Apple Struesel Muffins (Gluten Free, Sugar Free)


Every year around March 3rd or so I find myself in a funk. I sulk around, wishing for sunshine and the kind of weather appropriate for tanks and breezy skirts and farmers markets.

I know, it seems weird, and overanxious, because that time is coming, right?

Across the country in warmer climates, it’s already arrived. And I know this not because I watch weather reports, but rather, Tastespotting. And some SoCal blogger is taunting me with the very first artichoke of the season, pale green whispering with lavender. Maybe it’s not that early in March, but it feels that way. This is why I sulk.


It continues all summer, even when we start to get good produce here, and I wish I lived somewhere *better.* With a longer growing season and bigger bounty. Perhaps someday I’ll move to such a place.

But you know what I’ll miss?

Fall. Naturally. We get it first, and we get it best, here in New England. A cool crisp morning breeze that alerts us the leaves are about to change. The kind of weather that warrants sweaters and boots, but no jacket. The earliest apple picking that lasts well into the season. That, I will miss.

I didn’t pick these apples, but I could have, if I went to the farm instead of the farmers’ market. Which would have been totally feasible since these are local apples. Maybe next week. For now, I couldn’t resist them, or baking up my first apple-icious treat of the season.


Need to stock up on ingredients for this and other coconut recipes? Tropical Traditions has some fabulous deals, but some are ending today ending today (9/15/2011) – hurry up!

16oz Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil – $19.95, regularly $25
Buy 1 Get 1 FREE 16oz Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil – $25, regularly $50
2.2lbs Organic Coconut Flour – $9.99, regularly $15

Apple Struesel Muffins
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup (56gm) coconut flour
1 tablespoon (8gm) tapioca starch or cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pure powdered stevia extract

1 large egg
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons (28gm) coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup (4oz) vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced

3/4 cup (60gm) old fashioned oats
1oz pecan halves
1 tablespoon apple sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners, or place 10 silicone muffin liners on a baking sheet.

Measure the coconut flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and stevia into a large bowl. Whisk well, breaking up all of the lumps.

Add the egg, egg whites, coconut oil, almond milk, and ricotta. Start beating with a handheld mixer on low speed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue beating, increasing speed to high for two minutes, until no lumps remain. Fold in the diced apples. Divide the batter evenly among the lined muffin cups.

Add the oats, pecans and cinnamon to a food processor, and pulse several times, for 5-10 seconds each, until the pecans are broken into uniformly small pieces. Add the applesauce and honey, and pulse a few more times, until thoroughly combined. Top each muffin with one heaping tablespoonful of the streusel mixture.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely, about one hour. These can be left out on the counter for the first day and night, but afterwards, store them in the refrigerator, tightly covered.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146.1
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 21.0 mg
Sodium 170.7 mg
Potassium 90.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 5.3 g

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays for September 20th, 2011.

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12 Responses to “Apple Struesel Muffins (Gluten Free, Sugar Free)”

  1. 1

    Tasha — September 15, 2011 @ 4:11 pm Reply

    New England Fall is the best! Muffins are my little one's favorite baked good, and with the struesel I'm sure these would be a big hit with him!

  2. 2

    Kaytorade — September 15, 2011 @ 6:11 pm Reply

    I will gladly trade our early summer for your fall! Although this year the produce arrived early, and the warm weather didn't hit till just a few weeks ago!

  3. 3

    Bridget — September 15, 2011 @ 9:59 pm Reply

    I miss fall soooo much. The produce, of course, but we don't get good produce here for any season, so it's more just the…essence of it, you know?  There's such an inescapable feeling to fall that I loved. I love how warm it is in the desert, but every October, I do miss pumpkin patches and apple cider.

  4. 4

    Maggie — September 16, 2011 @ 12:02 am Reply

    Wow!  Beautiful, yummy, and filling muffin!  I love it. 

  5. 5

    Joanne — September 16, 2011 @ 12:18 am Reply

    I pick fall over summer.  Any and every day.  Pumpkin and apples – all I need in life.  And you.  And these muffins.  I'm moving in.

  6. 6

    Shirley @ gfe — September 16, 2011 @ 2:12 am Reply

    Scrumptious! Love their squatty body look and that they're gluten free, of course! 😉 Shirley

  7. 7

    Shannon — September 16, 2011 @ 2:25 am Reply

    Mmm, apples.  they had native honeycrisps at the farmstand the other day and i have eaten about 7 (in 2 days).  Guess you could say I'm getting excited for fall 🙂

  8. 8

    Kerstin — September 17, 2011 @ 2:17 am Reply

    I love fall and can't wait to go apple picking!  Wish I had one of these tomorrow morning!

  9. 9

    Marissa Laliberte — September 17, 2011 @ 9:11 pm Reply

    I don't own coconut flour or oil, which leads me to my question…what is the advantage of using cocout flour and coconut oil over, say, wheat flour and olive oil? Does it affect the taste a lot?

  10. 10

    Cara — September 17, 2011 @ 9:49 pm Reply

    Hi Marissa, I created these muffins to be a gluten-free, low-carb treat. I like working with coconut flour because it gluten-free (I actually do not need to stick to a gluten-free diet but I know plenty of people who do, so I like to cook things that everyone can enjoy) and because it is higher in fiber and protein, and lower in carbs, than wheat flour. Coconut oil is very healthy (the type of fat it contains has been shown to increase levels of good cholesterol.) Both coconut flour and coconut oil have a pleasant, mildly sweet and nutty taste that works well in baked goods. Hope that helps!

  11. 11

    grace — September 22, 2011 @ 7:48 am Reply

    i like seeing coconut oil in recipes, and it's happening more and more.  the ricotta is an interesting touch too–great muffins, cara!

  12. Pingback: Grain-Free Fruity Macadamia Muffins | Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Recipes with Natural Foods | Daily Bites

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