Very heavily riffing on my spiced pumpkin cake with choc-chai buttercream, I’m doing festive things today with these gluten free spiced pumpkin muffins. Is this because I’m lazy and copying my own work, you ask? Well, partly yes. Is it also because I believe in the portability of dessert? Absolutely.
GLUTEN FREE SPICED PUMPKIN MUFFINS + FODMAP
These gluten free spiced pumpkin muffins are obviously gluten free. However, they are also dairy free, nut free and generally FODMAP friendly. While there are no real ‘trigger warnings’ (if you will) when it comes to the muffins and FODMAP, there is the matter of pumpkin variety.
The least FODMAP friendly pumpkin is butternut, which is considered FODMAP friendly in servings of 45g or less per person. This is in contrast to Japanese pumpkin, which, at the other end of the spectrum, did not have FODMAPs detected. Seems like a closed case, right?
However! I personally find butternut to be the most flavoursome of the bunch. You can do whatever you wish, but be aware that the recipe really contains just over 2 ‘servings’ of butternut. So unless you planned to eat half of the batch, feel free to use butternut if it is also your personal favourite.
- As always, make sure you buy a finely milled rice flour. The boxed variety at the supermarket tends to be very gritty, which in turn impacts the muffin texture.
- I make my own pumpkin puree. Growing up in Australia, finding it in a can seems foreign to me (because it is.) I recommend either steaming it over boiling water until soft, or oiling large pieces and cooking them in the oven on a low heat. Once cooled, simply puree and use.
- Weigh your brown sugar as opposed to using a cup measure. Because brown sugar has a higher liquid content than white, it’s virtually impossible to use cup measures with any sort of precision. While we’re here, weigh your flours too. Always.
- You can adapt the spices to your liking. Personally I find these quantities just enough to perfume the loaf without overpowering it, but spice them however you see fit.
- The meringue topping is a fancy faff I wanted to do when I thought I had a working blow torch. As it turns out, I do not. It is entirely optional.
- Equally, the chocolate buttercream is entirely optional. I used the recipe for the pumpkin loaf, found here.
Gluten free spiced pumpkin muffins
For the muffins:
- 1/2 cup plant based or lactose free milk I used Bonsoy
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 130 g (1 cup) fine white rice flour
- 50 g (1/2 cup) tapioca or arrowroot flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 170 g (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- Good pinch of fine salt
- 125 g pumpkin puree
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1/3 cup plain tasting oil (I used peanut but you could use vegetable or even olive)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the (very optional) meringue topping:
- 2 extra large egg whites
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- Culinary torch or oven grill
To make the muffins:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease your muffin tin thoroughly, and/or line it if you fancy.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup plant milk for the loaf and the vinegar, and set aside to form a buttermilk. Don’t panic if it looks curdled and awful – that is the whole idea. It will create a light and fluffy loaf. Thanks buttermilk.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients – flours, spices, sugars and baking powder/soda.
- Back to the buttermilk: add the remaining wet ingredients – pumpkin puree, eggs and oil. Whisk until a batter has formed.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir thoroughly to combine. The batter should be smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling them to the top.
- Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 200 degrees, and then turn the oven down to 180 for 15 minutes. This is to try and encourage the muffins to dome.
- Once they’re cooked, allow it to cool for 10 or so minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the meringue:
- Place the egg whites in the dry, clean bowl of your kitchen mixer. Beat the egg whites on high until they’re fluffy, and then stream in the caster sugar. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and glossy, with no sugar related grit remaining.
- Transfer the meringue mixture into a piping bag or sandwich bag with a corner removed. Pipe the meringue onto the muffins. You can either use the grill function or a kitchen torch to caramelise the top of the meringue. If you’re using the grill, watch them carefully as they burn quickly. The meringue topping is best if you are eating the muffins straight away.