Awhile ago I wrote a blog about coconut lime muffins, a recipe inspired by the best muffins I ever ate. One morning while cruising on Safari Quest of American Safari Cruises, on a mission to test the itinerary for InnerSea Discoveries, the chef served coconut lime muffins for breakfast.
Long after the cruise, I could not stop thinking about those muffins. Wanting to taste once again the best muffins I ever ate, I started with a basic muffin recipe and experimented until I came up with muffins I liked. I should have asked for the original recipe, but since I didn’t it was the best I could do.
Later I tried a sugarless version. These were not as good, but sugarless things never are. But still, a large and ever-growing group got left out. A lot of people have to eat gluten free these days, and finding good gluten-free recipes can get tricky. I hear from members of my extended family who have to eat gluten free just how hard they try.
For this gluten free recipe, I started with the last rendition of my regular coconut lime muffins, the rich version of the basic muffin recipe I began with when I made them, and a bread recipe from a co-worker on a gluten free diet who bakes his own bread. I haven’t tried his bread, but it looks a lot better than the stuff they sell in stores. If he hadn’t said it was gluten free, I’d have thought it just looked like really good bread.
I thought my gluten free muffins turned out very well. They might even be the best of the three. Perhaps due to the extra butter and sugar. Once cooled, they come nicely off the cupcake papers, and they taste moist and delicious, not dry as gluten free breads often are. I think the trick is in several key ingredients.
My friend from work mentioned using a variety of flours. I found Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose baking flour, which has a combination of several flours in one bag. Since these are coconut lime muffins I also added coconut flour. The next key ingredient is xanthan gum, which my co-worker uses in his bread. It helps to bind the ingredients together, which is what gluten normally does.
I added a couple tablespoons of butter to counteract the tendency toward dryness. For those on dairy free diets, margarine or a couple extra tablespoons of oil could substitute for the butter. The last key ingredient is a bit of vinegar. I noticed that my friend had it in his bread recipe. It reminded me that while on a Holland America cruise I went to a cooking demonstration. The chef there made apple strudel, and mentioned vinegar as the key to holding the dough together while he stretched it ever longer and thinner.
The last important thing is adding plenty of liquid. The coconut flour specifically said to add more when using it. The dough did seem runny at first, but thickened up before I even got it all spooned into the muffin cups.
After I finished taking photos I tried one. It tasted so good I skipped dinner and just ate muffins. What, there’s nobody else here today to tell me what I should eat. You definitely don’t have to be on a gluten free diet to enjoy these tasty muffins.
The next day I took some over to a neighbor. She said they tasted very moist and delicious. Some gluten free baked goods dry out quickly. These were slightly drier than the previous day, but still plenty moist and quite good. She shared with her son, who is on the gluten free diet and said these muffins tasted so good he’d like to make them. They both said they did not taste gluten free at all.
By the way, nobody pays me to put in a plug for Bob’s Red Mill, they don’t have a clue I even exist. I just like their products.
Gluten Free Coconut Lime Muffins
1 3/4 cups Bob’s all purpose gluten free baking flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup flaked coconut
zest of one lime
2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla
1 beaten egg
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake papers and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Zest a lime and squeeze out the juice. Add more lime juice to make 1/3 cup.
Stir together in a bowl all dry ingredients plus the coconut and lime zest (first 8 ingredients.) Add everything else and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Never overstir muffins. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Just keep piling more on each muffin until the batter runs out. Sprinkle tops with coconut for toasted coconut topping.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Copyright My Cruise Stories 2011