Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins

This weekend, my wonderful and gluten-intolerant friend Anne came to visit.  Last night, we checked out Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe, a Davis restaurant that specializes in local, seasonal foods, and is completely gluten-free. This place is unusual. The store it is attached to is a jumble of wire racks containing various gluten-free baked goods and spices, and the tables are covered in gloriously tacky plastic flowered table cloths.

Renata and I shared a chicken noodle soup and “asparagus plate,” and Anne had just the soup.   Both were tasty enough, but I wasn’t terribly impressed.  The asparagus plate was roasted asparagus, served cold (intentionally? not sure), with a salad and risotto.  I could have made it myself at home with little effort.

On to today.  We made some pretty amazing zucchini muffins (and a loaf), modified to be gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins (Adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (I used more like 1/4 cup- whatever I had leftover from the last recipe)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using
  • 3 cups Pamela’s gluten-free baking and pancake mix OR:
    • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter 2 muffin tins, 2 bread pans, or some combination thereof, and dust with baking mix.
  2. In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the baking mix, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.
  5. By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture.  Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.
  6. Divide the batter equally between the muffin tins or loaf pans. Sprinkle the tops with the leftover walnuts. Bake for about 20 minutes for the muffins, and 40 minutes for the loafs.

These muffins have quite a spicy kick, mostly due to the curry powder and ginger.  They are unexpectedly delicious, especially served with a little cottage cheese on the side.  Also, the lack of gluten is completely unnoticeable!


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