Search the Site

Lighter Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Lighter Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

These gluten free blueberry muffins are missing none of the flavor and texture, but are very low in sugar and only have 130 calories per generous muffin.

These gluten free blueberry muffins are missing none of the flavor and texture, but are very low in sugar and only have 130 calories per generous muffin.

I’m actually pretty excited about this gluten free blueberry muffin recipe. It’s lower in fat (not that I think there’s generally anything wrong with fat, to be honest), lower in sugar (definitely a good thing), but still tender and moist. Nothing like the dense sort of sugary muffin you think of when you think of the 1990’s. I’m totally convinced (no evidence, just gut-feeling-fakity-faker-science) that everyone got fatter in the 1990’s, when fat-free was all the rage. But that was because everything was stuffed with more and more sugar, since fat tenderizes, but so does sugar. So, in an attempt to keep fat free baked goods tender, food manufacturers poured on the sugar (bad 80’s music reference, which you’re no doubt too young to get—moving on). But I’ve got a better way.

Lighter Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

I don’t pretend to be a total expert at lower fat, so-called “skinny” baking, but I’ve gotten pret-ty curious in this New Year, and I’m picking up a couple tricks. These low-fat, low-sugar blueberry muffins are tender and moist anyway for a few reasons. Wanna know why? If not, feel free to leave the rest of us in class and scroll down to the recipe. No offense taken.

Lighter Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

For the rest of us, here’s why: there’s still fat (*yum*), just less of it. There’s sugar (*yum, too*), just less of it. But there’s plenty of tenderizing acids: yogurt, buttermilk and lemon juice. Plus, the blueberries themselves help keep the muffins moist. And I added a few grains of coarse sugar on top, which adds a wee bit of calories (almost nothing) but since it’s right on top and caramelizes a bit in the oven, it adds a lot of sweetness. *boom*

Lighter Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

The result? A lightly-sweet, seriously delicious gluten free blueberry muffin (any other berry would work great, too) that doesn’t sacrifice anything and doesn’t bring to mind the 1990’s. Now I know you’re going to ask about substitutions (you love to substitute!), and I tried these 4 different ways before arriving at these beauties. I don’t know how to use an egg replacer here, but other questions are fair game. I will attempt to answer, but know that you’ll really just have to experiment!

Share on FacebookShare on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 muffins


1 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose gluten free flour (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup flour, and like it best here)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (about 200 g) fresh or frozen blueberries (frozen will bleed into the batter, which only affects color, not taste)

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

10 tablespoons (120 g) sugar

1/2 cup (114 g) nonfat Greek-style plain yogurt (you can strain regular nonfat plain yogurt to make it Greek-style)

1 egg + 1 egg white (total 90 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) lowfat buttermilk

2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (I used Sugar in the Raw)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin, and set it aside.

  • In a medium-size bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients to a small bowl, add the blueberries and toss to coat the blueberries in the dry ingredients. Set both bowls aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, yogurt, egg and egg white, and beat until smooth. Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer, and beat until just combined. Add the buttermilk and lemon juice, and beat until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and add the blueberries and reserved dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently folding the blueberries into the batter after each addition until they are evenly distributed throughout. The batter will be thick.

  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 prepared muffin wells, and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Sprinkle the top of each cup of batter lightly with coarse sugar. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center (and not in a blueberry) comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 22 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Okay, I broke my own rule and calculated the nutrition facts for these lighter muffins. I figured since I was calling them “lighter,” I should pony up. Please note, however, that these are the nutrition facts as per sparkpeople’s online nutrition calculator, and are calculated based upon using my Better Than Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend. I am not a nutritionist, and I cannot accept any responsibility for the absolute accuracy of these numbers.

    Per Muffin, the facts as I know them are:

    | Calories 131.5 | Total Fat 4.4 g | Cholesterol 24.9 g | Sodium 69.4 mg | Potassium 128.8 mg | Total Carbohydrate 18.5 g | Dietary Fiber 0.9 g | Sugars 5.5 g | Protein 2.7 g |



P.S. Don’t forget your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread! Thank you for all your support! It means so, so much to me. *mwah*

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free Small Bites

100 irresistible one-bite recipes—for everything from parties to portable meals

Learn More

  • Donia Robinson

    Reference gotten.

    • Jennifer S.

      Me too and dang it I thought that hair band was in the 90’s not the 80’s. I’m not ready for the 80’s to be retro.

      • Anneke

        I got it, too, but I think I am actually older then all of you, including Nicole! Can I use the excuse that my kids love that song?

        • Donia Robinson

          They say you’re only as old as you feel. But I feel really old. (not because of the song reference)

          • Michelle

            Me too, and ugh! ear worm! I am feeling old today- maybe I need to make some muffins?

          • Donia Robinson

            Yes, muffins, especially Nicole’s muffins, will cure all that ails you. ;)

          • Stuff muffins in your ears, maybe, Michelle? Except that the only cure for a bad song-in-the-head … is to replace it with another (scientific fact!). I will leave the selection up to you…

          • Michelle

            I wouldn’t waste those lovely muffins as ear plugs! They are delicious, by the way. I plan to upload a picture later. I made them exactly as written. Thanks, as always, for all you do! My kitchen is coming back together today, so I can finally make some champagne cake.

        • Mare Masterson

          I got the dang reference too and I am most likely older than you all!

    • Ouida Lampert

      Hah! Me too. I don’t think that i have EVER seen a Def Leppard reference on a food blog!

    • Lynn A. Decker

      Reference gotten here, too! Earworm earworm earworm!

      • Donia Robinson

        Yes, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all day.

  • melissa

    Have you tried this with an egg substitute?

    • Jennifer S.

      I do a lot of Nicole’s recipes with egg beaters with great success – just note that you have to use a little bit more than directed to get the rise you want.

  • Jennifer S.

    Yummy! I just bought a big container of blueberries so I’ll be making these today I think – I hope they freeze well for breakfasts on the go! :) I’ll let you know how it goes….

    • If you wrap each muffin individually, and then put them in a freezer-safe bag or container, they do, in fact, freeze well, Jennifer! I have so many blueberry muffins in my house right now that I had no choice but to freeze some, and they’ve done great, the little darlins. :)

  • Jenn F.

    Do you have an approximate calorie count?

    • I don’t, Jenn, particularly since the nutrition information will differ based upon which all purpose flour you use. But feel free to plug your ingredients into this nutrition calculator, or the online one you like best.

  • Mare Masterson

    Blueberry muffins are my most favorite muffins in the whole wide world! Having a lighter GF yummy (I can say that without making them, because anything you present to us is yummy) blueberry muffin is like hitting the lottery in my book! I just need some buttermilk, Greek yogurt and blueberries to make these gems.

  • Linda

    I made these early this morning with coconut yogurt, Earth Balance (soy free stick version) and “buttermilk,” which I made from coconut milk and lemon juice (recipe to do this here: http://thecoconutmama.com/2012/11/dairy-free-buttermilk-replacement/) and my version worked great for those who are dairy and soy free as well as gluten free! I also use my own version of flour that doesn’t have potato starch in it. These are so yummy!!!! Thanks Nicole! Another winner recipe!

  • Annette Baase

    LOVE Def Leppard, by the way! Not so much that song though ;)

    • I know, Annette. Terrible song! And now everyone has it running round and round in their heads. ;)

  • Jess

    Curse you. Def Leppard will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Of course if you are looking for the silver lining (which we always are right?) I can sing as loud as I want as I make these to go with our dinner tonight!

    I had a wonderful blueberry muffin recipe in my gluten-ful days and I still continue to try and make it gfree. It doesn’t seem to ever work out in my favor- but i’m ever hopeful. BUT! Instead of playing with an oldie- I think I’m going to give THIS one a try! I already have the blueberries ready to go in the fridge (seriously- I was really was going to make a batch of muffins tonight).

    As ever- THANK YOU for all your hard work. My family benefits greatly from your dedication! Love you!

    love jess

    • Will you ever forgive me for Def Leppard, Jess? As many others have said, that isn’t the best Leppard song to have stuck in one’s head. At least I don’t have music on my site, though! Now that would be annoying.
      So glad I saved you from a potentially less-than-satisfying blueberry muffin. :)

  • Stitcher

    On the lemon juice, 2 Tbsp doesn’t equal 2 fluid ounces – don’t you mean 1 oz?

    • Yes! Sorry about that. 2 tablespoons is right, and it’s equal to 1 fluid ounce. Correction made.

  • Mare Masterson

    Thank you for not using some other sugar song reference that could have been much worse than Def Leppard. However, I need to put music on in my office to get the song out of my head!

    • I honestly didn’t think that many people would get it! *oops* ;)

  • marie


    I am new to this wonderful blog and to gf ccoking. My son is gf and dairy free. Can crisco (yuck) be substituted for the butter? He does eat yogurt, but what about the buttermilk?

    Thank you for your time and great information.

    • I haven’t tested this recipe with any substitutions of that kind, Marie. You’ll have to experiment!

  • marie

    Oh, and how about the non-fat dried mild in the Better Cup4Cup? Is white rice flour difficult to find. I have some brown rice flour. It does’t say superfine, but it sure looks it.

    Thanks again!

    • What about the nonfat dry milk in the flour blend, Marie? No, white rice flour is not difficult to find, and if your flour isn’t from Authentic Foods, it isn’t superfine.

      • marie

        If my son is lactose intolerant, doesn’t that include the dry milk?

  • Keren

    The whole “low fat” diet thing makes me crazy. In order to make the food taste good the manufactures had to add more sugar and other additives. YUK! Good fat is just that, GOOD. Fat does not make you fat, SUGAR makes you fat. I was happy to hear your comments on the subject. Thanks for all your great recipes.

    • Generally, I really do agree with you, Keren. But sometimes you can cut out some of both the fat and the sugar without replacing either with more of the other, like here. I’m generally pretty pro-fat. :)

  • Charlotte Moore

    To measure the things in percentage where do you begin? 31% is close to what??? I just can’t grasp this way to measure. I feel so stupid. If it was ozs. or grams I could weigh it.

    • Just multiply the total amount of the flour blend you want (here, 245 grams) by 31%, or 0.31. That will give you the number of grams of that particular flour that is in 245 grams of the blend. Or just use the Excel worksheet on that page of the blog, Charlotte.

  • Shruti Nath

    Just made these!!
    I substituted the eggs with egg replacer. They rose beautifully in the oven but did fall flat a bit when I took them out. Super fluffy tho! I didn’t use liners coz I didn’t have any, just buttered the muffin tin and these popped out quite nicely.
    Thank you so much! I’ve always loved baking but haven’t been able to since going gf. Thank you for bringing back baking to me!!

    • Shruti Nath

      Trying to upload a pic of them. Let’s hope this works.

  • Linda

    These look great and can’t wait to try them. After baking WAY too many of your breads, cookies, etc., I’ve been trying to ignore your recipes this week….but this one’s light, right? ;) Two quick questions – I just stocked up big time on Better Batter – is it okay to use that instead of Cup4Cup? And can I use SACO powdered buttermilk plus water in place of the buttermilk? Thanks!

    • Mare Masterson

      Linda, Nicole has a “Better Batter as Cup4Cup Hack” on her GF Flour page (resources). I use it when her recipes call for Cup4Cup.

  • Kclark

    Oh these look so divine. Less sugar! Sign me the heck up. I will get the few missing ingredients (how I wish I had them right now!) manana. Go Chargers! Oh, and I am quite old enough to recognize that song reference and it is firmly in place in my head right before bed!

  • Samantha

    I am so happy you gave us a recipe that is more healthy! I am trying to slim down this year. I LOVE my sweets and I love to bake. This recipe will mean I can still have both with less guilt! Thank you! Any other recipes that are lighter and more healthy?!

  • Stacy

    Yum! Just made these for my office staff tomorrow….had to do some quality control tasting and they are fabulous! Light, slightly sweet with a nice crunch from the sugar on top. Made as listed with cup4cup (given to me as a gift…too $$$ for me). Thanks for another winner!

    • It would be downright irresponsible of you not to taste-test, Stacy! Glad to see you are so ethical. :)

  • Candice

    These are in the oven and they smell SOOOOO good!! Mine are not as light since I used full fat milk and yogurt as that was what I had. But excited about the less sugar for the kiddos. And if they taste half as good as they smell, they will be inhaled like cupcakes:) Thanks for another great recipe. Keep ’em coming!

Back to Top