Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins

In the front of my family cookbook, there is a recipe I've never tried called "Surprise Carrot Cake." It is photocopied from some other cookbook or magazine and notated in my sister's cursive. Things like "more cream cheese, less sugar" in the margin by the icing and "I use a whole 16-21 oz. can" by the cake recipe. I've never tried to make Surprise Carrot Cake because my sister makes it for me. When I was a little girl, I wanted this to be my wedding cake.

Spoiler alert: I succeeded and it was awesome!

That didn't happen and a close look at the recipe excludes it from my present and very possibly my future diet. Still, I found myself really hungry for carrot cake. So hungry, I was willing to risk a complete disaster by experimenting with that recipe in an attempt to make it gluten-free and compliant with my current mix of allowed foods.

I tried to make banana nut muffins with rice flour and found straight rice flour holds way too much moisture. The banana nut muffins were edible, tasty even, but they were just too mushy. Another flour is necessary. I've been having a good string of luck with buckwheat, so I decided to go with that.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins - Makes 12


1 stick of butter + 2 T melted for garnish
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup (8 oz.) crushed pineapple with juice
3/4 cup finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans + 1/4 cup extra for garnish


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin pan with paper liners or grease/butter/nonstick cooking spray. Cream butter & sugar with mixer. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Add pineapple, carrots and pecans. Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Mixture will be lumpy.

Rice flour batter looks a bit lumpy, almost curdled. I'm not a gluten-free expert, but I think this is normal.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan. Toss extra pecans in melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the muffin batter. Larger chunks would probably be prettier. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until muffins are brown and tops spring up when touched.

Make a cup of tea and enjoy! I'm still working through a wheat addiction. The past weeks have been a roller coaster. Can I eat wheat? No. I can't. Or can I? It seems, right now anyway, I cannot. These muffins are the first gluten free thing I've eaten that was just as good as the wheat version.

A carrot cake muffin is the perfect company for a cup of tea.