cherry zucchini muffins

by Kristina Sloggett

in baking, Breakfast, cherry season, Dessert, Gluten Free, recipes, snacks, Vegan

I am really reeeeaaally excited about these muffins.

I have been baking for many many years, perfecting recipes from bagels to croissants, muffins to cakes to cheesecakes. When I chose to remove gluten from my kitchen and most of what I eat, I had to relearn how to bake. I love doughy and dense, so I resigned myself to the thought that gluten free baking always had that result.

Recently I have made it a priority to learn the finer points to gluten free baking – what the gums do and how much to use, what flours bring what result. It is a work in progress, but I am progressing!

These muffins combineย two of my favorite summer crops – cherries and zucchini. If these were not made in my own kitchen where I know there is no flour containing gluten, I would have never believed they are gluten free. Honestly.

Jason and I have been eating these with breakfast the last several days, and each day we are both saying the same thing – how fluffy and … ‘normal’ these feel.

Progress. and I’m really excited about that.

Please make these muffins. Make the crumb topping. If you are making the crumb topping, prepare it first so the muffin batter can quickly get into the oven.

I love crumb topping, did you know? Love it. When I was a kid, all desserts with a crumb topping would mysteriously end up without crumb topping. I don’t know why. Wasn’t me.

This crumb topping? I could eat all of it. By itself. Crumb topped with crumb. Mmm.

cherry zucchini muffins

adapted from blueberry zucchini bread

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

makes 12 muffins

2 tablespoons flax seed, freshly ground
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
2 cups zucchini, grated
1/3 cup safflower oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

Grind flax seed in blender, coffee grinder. Place 2 tablespoons flax in a bowl, add water and stir. Place in refrigerator to set into gel (this equals / replaces two eggs).

Prepare crumb topping – recipe below.

In large bowl, combine grated zucchini, oil and maple syrup. In same bowl, add flours but do not stir in. On top of the flours, add baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt, stirring into the flours before folding into wet ingredients. Fold in cherries. Pour into prepared muffin cups, 3/4 full. Top with crumble topping and get into oven.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

perfect crumb topping

dairy, soy, egg, and gluten free, vegan

tops 12 muffins, 2 loavesย quick-bread, 1 cake

1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free), melted

In saucepan over medium heat (or in microwave safe bowl, ~1 minute in microwave), melt butter. Add flour and sugar to melted butter, stir until combined, resulting in a thick crumbly paste consistency. Crumble over muffins.

Go, make these. As soon as you can!


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 30, 2012 at 5:24 am

Those look delicious. I can almost taste the cherry. What a perfect summer Sunday breakfast treat! Or brunch – those would be fun to serve at a brunch party.


2 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

yep, I need to throw a brunch party now… ๐Ÿ˜‰


3 Christa @ Edible Balance July 30, 2012 at 5:30 am

These look quite delightful! Gluten free AND vegan is so difficult sometimes, I’ve had too many fails lately, but once you do get it right it’s gold I tell ya! gorgeous photos :)


4 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

hi Christa, and thank you! you are so right – it’s a test of patience and skill to bake vegan AND gluten free. there have been many a ‘fail’ in my kitchen, so these are especially exciting.


5 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} July 30, 2012 at 5:57 am

You’ve done well! These look like they’re brimming with gluten. :-)


6 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:34 am

ha! thank you, Maryea, I will take that as a big compliment! ๐Ÿ˜‰


7 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 30, 2012 at 7:01 am

wow those look incredible! i love the fresh cherries! it just screams summer!


8 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

thanks, Caralyn! we haven’t tired of all these cherries yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰


9 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) July 30, 2012 at 7:39 am

What are you doing to me! I can’t keep up with all this good stuff! I have zucchini and cherries…I HAVE to make these! It kind of feels amazing when you find the right mix of ingredients that even you can’t believe it’s gluten free! Amazing my friend, absolutely amazing!


10 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

I knew you would appreciate my excitement! Jason is a trooper and always tries my baked items, and is always honest about them ๐Ÿ˜‰ these, he just keeps (incredulously) saying how great they are… and he keeps eating them. that is the true test for me ๐Ÿ˜‰


11 jobo July 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

OH EM GEE!! these are killing me!!! One question – how would I alter this if I didn’t make them gluten free??


12 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

Jolene, please make these! you can easily use regular all purpose flour in place of gluten free (and can sub ap for the coconut flour as well), and leave out the xanthan gum. if you want to use egg, use two eggs instead of the flax and water, listed first. regular butter/flour for the crumb topping, which is a must. let me know if you make them! XO!


13 Amber Shea @Almost Vegan July 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

Oh my gawd, these look SO GOOD! Pinning.

Side question: where did you get that coffee cup?! Love it!


14 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

I have a whole set of them – the ceramic version of the original NYC deli cup, the Anthora (I know way too much about them – my favorite cultural icon from my favorite city!). I got them years ago in New York City (where I also brought home two sleeves of the paper cups!), but I have seen them online since then – you should be able to find them easily!


15 Amber Shea @Almost Vegan July 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

Aha! I recognized the cup but I didn’t know it was called an Anthora. Now I know what to search for – thanks!


16 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 10:04 am

you can probably search “new york deli cup” as well… :)


17 Allie July 30, 2012 at 8:59 am

You and crumb topping is me and graham cracker crust. Somehow any cheesecake/key lime pie/etc. that my mom made would end up with the crust sneakily missing from every slice.

And your gf muffins look way lighter/fluffier than my gluten versions ever do, haha. I am the master of (delicious) gooey lumps in muffin tins!


18 spabettie July 30, 2012 at 9:25 am

that crumb topping just disappeared on it’s own, you know? it must melt, that’s it! I think it would happen with crust in our house too… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am VERY excited about these, I’ve been getting closer to the fluffy factor in gluten free baking. I really DO like dense baked goods, but I love that I’m getting better!


19 dorry July 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

these look amazing, Kris! I admire your dedication to gluten-free baking. I see a cookbook and a bakery in your future. and I’ll be at the opening for sure! or beforehand if you need someone to sample the goods…


20 Jana July 31, 2012 at 7:22 am

made these this morning, amazing! they are perfect and moist! thank you for the recipe!


21 spabettie August 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

you are welcome, Jana! so happy to hear you liked them!


22 Carrie July 31, 2012 at 8:46 am

Wow, these look absolutely scrumptious! I better not show Alan this recipe, he would probably want me to make a double batch ASAP since he’s still dreaming about the crumb cake he devoured at Sweetpea. :)


23 spabettie August 2, 2012 at 8:29 am

you should surprise him with them then! :) double crumble on top!


24 Kristy July 31, 2012 at 11:24 am

These look so great! I never would have thought to combine cherries and zucchini bread AND crumb topping, even though these are some of my favorite things. I admire you for trying to grow in gluten-free baking- it looks like your doing a fabulous job!


25 spabettie August 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

thank you Kristy! I am always excited when something turns out great like this… there have been many a heavy baked good around here… ๐Ÿ˜‰


26 natalie@thesweetslife July 31, 2012 at 11:35 am

these look amazing! i don’t have gluten-free ingredients on hand but I want to make a regular ‘ol gluten version of these!


27 spabettie August 2, 2012 at 8:17 am

that should be easy to do, Natalie – I hope you make these, SO good! :)


28 Baker Street July 31, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Cherry and zucchini is such a fantastic combination! These would really be perfect for breakfast! :)


29 spabettie August 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

thank you!! they were… I need to make more!


30 Mom Foodie August 1, 2012 at 4:36 am

Cherries never last long enough around my daughter for me to put them in anything …lol


31 ally August 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

cherry & zucchini!? how brilliantly creative. lovely!


32 Kath (My Funny Little Life) August 3, 2012 at 4:36 am

Okay now this one I’ve sent to my mom because she loves baking and my dad loves muffins and they both eat gluten free and the idea to use zucchini is just too cool ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€


33 spabettie August 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

oh I hope she makes these – I was SO HAPPY with how they turned out!!


34 Laura Dembowski August 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

These look great. I love zucchini muffins and cherry muffins, but have never thought to put them together. It’s so fun when recipes work out as good, or even better, than you thought they would. I also love crumb topping; it definitely makes pretty much any dessert better :)


35 spabettie August 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

I am still excited about how well this recipe turned out – the gluten free baking is not an easy thing ๐Ÿ˜‰


36 Sarah (appifanie) August 28, 2012 at 5:19 am

these look amazing – i can’t wait to make them!


37 spabettie August 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

thanks Sarah – I was so very happy with this recipe! :)


38 Elena August 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I was a little scared when it said to pour the batter into the cupcake papers. Mine was way too thick to pour–more like a cookie dough. But they turned out great.


39 Kristina Sloggett August 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm

oh good! you know, now that I think back, I think this was more of a spoon in thing for me too – I should change that description. :)


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