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Gluten-free chocolate muffins with coffee glaze

Gluten-free chocolate muffins with coffee glaze


There are several food allergies in my family. It’s been hard to deal with at times, and the storm clouds of self-pity and general universe hating have come rolling in — usually at social events that are centered around food. There is a silver lining in those clouds, though — my whole family is eating healthier and cleaner as a result of learning about the food allergies and how food affects our bodies and brains.

Discovering the food allergies started with my son, then three years old, eating his first peanut butter sandwich — and today both my sons and myself stay away from wheat and go very light on dairy. (Apparently wheat is our main problem, but we tend to eat gluten-free because we know there won’t be any wheat in a gluten-free food.) My oldest son is also allergic to peanuts, nuts and eggs, and neither he nor I can eat pineapple.

Taking away wheat and dairy from your diet is challenging when so many of the standby foods in our society are made from those ingredients.

So you end up looking for alternatives (which are usually more expensive) — and doing a lot of cooking yourself.

Although I used to consider myself a baker (taught by my professional cake decorator stepmother), baking wheat- dairy- and egg-free has thrown me a curveball. I’m still learning. And to learn, you have to bake.

So I baked some chocolate muffins with my 5-year-old, and this is what I came up with. Even my gluten-eating friends ate them and said they liked them. These muffins are chocolatey but not really sweet, so if you like sweeter muffins, add more sugar or make sure you add the optional coffee glaze. (When I made them for my sons, I made the muffins without the coffee glaze.)

I will never be as handy with ingredients or as eloquent as Gluten-Free Girl or as creative and knowledgeable about food as it relates to various health issues like Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom, but at least my kids won’t lack eating healthy food or treats.

Gluten-free chocolate muffins with optional coffee glaze -- allergy-friendly

Yield: 12 standard muffins or 24 mini muffins

Gluten-free chocolate muffins with optional coffee glaze -- allergy-friendly


  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1 tsp. xantham gum
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup softened dairy-free butter substitute (I used Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread)
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut milk
  • For the coffee glaze (optional):
  • 1/4 c. coffee
  • 1/4 c. sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and put paper liners in your muffin pans.
  2. Combine the flax seed and water in a large bowl, and stir well. Set aside. (This is to replace two eggs in the recipe.) (Flax is also good for your heart and adds fiber.)
  3. Add the flours, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and stir well.
  4. Beat the softened butter substitute with the sugar until it's creamy, then add it to the flax seed mixture.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until everything is well mixed.
  6. Add 2 Tbsp. of coconut milk to the batter, if necessary -- if it's too thick.
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes. (Check after 12 minutes.)
  8. To make the optional coffee glaze, heat the coffee in a small saucepan just until it bubbles. Take it off the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Use a fork to poke holes through the top of each muffin (twice is fine), and spoon the syrup over each muffin. This gives the muffin a mocha flavor.
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