Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins (Nut-Free)

July 6, 2012 in Categories: , by

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I love the flavor of gingerbread and don’t see the need to restrict it to the winter holiday season.  This is actually my first nut-free muffin recipe, created especially for my mother-in-law’s recent visit.  My mother-in-law, who is allergic to nuts, loves ginger, which is great because she got to enjoy 4 different versions of these muffins before they were perfect!.  Yields 12 muffins.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins


1.    Grease a muffin pan generously with palm shortening or line with paper liners or reusable Silicone Muffin Cups.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.    Melt coconut oil in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.
3.    In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, flax meal, molasses, vanilla and coconut oil.
4.    Sift coconut flour and combine with tapioca starch, spices and baking soda.
5.    Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.
6.    Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from pan to cool.  Enjoy!

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.


Hi Sarah…I am concerned about using flax or chia seeds in baking as the heat is too high for the volatile omega fatty acids contained in these seeds.

interesting article. It says “whole flax seeds” but I assume the ground seeds are stable too? The writer only says that the oil should not be heated. Thanks for sharing.

These are the best smelling muffins ever! I was wondering, though, do grain-free baked goods not spread as they’re baking? These looked the same coming out of the oven as they did going in.

Would this work to make into a cake? likely an 8×8 square? Should I double to do a 9×13 inch pan? Or Double and do two round ones with something in the middles. It would be for a birthday cake and I think I need it to serve 14. 🙂 BTW LOVE the blog & love the drawings for your book. I’m learning about digestion and immune system in school and find when you talk about it so helpful. 🙂 Thanks for all that you do.

Hi, I just read your pumpkin soup recipe and this one and cannot wait to try them.I just started this paleo diet. I am allergic to coconut and am wondering if you know what happens if I used all tapioca flour and olive oil instead of coconut oil. Is the coconut ingredients what hold the muffins together?

what can I use to substitute the tapicoa starch, my belly doesnt tolerate starches very well? Could I use ground flax as a replacement?

You could try. In general, I recommend other root veggie starches (like arrowroot or kuzu) when people can’t eat or find tapioca. Nuts and seeds have pretty different baking chemistry, so you’d have to experiment.

Oooooooo, this sounds so good. I’m going to start experimenting to make an AIP version. Can’t imagine what to substitute for the eggs. I tried 1/2 c.applesauce and 1 tsp.baking powder for each egg in another recipe. Results? Yummy goo. hahahaha

Please forgive my stupid question. If I bake this in a 9 by 13 pan will it just be a thin cake, like a bar.. or will it turn out horribly wrong? I’m wanting to be able to serve more people with this but not have tiny pieces. I know most others will have pumpkin pie, but I don’t like just bringing something for me.

I made this tonight is a 9 by 13. (I baked at 300 for the 35 minutes for even cooking.. Not sure if it would have mattered.. ) It turned out great. Perfect cake texture just only an inch or so high. Not really sweet, so the SAD ones didn’t really like them. But I really liked them. Made your Maple Cashew frosting to go on top. I will make a muffins for myself later this month.. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. 🙂

I’m also interested in making these without the flax – flax doesn’t agree with my body (or vice versa, lol). What would be a good substitute? Would sesame paste (tahini) work?

I made these today. They smell fantastic and taste pretty good. They aren’t as sweet as I expected which is fine. They’ll be a welcome change for breakfast or a snack. Thanks!!

I made these today. Halfway through I realized I didn’t have any tapioca flour so I substituted sweet rice flour. They taste good but are a little dry. I don’t know if they are a 1:1 ratio.

Followed the recipe exactly. LOVED. Them! I love gingerbread and will definitely be making these again. I preferred the taste of them cooled rather than warm or right out of the oven. Thank you!

Are these supposed to have a “cake” texture. I made them today but the texture was more “creamy”. I am kind of new to these types of recipes so not sure if they are turning out the way they are supposed to. Thanks.

Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! I used this recipe combined with your apple oat muffin recipe as the jumping off points for some great paleo applesauce-based ginger muffins. Would not have known where to start without your brilliant creations. One thing I learned the hard way though is that there’s a significant difference in cook times for shiny metal muffin tins, vs glass muffin cups (much shorter). Might be worth mentioning for people who aren’t seasoned bakers, but even without that tip, I’m beyond thrilled to have discovered your site and looking forward to trying your other recipes out 🙂

These muffins are the best Paleo muffins I’ve ever made! Thanks for the recipe. The texture is perfect and the flavor is just right.

I’ve been on AIP for 8 months & read your great book The Paleo Approach. Also enjoy your cookbook. When I get your newsletters with a new recipe, I’m surprised when they are not AIP. These muffins sounded sooooo good until I realized I can’t enjoy them, since AIP is no eggs, no flax meal, no allspice or cardamom. For future recipes, would it be possible for you to include AIP substitutions for those of of us on that protocol? If it can’t be made AIP, then please note that. Thanks for everything you do – I feel much better & have reduced some medications from following AIP!

I made these this morning as pancakes instead of muffins. Topped with ghee and a little bit of pure syrup they were absolutely delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

This is the best coconut flour-based muffins I’ve tried yet. I put an extra 1/4tsp baking soda in to get them to rise more, and the look, texture and taste is just like regular muffins (except not as sweet).

Could I substitute more coconut flour for the flax seed? Would I need to increase the liquid to balance the coconut flour? Since I don’t have any pumpkin, could I sub in another type of fruit instead? I am looking for a basic muffin recipe to use for other breads. We miss my old recipes that use nut flours (zucchini, blueberry, banana, gingerbread, apple walnut, and pumpkin). 🙁

One attempt at an AIP friendly version:

In place of the 4 eggs and 1/4 c flax, I used 4 gelatin ‘eggs’* and 2 additional tbsps of gelatin. (Reasoning: since the flax was in with the liquid ingredients and itself makes a good egg replacer, I figured that it would be acting as a binder and gelatin might work in its place. Plus, gelatin is good for us!)

*For 4 gelatin eggs I mixed 1/4 c gelatin powder with 3/4 c cool water until thick, then put over heat until fully dissolved and liquid was clear.

I added the spices as is but nutmeg could be omitted or replaced with mace (the aril of nutmeg) and cardamom can be omitted or replaced with cinnamon for a different but nice flavor. I think the alcohol will bake off of the vanilla at this temperature but you could boil it briefly before adding to be sure.

Volume: I filled my silicon muffin cups (which are slightly smaller than the normal tin) with 1/4 c batter each and had enough for 15 muffins (probably could have had 16 if I hadn’t sampled so much batter 😉 ).

35 minutes seemed perfect, tops weren’t spongey anymore and tester came out clean. The muffins rose pretty well but sank while cooling (not really a surprise without eggs) and were pudding-y in the center, but flavor is excellent. I’m guessing those missing tablespoons of flaxmeal should have been replaced with some additional flour to help with the pudding-y-ness! And another 5 minutes of baking might have helped?

I also ran out of molasses partway and had to replace with maple syrup – molasses has enough acid to activate baking soda, but I don’t think maple or honey do, so it would have been a good idea to add a little acid (lemon or vinegar) or baking powder to help with rising. Probably a good idea for anyone replacing the molasses to replace the baking soda with a larger amount of baking powder (1.5 x?).

Hopefully someone else can improve on an AIP version from this experience, or I’ll try again once I’ve run through this batch. 🙂

Can Otto’s cassava flour be used instead of tapioca flour? Probably would have to get rid of some of the other fiber (coconut/flax) to keep these moist. Any ideas on this?

Made these today using arrowroot in place of tapioca flour (per posts above) didn’t work at all! I must say I hate wasting time and precious ingredients. Couldn’t get them to bake through. Soggy on the inside, now hard on the outside (from extra baking). It really seems that there’s too much puree in this recipe. Very disappointed as the smell was heavenly and the taste of the now overcooked exterior was pretty good. Sigh!

These looked gorgeous but I really don’t like molasses. Instead, I subbed maple syrup and decreased the cardamom and ginger by half.
I found that the batter was a bit too thick so I added a tablespoon of water. I suppose I could decrease the coconut flour next time. Still, they turned out amazing!
Perfect for breakfast or a snack, and portable, too.
Thanks so much for the recipe!

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