Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Note: Sorry for the terrible iPhone 4 photos. The Canon did not want to come out to play 😦

I love summer, I really do. I prefer the heat and would be completely fine if it only ever snowed Christmas day. But by far, my favorite time of year is fall (and not just because my birthday is at the end of September.) I love the changing leaves, Halloween, and excuses to dump pumpkin and pumpkin spice in everything. Yes, I am one of those people.

Though it’s the middle of July, I still get cravings for pumpkin treats. Last fall, I discovered a great recipe for pumpkin doughnuts that was just fantastic. With a few tweaks to the recipe, I was even able to make a batch for my Celiac boyfriend, who ate the entire dozen in one evening. Since I had a craving, what better opportunity to tweak the recipe a bit again and make muffins he could have for breakfast during his busy mornings before work?


A plate of deliciousness.

The recipe that I adapted came from King Arthur Flour.  The original does mention that it works for muffins as well.

Adapting the recipe to be gluten-free was pretty simple – as in, I have no idea how to do these things from scratch so I got a pre-made flour mix. 😉 I really recommend Bob’s Red Mill mixes and flours. I’ve had wonderful luck with their products in all of my experiments; just be sure to check whichever one you use and see if you need to add your own xanthan gum or not. For this recipe I used their all-purpose flour and some xanthan gum (their bags have a handy chart for how much gum you need).

Part one was preheating the oven to 350 degrees, and getting all of the ingredients except the flour into a bowl.


Ready to be mixed.

Once the flour and xanthan gum were added, the batter took on the lighter, pretty orange color. At this point, I taste tested the batter, and found it to be too bland. I don’t have an exact science for this, but I added more of the spices to taste – two dashes of cinnamon and one each of the ginger and nutmeg (we didn’t have pumpkin spice on hand, so we used the recommended substitutes in the recipe).


We did the mixing with a wooden spoon, rather than an electric mixer – what I like to call the “broke college graduate” method.

Kevin deemed it ready, and the batter went into a greased muffin tin. The wells were filled about 3/4 of the way full. Since the recipe recommended 23-25 minutes for muffins, we went with the totally logical time of 23:30. While the muffins baked, I mixed up homemade cinnamon sugar in a Ziploc bag.

Once the muffins were done, I put them on a plate and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on top. You can also put them in the bag and shake to coat; this is what I did with the doughnuts.


Pumpkin goodness!

We of course taste tested them right away.


The face of a satisfied customer!

All in all, the muffins came out great! Moist, pumpkin-y, and totally free of gluten. We got around 20 muffins out of the recipe. I am SO ready for fall and more reasons to try out more pumpkin baking.


Original Recipe: Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts from King Arthur Flour



  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or your gluten free sub, along with the needed xanthan gum)


  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans or muffin tins.

2) Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth.

3) Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.

4) Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full; use a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well. If you’re making muffins, fill each well about 3/4 full.

5) Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.

6) Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

7) While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with the cinnamon-sugar. If you’ve made muffins, sprinkle their tops heavily with cinnamon-sugar.

8) Cool completely, and store (not wrapped tight) at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 12 doughnuts or 15 muffins.





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