Category Archives: Muffins and Sweet Breads

Deli-style Gluten-Free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

I love the produce our garden generates and its earliest treat is rhubarb.  It is so versatile and I make lots of recipes using rhubarb.  Today, a treat for my gluten-free diet followers — a new recipe for deli-style gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins.

Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

There are many recipes for rhubarb muffins but many of them call for chopped rhubarb.  Rhubarb has a lot of water content and cooks fast when used in chopped form in baking goods. This extra water content can cause some baked goods to turn out soggy, particularly in the areas where the rhubarb chunks land.  To combat this problem, for this recipe, I cook the rhubarb then mash, or purée, it with a hand-held immersion blender. I then use the mashed/puréed rhubarb as part of the liquid content in the muffin batter.  So, I still get rhubarb muffins but without the wet soggy spots.

When I make muffins, I like them to be deli- or café-style which is to say I’m looking for muffins that are a reasonable size, are hearty,  have a lovely texture with a coarse crumb (not cake-like), and are filled with flavour.

Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Muffins are, for lack of a better way of putting it, little individual quick breads. We all know that, appearance-wise, the perfect muffin should bear a slightly domed top that has a bit of firmness to it.  There are a combination of factors that will contribute to that desired result — the right amount of leavening, the consistency of the batter, and the oven temperature.

Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Rhubarb is, by nature, tart.  However, it is important not to over-do the sugar content in the muffins because too much sugar will create a cake-like texture and the moist, open tender crumb, which is a hallmark feature of muffins, will be lost and you will end up with a product that more closely resembles a cupcake. A batter that is too runny will pose the risk of muffins that will rise to form stiff mountain peaks.  Adding some Greek yogurt to the batter is one way to thicken it up and reduce this risk.  Of course, the addition of the right proportions of leavening (baking powder and baking soda) are key.  Having the muffins go into a really hot oven to start them baking is also key to getting a lovely gentle dome on the muffin tops. Using the high temperature allows the outside of the muffin to quickly set while still allowing the inside to continue to rise.

Since I have been developing gluten-free muffins, one thing I have discovered is that I end up with better quality, deli-style muffins when I use a blend of gluten-free flours versus, say, one all-purpose flour or only the one-to-one gluten free flour.  Each gluten-free flour has its own unique qualities and properties and the right blend will provide structure, texture, and flavour to the muffins. The addition of granola to these muffins adds texture, flavour, and bulk to the muffins, making them more hearty and filling.

Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten Free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Ingredients:

3½ oz rhubarb, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1½ tbsp orange juice

1 cup one-to-one gluten-free flour
2 tbsp potato starch
¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¾ tsp zanthan gum
¼ cup gluten-free quick oats
5½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1½ tbsp ground chia seeds
1¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
2 tsp finely grated orange rind
2/3 cup granola

2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1½ tsp vanilla
1½ tbsp orange juice
½ cup whole milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/3 cup cooled rhubarb purée
2 tbsp Greek style coconut yogurt or sour cream
1½ tsp rose water (optional)

Method:

In small sauce pan, combine the rhubarb and orange juice.  Cook over medium-low heat until rhubarb is softened.  Cool slightly then, using the back of a large spoon, mash up the rhubarb or, alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender to purée the rhubarb.  Set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Prepare 12 muffin cups (each ½-cup capacity) by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.

Combine flours, zanthan gum, quick oats, baking powder, soda, salt, ground chia seeds, spices, and grated orange rind together in a large bowl.  Whisk ingredients well to combine. Stir in granola. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, orange juice, milk, maple syrup, Greek yogurt or sour cream, and rose water (if using). Whisk ingredients well. Stir in cooled rhubarb purée.

Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients.  With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the rim of each cup.  Transfer to pre-heated oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.  Do not overbake or muffins will be dry. Remove from oven and let muffins rest in pans for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Muffins freeze well.

Yield: 12 muffins

Deli-style Gluten-Free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Tangy rhubarb purée joins granola, spices, orange juice, and Greek yogurt to make these deli-style gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • oz rhubarb, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • tbsp orange juice
  • 1 cup one-to-one gluten-free flour
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ tsp zanthan gum
  • ¼ cup gluten-free quick oats
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tbsp ground chia seeds
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 2/3 cup granola (recipe link below)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • tsp vanilla
  • tbsp orange juice
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup cooled rhubarb purée
  • 2 tbsp Greek style coconut yogurt or sour cream
  • tsp rose water optional

Instructions

  1. In small sauce pan, combine the rhubarb and orange juice. Cook over medium-low heat until rhubarb is softened. Cool slightly then, using the back of a large spoon, mash up the rhubarb or, alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender to purée the rhubarb. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Prepare 12 muffin cups (each ½-cup capacity) by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.
  4. Combine flours, zanthan gum, quick oats, baking powder, soda, salt, ground chia seeds, spices, and grated orange rind together in a large bowl. Whisk ingredients well to combine. Stir in granola. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  5. In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, orange juice, milk, maple syrup, Greek yogurt or sour cream, and rose water (if using). Whisk ingredients well. Stir in cooled rhubarb purée.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients. With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the rim of each cup. Transfer to pre-heated oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overbake or muffins will be dry. Remove from oven and let muffins rest in pans for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Muffins freeze well.

Recipe Notes

Link to granola recipe: http://myislandbistrokitchen.com/2016/03/08/the-bistros-great-nut-free-granola/

 

For other gluten-free muffin recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

The Ultimate Gluten-free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins
Deli-Style Gluten-Free Beet Muffins
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Pin Me to Pinterest!

Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Cherry Loaf Recipe

Cherry Loaf
Cherry Loaf

This Cherry Loaf recipe is as pretty as it is tasty, speckled with maraschino cherries that, themselves, lend great flavour to the loaf.

Quick breads, leavened with baking powder, and sometimes soda, are an easy alternative to muffins – but, they’re born of the same family!  They are quick to make (because there is no yeast involved) and are great additions to breakfast, brunch, and coffeebreaks.

There are two methods for making quick breads.

Creaming Method – This method calls for the solid fat product (shortening, butter, or margarine) to be softened at room temperature for 25-30 minutes (not microwaved which can change its properties and can cause it to quickly become liquefied). The fat is then beaten/creamed, either by hand if you are prepared to devote some elbow grease to the process, or by electric mixer on low speed. The sugar is then added and creamed with the fat product until the mixture is a pale or light colour and the texture is airy or fluffy. This “creaming’ process whips air into the batter which allows air pockets (or bubbles) to form (and expand during baking) that, in addition to leavening agents such as baking powder and soda, help the cake or loaf to rise.

The room temperature eggs are then added, one at a time.  Adding the eggs, with this technique, allows them time to, individually and slowly, mix in well with the creamed fat and sugar mixture and limit the possibility of them curdling.  The watery eggs and the fat product don’t naturally mix well, or bind, together (same principle as trying to mix water and oil together).  If all the eggs called for in the recipe are added all at once, they become more than what the fat-sugar mixture can handle at the same time and the ingredients separate and look curdled or scrambled. Adding the eggs slowly allows them to be better incorporated with the fat-sugar mixture.

With the creamed method, the liquid ingredients are combined together in one bowl or measuring cup and the dry ingredients are whisked together in a separate bowl.  The dry ingredients are added to the creamed mixture alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (three additions of dry to two additions of wet ingredients). While the stand mixer should be fitted with the paddle attachment for the creaming method, it’s important not to over-beat the batter once the flour and liquid ingredients have been added because that will cause gluten to form and a loaf with a tough crumb is likely to result. Beat only until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth.

This method will yield a moist texture loaf with a fine crumb (lots of tiny holes of fairly uniform size), reminiscent of a  dense cake texture.

Cherry Loaf
Slice of Cherry Loaf

Muffin Method – This method calls for the dry ingredients to be whisked together well in one bowl.  All the liquid ingredients are mixed in a separate bowl with oil or a fat that has been liquefied (and, often, the sugar is mixed in with the liquid ingredients).  The liquid ingredients are then simply added to the dry ingredients and stirred together just until the ingredients are barely combined.

Because no creaming of butter and sugar is involved in this method, the loaf will not have the added advantage of the air pockets being formed by this process to help the loaf to rise. In this method, the loaf will rely solely on leavening agents (baking powder, soda) to rise. The batter will often be lumpy  which is okay (it will even out on its own during baking) and it’s important not to overmix the batter trying to get it smooth as this will activate the development of gluten that will result in a tough crumb.

For this method, stir the mixture by hand because an electric mixer will overmix the batter. This method will often yield a slightly drier texture (than the creaming method does) with a larger, coarser crumb in the loaf, closely resembling the texture of muffins, hence the name “muffin method”.

The muffin method is commonly used to mix up waffles and pancakes as well.

Cherry Loaf
Cherry Loaf

My recipe for Cherry Loaf uses the creamed method because I want a delicate, refined texture in this particular loaf.

Cherry Loaf
Cherry Loaf

All ingredients should be at room temperature for about 25-30 minutes before mixing the batter.  The ingredients blend better if they are at room temperature. If you think of nice soft butter or shortening being hit with cold eggs or milk, it’s obvious that the ingredients will simply clump together rather than blend in well. The result will be a loaf that does not have the best texture possible.

There is a choice of fat product in this loaf – either shortening, butter, or margarine will yield a good loaf.  Butter, however, will obviously give the most flavor 😉

This loaf calls for maraschino cherries.  These are the best option for this loaf because they are soft and beautifully bright colored.  Dried cherries are too chewy and coarse and will not create the lovely red-dotted speckles throughout the loaf.  Maraschino cherries, however, are wet and if they are not blotted dry, they will add too much excess moisture to the loaf.  I recommend blotting the cherries with a paper towel, cutting them, and blotting them again.  The idea is not to dry them out but, rather, to remove the excess moisture.

Cherry Loaf
Cherry Loaf

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Cherry Loaf

Ingredients:

1/3 cup shortening, butter, or margarine
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup milk, room temperature
1½ tbsp orange juice, room temperature
2½ tbsp maraschino cherry juice, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond flavouring

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup maraschino cherries, well-drained, blotted dry, and coarsely chopped

Method:

Bring shortening, butter, or margarine, eggs, milk, and orange and maraschino cherry juices to room temperature approximately 25-30 minutes before preparing batter.

Remove cherries from their juice and, using paper towel, blot them dry.  Cut up cherries and blot again on paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease 9”x5”x3” loaf pan.

In 1-cup measuring cup, or small bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, cherry juice, vanilla, and almond flavouring. Stir to mix.

In medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together well.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and on low speed, cream the shortening, butter, or margarine well.  Gradually add the granulated sugar, then the brown sugar.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until ingredients are pale-colored and mixture has an airy/fluffy texture. Stop mixer, as necessary, to scrape bowl with rubber spatula to ensure the ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and using the spatula, as necessary, to scrape sides of bowl.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients (three additions of dry ingredients with two additions of wet ingredients).  Periodically scrape sides of bowl with spatula to ensure all ingredients are combined. Do not overmix.

Remove bowl from mixer stand and stir in the cherries by hand, just until they are blended in.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and, using a knife, smooth the top of the loaf.  Bake for approximately 1 hour or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. If loaf starts to brown, it may be loosely tented with tin foil after about 45 minutes of baking; ensure loaf top is completely set before allowing the tin foil to touch it as it will peel off the top of the loaf. Let loaf rest in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on to wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

Yield:  One loaf, 14 slices (sliced approximately ½” thick)

Notes:  Loaf is best made the day before it is needed.  Let cool completely on wire rack then place in airtight plastic bag and store in refrigerator overnight to allow the flavours time to blend and the loaf to soften.  Loaf freezes well.

Cherry Loaf

This flavourful cherry loaf is an easy-to-make moist quick bread that is speckled with colorful maraschino cherries

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 14
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup shortening, butter, or margarine
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp orange juice, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tbsp maraschino cherry juice, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond flavouring
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup maraschino cherries, well-drained, blotted dry, and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring shortening, butter, or margarine, eggs, milk, and orange and maraschino cherry juices to room temperature approximately 25-30 minutes before preparing batter.
  2. Remove cherries from their juice and, using paper towel, blot them dry. Cut up cherries and blot again on paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9”x5”x3” loaf pan.
  4. In 1-cup measuring cup, or small bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, cherry juice, vanilla, and almond flavouring. Stir to mix.
  5. In medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together well.
  6. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and on low speed, cream the shortening, butter, or margarine well. Gradually add the granulated sugar, then the brown sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until ingredients are pale-colored and mixture has an airy/fluffy texture. Stop mixer, as necessary, to scrape bowl with rubber spatula to ensure the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and using the spatula, as necessary, to scrape sides of bowl.
  8. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients (three additions of dry ingredients with two additions of wet ingredients). Periodically scrape sides of bowl with spatula to ensure all ingredients are combined. Do not overmix.
  9. Remove bowl from mixer stand and stir in the cherries by hand, just until they are blended in.
  10. Transfer batter to prepared pan and, using a knife, smooth the top of the loaf. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. If loaf starts to brown, it may be loosely tented with tin foil after about 45 minutes of baking; ensure loaf top is completely set before allowing the tin foil to touch it as it will peel off the top of the loaf. Let loaf rest in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on to wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

Recipe Notes

Notes: Loaf is best made the day before it is needed. Let cool completely on wire rack then place in airtight plastic bag and store in refrigerator overnight to allow the flavours time to blend and the loaf to soften. Loaf freezes well.

 

For other quick bread recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

 Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Pin Me To Pinterest!

Cherry Loaf
Cherry Loaf

 

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

These Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins will rival any traditional wheat-based muffins!  They sport a lovely domed top that is the hallmark of a perfect muffin shape, they are packed full of flavor, and they have a lovely tender, moist crumb.

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

Like any good quality gluten-free muffins that replicate deli-style muffins, I find that they do take a few more ingredients and thus can be a bit more time-consuming to make than many recipes for traditional wheat-based muffins. But the end result is so worth the effort!  Because mixing up the different flours and opening various spice bottles is the most time-consuming part of the exercise, what I will most often do is mix up the dry ingredients the night before I plan to make the muffins and cover the container. The next day, I simply mix up the wet ingredients and add them to the dry ingredients and that does speed up the process.  In fact, I will often go on a muffin-making frolic and make 5-6 different batches for the freezer on the same day. When I do this, I always mix up the dry ingredients the night before and label each container appropriately.

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

A mixture of gluten-free flours will yield better flavour and quality than simply using an all-purpose gluten-free flour as the entire flour ingredient. Quite frankly, I find gluten-free all-purpose flour by itself often has an “offputting” flavour in baked goods. That’s why I use a blend of some all-purpose gluten-free flour, gluten-free oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour (my real favorite!) and potato starch. The potato starch, zanthan gum, and quick oats in this recipe help to give these muffins structure and ‘holding power’ so they don’t fall apart. Muffins with good structure should be able to be broken or cut apart and still stay intact without crumbling to pieces.

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

Adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves really give these muffins a flavour boost along with grated orange rind which goes very well with zucchini.

The secret ingredient to these muffins is….wait for it….puréed baby food!  I have been using baby food in regular muffin recipes for years. It gives moisture and flavour to muffins. Instead of using applesauce or pumpkin purée, baby food works just great. I like puréed pears in this recipe but have made them with other flavours, such as peach-mango, with great success.

Use freshly grated zucchini, not frozen, in this recipe. Frozen zucchini has too much water in it for these muffins.  Grate the zucchini quite coarsely using the large hole side of a box grater or a flat grater like the one shown in the left in the photo below. I like chopped dates in these muffins although raisins would also work.

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

These muffins bake well in muffin cups that have a 1/2-cup capacity. I like making them in my square muffin tins.  I am particularly partial to square muffins for a couple of reasons. First, well okay, I just like the overall look of them! And, I find they look nicer when they are cut open – they look like the little mini loaves they are! Second, they are easier to package in plastic wrap and store in the freezer than are round muffins.

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

Preheating the oven to 450F is not a typo! Putting the muffins into a high-heat oven helps them get the “loft” that will form the dome shape. I do this with my muffins, whether they are wheat-based or gluten free and it works.  The key thing to remember, however, is to immediately lower the heat to 400F as soon as the muffins go in the oven. Otherwise, baking them the entire time at 450F will result in dried out muffins.

Take care not to overbake these muffins or they will become dry. Test them with a cake tester at the 18-minute baking point to see if the tester comes out clean. If it doesn’t, continue to bake them, checking them every 1 1/2 minutes or so.

These Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins are a standard staple in my freezer. Because they freeze so well, they are great to have on hand to throw in to the lunch bag on weekday mornings. Serve them with, or without, butter and/or a favorite jam.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 tbsp potato starch
¼ cup gluten free oat flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1¼ tsp zanthan gum
¼ cup gluten-free quick oats
5½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp grated orange rind

2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1½ tsp vanilla
1 – 4.5 oz container of puréed pears baby food
½ cup buttermilk or soured milk*
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup grated zucchini (apx. 5 oz zucchini)
¾ cup chopped dates

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Prepare 12 muffin cups (each ½-cup capacity) by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.

Combine flours, zanthan gum, quick oats, baking powder, soda, salt, ground chia seeds, spices, and grated orange rind together in a large bowl.  Whisk ingredients well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, puréed pears baby food, milk*, and maple syrup. (*To sour milk, pour 1½ tsp vinegar into a ½ cup measuring cup. Fill with milk.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes before stirring and using.) Whisk ingredients well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped dates.

Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients.  With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the rim of each cup.  Let sit for 3 – 4 minutes before transferring to pre-heated oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.  Do not overbake or muffins will be dry. Remove from oven and let muffins rest in pans for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

(NOTE: As with all gluten-free recipes, ensure that all ingredients are gluten-free products)

Yield: 12 muffins

Gluten-Free Zucchini Date Muffins

These gluten-free muffins are moist with a tender crumb. Packed full of flavour, it's hard to tell they're gluten free.  Perfect for the lunch bag or coffee break.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp zanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free quick oats
  • 5 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 - 4.5 oz container of puréed pears baby food
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or soured milk*
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (apx. 5 oz zucchini)
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Prepare 12 muffin cups (each ½-cup capacity) by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.
  3. Combine flours, zanthan gum, quick oats, baking powder, soda, salt, ground chia seeds, spices, and grated orange rind together in a large bowl. Whisk ingredients well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, puréed pears baby food, milk*, and maple syrup. (*To sour milk, pour 1½ tsp vinegar into a ½ cup measuring cup. Fill with milk. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before stirring and using.) Whisk ingredients well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped dates.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients. With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to the rim of each cup. Let sit for 3 – 4 minutes before transferring to pre-heated oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overbake or muffins will be dry. Remove from oven and let muffins rest in pans for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: As with any gluten-free recipe, ensure that all ingredients are gluten-free products

 

Pin Me To Pinterest!

Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten Free Zucchini Date Muffins

For other gluten-free muffin recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, follow these links:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins
Deli-Style Gluten-Free Beet Muffins
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

This recipe is an adaptation of my great grandmother’s lemon sweet bread.  Back in her day, this sweet bread would have been considered quite a luxurious treat, perhaps one reserved for company.  She lived in a small village in rural Prince Edward Island where there was, yes, a small general corner store but I doubt that lemons would  have been altogether common all the time. I don’t know from where or when she got the recipe for Lemon Sweet Bread, but I am guessing it is probably one she clipped from the newspaper.  This great grandmother was known particularly for three foods – apple pie, peach marmalade, and lemon sweet bread. I don’t personally remember her apple pie but, I do have memories that go as far back as the 1960s and I do remember her peach marmalade and lemon sweet bread, both of which were lovingly and carefully made.

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Some glaze their sweet breads with lemon juice mixed with confectioner’s sugar (aka icing sugar or powdered sugar).  I just use regular granulated sugar as I find the confectioner’s sugar can cause the glaze to be a bit “chippy” and it breaks off the sweet bread whereas the glaze made with granulated sugar is more clear or translucent and is more absorbed into the loaf for added flavor and moistness. Whichever glaze is used, however, is a matter of personal preference.

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

This sweet bread freezes well. In fact, I often make it, slice it, and individually wrap the slices in plastic wrap before freezing them in a freezer bag or airtight container. They are ready for quick lunch bag preparation on weekday mornings.

Buttered Slice of Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Buttered Slice of Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

This loaf also goes particularly well with a lovely cup of tea.  To butter or not to butter slices of sweet breads is a matter of preference.

Buttered Slice of Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Buttered Slice of Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Ingredients:
½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2½ tsp grated lemon rind
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup milk

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray a 9”x5” loaf pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving some excess paper overhang that can be used as handles to lift loaf out of pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter then gradually beat in the sugar.  Beat, at medium speed, until the butter-sugar mixture is light coloured and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, if needed.  Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pecans.  With the mixer speed set to low or “stir” mode, add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternately with the milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, if necessary, to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. Beat at medium-high speed an additional 20-30 seconds or so to ensure the dry ingredients have been completely incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan, spreading batter evenly with knife.

Bake loaf for approximately 1 hour or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Glaze:  About 3-4 minutes before cake is due to come out of the oven, combine lemon juice and sugar in small bowl.  Slowly drizzle pourable glaze over hot loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cool loaf in pan for about 15 minutes then carefully turn loaf out on to wire rack to finish cooling. Cool sweet bread completely before slicing and serving.

Yield:  1 – 9”x5” loaf

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

An easy-to-make sweet bread that is flavored with lemon and studded with pecans and topped with a lemon-sugar glaze

Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup milk

Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray a 9”x5” loaf pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving some excess paper overhang that can be used as handles to lift loaf out of pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter then gradually beat in the sugar. Beat, at medium speed, until the butter-sugar mixture is light coloured and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, if needed. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pecans. With the mixer speed set to low or “stir” mode, add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternately with the milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, if necessary, to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. Beat at medium-high speed an additional 20-30 seconds or so to ensure the dry ingredients have been completely incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan, spreading batter evenly with knife.
  4. Bake loaf for approximately 1 hour or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Glaze:

  1. About 3-4 minutes before cake is due to come out of the oven, combine lemon juice and sugar in small bowl. Slowly drizzle pourable glaze over hot loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cool loaf in pan for about 15 minutes then carefully turn loaf out on to wire rack to finish cooling. Cool sweet bread completely before slicing and serving.

    Yield: 1 – 9”x5” loaf

 

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Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread
Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins

Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Mini Loaves
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Mini Loaves

These mini loaves/muffins are super tasty and it’s hard to tell they are gluten-free! I believe this is so because I use a mix of gluten-free flours that include almond and coconut flours which lend exceptional texture and flavour to baked goods. After several testings, I have fixed on a blend of flavorful spices for these loaves/muffins – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. The spices, combined with pumpkin purée and mincemeat, results in a very flavorful mini loaf/muffin.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Mincemeat Muffins
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins

I find gluten-free baked goods take more leavening than do gluten products so this recipe calls for a substantial amount of baking powder along with some soda. I like muffins that are perfectly domed and this recipe delivers well on that front.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Mincemeat Muffins
Gluten-free Pumpkin Mincemeat Muffins

Because there are several different flours in this recipe, make sure the dry ingredients are mixed really well to ensure the zanthan gum, flours, spices, and leavening agents are well mixed. I use a whisk and do a count of 50 while briskly whisking the ingredients every which way in the bowl. You can, of course, put the ingredients through a flour sifter or fine wire mesh sieve and then give them a good stir. Either method works.

There is a small amount of buttermilk or soured milk called for in this recipe. While it’s only 2 1/2 tablespoons, it is nonetheless an important ingredient.  The acidity of buttermilk combined with the soda called for in the recipe helps to make muffins that have a tender crumb.  If you don’t have buttermilk, don’t go buy it for just 2 1/2 tablespoons. Instead, take regular milk and add about 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar to it.  Let it stand for 5-10 minutes and it will be duly soured.  For those using non-dairy milk substitutes, use soy or almond milk in this recipe.

It’s important to use pure pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling, in this recipe.  The purée has a different texture and no spices added to it. This allows the baker to add his or her own combination of spices appropriate to the recipe. Pumpkin purée freezes well so I open a can for the recipe I am making then freeze the remainder in one-half cup portions in freezer containers for use in other recipes.

If you have an 8-cavity mini loaf pan (each loaf cavity apx 2” x 3” x 1” deep that holds about 2/3-cup batter), this recipe makes cute little mini loaves. Otherwise, use 10 standard muffin cups (each having apx ½-cup capacity).

Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Mini Loaves
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Mini Loaves

The loaves/muffins have a lovely texture and a tender crumb.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Mincemeat Muffins
Gluten-free Pumpkin Mincemeat Muffins

These mini loaves/muffins freeze really well so are great to have on hand for school or work lunches.

Make a batch of the mini loaves at Christmas and tie each with a ribbon and they make a perfect little remembrance gift for the foodies on your list.  They’re perfect little hostess gifts, too!

Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Mini Loaves
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Mini Loaves

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 tbsp potato starch
¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1¼ tsp zanthan gum
5½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
2½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves

¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1½ tsp vanilla
2½ tbsp buttermilk or sour milk*
½ cup canned pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup mincemeat

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Prepare 8-cavity mini loaf pan (each loaf cavity apx 2” x 3” x 1” deep – about 2/3-cup capacity) or 10 standard muffin cups (each apx ½-cup capacity) by spraying each cavity or muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.

Combine flours, zanthan gum, baking powder, soda, salt, chia seeds, and spices together in a large bowl.  Whisk ingredients well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, milk*, pumpkin, and mincemeat.  Whisk ingredients well. (To sour milk, add scant ½ tsp vinegar to the 2½ tbsp milk.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes before using.)

Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients.  With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into prepared mini loaf cavities or muffin cups, filling almost to the rim.  Let sit for 3 –4 minutes before transferring to pre-heated oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until loaves/muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of muffin or loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let loaves/muffins rest in pans for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 8 mini loaves or 10 standard-sized muffins

Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins

These gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins are moist, flavorful, perfectly domed, and totally delicious!
Course Breakfast
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp zanthan gum
  • 5 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tbsp buttermilk or sour milk To sour milk, add apx. 1/2 tsp vinegar to the milk and let it sit 5-10 minutes before using
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup mincemeat

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Prepare 8-cavity mini loaf pan (each loaf cavity apx 2” x 3” x 1” deep – about 2/3-cup capacity) or 10 standard muffin cups (each apx ½-cup capacity) by spraying each cavity or muffin cup with cooking spray or greasing individually.
  3. Combine flours, zanthan gum, baking powder, soda, salt, chia seeds, and spices together in a large bowl. Whisk ingredients well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In separate medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, milk*, pumpkin, and mincemeat. Whisk ingredients well. (To sour milk, add scant ½ tsp vinegar to the 2½ tbsp milk. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before using.)
  5. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients. With large spoon, mix ingredients together just until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.

  6. Spoon batter into prepared mini loaf cavities or muffin cups, filling almost to the rim. Let sit for 3 –4 minutes before transferring to pre-heated oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F.

  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until loaves/muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into center of muffin or loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let loaves/muffins rest in pans for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

    Yield: 8 mini loaves or 10 standard-sized muffins

For other great gluten-free muffins from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
Deli-Style Gluten-Free Beet Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
The Ultimate Gluten-free Zucchini Date Muffins

Pin these images to your favorite Pinterest Boards!

Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins
Gluten-free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins

Deli-style Gluten-Free Beet Muffins

Beet Muffin
Gluten-Free Beet Muffin

We have all heard of carrot muffins and don’t think twice about including the carrot vegetable into baked goods.  What is less commonly heard of is the use of beets for the same purpose. Today, I am sharing my newly-created and tested recipe for deli-style gluten-free beet muffins which are moist and packed full of wonderful flavor.  This is definitely in the category of “don’t knock it till you’ve tried it“!

Beets
Beets

Our garden did extremely well this year and our beets, in particular, grew very well….to the point that we had way more than what we could eat fresh or pickled.  I am always looking to add new gluten-free muffins to my recipe repertoire so, with an abundance of beets available, I figured this was a good time to experiment with them and I am very pleased with the results.  These deli-style gluten-free beet muffins have undergone several testings, in different ovens, and have produced consistently good results to the point that I am ready to publish my recipe here on my website.

Beet Muffin
Gluten-Free Beet Muffin

For those of you who follow a gluten-free diet, you are likely aware that it is often difficult to get good quality baked goods that reasonably replicate gluten baked goods and that are appetizing and tasty.  I have been doing a lot of experimenting with gluten-free recipe creation over the past while and am having very good results, particularly with muffins.  I love a muffin for coffeebreak at work every day and I absolutely detest any muffin with a flat top!  I expect my muffins to resemble deli-style muffins – those that are beautifully raised, with the dome top, and are a reasonably good sized muffin.

 Beet Muffins
Gluten-free Beet Muffins

In order to get that deli-style muffin, I have learned that gluten-free muffins take more leavening. This is probably due to the properties in the gluten-free flours and they obviously must take more leavening.  I find some gluten-free flours produce baked goods that have a “gritty” texture to them while others will result in a “gummy” textured product, and still others can have an offputting taste that is just not very appetizing.  I have come up with a flour mixture blend that alleviates these issues and I attribute a lot of that to my use of small amounts of almond and coconut flours in my baked products.  These flours cannot be used cup-for-cup substitutions for all-purpose flours because they react to liquid differently and, hence, the use of them in any quantity requires modifications to the liquid content in a recipe.  However, small amounts of them can be used and I find they do enhance both the texture and certainly the flavor of baked goods like cookies and muffins.

Beet Muffin
Gluten-free Beet Muffin

The other thing I have learned about gluten-free baking is that the addition of several flavor enhancers greatly improves the flavor of the baked product. This is where the use of yogurt, vegetables (such as beets), maple syrup, cocoa, and so forth come in. For this beet muffin recipe, I use a thick Mediterranean-style/Greek yogurt.  Many recipes will call for the use of plain yogurt and that certainly works in this muffin recipe.  However, I have also tested it with coconut and lavender (yes, lavender!) flavored yogurts and both are very good in these muffins.  Don’t substitute regular yogurt for the thick Mediterranean-style yogurt in this recipe as the regular yogurt will be too watery and will change the ratio of wet-to-dry ingredients in the muffins.

For this recipe, I incorporate beets in two ways – as a purée and in shredded form.  The purée should be of the consistency of applesauce or baby food and should look like this.

Beet Purée
Beet Purée

A small food processor or blender works well for the purée but I often use my immersion blender. If the beets are soft enough, the immersion blender will work. I use my tall 2-cup measuring cup when using the immersion blender to purée these beets as it contains any splatters – you really do see how red beets can be if you find splatters on the wall!

To shred the remaining beet(s) required for the recipe, I use a simple shredder like the one shown in the photo below. As you can see, the beets are shredded rather coarsely.

Shredded Cooked Beets
Shredded Cooked Beets

Some recipes call for shredded uncooked beets to be used in muffins; however, these muffins only take about 20 minutes to bake and, since beets are firm and take a while to cook I find, to ensure the beets are cooked in the muffins, I have better success using cooked beets in this recipe. Both the beet purée and shredded beets give these muffins flavor and moisture.

Beet Muffins
Gluten-free Beet Muffins

I love chocolate so have incorporated some cocoa and chocolate chips into the muffins as both add lovely flavor to the baked product.

While I cook the beets especially for these muffins, if you happen to have cooked too many beets for another purpose, these muffins would be a good way to use the left-over beets. Three-quarters of a pound of beets (weighed after leaves removed) are required for this recipe. The ones in the photo below are from our garden so, as you can see, they are of varying sizes! Just know that the bigger beet is going to take longer to cook to fork-tender state. Don’t split the beets before they are cooked as they will bleed and their goodness will be poured down the drain.

Beets
Beets

As always, make sure that all the ingredients called for in the recipe are gluten free.

Beet Muffins
Gluten-free Beet Muffins

These are great muffins to make in the summer and fall when you have fresh beets in the garden or can access them at local farmers markets or roadside farm market stands. These muffins freeze well.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-Free Beet Muffins

Ingredients:

¾ lb beets

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (or gluten-free one-to-one flour)
1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
2 tbsp arrowroot starch
1¼ tsp zanthan gum
¼ cup gluten-free small flake rolled oats
5½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/3 cup cocoa
Scant 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ tsp cinnamon

2 extra-large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
½ cup almond milk or whole milk
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/3 cup Mediterranean-style/Greek yogurt (plain, coconut, or lavender flavor)
4 oz beet purée (see method below)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1½ tsp vanilla
½ cup shredded cooked beets

½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

Remove leaves, leaving about 1½“ stems along with the roots on the beets. Wash beets. Cook beets in boiling salted water until fork tender.  Let beets cool enough to handle, then peel. Loosely chop 4 oz beets into a small food processor or a blender and purée until smooth (an immersion blender may also be used). Consistency of puréed beets should be similar to apple sauce or baby food. Shred remaining beets to fill ½ cup measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Use muffin tins with cups that have ½-cup holding capacity. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying each muffin cup with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tin is also well greased. Alternatively, line with parchment paper cups.

In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients by whisking very well.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and set aside.

In separate bowl, or large measuring cup, whisk together the lightly beaten eggs, almond or whole milk, coconut oil, yogurt, beet purée, maple syrup, vanilla, and shredded beet.

Pour wet ingredients into well in the dry ingredients.  Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, if using.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the muffin cup rim.  Let batter sit for 5 minutes before baking.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400°F.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin cups for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 15 muffins

Gluten Free Beet Muffins

Yield: 15 muffins

A deli-style gluten free muffin that combines beets with chocolate to create a moist, tasty muffin

Ingredients

  • ¾ lb beets
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (or gluten-free one-to-one flour)
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1¼ tsp zanthan gum
  • ¼ cup gluten-free small flake rolled oats
  • 5½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • Scant 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup almond milk or whole milk
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup Mediterranean-style/Greek yogurt (plain, coconut, or lavender flavor)
  • 4 oz beet purée (see method below)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup shredded cooked beets
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove leaves, leaving about 1½“ stems along with the roots on the beets. Wash beets. Cook beets in boiling salted water until fork tender. Let beets cool enough to handle, then peel. Loosely chop 4 oz beets into a small food processor or a blender and purée until smooth (an immersion blender may also be used). Consistency of puréed beets should be similar to apple sauce or baby food. Shred remaining beets to fill ½ cup measuring cup.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Use muffin tins with cups that have ½-cup holding capacity. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying each muffin cup with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tin is also well greased. Alternatively, line with parchment paper cups.
  4. In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients by whisking very well. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and set aside.
  5. In separate bowl, or large measuring cup, whisk together the lightly beaten eggs, almond or whole milk, coconut oil, yogurt, beet purée, maple syrup, vanilla, and shredded beet.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into well in the dry ingredients. Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the muffin cup rim. Let batter sit for 5 minutes before baking.
  8. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400°F. Bake 20-22 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins rest in muffin cups for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
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Beet Muffins
Gluten free Beet Muffins

 

For other great gluten-free muffin recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Blueberry Muffin recipe
The Ultimate Gluten-free Zucchini Date Muffins
Deli-style Gluten-free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins

These delicious Deli-style Gluten-free Beet Muffins are made with cooked beets and chocolate to create moist,tasty muffins.

Pin Me To Pinterest!

Beet Muffins
Gluten-free Beet Muffins

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins are a favorite and, while I have a “go-to” recipe for blueberry muffins that calls for regular gluten flour, I did not have one that was gluten-free. So, I set about developing one of my own and this is the result. My aim was to create a bistro, or deli-style, muffin and I am pleased with the end result.

I have discovered several things about gluten-free muffin making.  First, some gluten-free flours have a “grainy”, or an almost “gritty”, texture to them and this will come through in the baked item. Some flours can result in, what I would describe as, gummy texture products. Hence, not all gluten-free flours yield good textured muffins. And, in my view, some gluten-free flours just don’t have a pleasing taste. Second, I find gluten-free flours seem to react differently than gluten flours to leavening.  And, third, it often takes more ingredients and flavor boosters to end up with a tasty muffin that, as closely as possible, replicates a regular muffin. The remedies?  It often takes a combination of more than one gluten-free flour to arrive at a satisfactory result. I add more leavening to my gluten-free muffins than I would usually add to gluten muffins to get that lovely gentle dome shape on the top that is so desired in muffin making.  I bump up the spices and other flavorings (e.g., orange juice, maple syrup, orange rind, and applesauce) to get deep appetizing flavor.

The Bistro's Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
The Bistro’s Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

My favorite gluten-free flours to use in muffins are a combination of coconut flour, almond flour, and gluten-free oat flour. I use these in combination with gluten-free all-purpose flour. I find that, if I use just the gluten-free all-purpose flour for the recipe’s entire flour content, the muffins often lack sufficient structure, flavor, and I sometimes detect a grainy/gritty texture. Adding a combination of other flours with different textures tends to solve this problem for me.  The coconut and almond flours add beautiful flavor to baked foods. The addition of some potato starch and zanthan gum also helps with structure and crumb texture. With the availability of bulk food stores, it is easy and convenient to purchase just the amounts of specialty flours and starches called for in recipes rather than having to buy large, expensive bags of them. It’s also a better way to ensure fresher product.

My gluten-free blueberry muffin recipe calls for either eggnog, almond milk, or whole milk.  I have tested this recipe with all three products and had equally good results but must say that the eggnog makes the richest muffins with the most pleasing and complex flavor. However, to make the muffins dairy-free, by all means, use almond milk – it works very well.  The recipe calls for maple syrup and plain works fine. I had some lavender and chai infused maple syrup on hand and, since the lavender plays well with blueberries, it added a layer of pleasing flavor complexity. Some recipes just do require a layering of flavors and, sometimes, one might think that such a small amount of an ingredient called for  could be left out of the recipe with no notice; however, I believe all called-for ingredients in a recipe contribute to the end result, even if they are just playing small supporting roles and are not the main star of the recipe.

This recipe for blueberry muffins makes one dozen muffins and the muffin cup size should be one-half cup capacity. I like to use my square muffin tins for many muffin recipes. Apart from simply liking the shape, the square muffins are easy to wrap, store, and freeze. Several times a year, I go on a muffin-making frolic, making different kinds of muffins for the freezer. I will bag up different varieties and freeze them so they are quick and easy to pull out for weekday coffeebreaks at work.  If a muffin does not freeze well, it will not get added to my repertoire of batch-making muffins.  These blueberry muffins freeze very well.

To get the desired dome-shaped muffin, the muffins need to start out in a relatively high oven temperature – i.e., 450F.   Using the high temperature to begin the baking process allows the outside of the muffin to quickly set while still allowing the inside to continue to rise.  This also gives that nice soft muffin top.  As soon as I place the muffins in the oven, I drop the temperature back to 400F.

The Bistro's Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
The Bistro’s Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

The texture of a good muffin should have a loose, coarse interior crumb, like those shown in the photograph above.  Do not overmix muffin batter as this will cause the muffins to be tough, rubbery, and somewhat heavy.  Stir only until the dry ingredients are just barely incorporated.  In fact, in muffins in which I am adding fruit (which gets added last, using the “folding” technique), I don’t completely incorporate all the dry ingredients to the wet because, when the fruit is folded in, the dry ingredients will get further incorporated then.  The batter should be lumpy, not smooth.

Muffins will quickly dry out if they are overbaked.   I have found, in my oven, that about 20 minutes bakes these muffins perfectly but, as every oven is a bit different,  I suggest checking the muffins at about the 16-17 minute mark and, just as soon as they spring back to a light finger touch, insert a cake tester or toothpick into the center of a muffin – if it comes out clean, the muffins are done. Let the baked muffins rest in the baking tin for 5-7 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

The Bistro's Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
The Bistro’s Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

The Bistro’s Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond flour
¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
2 tbsp potato starch
1½ tsp zanthan gum
¼ cup gluten-free large flake rolled oats
5½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
1½ tbsp ground flax seed
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tbsp finely grated orange rind

2 large eggs (room temperature), lightly beaten
2/3 cup eggnog, almond milk, or whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup orange juice
1½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup, plain or flavor-infused (e.g., lavender and chai)
1/3 cup applesauce

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Use muffin tins with cups that have ½-cup holding capacity. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying each muffin cup with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tin is also well greased.

In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and grated orange rind by whisking very well.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and set aside.

In separate bowl, or large measuring cup, whisk together the lightly beaten eggs, eggnog (or almond or whole milk), oil, orange juice, vanilla, maple syrup, and applesauce.

Pour wet ingredients into well in the dry ingredients.  Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the muffin cup rim.  Let batter sit for 5 minutes before baking.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400°F.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin cups for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: Apx. 12 muffins

The Bistro's Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Yield: Apx. 12 muffins

These flavor-packed deli-style gluten-free blueberry muffins are light and moist with a tender crumb.Hard to believe they are gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1½ tsp zanthan gum
  • ¼ cup gluten-free large flake rolled oats
  • 5½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1½ tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature), lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup eggnog, almond milk, or whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, plain or flavor-infused (e.g., lavender and chai)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Use muffin tins with cups that have ½-cup holding capacity. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying each muffin cup with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tin is also well greased.
  3. In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and grated orange rind by whisking very well. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. In separate bowl, or large measuring cup, whisk together the lightly beaten eggs, eggnog (or almond or whole milk), oil, orange juice, vanilla, maple syrup, and applesauce.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into well in the dry ingredients. Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the muffin cup rim. Let batter sit for 5 minutes before baking.
  7. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400°F. Bake 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  8. Let muffins rest in muffin cups for 5-7 minutes then gently remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Please be sure to read the entire blog posting that accompanies this recipe as it contains several tips and hints on making gluten-free muffins.

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For other great gluten-free muffin recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Deli-style Gluten-Free Rhubarb Granola Muffins
The Ultimate Gluten-free Zucchini Date Muffins
Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Mincemeat Muffins
Deli-Style Gluten-Free Beet Muffins

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Gluten-free Muffins
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
The Bistro's Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
The Bistro’s Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins Recipe

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

I make a lot of muffins and freeze them to take to work for coffeebreak snacks. I am always testing out flavour combinations for muffins.  This recipe combines grated zucchini, applesauce, granola, orange rind, and spices to make tasty muffins. Adding some granola to the muffin tops makes them colorful and interesting.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Muffins are not difficult to make and one of the most important tips I have for muffin making is not to over mix the ingredients – this will lead to a tough-textured muffin. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until the two are barely combined – it’s okay if you still see a small bit of the dry ingredients. Don’t worry, by the time you spoon the batter into the muffin tin cups, all the dry ingredients will get incorporated.

In a perfect muffin, look for texture that is uniform and neither soggy nor too dry and that has a medium crumb that is moist and tender and somewhat loose. A well-baked muffin will also reveal round gas holes that are uniformly distributed as shown in the photo below.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins

I like to start the muffins baking in a really hot oven (475°F) and then immediately reduce the heat (down to 400°F for these) when I place the muffins in the oven. It’s important that the oven is preheated. I find this quick start of high heat helps the muffins to rise really quickly at the beginning of the baking period and will give them that nice symmetrically-formed, slightly rounded dome-shaped top that is customary in muffins (see photo below). A well-formed muffin should not have any sharp peak or knob on the top.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

The crust of a good muffin should be thin and tender with a rough, pebbled surface.  The muffin, on all sides (including the bottom), should have a uniformly browned crust with no sign of darkness or burning.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

I do not recommend using paper liners in the muffin tins for these as the muffins won’t have a nice brown crust and I find some of the muffin sticks to the liners – these taste too good to lose any to a paper liner!

I have used The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola in this recipe.  This is my own recipe that you can find here. It’s quite easy to make.

The Bistro's Great Nut-free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

The muffin recipe has not been tested using any other kind of granola than my own recipe. Therefore, if you choose to use other granola as an ingredient in these muffins, the results may differ as some granola is loose texture while another type may be large and clumped together.  This will obviously affect the amount of granola needed in the recipe.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

While these are delightful warm from the oven, the muffins also freeze well – all I do is simply split them in two, add a slather of butter, put the two halves back together, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap then pop them in to a freezer bag. This makes lunch packing quick and easy on work day mornings.

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

(printable recipe follows at end of this post)

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Ingredients:

1⅔ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2½ tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp nutmeg

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

1¼ cups of The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

 

2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

⅓ cup milk

1 cup coarsely grated zucchini

⅔ cup applesauce

Apx. ¼ – ⅓ cup granola for topping (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased/sprayed.

In large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in orange rind and mix in the granola. Set aside.

In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk.  Stir in the zucchini and applesauce just until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until mixed. Do not overmix.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup a generous ¾ full.  Sprinkle some granola on top of each muffin, if desired.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield:  14-16 standard-sized muffins

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Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Yield: 14-16 standard-sized muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1¼ cups of The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola
  • 2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • Apx. ¼ - 1/3 cup granola for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased/sprayed.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in orange rind and mix in the granola. Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk. Stir in the zucchini and applesauce just until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until mixed. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup a generous ¾ full. Sprinkle some granola on top of each muffin, if desired.
  5. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
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Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin

Early last October, I traveled to Farmington, near Souris, PEI, to watch the wet harvesting of cranberries at Mikita Farms.  With other commitments, I did not have a chance to get this posting published to my food blog until now.

One of the recipes I developed with the Mikita Farm cranberries is for Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins.  With eggnog now being available locally year-round (at least on PEI), there is no need to save these tasty muffins just for the Christmas holiday season.  If you can’t find eggnog in your locale, homemade eggnog can also be used in the recipe that follows this post.

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin

But, first, let’s take a look at where the cranberries came from.

Here, before it was flooded with water, is a photo of the cranberry bog where the berries grow.

Cranberry Bog

We continued on to Souris for lunch and, when we came back a few hours later, the bog had been flooded and this is what it looked like.

Flooded Cranberry Bog
Flooded Cranberry Bog

We didn’t see the machine (in the photo below) at work churning up water and dislodging the cranberries from their vine so they could float to the top of the water but it certainly is an interesting looking machine.

The cranberries grow with little pockets of air in them that allows them to float when a bog is flooded.

The photo below shows cranberries dislodged from their vines floating on top of the flooded bog.

Floating Cranberries
Floating Cranberries

Workers prepare the booms around the perimeter of the bog.  These will be used to gather up the floating cranberries.

Preparing the Booms to Corral the Cranberries
Preparing the Booms to Corral the Cranberries

In the photo below, you can see the boom is in place around the perimeter of the bog.

Drivers on four-wheelers slowly pull the booms along the bog, moving the cranberries with them.

Corralling the Cranberries
Corralling the Cranberries

A worker guides the booms along the route.

Coralled, crimson cranberries!

Corralled Cranberries
Corralled Cranberries

The pump truck in the photo below sucks up the corralled berries from the bog.

Workers make adjustments to the booms so that as many cranberries as possible are ready for transfer to the waiting truck.

Just as we were leaving the farm, a load of freshly-harvested cranberries arrived at the farm gate stand which was particularly busy on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend when we visited.

From here, the cranberries are bagged and ready for sale.

In addition to selling the raw product, Mikita Farms also produces cold-pressed cranberry juice from cranberries grown on their farm.

I love cranberries and always have a big bag of them frozen for use over the winter.  I also make and freeze a lot of cranberry sauce.

Cranberries and bananas are a great flavour combination.  Eggnog also goes particularly well with cranberries so I combined all three flavours in muffins and covered them with a tasty streusel topping.

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

These bistro-style muffins pack a rich flavour punch and are a treat for sure!  They also freeze very well.

Cranberry-Banana and Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen), coarsely chopped
1½ tbsp sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup rolled oats
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp allspice
1 tbsp grated orange rind
⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup eggnog
½ cup + 1 tbsp cooking oil
¼ cup orange juice
1½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
⅓ cup mashed banana

Streusel

Ingredients:

¼ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped pecans
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Coarsely chop the cranberries, leaving some of the tiny ones whole.

In small bowl, sprinkle cranberries with 1½ tbsp sugar. Toss lightly to coat cranberries with the sugar. Set aside.

In medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the streusel. Mix well.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Stir in chopped pecans. Set aside.

Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients and orange rind and mix well.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In separate bowl or large mixing cup, add the lightly beaten egg, oil, banana, eggnog, maple syrup, orange juice, and vanilla. Whisk together well.

Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients.

Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix.  It’s okay to still see a little bit of flour in the batter.

Gently fold in the sugared cranberries.

Ladle or spoon batter into prepared muffin tins filling almost to the muffin tin rim.

Sprinkle with streusel mixture.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400ºF. Bake 20-22 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then carefully  transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 12-14 standard-sized muffins

Cranberry-Banana and Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin

The photo below shows the texture of the muffins.

Texture of Cranberry-Banana and Eggnog Muffins
Texture of Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

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Cinnamon Sweet Bread

Did you ever get the urge to bake (often on a storm day, for example) and realize that every recipe you look at requires a shopping trip to the supermarket?  Well, here’s my answer to that dilemma.  Today’s recipe is Cinnamon Sweet Bread that takes no more than pantry staples.  So long as you have basic baking supplies, you can whip this tasty sweet bread up in no time.

This is the recipe our family has been making for years.  I slice the loaf and individually wrap each slice for the freezer as this loaf freezes very well.  Having the slices pre-wrapped and stored in either a freezer zip-lok bag or airtight container means snacks for work and school are conveniently ready for quick departure on weekday mornings.

This is an easy loaf to make. The only challenge is to ensure that the loaf not be over-baked as it will be dry.

Even though I add the cinnamon-sugar mixture on an evenly spread base of one-half the batter, I am always intrigued by how, as the bread rises, the cinnamon forms its own shape. I think this one looks like a smiley face!

Cinnamon Sweet Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup milk + 2 tsp vinegar

¼ cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 extra-large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease or spray 9”x5x3” loaf pan with cooking spray. Pan may be lined with tin foil and greased/sprayed for easy clean-up.

Place one cup milk into measuring cup or small bowl. Add 2 tsp vinegar. Set aside to let milk sour for about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, cream shortening and sugar together well.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Blend dry ingredients into mixture alternately with the sour milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients (three additions of dry ingredients and two of sour milk). Mix only until ingredients are incorporated.

The batter for this loaf will be smooth, not lumpy.

In small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Transfer one-half the batter to the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly in pan.

Sprinkle about three-quarters of the cinnamon-brown sugar mixture over batter, covering completely.

Cover with remaining batter.

Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-brown sugar mixture over top of batter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Let stand in pan for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf

I am going to be joining in on Sandi’s 5th Anniversary of Tea Time Blogging this week over at Rose Chintz Cottage.

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Cinnamon Buns and Brunch on the Front Verandah

Cinnamon Buns
Cinnamon Buns

I don’t think I have ever met anyone who did not like cinnamon rolls or cinnamon buns.  Just the scent of them baking in the oven makes the house smell sooooo divine!  They also freeze well and they are a staple in my freezer because I can quickly pull one out on weekday mornings and pop it into the lunch bag as a special treat for morning coffee break.  A quick re-heat for about 15 seconds in the microwave and these taste like they are fresh from the oven.

The recipe I will share at the end of this post is one I have been making for many years.  The rolls end up being a bit different shape because I use muffin tins to bake them.  In fact, they are more aptly called buns.  Several years ago, there was a hotel in downtown Charlottetown, PEI, that had a great little restaurant and this was how they shaped their cinnamon rolls.  This intrigued me and so I have been making my cinnamon rolls this way ever since first seeing them at this restaurant that, unfortunately, no longer operates.

Cinnamon rolls are really little more than a sweet biscuit dough.  They take no uncommon ingredients and are quick to make.  There are two tricks I have learned to making cinnamon rolls or buns.  The first key is not to over-mix or over-knead the dough as this results in a tough cinnamon bun.  The second key is not to over-bake them as they will dry out.

I don’t typically drizzle an icing on my cinnamon rolls but, for those who have an extra special sweet tooth, simply mix up 1/2 cup icing sugar with 1/4 cup milk and drizzle over the cinnamon buns while they are still warm.

Cinnamon buns are a nice addition to a weekend brunch and so I am sharing some photographs of a recent brunch where I featured cinnamon buns.

If you are like me, weekday morning breakfasts are generally quick and there is little time for relaxation over the first meal of the day.  However, weekend breakfasts or brunches are much more relaxing.  In the summer, we like to eat breakfast/brunch out under the front verandah.

So, here was what was on the brunch menu: Fresh-squeezed orange juice, boiled egg, cheese, multi-grain toast with homemade rhubarb marmalade, yogurt, fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon buns and, of course, a nice pot of tea.

I love these little blue and white egg cups!

As you can see, the color theme for today’s brunch was blue and white.

I like to add a splash of color to the plates. Nothing more than a slice of orange, a piece of parsley from the herb garden and a sweet little viola is needed.

There’s always time for a second cup of tea on weekend mornings so a nice big teapot is a good thing!

And, of course, there are the cinnamon buns to finish off with that second cup of tea!

It’s hard to stop at just one of these yummy cinnamon buns!

Curious to see what the cinnamon bun looks like inside?

Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

½ cup cold butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup milk

Cinnamon Filling:

⅓ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 10 muffin cups.

Assemble ingredients.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.

Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is consistency of coarse crumbs.

Whisk the egg and milk together and pour over dry ingredients. Stir with a fork just until the wet ingredients have been incorporated.  Do not overmix – ingredients will be further incorporated during the kneading process.

Turn ingredients out on to a floured surface. Knead ten times. Do not over-knead as this will create a tough dough.

Roll out dough into a 9”x12” rectangle.

Spread the dough with the softened butter.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the surface. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon over the sugar.

Starting at the nearest long edge , roll up the dough evenly into a log shape. Pinch the seam to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 10 even pieces.

Place each bun in a greased muffin cup.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until buns spring back to a light touch. Do not overbake or the cinnamon buns will be dry.

Let cool in pans for 5-7 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: Apx. 10-12 cinnamon buns

(NOTE: I find the cinnamon buns are a better size if just 10 are cut out of this recipe; however, it is possible to get 12 by cutting each a bit smaller.)

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Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins

I recently discovered a high-bush blueberry U-pick in Tryon, PEI.  These are so easy to pick and the bushes were just laden with these huge plump blueberries.

High-bush PEI Blueberries from the Tryon Blueberry U-Pick
High-bush PEI Blueberries from the Tryon Blueberry U-Pick

Grower, Jennifer Murray, says she has five varieties of these tasty blueberries growing in this field.

High-bush Blueberry Field in Tryon, PEI
High-bush Blueberry Field in Tryon, PEI

Unlike their tiny wild blueberry counterparts that grow low to the ground, these are easy and clean picking – no blueberry-stained fingers.  I have been back to their field twice since they opened just last week.

It took mere minutes for us to pick these blueberries!

I love these berries in a bowl with sugar and milk, on top of cereal, waffles, and pancakes.  They are lovely sweet berries.

Today, I am featuring these blueberries in muffins.  I have purposely chosen a light-colored batter that is cake-like in texture so that the blueberries really show up.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

I like the flavor combination of blueberries and orange so I have added some orange juice and finely grated orange rind to the batter.  I used my square muffin tins for these muffins but they would be equally as lovely (and just as tasty!) in traditional round muffin tins.   I do a lot of batch-baking and freezing of muffins and sweet breads to have them ready for weekday coffeebreaks at work.  I split and butter the muffins  before  individually wrapping and storing them in the freezer.  The benefit of these square tins is that I find the muffins pack away easier than the round ones do plus they add variety and interest to appearance of the baked goods.

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp finely grated orange rind

2 eggs
¾ cup milk
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries, tossed with about 1 tbsp flour

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl.

Stir in the grated orange rind.

Make a well in the centre of the ingredients. Set bowl aside.

In a two-cup measuring cup or small bowl, beat eggs lightly.

Add milk, orange juice, oil, and vanilla. Stir or whisk together well.

Pour wet ingredients into the well in dry ingredients.

Stir just until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Gently fold blueberries into batter.

Do not overmix. This will create a tough muffin and one that has blue batter!

Spoon mixture into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling each between ⅔ and ¾ full.

Bake 16-20 minutes or until muffins spring back to a light touch and/or a cake tester inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Yield: 12 muffins

For my gluten-free Blueberry Muffin recipe, click here.

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Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins

The Bistro’s Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins
Bran Muffins

I like making muffins and I like eating them!  I have a collection of favorite muffin recipes that I have gathered or created over the years. I tend to make several batches of muffins at a time, butter them, and freeze them so I have a  variety of them ready for weekday lunchbags.  Muffins are very easy to make, are healthy snack options, and most freeze very well.

Bran Muffin
Bran Muffin

For years, I had trouble getting bran muffins to rise into the nice dome-shape we expect to see in muffins.  I finally discovered that it wasn’t the recipes I had tried but rather was the oven temperature that was causing the muffins to stay flat.  Muffins, generally, need to bake at a relatively high temperature (i.e., 375°F – 425°F but, for bran muffins, I find that if I preheat the oven to 500°F first and then drop it back to 400°F the moment I place the muffins in the oven, they rise into the rounded dome shape instead of staying flat.  It seems the instant burst of really high heat when they initially go in the oven activates the leavening agents (baking powder and baking soda) more quickly causing the muffins to rise better.  Below is a photograph of what a perfectly domed muffin should look like.  I finally got it!

Here are some other muffin-making tips I have learned over the years:

  • Don’t use an electric mixer to mix muffin batter and do not overmix the batter.  Just stir the batter until the flour mixture is incorporated.  The batter will be lumpy – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  Overmixing will make a tough-textured muffin.
  • Ingredients should be at room temperature.  If the recipe calls for shortening or butter, it is best to have it at room temperature for creaming as opposed to softening it in the microwave which can sometimes, too quickly, turn the fat source (or part of it) into liquid which can change the consistency and texture of the muffins.
  • Each muffin cup, as well as the entire top surface of the muffin pan, should be greased or sprayed with a no-stick cooking spray.  Greasing the top of the muffin pan makes it easier to remove muffins if the batter has spread over the top edges of the individual muffin cups.
  • Use an ice cream scoop or small ladle to fill the muffin cups with the batter.
  • Do not overbake muffins.  Muffins are done when they spring back to a light finger touch or when a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes, then carefully remove each one to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Removing the muffins too quickly from the pan may cause them to break apart before they have “set”.

Today, I am sharing my recipe for bran muffins with raisins and applesauce.  The applesauce would be my featured Island product in this recipe as it was made with apples I picked at Arlington Orchard in Arlington, PEI, west of the City of Summerside.  I make and freeze a lot of applesauce in the fall when the apples are fresh and plentiful.

Basket of Bran Muffins
Basket of Bran Muffins

The Bistro’s Bran Muffins

Ingredients:

2 eggs

⅓ cup applesauce

1 cup sour milk*

¼ cup molasses

½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp grated orange rind

1½ cups natural bran

¼ cup shortening, softened at room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp soda

¼ tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp allspice

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup raisins (optional)

(*To make one cup sour milk, place 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice in one-cup measuring cup.  Add enough milk to equal one cup.  Stir. Let stand 4-5 minutes before using.)

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Grease muffin tins or spray with a no-stick cooking spray.  Be sure to grease or spray the entire top of the muffin pan as well.  Alternatively, line each muffin cup with a paper liner.

Preheat oven to 500°F (then drop it back to 400°F when muffins are placed in oven).

Break eggs into bowl.  Whisk lightly.

Add applesauce, sour milk, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange rind.  Whisk together well.

Add the bran.  Stir until completely incorporated.  Set aside for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.  Whisk to combine ingredients.

In separate bowl, cream shortening well.  It should almost be the consistency of thick cream when it has been well creamed.

Pour the wet bran mixture into the bowl and stir well to blend in the shortening.  Mixture will be lumpy.

Add wet bran mixture and raisins to the dry ingredients.  With a wooden spoon, gently stir mixture just until flour is incorporated.  Do not overmix.

Using an ice cream scoop or a small ladle, fill muffin tins to just about the top of the rim.

Reduce oven heat from 500°F to 400°F and place muffins in oven.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until muffins spring back to a light touch or a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Do not overbake.  Let muffins cool in pan for 5-7 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield:  12 muffins

Serve with butter and/or your favorite jam or marmalade.

Coffeebreak time!

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Muffins
Bran Muffins