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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Gluten free pumpkin muffins
These pumpkin muffins feature coconut flour and almond flour.

Favorite Companion

We found canned organic pumpkin on the store shelves this week. So be prepared for pumpkin recipes. I, for one, Darling, can't get enough. Pumpkin is my favorite fall ingredient. Maybe because it cozies up to gluten-free flours so well. It adds moisture and depth to g-free baked goods. It flirts with cinnamon and ginger like the sexiest, inscrutable movie star. You know what I'm talking about. It's not overt. Or blatant. It's not over the top. It is subtle. Secure.

Pumpkin doesn't demand to be admired.

Because it doesn't have to prove itself.

It's not a bully flavor that crushes gentler flavors in its wake. It doesn't bark and claw to be Top Dog 24/7. It doesn't have a deep seated need to own the room, to dominate, to control the ingredients it shares a bowl with.

Pumpkin goes with the flow.

It likes vanilla.

And it likes chocolate.

You could say, it's bi-flavorful.

Which happens to be a quality I admire. Even embody and embrace. Because life is brimming with diversity. Life is rich and complicated, sticky and glorious. And for every preference I may think I cherish, there are sure to be a dazzling array of alternative preferences twinkling beyond my peripheral vision like so many bokeh jewels.

Delicious pumpkin muffins baked with gluten free flours
Pumpkin muffins are a perfect Fall pick-me-up.

Gluten-Free Goddess Pumpkin Muffins
Warm from the oven pumpkin muffins cooling on a wire rack.

Karina's Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffin Recipe  

Recipe published October 2010 by Karina Allrich.

These moist and tender beauties sport coconut flour, and a lovely pecan crunch. If you don't care for nuts in your pumpkin muffins, use chopped or dried cranberries, golden raisins, or even chocolate chips. Be happy. Choose your favorite add-ins.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup organic coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Add in:

1 and 1/3 cups packed organic light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin is fine)
1/3 cup light olive oil
2 free range organic eggs, beaten, or Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water for vegan
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk or coconut milk

Beat the batter to incorporate the ingredients. If it needs a little more liquid, add up to 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk until it is a smooth consistency.

Stir in by hand:

1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts (or raisins, or chocolate chips, as you prefer)


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

Spoon the batter into twelve muffin cups, filling them close to the top. Smooth the tops using the back side of a wet teaspoon.

Add a pecan half to each muffin top, if you like.

Bake in a preheated oven till domed and golden- roughly 22 to 25 minutes. The muffins should feel firm yet springy to a light touch. If a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean- these babies are done.

Cool on a wire rack. Remove the muffins from the pan after five minutes, and allow them to continue cooling on a wire rack. This helps keep their bottoms from getting soggy.

Wrap and freeze leftover muffins in freezer bags for easy on-the-go treats.

Cook time: 23 min

Yield: One dozen muffins

Recipe Source:

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

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xox Karina


  1. Your children are incredibly lucky to have a mother who will accept them no matter who they love <3

  2. I have been told of these Maxi-Pad belts. They sound horrible! ;)

    Thanks for posting a link to Ellen's message.

    And, thank you for a most beautiful post...


  3. Beautifully written. Many thanks!

  4. Thank you for this post.

    As an aside (and I know this was not the point of your post, but I wanted tomention this) - I love watching Mad Men but whenever one of my peers (I'm in my early 30s) says she would love to have lived back then, I find it upsetting.

  5. Looks and sounds lovely, Karina!

  6. I just have a few words to share...delicious and beautiful. The muffins look delicious and the message was beautiful. May we one day witness true equality and acceptance in our world. ♥ Thanks for sharing Karina!

  7. As the mother of a newly diagnosed 3yr old little princess (that LOVES PUMPKIN MUFFINS) I want to thank you for this recipe. I am preheating the oven as we speak.

  8. Tell it, Girlfriend. So true.

  9. Anonymous17:15

    How much tapioca starch?

  10. First- it's 1/2 cup tapioca starch- I added "cup" into the recipe; thanks for the catch! :-)

    Second- Those stupid elastic belts you attached the "sanitary pad" to (which by the way, was as thick as a phone book) itched and wiggled up. Nightmare.

    I agree totally about Mad Men- if you think life then was glamorous, um. You're not paying attention to the dialogue or the subtext regarding power and control. Not to mention, SECRETS. Oy.



  11. Tracy Lord17:46

    Hi Karina,

    what could you substitute for almond flour ? My kids are allergic to all types of nuts as well.

    Thank you

  12. Tracy, You can sub your favorite gluten-free flour; brown rice flour or even cornmeal will work. You could also use more sorghum instead. xox Karina

  13. I had a maxi-pad belt, and it was pretty gruesome.

    What a great post, and the muffins look delish.

  14. Very nice post. thank you

  15. Karina, I've never seen such a delish looking gluten free pumpkin muffin. I am amazed at how "poofed" or "risen" it is - it's NOT flat! Congrats on a great recipe. I wish I could make some!!

  16. Love the way you think, love the way you write what you think, and love that you share it with the world. ♥

  17. Excellent post Karina,
    Everyone LOVES pumpkin, fabulous recipe, can't wait to try it!

    Excellent message, thanks for inspiring us.....


  18. Well written, Karina. I often times find myself feeling sorry for the bullying types. How incredibly sad that as innocent children they were the unfortunate witnesses to neglect, bigotry, etc from their parents. That's all they know so, they take it out on someone else. That doesn't make it right, by any means. no matter where we come from we all have a choice to change for the better. But I guess it helps to consider where all that anger is coming from. I always tell my kids that there's much more going on with people than we could ever know. :)

    It's so funny you posted this because I was just thinking today over a cup of tea that all of a sudden I have this intense desire to bake something with pumpkin. These look divine. And as always your pics are just beautiful.

    Have a great rest of the week

  19. I absolutely dig your style of writing, and your message. And your photos. Oh, and your recipes, too. I think I have a blog crush on you. Oh wait - if the wrong people are listening I might come under attack for that.... Oh screw them. I have a total girl-on-girl blog crush. :)

  20. These look delicious and beautiful...I can't wait to try them out!

  21. Maxi-pad belts. I remember them. Instruments of torture. And if anyone thinks that the era of Mad Men was glamorous, they weren't there.

  22. You are gorgeous girl. You have an almost sex in the city appeal but for all gluten free city goddesses living and breathing on this big land mass called earth as I read your posts from Australia I fall in love with your opinions and cook your food like we where sharing something together.......xoxo

  23. Great post today! I love all things pumpkin and can't wait to try these!

    No matter what our views or beliefs bullying and harassing are never right! It is wise to teach our children the difference between respectfully disagreeing with someone and downright meanness!

  24. My dear Karina, you put sentences together like no one else. Case in point? "It flirts with cinnamon and ginger like the sexiest, inscrutable movie star." Sometimes I feel like your blog is like Sex and the City meets gluten-free baking. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but that's the image in my head.

  25. Huh...and I swear I didn't see that last comment from missanna when I left my comment! I guess it's not just me seeing the connection...

  26. And don't forget the lovely food pictures too! All very sensual from the eyes to the tastebuds. Also thanks for sharing the message. Bullies are often the victims of bullying themselves, creating a vicious cycle.

  27. Well said. The people who bully are just scared of their own insecurities showing themselves.

    You express yourself so beautifully. I aspire to be as good a writer as you someday. And I really need to make these pumpkin muffins because I'm imagining how good they taste right now.

  28. They sound yummy, and great photos too!

  29. I can't wait to get home and make pumpkin muffins. I picked up the pumpkin over the weekend, but haven't had time yet to do anything with it. Now I will be going crazy until I make these!
    As for the Mad Men references, the only thing I would like to relive is the clothes - I adore the 60's vintage look. But not the manners, culture, social issues, etc. And I do remember - especially the maxi pads and belt. I have vivid memories of "health" class for girls in 5th grade where they gave us samples of kotex and the belts. I was so excited when they came out with the self-stick pads!

  30. Could the coconut flour be ground up coconut flakes or does it have to be actual coconut flour? If it does, what could I substitute for the coconut?

  31. My two boys are in gluten-free, egg-free english muffin mini-pizza heaven as we speak. lol. Thank you so much for your recipes:)

    The other day my 6yr-old and I made your vegan pumpkin pie together. My husband kept saying this is Amazing! Over and over. :D

    I love your writing, you suck me in every time. I'll be cruising for a recipe and end up reading for half an hour...

  32. Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. And for those of us old enough to remember "the good ole days"... have we come a long way, Baby? We are wiser and more seasoned. But are you frustrated, like me? Do you also expect old prejudices and fears to be diminishing, not re-surging? For goddess sake, it's 2010.

    It's time to choose love over fear.

    And as for coconut flour- in theory you could process coconut flakes into flour. Just make sure it's fine enough- and not chewy. Coconut flour is soft.

    Karina xox

  33. Such wise words. I really do not understand why people cant just accept each others differences. There is such beauty in being different.

    PS - I am definitely going to try the muffins :)

  34. Sing it sister! I love, love, love this post!

    And those muffins aren't too shabby, either...

  35. Very nicely written, as always, Karina.
    I love Mad Men too and can't believe that there are only a couple of more episodes left for the season. Didn't it just start! Uhhhh!

    Fabulous Pumpkin Muffins. Last week I used a fresh pumpkin for some bread and oh it was so much lighter and more flavorful...I'm hooked on fresh.

  36. Couldn't agree more re: your comments on bullies, different tastes/ preferences, etc. I'm a "straight advocate," I guess is the term & can't imagine such hatred & prejudice. I guess this is something akin to what the Blacks must have felt, back in the day; only this is worse. I don't think most blacks killed themselves because of torment--the whites did it for them. It breaks my heart that a certain group of people are ridiculed & bullied to the point that death seems the only escape. Hopefully, Ellen's & others' messages will make a difference, along with harsh punishments for the bullies, perhaps including re-education.

  37. Tamara17:51

    These muffins turned out great-- what a wonderful, full, spongy texture and perfect pumpkiny flavor! Thanks!

  38. i can hardly wait to make these muffins. i just love pumpkin, one of the best fall ingredients, indeed.

    if you (and others) have not seen this post about bullying, its worth a read.

    thanks for being such a fabulous resource. i keep your page open on my computer almost all the time because i keep coming back for more recipes!

  39. i assume 1 T egg replacer with the 1/4 cup water?

  40. What a lovely person you are. I'm so glad I found you.
    Janet (NZ)

  41. Those muffins looks delicious! Love pumpkin!! I love using coconut flour in my gf baking, yum!

  42. I was bullied endlessly as a child and adolescant. We moved constantly being in the military and just didn't get to settle in with friends. NO ONE bullies my kids. We are very pro active.
    You're right, pumpkin doesn't bully toher flavours, but I have never been able to find canned pumpkin here in Australia. I know I can just steam some, but how handy to have a can or two available for emergency cravings!

  43. Thanks for the recipes and stories, I love your blog! You are certainly a goddess, thanks for sharing the goodness.

  44. Making these right now for a party tonight but don't see how long to bake? Even approximately? I rarely ever make muffins so I'm totally uncertain on this. Does being at 5000ft change the time at all? (Albuquerque here). TY.

  45. Turned out to be about 30 minutes bake time. I just kept checking til done. They were a huge hit. Made two batches and there were none left to bring home. Good thing I have plenty of ingredients left over to make a batch for the family. Thank you for another wonderful recipe.

  46. I love your writing, your outlook on life, and your recipes. Thanks for blogging.

  47. Just wondering, but can milk be substituted for the non-dairy liquids?

  48. Very well said! And great recipe- can't wait to try it. I love all things pumpkin and pecan.

  49. Thanks, all of you, for your amazing comments. xox

    As for the coconut/almond milk, yes you can substitute dairy milk for any non-dairy milk I use in my recipes. It's a one-to-one equivalent.


  50. I made these yesterday in my lovely new pumpkin shaped muffin pans and they came out beautifully. They were so moist and delicious. They were eaten by people who are not dairy, gluten or egg free and no-one could tell :-)

  51. Yes, Ener-G Egg Replacer for two eggs is 1 tablespoon replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water. xox Karina

  52. This is just what I was looking for. Have a whole pile of pumpkins that I picked up yesterday. Pie, soup and your muffins on the way!

  53. Nancy B.16:17

    Here in the Northwest, the dark dark damp days are beginning. I took my sunlamp down from the attic, baked pumpkin muffins and made veggie bean soup. The muffins are wonderful. I baked them with dried cranberries and walnuts, some as jumbo, some as mini, and some regular with papers, They all worked just great. Wonderful taste, a little bit coconutty.

  54. Nancy B.16:28

    There is a very wonderful book by Kate Bornstein called, Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws. It's funny, poignant, and sad, but ultimately geared to keeping people alive through their teen years. Our county library bought a bunch of copies. The author has a blog based on it at: As she says, the world can't spare a single kind person.

  55. Liz the Chef19:25

    Great post - as a retired psychotherapist who worked with children, you are my kind of parent - and cook, of course!

  56. Lovely photographs. Thanks for the recipe!

  57. Karina...beautiful. Just beautiful. I grew up in San Francisco, one of the seemingly most diverse cities. I was also blessed to have parents who instilled in me the importance of acceptance of everyone. They made great examples by the wide variety of personalities that made up their group of friends. I grew up thinking we were all the same no matter what preferences, likes, dislikes, looks, etc... we all had. It was the most rude awakening to go away to college and find that there was not that same acceptance throughout the country.
    Now, with my own two boys, I have made sure that they have the same mentoring from us that I had from my own parents. I also make sure that they are at a great Montessori school that focuses on celebrating everybody's differences. So, after all of my yada yada, just wanted to let you know how much Ioved this written statement of yours.
    Oh, and these muffins look phenomenal, by the way!! ;)

  58. Hey there - Just as an FYI, I used ground flaxseed meal instead of the almond flour (it's tough to get around my home and my husband has some sensitive nut flour issues) and they were delicious. I'm sure they ended up being a bit "heartier" instead of "fluffy" but both he and my 2 year old scarfed them down.

    Thank you again for the delicious recipes!

  59. Angel Elle01:21

    I just made these on Monday, 1/2 with pecans and the other half without (it made 24 muffins for me), and brought some to work today, everyone was raving about how moist and delicious they were!! Even my gluten loving cohorts. =D

    I absolutely LOVE your blog and look forward to trying out some more recipes soon!

  60. These were the bomb, Karina! My small group and I thank you for this delicious fall treat that is so moist and satisfying!

  61. Laura23:37

    Wonderful recipe! This is the second muffin recipe of yours that I've made, and they were both excellent. I used maple syrup in the pumpkin muffins and flaxseed meal instead of eggs. They turned out fantastic, and non-gluten-free folks were raving about them, too. Thanks for great recipes!

  62. Anonymous13:14

    I tried these muffins yesterday,and OH WOW! They are delicious!! My family loved them (even the non-gluten-free eaters! They literally got eaten in one day. I will pass along to my other GF friends! Thank you!

  63. These are delicious! Thank you! I also love your buckwheat chocolate chip cookies which everyone tells me are the best chocolate chip cookies they've ever had, allergens or no. I make them all the time.

  64. Anonymous22:00

    Just made them... they are awesome!!

  65. Jackie10:10

    These turned out great! Wasn't sure about the coconut flour, but I couldn't taste it and it made such a nice texture! Thanks! :)

  66. These were fabulous! I've been looking for a gluten free pumpkin muffin recipe. I make regular chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and my kids will eat 2 dozen in 2 days. These taste just as good as the old ones and my daughter can eat them too! Thank you once again. You are a life saver!

  67. Anonymous20:52

    I made these for a board retreat. HUGE HIT. Everybody was asking for the recipe, even though they can eat all the gluten, dairy, and eggs they want. I topped them with your maple nutmeg icing (with extra maple syrup for a runnier glaze) and covered them overnight. The muffins absorbed the glaze and were deliciously moist. Thanks for the great recipes!

  68. Anonymous13:30

    What can I subsitute the coconut flour for? Should I use buckwheat flour or almond meal??

  69. Caitlin11:01

    These were such a hit at a New Year's Eve party last night I just had to comment. I have two remaining and am trying so hard to save them for my husband when he wakes up. For anybody that was asking about substitutions, I worked with what I already had on hand, and that included brown rice flour instead of sorghum and millet flour in place of the coconut. Same amounts as this recipe calls for. I also used grape seed oil instead of olive and didn't have enough brown sugar to cover the recipe, replacing close to the remainder that I needed with a vanilla bean infused white sugar. And for a final delicious touch I mixed in mini GF chocolate chips. The consistency was absolutely divine and so moist! I haven't had a better GF baked good! Will be making these over and over...

  70. Thank to you all - you seriously rock - as we say around here. xox

    As for subs- thanks Caitlin for your suggestions! xox

    In general, coconut flour can be subbed with almond flour. If you cannot do almond flour, try a medium weight flour of your choice - and watch the liquids. Coconut flour absorbs liquid. So you may need less when you use a different flour.

    Karina xox

  71. Mary22:12

    This is the first recipe I have made from your blog. Can I hug you? These were AMAZING!!! I have been missing muffins along with many gluten filled treats for the past few months. I am nursing my baby who currently has intolerances to milk, soy and wheat. My husband said he would have never known these muffins were gluten free. I substituted an egg white for the xanthum gum as you suggest in your section. However, is it an additional egg white or an egg white from one of the eggs in the recipe? I added an additional one, so I am wondering for future reference.

  72. Anonymous17:28

    These muffins sound good!! However I have to avoid sugar, glutton and dairy (but I can have eggs). Any chance they would work with stevia?? Or next best honey?? What amounts would you suggest?
    A friend just sent me a link to this site so I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes.

  73. So wonderful! My brown sugar was rock hard (guess I have not been baking much...) so I substituted rice syrup. Not too sweet and SUPER moist! You're the best!

  74. I just made these muffins and they are so delicious! Made them in mini muffin pan and baked for 15 minutes, they came out very moist.

  75. Anonymous21:55

    I just found out I have allergies to gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy (man, what else is left). I have been looking up how to make your very own gluten free flour mix, which I did yay! I have yet to try making something though. I am going to be trying this recipe for sure as my first! I have been on this site a couple of times just browsing and I want to thank you so much for putting up recipes for us gluten free peeps to try. You are doing a wonderful and great thing. THANK YOU ! Oh my gosh, I'm so nervous . . my first gluten free baking here I come !

  76. Anonymous02:02

    Okay, its me again (above is me). I made this two days ago and I cant believe the texture of these babies! My husband said its even better than making it with regular flour (he has no allergies, lucky guy). Only thing which was disappointing was my flour mix I made was a bit overpowered by the chick pea flour. Next time I am going to omit it and try it with Sorghum flour and/or rice flour and maybe coconut flour since I have all that on hand. Cant wait to try this again with my new mix! Thx again for sharing. I used 2 TBSP ground flax and 6 TBSP water in place of the egg. It rose so high !

  77. Anonymous13:58

    I think the high and the low of it is, "what are your ing. and the ratio between fats/sugars- liquid to dry. Also, how much pumpkin? "A can" is not quite enough for me.

  78. My recipe calls for a cup of pumpkin puree- not a can. A cup is 8 oz. volume. I agree, I am not a fan of chick pea flour. Know that coconut flour is its own animal- it absorbs fat and liquid. Karina

  79. I made this recipe yesterday using almond flour instead of cocnut flour. The muffins came out beautifully and were delicious. I didn't miss the wheat flour at all!

  80. These were fantastic with cranberries and walnuts!

    If anyone would like the weight measurements for this, I posted them here, along with a banana version:

  81. This recipe is awesome! I used buckwheat flour instead of sourgum(don't have any on hand) and 1/4 cup Quinoa flour instead of the tapioca starch...I can't eat sugar so I used stevia instead and they are now in the oven baking! Unfortunately I couldn't find my muffin pan so they were made into loafs but they smell sooooo good!

    Thank you for your recipes and your wise words!

  82. These are AMAZING! Even my non-pumpkin fan hubs says they're fantastic and is inhaling them!

    Just a quick note to anyone else who is making their own pumpkin puree (not for any "holier than thou" reason but simply because all the stores around here are out of pumpkin puree! *argh!*), it tends to be a lot more moist than canned pumpkin puree, so make sure you adjust the liquid content! I added the milk a tbsp. at a time until the consistency looked right (so ended up with about 1/4 cup altogether) and they came out *perfect*!


  83. I love your writing and recipes!

    This made me smile today: "...Pumpkin goes with the flow. It likes vanilla. And it likes chocolate. You could say, it's bi-flavorful..."

    I'm looking forward to making your pumpkin pie with pecan coconut crust this week. Thanks for all you do!

  84. I would love to make this, but need a good substitution for coconut flour. I didn't see it in your baking tip and substitutions list. My son loves pumpkin and I need to be in the kitchen.

  85. Thank you all so much. xox

    And thank you Alexis for your tip about replacing the coconut flour with almond flour.

    Amy- if you can do almond flour, why not try that? If not, perhaps millet flour or brown rice flour will work. Or cornmeal? Coconut flour is unique, and there is no easy replacement because it attracts moisture. Other flours may make the batter less moist.


  86. I was sorely disappointed in these muffins, but probably my own fault. I used instant tapioca, assuming it was the same as tapioca starch, but it gave it a crunch because of the tapioca granules...ewwww
    These muffins were far too dense and not cake like enough for my taste.
    I also used vanilla soymilk instead of coconut, because that was all I again, my changes probably changed it from it's intended?

  87. Marianne, Tapioca pearls are not the same animal as tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is a fine, light flour that adds lift and tenderness to baked goods. Tapioca pearls are not flour. You basically removed a half cup of flour from the recipe, which is why they were dense.