These almond flour muffins are just like the generous muffins you see in a bakery, but way lower carb and only lightly sweet. Make them with chocolate chips, whatever mix-in you like, or nothing at all!
My kids really, really love it when I bake with almond flour. They don’t know Paleo from Schmaleo. They just know what they like. And these almond flour muffins are a true favorite.
They like that these muffins are sweet, tender and filling. I like that they’re lightly sweet, packed with lots of healthy fats and low in simple carbs. I consider these a true breakfast food, and they also double as a great after-school snack.
Baking with almond flour
Almond flour mixed with tapioca starch/flour is my current favorite mixture for baking things like our recent almond flour cookies. Almond flour is already pretty versatile in baking, and adding tapioca lightens the fat which leads to more even baking and a lighter overall muffin or cookie.
These almond flour muffins are, in fact, compliant with the Paleo diet, but I find myself less and less concerned with labels like that. I’ve tried eating every which way (low carb, Mediterranean, Paleo, sugar-free grain-free, you name it), and I mostly feel best when I eat mostly plants, some protein and healthy fats.
I also eat plenty of beans, but if I were “Paleo” that wouldn’t be “legal.” Seriously, I just can’t be bothered with that sort of thing.
What to expect
The batter is relatively loose, and the muffins rise quite a bit and rather quickly. There’s not a lot of chemical leavener in these muffins, but there are 3 eggs in just 12 muffins and that helps a lot.
If you ask my children, all those eggs mean that it’s practically like eating scrambled eggs for breakfast. They know that I am all about brain food like eggs for breakfast. But they don’t need to campaign for these. I already feel quite good about them.
You can leave out the chocolate chips, or swap them for another mix-in, like chopped nuts or dried fruit. Just be careful not to mix in anything with too much moisture as that will change the entire balance.
Watch this < 1-minute how-to video of me making almond flour muffins
Just push play ▶ to watch, and then you try it yourself!
Ingredients and substitutions
Since these muffins are already compliant with the Paleo diet, they’re gluten free, grain free and dairy-free. Here are a few words about the other possible ingredients you might like to substitute in this recipe. Please keep in mind that these are my educated guesses, but I haven’t tried these substitutions so you’ll have to experiment!
Egg-free: Since this recipe has 3 whole eggs, it’s more difficult to replace them with a substitute. Generally, my go-to egg substitute is a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but I’m not really sure it would work in this recipe. I do not recommend Ener-G egg replacer.
Virgin coconut oil: If you’d like to replace the virgin coconut oil, I recommend nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. I do not recommend Earth Balance buttery sticks in this recipe, as they have way more moisture.
Applesauce: These muffins do not taste at all like applesauce, as it’s a relatively neutral flavor in baking. If you can’t have it, you can try replacing it with mashed bananas but the end result will taste like bananas.
Almond flour: You need finely ground blanched almond flour for this recipe. You cannot use almond meal, which is more coarsely ground and made with almonds that have their skins intact.
If you can’t have almonds, you can try cashew flour. It should work great. To avoid nuts and nut flours entirely, but still go grain-free, I recommend trying my Paleo Blueberry Muffins, as they’re made entirely with coconut flour.
Tapioca starch/flour: Generally, tapioca starch has no proper substitute as it’s unique in its behavior in baking (in all the best ways). But I have a sneaking suspicion (read: I have not tried this!) that arrowroot might work in its place here.
Maple syrup: Maple syrup is considerably thinner and less viscous than honey, so I don’t recommend using honey in its place here. But I bet agave syrup would work just fine.
Bakery-Style Almond Flour Muffins
2 cups (240 g) finely-ground blanched almond flour
1 cup (128 g) tapioca starch/flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons (105 g) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 g) smooth applesauce, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (56 g) virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
3 ounces miniature dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin, and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the almond flour, tapioca starch/flour, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the maple syrup, applesauce, coconut oil, and eggs, and mix until well-combined. The batter will be thick but smooth. Add the miniature chocolate chips, and mix until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared wells of the muffin tin, and shake back and forth until the batter is evenly distributed in each cup. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 17 minutes). Do not overbake, and be sure that your oven temperature is accurate or the muffins will burn as almond flour has that tendency. Allow to cool very briefly before transferring the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store covered at room temperature for 2 days or wrap tightly and freeze for longer storage.
Originally published on the blog in 2013. All photos and video new. Recipe updated to replace some of the fat, reduce the sugar and replace the coconut flour.