gluten free muffins

Gluten Free Pecan and Cinnamon Muffins

Whether you are allergic to glutens or not, the new found popularity in following a gluten-free diet or eating more gluten-free foods will most definitely benefit you, regardless of your current health.  Its going to guide you towards a healthier lifestyle, by choosing natural, raw or untreated foods and will make you think twice about the food you are consuming, whether it be your favourite take out,  the cakes and breads you are baking, or the meals you will be cooking each day.


Cinnamon and Pecan muffins


Because of the increasing demand for healthy and gluten-free foods , the availability and the choice of these products has increased, and gluten-free menus are popping up all around the world.  Even here in South Africa the flours now available to us are endless, whereas a few years back we could only get regular cake or wheat flour.

When you are craving a sugar fix these little gems will fill the order for you.  They are made with Gluten free flour, and filled with spicy pecans, cinnamon and coconut sugar.  You can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by half if you prefer a less sweet option and only mix the sugar/cinnamon mixture into the muffin and have no topping.  As I have found with most gluten-free flours the end product is slightly more dense, and not as light as a regular flour.  These muffins can also be made with regular all purpose flour (in South Africa we call it Cake Flour).

Gluten free muffins

Gluten free muffins


If you need to know anything about Cinnamon, read this amazing article by Helen Nichols for Well Being Secrets  30 Science backed facts about Cinnamon  . Thank you Helen for sharing this with us.


Gluten free muffins


 TIP:  I am not an expert on gluten-free baking, but by trial and error I have found that when substituting all purpose or cake flour with a gluten-free flour,  you need  a really good quality  gluten-free flour mix.  They normally contain a mixture of  flours together with xanthan gum which provides elasticity and acts as a binding agent for the flour, and gives your baked goods structure.  If your gluten-free flour does not contain xanthan gum you can add 1/2 tsp to each cup of gluten-free flour.


Cinnamon and pecan muffins


I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of sharing these beautiful late blooming ” Plumbago” one of the prettiest indigenous shrubs we have in South Africa which carries masses of powder-blue, phlox-like flowers.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Gluten Free Pecan and Cinnamon Muffins
Recipe type: Gluten free, baking
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 240g gluten-free flour mix
  • 3 tsp baking powder (some baking powders are not gluten free - check your brand)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 45g coconut sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence ½tsp if using vanilla paste.
  • 1 egg
  • For topping and filling the muffin
  • 70g pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 160g organic brown sugar ( or half and half brown sugar and coconut sugar)
  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC/395ºF and make sure your rack is in the centre of the oven.
  2. Grease a 12 muffin pan or use silicone muffin cups (there is no need to grease these).
  3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
  4. In another bowl whisk the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and the egg.
  5. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and fold gently until combined. Do not beat.
  6. Prepare your filling mixture.Chop your pecans and mix with the cinnamon, extra sugar and 3 Tablespoons coconut oil.
  7. Fold ¾ of this mixture into the muffin mix, keeping just enough sprinkle on top of the muffins to give them a lovely crunchy texture.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer into the middle of one muffin.
  10. Allow to cool on a wire cooling tray.

gluten free pecan and cinnamon muffins
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  • Reply Tami May 25, 2016 at 4:18 PM

    Wow! That looks so delicious. Yum!

  • Reply ratna May 25, 2016 at 4:44 PM

    I love your blue theme. I was wondering what the flowers were , looked like Hydrangea. I notice you’ve used coconut milk and coconut sugar too. All in all a very healthy recipe. Thanks for sharing Ev!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon May 25, 2016 at 9:23 PM

      Ratna the flowers are called Plumbago, indigenous to South Africa. They grow on large bushes which we often use for hedging here, and the colours are either white or this exquisite shade of blue. Yes, super duper healthy recipe here. Lots of love

  • Reply Elizabeth May 25, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Gorgeous photography and collage! along with the Plumbago flowers, Ev. Thanks for sharing them. I don’t actively pursue gluten-free baking, nonetheless, I embrace it. These muffins are an exquisite example of what gluten-free baking is all about. So appetizing! All of the wonderful sans-gluten flours available to us here in the US are constantly expanding. Gluten-free baking brings endless possibilities. I’m convinced it is just the beginning. Thank you for this recipe which I plan to do at home. xo 🙂

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon May 25, 2016 at 9:28 PM

      After spending 6 weeks with my daughter in law in California, and who keeps a gluten-free kitchen, I came back feeling so much healthier so have been dabbling in the gluten-free baking. It’s a challenge which I always love, but I am not a total convert to this way of baking. Its fun to try different ideas though. Have a wonderful week Elizabeth. xxx

  • Reply Hafsa May 26, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    wonderful and mouth watering muffins! I was looking for gluten free muffin recipe and here i got one ! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Tandy | Lavender and Lime May 27, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    I will pass this recipe on to my mom so that she can make these for my dad 🙂

  • Reply Sugar et al. May 29, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Delicious muffins and such pretty photos!

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon May 29, 2016 at 2:28 PM

      Thanks so much Sonali, I am loving your beautiful blog, and so glad I found you through Ratna. Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Reply Jeanne Horak-Druiff May 29, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Mmmm, I love muffins and these sound delicious with or without gluten! I also love all the blues in your images. My mom always called the blue plumbago in our garden my birthday bush as it would always start flowering around the time of my birthday. Thanks for reminding me of that happy memory of my late mom x

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon May 29, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      Its so beautiful that a flower, colour or smell can bring back such beautiful memories Jeanne. When the Star Jasmine flowers I always know its time to start buying my daughter’s birthday presents. xxx

  • Reply Kiran @ May 31, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    Mmm.. Looks so delicious! and i love coconut milk & sugar in baked goods. Yum 🙂

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon May 31, 2016 at 10:30 PM

      Hi Kiran, thanks for your kind comments and for passing through my blog. Have a wonderful week

  • Reply Sam Taylor June 6, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    All the blue hues are just gorgeous. I must make more of an effort in the gluten free range as my son has a few friends who are gluten free. These would make a great after school snack.

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon June 6, 2016 at 10:35 AM

      Thanks so much Sam – its always worth having a few gluten free recipes that you like. Although I personally don’t follow a gluten free diet, two of my children do.

  • Reply Teresa June 22, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Your photographs are just beautiful! I must admit, I have only tried gluten-free baking a handful of times with minimal success. Lovely idea, I am definitely tempted to have another go.

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon June 22, 2016 at 2:48 PM

      Thanks so much Teresa. I must admit Gluten free is not my first choice but as i have family members who live gluten free I have been dabbling in it. This recipe also has the normal flour option.

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