ABC Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

ABC … as in Almond Banana Carrot. The ABC muffin recipe is an adaptation of an almond muffin recipe created by Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut, which is also featured in The Spunky Coconut Cookbook. I’ve known I wanted to make this recipe of Kelly’s for quite some time. I just didn’t know what I wanted to include in my version.

As I’ve shared before, I’m gradually learning to like baked fruit. Bananas are never a problem. I am all about including “baking bananas” in recipes and at any given time, my  freezer contents prove it. (You might want to read my Going Bananas post to know exactly what I mean. I need a freezer banana exorcism right now, in fact—even after making the ABC muffins.) But, I’m still learning to love other baked fruits. My Crustless Apple Pie has certainly gotten me past my fear of baked apples (deliciously so, I might add).  And, I’ve made a Strawberry Cobbler using baked peaches and, of course, strawberries. But, for this recipe, another blogger friend’s creation—and my solution—came to mind. Lisa, also known as “Anali,” of Anali’s First Amendment, made Banana Carrot Cupcakes a while back.

When I saw Lisa’s post, I just knew I’d have to make something along those lines. (I’ve been inspired to convert one of Anali’s recipes to gluten-free goodness before … yet another banana recipe—Banana Kahlua Coconut Cake.) The banana-carrot combination just sounded so good, and even healthier. Now, add almond flour, coconut oil, and some chopped walnuts to the mix and you’ve got a cross between banana bread and carrot cake.  So, that’s how I came up with these ABC muffins, adapting Kelly’s great recipe with delightful inspiration from Anali.

You’ll want to make these as soon as possible. I’ve already had to email the recipe to the folks who sampled them the other morning. They refused to wait a day or two for me to post the recipe on gfe! If you like the looks of this recipe and/or are already a fan of The Spunky Coconut, you’ll want to head over to my Out and About page for a giveaway of Kelly’s cookbook—herewith some more photos of her recipes. If you need more convincing to try a version of Kelly’s recipe, Ali, at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, also made a version you’ll want to check out—Almond Cherry Muffins. Finally, check out one of Kelly’s versions, Strawberry Almond Muffins, here. In this version, she substitutes applesauce for part of the honey and uses buckwheat flour in addition to almond flour. There are just so many variations and they all taste great—dense; moist; sweet enough, but not too sweet; and healthy.

Almond Banana Carrot (ABC) Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)

Add to bowl:

3/4 cup honey
3 large eggs (at room temperature; cold eggs will harden the coconut oil—works best if eggs are stirred in one at a time)
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquefied (any other oil should work, but coconut oil is very healthy)

Beat. (You can use an electric mixer, but I just used a wooden spoon. I’m anti-mixer most of the time. I want to keep that upper arm strength.)


2 cups almond flour (I used Honeyville blanched almond flour)
1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (I used my own gluten-free flour mix—see notes)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt



1 cup mashed, ripe bananas
¾ cup grated carrots
¼ cup chopped walnuts
(or 1 – 2 cups total of fruit and/or nuts)

Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups, to almost full.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes.

Makes about 14.

*I can’t tolerate many of the healthier, gluten-free flours; e.g., sorghum, buckwheat. Therefore, my gluten-free flour mix is 3 parts Asian white rice flour and 2 parts cornstarch. I gently mix three one-lb bags of the Asian white rice flour and two one-lb boxes of cornstarch in a very large bowl and then store the mix in several airtight containers (like large glass jars). No refrigeration is needed. If you’d like to learn more about how to select the right gluten-free flour for all your recipes, you’ll want to check out Amy’s (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free) current series on Understanding & Choosing Gluten-Free FlourPart 1 here and Part 2 here.

Recipe adapted from Kelly Brozyna at The Spunky Coconut, The Spunky Coconut Cookbook, and The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts

Shirley’s Notes: The batter will be orange as you can see above, but the final muffins will be a lovely deep brown with only an orange tint. My batch made 18 muffins … probably because I only filled the muffin tins 2/3 full and also because I used a total of 2 cups of fruit and nuts. Kelly sometimes uses 1 cup versus 2. She uses sliced strawberries, blueberries, etc., and even substitutes some applesauce for part of the honey or some liquid vanilla Stevia. If you are not gluten free, all-purpose flour may be used.

My muffins were actually nice and high when I peeked in on them, but alas, I had to turn off the oven and leave for an appointment. When I returned, they were cooked perfectly, but flat. Mr. GFE called them Forgotten Muffins.

Incidentally, if you stopped by looking for Super Bowl recipes or perhaps have your own recipe to share, you’ll want to check out Diane’s Friday Foodie Fix—Super Bowl Party Foods over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. As the storm of the century is occurring, I’m turning a chicken carcass into broth as my base for our favorite Tortilla Soup. But, to be honest, as much as I love snow, I’m ready for a change of scenery. So, I was absolutely pleased as punch (rum punch, that is) to see that Bean of Without Adornment has chosen Tropical Vacation as this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free theme. Check out the guidelines here.  I’m sooo ready for this roundup.

Next Sunday is Valentine’s Day. To celebrate, I’m doing another acronym-titled event here at gfe—the SSS …”Triple S” … “S cubed” … A Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts. Every day, I’ll have a post with a dessert or treat. They’ll certainly all be gluten free, but some will also be dairy free, some refined sugar free, some raw, some featuring surprise ingredients … there’ll be some ice cream, some cake, something for breakfast. You’re sure to find something to make for all your sweethearts!

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix–CarrotsFriday Foodie Fix–HoneySlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, and Friday Foodie Fix–Carrots.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


31 Responses to “ABC Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)”

  1. RT on February 6th, 2010 8:04 am

    Great recipe. Do you know how it might go with an egg substitute (I’m also off eggs). I’ve made muffins using a combo of sorghum and brown rice flour before that worked well, but seemed to need more sweetness than the old whole-wheat/oat muffins from the gluten-eating days. How do you find the sweetness in this muffin?

    • Shirley on February 6th, 2010 2:59 pm

      Hi RT–Welcome to gfe! I don’t see any reason at all why egg substitutes wouldn’t work, but can’t say with 100% certainty. Please let us know if you give them a try. I used to use a heaping tbsp of soy flour and one tbsp of water to replace each egg in quick bread recipes like banana. (Read more here.) This recipe is similar to banana bread in its density, so that substitution or others should work—hopefully. I happen to be a person who likes sweet and I found these sweet enough for me. I really liked them. I am fond of the honey flavor. If you are too, I think you’ll be happy with these. However, one friend said she especially liked these muffins because they weren’t too sweet, so it’s definitely a personal preference thing. Because you are not using eggs, you can actually taste the batter to see how that tastes to you … to determine if you want to add slightly more honey.

      Good luck and don’t forget to enter the giveaway on my Out and About page if you are interested in The Spunky Coconut Cookbook!


  2. Emily on February 6th, 2010 11:16 am

    Yum Shirley, these look great! And I’m sure the photos don’t even do it justice (how’s your new camera working out anyway? Pictures look good!) Your upcoming V-day posts sounds cute! Hope Mr GFE has something special planned for you- you being the baking extraordinaire that you are, he has got his work cut out for himself!!
    I’m off to try and win myself a copy of Kelly’s amazing cookbook :-)


    • Shirley on February 6th, 2010 3:17 pm

      Hi Em–I always love your comments. They remind me of my own ;-) … jammed pack full of stuff! I love that. :-) I can’t say I’m totally crazy about the new camera. I don’t think the images are as sharp, but I very much appreciate your positive feedback! Maybe I’ll graduate to an SLR in a few months–as my many blogger friends advise.

      I don’t make Mr. GFE work too hard on V Day any more. LOL Every other year we have our big party and that’s celebration enough. On the off years (like this one), we usually just have a quiet meal at home or do a dinner out a few days before or after V Day. V Day is probably THE worst day to dine out, so we don’t do that. I am a bit glad this is not a V Day party year because it would be next Saturday and I think things will still be pretty messy around here by then with this snow storm we’re having. But, still I’ll miss that V Day celebration.

      Thanks for your always sweet words (they make my day) and best of luck on the giveaway of Kelly’s fab cookbook!


    • Shirley on February 8th, 2010 10:08 pm

      Hi Em–Well, I don’t know what happened … I replied promptly to your comment and now skimming through comments to make sure I replied to everyone I see that it’s not here. Must have been on of those times my PC locked up. Aaargh. Anyway, thanks for the feedback on the muffins! You’re right … the photos don’t do them justice. New camera is okay … the images aren’t as sharp as with my previous camera. Maybe I need to graduate to an SLR soon …

      I let Mr. GFE off fairly easy. We have our big party every other year, so on off years, we have a quiet dinner at home or out, but NOT on V Day. That’s the worst day to eat out IMO.

      Best of luck in the giveaway! :-)


  3. Stephanie @ glutenfreebynature on February 6th, 2010 11:26 am

    Hey Shirley

    Great post. These muffins look delish. What is it about muffins? They are so comforting. I absolutely love the apple carrot combination.
    Thanks to for reminding me about Go Ahead Honey- I have been scheming about my “take me away, please!” tropical submission. Wishing that we were snowed in so I would have an excuse to hunker down and bake. We really need some moisture out here. Have a great weekend!

    • Shirley on February 6th, 2010 3:27 pm

      Hi Stephanie!–I have to agree … muffins are definitely big in the comfort category. I’ve always been a muffin lover. This combination was everything I hoped for. :-)

      Go Ahead Honey is always a blast and the Tropical Vacation theme will be especially fun. I’ve got my drink plans and a good idea on what I want to make. It’s something I’ve actually been wanting to make for a while, so I’m glad there’s a great reason to give it a try now. ;-)

      Sending you some of this moisture from the East Coast … maybe the snow will end earlier that way. LOL Hugsss,


  4. Alta on February 6th, 2010 6:03 pm

    These look really good! Definitely on my list. I am a huge muffin-baking fan.

    • Shirley on February 7th, 2010 9:30 am

      Hey Alta–Thanks so much! I don’t know who can resist a good muffin. I’d make some more right now except I’m waiting on more of the Honeyville almond flour to arrive. I have just enough to make one more recipe for my blog (for my Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts). ;-)

      Happy Sunday!


  5. Kim on February 6th, 2010 7:32 pm

    OH, Shirley, these muffins look awesome! :)

    • Shirley on February 7th, 2010 10:11 am

      Hi there, Kim!–Thank you, dear! :-) I plan to make these often … as soon as I replenish my almond flour supply. ;-)

      Have a great Sunday!


  6. Sean on February 7th, 2010 12:14 am

    These muffins look pretty good.

    • Shirley on February 7th, 2010 10:45 am

      Hi Sean–Thanks! Give them a try … I think you’ll love them. :-)


  7. Laura on February 7th, 2010 5:47 pm

    Oh, I am sooo excited to make these!
    I’ve got my grocery list ready to go.

    • Shirley on February 7th, 2010 7:44 pm

      Hi Laura–Great to see you again here at gfe! I hope your transition to being so “free” ;-) is still going very well. Enjoy these. As soon as I’m restocked with almond flour, these muffins are going to become a regular on our menu. There are just so many possibilities for additions, depending upon the season.

      Enjoy! And, please report back to let us know what you think. :-)


  8. Anali on February 8th, 2010 1:29 am

    I always love seeing you adapt my recipes! What a compliment! Thank you and now I can link this to my original. ; )

    • Shirley on February 8th, 2010 7:23 pm

      Hey there, Anali!–Awww, glad you are pleased. :-) I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel on this recipe because of the groundwork you and Kelly had already laid. ;-) I think there are one or two more of yours that I still want to adapt if I recall. Your recipes always look so delicious! Thanks so much for linking to my muffin adaptation!

      I’m wondering if you are going to BlogHer Food ’10. I registered right away! Can’t wait to meet up with so many friends again. :-)


  9. Cindy on February 8th, 2010 9:32 pm

    These were inspirational and delicious!

    I’m new to gluten-free, but not to muffins. If they are to be eaten soon, you can eliminate almost all of the oil with very little loss of texture or “deliciousness.” I used only a tablespoon of oil and 2 bananas and they were a big hit everyone. I probably will make them regularly (but different every time!). thanks again.

    • Shirley on February 8th, 2010 9:41 pm

      Hi there, Cindy–Welcome to gfe! So glad you all enjoyed the muffins and thanks so much for sharing your modification. I know exactly what you mean about eating them soon. I also know what you mean about not being new to muffins … muffins and I go wayyy back. LOL Won’t it be fun to make them differently each time? I’m imagining all kinds of possibilities. :-)


  10. Diane-The W.H.O.L.E. Gang on March 29th, 2010 8:22 am

    We are turning into a muffin family. This will go on my list to make next time I have ripe bananas. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.

    • Shirley on March 29th, 2010 8:48 pm

      Hey Diane–You mean you don’t have a stash of baking bananas like I do? Gosh, I have some I could give you … it’s a shame we don’t live closer. ;-) These muffins are fantastic. I hope you’ll try them soon.


  11. KathyinMD on January 23rd, 2011 4:01 pm

    Wow, the honey flavor really comes through! These are very tasty muffins, and I’m delighted that you’ve used almond flour. My health needs have changed a little bit and I am supposed to use all almond flour (which I did for my batch). I used one banana and one carrot and filled up the rest of the 2 cups with nuts. YUM. These are fantastic! I need not to put as much in the muffin tins though – they overflowed. Oops.

    • Shirley on January 23rd, 2011 8:14 pm

      Hi Kathy–So nice to see you again! :-) I do love those muffins, and I’m so glad you do, too. As soon as I saw your comment, I remembered exactly how they tasted! I’m using more and more almond flour, too. Sorry about the overflow … I didn’t have that problem with this reciep, but it can certainly happen with muffins from time to time. Only when the muffins become inedible is it a serious issue. ;-)


  12. Jude on July 13th, 2012 3:12 am

    Deliscious!!! These didn’t taste at all like usual GF baked goods!
    I added 1 cup of left over Gf muesli (full of grains, dried fruit & corn flakes) and 1 cup made up of carrot & Banana also a little less honey… Yummo. This will b my staple gf muffin recipe from now on, my family loved them!!

    • Shirley on July 13th, 2012 6:09 am

      Hi Jude–Welcome to gfe! :-) What a lovely review to wake up to this morning–thank you so much! I especially appreciate you sharing your changes with us. Your version sounds “Yummo” indeed. ;-)


  13. Lisa on November 11th, 2012 6:28 pm

    Thanks for the ABC Muffin recipe. I made these yesterday for a potluck and I had requests for the recipe. I used olive oil in place of the coconut oil and I used 2 apples for the fruit part of the recipe. YUMMY!!!!! Gluten-free or not…I have never had a muffin this moist. Excellent! They are so easy and quick to make. These will be great for the kid lunch rotation. Thank You

    • Shirley on November 12th, 2012 1:52 am

      Hi Lisa–Welcome, and thank you so much for the feedback/kind words! This is one of my very favorite muffin recipes, so I’m glad you and others loved it so much. :-) I love that this recipe will become part of your kids’ lunch rotation, too. ;-)


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