I’ve made these GF buns countless times and the recipe always works. You can use any soft fresh fruit: try blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. It’s fantastic with tinned peaches, mango, or mandarins too.
If you feel some icing/frosting would be even better, check out some options on my site.
Makes: 24 large muffins (but it’s easily halved if you need fewer)
- 2 unwaxed lemons: finely grated zest, and juice
- 250ml milk, at room temperature (see ‘Liquid Tip’ footnote)
- 275-280g soft fruit, chopped if necessary for bite-sized pieces
- 50g ground almonds
- 175g cubed and softened unsalted butter
- 300g soft light brown sugar (golden caster or golden granulated can be substituted)
- 4 large eggs (they should total 260-280g when weighed in their shells)
- 1 tablespoon lemon, almond or vanilla extract (see ‘Extracts’ footnote)
- 400g gluten-free plain flour
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
- 1/2 – 1 tsp each of one or two ground spices: cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, pepper, etc (see ‘Spicing’ footnote)
- Two 12-hole muffin tins
- 24 large muffin cases
- 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small mixing bowls, and a measuring jug
- Fine grater
- Citrus juicer
- Electric mixer (hand-held or stand), if not creaming butter/sugar by hand
- Cooling rack
- Preheat oven to 185 C (165 C fan-assisted). Line both muffin tins with paper cases.
- Add the squeezed lemon juice to the milk in the jug, and set aside.
Yes, it will go ‘chunky’ – which will react with the GF baking powder later, providing extra lift.
- Lightly mix the fruit with the ground almonds in a small bowl, to thoroughly coat them – because coated fruit will not sink to the bottom during baking.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, with the extract and lemon zest, and beat until very creamy.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, and spice(s) into a medium bowl, mix with a fork, and add to the butter/sugar alternating with the lemon milk, each in thirds. Stir manually really well after each addition. (Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet; in fact, incorporate as much air as you can.)
- Fold in the fruit/ground almond mixture, and stir well to ensure the fruit is evenly distributed.
- Spoon into muffin cases no more than 2/3 full to allow for a good rise. The batter should ‘dollop’ i.e. not be runny, but hold its shape.
- Bake for 20 minutes or so, turning trays halfway through for even baking, until golden brown and a light finger tap on the centre of a few buns springs back quickly. Remove the trays from the oven, remove the muffins from the tins, and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
If using tinned fruit, try to use fruit-juice based options (not syrup); drain well, and reserve the liquid to make up no more than half the total milk amount (i.e. 125ml fruit liquid with 125ml milk).
Use ‘extract‘ not ‘essence’ – the latter can be very chemically-tasting because it has no natural flavourings.
Match your extract with your fruit – the pictured muffins are raspberry with lemon extract. Almond goes well with cherries; vanilla with peaches, etc.
The correct spicing can lift these fruit buns from ordinary to quite special. Some more exotic pairings of spice with fruit can be found here; some more ordinary pairing options (i.e. spices you probably have to hand!) can be found here. For a comprehensive guide to both herb and spice pairings with all kinds of food, this site is great.