The Muffin Recipe that Fell Flat
Recently, my mom, had company staying at her house, and she wanted to make some muffins for a breakfast treat that wouldn’t be too carb-heavy. She went online and found a recipe that was accompanied by some pretty pictures and advertised itself as a perfect keto muffin. These muffins were a hot mess! They were crumbly and fell apart. The sweetener that they were rolled in was bitter, and the muffins were flat. They hardly resembled muffins at all.
What Went Wrong?
The author of this recipe, I later discovered, committed a common mistake in the realm of low-carb baking. People erroneously believe that if they take a glutenous flour and cane sugar muffin recipe and simply substitute almond flour for the bleached all-purpose flour and use a keto-friendly sugar replacement, they will have a fantastic low-carb baked good. This is just not true. There is a lot more that goes into it than that process.
Improving the Recipe
If you have read any of my recipes, then you have probably heard me mention that I favor a combination of almond and coconut flours. It produces the best and most breadlike texture. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour or Kirkland Signature Almond Flour. Both of these are blanched and super finely ground. For my coconut flour I am using Better Body Foods Coconut Flour.
To address the crumbling and poor texture, I added two things, xanthan gum, and ground psyllium husks. These are two commonly used ingredients in low-carb baking that have few net carbs and can help to bind flour substitutes together in the absence of glutenous proteins. Because I was looking for a dense muffin with a substantial texture, I doubled down on binders. You could experiment with using just the xanthan gum or just the psyllium husks, but I recommend using at least one of these to achieve an optimal texture.
A Word About Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that comes from a plant called Plantago ovata. The seeds are coated in a kind of gel. The water-loving coating found on the outside of the seeds of this plant is what psyllium husk consists of. When you add boiling water to these husks, then they rehydrate into a gluelike gel that works well to bind gluten-free baked goods. If you want to read more about using psyllium husk in low-carb baking, then check out this recipe for psyllium husk buns. I recently used this recipe to make buns for pulled pork at a 4th of July barbeque, and they were a hit!
Getting a Rise
To address the height of these muffins I added two elements. I beat 3 egg whites until they formed stiff peaks and folded those into my batter. This helps add lift. I used a Cuisinart hand blender like this one. I love this kitchen gadget, it comes in handy for whipping egg whites or blending soups, or making homemade mayonnaise! I also discovered that the recipe my mother had found on the internet did not include ANY salt in addition to the baking powder! I added a half teaspoon of salt. The baking powder adds lift to baked goods. When baking powder encounters a liquid, the chemical reaction that takes place produces carbon dioxide gas. Bubbles! The bubbles inflate your baked good, giving height to muffins everywhere. Without salt, you will still get some lift, but salt helps activate chemical leavening agents, so you will get more of a rise with it than without it!
Enough about the science, let’s eat!
My Keto Cinnamon Muffin Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup of powdered sweetener
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 3 egg whites beaten until stiff
- 1 whole egg
- ½ cup of heavy cream (plus 2 Tbsp cold water)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp ground psyllium husks (plus 4 Tbsp boiling water)
- 5 Tbsp melted butter
- 3 Tbsp of melted butter and granulated sweetener mixed with cinnamon for rolling the muffin tops
Preheat the oven to 350° and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In one bowl combine the almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, spices, and salt.
In a blender combine the psyllium husk and boiling water and blend. Add the coconut flour, heavy cream plus 2 Tbsp of cold water, vanilla, melted butter, and one whole egg. Pulse until well combined. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes so that the coconut flour can begin to absorb some moisture.
In a separate bowl carefully separate out 3 egg whites and discard the yolks. Beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Make sure no yolk gets into the bowl this will prevent your whites from stiffening.
Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture, then fold in the egg whites until just combined.
Divide the mixture evenly into twelve muffin cups.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Brush the tops of the muffins with melted butter and roll them in cinnamon “sugar”.
*3 grams of net carbs per muffin
With a little bit of science, I was able to help these muffins stick together and rise up. It sounds a little bit inspiring like a muffin revolution!
As always, happy snacking! Let me know in the comments below if you try this recipe!
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