So... I shared these pumpkin molasses muffins the other week and they sure made the rounds since! I've seen so many remakes and so happy to hear people are enjoying them. My friend Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit even made them a part of a video because she liked them so (She's the sweetest! And little does she know I've actually been enjoying one of her recipes very much this evening... alongside muffins, of course ;) ). And most importantly, I've been baking them batch after batch myself since I discovered the magical formula for making the lightest and fluffiest muffins, that incidentally happen to be gluten-free, dairy-free, eggless, refined sugar-free, oil-free, gum-free, nut-free and more "free" if you know what I mean... But...
...I guess they weren't "free" enough because I've since gotten so many requests for an oat-free version. So I began to ponder how to turn these fluffy muffins oat-free too. When I came up with that recipe I felt like the oats were an essential component because they are what added the actual fluffy and light element, and they are what allowed these muffins to be made without any gums or extra binders (trying to keep things simple where possible these days)... So what to do when you take out the important part of the recipe...?
The answer was actually much simpler than you're probably imagining. I only switched 1 key ingredient and that did the trick. You see, I think the fluffiness comes from the coarse flour produced by grinding down the oat flakes (in combination with the rice flour & starch). So, I traded one flake for another: enter rice flakes! I used to use quinoa flakes as an oat substitute ages ago when I couldn't consume any oats myself, so that came to mind... I dug around my cupboard and couldn't find any though -- it's been a while! But I did find a random bag of rice flakes somewhere in the back of my pantry that I picked up once on sale... and gave it a go. Here's what I used:
You don't have to go with this specific brand or anything, though I do love Eden's quality and use their stuff almost daily for one thing or another. This particular porridge can be bought on Amazon, but you can honestly go with any rice flakes you can find and likely even quinoa flakes in this and that should work.
There's only one extra tiny step you should be aware of in this recipe as compared to the oaty version, and that is that the rice flakes are a lot tougher. The oats I was using were paper thin and soft and required pretty much no cooking. The rice flakes were tough and crunchy. So once everything is blended together in the recipe, you have to let the mixture sit for a bit to absorb some moisture into those flakes (a good time to start pre-heating the oven). Other than that, the rice flakes work a treat. You can detect a bit of the flakes in the muffin's texture by the way, but it actually added to the experience for me. That's the only notable difference I spotted.
And of course if you're an oat lover, then go ahead and just use oats in these muffins instead -- the original will always be special to me :)
Working on a grain-free version next ;)Print
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Light, fluffy gluten-free pumpkin spice muffins with cranberry and chocolate in every bite. Dairy-free.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 large muffins
- Category: Muffins
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Dessert
- 1½ cups rice flakes (or gf quick oats) (+ a bit more for sprinkling on top)
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free!)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice (see notes for alternative)
- dash of salt
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup maple syrup (or agave, coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, etc.)
- ½ cup light coconut milk (the kind that comes in a can -- stir it well first)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup cranberries (or raisins, chopped dates, dried cherries, etc.)
- 1 cup chocolate chips (or pumpkin seeds, nuts, etc.)
- Process all dry ingredients into a flour in a food processor into a coarse flour. Add in wet ingredients and process to combine. Add in your add-ins and pulse a few times to mix them in.
- Leave the mixture to sit for about 20 minutes while pre-heating the oven (skip this step is using quick oats).
- Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan (just 8 of the cups if making 8) and set aside (or use liners or a good non-stick pan instead of oiling).
- Spoon batter into 8 muffin cups, topping it up high until you run out of batter (unless you're doing smaller muffins, in which case divide evenly between the 12 cups). Sprinkle with extra pumpkin rice flakes (or oats, if using).
- Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 1 hour (if making 12 smaller muffins, the baking time will decrease, so keep an eye out and test with a skewer until it comes out try to see if they're done). Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Enjoy!
*If you don't have pumpkin spice, just use the following: ½ teaspoon more cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon cloves and ⅛ teaspoon allspice.
Linda Flescher says
Hi, We love these muffins! My son prefers them over sweets. Do you know if s doubling the recipe os successful? Thanks, Linda
Hi Linda, I'm so glad to hear :)
I haven't tried doubling the recipe, but I think it should be totally fine to do. Enjoy!
Would have been a 5 but the muffin sticks to the paper liner. Next time I'll grease the tin and skip the liner.
Thanks for the feedback, Ruth. I've never tried making these with paper liners, so good to know. I'm glad you enjoyed them nonetheless :)
Namita Singh says
You have such healthy recipes out here! I was wondering if it's possible to bake without baking soda or baking powder and use some natural rising ingredients instead. Is it possible?? Have you tried baking breads with all natural ingredients?
Hi Namita. Thanks very much -- I'm glad you're enjoying the recipes.
Breads without a leavening agent are considered unleavened (so like naan, roti, pita, flatbreads, etc.). You can make breads with yeast or baker's yeast or a sourdough starter (there are gluten-free and vegan recipes for that online if you're interested) instead. Baking soda and baking powder are usually used more in a recipe like this where no rising time is needed before the product goes in the oven.
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. Pinning it now!
Thanks very much! Enjoy it :)
Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist says
I have been working on my own gluten free, oat free, dairy free, egg free (all the FREES) muffins myself. I whipped up one batch using rice flour and it was delicious. Unfortunately I haven't been able to replicate it yet! I hate when that happens. I am so intrigued by rice flakes. I need to start working with those. I stopped using quinoa flakes because I didn't like the flavor...I should try them again. Thanks for always sharing these amazing creations!
Oh, gosh, Kathryn -- I can totally relate. You have no idea how many recipes I have stashed in a figure out how to remake pile :) Yeah, I prefer oats to other flakes, but when there's a need these are a good workaround.
I just tasted the batter and it was beyond delicious! Can't wait to taste the end result
Oh, amazing. Enjoy them, Kristina! :)
genevieve @ gratitude & greens says
I've got almost all the ingredients in my pantry! These muffins look perfect, by golly gee you have done it again. Can't wait to whip up a batch! xo
Thank you, Genevieve <3 I really must catch up on your blog too and see what deliciousness you've been up to!
Alison @Food by Mars says
These look so fluffy, Audrey! My mother is allergic to oats and I use them so much, I'm always trying to find substitutions for her. These flakes look like a great alternative, thanks for making this and sharing - I'm sending this to her right now!! <3 Lovely as always. XO
Oh, yes, it's a good fix. As are quinoa flakes -- work great as a substitute. While personally I still prefer oats, these are definitely a great alternative.
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
Such an easy switch! I never would've guessed this special ingredient swap. Now the muffins have to be about as free as it gets I'd say, but I like how you changed up the mix-ins this time! Oats are still probably my top choice, but I do have some quinoa flakes lying around that i rarely use so this could be a good way to use them up! But I'm very curious what your muffin accompanying snack is...???
Hehe, well of course you already know the special treat was your pumpkin brulee :) And yes, it was an easy switch. I also like oats better, but this is a very good alternative and I'm surprised mostly because when you go all rice you usually need a good binder, but I think between the various textures of the batter & the pumpkin puree it just luckily worked itself out. I've used quinoa flakes in place of oats in granola bars before, in case you're looking for more places to use those in :)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
All grains in flaky form are good ;) I love the cranberries and chocolate chips!! Really girl, you need to open up that bakery! I can help you do the business and sales side if you give me free muffins ;)
Come help me -- we'll have a wonderful time just baking away... :)