Thursday, February 17, 2011

Almond Meal Muffins (AKA My Most Versatile Recipe)

Muffin Recipe Prime
This muffin recipe has been a miracle.

I stumbled across a recipe for almond meal muffins very early in my attempts to eat a paleo diet, when I was really craving some bread. I'm pretty sure that the original recipe came from, but I'm not sure, and I've changed it a little anyway.

This recipe is remarkable mainly because it lends itself to so many variations. Just about any dried fruit can be added to this recipe with good results, and adding a few spices opens up lots of possibilities. With a few tweaks, it can even be turned into pancakes or "corn"bread. I'll save those last two for another post.

Before we get started, I do have to say something. Remember in my very first post how I said I'd comment if something was more of an indulgence than a staple? Well, this is one of those times. These are awesome, and they're low carb, but they are definitely not low calorie. They're not as dangerous as the (as yet unpublished) paleo cookie recipe that I have, but you could get carried away. If you find that you're averaging more than one of these a day, you need to stop making them for a while.

On a lighter note, when you do make these, I suggest cutting them in half and spreading a little apple butter on them (find one made with just apples). I'm a big supporter of the "eggs and meat for breakfast" camp, but sometimes a muffin makes the morning better.

Without further adieu:
You will need these things
2 cups almond flour (or almond meal)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil (The refined type that's solid at room temperature)
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp honey
4 eggs
Optional Additions (see notes)
You will also need these.
Large Bowl
Muffin Tin
Cupcake Papers (optional, but recommended)

Preheat your oven to 350

Place the almond flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and combine them with a whisk.
Mixing the baking powder and salt with the almond meal first makes things nice and even later.
Put the coconut oil, water, and honey into a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high just until the coconut oil becomes liquid (about a minute, depending on your microwave)
Solid fats are hard to mix into dry ingredients.

So, heat them up until they're liquid. Your stirring arm will thank you.
Add the coconut oil, water, and honey to the bowl and combine them with the dry ingredients.
This step is mainly to keep the possibly hot liquids from scrambling the eggs

Add the eggs to the bowl. If you're adding any optional flavors to the muffins, now is the time to add them. Stir everything until the batter is well combined.
See? Nice and unscrambled.
Mix the heck out of it. Almond meal doesn't form gluten, so your muffins won't be tough no matter how much you mix them. If you don't get out all the lumps, you'll have dry pockets of almond dust in your muffins. Blech.

Distribute your batter evenly into the muffin tin. It's important that each muffin cup have the same amount of batter, so I suggest using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a 1/4 cup disher to help you keep it even.  If you use the cupcake papers to line the muffin tin, you don't have to worry about greasing anything, but if you don't use them, you need to grease the muffin tin before adding the batter.

I really suggest using the cupcake papers. Especially if your muffin tins have seen as many trips through the oven as mine have.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. You can tell if the muffins are done by pressing lightly on their tops. If they're done, the tops will feel springy. If not, the tops will feel like they're sitting on top of liquid.

Pull these out of the oven and get them out of the pan quickly (The cupcake papers really help with this) Let them cool on a rack.
Let's see that delicious finished product one more time!

  • The basic recipe makes a muffin with a very mild flavor. It's good, and it will help stave off that bread craving, but it's just begging to be improved with some optional ingredients. Here are some ideas:
    • Dried Fruit
    • Nuts
    • Spices
    • Tiny (Cooked) Bacon Pieces
  • If you add fruit to this recipe, use dried fruit. Fresh or frozen fruit has way too much liquid, and will waterlog the muffin during cooking. You may think "Oh, I'll just toss these delicious, fresh blueberries in," but you'll regret it if you do. I've had excellent results with dried blueberries, dried cherries, and dried apples.
  • This recipe can easily be turned into a delicious banana-nut muffin. Bananas are the exception to the fresh fruit rule. You should use one fresh, ripe banana instead of the 2 tbsps of honey. The banana has to be mashed and well incorporated in the batter, and should be added after the eggs along with about 1/4 cup of walnuts, a 1/4 tsp of ground cloves, and a dash of allspice.
  • You don't necessarily have to use coconut oil if you can't find it. Any neutral oil will work. I like to use grapeseed oil for sweet variations, and olive oil for savory variations.

You'll see this recipe again, with some wide variations. I've gotten more mileage out of this recipe than any other that I've found.


  1. These were good. I made some last night and added 4 Paleo approved dark chocolate morsels to each muffin. Very easy to make.

  2. made these for my kids as i'm tired of all the JUNK FOOD snacks on the market today. baked them in a mini muffin pan - added dried cherries and dark chocolate morsels on the top. HUGE hit! thanks so much. :)

  3. Just curious as to why you say these muffins are dangerous? :)

    1. Although they're grain free and relatively low-carb, they still have plenty of calories. (The almond meal adds up.) Having one ore two isn't going to make your belt give way, but it's easy to have six in a sitting, which may start to strain the buckle.

  4. Amazing! Came across this recipe when looking for almond flour only muffins. I made them once as regular sized muffins and they were so good, I'm making them again. Trying mini muffin pans because that's all I have at home presently. Both times, they've taken me longer to cook than listed - but I assume it's an oven variation.

    I might note that adding things to them was key for me - I tried some with additions and some without, and they were kinda plain for my taste with nothing in there (not that I didn't eat them slathered in things I should probably be avoiding :-). Used cut up dried apricots, dried cherries, shredded coconut and all were tasty.

    I didn't have the bread cravings when I started Paleo, but these are a great treat and are a great food to snack on when feeling under the weather! I've shared your recipe with my non-Paleo friends it's so good! Thank you so much for posting this recipe!