Although we had our first hit of snow this past week here in Toronto and it’s been looking like winter, it still is technically fall. Which means that crisp apples, pumpkin spice and all those things should *technically* still be the dominant theme. And so, I decided to make these gluten free apple cinnamon muffins. They are sort of like an apple crisp but in muffin form and they are the PERFECT fall (or winter?) treat.
The Problem With Most Gluten Free Options
The idea for these muffins came to me when I wanted to create something extra cozy, cinnamon-y and fluffy. The problem is when it comes to a lot of gluten free baking, it can be hard to achieve that fluff factor. Whenever I am out and buy a gluten free muffin at a bakery that specializes in that type of food, it’s always SO GOOD. So good, in fact that I often wonder is this really gluten free?!
So I wanted to make these gluten free apple cinnamon muffins taste like that but without using a ready made gluten free blend. Although Bob’s Red Mill makes a great one, it is a little higher in carbs for some people. So I wanted to create something that was still made with whole food ingredients but would taste like the fluffy muffin of my dreams.
Although I am not gluten free and I don’t think everyone needs to be, (you can read more about that here), I do like a baking challenge. And I also realize that a lot of people do follow a gluten free diet, so I wanted to make these for them. Otherwise, I usually bake with spelt flour as I love the taste and texture of it.
A Few Tips on Making These Healthy Gluten Free Muffins
Because I love to give lots of alternatives, you can try swapping a few items around and they will still turn out delicious.
No Coconut Sugar:
Use maple syrup and reduce the amount of milk by half, or omit it completely.
No Coconut Flour:
Although I like the added benefit of using coconut flour, you could use almond flour completely, but round it up to 2 1/2 cups almond flour instead.
I haven’t tested this without eggs yet, because coconut flour is so absorbent. If you are using coconut flour, eggs would work the best. Otherwise you could try omitting the coconut flour and using all almond flour and perhaps a flax egg would work. To make a flax egg, simply mix 1 tbsp ground flax with three tablespoons of water (make three of those, so three tbsp ground flax to 9 tbsp water).
I used some melted coconut butter on top for a little extra goodness. This is optional, you can omit this or drizzle some honey or almond butter on top.
If you try any of these substitutions or you create your own, please share how they turn out! With baking, it is hard to make a lot of substitutions as it will affect the overall quality. So please do so knowing that the results may vary.
Showing the Humble Apple Some Love with These Gluten Free Muffins
One of the main ingredients in these gluten free apple cinnamon muffins is of course apples. For this recipe I used honey crisp apples, but you could use a different type of apple, such as gala. Personally, honey crisp apples are my favourite and I eat them all the time. They are the perfect amount of crispy and sweet in my opinion.
Plus it is true what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. And what better way to get your apples in than with these muffins?! Apples contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Normally, I would never peel an apple because there is so much goodness in the peel, but for these muffins and most baking purposes, I do.
How to Store These Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins
I have made two batches of these before posting them, so I had A LOT of muffins on my hand. If you find yourself with extra, simply store them in a plastic ziploc bag in the freezer. When you want one, take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge. In the morning, simply microwave for 30 seconds, or let it come to room temperature before eating. I recommend storing them without any of the coconut butter glaze on top for best results.
When you are baking these muffins, it is best to take them out after the 15 minutes, and cover the top loosely with some aluminum foil. This will help prevent the top from getting too crispy but will ensure the muffins are cooked.
Once they are done baking, simply let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan, and then remove them and place them on a cooling rack.
The muffin tin I use and recommend is this one. It is THE ONLY one that I have tried that doesn’t require you to use liners or even to grease the pan (although I still rubbed a little coconut oil on it when baking these). This muffin tin is also the only one that I can make egg muffins in without them sticking and me wanting to pull my hair out after trying to clean the pan. I think a silicone muffin pan would also work, but I haven’t tried one for baking muffins yet.
If you make these gluten free apple cinnamon muffins, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and/or leave a comment or review below!
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Delicious and healthy gluten free cinnamon apple muffins made with almond flour and a coconut butter glaze.
For the Crumb Topping
Preheat your oven to 350ºF (177ºC) and grease your muffin tin well or use liners (see notes).
In a small bowl, add all of the crumb top ingredients and mash well with a fork or your hands until it is crumbly and holds together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients (almond flour through to cinnamon) and whisk well.
In a medium sized bowl, add the wet ingredients except for the apple (the coconut oil through to the almond milk). Whisk well, ensuring the eggs are beaten. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined and all the flour is absorbed. Fold in the apples.
Pour the muffin mix into the prepared tin, filling it up to the top. Add the crumble topping, pressing down gently to ensure it sticks to the muffin.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, and tent with aluminum foil loosely over top so they don't burn. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove and let them cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
To make the coconut butter drizzle, simply melt the coconut butter and oil together in a small pot on the stove or in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Just stir well after it is melted and drizzle on top with a spoon.
For the muffin tin, I recommend greasing your pan well or using liners. Please see my notes in the blog post for which muffin pan I use and recommend.
Depending on the size of your muffin tin, this makes about 8 to 9 muffins.
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