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Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins {gluten-free and vegan}

 Naturally-sweetened with grated apples and maple syrup, and loaded with raisins and walnuts, these apple cinnamon quinoa muffins are my favorite muffin in the whole world! I used to make them with white flour, sugar, and eggs but I switched those ingredients out for this more nutritious gluten-free and vegan version. Favorite muffins–same, same, but different.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins --vegan and gluten-free | Letty's Kitchen

Home-selling wisdom says that if a prospective buyer tours a home with a warm cinnamon fragrance filling the air, they are more likely to buy. For sale or not, a cinnamon-spiced kitchen is an invitation to stay.

Welcome to my cinnamon kitchen! Here’s how I made my favorite apple cinnamon muffins more nutritious and gluten free vegan!
Click here to PIN Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins.
The first to go was the sugar—instead came maple syrup. Next, out with white flour. I could have swapped in whole wheat flour, but went for gluten-free instead, with high-protein quinoa flour, which proved to be a good substitute for gluten-full wheat flour. Some say quinoa flour can have a bitter taste in baked goods, but I didn’t detect it in these muffins, what with all the apples, raisins, walnuts–and of course, cinnamon.

So, I mused, since those changes didn’t screw up my muffins, let’s go for vegan as well. Ambitious you say, don’t mess with a good thing by taking out the egg?

vegan Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins baked, in muffin tins

Well, I’m here to tell you that a mucus slurry of flax seeds and water, a “flax egg”, is a damn decent substitute for a chicken egg. Though they don’t rise as high as the originals, the muffins come out of the oven with rounded domes. Always moist and tender, with their familiar welcoming spicy flavor, apple cinnamon quinoa muffins are my healthy happy favorites.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins recipe notes:

  • The original recipe, the one that hooked me forever, comes from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham. She calls for diced apples, but in this variation the apples are grated.
  • For vegans, the gelatinous mix of ground flax seeds and water replaces eggs.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, on plate, one cut in half

  • Wholesome quinoa flour, ground from the ancient gluten-free grain, provides protein complete with all eight essential amino acids.
  • So these gluten-free muffins hold together well, I added arrowroot starch (aka arrowroot flour) to the dry ingredients. Alternatively you can use tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch.) Both arrowroot and tapioca starch are handy to have in the pantry–stored in jars, they last for years.
  • Did you know? Nutritious arrowroot will replace cornstarch or flour, one for one, in sauces and pastry cream. Also, in juicy fruit pies, tapioca flour binds the same as cornstarch and flour, with the bonus of a clear, not cloudy, thickened filling.
  • You might also want to try my Spiced Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins.

#Eat Seasonal:

It’s that time! Every month Becky of The Vintage Mixer blog  creates a seasonal produce guide, and we come up with recipes featuring a fruit or veggie from the list. These apple cinnamon quinoa muffins take advantage of November’s apple abundance.

Be sure to check out Becky’s first post this month, a roundup of seasonal produce recipes. For more ideas, follow the blog links below to see what everybody else came up with. We hope our recipes encourage you to get in the kitchen and cook something seasonal!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Fennel and Fried Goat Cheese by Food For My Family
Apple Crumble Pie Joy Food Sunshine
Pesto and Burrata Stuffed Acorn Squash by Vintage Mixer
Autumn Apple and Kale Salad with Parmesan and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by Simple Bites
Cheesy Pesto Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Boats by Flavor the Moments
Maple Spiced Winter Vegetable and Kale Bowl by Floating Kitchen
Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Poblano Enchiladas by Completely Delicious


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PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe. If you’d also give the recipe a ✮✮✮✮✮ rating, I’d be delighted!

Nutrition Facts
Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories 248 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 359mg16%
Potassium 177mg5%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • I’ve been hesitant to throw off my muffin game too but these look awesome with all those healthy ingredients!! I’ll have to give them a go! Reply · 7 November, 2016

    • Go for it Becky! This is def a success in the “healthify” experiment department! Reply · 7 November, 2016

  • I’ve never used quinoa flour and I definitely need to try it! I love maple syrup in baking…and so many other places…it’s so much tastier than sugar! These muffins look so wholesome and delicious, Letty! Reply · 7 November, 2016

    • Thanks Marcie. I am in love with maple syrup too. And with all the testing we have been ripping through it. Reply · 7 November, 2016

  • Maura Mark

    Ahhh, now this is perfecto! Vegan and GF speaks to me. Thanks Letty! Can’t wait to try these. Reply · 7 November, 2016

    • Thank you Maura! Just for you. <3 Reply · 7 November, 2016

  • Oh I love that you updated a favorite recipe to make it a bit more healthy. They look fantastic! And I can smell them from here. I’m sold! 🙂 Reply · 7 November, 2016

  • YES! I always baked cookies or bread or something cinnamony when we were trying to sell our condo! these muffins look fabulous! Reply · 7 November, 2016

    • Thanks Laura! And the condo sold, right? Reply · 7 November, 2016

  • I just love how you’ve updated your favorite muffins! I need to experiment more with quinoa flour, starting with these muffins! Reply · 7 November, 2016

    • Thanks Liren. I toasted some of the quinoa flour in a slow oven for and hour, but haven’t got around to making these the toasted variation. I think it could be one more improvement. Reply · 7 November, 2016

  • […] Via Letty’s Kitchen […] Reply · 31 December, 2018

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