These super simple to make gluten free and dairy free lemon and poppy seed muffins are soft and moist, with a luscious lemon flavour! They’re made from easy to find and affordable besan (chickpea) flour and corn meal (or polenta for us Aussies!). Best eaten warm straight out of the oven (because who could resist!), but perfect for breakfasts on the go, or for a filling but sweet-tooth satisfying snack during the day.
I love experimenting with alternatives to wheat flour in baking. I’m not gluten intolerant, but I have friends who are, and it’s always nice to be able cater for them. I also love that gluten free flour alternatives can sometimes be a little healthier than just plain white flour, especially because it makes me feel a little better about indulging my huge sweet tooth! Chickpeas are one of my favourite flour alternatives to use because of this- they’re both higher in protein and fibre compared to wheat flour, while also being more nutritionally dense but lower in calories gram for gram! That means you’re getting more bang for your buck nutritionally as well as helping to keep yourself fuller for longer! Yay!
Usually when making chickpea based desserts I use tinned chickpeas and a food processor, as that’s usually the easiest and most convenient form of chickpea to find at the shops. However, recently I’ve discovered besan flour (which is made from ground chickpeas) and I just love how convenient it is to use. It also gives a softer, fluffier result compared to ground tinned chickpeas, which is really nice for things like the muffins that we’re making here.
Besan flour, also known as gram flour, is an ingredient that’s often found used in Indian style cuisines. Technically, according to this blog post, it’s made from a different type of chickpea than the one’s we’re used to finding in our supermarket, hence white chickpea flour (if you can find that instead) may give a slightly different result if used.
Where to Find Besan Flour
In Australia, I can find besan flour at my local big chain supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) in the “international foods” section where the Indian food ingredients are stocked. If your local supermarket doesn’t sell besan flour, try an Indian grocer near you as they’ll very likely stock it. You may also be able to find it in the health food isle of your supermarket, or at your local bulk foods store. I find besan flour to be a really affordable gluten free flour, coming in at just $2.25 (AUD) for a big 1 kg bag.
You’ll want to line your muffin trays with paper cases for easy handling and clean up for this recipe as the crumb of these muffins are pretty delicate and a little sticky. That way you’ll be able to get the muffins out easily, and it will make washing up a breeze (always a win)!
You’ll need two bowls for this recipe- one for your dry ingredients and the other for your wet. Use a larger bowl for the wet ingredients as you’ll be pouring the dry ingredients into that bowl to finish. You’ll also need a fine grater or zester to grate the lemon zest, and a juicer to juice the lemon (or use your hands!)
I use refined olive oil in this recipe, but you could use any mild tasting oil. Coconut oil would work too, but this might change the flavour a little if it is unrefined.
Once you’ve finished mixing, fill each muffin case about half way up, which for me, worked out to be about 3-4 large tablespoons worth of batter. Pop it into your preheated oven and approximately 25 minutes later you should have some delicious lemony muffins ready for you to eat! I’d wait at least 5-10 minutes to let this cool down before diving in!
Gluten Free and Dairy Free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
- Grater or Zester for the Lemon Zest
- 2 mixing bowls
- Muffin Pan + Paper Muffin Cases
- Citrus Juicer (optional)
- 1 cup / 120 g besan flour otherwise known as gram flour
- 1 cup / 130 g corn meal known as polenta in Australia
- 2/3 cup / 120 g sugar
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp lemon juice from approx. 1 medium sized lemon
- 1 tsp lemon zest grated from the same lemon
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / °F (160°C fan) and line your muffin tray with paper muffin cases.
- Combine all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl (the smaller of the two if you have different sizes).
- Combine the egg and the olive oil in another mixing bowl and mix well. Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir.
- Add the mixed dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and combine.
- Divide the mixture into the lined muffin tray. Fill each tray about half way up with batter- there will be approximately 3-4 large tbsp of mixture per case.
- Bake the muffins for 25 minutes or until lightly golden on top.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the tray for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack and allowing to cool for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Storage Instructions: Store covered at room temperature for 3-4 days
- Nutritional information is an estimation only and will depend on your individual ingredients
- Adapted from Chickpea Flour Does It All by Lindsey S. Love