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Master Gluten Free Crumble Recipe

Master Gluten Free Crumble Recipe

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

(This recipe works best for less fibrous summer fruits, like fresh berries and stone fruits. If you’d like to make an apple crumble, I have a separate recipe for that.)

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

Crisp or a crumble

Fruit crisps and fruit crumbles are basically the same things. Each is a deceptively simple dessert with a fruit base and a crisp-tender buttery topping baked together to perfection. 

Originally, a fruit dessert was considered a crisp only if it had oats and/or nuts added since they would “crisp” during baking. A crumble was denser and nubbier. But they both have crisp edges and tender centers, and each can be made with or without oats, so the names tend to be used interchangeably now.

Crumble topping recipe

Many of the crumble topping recipes that you’ll find are made more like a pastry, with cold, grated or diced butter in the mixture. I find that the easiest way to make a crisp topping with plenty of lumps of different sizes is to melt the butter and mix it into a mixture of flour, oats, sugars, and salt. 

When you mixed melted butter into the dry ingredients and sugars, and then refrigerate the mixture, you can break up the crumble topping into whatever sizes and shapes you like. I like the topping to have very small crumbs, slightly larger ones, and some really large pieces. 

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

How to make a berry crumble

A berry crumble can be made with any type of berry, but strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries work best. I don’t love baking with blackberries since the seeds don’t soften that much during baking, and the added texture can be unpleasant.

To make a berry crumble when berries are in season, use fresh fruit if you can. Taste each type of raw fruit, and see how sweet it is.

If you’re in the heart of berry season and the fruit is super ripe and juicy, feel free to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. If your fruit is nearly overripe, you can still use it but add another tablespoon (9 g) of tapioca starch to the filling recipe.

You can still make a berry crumble in the middle of the winter using frozen fruit. Frozen fruit is often of the very best quality since it’s frozen right when it’s at its peak.

Don’t defrost frozen fruit before using it, though. The filling is best when the fruit melts quickly in the hot oven. When you’re using frozen strawberries, avoid the largest berries since you won’t be able to slice them in half before adding them to the filling. 

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

How to make a stone fruit crumble

I don’t ever remove the skin on stone fruits before baking with them. After having made fresh homemade baby food for all 3 of my kids for years, I know how time-consuming that process can be—and the skin of stone fruit like peaches, nectarines, and apricots is very soft and tender when the fruit is raw, and even more so after baking.

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

In this recipe, I used mostly peaches and apricots, with some plums. The skin of plums is tougher than other stone fruits, but it softens significantly after baking. 

You really can use any combination of stone fruits you like, and frozen stone fruits work just as well (if not better) than fresh. Like in a berry crumble, don’t defrost the fruit before baking or it will release too much of its liquid. 

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

Pay particular attention to the sweetness of your stone fruits by tasting them raw. If they seem overly tart, add some more sugar to the filling.

Taste with a clean spoon as you go, and make sure you’d eat the filling raw as the flavors will only intensify during baking. Peaches are generally better for baking than nectarines since they tend to be softer and sweeter, but nectarines will work, too. 

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: The only dairy in this recipe is in the butter that is used to make the crumble topping. Butter does a great job of creating a nubby, bumpy crumble that is crisp and tender but holds its shape. 

If you were to use Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of butter, it would probably melt too much during baking. I’d recommend trying a mix of Earth Balance and Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. 

Tapioca starch: Tapioca starch is the best thickener to use in the filling recipe, to help absorb some of the juices that the fruit produces as it bakes. You can use cornstarch in its place, but cornstarch tends to leak when it cools so I prefer tapioca starch.

Gluten free oats: Certified gluten free oats are safe on a gluten free diet. They add great texture and some chew to the topping recipe. 

If you can’t have oats or want to avoid them for any reason, you can replace the oats in this recipe with an equal amount, by weight, of chopped pecans or cashews. Softer nuts will help add bulk and texture, like oats. 

 

Turn your favorite fruit of the season into a show-stopping dessert with this master gluten free crumble recipe. #glutenfree #gf #crumble #crisp #berries #summer

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

For the crumble topping

3/4 cup (105 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (25 g) certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Fruit Filling
3 tablespoons (27 g) tapioca starch/flour

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

Pinch kosher salt

For a berry filling
8 ounces blueberries

8 ounces raspberries

1 1/2 pounds strawberries, washed and hulled

For a stone fruit filling
1 3/4 pounds sliced and pitted stone fruits

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease an 11-inch x 7-inch rectangular or oval baking dish (or a 9-inch x 9-inch square pan) and set it aside.

  • First, prepare the crumble topping. In a medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, oats, granulated sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar, and mix to combine, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, and mix to combine well. The mixture will be thick. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm (or the freezer for about 5 minutes).

  • To make the filling, in a large bowl, place the tapioca starch, sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the berries or stone fruit, and toss to coat. Transfer the filling to the prepared baking dish, and spread it into an even layer. Remove the crumble topping from the refrigerator and break it up into large chunks with a fork. Scatter the topping in an even layer all over the top of the fruit filling. Press gently on the crumble topping to ensure that it adheres.

  • If you’re making a berry crumble, place the uncovered baking dish in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble topping is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

  • If you’re making a stone fruit crumble, spray the underside of a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, then cover the baking dish tightly with the foil. Place it in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the crumble topping is golden brown and the fruit is fork tender (about another 15 minutes).

Love,
Nicole

Gluten Free Morning Glory Muffins

Gluten Free Morning Glory Muffins

Lightly sweet, low-fat gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with goodness like shredded carrots, apple, and coconut. For a good GF morning!

Lightly sweet gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with carrots, apples, coconut, and dried fruit. A super satisfying, healthy breakfast.

“These are good, they taste healthy.”

I hadn’t made morning glory muffins in a long time when I decided to freshen up this recipe here on the blog. My teenage son barely remembered them, but they smelled and looked good so he was ready for a muffin or two when I offered them.

When they’re baking, they just smell like any flavorful muffin—but they’re not quite the same as our basic gluten free muffin recipe. They’re like a cross between those basic muffins and our carrot cake cupcakes—but with coconut and dried fruit.

When you bite into one, you taste the sweetness of the carrots and the shredded apple, plus the coconut chips and dried fruit. The oat flour adds some chewiness, too, and reminds my kids of their favorite make-ahead healthy breakfast muffins.

So when my son said, “these are good, they taste healthy” wasn’t the lukewarm comment it sounded like. It was an accurate statement—and it counts as a compliment from a teenage boy. 

Lightly sweet gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with carrots, apples, coconut, and dried fruit. A super satisfying, healthy breakfast.

A bed and breakfast special

If you didn’t grow up eating morning glory muffins, you might not even know the name. But they’re the type of muffin you’ve almost certainly had if you’ve ever stayed in a bed and breakfast. 

They’re almost like a cinnamon apple cake, but with shredded carrots, too. They’re made with a mix of all purpose flour and ground oats, with the warmth of brown sugar and cinnamon. 

Lightly sweet gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with carrots, apples, coconut, and dried fruit. A super satisfying, healthy breakfast.

How to make these hearty, morning glory muffins

I generally prefer to make cake, muffin, and quick bread batter in a single bowl. For this recipe and many others with oil instead of butter, you definitely do not need to use any sort of stand mixer or hand mixer to beat the wet ingredients.

You do want to beat the wet ingredients together really well, though, so it’s best to use two separate bowls—one for dry (including the shredded carrots and apples), and one for wet (oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream). There are quite a lot of ingredients in the recipe below, but don’t be put off! It’s only because there are so many mix-ins, which is what makes them so satisfying.

After whisking together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, add the shredded carrots, apples, coconut chips and mix to combine. Be sure you’ve broken up any lumps in the brown sugar, too, or your muffins will leak melted sugar and may stick to the muffin tin. 

Then, whisk the wet ingredients together really well until they’re creamy and smooth. Add that mixture to the dry ingredients, mix until just combined, and divide the batter among the wells of the muffin tin. 

Lightly sweet gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with carrots, apples, coconut, and dried fruit. A super satisfying, healthy breakfast.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: Since these muffins are made with oil instead of butter, they’re quite simple to make dairy-free. Replace the sour cream with dairy-free sour cream, if you have a brand you like. If you don’t have dairy-free sour cream available, strain plain dairy-free yogurt until it’s the consistency of sour cream or Greek yogurt. 

Egg-free: There are 3 whole eggs in this recipe, so it’s quite difficult to replace them with an effective substitute. You can try using 3 “chia eggs” (each 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but I’m not certain how well that would work. I’m afraid you’ll have to experiment.

Lightly sweet gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with carrots, apples, coconut, and dried fruit. A super satisfying, healthy breakfast.

Oats: Although certified gluten free oats are appropriate on a gluten free diet, some people still can’t have them or don’t feel comfortable eating them. Since we discovered how oats can be replaced in gluten free baking, I always know there’s a good replacement if you can’t have oats.

In this recipe, the oat flour can be replaced with quinoa flakes. Just omit the few sprinkled whole oats on top of the muffins. I never purchase oat flour, by the way. I grind old fashioned oats in a blender until they’re a fine powder. Since oats are chewy, not gritty, a superfine grind isn’t important.

Coconut: The coconut chips are for texture and flavor, but you can’t just omit them since they also create bulk in the muffin batter. If you don’t want to use coconut chips, which are just wide, flat pieces of dried coconut, you can replace them with an equal amount by volume of old-fashioned oats or more dried fruit.

Dried fruit: Like the coconut chips, the dried fruit adds texture and flavor to these muffins. It doesn’t change the chemistry of the muffin batter much as it bakes in the oven, though, so the dried fruit can be replaced with anything that adds bulk and texture.

If you really hate raisins, try chopping up some dried apricots to about the size of raisins. You could even try miniature chocolate chips in their place, or just double up on the coconut chips.

 

Lightly sweet gluten free morning glory muffins are packed with carrots, apples, coconut, and dried fruit. A super satisfying, healthy breakfast. #glutenfree #gf #muffins #breakfastGluten-Free Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 15 muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

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

2/3 cup (80 g) certified gluten free oat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup (218 g) packed light brown sugar

2 cups (180 g) shredded carrots (about 4 medium carrots, shredded)

1 cup (110 g) peeled, cored & shredded apple (any variety)

1/2 cup (90 g) dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries or dried blueberries)

1/2 cup (40 g) dried unsweetened coconut chips

5 tablespoons (70 g) neutral oil (like grapeseed, peanut, or canola)

3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup (150 g) sour cream, at room temperature

1/4 cup (25 g) whole certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats, for sprinkling on top (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease or line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin, and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and mix, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the shredded carrots, shredded apple, dried fruit, and coconut chips, and mix to combine. In a separate small bowl, place the oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream, whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the large bowl of dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and mix to combine. The muffin batter will be thick but soft.

  • Fill the prepared wells of the muffin tin completely full with the muffin batter, then shake the pan back and forth to distribute the batter evenly in each well. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the (optional) whole oats. Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until the muffins are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 22 minutes). Remove the tin from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Freeze any leftover muffins tightly wrapped in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2013. Photos, video, most text new; recipe largely unchanged (method altered a bit).

Love,
Nicole

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Brownies

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Brownies

Rich in peanut butter flavor, these super chewy blonde brownies are made without any dairy or grains and they’re naturally gluten free.

Rich in peanut butter flavor, these super chewy blonde brownies are made without any dairy or grains and they're naturally gluten free.

These incredibly simple, fudgy and chewy brownies are a great rice-free alternative to our classic gluten free peanut butter brownies. They’re made with peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, and finely ground blanched almond flour plus a few optional chocolate chips. 

Baking with nut butter like peanut butter and Nutella

I love baking with nut butter in general, and my favorites tend to be peanut butter and Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread. Whenever I publish a recipe that uses peanut butter, I’m asked if you can use Nutella, which is peanut-free.

Whenever I publish a recipe that uses Nutella, I’m asked if you can use another nut butter, like peanut butter. But they’re sadly just not interchangeable in that way, but I hadn’t figured out quite why—until now. 

Nothing illustrates the difference between baking with peanut butter (or almond butter) and baking with Nutella better than a comparison of this recipe for 4 ingredient peanut butter brownies with our 3 ingredient Nutella brownies

Rich in peanut butter flavor, these super chewy blonde brownies are made without any dairy or grain and they're naturally gluten free.

Baking with peanut butter

I always bake with “no-stir peanut butter,” which just means that it’s the kind that doesn’t need to be stirred after opening. It typically has some oil and some sugar added to it, which creates a perfectly blended, emulsified nut butter.

The drippy kind of natural peanut butter, which contains only peanuts and salt, is much trickier to use in baking. But even the less pure, no-stir peanut butter varieties are mostly peanuts (unlike Nutella—scroll down for that discussion).

Peanut butter is a great substitute for flour, often, like in our flourless chocolate peanut butter muffins, which are rich and flavorful, but still have a light and tender crumb like a proper muffin.

Peanut butter is also the base of classic flourless peanut butter cookies, which have no flour of any kind, but still have that crisp outside and chewy inside that some of the best cookies have. They’re even made with similar ingredients to these 4 ingredient peanut butter brownies (sugar, eggs, peanut butter, with a bit of baking powder).

The main difference between these other peanut butter recipes and this brownie recipe is the addition here of finely ground, blanched almond flour. It creates that fudgy, chewy texture of the best brownies

Rich in peanut butter flavor, these super chewy blonde brownies are made without any dairy or grains and they're naturally gluten free.

Baking with Nutella

Nutella has nothing short of a cult following. I had never even heard of it until I spent a semester in Spain when I was in my junior year of college. I saw children eating it spread on toast for breakfast, and was somehow completely confused by it when they explained it to me.

Nutella is a great peanut-free alternative for households where someone is allergic to peanuts. It’s not at all the same as peanut butter, though. 

I developed this recipe when, out of curiosity, I tried replacing the Nutella in some of our simplest Nutella recipes, like our 3 ingredient Nutella cookies, with peanut butter 1 for 1. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t work, but I had been asked so many times over the years I just had to try it. 

Even though the recipe has no added oil, the natural oils in the peanut butter leaked out during baking and essentially the cookies and brownies fried in their own oil. The result was a greasy, dense and sadly inedible mess. 

Hazelnuts are not that different than peanuts or almonds in baking, so why the dramatic difference? Well, I finally realized that the first ingredient in Nutella is sugar.

Sugar isn’t just for sweetening baked goods. It’s a tenderizer, too, which is why low-fat baked goods often have so much sugar. So by combining sugar (brown sugar in this recipe) with peanut butter, we’re able to mimic the behavior of Nutella in this recipe—and probably in other recipes that are developed with Nutella instead of another nut butter. 

Rich in peanut butter flavor, these super chewy blonde brownies are made without any dairy or grains and they're naturally gluten free.

Ingredients and substitutions

Egg-free: There are 3 eggs in this recipe, and the recipe itself only contains 4 essential ingredients. I’m afraid you can’t make these egg-free.

Peanuts:  In place of peanut butter, almond or cashew butter would probably work really well (and have a more neutral flavor profile, making these more like blondies than peanut butter brownies). The ingredient list specifies “no-stir” peanut butter, which is the type of peanut butter that is fully integrated the moment you open the jar, with no need to stir. 

Almond flour: Be sure you are using blanched almond flour, not almond meal which is more coarsely ground and made from almonds that still have their skins intact. I like Honeyville brand almond flour or almond flour from nuts.com.

You can actually make this recipe with oat flour in place of almond flour. Just grind certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats in a blender until a smooth powder forms. I find that a blender works better than a food processor for grinding oats. You could also try using finely ground hazelnut flour.

Chocolate Chips: You can leave out the chocolate chips entirely, or replace them with another type of chip or even chopped nuts. White chocolate chips would be excellent.

Sugar: Swerve brand non-sugar sweeteners makes a brown sugar variety. Swerve and other alternative sugars do tend to be drying to baked goods, so you might need to add a bit of milk or water to reach the desired consistency in the raw batter.

 

Rich in peanut butter flavor, these super chewy blonde brownies are made without any dairy or grains and they're naturally gluten free. #glutenfree #dairyfree #grainfree #peanutbutter

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 9 to 12 bars

Ingredients

1 cup (256 g) smooth, no-stir peanut butter

3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature

3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar

1 cup (120 g) finely ground blanched almond flour

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional 5th ingredient)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with unbleached parchment paper, making sure it overhangs the edges on all 4 sides. Set the pan aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the peanut butter. You can warm it in the microwave for about 1 minute to loosen it and make it easier to blend, but it’s not essential. Add the eggs and sugar, and beat with a hand mixer on high speed until as smooth and light as possible. Add the almond flour, and beat again on medium-high speed until as smooth as possible. The batter will be very sticky. Add the optional chocolate chips, reserving a few to sprinkle on top of the batter in the pan. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan, and spread into an even layer using a moistened offset spatula or knife. Sprinkle the reserved (optional) chocolate chips evenly over the top.

  • Place the baking pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the brownies are puffed and set all the way in the center. They will be firm to the touch as well. Don’t overbake or they will be dried out. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brownies to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or until no longer hot to the touch. Using the overhung parchment, lift the brownies out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Slice into 9 or 12 equal squares using a sharp knife. Wrap any leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the freezer.

Love,
Nicole

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