Gluten-Free Whole Grain Strawberry Muffins - Berry Goodness

Gluten-free Goddess Whole Grain Strawberry Muffins
Gluten-free low sugar whole grain strawberry muffins.

Whole Grain Muffins with Love

From the archives- as we move back to the West Coast- a favorite muffin recipe, perfect for strawberry season...

With all the recent news about sugar, I've been thinking about muffins. And not just any ordinary, ho-hum, run-of-the-mill, starchy, gluten-free muffins. Nope. A tender, whole grain, lower sugar, vanilla scented muffin that bursts with fresh strawberry flavor. Warm from the oven, these pleasantly grainy breakfast treats are pull-apart soft with juicy bites of strawberry. Sweet- but not too sweet.

I used pure maple syrup for the primary sweetener, and a mere two tablespoons of organic brown sugar. And now for the interesting part. I also experimented with no xanthan gum. This is highly unusual for me. I've usually rely on xanthan gum to give my gluten-free batter and dough the stretchability factor- a trait removed when I booted gluten from my kitchen and wished it vaya con dios. But inspired by Lauren, the Celiac Teen, I decided to try baking without it.

But here's the thing.

Shunning gluten is a complicated issue. Gluten imparts a flexibility to batter and dough, and baking without it can lead you to crumbly, gritty ruin if you're not careful. You're giving up protein. And you're giving up elasticity. And not only that, you're saying buh-bye to the toothsome texture you are accustomed to.

Reaching for xanthan gum was a quick fix, an immediate solution to this lack of flexibility problem. But many of you now report you don't want to use it. For some it's a price issue (xanthan gum ain't cheap, Darling). For others it's a digestive issue (xanthan gum or its alternative, guar gum, can be hard on sensitive digestion). And for some, it's an allergy issue (to mold or the growth medium, most often cornstarch).

Gluten-free baking without gums is tricky. This, I know. So my first foray into this venture is not vegan. I used two free-range organic eggs. Egg whites help give gluten-free batter that precious stretchability factor. And the protein factor. They bind, and they leaven.

My choice of flours reflects two things- what I had on hand this morning, and my desire to use whole grains (I am liking starches less and less). I picked hazelnut flour for the delightful nutty flavor and protein; millet, brown rice, and sorghum flour because they are whole grain and higher protein than white rice flour or potato starch; and I used coconut flour because it attracts moisture and adds a lovely texture to gluten-free baked goods (not to mention, for its high fiber status).

The result? A tasty, blog worthy success. I absolutely love these strawberry muffins.

And I hope you do, too!

Gluten-Free Goddess Whole Grain Strawberry Muffins
Moist and tender, this strawberry muffin bursts with flavor.

Gluten-Free Whole Grain Strawberry Muffins

Recipe posted April 2011.

The combo of five whole grain flours gives a delicate, aromatic flavor to these strawberry studded muffins. Light and tender, these bumpy dome topped beauties make a perfect breakfast treat for spring and summer. Use local organic strawberries for maximum deliciousness.

First: Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.


1/2 cup hazelnut flour or almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup GF millet flour or GF oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/4 cup light olive oil or grape seed oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup vanilla soy milk, rice milk, coconut or nut milk, as needed
1 1/2 cups fresh organic strawberries, washed, stemmed, diced


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- from the hazelnut flour to the nutmeg. Add in the beaten eggs, oil, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Beat to begin combining.

As the batter is coming together, start pouring in the soy milk, slowly, a little at a time, and beat to mix thoroughly. When you have added 3/4 cup liquid, take a close look at your batter. It should be soft and slightly thick.

Add the rest of the milk slowly, continuing to beat. When the batter looks like a muffin batter, stop adding the liquid. I used a full cup, but some of you in more humid climes might need a tablespoon or two less liquid. This batter isn't super-smooth and sticky (no xanthan gum!). It is not as thin as cake batter. It should look almost puffy.

Stir in most of the strawberries by hand, using a wooden spoon (reserve a portion of the strawberry pieces for the tops).

Spoon the strawberry muffin batter into the twelve lined cups. Stud the tops with strawberry pieces. Don't smooth out the tops- leave them puffy and bumpy.

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Note: If your berries are cold, your muffins will take a few minutes longer to bake.

Cool the pan on a rack for five minutes, then turn out the muffins to continue cooling on a wire rack (this keeps them from steaming in the hot pan and getting soggy).

Cook time: 30 min

Yield: 12 muffins

 photo Print-Recipe.png

Recipe Source:

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

Gluten-Free Goddess Whole Grain Muffins
Warm from the oven whole grain lovelies.

GFG Recipe Notes:

Vegan and egg-free readers, you'll need to experiment with an egg replacer that has some binding properties (remember, no xanthan gum means much less binding). I'm thinking a flax seed sub might work best. Keep an eye on the liquid to dry ratio- don't let the batter get too wet and gummy. If the batter seems wet and thin or gummy- bake the muffins a tad longer, perhaps. Use your experience in baking with flax seed gel.
For those of you substituting flours- I'd recommend using certified gluten-free oat flour as a suitable sub for any of these flours- though coconut flour has no real replacement- it is so moist, and adds fiber and texture, and helps keep the batter happy. If you do sub the coconut flour, keep an eye on the liquid- you may need less.
Those of you preferring organic raw agave nectar over maple syrup, the substitution should be equal.
I made these low fructose/fructan for a FODMAPs friendly muffin (though some may not be able to tolerate the coconut flour). These gluten-free beauties are also lactose/dairy free, corn-free (use corn-free baking powder), and easily soy-free if you use vanilla rice, nut or hemp milk.
Wrap leftover muffins in foil, and freeze them in a freezer bag to preserve freshness. Warm before serving, if you like.
For substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

xox Karina


  1. These look amazing! Can't wait to try them!
    Thanks for all your recipes!

  2. Thank you, bunches! These will be perfect for the brunch at church on Sunday. Several celiacs there and me wheat sensitive. I just hope the non-celiacs leave their hands off! :)

  3. Thank you! I planned tonmake your pineapple coconut muffins this weekend. Maybe I'll try this template w/ pineapple and coconut in place of strawberries. What's next for the low sugar makeover- quinoa breakfast cake? ;-)

  4. Those look amazing! I've always had the best luck with your muffin recipes, I can't wait to try these.

  5. Reading through your recipe reminds me of a question I often have: Do you have an opinion on sugar as a wet vs dry ingredient in gluten free baking and whether this affects the structure sugar lends to the final product?

  6. These look delicious! I've been baking more and more without the xanthan gum as well. It's tricky, as you say, but it can definitely be done!

  7. Apricotstone21:15

    They look delicious! What is coconut flour? Is that desiccated coconut?

  8. As usual, magnifico! Going to have to give this no gum thing some thought. But for now I'll just delight in these strawberry muffins. Lovely.

  9. I too have have been trying to get away from gums and starches...and I try to only use whole grain flours as well. Makes it a little more difficult, but I feel like the health benefits are worth it. :)

    These look scrumptious and I can't wait to try them!

  10. I always love your thoughts and recipes- so much so that I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award!

  11. Wow, these muffins are as pretty as they are healthy and delicious. I love baking GF and with fruit. This is perfect.

  12. Having just read through the recipe, haven't made these yet ... and i can almost taste the muffins already ... that bodes very well ..............

  13. Haven't made these yet ... and my mouth is watering just reading through the recipe ... I love when that happens ...

  14. And I just bought strawberries today! Woot! :) Thanks so much for helping us figure out subs, too- much appreciated by this not-very-intuitive-multi-allergic gal!

  15. Anonymous23:40

    Thank you, thank you for embracing the challenge of healthier GF baking! Ever since I was diagnosed with CD two years ago I've been working on reducing refined starches, rice flour, sugar, and xanthan gum in my own baking, while increasing whole grains and introducing nut meals in small quantities. Love the direction you're heading in--keep it up! Good for you to use organic EVOO and coconut oil, too--with the highly unstable PUFAs in canola and other oils, you're making the right choice. Kudos!

  16. Anonymous23:46

    Hello Karina. I'm most delighted to have the anonymous commenting back, as I have been longing to coment for a long time.
    I have your website for my homepage, and read every entry once.

    ...Okay, twice, and thrice for the ones I really love.
    Namely the muffins and scones, as these were always my favorite baked goods as a child. I never was a sugar-giddy-icing-happy-candy sort. I got looked at like I was an alien in ridiculous excess, and still do. It has always encouraged me more, as I hated doing what I was told to and as I've aged I only find this tendancy is spawning within me, infecting my whole being with a disease called liberty.
    And "Freedom to Eat Muffins Loaded with Fresh Berries Sickness."(FEMLFB, or FEM for short)
    As I scanned down the page, I read the "no xanthan gum" comment and thought, as I had on every occasion of reading about baking without it, "I wonder why there is so much concern about gums? They help so much wi-
    Wait. Whenever the phrase "occasional sensitive individuals" is used, no matter how non-chalantly I dismiss the warning, I have not found many a time I don't(months later) discover it was the most unexpected item which caused me a country of pain. So, I took to the kitchen with the incessant prayer of "please do not let the last piece of the finicky gut problem be xanthan gum. Surely it can't be something with that little amount of corn or soy be causing me so much trouble. That does not make any sense."
    I have a few allergies and digestive problems, and the majority of the time I wish it no other way, because I love the feeling of setting out into unchartered lands within my own home. In this case, the muffins were crumbly because I'm egg-free and I evidently didn't account for the eggs with the right egg-replacer, but they fortunately were not gritty. They had a slightly more moist shortbread texture, and the taste was a delightful combination of flavours. And guess what happened after my eating them?
    Nothing. Absolutely nothing, aside from a sense of accomplishment and peace.
    Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe Karina, and for the introduction to pain-free baking eating.
    I will continue playing with this recipe, and hope to report back with a solution for making this recipe egg-free. (though I always have to substitute flours and bunch of other ingredients, I think baking egg-free is more universal than other alterations, even when other ingredients are changed.)

    P.S.I'm allergic to bananas, but I wonder if banana puree would assist in binding an egg and gum-free muffin.

  17. Can't wait to try these. I tried cooking with xantham gum for the first time recently. Before that I never made bready things. Glad to know it's possible to make bready things w/o it.

  18. These look beautiful! I decided to stop using gums when I read Shauna's post a month ago or so. To my surprize, I have not noticed a bit of difference. I can't use eggs, so when baking, I always use a flax meal slurry. I think the flax meal has some of the same properties as gums and gluten. I do a great deal of baking, maybe I've been lucky so far...

  19. YUM! When I get my oven back I'm SO making these!

  20. Thank you. I have had a hard time with xanthan gum after going gluten free for my daughter (celiac) 2 months ago. After cutting out the gum a week ago I feel like a rockstar and I am not even the one with sensitivities. Glad to see some recipes sans gums coming out. Love all you do.

  21. I used this flour blend in the pineapple coconut muffin recipe today (also decreased the amount of sugar in that recipe to 1/2 c brown sugar total, used 1/8 cup Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend & 1/8 cup plain Greek yogurt for the "fat"). They were awesome! Keep the recipes flowing! (For anyone intolerant to gums but not vegan, I think the yogurt may serve double duty here. I'm fine w/ the gums but left it out here for curiosity's sake.)

  22. Thank you so much for developing these without xanthan gum! I'm allergic to corn which makes finding GF baking recipes a little tricky. I can't wait to make these (and my husband has been checking out the delicious looking photos as well)!

  23. These muffins look amazing! I haven't tried baking without gums yet, but I've been thinking about trying it. Have you tried glutinous rice flour? I've heard that it can act as a binder.

  24. Another winner! Actually, this one is going into my 'favorites file' as my #1 GF muffin recipe. I made them this morning (for the Easter crowd) and used raspberries instead of strawberries, plus 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1/2 cup chopped almonds. Delicious, healthy and seasonal. It doesn't get any better.

  25. Anonymous00:01

    This looks wonderful. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get flax seed to work at altitude (6,000 ft) without generating gummy results? Every time I've tried, I get a cross between a cake and a gummy bear.

  26. Anonymous00:22

    Hi again, I forgot to mention name. It's Isa, I left the excrutiatingly long post above as anonymous.
    I'm allergic to flax, so I really wanted to make this muffin work without egg or flax gel. I used a mixture of sorghum, brown rice flour and teff for flours. For eggs I used a mix of 2 tablespoons tapioca starch and water, then added a bit of apple sauce to hopefully improve moisture. I also skipped the sugar, even though it is just a 1/4 cup, I bloat from it pretty easily. Just for fun, I scraped a half vanilla bean's seeds in. They held together wonderfully this time!!
    Thank you so much for the recipes, and sorry for polluting your message boards. Oops. >.<


  27. Wow, Karina, these muffins look incredible! I love those strawberries just bursting out of the top. Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  28. I made the muffins last Saturday. I didn't have any hazelnut or almond flour, so I subbed with buckwheat. Not a good choice! My muffins were ugly and unappetizing looking :( They did taste good though! Believe it or not, at first the nutmeg was overpowering. Only 1/4 tsp and it seemed to much when I tasted right out of the oven. Later it was toned down. Or else I got used to it :)

  29. oh wow, i'll have to make these!

  30. JoAnn16:58

    Hi Karina,

    My first post! I've been lurking for months and months. Hard to find words of appreciation succinct enough for you to FEEL my gratitude for all you do. And your photography... well, this imagery lover is as deeply satisfied by your photos as your recipes. It's a love-fest each time I visit!

    So... I tried these scrumptious muffins immediately, with great success! I'm not sure if I've had a problem with the gums, I don't seem to (except the nasty cleanup after a spill of xanthum gum, yuck!). I'm going to do more of your recipes with and without and pay closer attention.

    Thanks again for this recipe and so much more. This gluten-sensitive woman is joyfully baking again, and her "eat-anything-anytime" husband is a happy recipient of yumminess!

    One question... I'd like to try your quinoa breakfast bars but cannot find quinoa flour anywhere. I live in Sonoma and have access to a wide variety of gluten-free flours, but this one evades me. Any ideas? Thanks!


  31. Anonymous17:45

    Has anyone told you how wonderful you are?

  32. Those gluten-free whole grain strawberry muffins really are beautiful! My other half tried them yesterday and we were both surprised how nice it was! :)

  33. These look so good. I'm off to Whole Foods, who has a 1-day deal on organic strawberries. I think these might be on the list of what to do with my bounty.

  34. They look scrumptious! Definitely giving them a try Karina :)

  35. Anonymous08:38

    This is the first recipe that has officially complied with my FODMAP diet!! I have spent many hours altering recipes and avoiding pre-made GF foods because all contain the evil fructose corn syrups, and other refined sugars/sweeteners which my sensitive system is unable to digest. I can always rely on your blog to inspire me and I will continue to be a huge fan. Keep the notes on FODMAP coming. THANK YOU!

  36. For some reason I don't think i've ever had strawberry muffins, even though strawberries are my favorite fruit. Definitely gonna have to rectify this. Thanks!

  37. I miss strawberries! But, ever since my friend with Celiac told me how dangerous they are (the seeds can get stuck in your intestines and increase the risk of infection), I have been avoiding them. Plus, they are the fruit that absorbs the most pesticides, so I refused to eat them unless they were organic. Then, a fellow student (who is doing a study on them) told me they have a strain of fish genes in them to keep them preserved, so, as a vegan, I had to stop eating them. I now only eat them if they're from a trusted private grower, though that is hard to find where I live! I miss strawberries!

  38. I just discovered your fabulous blog today... I'm trying to find some good information on being GF, and I tell ya, these muffins made my day.

    Not that I plan to LIVE on them or anything. ;)

  39. These look delicious! I have a question for substituting, though. I have King Arthur's gluten-free flour, and it contains tapioca starch. If I used that, could I sub that for the arrowroot/tapioca starch AND the other flours, you think?

  40. Madeleine, Well...If you sub a starchy gluten-free flour blend, you'll need to tweak the recipe a bit. The coconut and almond flours add so much to the lovely texture and taste, and these flours require different amounts of liquid than a straight starch blend. My worry is the muffins might be gummy. Karina

  41. These were a bit too sweet for us and next time I think I'll add more strawberries. But that's personal taste--love the recipe in general. It's nice to see gf muffins that aren't super-starchy.

  42. Anonymous10:59

    Please Karina, keep the low FODMAP recipes coming. I am on a FODMAP elimination diet right now but this recipe is going into my FODMAP friendly recipe file. I have been tested for celiac twice but both biopsies came back negative. Gluten-free recipes have always helped my symptoms of IBS but I finally found out it is the fructose, fructans, and sugar alcohols that have made me sick for 22(!) years. I love your website!

  43. Anonymous23:05

    Your blog is quite a find! Thank you for all the time you've put into it.

    I know a lot of your stuff is vegan, and perhaps this isn't a helpful suggestion for you, but I sprinkle a tsp or 2 of clear gelatin into baked goods to hold them together, if I'm not using guar gum. It works beautifully.

  44. Karina: Would love to make these muffins, but I am not sure what is a good sub for coconut flour. Can I just leave it out? Thanks for your help.

  45. Hi Amy- For the coconut flour, I might suggest using sorghum flour- and if you like your muffins sweet, perhaps adding a tablespoon or two more sugar (coconut adds sweetness).

  46. For those who can't do flax, chia meal gel works great too. Psyllium husks are also a great binder! A few teaspoons soaked in liquid for no more than a couple minutes in most baked recipes, loads of fiber too!

  47. Bravo for using arrowroot instead of the xanathan gum. Another good, healthy substitute is making a thin paste from water and chia seeds.

  48. I would love to try this recipe, so excited strawberries are almost in season.

  49. Hi Karina,
    I have never thought of trying strawberry muffins, but as I am actually eating sugar free I will be substituting maple syrup with another non fructose sweetener.
    Maple syrup actually has about the same amount of fructose in it as cane sugar, to make this truly sugar free and by that I mean fructose because that is the part of sugar that is causing all the problems you need to substitute with things like stevia, xylitol or even dextrose, the article that you linked to actually has all that info, another great book to read is Sweet Poison by David Gillespie.
    Thanks again for all the great recipes you publish!

  50. Hi Deanne- We all need to do what is best for ourselves. I react very badly to xylitol- while maple syrup and cane sugar are well tolerated. I also get mild discomfort from agave and honey (plus many fruits and vegetables in the FODMAPs corner). I also use stevia in beverages. I may try baking with stevi again in the near future. We shall see! xox

  51. Love this recipe! I've nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award -

  52. Hello Karina, Your blog has been a Godsend! Recently found out that my 5 y.o. son has sensitivities to gluten. Thankfully, I've learned so much from your site! Thank you for posting so many helpful pages :)

    Regarding subbing flours, for this and any other recipes, how should I approach this? I read an earlier comment of yours that stated how different flours react differently to moisture. Since I'm just starting out, I don't have a huge variety of flours in stock (brown rice flour, sorghum, white rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, masa flour, buckwheat flour, potato powder??). Can I use any of these to sub? Any flours in the recipe that can't really be subbed (almond & coconut?)?

    Also, are there any alternative names for the Almond flour as well as the Coconut Flour?

    Thanks for your help!

  53. Karina: Thanks for responding. I will try that. I will definitely make these ina few days.

  54. Ciao Karina!
    I tuoi muffins sono deliziosi! :-)

  55. thank you thank you for all you do. i have been trying more whole grain and xanthan gum free fiddling also- but i have to say i looove this combination of flours. thanks again for all your hard work, for kindly sharing with others, and for your beautiful posts.

  56. sending you hearts and stars and rainbows. thank you for all the beautiful work you do.

  57. JoAnn,

    There is a wonderful Gluten Free shop in Sacramento called Gluten Free Specialty. I know they have quinoa flour in stock in the store. They also ship within 50 and 100 miles -- not all there is stuff is up on the web, but it's small enough that an email gets a response.

    I live in Berkeley now and make the trip to Sac every now and then to fill my needs for super fine brown rice flour, which I can't find anywhere else. Good luck :-)


  58. Oh. My. Goodness. Karina, this is your best recipe yet!!! The smells, the texture, the beauty of these muffins enchanted me all the way along the process of making these jewels! I had used up my sorghum flour this evening on your Almondy Almond Butter Cookies (BIG hit, BTW!), so I used quinoa flour instead, and it worked in beautifully. The taste is nutty, wholesome, and strawberry lusciousness is in every bite. Thank you, thank you! Bravo!!!

  59. Anonymous08:30

    amasing!!will try it but i was wondering if i can use blueberries or cranberries instead of strawberries..or maybe pear??or will it be too moist?because i cant have bitter fruits like pineapple or orange or strawberries that have also alot of sugar in.thanks!!!

  60. These sound yummy I think I will go make them now...only problem is I don't have almond or hazelnut flour, could I sub something in for that?

  61. Anonymous15:14

    so according to natiukmomma above....we could use also quinoa flour??but should we use it instead of brown rice flour or just part of it because honestly the taste of quinoa is a bit weird to me.i know it has good stuff but still...maybe i will try to partly replace brown rice flour with it....and oat flour

  62. Yes, you can certainly use fruit other than strawberries. Blueberries or cherries would be fabulous. Pears or apples, too.

    Yay- glad you like quinoa flour in these, Natiukamomma.

    If you don't care for the taste of quinoa flour, there are plenty of choices- check my substitutions post (link above) for ideas.

    xox Karina

  63. I made these yesterday (and subbed in some extra tapioca starch and coconut flour in place of the almond flour) with mixed berries and they are yummy! Especially good while warm!

  64. Hmm fresh strawberries, never would have thought of that in a muffin. This will be my Monday baking review :). I just hope I have these flours on hand.
    Thanks so much for posting it. I actually use Better Batter flour for pretty mush all of my baking, not to say that I don't have other flours on hand , but I just find it easier for me when baking with 3 kids underfoot, to reach for one product instead of numerous ones :)

  65. Our strawberries are just starting to ripen. If I can keep the kids from eating them all, I'm going to make these.

    I have general gluten free cooking question. My muffins usually come out looking like drop biscuits cooked in a muffin cup rather than nice muffins like yours. My dough doesn't seem to spread in the muffin cups while baking. I'm wondering if the dough is too thick (I understand altitude and humidity can influence gf flours), or if I'm missing some step in the process where you flatten the dough to it fills the cup. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  66. Jenna- It sounds as if you may need a tad more liquid (or your batter is very cold). If you prefer smooth tops- try smoothing with a swirling wet finger. I don't flatten mine out, though, even if I do smooth a few unruly ones. Most important thing is to make sure each muffin is roughly the same size.

  67. I made this as a Strawberry and Carob Chip Loaf last night, and it's almost gone :) Thanks for the recipe!!

  68. Hi Karina I came across your recipe for Strawberry muffins and couldn't resist. They are awesome, I am baking for a local farmers market now in practice for my soon to be cafe. The words fantastic were used to describe the ones I made. The only substitution I made was I used chia for the egg replacement. Thank you Thank you JAS

  69. Thank you for another wonderful recipe ! (and can't wait to hear more tales of your adventure West !) =)

  70. Thank you for another wonderful recipe ! (and can't wait to hear more tales of your adventure West !) =)

  71. These look amazing! A must try! Pinned

  72. looks great, want to try....any suggestions to substitute for the sorghum flour pls?


Welcome to Gluten-Free Goddess® Recipes. Comments are moderated and will appear on approval.

Find substitution help and guidelines here. Please note: substitutions alter the recipe (and may affect structure, texture, baking times, and flavor).

Find my gluten-free baking tips and advice here.

Find sugar-free baking tips here.

Wishing you a delicious and beautiful day!

Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox