Low-Carb Gluten-Free “Donut” Muffins: Making Use of Flax Part 2


These muffins came out wonderfully delicate and moist, and rose nicely. Click to see a larger version showing off the lovely crumb.

I just found this recipe over at About.com for a yummy-looking treat that totally fits into a low-carb and Paleo lifestyle: Cinnamon-and-butter-topped flax meal muffins, designed to taste like donuts (be still my carbaholic heart!). About.com’s Low Carb Diet section has a lot of great tips and recipes…go on over and check it out.

This recipe represents yet another semi-guilty pleasure. Why guilt at all? I still have residual guilt over these types of recipes because low-carb baking tastes so very convincingly fattening — even though I have yet to gain weight from my cake lust on this diet (I’ve lost), unlike what happened to me eating low-fat muffins. You know, the kind where you use applesauce instead of oil and eggs and you’re supposed to lose weight. Didn’t work out that way for me. I like to tell people that I got fluffy, not fat. But I got fat.

It didn’t help that I would eat half the low-fat muffins (or more…okay, usually more) in one sitting. That’s changed. The great thing about low-carb eating is that you eliminate sugar highs and sugar crashes…which means you don’t have to endure constant hunger pangs, and eating one muffin doesn’t lead to three or six or twelve. Low-carb food is self-limiting — once I got used to not riding the sugar/appetite roller coaster, I found myself able to eat a single serving of something yummy and be totally satisfied. Not only am I not eating sugar anymore, I’m not overeating anything anymore. Hooray!

Okay, enough jabber…here is the recipe as posted over at About, and I will post my own pics, the nutritional info, and update this recipe after I make my own version.

Someone in the comments over at About said they added Chinese Five-Spice and apples to theirs…oh yum!

  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour (or 1/2 c almond flour & 1/2 c coconut flour, or 1 c coconut flour)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 and 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • Artificial sweetener – 1 cup equivalent – zero carb (such as liquid) preferred
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T water
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup equivalent powdered artificial sweetener
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 2 T melted butter

Makes 12 regular-size muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; butter muffin pans.

2. Mix dry ingredients well (exclude those used for topping).

3. Add beaten eggs, melted butter, water, and sweetener to the dry mixture. Mix well.

4. Fill muffin cups a bit more than half way with the mixture.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Allow muffins to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove.

6. Mix the cinnamon and powdered sweetener for the topping in a clean bowl.7. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, dip the tops in the melted butter you allocated for the topping, followed by the sweetener/cinnamon mixture.

Buttermilk Version: Switch out 1/2 cup buttermilk for the same amount of water. Substitute 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder for the baking powder in the regular recipe. This variation adds half a gram of carb to each muffin.

I just finished making these, and they are quite good. They are light, soft, and moist, with a gorgeous, cake-y crumb. They don’t make me think of donuts, not even a little bit; the texture is too “whole grain” to be very convincing as donuts. They are still delicious and satisfying muffins, though, and I will definitely make them again.

A good silicon spatula makes scraping down a batter bowl easy, and captures every last drop of tasty goodness.

I used half coconut flour and half almond flour, because I like the lighter texture of coconut flour. However, I had to add an extra egg (for a total of five) and extra water to compensate for how much moisture coconut flour can absorb. I also added 1 oz. of heavy whipping cream, which is something I often do in low-carb baking to maintain moisture — many low-carb recipes end up too dry.

In place of artificial sweetener I used 1 tsp of liquid Stevia. I forgot the nutmeg, now that I’m looking over the recipe, and it would have improved the muffins if I’d remembered (next time!). Next time I’ll also increase the cinnamon to 2 tsp.

Some of the ingredients in these muffins. The Olive Oil wandered into the shot -- not part of this recipe. πŸ™‚

Because I added an extra egg and extra liquid, my batter ended up being enough to fill the muffin tins more than 3/4 full, rather than half. I had to cook the muffins for an extra five minutes to compensate.

I’ve added Nutrition Info to the end of the recipe. Happy Baking!

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 226
Fat: 18g
Protein: 9g
Carbs: 10g
Fiber: 9g
Net Carbs: 1g (woot!)

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7 Responses to Low-Carb Gluten-Free “Donut” Muffins: Making Use of Flax Part 2

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hey there! Great site! Your mom sent it to me (I’m Iris’ daughter). Do you have this linked to facebook yet? The recipes look great so far. I’m not legitimately allergic…but gluten and wheat are not my friends. Keep the great posts coming!

    • Halloo Beth! Good to see you. πŸ™‚ Grains do all kinds of unattractive things to me too, so there’ll be plenty of wheat-free recipes coming up. Glad you stopped by!

    • I don’t have it linked to FB yet…I will, though, once I have enough content to keep people interested. πŸ™‚

      • Elizabeth says:

        Ok, mine just went in the oven. I did it almost exactly to the recipe – I used 1cup flaxmeal and 1 cup almond flour. I added about 1/8 tsp of cloves (gets strong quick). It was more liquidy than i’m used to but I didn’t muck with it (much restraint!). I’ll let you know. The 9grams of fiber is great too, you don’t normally get that much in a single serving of anything. I’ll also let you know if its moist enough given it seemed you were worried it wouldn’t be – but I didn’t use the coconut flour.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Oh….that’s a good muffin! Its only about 2 seconds out of the oven, but its fabulous. And definitely moist enough. I didn’t even do the topping. I think it would be good with apples, raisins, etc.

      • So glad you like it! I think they’re best right out of the oven. (Watch out, they get addictive…I gained a few pounds last week working on these recipes for the blog…!)

        And yes, apples would be delicious in this. I love your addition of cloves; all those apple pie-type spices work well in this sort of thing. Oooh…an apple filling might work, sort of a mini muffin-pie…hmm…

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I just posted the link to this in my facebook page so I hope it increases traffic! Also with those muffins, anything similar (like oatmeal raisin cookies) I do the cinnamon and nutmeg, but also cloves. But cloves, like nutmeg, you have to be very sparing with b/c once there’s too much…its just nasty.

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