Gluten Free Berry Muffins

Gluten Free Berry Muffins

Gluten Free Berry Muffins

I love experimenting with gluten free flours. This is a different recipe again from the gluten free Vanilla Cupcakes and moist Chocolate Cupcakes. I was really stoked as Miss 2 kept asking for more of the mini ones and her playdate didn’t notice they were gluten free!

Like most gluten free baking, these are best served same (or next day); I free flow the rest in the freezer and pull them out as needed.

Ingredients

Group 1

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (like Rice Bran oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Generous pinch ground cinnamon

Group 2

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo flour (also called chickpea flour)
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1T sweet (glutinous) rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Other ingredients

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup frozen berries
    • I recommend raspberries and blueberries.
  • Raw unrefined coconut sugar

Allergies: dairy free, soy free, gluten free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients in Group 1. This helps to aerate the mix. You can use a stick blender or I used the food processor (with a plastic mixing attachment, not a metal cutting blade!).
  3. Sift together the ingredients in Group 2.
  4. Mix the combined dry ingredients into the whisked liquid.
  5. Prepare the frozen berries and mix in gently.
    • Raspberries crush really easily into tiny teardrops (which provide a pretty pink speckled effect when baked); blueberries are already a good size; boysenberries are large enough to need cutting in half.
  6. Pour into cupcake / muffin trays.
    • I made 6 large and 12 mini cupcakes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180’C. The mixture will thicken slightly while the oven heats.
    • The mix will appear very runny compared to a gluten mix – the rice flour and cornstarch will cause it to thicken as it cooks.
  8. Bake at 180’c for approx. 25-35 mins or until cooked.
    • I found the mini muffins took 25 mins and the normal ones took 35 mins.

 

Icing 

I liked these with dusted with coconut sugar. I pulled them out of the oven after approx. 15 minutes (once they had risen), dusted with coconut sugar, and then placed back in the oven to finish baking.

I also have recipes for other icings that don’t use any artificial colours, glycerin, additives etc.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing (allergy friendly)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This is a great frosting to use with Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes, the Crazy One Dish Chocolate Cake, or the Chocolate Irish Potato Cake (vegan). I made a vegan version of this frosting for my daughter’s 3rd Birthday (using Nuttelex + coconut milk) and it tasted divine!

Ingredients

  • 115g softened butter, or allergy friendly spread like Nuttelex
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 – 3 Tbsp milk (dairy, rice, or coconut)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp espresso powder

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, soy free, egg free, nut free. Vegan*.

Directions

  1. Whip the butter.
  2. Sift in 1 cup icing sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Add the vanilla and milk.
  3. Beat until smooth.
  4. Slowly beat in the rest of the icing sugar to give a good consistency for frosting.

How to make allergy free Peppermint icing

After Dinner Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

After Dinner Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

It continually amazes me how many products contain hidden sources of soy. I wanted to make a peppermint icing but Natural Peppermint Essence at the supermarket contains: Glycerine, Alcohol, Water, Peppermint Oil. That might not sound so bad but our lengthy food allergy journey had me wondering what Glycerine actually is.  Research shows it’s sometimes made from animal fat but mostly it’s made from vegetable oil..with soybean oil being extremely likely.

I liked this on the Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes 🙂

Ingredients

  • 100% Peppermint herbal tea bag
  • Boiling water
  • Icing sugar

Directions

  1. Steep the tea bag in 1/4 cup boiling water.
  2. Make your cupcakes. (This gives the peppermint time to steep and the water time to cool.)
  3. Slowly mix the peppermint water into icing sugar.
  4. Ice your cooled cupcakes. We like them on gluten free Chocolate Cupcakes.

Note: Herbal / fruit teas work to create other flavour icings as well. Check out this naturally pink icing on vanilla Gluten Free cupcakes.

Moist & delicious Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten free!)

I love chocolate. I’ve posted a few chocolate recipes like the Crazy One Dish Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Irish Potato Cake, and I’ve posted some make-from-scratch gluten free recipes like the Vanilla Cupcakes and the all natural pink berry flavoured icing. I wanted to play around in the kitchen with some different gluten free ingredients and make a wonderfully chocolatey and moist cupcake that also wouldn’t be packed with sugar – I prefer to balance my cakes so there’s more chocolate flavour in the cake and then extra sweetness in the (optional) icing. Miss 2 loved these with all natural peppermint icing or the Chocolate Buttercream icing (dairy free).

Ingredients

Group 1

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (like Rice Bran oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Generous pinch ground cinnamon

Group 2

Allergies: dairy free, soy free, gluten free, nut free.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients in Group 1. This helps to aerate the mix. You can use a stick blender or I used the food processor (with a plastic mixing attachment, not a metal cutting blade!).
  3. Sift together the ingredients in Group 2.
  4. Mix the combined dry ingredients into the whisked liquid.
  5. Pour into cupcake cases (makes about a dozen). Bake at 180’c for approx. 25-30 mins or until cooked.
  6. Allow to cool before icing. (We liked combining these with an all natural peppermint icing!).

 

Icing 

The icings that I use don’t have any artificial colours, glycerin, additives etc.

Blood Orange Icing (a.k.a. how to make pretty pink icing without using artificial colours)

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

My daughter is sensitive to red food colouring – as are many kids! For some reason New Zealand still allows artificial food colouring agents to be sold here that are banned in many parts of Europe. I’ve been doing more research (as you might have noticed from the post on why to be cautious about annatto as a colouring agent) and am experimenting with natural food colours.

One way to make pink icing is to use beetroot juice but I’m not a big fan of beetroot so instead decided to make a Blood Orange icing that has a beautifully delicate berry flavour and uses fruit tea!

The secret ingredient to this icing mix is Blood Orange fruit tea which uses a mix of

  • Hibiscus
  • Apple
  • Rosehips
  • Natural Flavouring
  • Stevia
  • Orange Peel

Not only do you get to make icing but you can also make yourself a cuppa in the process. Incidentally, this tea is also lovely cold, with sparkling water, or in fruit punch. You could also experiment with other fruit teas (like Blueberry & Blackcurrant) to make other colours.

Ingredients

  • 50g Butter or allergy free spread (i.e. Nuttelex)
  • 1c icing sugar
  • Blood Orange tea bag
  • Hot water

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, egg free, soy free, nut free.

Directions

  1. In a mug steep the Blood Orange tea bag in a small amount of boiling water (i.e. about 50 ml). Allow it to cool and it should have a concentrated deep red colour.
  2. Cream the butter and icing sugar.
  3. Slowly add the (cooled) blood-orange-water to the mix until you have the colour and consistency that you desire. (Add more icing sugar if needed).
  4. Ice your cupcakes (like these Gluten Free cupcakes!)

Note: You can also make this with just icing sugar and the Blood Orange mix to make a darker colour.

 

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

I love experimenting with gluten free baking! As well as this vanilla cupcake recipe, I also have different recipes for chocolate cupcakes and berry muffins.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1c superfine white rice flour
  • 1T glutinous rice flour (also marketed as ‘sweet rice flour’)
  • 1/2 fine cornmeal (polenta) – use finely milled.
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3c neutral oil (i.e. Rice Bran Oil)
  • 1 egg (or egg replacer)
  • Vanilla
  • 2/3c water

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free, egg free*, soy free, nut free.

Makes 8-10 cupcakes.

Directions

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Whisk the egg (or egg replacer) until fluffy and pour in.
  3. Add the oil and vanilla. Mix.
  4. Slowly pour the water in while mixing.
  5. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180’C for approx. 25 mins until golden.
  6. Allow to cool and ice. I used a Blood Orange icing with no artificial colours!

 

Tip: My current preferred method for cooking cupcakes is to fill a large cake tin with silicon cupcake cases (so that they are touching). This helps them to keep their shape and is super easy to get in and out of the oven.

 

Icing 

The icings that I use don’t have any artificial colours, glycerin, additives etc.

Sweet cornbread muffins

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Cornbread muffin

So I’m starting to experiment with other grains as part of our journey to reduce (or eliminate) gluten, dairy, and egg from our diet (as well as needing to be 100% soy free). I picked up some cornmeal really cheaply and went looking online for what I could make up. I’d vaguely heard about cornbread in reference to America and that seemed a good place to start. From what I could gather, after looking at about eight different recipes, cornbread tends to be sweeter in the North and more savoury (and maybe a bit drier) in the South. Its often made with buttermilk which was a problem for me as (a) it’s expensive, and (b) I wanted to make these dairy free.  I finally found a Northern recipe for sweet cornbread that looked suitable to adapt and make in muffin trays.

Note: I only wanted to make a small batch so this makes 5-6 muffins, double the recipe to make more.

Ingredients (Dairy or Dairy Free)

  • 1/2c yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2c plain flour
  • 1/2T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2T Brown sugar
  • 2T liquid honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c milk*
    • I used coconut milk.
  • 1/4c butter*
    • I used rice bran oil.

These turned out beautifully; they were quite sweet with 2T brown sugar & 2T liquid honey. I wouldn’t have known they were dairy free. They were light, fluffy, and delicious warm & cold. Made 5 muffins.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Ingredients (Dairy Free & Egg Free)

  • 3/4c yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4c plain flour
  • 1/2T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2T liquid honey
  • 1T ground linseed soaked in 3T warm water
  • 1/2c – 3/4c coconut milk.
  • 1/4c rice bran oil.

With this batch I was aiming to increase the size of the mix, replace the egg and reduce the sugar. I find, in general, that linseed works well as an egg replacer but you may need a little more liquid. These still turned out well although not quite as fluffy as the first batch. Makes 6 muffins.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry and mix till combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Put mixture into muffin trays. Bake at 180’C for 15-20 mins until golden brown.

Yes You Can! Allergy friendly baking mixes

 

Yes You Can is a great Australian brand (available internationally) with artisan baking mixes that are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, and nut free. Their vegetable oil is certified palm oil.

Their website has full ingredient lists for their baking mixes (handy!) as well as cooking instructions. Turns out these can even be cooked in a rice cooker if you don’t have an oven (or microwave).

So far I’ve made their Apple & Cinnamon muffins and their Chocolate Orange Zest (as cupcakes rather than a cake). I thought they were both tasty! I liked the apple & cinnamon best, my toddler prefers the chocolate orange (the icing is included in the pack).

21/1/17 I checked with them just to make sure about the soy and they were really quick to get back to me. They advise that they are soy free, and also nut free, so have updated the post. So handy to find for a family with allergies and I love that their website has information on the countries & locations/stockists where they can be purchased!

Mum’s Spiced Fruit Loaf


This is a fabulous recipe and a firm family favourite. It’s also very versatile and can be used to make child sized cakes (in silicon cupcake cases) or miniature christmas cakes (in muffin trays). It also freezes well.

Ingredients

Group 1

  • 1/2c sugar
  • 50g butter or 60ml rice bran oil
  • 1c sultanas
  • 1c chopped dates
  • 1T golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 1/4c water

Group 2

  • 1 1/2 tsp  ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Group 3

  • 2c flour (or gluten free baking mix)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Allergies: dairy free, soy free, egg free, gluten free*, nut free*.

Directions

  1. Place Group 1 in pot. Boil; then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Stir in Group 2.
  3. Ideally allow to cool to room temperature (this takes several hours) as this allows the dried fruit time to soak.
  4. Grease and line loaf tin. Preheat oven to 180’C.
  5. Stir in Group 3.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out smooth.
  7. Cool in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto wire rack.

Notes

I use a greased silicon loaf tin and often cook a smaller portion in silicon cupcake cases at the same time (for my toddler); the cupcake-sized cakes only take about 15 mins to cook.

This is a versatile recipe. Sometimes I have my toddler help me assemble all of Group 1 and 2 in the pot before I put it on to heat; sometimes I only give the fruit mix 5-10 mins to cool before adding the dry ingredients and cooking it. Sometimes I’ll do the fruit mix after my toddler’s midday nap, let it cool all afternoon, and then put it in to cook after dinner (when the oven is already warm); I’ve also allowed the fruit to soak all night and then cooked it in the morning.

I’ve made this a number of times and varied ingredients (while essentially keeping to the base recipe); i.e. using 1/2c sultanas and 1/2c cranberries; having no walnuts; using coconut thread instead of walnuts; using 1c mixed nuts (smashed) + coconut + melted chocolate + extra water (this is the one pictured).

Walnuts are a soft nut that are easy to smash and chew. I’ve made this using a nut mix (predominantly walnuts & almonds with some hazelnuts and brazil nuts) because it was on special – the other nuts just take a bit more effort to smash. If you have a young baby or toddler then you may want to leave the nuts out until they’ve grown all their molars and are comfortable chewing nuts.  I’ve found the ideal way for us to smash nuts is to put them in a plastic bag and have my toddler enthusiastically whack them with her toy hammer!

Allergies: Soy free, peanut free, egg free, dairy free (replace butter with oil).

 

Crazy One-Dish Chocolate Cake!

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I love this chocolate cake recipe (you can also use it to make cupcakes) because it’s allergy friendly, vegan friendly, and toddler friendly (everything gets mixed and cooked in one dish!). There’s no eggs, dairy, soy, or nuts, and it can be made using gluten-free flour.

I found the recipe thanks to Happy Mum Happy Child and apparently it’s based on a Depression-era recipe when dairy was hard to get hold of.

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free plain flour)
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons oil (I use rice-bran oil)
  • 1 cup cold coffee (or use water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Combine all dry ingredients in a greased 20 x 20cm baking pan (that’s right, in the dish you’re baking it in).
Make 3 depressions (holes) in the dry ingredients. You want there to be two small ones, and one large one.
Pour the vinegar into one of the small holes, and the vanilla into the other small hole.
Add the vegetable oil to the large one.
Pour the cold coffee (or water) over the entire thing and mix until smooth and combined (I used a wooden spoon).
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once cooled, ice or lather in caramel syrup and enjoy with whipped cream.

 

Allergens: soy free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, can be made gluten free (replace the flour with gf flour).