Fall is right around the corner. The leaves here are already starting to change colour and the evenings here are already chilly. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. It’s when stews bubble and boil on the stove, warm spices get added to desserts, and warm evening drinks are on the menu. It’s also when I break out the pumpkin and start whipping up some fall-inspired desserts, like these low carb pumpkin muffins.
A fall-inspired gluten-free pumpkin muffin Recipe
Ground cloves, warm cinnamon, and spicy nutmeg are the star players in these muffins. Together these pieces make the perfect blend, not overly spicy, not overly cinnamon, just the right balance of both.
These are the perfect muffin to bake up on a cool Sunday morning for brunch. Save a few to have a quick breakfast, or a snack at lunch.
Made without grains or added sugar, these muffins are:
- Low carb
- Refined sugar-free
- You can make this recipe dairy-free by replacing the butter with coconut oil.
A bit about the pumpkin PUree
I like to use fresh pumpkins. I grow my own cinderella pumpkins every year and fill my freezer with homemade purree. You don’t have to be that fancy (or crazy) as I am, a can of pure pumpkin puree from the grocer will work perfectly fine.
I will say if you can get your hands on a few ripe baking pumpkins this fall you should try your hand at making your own puree. It’s a great way to save a few dollars, and have fresh on hand. Since the puree freezes perfectly, you could have a freezer full pumpkin purree for the cost of a market pumpkin.
This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of pumpkin preserves. You will have some leftovers if you use a can of pumpkin puree. You can save your extra pumpkin puree in the fridge covered for a few days, or freeze the remainder for your next pumpkin recipe.
Cost Saving Tips
I try my best to avoid preservatives because they can trigger my migraines. So I grow and buy in season, and process for storage. In my basement, I have jars of tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, pickles, jalapenos (one of our favorites). In my freezer, I have fresh berries picked in season and of course, stores of fresh pumpkin preserves.
Freezing, canning and preserving local in-season produce is a great way to save a few dollars, and get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck. Plus you can avoid preservatives and excess sugars.
A bit about the gluten-free pumpkin muffin batter
These low carb pumpkin muffins get whipped up much like regular muffins. The butter, sweeteners, eggs and pumpkin, and vanilla get whipped together. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet making sure to not over mix.
The thing you cannot leave out is the xanthan gum. I made these muffins the first go-round and forgot to add the Xanthan gum and they were super soft and didn’t want to hold together. They were still tasty as ever, but the texture wasn’t satisfying.
Since these muffins are made without gluten, we need something to hold them together. I like the use of xanthan gum in these recipes because it only takes a tiny bit to make all the difference in the world. A small bag of xanthan gum will last you a long time. I highly recommended it.
Baking tips and tricks to make perfect pumpkin muffins every time
- I said it above, but I will say it again, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients very gently. Do not over mix.
- Fill your muffin cups almost all the way to the top. Unlike regular muffin batter, we don’t get a big lift from the leavening additions in this recipe, so filling the muffin liners a bit more than you normally would is the way to go.
- 10 minutes into baking, gently place a piece of parchment over the top of the muffin tin. Coconut flour browns quickly and the edges of your muffins may over brown during baking. A piece of parchment or even tin foil works very well to prevent this.
- Do not add the parchment when you place the low carb pumpkin muffins in the oven, wait for the muffins to bake up for 10 minutes first. We don’t want the parchment to stick to the muffin batter.
Toppings make your spicy low carb Pumpkin muffins even better
I like my muffins to have a crunchy topping, something to add that extra texture to the soft muffin base. In this recipe, I use a few sprinkles of pumpkin seeds and a teaspoon of crumbled pecans.
Once the toppings are added, drizzle 1/2 tsp of melted butter over the top. The butter helps keep the top of the muffins moist but also helps the pumpkin seeds and pecan pieces to roast. It adds a really nice addition to the top. The toppings are completely optional. These gluten-free pumpkin muffins are just as good without them, your call.
The perfect pumpkin spice blend
So everyone and their grandmas have the “best” pumpkin spice blend. If you have a family spice blend that you love, I say you use what you love.
I love this spice blend, and I use it for almost all my pumpkin-inspired baking recipes.
I like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Some spice blends use ginger, and although I love ginger, I find it overwhelms. I’ve played around with the spices over the years but always come back to this one. I find it’s not overpowering and adds such a nice warm slightly spicy kick to fall desserts.
I know a lot of people are not fussy for cloves, but I really encourage you to try this recipe with these spices. You might end up being a clove convert.
What sweeteners work well in this recipe?
Feel free to use your favorite 1:1 sugar substitute.
My favorite sweetener is So Nourished powdered erythritol monk fruit blend, I find it has barely any aftertaste. So if you really can’t stand that cooling sensation, I say give this one a try. I use it in almost all my baking recipes including this one.
Swerve, Truvia and stevia will work perfectly fine here as well as any powdered erythritol or xylitol brand.
Allulose will also work great in this recipe.
I did try to use Lakanto golden in this recipe because I wanted a brown sugar flavor, but I found the Lakato golden had way too much of an aftertaste for me.
** Remember, xylitol is poisonous to dogs and cats, so if that’s your choice and you have little furry friends running around, be aware that it can be deadly for them.**
Storage and serving suggestions.
These low carb pumpkin muffins last for up to 4 days stored covered on the counter. They will last a bit longer in the fridge.
Freezing is a bit of a challenge with the pecan bits and pumpkin seeds. The nuts and seeds do not defrost well ( at least I don’t feel they do) and I don’t like the texture after they are defrosted. But you can freeze these muffins if you leave off the seeds and nuts.
if you did not use the xanthan gum in this recipe, freezing these muffins and then defrosting will yield not so great results. They will be very soft, very crumbly and will have a hard time staying together.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2/3 cup powdered erythritol monk fruit blend (or your favorite sweetener)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 6 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup pecan pieces
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, spices, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and sweetener until the mixture is creamy and blended. With the mixer at low speed, add eggs one at a time until the mixture is well blended. Add pumpkin puree and apple cider vinegar and blend until incorporated.
- In small batches mix the dry ingredients into the egg batter and erythritol mixture. Do not over blend. Once blended spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- Add 1 tsp of pumpkin seeds and 1 tsp of pecan pieces to the top of each muffin. Drizzle 1/2 tsp of butter over the top of each muffin.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then carefully place a piece of tin foil or parchment paper over the muffins.
- Bake for 15 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from muffin tins and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
1. Xanthan gum is used to give this recipe structure and stability. Without it, the muffins will be crumbly and will not hold together.
2. Use your favorite sweetener. I found these muffins were best made with allulose and So Nourished erythritol monk fruit blend.
3. Do not over blend the dry ingredients into the wet. Gently fold.
4. Don't skip placing a piece of parchment or tin foil over the muffins mid bake. Coconut flour browns quickly and we want to prevent the muffins from over-browning.
5. Be sure to use raw pumpkin seeds and raw pecan pieces. If you use pre-roasted seeds and nuts they will over roast in the oven.
6. Coconut flour and almond flour have been balanced in this recipe to have the right level of moisture. If you adjust either it will change the texture and density of the muffins.
7. The apple cider vinegar is used to help the leavening agent (baking powder). It adds a bit more rise. Almond flour is very heavy, and I feel baking recipes benefit a lot from a small addition of apple cider vinegar. You do not taste the vinegar after the muffins are baked.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 353mgCarbohydrates: 8.5gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3.5gSugar: 2gSugar Alcohols: 10.6gProtein: 7g