real people muffins (gluten-free)

With pumpkin and chocolate chips and a buttery almond streusel.

As some of you probably already know, I make my dogs homemade cookies. Yep, they are so spoiled. (but so cute, it kind of offsets some of their snob. kind of.) It was on one of these somewhat delirious late-afternoon dog cookie baking escapades that I was feeling the need to make something warm and kind of sweet but healthy enough to not feel guilty about eating.

Thus, real people muffins were born.

Why “real people” muffins? Because nearly every time I bake up a bunch of cookies for the pups, my sister at one time or another will wander into the kitchen at the scent of pumpkin and molasses and be totally disappointed when I inform her that I’m making dog cookies.

So she comes into the kitchen, as is expected, and eyes a tray of cooling cookies and points one finger and asks in a hopeful voice, “Are those real people cookies?”

And I shake my head and roll another ball of dough, nodding towards the tray of pumpkin quinoa muffins that were just birthed out of the oven, fresh and warm and chocolate still all melty morsels in their spicy hearts. “Those are real people muffins, though.”

Oh and I totally told her that there was chocolate involved. Because my sister is crazy for chocolate.

Did I just make you hungry? I’m sorry.

Or actually, I’m not. Because these muffins are for you. This morning. Or…. right now. Seriously, they are an awesome afternoon snack. And they’re made with quinoa flour (buzz word for the I-should-really-be-more-health-conscious soul.) And you totally should love quinoa! Because it’s awesome. Protein and all that good.

End of.

So these muffins. They are perfectly moist, and not dense or rubbery at all – which is a misconception that most people seem to dream up about gluten-free baked goods. Just like a warm, pumpkin-spiced bite from gluten-free heaven, these little guys are so tender and flavorful, plus nutritious.


I’ve adapted the recipe just slightly to cut out some of the sugar and use coconut oil instead of canola. If you can’t get your hands on some coconut oil (although you really should – so good and good for you) any other tasteless oil would work in this recipe fine.

So, in short, go make these. Like right now. Seriously! I know I say that a lot, but you will not regret these. I promise.

And you totally don’t need an excuse to make them.

It’s Thursday.

Boom. there. I just gave you an excuse.

real people muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 muffin

These tender, moist muffins are spiced with pumpkin, filled with chocolate, and crowned with a buttery almond streusel. And just dropped out of gluten-free heaven. (that's gluten-free food always tastes amazing.)


For the muffins:

1 1/2 cups quinoa flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup organic light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs, at room temperature*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

For the almond streusel:

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup salted butter (or Earth Balance), melted

2-4 tablespoons organic cane sugar

2 tablespoons rolled oats

pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a regular sized muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with unbleached paper cups; set aside.

In a small bowl, melt butter or Earth Balance and stir in all the ingredients for the streusel. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, until well combined. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. (stop when you no longer see dry flour)

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin tin, and top with prepared streusel.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove tray from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

Store muffins in an airtight container for a few days or wrap well and freeze muffins for up to a month.


*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, fill a bowl with warm water and let the eggs, still in their shells of course, hang out in there for about 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Keep It Sweet Desserts

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  • February 20, 2014 - 7:20 am | Permalink

    So happy that I’m a real person! (And not a dog) So I get to eat these, chocolate and all!

    • Abbie
      February 20, 2014 - 8:59 am | Permalink

      Haha, totally. Thanks, Joanne!

  • February 20, 2014 - 7:42 am | Permalink

    Oh my, these do look divine! Yum! Cool gif btw!

    • Abbie
      February 20, 2014 - 9:00 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much, Pipsa!

  • February 20, 2014 - 7:45 am | Permalink

    You’re making me so hungry right now! I need to get some quinoa flour for sure!

    • Abbie
      February 20, 2014 - 9:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Lily! Quinoa flour will change your life.

  • February 20, 2014 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    I make treats for my dog too, but I like that these are real people muffins. I have never tried quinoa flour, but I need to get my hands on some. Sounds like a great alternative to white flour!

    • Abbie
      February 20, 2014 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Quinoa flour is a great (and nutritious) alternative to white flour. Thank you, Natasha! (BTW, I love your blog! You make the prettiest cakes ever. just saying.)

  • February 20, 2014 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    So much chocolate in these, I love it! Your dog is a lucky one!

    • Abbie
      February 20, 2014 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much, Shikha!

  • February 20, 2014 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Girl, you have a gift. These look PERFECT. Like every single flavor is my favorite. And I think it’s totally awesome that you make cookies for your dogs. My kitties are definitely not that spoiled lol!

    • Abbie
      February 20, 2014 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Leigha! I think we can all agree that these are the best flavors. ever.

  • February 21, 2014 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

    These look great and very moist. I am sure no one would ever know that these are gluten-free.

    • Abbie
      February 25, 2014 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Peter!

  • February 24, 2014 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow these photos are so pretty! Love the title of the recipe Abbie :)

    • Abbie
      February 25, 2014 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much, Chelsea!

  • February 27, 2014 - 2:16 am | Permalink

    The link to reblog the post about

  • March 1, 2014 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

    These muffins look delicious! I totally need to get some quinoa flour – is sounds super interesting and tasty. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • Abbie
      March 1, 2014 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much, Karen! Yes, you totally should – quinoa flour is quite amazing.

  • March 14, 2014 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I am a real person and would love about two dozen of these!! Great photos, btw.

    • Abbie
      March 14, 2014 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much, Jacquee!!

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