To-Die-For Gluten-Free Muffins

I thought this matter of gluten-free was pretty solid–that some people are truly allergic to gluten, others have celiac disease for whom gluten is a serious health issue, while others are simply gluten sensitive. Now I learn there is a growing school of thought that unless a person is diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s all a big hoax. 

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Here’s what I know for certain: My husband had an annoying cough for at least 20 years. He visited every kind of doctor and to no avail. His symptom was unexplainable and about drove me nuts. About six months ago we decided to remove gluten from his diet, and I agreed to go along as well. Within days, his cough began to wain. It’s completely gone, and my sanity has returned. 

A hoax? I say no and here’s my proving ground: Now and then Harold will fall off the wagon, either knowingly but often times not (gluten is in a lot of things these days). Sure enough, I start to hear that low-grade cough. He can’t help it, he can’t hide it. 

All that to say we are totally convinced, and grateful to have figured this out. The good news is that he is not suffering. Are you kidding? I make him the most amazing things, like muffins. In fact, I believe these two recipes I have for you today, from Yammies Gluten Freedom are, according to my not-coughing husband Harold, right up there with the best muffins of all time, gluten-free or not. Thank you, Yammie!

The Best Carrot Cake Ever

This recipe makes one dozen cupcakes.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white rice flour (I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot, pretty firmly packed
  • 1 batch of Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Grease and flour cupcake tins or line with paper.

  2. Mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the wet, mixing just until combined. Add the carrots and stir until combined.

  3. Bake in prepared pans. 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or 30-35 minutes for cake or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*Feel free to modify any of the spices. You can leave them out all together or double them all based on how “spicy” you like your cake. This is very mild, but flavorful.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 1 cup (two sticks) butter, slightly softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until desired thickness is reached. Beat on high speed for five minutes, until fluffy.

Best Banana Bread Muffins Ever

This recipe make a dozen large muffins and is unique in that you won’t dirty even a single dish to make them. 

  • 3 brown bananas (1 cup mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rice flour (I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Glaze (optional):

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

  1. Get out a 1/2 measuring cup and a 1/4 teaspoon (these will be all you need to measure your ingredients).
  2. In a large gallon-size Ziploc bag, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, seal the bag, and shake and squish until combined. Add the sugar and mix well. Dump in the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Before zipping and mixing them all the way in, mix them together a little with your measuring spoon. Now add the oil** and vanilla and shake and squish until well combined.
  3. Snip the corner of the bag and squirt the batter into a lined muffin tin (if you don’t want to clean the pan, line it with tin liners so the grease doesn’t come through). Don’t make the hole very big at all because the batter is very runny. Pinch the corner between each muffin.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do Not Overbake!
  5. To make the glaze, just mix together the powdered sugar and milk or lemon juice and spread over cooled muffins.
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8 replies
  1. Laura says:

    I made the banana muffins yesterday. They are a little on the sweet side for my taste but were flavorful and moist. Next time, I will reduce the amount of sugar by 1/2. Thanks for a great GF muffin recipe. I will try the carrot cupcakes next.

    Reply
  2. Hnywest says:

    I just made the banana muffins. This batter is super thick and not runny as stated. Checked my ingredient amounts over and over. Anyone else have this problem?

    Reply
  3. Sue Farrell says:

    I am making the banana muffins as I write. What a disgusting waste of time and ingredients. They are still in the oven and everyone of fell.

    Reply
  4. Stephanie Flagg Hanley says:

    Thank you for posting a GF recipe that doesn’t contain Xanthan gum! Not only is it an expensive ingredient, but there’s some evidence to suggest it’s causing celiac type issues in folks. This looks fantastic and I have most of the ingredients already!

    Reply
  5. Judi says:

    Hi Mary,
    Carrot is a favorite cake for my family. I look forward to trying it! I was wondering what the note is for the vegetable oil though. Thanks!

    Reply
      • Bookworm says:

        From the source, Yammies Gluten Freedom, here’s the ** note:
        **I know it’s not standard to add the oil last, but that’s the only way I
        can use the same measuring cup since all the other ingredients you have
        to measure are dry. It works anyways.

  6. Naomi Kietzke Young says:

    There is another group of people who have trouble with wheat, but we’re FINE with gluten, the protein in wheat; it’s the subset of carbs in the wheat called fructans that we don’t digest well. Gluten-free recipies are still helpful to us because they usually omit ALL wheat (not *just* the gluten) and so, don’t make us ill. (Do a web search for the phrase, “low-FODMAP diet” to learn more; it’s a real condition with actual science behind it, just as celiac disease is.

    Reply

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