Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins with Citrus Sugar

I’ve been on a baking streak this week (wait until you hear about what I’ve discovered as the literal, no-joke, not even kidding slightly, best walnut chocolate chip cookies everrrr. But first…) and loving every darn second of it! I used to bake in college almost every week – cookies, cakes, cupcakes – but I’d spend so much time in the kitchen that I didn’t even want to eat all of what I made. Luckily now I work somewhere where everyone loves food and is always willing to eat whatever I make.

Note: the cookies I’ve mentioned will have to be made again to supply my office with goodies… we ate the entire batch, just me and my fiancé, within 3 days.

So anyway, these muffins…2016-07-10 10.33.07

I recently purchased Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 baking flour, curious of how it’d hold up in baking, and I was quite pleased with the results. I’m by no means gluten-free, and we don’t suffer from celiac disease thankfully, but in my experience, gluten-free baked goods have always disappointed me. They were always dense, bland and boring. I’m glad I purchased this flour, because it surprised me how fluffy, moist and delicious it made these muffins. I adapted my recipe from the Scrumptious Blueberry Muffins recipe on the back of the flour bag, and veganized the heck out of it with flax eggs, Earth Balance butter & coconut milk.2016-07-10 09.15.50

I’ve become so used to having to substitute plant-based ingredients for standard animal-based ingredients that I’ve stopped searching solely for vegan recipes. It’s quite simple, really, once you realize that most baking calls for eggs, butter and milk, which can all be fabulously substituted with flax or chia eggs, applesauce, vegan butter and nut milks. Ah, plant-based living at its finest! For this recipe, we had just enough fresh blueberries in the fridge, and the rest were frozen – it most likely wouldn’t have made a big difference, but fresh is always better (even though our frozen ones were fresh, at one point)!2016-07-10 09.08.12

Have I mentioned how much I love flax eggs…?? They are so cool to me. [nerd]

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Plus, I know I’m eating such a healthy miracle plant, instead of death and cholesterol!

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These are actually labeled as ‘buttermilk’ blueberry muffins, as the original recipe calls for it, so I put a few teaspoons of lemon juice in the coconut milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes while I greased the pans.

I also had the bright idea (seriously, it was a great one if I do say so myself!) to mix some cane sugar with lemon rind for the topping, hence the ‘Citrus Sugar’ in the recipe title. I had ‘Sugar… Aw, Honey, Honey’ in my head the entire time I was making these.

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Finally, the finished product:

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Just look at how fluffy they are, and the warm, sweet and tart blueberries combined with the equally sweet and extra tart sunshine of the lemon sugar… too bad we ate all of them, I’m craving one right now!


Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins with Citrus Sugar

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: some baking experience will help
  • Print

Fluffy, moist, delicious blueberry muffins perfect for a brunch, a quick munch, or just because. Lemon rind adds a bright, tart contrast to the sweet berries.


Citrus Sugar Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest


  1. Grease a muffin or cupcake pan with plant-based butter spread or your favorite baking spray. Preheat your oven to 425° F [I say to do this after only because my oven doesn’t take 20 minutes to pre-heat and I try to save as much energy as I can! If you’d like to wait to pre-heat the oven until you make the ‘buttermilk’, you have enough time at this point.]
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. To make the ‘buttermilk’, pour the 1/2 cup nut milk into a small bowl or measuring cup, then add the 3 tsp of lemon juice to the nut milk. Let this sit for 5 minutes.
  4. To make the Citrus Sugar, zest 1/2-1 lemon, depending on desired amount of sugar required for topping. Finely chop the zest and add to cane sugar, pressing the zest into the sugar forcefully with the back of a spoon until fragrant.
  5. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well incorporated and fluffy. Add half of the flax egg mixture, or one ‘egg’, at a time, beating after each. Add half of the dry ingredient mixture, beating until blended. Add the ‘buttermilk’ mixture, beat, then finally add remaining dry ingredients. Beat until blended.
  6. Add the fresh blueberries to the muffin batter and fold in, careful to not disturb the delicate skin of the berries.** Pour batter into muffin or cupcake pan and place in the oven, reducing the heat to 375° F. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, making sure no part of the muffins brown other than the edges. Add citrus sugar and cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Makes 12 muffins or 24 cupcakes.


*I used coconut milk for a richer flavor, but if you don’t have coconut milk, I recommend cashew milk. It’s the creamiest of the other nut milks (almond, soy, hemp), and will help keep the moisture of these muffins at it’s best.

**For an added citrus burst of flavor, add 2 tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped lemon zest to the muffin batter.

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4 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins with Citrus Sugar

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