These gluten-free pumpkin muffins are made with oats and naturally sweetened! They’re my new favorite baked good for fall, and you’d never know they’re gluten-free.
I’ve baked 5 (five!) different batches of oat flour pumpkin muffins in the past three weeks. So, at this point, I’ve tried a LOT of muffins. And so have most of my friends here in Winston-Salem– they’re my always enthusiastic, very honest taste-testers!
As I’ve gradually begun baking more with almond flour and oat flour and using sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, and maple syrup, I decided I wanted to develop the perfect naturally-sweetened, gluten-free pumpkin muffin recipe. (I shared my favorite recipe for whole-wheat pumpkin bread a couple of years ago, which I also still love.)
I started out by trying a couple of gluten-free pumpkin muffin recipes and combined what I liked about each one to create the perfect flourless pumpkin muffins.
I love the final version of these flourless chocolate chip pumpkin muffins for a few reasons:
• Texture: These have the perfect texture of a typical pumpkin muffin!
I’ve tried quite a few gluten-free baked good recipes in the past that tasted good but the texture was just…off. Either they were slightly gummy, or they were dry and crumbly.
During some of my recipe testing, I tried batches with maple syrup instead of coconut sugar or using almond butter (rather than coconut oil) like some healthy baked good recipes call for, which made for some denser muffins.
In this final flourless muffin recipe, just the right amounts of coconut oil, pumpkin, and oat flour (plus being careful not to over-mix the batter once you combine the dry and liquid ingredients) contribute to a great texture.
• Easy-to-find ingredients: I tried to use mostly ingredients that you would have on hand in your kitchen.
• Oat flour: I love using oat flour for gluten-free baking since it’s easy to make your own flour by just blending up old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats! (You can even blend steel-cut oats if that’s what you have and your blender is powerful enough.)
I may also give the “perfect almond flour pumpkin muffin recipe” a shot after I recover from this round of pumpkin muffin baking, but I do appreciate that oat flour is an inexpensive gluten-free baking option!
• Coconut sugar: This is the only ingredient that’s a little less common (although I’ve actually bought it at Target!). I used coconut sugar as an unrefined sweetener option, but you can also easily substitute an equal amount of regular granulated white sugar.
I tested these muffins with refined white sugar, as well, and didn’t notice much of a taste difference, although refined (non-coconut) sugar is slightly sweeter.
I also tested a batch of these muffins with maple syrup, but I liked the texture of the coconut sugar/regular sugar better here.
• Lots of pumpkin spice: I add a bit more pumpkin pie spice than a some recipes call for. Pumpkin is surprisingly bland on its own, and the spices are what make it ah-mazing. So, I’m generous with the cinnamon and nutmeg, but not too heavy-handed.
• CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Or as one of my good friends likes to say, “choccys.” I recommend either semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips.
If you’re trying to keep these on the low sugar side, you can omit the chocolate chips in the batter and only sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of each muffin. Or you can skip the chocolate chips altogether (sob) and add chopped walnuts or pecans instead!
• Optional addition: In one of my test batches, I added one well-mashed banana (and reduced the pumpkin to just 1 cup) because I think a perfectly spotty banana adds a great texture and natural sweetness to quick bread, muffin, and pancakes recipes. Since it’s not a huge part of the recipe, you can’t tell the banana is there!
I didn’t want to turn this into a pumpkin banana muffin recipe, though, but that’s an option if you have a ripe banana on hand and want to give it a try.
I hope you LOVE these gluten-free pumpkin muffins as much as I do!
If you try these gluten-free pumpkin muffins, feel free to let me know in a comment with a star rating or take a photo and tag me @livbane on Instagram!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 3/4 cups finely-ground oat flour*
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (can sub regular white granulated sugar)
- 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (can sub cinnamon if needed)
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cup plain canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup milk or almond milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (save some or use extra to sprinkle on top)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together oat flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until almost combined, then drizzle in melted coconut oil and add chocolate chips, stirring until just combined.
- Spray muffin cups with cooking spray and distribute batter evenly. Sprinkle each muffin with a few chocolate chips. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out almost clean.
- Store leftover muffins in an air-tight container for up to two days for optimal freshness or freeze for up to 3 months. I think these taste best warm or at room temperature!
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