Grain-Free Cinnamon Swirl Crumble Muffins (Dairy Free, Paleo, Nut Free)
I’ve been in a cinnamon kinda mood lately. Is anyone else getting pumpkin-ed out? I do love pumpkin but every now and then I’ve needed a break. I’ve been baking with berries again just to have a different flavor, and who is to say you can’t have refreshing foods in the colder weather? It’s also been awhile since I’ve made some classic staples. Cookies, muffins, breads. I get caught up in the creativity of what will be different, what will be fun, what will be new. But reality is, a lot of people just want a basic, easy baked good. Something familiar and comforting. When your digestion is compromised and you can’t have these baked goods, you have to find a way to make them as close as you can remember as possible. But gluten free desserts don't have to be difficult or compromised in flavor and texture. In fact, most paleo desserts actually taste better than the 'regular' versions, due to their higher moisture content!
This weekend I went to work to create the perfect grain free muffin. I know a lot of people are nut intolerant, but I still prefer to bake grain free because grains are an irritant for autoimmune issues. They can cause a flare up in the gut, or in joints and other symptoms. As much as I love to use gluten free flour in moderation, I love to bake grain free. Typically I use an almond flour blend for lower carb, but I made these babies with cassava flour. And they came out SO good. The trick to cassava flour is to add enough wet ingredients to make up for how much it absorbs liquid. This was the case with these muffins. The more liquid I added, the more it sucked it up. So I had to add double the amount than in a regular GF recipe. The best part of these muffins? The liners I used from Bakers Signature. They're beautiful and delicate and peel away so easily without having your muffin stick! No one likes that.
Why make these cinnamon swirl crumble muffins?
These muffins are a combination of a crumb coffee cake and a cinnamon roll. The inside of the muffin has a fluffy yet dense crumb with swirls of a buttery cinnamon-sugar mix, topped with a sweet cinnamon and sugar crumble. I used coconut sugar in this recipe to keep them low glycemic and safe on most diets. But it can be replaced with any granulated sweetener. They’re just enough sweet to eat as an after dessert, but best enjoyed in the morning with a warm drink.
What do I need for these cinnamon swirl crumble muffins?
A muffin tin
Muffin liners. I was gifted these muffin liners by Bakers Signature and I just love them!
A hand mixer or beater
A few bowls to separate the filling and the crumble topping
Are they easy to make?
Yes! You mix the batter first, layer half of the batter into the muffin cups. Then layer with the filling ingredients and top with the rest of the batter. Gently swirl the cinnamon layer in and top with your crumble coating!
What is in these cinnamon swirl crumble muffins?
Cassava Flour: A grain free baking flour. A lot of liquid is needed when baking with cassava, it absorbs a lot of moisture
Coconut Flour: This helps the texture of the muffin alongside the cassava flour
Cinnamon: Because, cinnamon muffins! There is so much cinnamon in this recipe
Baking Soda: This helps your muffins rise
Salt: Balances out the sweetness in baked goods
Eggs: To bind the muffins. I haven’t tried an egg replacer here, but flax may work. They just won’t be as fluffy, may be more dense
Coconut Sugar: My go to sugar in all my baked goods. It’s low glycemic and safe on most diets. Does not taste like sugar!
Maple Syrup: This adds a bit more sweetness and adds moisture. Can sub for other sticky sweetener
Coconut Oil: The main oil in your recipe, a great healthy fat
Non Dairy Milk: I prefer a heavier milk here, I used Oatly oat milk. But for grain free, use coconut or milk of choice
Vanilla Extract: Bit of vanilla flavor
Baking Powder or Cream of Tarter: Cream of Tarter is preferred here, but you can sub with just a bit more baking powder if you do not have it on hand. This creates a rise in your muffins. If you substitute with baking powder, reduce the baking soda to 3/4 tsp
Vegan butter for the cinnamon swirl filling: This adds a nice buttery flavor and texture to your cinnamon swirl filling
For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups of cassava flour. I use Otto's
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of cream of tarter* see notes for sub
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp of melted and cooled coconut oil
1 cup of non-dairy milk, slightly warmed to room temp
1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the cinnamon swirl:
2/3 cups of coconut sugar
3 tsp of cinnamon
4 tbsp of melted vegan butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
For the crumble topping:
1/3 cup coconut or oat flour (any flour should work here!)
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated maple sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamon
4 tbsp of vegan butter, coconut oil or ghee
Optional: 4 tbsp of rolled oats and/or 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325F. In a mixing bowl, combine cassava flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix until well combined.
In another bowl, add the room temperature eggs (soak in warm water to get them to room temp first), the coconut sugar and the maple syrup. Using a hand mixer or a beater, mix them well on high until smooth and creamy. Now add in the coconut oil and keep mixing on high. Make sure the coconut oil is not too warm so the eggs don’t cook! After about a minute, stir in the slightly warmed/room temperature non-dairy milk, the vanilla and the cream of tarter. Make sure it’s mixed in well so no clumps remain.
Combine your wet into your dry ingredients and mix well. Set aside while you make your swirl and crumb coating.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients of the cinnamon swirl and set aside.
In another small bowl, combine all the ingredients of the crumble topping. Mix well with your fingers or a fork until all vegan butter or coconut oil has been evenly mixed. It should resemble course sand with some larger crumble pieces.
In your muffin lined pan, scoop 2 tbsp of muffin batter into the muffin liners. Repeat for 12 muffins. Now scoop 1 tbsp of your cinnamon swirl coating on top. Repeat for all 12.
Scoop the remaining muffin batter on top of the cinnamon mixture, evenly so it is all covered. Top your muffin batter with more cinnamon coating, until it just covering the tops.
Now sprinkle the crumble topping over the cinnamon evenly. It should cover the top of the muffins in a nice layer, but you don’t want to pile it too high or the muffins won’t rise.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted (no muffin batter but you may get some cinnamon swirl on there, that is normal). The tops will rise and the crumble will turn a golden brown.
Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from muffin tin and let them cool on a rack. Enjoy warm!
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days on the counter, 7 days in the fridge. These may also be stored frozen and enjoyed at any time.
If you do not have cream of tarter on hand, you can replace this with 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of baking soda, in place of the baking soda AND cream of tarter listed. So you would also omit the baking soda.
I have not tried an egg replacer in these, you can try to sub for flax eggs, they just may come out more dense. But still tasty I’m sure!
You can half this recipe to make 6 muffins for a small batch. It halves very well.
Very important that all of your refrigerated ingredients are room temperature. This allows a nice mix without clumps, and the coconut oil will mix in evenly. To make room temperate eggs, soak them in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes. To make room temperature milk, heat in microwave for 15 seconds.
Please leave comments or questions below! And as always, if you make any of these recipes, I LOVE to see your remakes! Tag me on instagram @gutsy_baker or #gutsybakes.