Today I have a fantastic recipe for muffins to share. This is the first muffin recipe I’ve posted on the blog, and the first muffin recipe I’ve developed. Over the last year or so, I have tentatively been dipping my toe into the recipe development waters as far as baking goes. As an improvisational home cook, the precise science of baking has always left me a little nervous and I have a record of spectacular failures behind me. Gluten-free baking is a whole other story. It requires a different set of skills and way of working, and I’m still finding my way with it all.
As you know if you are gluten-free, flourless treats don’t come cheap and many of the offerings in the gluten-free section are filled with chemicals and nutritionally inferior ingredients. It’s far healthier and more satisfying to put in the time and effort to bake something at home.
I started baking by weight a long time ago because it is more precise than using cup measurements–which could fluctuate wildly depending on how you measure, but since most of my readers are North American, I have included the cup measurements here as well. Unlike cakes, muffins don’t require your measurements to be exact, but I have found that a ratio of equal parts flour and liquid to be correct.
Another thing that I want to mention is that I use a gluten free cup-to-cup baking mix in this recipe, although it’s not the only flour I use. I use one by Cloud Nine, which is a local specialty bakery here in the Vancouver area. Their all-purpose baking mix is the best I have found personally, but if it’s not available to you (they only ship in Canada) you could use another brand, like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur. The reason I use a mix is that I just don’t bake enough to justify buying several different types of flour, which is what good gluten-free baking requires. They usually go rancid before I can use them up. All-purpose mixes also include xantham gum, which acts as a binder, similarly to the way gluten does. If you don’t use a mix, you have to buy this separately.
In addition to the cup-for-cup, I used buckwheat flour and almond meal, for more of a multigrain heft and texture. Surprisingly, they still rose well and turned out soft and fluffy, without the dry heaviness a lot of gluten-free muffins possess.
I love carrot muffins, because I don’t feel like I’m having cake for breakfast when I eat them, but you can use a variety of different berries or fruit in place of the carrot and date, or even bananas and chocolate chips. The flours and wet ingredients will give you the base of a wholesome muffin, but you can experiment with the fillings you like best. For me, the next batch will be apple and spice
- 1 cup/175g gluten-free cup-for-cup baking mix
- 1/3 cup/60g buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup/60g almond meal
- 1/2 cup/75g coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup/20g unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon/10g ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup/150 g pitted dates, chopped
- 2 cups/180g grated carrot
- 1/4 cup/40g dried cranberries
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup/240mL milk/almond or soy milk
- 1/4 cup/60mL oil or melted butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined.Stir in the carrots, dates, and cranberries
- In another large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, making sure there are no clumps; gently stir into the wet ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Prepare muffin tin by greasing with a bit of oil on all sides, or with paper liners.
- Fill each compartment with the batter to just over halfway.
- Bake until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Pop muffins out of the tin by circling around the edges with a knife. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.