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Brownies and Lemon Bread and Xagave, oh my!


It’s no secret that we use a lot of Agave in my house.  Seriously, we should start buying stock in it.  We use it in smoothies, iced tea, on cereal, in sauces--just about anywhere you’d use sugar.  Except in baking.

Why?  Because I just wasn’t sure how to substitute it for sugar in baked things.  What’s the ratio?  Will it work?  Will my cakes fall flat without that bulky sugar?  These were my questions. 

Then I entered a giveaway on Dishing Up Delights.  It was for a bottle of agave from Xagave, and their cookbook.   Lucky me, I won!  I couldn’t wait to get the book, so I could finally figure out how to use it to bake with.   I was also very curious to see what other recipes they had.  Not only is Xagave very high quality, but the book is loaded with recipes!  There’s a chapter on Healthy substitutions for eggs and white flour, and recipes for Jams, Quick Breads, Apps and Side Dishes, Mains, Sauces, Desserts, Kids Stuff and Beverages.  And more!  I’m very impressed.  If you buy agave now, you have a pretty good idea of the prices.  Xagave’s prices are extremely competitive--check them out!


What is Xagave?  Here’s a bit of info from their site:

Xagave is a Premium Blend of Agave Nectar derived from organic Agave Salmiana (White Agave) and organic inulin from Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave). This combination results in the highest quality nectar with the best taste, best Cooking Qualities and the most Health Benefits of any nectar on the market; making our nectar the perfect sweetener for all of your cooking, canning, and baking needs. Your foods will taste better while saving calories and our nectar can be simply exchanged for sugar or honey in any of your favorite recipes (see Sugar Exchange Table). A natural and healthy substitute for sugar, brown sugar and honey makes our nectar perfect for everyday use in coffee, tea and cereal. Avoid “spiking” your blood sugar levels with this naturally low Glycemic Index Food (approximately 30) and feel the difference. Our nectar contains no artificial additives or artificial sweeteners and is processed at very low temperatures that qualify it as a raw food. Organic & Kosher certified, we are 100% confident that you will not only taste but feel the difference. We encourage you to try this great tasting, versatile and healthy sugar substitute for yourself and see why Xagave is "The Complete Sugar Replacement"™ that is right for you and your family.


I’m so excited about this, because the great people at Xagave have agreed to let me offer the same things I won, to you!    One winner (US only) will receive an 18oz bottle of their Premium Raw Agave, and their “Delicious Meets Nutritious” cookbook.   Like I said, it’s packed with great ideas for using agave in your everyday foods.

I made two of the recipes one Sunday afternoon, and oh my gosh, are they quick!  I got Lemon Bread with Agave and Brownies with Agave in the oven in under 20 minutes.  Both were incredible!  The real test--did the kids like them?  They liked the lemon bread--it all went quickly, if that’s an indicator.  They loved the brownies!  They were so fudgy and rich--just perfect! 


Lemon Cake Bread

1 cup Xagave
1/4 cup fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup canola oil
6 eggs (I used 3 eggs and 3/4 cup coconut milk)
1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 325, grease two loaf pans.
In a bowl or blender, mix Xagave, zest and oil.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add remaining ingredients and and mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide batter between pans.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Cool and serve.



1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup Xagave, mixed with
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I've used the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa here)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 325.  Grease an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
Melt butter in microwave.
Add all ingredients to bowl or blender.
Blend or mix until smooth.  Add nuts if using.
Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool and serve.


!!!! As a special bonus, the generous folks at Xagave have given you a special FREE SHIPPING code to use.  The code is ELLE and here’s how it works: the free shipping code is only available in the US and it provides completely free shipping on whatever they order, limited to one use per customer.  Enter the code on the "Payment Information" page in the Discount Coupon option.

Rules:  (open to US residents only, as per shipping requirements.)

1) REQUIRED!   Visit the Xagave site and have a look around.  Then come back here and comment, letting me know something you learned about agave in general, Xagave, or a recipe you’d like to try.

2) OPTIONAL:  You can tweet about the contest, then come back here letting me know that you did in another comment--for a second entry.  You can tweet about it all you want for unlimited entries, but be sure to leave a new comment for EACH tweet!

3) OPTIONAL:  You can post about this giveaway on your Facebook page, then come back and leave a link to it in another comment, for a third entry. 

One winner will be chosen a week from today, on Tuesday, December 8th.


Good luck! 

 agave-lemon-bread-6   agave-brownies-5  

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Reader Comments (71)

These look delicious! I knew there had to be a use for it other than stirring it in my Greek Yogurt at breakfast!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlettergirl

Those look wonderful Elle! Love agave!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

I am SO glad you posted these recipes. I must try them. I am an agave fan! I have used it in my homemade granola and I drizzle it on my Greek yogurt. I can't wait to bake with it! THANKS ELLE!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

LOVE LOVE LOVE AGAVE!! I have found so many MidWesterners have no idea what it even is. Amazes me.

I had BOTH of those agave plants in my yard when I lived in AZ. All I wanted to do was make tequila with them tho... Never did figure out how...

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Both recipes sound incredible! I want to make them both but I also like the eggnog bread on their site! Great giveaway.
I want to win! :)

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermegan

Your brownies look amazing. I too love cooking with agave. I discovered it last year after spending a week at Rancho La Puerta spa in Baja. I just whipped up a new recipe for Mango Almond Cheesecake using agave and posted the recipe on my blog. Would love to hear what you think of it!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz - Meal Makeover Moms

I love Agve and use it often. What is not to love about AGAVE?!? The recipe that is sitting on the counter waiting to be used is homemade marshmellows! Can't wait to try it!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCristie

Elle, I love the black tar-coloured brownies and no food colouring!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I would love to try to make the Xagave Eggnog Bread or use it in my granola recipe. I often use a mixture of agave and honey or molasses, but I would like to try it with the Xagave.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Both your brownies and cake look delicious! Never cooked with agave, but now you've got me interested. Wow, there is so much you can actually so with agave and the egg nog bread featured on the site is really calling out to me.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Those brownies look great! Well I went there and learned they exist, does that count? :D I need to try this stuff.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob

These look so good. I could eat the whole plate

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBJ

Oh my goodness, look at those brownies!! Amazing!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA Bowl Of Mush

I have always wanted to try the agave! I would particularly like to make the pumpkin bread with agave--it's one of my seasonal favorites and I'm always looking for healthier alternatives.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshlyn

I gotta try this recipe! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whole Grain Cookies I have used agave a few times...I love it just forget to buy it LOL

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrish @IamSucceeding I tweeted it :)

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrish @IamSucceeding

These goodies are gorgeous!! I must have good internet skillz because I went straight to their eggnog recipe and really want to try it! YUM!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

Xagave Nectar Brownies are truly the food of the Goddesses - and Gods.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElliott

The pumpkin bread with Xagave looks delicious! I'd love to try it.

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDee

I love the eggnog bread on their site!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

Found a raspberry jam recipe with Agave with 3000 fewer calories than the traditional... wow!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllie

holy cow - I have been thinking about trying to use agave instead of sugar for my holiday treats this year, and this totally cemented it for me. I love the info on the glycemic index on xagave's site - i often try to stay away from sugar, especially in the morning because it messes with my blood sugar - but now maybe i can make some delicious quick breads for breakfast without the fear of the sugar spike and crash. From their recipes I saw they had a pumpkin bread listed - I imagine using agave would make it more dense (and delicious!!), similar to the brownies you made! Please enter me in the contest!!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRandi

just tweeted!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRandi

Holy cats, those look amazing! And I didn't know that agave also has fiber too, which is a nice bonus in addition to the low GI and the fact that those brownies look sooo fudgy! Great giveaway: thanks!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

those brownies look ridiculously delish! pretty cool that agave contains calcium -- i feel like i can never get enough of it. though i'd definitely enjoy a big tall glass of milk to go with those brownies. yummmmmm!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

You've made my day. I found a recipe for brownies with agave somewhere else, and I've been anxious to find more. So many recipes are way too sweet with conventional sugar, and my dad needs to watch his intake, so we've already begun using agave in other ways. The Teriyaki Agave glaze chicken looks awesome.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSokudo

Also, tweet:

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSokudo

Thanks for what looks like a great snack for the kids, they love lemon and chocolate in all forms. Consider this a contest entry!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Not participating in comp...being in New Zealand...but these recipes sound fantastic, I have a bottle of agave nectar in my pantry and always forget about it. Your cinnamon rolls were the first time I really used it, it's lovely to know there's a natural sugar product out there that has a few nutrients packed into it too :) Might have to try that lemon loaf, like the sound of adding the coconut millk to it :D

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ Hungry and Frozen

I just stumbled onto your blog and I think iI;m really impressed!

I've always wanted to try baking with Agave but I was also afraid of the results. I also didn't know that Agave was sweeter than sugar! I would love to try to bake the Mascarpone and Pear Galette =) I'll cross my fingers because it looks like an amazing book!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHai Au

I would love to be able to make those brownies! They look to-die-for!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I'd really love to try the pumpkin bread. I love everything pumpkin, and when I can make things healthier, I'm always more content. Thanks for the great giveaway!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJelli

Those brownies look so moist! I'd love to try making pickles with the Xagave.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkat

Granola Bar Muffins.......your two bake goods look SO good!

I use agave all the time and luv it!


December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Oh, this is my contact info!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Wow, thank you for posting this, I'm always afraid to bake with agave and this cookbook would be amazing to learn how...Agave pumpkin bread, yes please!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

We also use agave everywhere in our kitchen - except for baking! I think it's because my brain can't connect a liquid substituting for granular sugar... those brownies look amazing, though. Baked desserts would be the first thing I'd want to try out!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleanne

Oh, I would love to try the recipes for the Fresh Strawberry Pie and the Pound Cake on the Xagave site. (And I'd love to try the brownie recipe, too!)

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFunnelcloud Rachel

I'm happy you are covering baking with agave. I've played around a little with mixed results so will definitely try your recipe. Meanwhile, Xagave's recipe for Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes looks great!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

The Eggnog recipe looks interesting. I just may try it...

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I'd actually like to try Tangy Ketchup and the Classic Pound Cake recipe though to be honest I'd love to find out how to sub it in for sugar in all recipes or if there are other adjustments that need to be made.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteringrid

I've been wanting to try Agave... Those brownies look SO GOOD! I would love to try the Xagave recipe for pumpkin bread that they have on their website. I'm obsessed with pumpkins right now.
Thanks for the giveaway!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan M.

I would love to try Agave. I've heard so much about it but have not tried it yet. I loved the recipe for Pumpkin bread!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Wow, those brownies look amazing, and I am not even a brownie person! I would totally make THOSE! I would also try the bread and butter pickles!

I've been like you, too confused to use it in baking. I'd love to try making one of the ice creams with it!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRaina

This stuff looks amazing! I love that it's organic and that the company believes in free trade. Even better!

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeddi

Wow, those look great! I have a son who is on a no sugar low dairy/yeast diet for skin/stomach issues. Agave has been a huge boon to us, but we are always checking out different brands. I'll have to try this one. And I agree, the baking has always been the place where I have struggled to swap agave out. Sometimes I just wing it, but for major baking projects, I never know how to swap out a liquid sweetner for the dry sugar. The coolest thing on the Xagave site was the graphics on the glycemic index page. Nice to visually see where agave lines up to other sweetners. Thanks for the post! Cheers.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEthan

I've always had an affinity for Agave in baking, but I had no idea it could be organic or that White Agave existed. I'm anxious to try Xagave! And thank you for the opportunity of the contest. :)

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterloretta

I wasn't aware of the glycemic impact of agave. Neat! I love the idea of using it in Bread and Butter Pickles; I always cringe a bit when I add all that sugar to pickling broth.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Oh, man. I'd have to try the no-bake cookies substitution first.

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

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