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Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins {gluten-free and vegan}

Naturally-sweetened with grated apples and maple syrup, moist with grated apples, and loaded with raisins and walnuts, these apple cinnamon quinoa muffins are my favorite muffin in the whole world! Updated to be more nutritious, these delicious babies are both gluten-free and vegan!

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, the scent of cinnamon-spiced muffins is an invitation to stay.

Click here to save the recipe for these Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins on Pinterest.


In the old days, I made these apple cinnamon muffins with white flour, sugar, and eggs. No more. I turned my favorite muffins inside out to be more nutritious, gluten free and vegan!

>>>> The first to go was the sugar—now they’re sweetened with maple syrup.

>>>> Then, out went the white flour. I could have easily swapped in whole wheat flour, but I wanted them to be gluten-free. High-protein quinoa flour is a pretty good substitute for the white flour.

>>>> The sugar and flour exchange works. So I decided to try making the muffins vegan by subbing a “flax egg” for the farm egg. The mucus slurry of flax seeds and water is a decent substitute for a chicken egg, but without eggs and gluten, these muffins can be crumbly. For a sturdier gluten free muffin, consider using chicken eggs.

However you make your apple cinnamon quinoa muffins, gluten free or not, vegan or with eggs, they’re always moist and tender with welcoming spice flavor!

vegan Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins baked, in muffin tins

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Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins recipe notes:

  • Wholesome quinoa flour, (affiliate link) ground from the ancient gluten-free grain, provides protein complete with all eight essential amino acids. If you can’t get quinoa flour, make your own.
  • 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, naturally, cinnamon.
  • So these gluten-free muffins hold together well, I added arrowroot starch, aka arrowroot flour, (affiliate link) to the dry ingredients. Alternatively you can use tapioca flour, aka tapioca starch. (Affiliate link) 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.
  • A gelatinous mix of ground flax seeds (affiliate link) and water replaces eggs to make these muffins vegan. Without the farm egg, they don’t rise as high as the originals, yet they come out of the oven with nice rounded domes.
  • The original recipe, the one that hooked me forever, comes from The Breakfast Book (affiliate link) by Marion Cunningham. She calls for diced apples, but I like to use grated apples for more consistency.
  • You might also want to try my Spiced Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins.
Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, on plate, one cut in half
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  • Peruse my Pinterest boards for more vegetarian recipe ideas.
  • Find more vegetarian and healthy living ideas on my Facebook page.

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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!

>>> Updated from original posted November, 2016


  • 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

  • Hey, letty I liked the way of experiments you do. by the way muffins are my fav. difinetly going to cook this. thanks for sharing this recipe. Reply · 22 November, 2021

3.62 from 18 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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