Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Perfect for Inclement Weather: Pretty Phenomenal Pumpkin (and so much more) Muffins

You guys. Do you know what these really are but just cannot be nominally? These are gluten-free spiced-pumpkin-teff-maple-flax muffins with an optional (over)dose of chocolate chips. These are also f^&#ing fantastic. I mean really. Sometimes - not that often anymore though - I even impress myself. And today was one of those times. Oh happy "inclement weather" day! This all came from a craving for something sweet (three cravings actually), a need for a thermostat reading greater than what my radiators could muster (hello oven), and my favorite thing about my kitchen self: some v. noteworthy resourcefulness (so noted).

Pumpkin muffin collage

Speaking of notes - I'm putting them up here to keep the recipe tidy - several of them, bolded for your reading pleasure.

1. I really really like the teff in these. Teff has a malty, nutty, sweet flavor that's great in muffins, pancakes, quick breads, and cookies. The Bob's Red Mill teff flour is v. finely milled as well, so it bakes up without any sandiness.

2. Sorghum's been my go-to base flour for gluten-free baking for a while; I prefer it to most rice flours.  It's mild in flavor (unlike quinoa), it doesn't go rancid overnight (unlike millet).

3. Teff? Sorghum? What are you on about? If you want to make them with wheat flour or a gluten-free mix, just use your flour of choice in place of the blend I used - ideally by weight (12 ounces), or measure 2 1/2 cups using a light hand. Omit xanthan gum if you're using wheat or a gf mix that has a gum in it.

4. Eggs vs. flax. Today, I used 2 eggs and 1/3 cup flax (as indicated in recipe). This was because I only had 1/3 cup flax meal, and I had some eggs, and we can all eat eggs these days. If I were making these with all eggs, I'd use 3 eggs. You need some good binders with all these gluten free grains and all this liquid. If I were making these with all flax, I'd use 3/4 cup flax, plus 2-4 tablespoons water. Start with 2 tablespoons, add more if the batter is too thick. You want a regular thick muffin batter. (See upper right picture.)

5. The truth about gluten-free baked goods: the tinier, the better. I made about a quarter of the batter into mini muffins. They're the best.

6. The other truth about gluten-free baked goods: they are way more perishable than wheat ones. So I'm going to keep a few of these in a tupperware for tomorrow, and I froze the rest. Reheat in microwave 30 seconds.

I know you want to see what the crumb is like. I sure did...


... pretty dang good for gluten-free (if a bit blurry). Dense but not chewy. (And I dumped a whole bunch of chocolate chips into the mix, probably way more than stated single cup.)

Like what you see? It's basically a riff on these banana-date muffins. Check 'em out.

Want a more traditional pumpkin muffin? Here you go.

Enjoy! Stay warm out there. xoxo

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten-free, vegan options)
Yield: 15-18 muffins, ~48 mini muffins, or v. precisely: 12 muffins + 10 mini muffins

4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) teff flour*
4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) sorghum flour*
4 ounces (about 1 cup) potato, arrowroot, tapioca, or corn starch (I used 2 oz potato + 2 oz tapioca)*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup mild-flavored oil (I used melted coconut oil)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (or 1 1/2 cups packed roasted pumpkin)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
2 eggs (or total 3/4 cup flax seeds + 2 tablespoons water - see note above recipe)
1/3 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal) (or one more egg (totaling 3) - see note above recipe)
1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

* 2 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I recommend Trader Josef's) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, molasses, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree, and mix until well combined, about a minute or two. Add eggs, if using, ground flax (see note above and add 2 tablespoons or more water with flax if you aren't using eggs), and apple cider vinegar. Mix on low-medium for 30 more seconds. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is well combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. Allow batter to rest for about 15 minutes. (This allows sorghum and teff time to hydrate a little more before baking, making for a better texture.) 

Grease your muffins tins. Measure out 1/3-cupfuls of batter into the muffin tin cups. Keep adding spoonfuls of any left over batter until they are all evenly filled. (They can be a bit more filled than regular egg-and-wheat muffins. Mine were pretty full.) Even out tops with the back of a wet spoon if you want them to look smooth on top.

For muffins: Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate muffin tin 180 degrees and bake 10 minutes more. 
For mini-muffins: Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate muffin tin 180 degrees and bake 5 minutes.

Allow to cool on a rack for about ten minutes before eating. They are good warm and just as good at room temp. They are sturdy yet moist (ew!), perfect for freezing. Enjoy!


  1. These are in the oven as I speak. I can hardly wait!

    1. I hope they turn out as great as ours did! A word about storing them: the ones I put in the tupperware were dense on day 2-3. I sprinkled a little water on them and microwaved them for 30 seconds. Totally revitalized.