Welcome the holidays with these healthy and totally tasty Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread Muffins. Run, run, RUN as fast as you can because these little muffins will be gone before you know it.
ME BEFORE THE RECIPE…
You know what Christmas tradition I hate? I mean, really absolutely despise? GINGERBREAD HOUSES!
How much of a Scrooge am I? I’ll be honest, though. I will finagle tooth and nail to try and get out of decorating gingerbread houses.
My mother-in-law lives for this craft and insists on doing it every single winter. Even before kids, we were expected to plaster these houses together each and every Christmas. And you better believe each and every Christmas I sat there counting down the minutes until all my candy pieces were gone so I could say I was done. I’m even halfway tempted to shove the year old sugar candy into my mouth just to finish faster.
Why do I hate it so much???! I’ll tell you…one word…CRAFT. I don’t care if you disguise it as food, a craft is a craft is a craft, and any craft in my book equals torture. These past years have been a little less agonizing because I can usually pawn my gingerbread house off on the kids. I do it for the greater good…the kids. Hehe!
So with my aversion to making gingerbread houses, can you answer me one question. Why the heck did I volunteer to help 30 kindergarteners make their own gingerbread houses???! That’s crazy! I’m envisioning sprinkles, frosting, and candy everywhere, like a North Pole war zone or an Elf on the Shelf party palace. But whatever, the kids will be in heaven and that’s all that matters.
I had to laugh when Emry’s teacher sent home a note regarding the gingerbread houses. They are requesting each child bring in their own container of frosting because we all know a five year old’s method of decorating is spread the frosting, lick the fingers, spread the frosting, LICK THE FINGERS. Yeah, I don’t think I want Emry sharing with her neighbor. You better believe I’m sending her with her own tub of frosting, and she’s probably going to be the only kid in her class with homemade frosting. I can’t bear to buy the prepackaged stuff. Shudder.
HERE COMES THE RECIPE…
Okay, but tossing all crafts aside and focusing just on gingerbread…well, I have much different feelings about gingerbread. I love ALL things gingerbread. The scent, the warm spices, the crunchy crackly cookies that make their appearance around the holidays. You name it, gingerbread’s got me swooning all over.
So it’s only obvious that I’m turning my kitchen into a factory of gingerbread baked goods. I’m telling you, I’ve been baking gingerbread goodies for the past week and I’m still not sick of them. One of my favorite concoctions of the week were these Gluten Free and Vegan Gingerbread Maple Muffins.
These muffins are a nice change from just your typical ginger molasses cookies (oh don’t worry, though, I have a fabulous recipe coming soon for those). They have all the flavor notes of that quintessential Christmas cookie: ginger (oh the ginger!), cinnamon (bring it on cinnamon!), allspice, cloves, and cardamom. Yes, cardamom. The cardamom adds a slight citrusy, herbal, spicy note to the muffins that just screams holidays. I’m pretty sure if I was a coffee drinker, this would be the muffin I would eat in between sips. Heck, I would full on dunk it because I’m sassy like that.
Wait, back up. Put on the brakes. Hold your horses!!! I forgot the most exciting part about these muffins. Not only are they gluten free, but they are also VEGAN, and can be made using absolutely NO refined sugars. Whoop whoop! Holla on that one, why don’t you?!
Wait, shut the front door. I have one more thing to tell you about these fabulous muffins. If you decide to follow my preferred flour blend listed in the recipe, these muffins are gum free as well. Yep, you heard that right. No xantham gum, guar gum, pectin, or whatever other binders you tend to use to keep your baked goods from crumbling.
Now the only catch with omitting the xanthan gum is that you enjoy these muffins fresh the day they’re baked. They don’t hold together as well the next day, so either gobble them up warm from the oven, or freeze them and pull them out when you need one…which is like every day from now until Christmas…at least.
And since the muffin itself is healthy, I don’t feel bad one bit about sprinkling some turbinado sugar on top before baking. If you want to skip the added sugar, by all means embrace being boring, but for those rebels like myself out there, the turbinado sugar adds the perfect finishing touch: a crispy, crunchy coating on top of a soft, tender gingerbread muffin. Yes please.
Can I just tell you, honest to goodness, how much my girls love these muffins?! You wouldn’t think that a kid would inhale anything gingerbread flavored. It’s a pretty strong taste for kids. But, I actually had to cut my kids off from eating these muffins. Granted they were mini, so of course they wanted more than one, but when they started asking for a fourth, I had to put my foot down. More so because I wanted to deliver the muffins for neighbor gifts and my kiddos were basically stealing the goods!
So if you’re like me, and want to avoid creative gingerbread house making, make these muffins instead to curb any crazy gingerbread craving. The clean up is so much easier, and who wants to eat candy covered cardboard anyway??? Give me a muffin!
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY…
- Gluten Free Applesauce Streusel Muffins
- Gluten Free Among Friends Cinnamon Banana Muffins
- Gluten Free Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Gluten Free Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Super Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Pancakes with Brown Sugar Glaze
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to touch
- ¼ cup coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 1 flaxseed egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water), or 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons gum free all purpose gluten free flour (or my preferred blend of ½ cup white rice flour, ½ cup brown rice flour, ⅓ cup oat or sorghum flour, ⅓ cup tapioca starch, and ¼ cup potato starch)
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Line two mini muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
- In a small ramekin or bowl, mix together ground flaxseed and lukewarm water. Allow to sit for 5 mins.
- While flaxseed egg is sitting, in a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add in flaxseed mixture and whisk until combined.
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl, sift together salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, ground cloves, cardamom, baking powder, and gluten free flour blend.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a spatula until well combined, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Fill liners ¾ way full and top with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. Bake at 400 degrees, one pan at a time, for 11-13 minutes or until tops of muffins spring back at touch of a finger.
- Remove muffins from oven and gently transfer muffins from tins to a cooling rack. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in fridge for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 months. Warm leftover muffins in microwave before serving.