Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Beer Muffins and 3-Minute Chocolate Beer Cake

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Beer Muffins (One for You, One for Me)

I handed Mr. GFE a Chocolate Beer Muffin as we made our way through Saturday morning traffic on the way to our mountain property recently. He gobbled it down, but said nothing as he concentrated on driving.

A few moments later …

Mr. GFE: “Did you notice how I missed that pothole?”

Me: “Yes, I did. There’ll be a trophy waiting for you when we get to our property.”

Mr. GFE (half scowling at me): “Positive actions should be rewarded.”

Me: “You only notice when I hit potholes. And forget the potholes for a minute. How are the muffins?”

Mr. GFE fails to acknowledge my comment. Maybe he didn’t hear me, I think. Uh huh … A few minutes later, Mr. GFE hits a pothole. I am amused, but remain silent.

We pass through another intersection and I brighten as I see a business of interest.

Me: “Hey, look there’s a trophy place right there! (I pause for emphasis.) But sadly you just hit a pothole so that cancels out the avoidance points you made a few minutes ago.”

Mr. GFE surprises me by chuckling, but says nothing.

Me: “Here have another muffin. That will make up for the trophy loss.”

Mr. GFE smiles and then bites into another muffin. “It does, “ he admits only slightly begrudgingly.

About a week later, Mr. GFE commented positively about some change that has been made at home. I don’t remember the specifics, but I beamed and said, “I did that!” Mr. GFE didn’t miss a beat … he quipped, “Do you want a trophy for that? I know where I can get one.”

I burst out laughing. But enough of sharing the bantering from the gfe household, I know that you guys want to hear more about these muffins!

My dear and wonderful friend, Jules Shepard, creator of Jules Gluten-Free Flour, author of several gluten-free “must have” books (including The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed and Free For All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy), and most recently the co-instigator of the Gluten-Free Labeling Summit (yippee for the latest action from the FDA on gluten-free labeling!)  in Washington, D.C. was one of the gluten-free bloggers who came to stay with me in June. She brought a package of Only Oats Decadent Chocolate Muffin Mix with her. She’d receivc it to try out, but hadn’t gotten to it yet. As my other, also wonderful, gluten-free blogger friends present (Stephanie of Gluten Free By Nature and Nancy of The Sensitive Pantry) didn’t eat eggs, Jules’ plan was to make the muffins egg free and also reinvent them as Decadent Chocolate Beer Muffins. Jules is famous for her Chocolate Beer Cake, so Chocolate Beer Muffins sounded like an easy segue. However, we had so many other wonderful things to eat (including this Blueberry Banana Buckle) that unfortunately we never got to the muffins.

My next idea was to make the Only Oats muffin for my support group’s June meeting, but Brooke Parkhurst of Triple Oak Bakery in Sperryville, Virginia was presenting that evening. Brooke brought her wonderful baked goods to share (Pecan Brownies, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, and Chocolate Chip Cookies) and also demonstrated how to make Blueberry Scones. As our meeting was ending, members got to sample the hot homemade blueberry scones right out of the oven. Very nice indeed! But with all of Brooke’s delightful goodies, we certainly didn’t need another.

Luckily for me, Jules left me with not only the Only Oats Decadent Chocolate Muffin Mix, but also plenty of beer to convert the mix into Chocolate Beer Muffins. As you already know from Mr. GFE’s and my conversation above, I made the muffins for us to take camping. Per Jules guidance, I used Green’s Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale. Instead of simply replacing the water in the mix with beer, I reduced the oil amount, used coconut oil instead of canola oil, and increased the amount of the liquid; i.e., the beer. Not only did Mr. GFE and I love these muffins, but longtime friends of ours—a family of four who visited us for the day at the mountains—also loved them. As my friend Veronica said, the complementary flavor of the beer deepens the chocolate flavor in the muffins, and also cuts back on the sweetness just a bit. As I like more and more of my baked goods with less sweetness, that’s a good thing in my opinion.

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Only Oats Decadent Chocolate Muffins Become Chocolate Beer Muffins

Right after we returned from camping, we were hosting my family for a birthday celebration for me, my sister, and my niece. (Our birthdays are staggered … two days apart with me leading off.) After our crab feast, these muffins made for the perfect base for ice cream sundaes. Everyone truly loved them! So much so that the remaining muffins went out the door in goodie bags.

While as you well know, I don’t usually go for gluten-free specialty baking mixes, but this product from Only Oats is truly outstanding in my opinion. The flour is oat flour, a whole grain. All of the Only Oats products are certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). That means that they’ve been inspected by a third party, the GFCO, and determined to contain less than 10 parts per million gluten. Only Oats is a Canadian product and can be purchased online here. (It may also be available for purchase inCanada, but I don’t have information on that.) Each bag of muffin mix costs $12. While I agree that sounds outrageous, consider that each bag of mix makes three and half batches of muffins (12 muffins in each batch). So the pricing is comparable to other gluten-free mixes, and when you consider that most of the other mixes are ingredients like rice flour, the Only Oats mix is a far better value. Oh, and what are you supposed to do with that half batch of mix? Hold on a minute and I’ll tell you!

Now for those who appreciate a good mix, but prefer to be able to make muffins any time they want without having to worry that they have a mix on hand, I’ve got the recipe for you today. It took a few tries, but I’m happy with it now (and so are my co-workers and Mr. GFE—my guinea pigs!). You can make one batch of muffins (12) or you can double or triple the dry ingredients and have your own muffin mix on hand for any time you get a craving.

Decadent Chocolate Beer Muffins  
( Click here for a printable version of these recipes. )

Dry Ingredients (Muffins Mix)

1 scant cup certified gluten-free oat flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar (or coconut/palm sugar; see notes)
¾ cup cocoa
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp xanthan gum (optional, see notes)

Wet Ingredients

¼ cup oil (use one that’s light in flavor; e.g., coconut, grapeseed)
1/3 cup gluten-free beer (Green’s Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale is the recommended gluten-free beer for this recipe.)
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 12 foil liners to muffin tin.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add in all wet ingredients except beer and stir until incorporated. Measure beer carefully, waiting for beer to settle down to get accurate measurement. Stir in beer and mix fairly well. Note that the mixture will foam up when beer is added. (This is a good thing. The beer adds volume as well as moisture and flavor to your muffins.)

Fill muffin cups/liners almost, but not quite, full.

Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool muffins for at least a few minutes before removing from the pan and eating.

~ For Decadent Chocolate Muffins only–with no beer included, you should be able to make the following changes to the ingredients above. (Note that of this writing, I have not yet tried these changes myself, but they follow the ingredients and amounts used in Only Oats’ mix.)

Use 1/3 cup oil instead of measurement shown above and 1/4 cup of water instead of gluten-free beer.

Makes 12 standard-size muffins, but you can also make a Decadent Chocolate Cake (or Decadent Chocolate Beer Cake) by adding the batter to a greased 8-inch or 9-inch square pan and baking about 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Now for any leftover muffin mix from either the Only Oats Decadent Chocolate Muffin Mix or if you want to use your dry muffin mix to make occasional microwave Chocolate Beer Cake, the following recipe is your answer:

3-Minute Chocolate Beer Cake

4 tbsp dry chocolate muffin mix
1 egg
3 tbsp gluten-free beer, preferably Green’s Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale
3 tbsp oil (one that’s light in taste; e.g., grapeseed oil, coconut oil)

Mix all together in small (about 6-inches in diameter) microwave-safe bowl or dish. Cook for 3 minutes on HIGH. Cool. Eat right out of the bowl with a big spoon (and maybe some milk poured over all) or invert bowl/dish to remove cake, using spatula if needed. Cut into four pieces. Serve.

Original recipes from Shirley Braden(inspired by Only Oats Decadent Chocolate Muffin Mix and Jules Shepard’s Chocolate Beer Cake

Shirley’s Notes: If not using foil liners when making muffins, grease muffin cups well. “Scant” means just a tad shy of being full. Ideally, you should use fresh beer (from a newly opened bottle). You can push that for about a day by storing leftover beer in a glass jar in the fridge, but not more than that or the flavor, moisture, etc. will not be nearly as good. I’ve made these muffins with and without xanthan gum. It does add some to the overall integrity of these muffins, but you can certainly leave it out if you need to. If you use coconut or palm sugar in this recipe, the chocolate flavor is not as strong and the muffins taste less sweet. It’s recommended that you store oat flour in the refrigerator; therefore, ideally, if you won’t be using the muffin mix quickly, it should be stored in the refrigerator, too. I talk about options for gluten-free oats here. Note that Jules Gluten-Free Flour also carries Jules Gluten-Free Oats now.


Full disclosure: The Only Oats Decadent Chocolate Muffin Mix reviewed in this post was provided free of charge from the company via a friend. This is an uncompensated review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. 

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Weekly, and Foodie Friday

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.


33 Responses to “Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Beer Muffins and 3-Minute Chocolate Beer Cake”

  1. Vicky on August 3rd, 2011 4:20 pm

    These muffins look lush!

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 12:22 pm

      Hi Vicky–I think this is your first time commenting here at gfe–welcome! :-) Thanks re: my muffins … they are decadently delicious. ;-) I was just eyeing one of your savory recipes at your blog–Vegetable Flan … yum. Made me think of my savory clafoutis! Great minds …


  2. Maggie on August 3rd, 2011 8:56 pm

    Yum! Your pics are awesome Shirley. You deserve a trophy for them – hehehe. xo

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 1:00 pm

      Haha, Maggie, but thanks, dear! These muffins are goooood. I’m betting that they could be made egg free, but my hips are telling me to work on that possibility later. ;-)


  3. Ricki on August 3rd, 2011 9:23 pm

    The muffins (and cake) look great! And what an innovative idea to use beer in them. How lucky that you were given that mix. :) (And Maggie stole my joke–darn!). ;)

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 1:01 pm

      Hi Ricki–Well, Jules paved the way for me. I just took her idea and ran with it. The flavor combination is really terrific! :-) Too funny on Maggie stealing your joke. ;-)


  4. saretta on August 4th, 2011 3:12 am

    It all looks delish. I wish I could get gluten-free oats, but I have not found them anywhere here. And I don’t like the taste of gluten-free beer, but maybe in muffin!

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 1:03 pm

      Hi Saretta–Thank you! Maybe online ordering could be an option for the gf oats? This is the first time I’ve used ready-to-go gluten-free oat flour. Previously, I’ve made by own using the gf oats. I’m not a fan of beer either (gf or gluten-full before going gf), but it really works well in this recipe. Just deepens/enhances the flavor. I think you’d like these muffins. ;-)


  5. Lexie on August 4th, 2011 9:29 am

    Wowza! I wish this recipe had been up on Tuesday when I had to make my own birthday cake. I was hunting down a dense and moist chocolate cake recipe. Sigh. Alas I will just have to have a second celebration. Nice pic, too! And nice husband, too!

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 1:08 pm

      Hey Lexie–Ratfinks! Sometimes timing is with you … sometimes it’s not … darn it. I like the idea of a second celebration though. ;-) Thanks for other kudos, too! :-)


  6. Ina Gawne on August 4th, 2011 9:46 am

    Those muffins look outstanding! Wish I could do oats, sigh, however, I will be on the look out for that beer. In Canada I have only seen one GF Sorghum beer which is not very tasty. Your cake looks so moist and yummy too!

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 2:50 pm

      Hey Ina–Thank you! :-) I bet you could process some quinoa flakes a bit and then use those instead. Can you tolerate quinoa? Wow, only one gf beer? That hardly seems fair. ;-) The beer really adds nicely to the moisture factor in both the muffins and the cake. :-)


  7. Linda on August 4th, 2011 12:03 pm

    Those muffins look wonderful, Shirley. I never have liked beer, and when I sampled a gf brand at Jules’ cooking class I realized that hasn’t changed. So, I think I would use a different liquid in this recipe. They really do look scrumptious.

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 2:52 pm

      Hi Linda–I never liked beer either (gf or otherwise), but I do really like it in this recipe. These muffin don’t taste like beer per se. The beer just deepens the chocolate flavor. I love it! :-)


  8. Alisa Fleming on August 4th, 2011 2:57 pm

    Great idea to use beer in the muffins Shirley!

    I so bet you smirked when he hit that pothole.

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 2:54 pm

      Alisa–Haha, you know I did re: the pothole! ;-) But I kept quiet and that was quite phenomenal. LOL Well, this was totally Jules’ idea, but I’m on board 100% with it now. :-)


  9. Deanna on August 4th, 2011 3:35 pm

    Chocolate and beer? Yum. :)

  10. Beth on August 4th, 2011 9:42 pm

    beer muffins??? how fun!! I used to love making beer bread and never even considered a gluten-free version. I guess it’s the yeast that does it, huh??

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 2:57 pm

      Hi Beth–I’m so not a food scientiest, chemist, etc., but that explanation does make sense. All I kknow is that these are really, really good. :-)


  11. InTolerantChef on August 5th, 2011 12:57 am

    You deserve a trophy for a recipe this yummy! I would make Mr GFE some more muffins but dig some some divots in them and tell him they’re potholes!

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 2:58 pm

      Hi InTolerant Chef–Awww, thanks, dear! And OMG on making potholes in the muffins … I LOVE that idea!!! Next batch for sure! ;-)


  12. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on August 5th, 2011 8:54 am

    Haha – I love the banter! And those muffins sound pretty darn good too! Have a great week end my friend.

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 2:59 pm

      Thank you, dear Carol! Hope you have a weekend filled with lovely goodies, too. ;-)


  13. Debi on August 5th, 2011 1:54 pm

    LOL You and Mr. GFE are a lot like me and Chaz sometimes. :D I could totally imagine that conversation happening in our car. Those muffins looks amazing, too. You know me and chocolate. I’ll have to take a trip to Jungle Jim’s to see what they have in the way of gf beer because the selection at other stores here is seriously lacking.

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 3:01 pm

      Jungle Jim’s??? That sounds like a fun place to visit, Debi! Well, I had to educate our Total Wine & Beer store about gf beer. If they had several brands, grouped together with a gluten-free sign, they’d sell like hotcakes! Glad you like my chocolate creations. ;-)


  14. Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box on August 6th, 2011 10:05 am

    These look so moist! Yum! Thanks for sharing. Jules rocks and so do you!

    • Shirley on August 6th, 2011 3:02 pm

      Hi Carla–It’s great to see you–thanks so much for the sweet words! :-)


  15. Jeanette on August 6th, 2011 3:00 pm

    Now these look super chocolatey and moist. I love the rise in these muffins – wonder if the beer helps with this. I’d never think to use beer in muffins. Great pictures!

  16. cheryl on August 7th, 2011 10:26 pm

    The muffins look incredible! Mine tend to be a bit on the shorter side. I hadn’t heard of that mix before, so I’ll keep an eye out.

    • Shirley on August 11th, 2011 9:21 pm

      Hi Cheryl–Belated thanks! These muffins are awfully good. :-) I didn’t include a link for the mix because I couldn’t get the website to work recently, but you should be able to order them from Only Oats online. Definitely a great mix, but I’m happy I created a “reasonable facsimile.” ;-)


  17. Heather on August 8th, 2011 8:11 pm

    I love the bantering. So cute. ;)

    • Shirley on August 11th, 2011 9:22 pm

      Hi Heather–Thanks! Bantering can be fun. :-)


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