You know how sometimes with a gluten-free food there’s just something missing? There’s sometimes that lack of moist chewiness you expect and enjoy from a pastry, a piece of bread, a cake, or a muffin. What’s missing? Right! The gluten — no trick questions here.
According to Serious Eats, gluten is a protein network that adds texture and structure to our carbohydrate-heavy favorites, including breads, pasta, and pizza. But on the other hand, it can be a serious health hazard for people with Celiac Disease, thus just not worth the risk. And besides, as it happens, not all gluten-free foods lack that "springiness" or "stretchiness" — you just have look a bit harder to find recipes that will satisfy.
And you’re looking in the right place with this one from chef and recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating. "You wouldn’t know they were gluten-free," Brookes says. "They’re just as tender and fluffy as ‘normal’ muffins."
And they’re absolutely delicious, with a taste that’s welcome all year round, but just perfect for autumn, that season when the chilly weather calls for a bit of extra spice and sweetness sometimes. Oh, and it’s also the season when apples hit their peak ripeness, of course!
Gather your ingredients for these gluten-free apple muffins
To make a batch of these muffins that will yield a dozen servings (aka a dozen muffins), you’ll need two cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, sugar, vegetable oil (or canola oil or similar), a couple of large eggs, almond milk (or another milk of your choice), and vanilla extract. You’ll also need four apples, peeled, cored, and grated.
And if you’re wondering about the fruit, don’t overthink it. Brookes says, "I used Gala apples, but any should work fine!"
Prep your muffin pan then mix the wet and dry ingredients separately
Start things off here by preheating the oven to that classic baking temperature of 350 F, and then line a muffin pan with 12 muffin wrappers — the paper, foil, or reusable silicone kind all work fine here. You can also just grease the pan.
Next, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon in a mixing bowl until they are all well combined. Then, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and add the apple
Now sieve the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently whisk everything together until it’s just combined — don’t overmix, in other words. You want the batter to be as light as possible. Next, add the grated apple and fold it throughout the batter evenly.
The apple gives the muffins some of their sweetness without adding excess refined sugar. You’ll want to make sure they’re evenly distributed, so each bite is the right amount of sweet.
Fill the tins with the batter
Now it’s time to spoon the finished mixture into the muffins wrappers. Each should be about three quarters of the way full when all of the batter has been used. If you’re using jumbo liners, a trick is to fill each liner partway first, then top them up so they’re all even.
And just like that, all of the hands-on work is done. Now it’s simply time to bake.
Bake the muffins, then enjoy
Pop the muffins into the heated oven and let them bake for between 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer poked into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Then pull the muffin pan from the oven, but leave the muffins in the pan for about five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
And then it’s time to enjoy!
While these are plenty healthy on their own, you can turn them into a sweet treat pretty easily. "I think they’d be amazing served warm in a bowl with ice cream and caramel sauce," says Brookes, adding, "They should keep well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days."
This delicious gluten-free apple muffins recipe is just in time for apple season. These muffins are spicy, sweet, and as tender and fluffy as ‘normal’ muffins.
- 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 apples, peeled, cores removed, and grated
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl until well combined.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
- Sieve the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently whisk everything together until just combined.
- Add the grated apple and fold through.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin wrappers.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Remove the muffins from the oven, but leave them in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.