured me on her show talking about—what else?—our Home for the Holidays … Gluten-Free Style event. You can hear that podcast here. (If you’re not familiar with podcasts, they’re basically just an archived recording; nothing else special is needed to listen.) Listen while your cookies are baking, you’re writing Christmas cards, or wrapping presents. I loved Jules’ story about her grandmother’s Cinnamon Sticky Buns (coming soon to our holiday event!). It’s the kind of family story that we all can relate to, and you’re not likely to find that cute tale on her grandmother’s tradition repeated elsewhere!

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


28 Responses to “Home for the Holidays: Brittany of Real Sustenance with Cinnamon Chocolate Babka Bread & Giveaways”

  1. Iris on December 9th, 2011 1:32 am

    Thanks for sharing the exciting news about our book. I was so excited to see my name on amazon.com! :)

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:11 pm

      Hi Iris–My pleasure! I can only imagine your excitement, dear. :-) So happy for you and, oh my goodness, have you girls worked hard for these books! Will be thinking about you as you get together for the final effort this week!


  2. Brittany @ Real Sustenance on December 9th, 2011 4:15 pm

    Thank you so so so much Shirley for organizing this gigantic amazing holiday celebration! We are all eternally indebted. MUCH LOVE, Brittany

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:13 pm

      Hi Brittany–You’re welcome. I’ve enjoyed it and we’re only halfway through … much more to come. ;-) Thank you so much for joining in with such a stellar recipe! I know you made TONS of babka-loving readers so very happy! :-)

      Lots of love to you, too, dear,

    • Claire on December 11th, 2011 3:59 pm

      I agree…thank you!!!! It’s so fun to follow, and get to know new gf blogs too. It’s a lot of work, I’m sure, but we really appreciate it!!

      • Shirley on December 17th, 2011 8:57 am

        Hi Claire–Thanks so much for the sweet feedback on our holiday event! That’s always great to hear, as well as much appreciated! :-)


  3. Carole on December 9th, 2011 4:54 pm


    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:14 pm

      Hey Carole–So glad you’re participating in our holiday event! Be sure to comment on each different blog daily to enter the giveaways. :-)


  4. Heather on December 9th, 2011 4:56 pm

    Thanks for this. I might have celiac and I’m currently lactose intolerant. So, this would be great.

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:15 pm

      Hi Heather–You’re welcome. :-) Glad you are finding our event helpful! Remember to comment on each daily blog to enter the giveaways. :-) You can see the complete listing with all the links here.


  5. Erin Elberson Lyon-GF Fitness on December 9th, 2011 6:49 pm

    You are on fire,lady! What a great event you have organized! Thanks for your kind words, and I look forward to learning the winner!

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:17 pm

      Haha, Erin! But thank you for your lovely feedback. So excited to be giving some copies of your book away! Thank you so much for sponsoring our event! :-)


  6. Melissa Lawler on December 9th, 2011 6:58 pm

    Definitely looking forward to this book. Babka is a favorite!

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:19 pm

      Hi Melissa–I think Brittany and Iris’ new cookbooks will be amazing! In the mean time, if you make the babka (recipe is on Brittany’s site via the link), please let us know how it works out for you! :-)


  7. Susan Ruffalo on December 9th, 2011 6:59 pm

    What a great bunch of resources!! Thanks for everything!!

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:19 pm

      Hi Susan–Thanks again! I love everyone’s excitement. :-)


  8. Shannon McCoy on December 10th, 2011 1:56 am

    Soooo excited! Can’t wait to check all the references out!

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:20 pm

      Hey Shannon–Thanks for joining in our holiday event! Sounds like your faithfully going to the daily blogs and participating–love that! :-)


  9. pat johnson on December 10th, 2011 11:00 am

    Wow, your Babka looks great. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

    • Shirley on December 11th, 2011 12:21 pm

      Hi pat–It’s Brittany’s (Real Sustenance) babka. She and her babka (and many other recipes) are amazing! :-)


  10. Christine on December 11th, 2011 2:42 pm

    This looks like its gonna be a family favorite!!

    • Shirley on December 17th, 2011 8:56 am

      Hi Christine–I’m playing catch-up on comments today … hope you all enjoy this one! It’s gotten one fab review here on gfe (left on another post for the holiday event I believe) thus far! :-)


  11. Edie on December 12th, 2011 2:26 pm

    Shirley, I never thought I’d hear of a gluten-free babka! I grew up eating these every weekend with my family, along with bagels and bialys. Everywhere my father travels, he checks in with the local bakeries to see if they make these — he’s determined to find the world’s best. Can’t wait to try the GF version!

    • Shirley on December 17th, 2011 9:01 am

      Hi Edie–Catching up … I’m always amazed at different foods that folks eat all the time that I know absolutely nothing about. Babka and bialys would be on that list, but now I’m very intrigued. And if a man has to have a quest, your dad’s is not a bad one at all. ;-) Please report back when you make the gf version! As I was just saying in another comment, one person already reported back (somewhere) that she’d made Brittany’s recipe, that it was easy to do, and that her family loved it!


  12. Karin Goodman on December 12th, 2011 4:08 pm

    Would love to win any of these books.

    • Shirley on December 17th, 2011 9:01 am

      Hi Karin–I’m so happy that you are following our holiday event! Please remember to visit the blogs daily to get in your entries. Good luck, dear! :-)


  13. Susan Halloran on December 19th, 2011 4:59 pm

    Hello again, Shirley:
    Thanks for all that you do, and share! I refer people to your site frequently, as I can honestly say that all your recipes have turned out well for me. This holiday event is such fun!

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