These gluten-free dairy-free muffins are made with applesauce and a cinnamon sugar swirl for a perfect breakfast sweet. They are fluffy and moist and are pretty simple to make.
But what is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? That has always be a burning question for me. Muffins a little less sweet? Yes, sometimes. But really the biggest difference between a muffin and a cupcake is frosting! So make these as muffins or turn them into a gorgeous dessert with cinnamon frosting, sautéed apples and a drizzle of caramel.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends for these muffins and they all worked well. My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours with potato and tapioca starches is my favorite.
Here is my special flour blend that I love for this recipe and many more of my gluten-free recipes:
- 1 c sweet white sorghum flour
- 3/4 c millet flour
- ¼ c brown rice flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 c tapioca starch
See the notes in the recipe for a more simple DIY gluten-free flour blend or my blog post on gluten-free flours.
If you prefer a store bought blend, I find that King Arthur Flour All Purpose Gluten-Free flour works well in many recipes. If you use a flour blend that includes xanthan gum, omit the 3/4 tsp called for in the recipe.
The cinnamon swirl is a simple blend of cinnamon, brown sugar and salt. The salt creates a nice balance with the sweet brown sugar and spicy cinnamon. To flavor these muffins from top to bottom, the cinnamon sugar is layered in with the batter and swirled.
An easy way to add apple flavor and bonus moisture is by using apple sauce. It adds just a hint of apple that is the perfect complement with the cinnamon swirl in these gluten-free, dairy free muffins.
Gluten-Free Dairy Free Muffins – Variations
- Add the zest of one orange for a fresh citrus pop! Don’t know what zest is? Here’s my quick how-to for zesting citrus.
- Add ½ c chopped dried fruit like tart cherries. cranberries or raisins.
- These muffins are perfect with a simple powdered sugar vanilla icing or even an orange icing. Mix 6 Tbsps powdered sugar with 2 1/2 tsp water or orange juice and a 1/8 tsp vanilla extract.
- Turn these muffins into a showstopper dessert with cinnamon frosting. Add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to my vanilla buttercream frosting recipe.
- Take it another step further and top the frosted cupcakes with sautéed, sweet apples and vegan caramel sauce or a drizzle of maple syrup. To make sautéed sweet apples: dice 1 apple into 1/4″ pieces and sauté in butter for 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsps maple syrup and agave and simmer for 2 minutes. Done!
- Or one of my favorites, to add crunch, top the frosted cupcakes with my sweet and spicy candied pecans.
- Or just go for it and do it all! Frosting, sautéed apples, candied pecans and a drizzle!