Gluten Free Vegan Blueberry Crumb Muffins
Muffins. Are. Everything!!! It’s been a joke in my family for years how much I love muffins. When I was younger, I used to eat them with a fork and knife to make them last longer. Seriously, I’d eat a muffin for an hour! 🙈. C’mon, it’s a less sugary cupcake for breakfast…how do you say no?
This is a verison of a crumb cake I have been making for years. I played with it a bit and got awesome results making them vegan and gluten free. I try to make recipes that make our lives easier, and these muffins are a great example. It’s a very adaptable recipe-you can add any chopped fruit or berry or even chocolate chips if you’d like. It also can be made as an 8” inch coffee cake, square or round. For those who don’t love to bake, this is pretty quick to put together and doesn’t require any extra fluff ingredients. The streusel, or crumb topping, is hard to resist and we usually fight over the extra hunks that fall off. If I make these with fresh summer peaches, plums or nectarines, I like to throw a dash of nutmeg in the crumb mixture as well. Don’t worry, nutmeg is NOT a tree nut!
My favorite thing about this recipe is how well they freeze. I prepare batches of muffins, scones, cupcakes, cookies, etc. and freeze so I know there is always a treat at any time. I understand being a working parent and just simply not having enough time. A recipe like this allows you to put a dozen muffins in the freezer, pull one out the night before or pop in a lunchbox to be defrosted by snack time. Your freezer is your best friend especially when baking for someone with food allergies. Enjoy!💙
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour – I use gluten free flour here but regular all purpose is perfectly fine if you don’t need to avoid. I do recommend using a scale to measure because different blends are sensitive to weight. An overmeasurement on the flour will cause it to be gummy. If your blend does not have xanthan gum than use 1/4 tsp. per cup of gluten free flour blend.
- Vegan butter and shortening – Again, this is a recipe where any of your safe substitutions will work, whether it’s vegan shortening (I like Spectrum), vegan butter or margarine, or real butter. I do not recommend using coconut oil or vegetable oil for this. You need a solid fat for the crumbs, and the muffin base is a creamed fat cake method preparation.
- Milk/Yogurt – Any safe milk or yogurt will work well here. I have used both Casey’s safe coconut milk and regular milk. We make a homemade buttermilk with some acid first to give even more moisture and leavening. For yogurt I use So Delicious unsweetened or Fage, but whatever your safe brand is will be fine. The yogurt works for two reasons. First, it adds moisture, especially when done egg free. Second, the acid helps react with the leavening and increases the rise on the muffin, making it taller and not dense.
- Add In’s – Whatever you like is the rule here! Just keep in mind the moisture content of your fruit. If the fruit or berries are very juicy, drain them on some paper towels for a few minutes to absorb some moisture. Chocolate chips or nuts can sink if too many are added and will subsequently burn when they fall to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can leave the cake plain with no add ins as well.
- Egg – All egg substitutes can work well in here because there is only one in the recipe and the muffin/cake base is done by creaming the fat with the sugar. During the creaming method, little air pockets are formed inside the fat which helps the donut rise. I have used egg, applesauce and egg replacer. For the vegan version I tested and the muffin/cake in the picture, I use unsweetened applesauce. I found it was the better egg free option for moisture. If you prefer egg replacer, I like Ener-G brand, and I always like using a baking powder egg. To make a baking powder egg, mix together 2 Tbls. water, 2 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. oil. Don’t prepare until you are ready to use it.
Gluten Free Vegan Blueberry Crumb Muffins
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25/35 minutes, depending on muffins or 8″ pan
Total Time: 40/50 minutes plus cooling time
- ½ c. sugar
- 1/3 c. (1.3 oz.) gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum) or regular all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ c. (2 oz.) vegan shortening, vegan or regular butter
Muffin/Coffee Cake Base
- ¾ c. (6 oz.) sugar
- 3 oz. (1/3 c.) vegan shortening, safe or regular butter, room temperature
- ¾ c. (6 oz.) safe milk, room temperature
- 1 Tbls. apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 egg (or: 1/4 c. applesauce, 1 Ener-G egg, 1 baking powder egg), room temperature
- 2 Tbls. yogurt, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 c. (10 oz. 280 g.) gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum) or all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 c. fresh blueberries, chopped fruit or add in of choice, tossed with 1 Tbls. flour
- Prepare crumbs: In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until crumbs form. It will be loose and grainy for a minute until the fat is dispersed and it clumps together. Refrigerate while muffin base is prepared. Do not chill too long or the crumbs will be hard and sink when placed on the cake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare one muffin pan with cupcake liners or if using a cake pan, lightly grease with safe butter.
- In a small bowl, whisk dry ingredients and set aside. Remove 1 Tbls. of the flour mixture and toss it with the blueberries in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the safe milk with vinegar or lemon juice. Mix and set aside to become safe buttermilk. It’s ok if looks curdled-it’s supposed to!
- Using a mixer, cream together sugar and fat until lighter in color and fluffy. Do not overmix or the fat (especially butter) will soften too much. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. You may have to add in a dribble of the milk mixture to have it blend better.
- Blend in egg or your choice of egg replacer, milk, yogurt and vanilla. It will look very loose and weird but that’s ok! The flour will absorb the extra liquid when added.
- Add dry ingredients and berries (add ins) and mix by hand until blended. If using gluten free flour, let sit for 5 minutes before baking to allow the flour to absorb some moisture. Do not overmix if using wheat flour!
- Pan out batter to either cupcake molds or cake pan. Break up crumb topping over the muffins (about a heaping Tbls. each) or over the cake. Don’t leave the crumbs too large or they will be heavy and sink.
- Bake immediately, checking about 5 minutes before timer stops. A toothpick or paring knife will come out clean when done.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting or eating for the gluten free cake version, it will fall apart if cut while too warm.
- As stated earlier, this recipe freezes wonderfully for at least a month. Cool completely and either wrap individually or place all in a freezer safe zip top or container. The cake will also freeze great either whole or cut in portions.
- It’s so important to let this cool completely when using gluten free flour. It is very delicate, and it needs the time to let the cake set and the crumbs firm up again. Flip the muffins on their side in the pan so condensation doesn’t build up.
- Do not overbake! It will make the cake/muffins dry and you want to retain the moisture.
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!