Maple Sweetened Almond Zucchini Mini-Muffins

Maple Sweetened Almond Zucchini Mini-Muffins
Just sweet enough, gluten-free zucchini mini-muffins with espresso.

Maple Sweetened Almond Zucchini What?

Temptation. A to Z. Almond flour and zucchini mini-muffins sweetened only with pure maple syrup. That's right. No cane sugar. Almond flour and bourbon vanilla bring their subtle, natural sweetness to gluten-free muffin recipes, so why cloak it with a heavy dose of sugar? And adding a lip-smacking kiss of ginger wakes up the zucchini (which tends to fall asleep in baking recipes, due to utter lack of commitment and verve).

I've added quinoa flakes for extra protein, and brown rice flour to round out the whole grains. For those of you watching your pie-roll-enhancing white carbs, there is only a small bit of tapioca starch, four tablespoons to be exact, divided between twenty-four mini-muffins. Tapioca starch gives these whole grain based muffins some welcome lift. Now the only hitch is, don't eat all twenty-four at once, Darling.

Tell yourself you're only going to eat one.

Well, maybe two.

Don't think about three.

Or imagine four.

Because that fourth delectable bite of nary a muffin- really, it's only a tease of a muffin- might stir your desire for a fifth.

And the next thing you know, half the mini-muffin pan is empty.

And you are standing, wide-eyed and innocent, brushing baby sized crumbs off your chin, when your husband swings around the corner into the sunlit kitchen and inhales, declaring, Sweet Tapdancing Shiva, it smells good in here! What did you bake?

And thinking lickity-split fast you tell him, I made a dozen almond flour zucchini mini-muffins.

Want to try one?

Can you taste the light and lovely crumb?

Maple Sweetened Almond Zucchini Mini-Muffins

Recipe posted June 2011 by Karina Allrich.

I was pleasantly surprised at how light and delicate these almond flour, brown rice, and quinoa flake muffins were. In fact, I had to eat three just to make sure the first impression of sweet muffin bliss was not a fluke. I hope you'll like this delicately flavored low sugar muffin as much as I do darling.


2/3 cup almond meal
1/2 cup quinoa flakes (cereal flakes, not whole quinoa)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour) or tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten (or Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, mixed)
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla
1 packed cup shredded zucchini, patted dry


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners, if you like. Or let them bake naked like I did (just grease the pan). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, quinoa flakes, sorghum flour, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add in the maple syrup, oil, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Beat the batter until it is smooth and slightly sticky.

Add in the shredded zucchini and stir by hand to combine.

Spoon the muffin batter into twenty-four mini-muffin cups. Don't worry about smoothing the tops. Bumpy is cool.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until the tops are golden and firm to the touch. A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean.

Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently ease the muffins out of the pan to continue cooling on the rack (don't cool them in the hot pan- they'll get soggy).

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24 mini-muffins

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Recipe Notes:

Why I prefer sorghum flour- beyond the soft texture and lovely crumb- I'm now using less brown rice and brown rice flour, and eating fewer rice cakes, etc. Here's why- there is elevated arsenic in rice.

These light as air little babies are lovely for breakfast, or a late morning espresso.

Warm from the oven they are sublime.

As far as substituting various flours- yes, it is possible. And I suggest following my suggestions in Baking Substitution Help. Medium weight gluten-free flours do best subbing for fellow medium weight g-free flours. So if you avoid brown rice flour, for instance, try millet flour, teff flour, or certified oat flour as an appropriate sub. I seldom never recommend using those metallic tasting (not to mention, gassy!) bean flours, or ho-hum gritty-sticky white rice flour.

These have less sugar than your average muffin. As always, enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.

More g-free zucchini muffin goodness from food bloggers:

Glugle Gluten-Free: Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins

xox Karina


  1. What a creative set of grains you put together for this muffin! I just got some zucchini in my CSA basket. I'll have to try these. I spent part of the weekend perfecting a strawberry-rhubarb-cherry pie. :)

  2. You are indeed a gluten free goddess. :)

  3. Oh wow, the photos are amazing in this post. I can see that you have great light in your new place! I'm imagining how great these must taste and wishing I had a couple (or more) for breakfast right now.

  4. these are so totally, completely, calling my name. Love that they are so low on the tapioca starch and refined sugar free :)

  5. These look delicious, and definitely inspire me to watch my sugar intake as well as muffin intake. I am a huge sucker for muffins- so much flavor and texture packed in such a tiny little treat. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have to do this! I have to remove sugar from my life as well. This recipe has inspired me to take the first step towards it and without compromising on the taste.
    Great post!

  7. They're beautiful and sound delicious. Yes, I would have trouble not reaching for that 4th...

  8. Anonymous15:27

    I think you and I are on the same wavelength. I was going to make bran muffins yesterday, but then didn't because I ran out of rice bran and didn't have a proper substitute in the house. I was having a lazy Sunday, but these look amazing & so inspiring I have to make them! Thanks again for another fabulous recipe!

  9. Anonymous16:04

    These look lovely. Do you think this recipe would adapt to a savoury muffin version? I love savoury muffins but have yet to find a good one.

  10. Anonymous16:08

    Thank you for experimenting! Life without cane sugar is so much better - especially when you can find satisfying recipes. You are my go-to for gluten-free deliciousness. Thought you should know! They look delicious.

  11. "Well, maybe two. Don't think about three. Or imagine four." Story of my LIFE!

  12. These look absolutely delicious, Karina! I hope I can find time to make them soon.

  13. These look absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for the link to my recipe. I love your site and recipes!

  14. YUM muffins look heavenly! I love zucchini bread so I bet these muffins would be perfect!!!

  15. I'm impressed, you could stop at 4!

  16. Have you tried this recipe vegan by replacing the eggs? I'm sure they'd be delish as gf AND vegan! Yay!

  17. Another beautiful napkin! I love your photos as much as your food :)

  18. I'm drooling over here. No wonder you couldn't stop eating these little delights. They look and sound delish! Have you tried subsituting the egg with egg replacer? I will have to try this weekend. Again, yummy!
    And beautiful photo's too!

  19. Thanks, Everyone for your zucchini muffin love.

    Yes, I find that using an egg replacer for two eggs (1/4 cup liquid) works in all my muffin recipes. I've baked muffins with and without eggs; both methods work. The brand I use is Ener-G Egg Replacer.


  20. Anonymous16:51

    could you use regular size muffin tins? Zuz :)
    p.s. I love your blog!!!

  21. Anonymous18:57

    These look soooo good! I was wondering in your recipes if you use a metric or american cup measure? I was going to try to use one of your recipes but I only have metric cups and gram scales.

  22. Impossível comer apenas um.

  23. The pics look amazing! Great idea on putting the ingredients together to make this healthy muffin. It's a must try for me since I'm also trying to avoid sugar in life. :)

  24. I know what I'll be making today! I've got some zucchini, or courgettes as we call them, in my weekly veg box. Yum!

  25. Maggie10:36

    Thanks, Karina! I am munching one of these muffins even as I type. I don't have almond meal, so I subbed 1/3 c. of teff flour and 1/3 c of millet for the almond flour. Delicious results! Great recipe.

  26. Karina, the crumb on these mini-muffins looks so light and moist! I love quinoa flakes - I've been using them in place of oats (due to an oat allergy) and they work so well. What a nice nutrient packed muffin!

  27. As always, you produce the most delicious of recipes. I've been refined sugar free for the better part of two years, and I can definitely feel the difference! I didn't necessarily lose pounds, but I gained a sense of awareness of my body and an energy I'd never felt before.

    How are YOU feeling without the sugar, besides six pounds lighter? Do you think you could share your experience in future posts?

    Your blog has been such an inspiration that I started my own in March. Thank you for your recipes, your beautiful writing, and for being your wonderful self. :)


  28. Hey Karina,

    In one of the great unfairnesses of life, I have discovered that I am allergic to quinoa. Any tips for those of us who might need to use a substitute in your recipes?

    Thank you!

  29. Yummy! These sounds and look wonderful. I like the 24 mini muffin idea. I usually make 12 regular muffins. But then when the husband comes in asking for a muffin, it's a little too obvious that I ate a few. I don't have the "I made 12 mini muffins" excuse. He knows I didn't make 7 regular muffins. ;)

    And, thank you for the link love. You are so generous.

    xo - Tia

  30. Hello Katrina!'

    Wow how do you come up with these wonderful creations? I love it!

    My allergies are:
    Gluten, enriched flour, diary, eggs(I haven't tried range free though), soy, HFCS, and yeast. So I love your site because I am able to enjoy the foods that I love. Thank you!

  31. Looks delicious- my favorite veggies and nuts in the same muffin!

  32. My mouth is watering; these look amazing...absolutely love your blog and your recipes!

  33. I made these as regular muffins. They are exactly as you described! My kids love 'em, my hubby loves 'em and I love 'em too. I don't know how you do it, but I hope you keep it up. I love your site and am becoming more addicted to trying new recipes from it everyday! thank you!

  34. I made a batch of these muffins yesterday with the intention of freezing some for later, but there's none left. I admit, I'm the one who ate most of them...but they were so incredibly good! The almond meal added an interesting chewy/crunchy texture. I did have to make a substitution - oats for the quinoa flakes - and I added some chopped pecans. It's going in my cookbook as a keeper, so thanks for sharing it!

  35. Delicious. As a bona fide what do you call us, gluten nosher and avid cook I generally stay away from recipes were wheat is substituted. GF is usually gummy, and not quite right. However, a recent commission led me to spend a week baking for a [gf][soy free][df] client. First, thank you for sharing your trove of information for us unfamiliar with navigation in this realm. Secondly, thank you for sharing your recipes. These little muffins are fantastic. I substituted 1/4 cup of millet and quinoa flours for the quinoa flakes without a problem...and of course I added walnuts.

  36. Anything with maple syrup and I'm automatically in love. But these, with the zucchini, quinoa flakes, and almond? These are forever, baby.

  37. Those look perfect for our Gluten Free guests! Delicious, thank you!

  38. Sweet Tapdancing Shiva is exactly right!

    I have made these several times with great success, but I was wondering what you thought about substituting carrots for zucchini? I thought the carrots and ginger would be very tasty together, but I didn't know if it would work.

    Thanks for all of the yummy baking ideas. My two year old and I love baking together and I feel very blessed to have found your site!


  39. Just made these but added dark chocolate and 1/4 cup Kahlua...they were amazing. Definitely one of my new favourite muffin recipes! Loved the texture and flavour from the almond meal. Wonderful.

  40. These look great but somehow I am missing where you add the brown rice flour???

    1. I'm not using brown rice flour in this recipe any more- due to the note/link above in post (arsenic levels in rice). I prefer sorghum flour as my mainstay medium weight flour now. If you are using brown rice flour instead of sorghum- add the brown rice flour in with the dry ingredients, instead of sorghum.

  41. These look so darn cute that I might need to rush upstairs and make them right now for dinner. Oh my!!! Thank you!

  42. They look fantastic, can't wait to try them. We always have your vanilla cupcakes in the freezer.

  43. What would change if these are baked in a regular muffin tin? I don't own a mini-muffin tin, but we love muffins.

    1. On average, regular muffins take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to bake- depending upon the recipe (frozen berries chill the batter, for instance, so increase baking time). I suspect these would take around 25 minutes, but I'd begin checking at 22-23...

  44. Oh my I had to hold myself back, after I stuffed the 4th one in my mouth. I did add Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips to half of the recipe, as I can't resist chocolate and ginger together! My son loved the ones I made with the chocolate chips, but what chid doesn't reach for any yummy made with chocolate chips!
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. It made going gluten, dairy and egg free so much easier after, I finding out the sensitivity my son has to these items.


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).

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Wishing you a delicious and beautiful day!

Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox