These Gluten-Free Zucchini and Pumpkin Muffins are about to become your new favorite breakfast treat and snack!Jump to Recipe
Unbeatable Texture & Flavors
When it comes to gluten-free baking, the outcome is no where near guaranteed. On one end of the spectrum, the result can be too crumbly. On the other hand, the baked good could be too dense. Finding that happy medium of fluffy is not as easy as you’d think. After a few tries, I can confidently say that these Gluten-Free Zucchini and Pumpkin muffins have the best texture.
My favorite aspect of these muffins is how fluffy and light they are. They almost have a pillow-like texture that can’t be matched. Luckily, I have all the tricks in this blog post to teach you how to execute this recipe perfectly.
First Thing’s First: The Zucchini
If you’re looking for a way to trick your kids into eating vegetables, throw zucchini in there. Zucchini has such a mild flavor that when baked, you can hardly taste it. It’s great to hide in breads, cakes, brownies, or muffins (like this!) if you have a picky eater. I promise that they’ll never suspect a thing!
The key is to grate the zucchini very finely and then allow it to sit. Zucchinis are made up of 94% water, so you need to expel the water. It’s crucial to do this better adding zucchini to baked goods. If you forget to allow the zucchini to sit before adding it to a batter, the texture won’t be smooth and fluffy.
Before you grate your zucchini, fist line a bowl with paper towels. The paper towels will absorb the water as the zucchini sits. Then, finely grate the zucchini into the bowl. Once it’s grated, sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the grated zucchini. Allow the zucchini sit for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use your paper towels to wring out any excess water. By doing so, this will ensure that your zucchini bread is moist without being chewy.
The Dry Ingredients
While the pumpkin puree will impart the beautiful golden orange color and fluffy texture to these muffins, some spices are needed to bring the fall flavors forward. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You may be wondering where the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are in this recipe. Well, pumpkin pie spice actually contains all of those spices plus ginger and allspice. Pumpkin pie spice eliminates the need to buy spices, which are seldom used.
- Cardamom: This warm spice has a flavor compared to the combination of eucalyptus, mint, and pepper. While this sounds like an odd spice to use for these sweet muffins, cardamom pairs well with other rich spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Salt: A little bit of salt will go a long ways here. It’ll help balance out the sweetness from the pumpkin and vanilla extract. Remember, there is already salt on the grated zucchini too.
You will also need two and a half cups of gluten-free baking flour. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again… The BEST gluten-free baking flour that’s easy to use and great for beginners is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. This flour is ideal if you don’t want to spend time mixing a variety of gluten-free flours to yield the same result.
Finally, you will need a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of baking powder. This combination will result in fluffy muffins that have a light, airy texture and moist interior.
Mixing the Batter
Now that we have the dry ingredients in one bowl and the grated zucchini in another, it’s time for the wet ingredients. Start by combining three large, room temperature eggs with coconut oil. Not only is this recipe gluten-free but it’s also dairy-free. By using coconut oil instead of butter, the muffins will have a lighter texture. Although coconut oil is 100% fat and butter is 80%, butter is much richer. While this is great for chocolate muffins, it would change the flavor profile of these more mild, less decadent muffins.
Once the coconut oil and eggs are combined, add half a cup of pumpkin puree. This may seem like less than you were expecting to use but using anymore would make the muffins more dense. Whisk the pumpkin puree until it’s thoroughly integrated. Then, pour in half a cup of brown sugar. Brown sugar pairs beautifully with pumpkin and the spices to really bring out that “fall flavor”. Finally, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Whisk this all together before adding half of the dry ingredients. It’s important to add only half at a time so that you may thoroughly combine all ingredients. Once mixed, add the rest of the dry ingredients. Then, remove the grated zucchini from the bowl and add to the batter. Use a spatula to fold the grated zucchini into the batter.
All That’s Left To Do…
At long last, it’s time to pour the batter into the muffin tins. First, line a muffin tin with liners to prevent the muffins from sticking to the tin. Then, carefully pour the batter a little more than three fourths of the way high in the muffin tin. The muffins won’t rise or spread much, so they’ll remain on the smaller size. This is purposeful to ensure the consistency is the same throughout.
Once the muffin tins are filled with batter, bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To test if they’re done, place a toothpick in the center of the muffin in the middle rack. If it comes out clean, it’s ready to be taken out of the oven. If there’s still batter on the toothpick then it needs another few minutes- depending on how much batter there was.
When the muffins are done, pull them out of the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. The muffins with the liners should come out clean and smoothly from the tin. If you have any trouble, run a clean knife along the edge. Then, all that’s left to do is enjoy!
Zucchini and Pumpkin MuffinsCourse: Breakfast, SnacksDifficulty: Easy
It doesn’t get much better than these soft, fluffy muffins!
1 cup of grated zucchini
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups gluten-free baking flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cardamom
3 room temperature eggs
1 cup coconut oil
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your muffin tin with paper cups
- Grate one zucchini into a paper towel lined bowl, then sprinkle it with a half teaspoon of salt and allow it to sit for 10 minutes
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, and a fourth teaspoon of salt
- In another large mixing bowl, combine eggs and coconut oil
- Beat on high for one minute with an electric mixer, then add the pumpkin puree
- Next, add the brown sugar and vanilla extract
- Beat on low for one minute until creamy
- Slowly add the dry ingredients
- Once combined, add the grated zucchini and use a spatula to fold over until smooth
- Pour batter into the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes
- Let cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy
- After 10 minutes, use your paper towels to wring out any excess water from the grated zucchini before adding it into your batter.