I was craving lemon poppyseed muffins. I am not sure why, but it happened. And so my desire to bake a new thing began as it always does – by searching online for a basic muffin I could re-invent. To my shock and dismay, I couldn’t find a lemon poppyseed muffin that was both gluten-free and dairy-free. I found gluten-free versions but they contained things like butter cream or milk. I found dairy-free and vegan muffins but they often had all purpose flour.
Isn’t a lemon poppyseed muffin the first thing people strive to bake the day they decide it’s time to cut the potentially inflammatory action of gluten and processed dairy? No? Okay, fair enough. Well maybe it should be.
Since I couldn’t find a base to work from, I pulled out my own book, The UnDiet Cookbook. The book is completely gluten and dairy-free and given that the recipes are well tested, I often end up using them as a base in which to dive off in a new direction. There are two excellent muffin recipes in the book – the Banana Berry Oatmazing Muffin and the Coconut Apple Muffin Lovin’.
The next step for me to is to switch and swap some of the dry ingredients and some of the wet ones based on what I want to add or remove to make it all new again.
There are two popular ways to flavour things lemony, in addition to using real lemon juice and zest.
- Lemon extract: ensure it is the cold pressed lemon oil + alcohol and nothing else. No natural flavours, colourings etc. Just the good stuff.
- Lemon essential oil: ensure beyond a shadow of a doubt that your oils are truly pure before you inhale or ingest!
I don’t have a lot of extracts around my kitchen aside from vanilla, but I do have an abundance of essential oils, and so that was what I used in both the muffin base and the frosting. I will only use oils from Living Libations (more on that here).
The process of creating the recipe was pretty quick and easy, but I still wasn’t confident it was going to work. For me, baking is one part chemistry (which I never studied) and 8 parts magic. What I do have on my side is that I never actually learned how to bake with ingredients like sugar, milk or all purpose flour. Over the years of experimenting and creating I have come to know the different types of gluten-free flours that work for different things.
One of my newfound super fave flours to bake with is chickpea flour. It’s fairly neutral tasting, is rather light and offers a little outside crunch on things like muffins that is just so good.
Once these lemon poppyseed muffins came out of the oven and it was clear that I had a raging success on my hands, there was only one thing to do: come up with a seriously incredible frosting.
Frosting takes a muffin into cupcake territory!
You can quote me on that!
And that is just what I did. I used one of my favourite frosting ingredients – coconut butter (different from coconut oil!), some more lemon essential oil and a little maple syrup and water. Perfection!
I am now thinking that with this newfound awesome muffin base and frosting recipe, you can pretty much create any type of muffin/cupcake you desire! Vanilla? Use vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil. Almond? Almond extract with some chopped almonds on top. Coffee cake? Well, you know where I’m going with this.
For now though, I think this gluten-free and dairy-free vegan lemon poppyseed muffin has stolen my heart.
We had to freeze most of them – they were going very quickly in our house. Enjoy!