Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are light, bright and zesty. Gloriously gluten-free but moist, bouncy and incredibly moreish.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

A friend commented that since I’m on a maternity break from the cake stall that I must have a lot less cake wastage in my house. Ha, I invited her to come and visit the muffin graveyard that was currently overtaking my kitchen. At that particular time when she made the innocuous remark I had about 35 Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins crammed on top of my workspace that were begging for a home. These little guys were good muffins, every one of the six batches I made were fine but not quite the muffin I had in mind when I began my quest to come up with my ultimate gluten-free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

With the cake stall all my bakes are tried and tested recipes which I have made many many times and perfected. I don’t sell out every week, although that is the aim and usually there is not much left. Rest assured though all the unbought cake goes to good homes afterwards as I offer it to my fellow stall holders who have braved the cold day alongside me. The cakes and bakes which I make for recipe testing though don’t always have such a happy ending as quite often I can be absolutely inundated with half-finished, mediocre tasting fare which haven’t reached the potential I had intended. A lot is given away but those that fall way below par end up in the bin.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

My current adventure to develop the perfect gluten-free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin can only be blamed on Cole. We were having lunch at a café together a couple of weeks ago when his head was turned by the collection of Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins standing to attention on the counter directly in his eye line. Every muffin in different brightly coloured cases, the icing glinting from the sunlight strewn window. There was no doubt, these were toddler catnip. He mewed for one from the moment we sat down and feeling magnanimous I acquiesced that he could have one for dessert.

As it turns out we were stuffed after our lunch but he still wanted a muffin so I got him one for later. Unfortunately they were not gluten-free so I went without. But the craving had set in and since we had no plans in the afternoon I decided that whilst he ate his muffin he could stand at our kitchen counter and watch whilst I showed him how to make the gluten-free version. Totally for his benefit you understand.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

So that’s what we did and it was great fun. However the end result wasn’t quite what I had intended, they were okay but the texture wasn’t right at all. In my ratio of gluten-free flours I had obviously used far too much almond flour. They were not the light and fluffy muffin that I was hoping for, a bit dense and claggy and certainly not enough lemon. I ate one slightly disappointed, resolving to give the recipe another go the following day.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

Two weeks and 60 muffins later I finally reached the ultimate goal and that’s the recipe I am sharing here. These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are the perfect muffin to begin your day, break up your afternoon with alongside a cup of tea or treat yourself to after dinner. There is plenty of zest in the sponge which is fluffy from the collection of sweet rice flour, oat flour and almond flour. The top is drenched with a tangy lemon icing and sprinkled with more poppy seeds for a little crunch.

Not only can I see these Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins standing the test of time in our family but the recipe is so adaptable that you can easily swap out the lemon zest and poppy seeds for perhaps blueberries, orange zest or something more adventurous. I’m thrilled I cracked this muffin, as is Cole so he can now have Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins on tap. The neighbours, however, might be a little sick of them.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}
These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are light, bright and zesty. Gloriously gluten-free but moist, bouncy and incredibly moreish.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml light olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • zest 3 lemons
  • 150 g sweet white rice flour
  • 125 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons black poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Icing
  • 225 g icing sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml light olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • zest 3 lemons
  • 150 g sweet white rice flour
  • 125 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons black poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Icing
  • 225 g icing sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Place muffin cases in a 12-hole muffin tin and pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Place the milk, sugar, olive oil, eggs and lemon zest into a large bowl and beat together until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour, oat flour, almond flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat together until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter into muffin cases, filling to just below the top.
  6. Place the muffin tin into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
  7. As soon as the muffin tin has been taken out of the oven, then lift out the muffins and leave on a cooling rack to cool completely before drenching with icing.
  8. Make the icing by beating together the lemon juice and zest with the icing sugar until the icing is just pourable.
  9. Spoon the icing over each muffin then leave to set.

SHOP THE RECIPE

For these muffins I used almond flour, as opposed to ground almonds which kept the muffins fluffy. Finely ground almond flour isn’t as easy to find though and here in the UK I have to order it from Amazon. It’s not cheap (it’s gluten-free baking what can I tell you!) but a 1kg bag will keep you going for some time. I love RealFoodSource Certified Organic Extra Fine High Protein Almond Flour (1KG) which is ultra fine flour and works perfectly in these muffins.

For more info on almond flour see my post on nut flours which gives the breakdown of the different between ground almonds, almond meal and almond flour.

As for sweet rice flour I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free. I have no idea why it’s so difficult to get in the UK but I use sweet rice flour a lot so this was a real find. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Gluten-free oat flour is thankfully a lot easier to get hold of but you will still have to order it from Amazon. I order it in bulk since it’s one of my favourite flours and the brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4)

The 12 hole muffin tin I always use and will thoroughly recommend due to its durability and ease of washing is the MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Cupcake Tray / Baking Pan, 35 x 27 cm

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

These Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins are fluffy, generous and richly flavoured. What’s more they are vegan and gluten-free to boot.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

I have found myself getting more and more interested in vegan baking. It began at the farmer’s market when the usual vegan cake stall took a few weeks absence and I was inundated with requests for vegan cakes in the interim. Being a free-from baker naturally lends itself to such enquires and I welcome them. I love a project and removing eggs and butter from the equation certainly challenges an enthusiastic baker.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

I myself am not vegan, although these days I do try to avoid dairy. From childhood I have always had a problem with milk, claiming drinking it made my ‘ears pop.’ I don’t know what that means now, in fact my nursery teacher didn’t know at the time either and I have horrible memories of being forced to zap the stuff up through a straw from little milk bottles, sitting in a torturous circle with the other children. My poor childhood trauma. It seems since having Cole though (two years ago this week!) my dairy intolerance has increased. So vegan cakes and dairy-free cakes have started to hold more interest for me.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

Experimenting with non-dairy, no egg cakes has been fraught with failure. I mastered a Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge Cake for the stall quite quickly, which I’ll be sharing the recipe of soon, but some vegan customers at the stall always seemed disappointed when a chocolate cake was the only vegan option.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

It seems bananas are the next step in vegan baking, combined with the peanut butter here they bind the cake together well without the need for an egg substitute like a chia or flax egg. In fact the crumb is so fluffy that the sponge is a bit of a revelation. There is a fair amount of leavening used with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda but that doesn’t bother me and the effects can’t be tasted.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

I do love a muffin with a hearty streusel so here I have gone haywire with chopped banana chips and salty peanuts. I always make the streusel topping for the muffin first and then place the topping in the freezer to firm. This helps the streusel from sinking into the muffin when it goes into the oven and retain a crunch. If you leave the streusel in the freezer for too long don’t worry at all, just chop roughly with a knife or pulse quickly in the food processor to loosen the crumbs.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

The Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffin is also gluten-free. I chose sorghum flour, which is demanding in its presence but its earthy tones pair well with the bananas and peanut butter so it doesn’t overpower the cake but blends nicely. It’s included in my current favourite combo of gluten-free flours, sweet rice flour, millet flour, potato starch and tapioca starch which together create a lovely texture for the muffin and are a good base for the sorghum flour to shine.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

Creating cakes which are gluten-free, vegan but can also pass muster with friends, family and customers who can eat anything is actually brilliant fun. So far I have been rewarded with some truly outstanding cakes and although the blog itself isn’t going to turn vegan anytime soon, I will definitely be including more vegan recipes in my repertoire.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Banana Peanut Butter Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}
Fluffy, generous and richly flavoured Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins
Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
15 large muffins
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g sorghum flour
  • 80 g millet flour
  • 40 g potato starch
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 240 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 2-3 bananas about 200g
  • 125 g peanut butter
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the streusel
  • 45 g sweet rice flour
  • 30 g sorghum flour
  • 25 g millet flour
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 25 g soft light brown sugar
  • 40 g dried banana chips roughly chopped
  • 40 g salted peanuts roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 90 g coconut butter*
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
15 large muffins
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g sorghum flour
  • 80 g millet flour
  • 40 g potato starch
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 240 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 2-3 bananas about 200g
  • 125 g peanut butter
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the streusel
  • 45 g sweet rice flour
  • 30 g sorghum flour
  • 25 g millet flour
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 25 g soft light brown sugar
  • 40 g dried banana chips roughly chopped
  • 40 g salted peanuts roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 90 g coconut butter*
Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. First prepare the streusel by whisking the flours, sugars, banana chips, peanuts and cinnamon together. Rub the coconut butter into the dry ingredients until you have achieved a rough crumb.
  3. Spread the streusel out onto a lined baking tray and place in the freezer whilst you prepare the rest of the muffins.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside for a moment.
  5. Beat together the almond milk, olive oil, mashed bananas, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla extract.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake cases then sprinkle over the streusel topping.
  8. Bake for 25 -30 minutes, or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Remove the muffins from the muffin tin straightaway and cool on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

*coconut oil, solidified. If your kitchen is especially warm then refrigerate the liquid coconut oil to solidify.

Blackcurrant, White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins

Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins

This recipe is not yet gluten-free

Last weekend at the farmers’ market suddenly felt like summer had bloomed.  Every berry was out, loud and proud.  It was like old friends had gathered together for a yearly reunion and you wanted to talk and catch-up with each of them but you could only have time for a brief hello.  I have already made my first jam of the year when the strawberries came along but now my head is full of jellies, crumbles, tarts, messes, trifles and puddings as I panic about being able to fit in every favourite recipe for the short time they are here.  Gleaming with promise were tables of colourful raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants.  I wanted to get a punnet of each but I am trying to learn the art of restraint and was asked by my husband to pick just one fruit.  It had to be the blackcurrant.

Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins | Stroud Green Larder

Blackcurrants put a lot of people off as they are not always the most social of berries, they don’t play well with strangers and can be terribly sour.  But they remind me of my childhood.  They used to grow all over our garden when we were growing up, the funny thing is I don’t remember them being very sour then, and picking them directly from the bush was some of my first real knowledge about where food comes from.  The scent of the fruit, then plucking the little stalk from the end and the final pop of the blackcurrant in my mouth is wonderfully grounding, until the antagonistic tartness makes my lips pucker and sends me headlong into the sugar.

Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins | Stroud Green Larder

The basis of this muffin recipe is not mine but it is one that I have made so often that it feels like my own.  I learnt it from Paul A Young, the master chocolatier, in a seminar on chocolate that he was giving.  I fell completely and utterly in love with these muffins and so does everyone I bake them for.  They take about 15 minutes to pull together and 20 minutes in the oven.  This time round I added the blackcurrants which has turned out to be such a perfect compliment to the other ingredients I think I will now reserve these muffins for this time of the year every year.  The piquant tang of the blackcurrant is soothed by the sweet white chocolate, the crunch of palm sugar and the sticky thyme syrup slicked on top of the muffin.

Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins | Stroud Green Larder
Blackcurrant, White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins
Adapted from Paul A Young’s Adventures with Chocolate
Makes 12-14 muffins

100g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
125ml light olive oil
250ml whole milk
20g thyme leaves
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
150g white chocolate chips
125g blackcurrants
for the syrup:
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water
2 thyme sprigs

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the sugars, eggs, olive oil, milk, thyme and vanilla in a large bowl and beat together until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat together until smooth, do not overmix.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and the blackcurrants until evenly dispersed.
  6. Divide the batter into muffin cases, filling to just below the top.
  7. Sprinkle a pinch of palm sugar onto each muffin then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until risen and the blackcurrants are bursting out.
  8. Whilst the muffins are baking make the thyme syrup by heating together the caster sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs in and simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse.
  9. As soon as the muffins have been taken out of the oven, brush the syrup liberally over the top of each muffin until they are glistening.

Caramelised Bacon and Marmalade Muffins

Caramelised Bacon and Marmalade Muffins

I’m a big fan of bacon sandwiches.  Yeah yeah sure, everyone loves bacon, gimme something new.  When I was travelling around Ghana for a few months back in my early twenties it was bacon sandwiches that I would talk about long into the night with my fellow travellers.  Whilst they were missing family, beloved cats, hot showers, I was boring them all senseless with the lyricism of big slabs of white farmhouse slathered with butter, a mound of crisp bacon and a squeeze of the sweet red stuff.  When I got back to the UK I headed straight for the airport lounge and had the crappiest bacon sandwich of my life.  Well, it probably was crappy, with floppy bread, microwaved watery bacon and non branded saccharine ketchup but at the time it tasted like home.

caramelised bacon and marmalade muffins4

My taste in bacon sandwiches has changed a bit these days.  I don’t consider it a crime if I don’t include Heinz ketchup, instead I like to mix up my bacon accompaniments.  I like to live on the knife edge of condiments.

All of this preamble is a roundabout way of saying I had a pot of last year’s marmalade lounging on my kitchen counter when I made my bacon sandwich this weekend.  I barely thought about it before I was digging deep into the sticky amber and heaping teaspoons of it on top of my bacon.

caramelised Bacon and marmalade muffins3

It worked pretty damn well.  Bacon as a baking ingredient is no new concept anymore.  I jumped on the bandwagon long ago, see here for my Bacon Jam recipe.  So it was not much of a stretch from eating my bacon and marmalade sandwich to diving into these muffins.  They are just perfect for breakfast, sweet and fluffy with a salty kick from the bacon.  The great thing about muffin batter as well is that it can sit happily in the fridge overnight so feel free to get it all ready the night before then bake first thing.  There really is nothing better than a muffin fresh from the oven.

caramelised Bacon and marmalade muffins2

Caramelised Bacon and Marmalade Muffins

makes about 12

200g smoked streaky bacon
1½ tbsp light soft brown sugar
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g light soft brown sugar
525g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
160g marmalade
300ml whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp marmalade for glazing

  1. Place the bacon on a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Bake at 180°C for 20-30mins until the bacon is glistening, golden and slightly crisp. Remove from the baking sheet and set aside to cool. Once cool roughly chop the bacon.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar for a couple of minutes until pale and smooth. Add the plain flour and baking powder and mix together until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the marmalade, milk, eggs and vanilla until incorporated.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, along with the bacon and mix quickly until they are all just combined. Don’t worry if the batter is lumpy or even if there is a bit of flour showing. It’s important not to over mix.
  5. Divide into muffin cases, filling the batter right to the top and bake for 20-25 mins.
  6. Warm the marmalade for the glaze in a saucepan for a couple of minutes then brush over the muffins as soon as they are removed from the oven.