My second installment of March Muffin Madness, Pumpkin Mochi Muffins, starts out very similar to my first installment in which I shared my new recipe for Applesauce Muffins. This time I had pumpkin puree in the fridge. I had thawed the last container left from my fall efforts and wanted to turn it into a muffin. If you’re a longtime gfe reader, you already know that I love all things pumpkin. This affection is evidenced in this gfe pumpkin recipe roundup and my never-ending Pumpkin Pie Plus … series; this post qualifies for that, too!
I didn’t want to make your basic pumpkin muffin that’s just pumpkin bread in muffin form. I also didn’t want to use almond flour for this particular recipe. Not everyone who reads gfe can eat tree nuts so as much as I love using almond flour, it is not always an option for my readers.
So again this time (and like I do most of the time before creating a recipe), I looked to my pantry to see what options I did have. Sweet rice flour, also known as Mochiko or “glutinous” rice flour, was staring back at me. Sweet rice flour is another ingredient that I buy at my local Asian grocery store. (I also buy white rice flour, tapioca starch/flour, and potato starch there.)
Sweet rice flour is great for making gravy or similar sauces, for breading, and can be used in some baking. Often sweet rice flour is used in conjunction with other gluten-free flours and starches to create a lighter baked good. The “glutinous” description does not refer to gluten—it’s gluten free or I wouldn’t be using it, of course—but refers to the stickiness of the rice that was ground to make the flour. Sweet rice flour is a very fine, white, bland flour derived from a strain of short grain rice that is stickier, more starchy, and smoother textured than common white rice.
Lovers of Asian food know that sweet rice flour is the key ingredient for very delectable dessert treats called mochi or that use mochi, molded sticky rice treats that use that same short grain rice that is used to create sweet rice flour. I’ve lived a fairly sheltered life when it comes to foods from different cultures. So I’ve only enjoyed mochi once previously, in ice cream form, when it was part of a lunch catered by Big Bowl on my trip to General Mills and the Betty Crocker Kitchen for the Gluten-Free Bloggers Summit. I loved it! So when my Google search of “pumpkin sweet rice flour” revealed lots of recipes for pumpkin with sweet rice flour, I got excited.
There were many variations of pumpkin mochi cake that used butter and sweetened condensed milk, or evaporated milk or coconut milk. However, none of the recipes I saw for pumpkin mochi cake were gluten free. One person had used a basic Pumpkin Mochi Cake recipe and a muffin tin to make Pumpkin Mochi Muffins for Thanksgiving. Another had made Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I got even more excited when I saw that gluten-free recipe! In the end, I came up with a recipe that’s gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free and even uses less sweetener than most mochi dessert recipes.
I really like these muffins. They are not the tall muffins that impress one on looks, but rather the kind of muffin that looks quite a bit less than perfect (some would even say ugly), but taste so good! They remind me a bit of these Pumpkin Pucks. Shorter, flatter mounds of goodness, but for the record, their treats are much more attractive than these Pumpkin Mochi Muffins.
One important thing you need to know is that the mochi factor means that these muffins are not to be eaten immediately. They need to cool for at least an hour before eating. After 2 or 3 hours, they’ll taste even better. The flavors and ingredients need to “gel” to offer that mochi taste and texture. But if you make this recipe into mini-muffins, you can knock about 15 or 20 minutes off your waiting time! Just sayin. (You’ll find the recipe with directions for either the mini or the full-size muffin at the bottom of this post.)
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks, once again, to all who took the time to enter the giveaway. Congrats to Arleen, Thia, Grace and Angela!For today’s MMM giveaway, I’m giving away the palm sugar that I like to use, Navitas Naturals Organic Palm Sugar. There will be FOUR winners.
And here’s your recipe …
Pumpkin Mochi Muffins
If you like mochi desserts, you're going to love these Pumpkin Mochi Muffins. The longer they sit, the better they get!
- 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree (if using fresh, all extra liquid must be drained off before measuring and baking)
- ¼ cup coconut cream (the thick cream at the top of the can of full-fat coconut milk after it’s been refrigerated for at least 24 hours, preferably longer)
- ½ cup of full-fat coconut milk (see notes)
- ½ cup coconut or palm sugar (or granulated cane sugar or a mixture of brown sugar and granulated cane sugar; may use more or less, to taste)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ginger
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 heaping cup sweet rice flour (just a little over a cup, as in not a level measurement)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin cups or line with cupcake liners.
- In large bowl, add ingredients in the order shown being sure to stir in the sweet rice flour right before adding in eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
- Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full.
- For mini muffins, bake about 10 minutes. For full-size muffins, bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Test for doneness using a toothpick.
- Cool for at least one hour before serving, preferably more. (This step is important. Be patient.)
- Makes about one dozen full-size muffins
I used a wooden spoon to mix this batter, but feel free to use a hand mixer if you like. The sweet rice flour does “harden” when mixed with liquid and clumps can form, so be sure to break those up if using a wooden spoon. For the coconut milk, I just used some from the same can that was part cream and part lighter milk since I’d already scalped most of the cream. The sweet rice flour gets added before the eggs so that the eggs (if still a little bit cold) don’t harden the coconut oil. These muffins are mildly flavored, so if you really like some spice, feel free to add more cinnamon and ginger, pumpkin pie spice, etc. You can smooth the tops of the muffins with your finger or a spoon before baking if you’d like for a prettier appearance as they will maintain their shape. I don’t know if these muffins can be made egg free. If anyone tries that, please let me know. I used cute cupcake liners that a co-worker who likes my baked goods gave me for Christmas, but I think I’d prefer these muffins baked in greased muffin tins. I’d like the outside to be a bit crispier.
You can see the complete muffin roundup here!
Hi, I left a comment yesterday about your gluten and dairy free pizza muffins. I am only 12, but I would like to possibly win the giveway for the palm sugar, I would like to try a new ingredient for baking!
Michelle Stone says
These look good. I have used glutinous rice in my baking before, but didn’t know about needing to let it cool before trying to eat it.I just started hearing about palm sugar this year. My kids and I tried it and we LOVE it!!! It is a bit pricey, so I generally just use it where either honey or stevia won’t really work.
I would LOVE to win this :). It’d be nice to not have to grate palm sugar off of my chunks o’ palm sugar I bought at the Asian market and try the pre-grated kind (especially Organic!). Thanks for the opportunity to win!
I have used date sugar and coconut sugar but not palm sugar. Would love to try it.
These muffins look delish!
Your muffins look great. I love making muffins with pureed fruit and/or veggies; they lend a natural sweetness reducing the need for sweeteners. I have become a huge fan of both coconut and palm sugar and have been using them more than refined sugar lately.
This recipe looks yummy. I’m from Hawaii and grew up in a Japanese house and mochiko flour was a primary ingredient in my mom’s kitchen. Using pumpkin and mochiko flour sounds like a good combo, I’ll have to give this a try and will forward your recipe it to my daughter, who lives in Hawaii. BTW, I have a chicken recipe to share that you can make with mochiko flour that is awesome – http://www.grouprecipes.com/82620/mochiko-chicken.html. I use wheat free tamari in place of the soy sauce. You can use bone in or boneless chicken and grilling it if you can is yummy or you can bake it or fry it like the recipe says. The marinading process is key for the flavor. Thanks Shirley!
I love anything with the word mochi in it! 🙂 And pumpkin, as you know!
Palm sugar has an extraordinary flavor. I would be thrilled to try some that isn’t clumped! And I have some leftover zucchini-apple in my freezer. Going to try your recipe with that. Yum!
Claire Smith says
Oh my goodness! I have been wanting to try palm sugar for quite some time now, but the darned stuff is so very expensive. I want to make caramel corn and granola and pancakes and cookies….. all without refined sugars. My fingers are crossed! Thank you for this amazing giveaway!
I’m loving March Muffin Madness! This recipe sounds amazing (although I am a sucker for anything with coconut milk and/or vanilla in it) and I just happen to have a bag of sweet rice flour handy. I might have to try swapping out the pumpkin for sweet potato, and make a super recipe with all my fave ingredients.
These sound great! And of course anything with coconut sugar is good by me, right? 😉
Ina Gawne says
Shirley – anything pumpkin has my vote, love it! Its nice to have so many different healthier sugars available now too!
I love pumpkin too Shirley! Wonder if I can substitute almond flour instead of the rice since my blood sugar goes bezerk so easily. I still haven’t tried palm sugar yet but I will:D
P.S. I’m in Denver working with my sister for the next week. Lots of great gluten free food here!
I would love to give palm sugar a try!
I already have so many of your recipes printed out and added to my gluten-free binder…keep them coming! My family loves trying new things.
I’ve just recently heard abt palm sugar. Is is from the same source that gives us palm oil? I always use an organic raw sugar so I’m interested in hearing more abt palm sugar and i would love to win some so i could try it!
Another yummy muffin recipe! I just made the applesauce muffins yesterday and they are delicious. Now off to find some sweet rice flour.
Would love the chance to win the palm sugar 🙂
Aunt Jayne says
As always, YUM! You have the best stuff on here.
Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry says
I love a good pumpkin muffin. These look so scrumptious. Have a lovely weekend Shirley!
I would love to try coconut sugar. I use regular and sucanant at times but have yet to try coconut sugar because of the expense!
Andrea @Andreas Kitchen says
Your muffins sound wonderful! I am just starting to buy some healthier types of sugar for my baking because I think our bodies will be much happier. I have been in a race to test as many recipes as I can before it gets hot here in AZ. I haven’t baked a thing this week though because we needed a break!
I would love to try palm sugar in my baking.
InTolerant Chef says
I use glutinous rice flour a lot, its a great ingredient. These muffins look so yummy and such a pretty colour too!
I’m so excited to use sweet rice flour for your muffins! I already have some of my fall pumpkin puree thawed too (I’m a big pumpkin fan and made bars last Sunday). Thanks for the recipe and giveaway!
Cindy W. says
I have never used palm sugar but would like to try it. Thank you for the giveaway!
Cathy M says
I love eating palm sugar just out of hand, hehe. Would love to win to actually cook with it!
Thanks for another great recipe. I always learn something new on your blog!
Thanks for the great giveaways too. You offer many products I have never heard of or have never tried. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Today is my very first day on a gluten free diet, and if im being honest im a bit overwhelmed, but your recipe look delicious and I cant wait to try it!
would love to try this sugar….thanks for the contest!!
Susan Jonell Roragen says
I have wanted to try palm sugar for a long time…this would be terrific way to break into using it.
I’ve only tried an teensy bit of palm sugar once at an friend’s house. She gave me a tiny bit to try on a spoon. I was on my way out the door but I swear I just wanted to grab the whole thing from her hands and eat it like candy! 😀
I love mochi! Ok I love Japanese food in general although trying to make it vegetarian and gluten free isn’t always easy.
I really like working with mochiko flour, so fine, almost like cornstarch, especially the one from the asian store (and much cheaper, I buy most of my flours there for a fraction of what they cost at the regular store).
About the flour hardening and getting lumpy, have you tried starting with the flour and adding the rest of the ingredients to it? I find that, just like cornstarch, is easier to keep it smooth if I add liquid to flour (in increments) instead of flour to liquid. Of course I don’t know if altering the order would make any difference on the end result, just an idea.
Man, if I wasn’t missing the coconut cream I would bake me some muffins right now…at 1:35 a.m. lol
Kathleen Conner says
I like the idea of using palm sugar instead of brown sugar–I love the caramelized flavor.
John Billiris says
I love pumpkin pie, and I’ve started looking into baking more to broaden the foods we eat. Thanks for the recipe.
I love palm sugar, but have never tried this brand! Thanks for posting a give away! 🙂
Janelle (Gluten Freely Frugal) says
Wow, these look so yummy! I’m on a huge muffin kick recently, so I’ll have to try these! Thanks for sharing on Allergy-Free Wednesday.