When my kids request muffins, muffins they will get.

DSC_4039Gluten-free muffins that are healthy, flavorful and light in texture are not hard to create with a few tricks.


This recipe is made with hearty whole-grain, wheat-free flours, nutty brown butter, tangy and creamy yogurt and rich, deep, oh-so-dark and decadent chocolate chips.

DSC_4034After enjoying our muffins, Gideon Lev started to cry. He had been fed and was likely tired, gassy or any of a million things that babies feel and cannot completely express. We joked he was upset because he couldn’t enjoy a warm, sweet muffin with us. Asher proclaimed that he should “grow some teeth!”

Come to think of it, that could have been the reason he was crying. Our kids have always been quite dramatic when it comes to teething (and who can blame them?).


As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, the entire house smells intoxicating. Scents of sweet banana, luscious chocolate and salty, intoxicating walnuts lingers for hours. That’s my kind of candle.


Before digging in, use a toothpick to ensure the muffins are completely cooked through. Often, gluten-free muffins and breads look done but are not, so take care to make sure they are ready to devour.

DSC_4017Of course, avoid eating the crisp, sugar-coated top off of each muffin (it’s tempting!).DSC_4048You see, these muffins are special, as the batter is rained upon with a light sprinkle of turbinado (raw) sugar before going into the oven.

The result is a sweet, crunchy muffin top that perfectly juxtaposes the soft, succulent interior. This is one muffin top I absolutely want to wake up to each morning.


I enjoy a muffin, warm from the oven, with a vanilla-cinnamon coconut milk latte. So right, but so wrong. Talk about an indulgent treat to warm my foodie soul.


Supposedly you should wait for the muffins to cool, but why would I do that? That would require some modicum of restraint.

DSC_4045While we are touching on what is right and what is wrong, it is absolutely right to have two muffins and completely wrong to just have one.


Do you have a favorite gluten-free muffin recipe? Feel free to share it in the comments, below. The Muffin Monsters at Casa Curls and Carrots always have room in their stomachs for a fresh batch of something healthy and sweet – and of course chocolatey.

Read more of Shanna’s Curls and Carrots recipes in the New Mexico Jewish Link, a part of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, New Mexico’s center for Jewish philanthropy.


Brown Butter, Banana and Dark Chocolate Muffins

Brown Butter Banana and Dark Chocolate Muffins (Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free)
Yields 18 Muffins
Wet Ingredients:
3 large, very ripe bananas
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup turbinado (raw) sugar, finely ground in food processor
1/4 cup grade A real maple syrup, room temperature 
6 Tablespoons butter*
6 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, room temperature*
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
5/6 cup (1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup) cup for cup gluten-free flour blend of your choice
1/2 cup quinoa flour, homemade or store-bought
2/3 cup almond flour, homemade or store-bought
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 to 1 1/2 cups organic, 72% gluten-free dark chocolate chips (such as Chocolove), to taste
1 cup roasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
whole turbinado (raw) sugar, to sprinkle over muffin batter, about 1 teaspoon per muffin
  • Preheat oven to 350•F. Line two muffin pans with eighteen cupcake liners.
  • If you are making your own quinoa and almond flours, process each separately in a food processor until very fine. Do not over process the almonds, or you’ll have almond butter! Place in a large bowl.
  • Cook the butter on the stovetop over low heat until light brown and nutty. Place in a bowl and allow to cool.
  • In a food processor, process the bananas, eggs, sugar, syrup, cooled butter, vanilla and Greek yogurt until very smooth.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, quinoa flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips, coating them well in the mixture of dry ingredients. This will prevent them from falling to the bottom of the cooked muffins.
  • Use a rubber spatula to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the muffins into the lined muffin tins. Use a rubber spatula at the end to ensure you have eighteen muffins. The last muffin may need extra chocolate chips.
  • Sprinkle whole turbinado sugar on top of each muffin.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check the muffins at 25 minutes.
  • Cool completely and enjoy, though I find this task impossible. And what’s wrong with a warm muffin, oozing with dark chocolate goodness?

*Butter and yogurt are naturally lactose-free foods. However, feel free to use non-dairy substitutes to make your muffins completely dairy-free. I have never attempted to brown a non-dairy butter, so simply lightly melt a butter alternative and proceed with recipe as follows.

©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013-2015), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


  1. These look delicious and the kids are adorable! Muffins are indeed hard to resist, a tasty and popular way to start the day. Brown butter is so wonderful, I’m sure it makes these muffins magnificent.

  2. Shanna those muffins look incredible. I don’t have a problem with gluten but would gladly take one of your delicious muffins over a gluten laden one. Your little ones are so cute, love the photo’s.

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! The fun of trying gluten-free recipes is the flavor of different flours… coconut, quinoa, almond, hazelnut, oat… the list goes on and on. A touch of a natural gum often helps create a lovely texture in some recipes. 🙂

  3. Those muffins look like they are coming out of my computer screen. They look so perfect and delicious and healthy too. Your adorable little angels are so fortunate they get to enjoy healthy and delicious homemade foods/treats. Great post, Shanna.

  4. It’s great that you’ve got so many healthy recipes up your sleeve for those times when the kids just want something delicious to eat. Best mum ever! Your kids are adorable, I can definitely see you in them 🙂

    1. You are so sweet. Thank you! My kids are little cookie and muffin monsters. I am always looking for ways to keep all the flavor and texture – but add in good nutrition for growing little munchkins. You have gorgeous, healthy recipes on your blog… 🙂

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