Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Carrot and Zucchini muffins are perfect for breakfast on the go, coffee breaks and spring brunches!  The first time I made this gluten free muffin, I was so pleased with the high rise and moist crumb.  They are the not overly sweet and so are a great choice for breakfast.  As with all my muffin recipes, I think you will find that this gluten free preparation is as easy as traditional baking.

12 Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 240 g. gluten free all-purpose flour *see notes
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 3/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • cooking spray, if your pan isn’t nonstick
  • 12 pecan halves, optional
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter, for glazing

Preparation:

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through ginger.  Grate the zucchini and carrots.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, olive oil, milk and lemon juice.

Add the zucchini and carrots to the egg mixture, then fold the dry ingredients into the wet.

Let the batter rest for a few minutes while you preheat the oven to 400º.

Now use a spoon to scoop out the batter, dividing it equally into the 12 muffin cups.  Use a spatula dipped in water to smooth the tops.  If you like, press a pecan into the top of each muffin.  It makes a nice presentation if you are serving these for a brunch.

Bake 20 minutes at 400º.  Aren’t they beautiful?  I love how you can see the green and orange flecks throughout.  While still in the pan, brush the tops with 1 tbsp. of melted butter to give them a nice shine.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack.

If not serving immediately, you can store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days.  They will refresh nicely in the microwave.  I recommend freezing leftovers, wrap them individually with Saran and store in a freezer safe bag.  Now that you know easy it is, I hope you will give this recipe a try.  Let me know, will you be adding it to your breakfast rotation?

Notes ♪♫ I used Better Batter original all-purpose flour in this recipe.  If you use a different flour blend that does not contain xanthan gum, you will need to add 1-1/2 tsp.

Originally published 04/12/2018     Updated 02/19/2024

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Gluten Free Apple French Toast Casserole

Did you see the Gluten Free Cinnamon Swirl Bread I posted a few weeks ago?  If not, check it out here!   I used that same recipe to make this overnight Apple French Toast for Easter.  The cinnamon swirl bread goes so well with apples!  This is a wonderful make ahead recipe for a brunch, get it ready the night before and bake in the morning!

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Gluten Free Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3 apples (I used Honey crisp)
  • 7 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • cooking spray

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Preparation:

Make the Cinnamon Swirl Bread 2 days before and store at room temperature.

The night before your brunch, melt the butter, brown sugar and maple sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

Mist a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish with cooking spray and pour the butter mixture into the dish.

Peel and slice the apples and spread them over the butter mixture in a single layer.

Cut the bread into 3/4″ slices and arrange over the apples.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread slices and press down with a spatula.

Mist a sheet of foil with cooking spray, cover the casserole and press down with your hands to be sure the bread slices are submerged in the egg mixture.  Refrigerate overnight.  Here’s what it should look like in the morning.

In the morning, take the baking dish out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to warm up for at least 30 minutes before baking (going directly from refrigerator to oven may shatter a glass baking dish).  Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes at 350º then broil for 2-3 minutes to finish.

You can dust with powdered sugar (optional) and serve with real maple syrup!

Notes ♪♫ There are many breads that will work well in this recipe.  Check out my Gluten Free Millet Bread that I often use for French Toast recipes.  Be sure to make the bread two days before assembling the casserole, a drier loaf will better absorb the eggs.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Rice Pie Tartlets

Rice Pie (Torta di Riso) is a traditional Italian dessert served at Easter.  When I was growing up, every Italian household had Rice Pie during Easter week and it is still widely enjoyed today.  You might be surprised to know that the recipe contains no flour at all and most of the ingredients are naturally gluten free!

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I jazzed up the plain rice pie we had as kids with toasted hazelnuts, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.  Instead of a pie dish, I opted for this mini fluted tart pan to create 6 individual servings.  Perfect for small Easter gatherings!

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 325°.

Line the tart pan with paper baking cups and mist with cooking spray.

Add milk to a saucepan and heat to a simmer.  Add the rice and stir.  Next stir in the sugar, vanilla and ½ tsp. hazelnut extract.

Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered on low for 45 minutes.

Hint!  Do not walk away while the rice is cooking!  You will need to stir frequently and watch that it doesn’t burn or boil over!  

Remove the cooked rice from the stove, transfer to a bowl and let it cool slightly before combining the rice with the egg mixture (you do not want to cook the eggs).

Whisk the eggs and ricotta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ½ tsp. of hazelnut extract.

Fold in the toasted hazelnuts, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.

Gradually add the rice to the egg mixture, one scoop at a time to temper the eggs.  Stir well after each addition of rice until it is completely incorporated.

Divide the mixture evenly among the 6 cups, each should be about 2/3 full (they will rise to the top during baking).

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Check with a toothpick and touch the center with your finger (it should feel set, no liquid). Remove from the oven, and while still warm, brush the tops lightly with Frangelico (optional, if serving to adults).

Cool completely in the pan.

Serve the tartlets at room temperature or chilled.  Before serving, dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar.

This showstopper of a dessert is bound to become one of your Easter favorites!  I know it will at our house!

Notes ♪♫ Carnaroli Rice is widely regarded as the best for making risotto and it is worth seeking out if you can’t find it at the grocery store.  It is a high-quality short grain rice with a wonderful texture that is perfect for making risotto that is creamy but firm.  If you cannot find Carnaroli rice locally, it is available here on Amazon or substitute Arborio rice.

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Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

“One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons!”
~Mother Goose

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This recipe was adapted from one that I saved from the King Arthur website in 2012.  I used the Artisan Flour Blend from Better Batter (* see notes) and adjusted the liquid per instructions.  The verdict- amazing!  Hot Cross Buns are one of my husband’s Easter favorites and this year I am thrilled to be able to enjoy them with him!

When you shop Better Batter and use my code MGFC30 at checkout, you will receive 30% off any non-sale item! 

Adapted from King Arthur Baking Company

Ingredients:

  • For the dough
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I used Sunmaid)
  • 2-1/2 cups milk, warmed
  • 2-1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 eggs plus 1 yolk (reserve whites)
  • 6 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 607 g. Better Batter GF Artisan Flour Blend
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1-3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg white, reserved from above for brushing
  • 1 tbsp. milk, for egg wash
  • For the Icing
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp. milk

Preparation:

Line a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper and mist with cooking spray.

Place the rum and raisins in a small bowl to soak while you make the dough.

Microwave the butter on low for 30-45 seconds to soften.

Add milk to a microwave safe container and microwave 1-1/2 minutes. Whisk in the yeast and let it proof for 15 minutes.

Separate one egg and set aside the whites.

Whisk the yolk with the remaining 2 eggs.

Add the dry ingredients, flour through baking powder, to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk thoroughly.

Add the butter, eggs and milk/yeast mixture and mix together on low with the paddle attachment.  It will look like wet pancake batter at this point.  Increase the speed and beat for 5 minutes to form a soft, smooth dough.

Finally, add the rum-soaked raisins and their liquid, mixing for one more minute to incorporate.

Gather the dough together in the bowl, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto an oiled cutting board (mist it with cooking spray) and use a bench knife to divide it into 12 equal pieces.

With oiled hands, roll each piece into a ball and arrange in the prepared pan.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let the buns rise until puffy and touching one another, about 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375º.

Whisk the reserved egg white with 1 tbsp. milk, and brush over the buns.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 205º (check with a thermometer).

Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting (** see notes)

Whisk the icing ingredients together, and spoon into a pastry bag.  If you don’t have a pastry bag (I don’t), use a clean zip top plastic bag with the tip of one corner snipped off.  Pipe the cross over each roll.

Be sure the buns are completely cooled before frosting.  They smell so good, you will want to eat them right out of the oven.  Try to resist, because they need time to set (or the centers may be gummy).  Plus, if you frost the buns while they are warm the glaze will melt away.  Patience!

Notes ♪ I used and recommend Better Batter Artisan Flour Blend for this recipe.  This flour requires twice the liquid of typical recipes, so if you use another flour, you will need to adjust the liquid to flour ratio.  Start with half the milk (1-1/4 cup) and only add more if needed, 1 tbsp. at a time.

Notes ♫ Do you need special cookbooks for gluten free baking?  During the first year following my Celiac diagnosis I donated most of my old cookbooks, thinking I could never use them again.  I was so wrong!  I wish that I had known the truth, that most mainstream recipes can be adapted to gluten free, often with an exchange of one or two ingredients!

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