Gluten free baking recipes often get a bad rap. I’ve usually been disappointed with many gluten-free recipes, not so much because of the taste but with the texture, which can range from dry and mealy to dense and rubbery.
While studying with the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, I was assigned to develop a baking recipe to assist a client with a specific health condition. The challenge was to avoid using ingredients in the recipe that contained gluten, dairy, refined sugar, nuts, seeds, oats, chocolate and coconut meat & milk. I was thinking to myself, “What’s left to bake with?” I knew I wanted to use 1-for-1 gluten-free flour for its ease of use especially for novice gluten-free bakers but I was reminded by other home bakers that their recipe conversions using this flour blend rarely turned out well. I like a good challenge and I was determined to succeed.
Eight recipe tests later, I finally perfected this delicious muffin recipe that I am proud to share. The pumpkin, applesauce and maple syrup give the muffins moisture without being dense and it also dissolves any grainy texture gluten-free flour typically has. The combination of warm autumn spices and jammy little pockets of dried apricot make this an aromatic and flavorful treat that isn’t too sweet. Dietary restrictions or not, I think you'll be pleased with the results of this muffin recipe to bake for anyone. Even those who claim, like I used to, that they don't like gluten-free baked goods. Enjoy! —Kim Hurd, Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert
12 standard-sized muffins
1 for 1 gluten-free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mills brand
ground cinnamon, preferably Ceylon
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground cardamom
fine sea salt
dried unsulphured apricots, finely chopped
pure maple syrup
apple cider vinegar
unrefined coconut sugar for sprinkling on muffin tops (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line a standard 12 muffin tin with parchment paper cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and salt.
Stir in the chopped dried apricots or better yet, because the pieces stick together, rub them into the dry mix with your hands to break them apart.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin, maple syrup, applesauce, avocado oil and apple cider vinegar.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a spatula, stir well to combine.
Spoon about ¼ c. of the batter into the prepared muffin cups. A large ice cream scoop works great! For a little added sweetness with a sticky glaze, sprinkle the muffin tops with a bit of coconut sugar.
Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
To avoid soggy muffins, when the muffins are cool enough to handle, remove them from the muffin tin and place on a rack to cool.
Store in a tightly sealed container or wrap individually and freeze.