pear-cardamom brown butter muffins

By • February 3, 2011 6 Comments

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Author Notes: We love the small heat of cardamom, like a tiny roar at the back of the sweetness. Its warmth reminded us of ginger and cinnamon. And we love cardamom with pears -- dripping juice with a bit of savory flavor.

After all that, why not use brown butter? It has a depth that no golden stick of butter can offer.

These muffins have all those tastes, along with the molasses hint of teff flour, the nuttiness of almond flour, and the hearty taste of buckwheat.

Plus, they're gluten-free.

Makes 12

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 D'Anjou pear, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 ounces almond flour
  • 3 ounces buckwheat flour (preferably not toasted)
  • 2 1/4 ounces teff flour
  • 2 ounces potato starch
  • 1 3/4 ounces arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 ounces coconut palm sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 1/4 ounces whole-fat plain yogurt
  • 5 1/4 ounces buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a muffin pan or line with muffin liners.
  2. Set a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt, then bubble, then brown, swirling it around once in awhile. Do not let the butter burn. Turn off the heat.
  3. Add the grated pear, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon to the brown butter. Stir them around to incorporate the brown butter into the ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Combine the almond, buckwheat, and teff flours with the potato starch and arrowroot powder in a large bowl. Whisk to incorporate and aerate the flours together. Add the baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, and coconut sugar. Whisk again.
  5. Whisk the eggs, yogurt, and buttermilk together until they are fully combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids. Mix with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are mostly combined. Add the pear mixture and crumble the walnuts into the muffin batter. Stir until everything is fully incorporated.
  6. Fill the muffin tins almost full. Slide the muffins into the oven. Bake until the muffins are browned with a bit of a crunch, the top springs back to the touch, and a knife goes through cleanly, about 25 minutes.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. It's hard, but let the muffins cool for 15 minutes before eating.

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Bread, Rolls & Muffins|Breakfast & Brunch|Coconut

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Comments (6) Questions (0)


8 months ago Shana

These were amazing! I made a bunch of substitions because it's too cold to go to the store. Milk and lemon juice for buttermilk, greek yogurt, apple instead of pear, brown sugar instead of coconut sugar, and pecans instead of walnuts. They turned out perfectly! Thanks for another great recipe!


over 4 years ago strozyk

These were scrummy! Thank you. It's lovely to see something gluten free over here, and even nicer to see something done by weight.


over 4 years ago ellemarie

BEST EVER!!!! Easy to put together (after having everything ready to go). Love them and need to figure out how not to eat the entire batch in one sitting. xoxo


over 4 years ago karlynne

Sounds good but just a question about the recipe--are you measuring the yogurt and buttermilk by weight or volume? It just says ounces but 5 1/4 oz is an odd amount for something that is always measured by volume so I'm wondering if you chose weight measurement for some reason. Thanks.


over 4 years ago glutenfreegirl

Shauna James Ahern is cooking up a good life, gluten-free. Her most recent book, Gluten-free Girl and the Chef was named one of the best Cookbooks of 2010 by the New York Times.

Karlynne, it is by weight. We actually weigh everything in our house for baking, since we have to weigh the gluten-free flours for accuracy. (They all have radically different weights, so you can't throw in a cup of one and expect it to substitute for the other.) Since the scale is out, we just weigh the liquids too. And it makes for less mess.

Our original recipe is in grams, so the buttermilk and yogurt would each be 150 grams. Since there is no grams option when writing the recipe here, I had change it to ounces! That's why the awkward measurement.


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Wow, Love the pairing of Pears with Cardamom! Lovely Recipe!