gluten-free oatmeal muffins

Yesterday, it rained, snowed, hailed, hailed sideways because of the howling winds, turned to cold clear sunlight, and then did it all over again.

This is a little like the week we’ve been having.

Monday night, late into Tuesday morning, I turned in the full manuscript of our cookbook. I will tell you more about it later. I want to share. But I’m too exhausted to even form sentences about it right now.

Tuesday, all day, Danny and I packed up our house while making lists in rushed handwriting on ruled 4×6 index cards. And then spent too much time looking for those cards amidst a sea of boxes. We move to a new house on the island tomorrow.

Last night, we sent in the last two big pieces of paperwork for our adoption.

And there are more stories, new possibilities and developments we can’t share with you yet.

Thank goodness for Lucy pretending to dive onto the couch and splash in the cushions, for good friends who understand brief conversations right now, and for Danny being with me to do this. We’re breathing.

And we’ve been living on these oatmeal muffins.

Amanda Soule, one of my favorite people in this world, last week put up a post about life in her kitchen right now. (Oh, how I wish I could hang out there with them.) Do you know Amanda? Soule Mama? She’s just plain wonderful. And she just launched Taproot, a new magazine, a gathering of voices and photographers who are living close to the earth. I love the tagline: Living Fully, Digging Deeper. This one is made for me. And you. I have been reading the first issue each night before I fall into bed exhausted. I’m pretty sure it’s saving my sanity. Anyway, as much as I love everything she is doing, that post full of photos, and the tiny narrative about how to make oatmeal muffins from leftover oatmeal, changed me. I moved into the kitchen to bake, immediately.

These muffins are wholesome, ever-so-slightly sweet, and full of good whole grains, dried fruit, and nuts. I love them. Lucy loves them. Danny, who normally has a raging sweet tooth, loves them.

I’m pretty sure these have been the fuel for us to move through this crazy week.

In a few days, we’ll be settled into a new home, learning the light for photographs there, and finding all the creaks on the floors. Everything feels like it’s changing around here. But I can tell you one constant: we’ll be making these muffins.

GLUTEN-FREE OATMEAL MUFFINS, adapted from Amanda Soule

These are the easiest-peasiest muffins I’ve ever made. I’ve actually been making versions of these for months, but just throwing in sugar and baking powder, an egg, and melted butter. I had never measured them. I kept calling them the Ugly Muffins, because they ended up sort of shrunken or lumpy, depending on the mix I made up. Seeing Amanda’s ratio made me realize I should measure these and stop calling them names.

If you’re making these for someone gluten-free, please remember to make your oatmeal with certified gluten-free oats. Some folks who are celiac can’t tolerate oats even if they are gluten-free. In that case, I’m not sure what I would do here but maybe try some hot brown rice cereal or quinoa flakes instead. Or, you know, make another kind of muffin.

270 grams (about 1 cup) cooked oatmeal, cooled
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon melted butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 cup milk (any non-dairy milk will do fine here too)
4 tablespoons jam (you could also use honey or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
210 grams gluten-free flour mix (we used equal parts of teff/millet/buckwheat)
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pistachios (you can sub in 1/2 cup of any nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or fresh fruit for these two)

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Making the batter. Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. (You could also do this by hand.) Mix until the batter is fully combined, with no visible flour.

Baking the muffins. Scoop the batter into each well of the muffin tin, filling it 3/4 full. We ended up with 8 large muffins this way. If you wanted to fill the tins 1/2 way, you will end up with more.

Bake until the muffins are browned, with a little athletic jiggle when you touch the top, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Cool the muffins by turning them sideways in the muffin tin, showing the side of the muffins to the sky. After 15 minutes, move them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.

Makes 8 to 12 muffins.

63 comments on “gluten-free oatmeal muffins

  1. Audra

    Haven’t spoken to you since you were preggers with the ‘bean’ and haven’t seen you since the day you found your wedding dress! I pop in now and again just so I can relish and be inspired by your words. And such a delight to discover that your story continues! Best wishes my friend! xx

      1. Rachel Flachman

        I use Steel Cut Oats all the time to make huge batches of pancakes. I make big batches of Oats, eat what we want, then turn it into pancakes. My kids are resistant to eating eggs, so I put lots of eggs in them to make them protein rich. I’ve been using peanut flour which makes them extra yummy, then make large quantities that I think will last for weeks, but alas, they only hang around for about two days, tops. Add butter, maple syrup and serve…

        I’m going to try this muffin recipe, perhaps had some chia seed too?

      2. tara

        Thank you, Shauna! They are super yummy! I just made them with GF steel cut oats after trying with regular GF oats last week. They have more chew to them. I think I like it even better!

  2. Ursula

    “Seeing Amanda’s ratio made me realize I should measure these and stop calling them names.”
    That made me laugh so hard!
    I am one of those people who can’t eat oats, even gluten-free oats. The reaction is almost as bad as to gluten grains.
    But I bet you could use buckwheat porridge (made with buckwheat flakes or grits, which are much harder to find than buckwheat groats. I think I’ll try them with this porridge.

    And adoption…… how exciting! All the best for your move….. moves are exhausting no matter what.

    1. Sarah

      Yeah, oats are a big problem for me–I was thinking about using quinoa flakes instead!

      Shauna: I am so excited to see such a lightly sweetened muffin recipe. Controlling my blood sugar has been a big part of controlling my symptoms (which unfortunately weren’t just caused be a gluten sensitivity), and I’m guessing this is a need for a lot of us gluten-free types.

      One question I had–am I correct in reading that your flour mix is all grains and no starch?!

  3. Liz

    Shauna- I was so excited about the muffin recipe, just what I have been looking for. Even better is Amanda and Taproot! I have been pouring over this first issue, lovingly and longingly, and sharing it w/ everyone I can- so glad that it’s in your hands and life as well! Thanks for posting about it so that more can experience its beauty and wonder…

  4. Jennifer Ginter

    “Athletic jiggle” – that made me laugh out loud! If the muffins make me feel half as happy as just reading that phrase does I’ll be thrilled. 😀 Good luck with the move and EVERYTHING else you have going on.


  5. Caz

    These muffins look wonderful and just what you need to sustain you through such changeable and exciting times. Good luck with everything!

  6. Sharon Crandall

    Talk to me about psyllium husk. I am a good baker and I am now wheat and corn free so its kind of exciting to explore new baking options. I use xanthan gum, but does the psyllium husk work in much the same way? I saw a bread recipe with it recently. I am assuming my local health food store will have this.

    Best of luck on Vashon move. I am from Seattle originally and live in Ireland the last ten years. My uncle and cousins live on Vashon for quite a long time and my grandmother was in a nursing home there for many years. It’ll be a tough week, but you’ll be delighted once you can find things again 🙂

    1. shauna

      Sharon, you’re a Vashon woman! We love it here. But I bet Ireland isn’t bad. I discovered a couple of years ago that xanthan and guar gum give my digestive system fits. That’s when I started using chia, flaxseed, and psyllium as replacements. All the baked goods are better for it!

      1. Tara

        If a recipe calls for xanthan gum, do you substitute chia, flaxseed, or psyllium in equal proportions (1 teaspoon for 1 teaspoon)?

  7. jzklein

    How does the 210 g of baking mix translate into cups? I don’t have a kitchen scale.
    These look so good, can’t wait to try them.

    1. shauna

      They don’t translate to cups in this recipe because everyone is going to use a different set of flours, with different weights! A kitchen scale will come in handy for every recipe on this site!

  8. Dragontech64

    Oh gonna have to try these and see if they help us recover, as we just moved too. My heart goes out to you guys, I cannot imagine going through a move AND publishing a cookbook, going through an adoption and everything else in life. We are exhausted just from moving during finals week.

    1. Taryn

      it acts as the binder in this recipe. see comments above. you can replace it with ground flax or chia seed or even an egg. but i lean more towards the latter on account of the goodness they give to your digestive tract!

  9. Liz

    ah, thank you!! i saw this recipe on soulemama and i so wanted to try it, but couldn’t even go there trying to adapt it because i’m relatively new to GF at the moment. i’m so excited to try this!!! om nom nom. good luck with all your changes.

  10. Candy

    Ahh, heaven. Just pulled these out of the oven and had to comment. I had cinnamon and nutmeg in my leftover oats, and they turned out perfect. And “athletic jiggle” – heh. I love how bready and hearty these are. Very…athletic. Thank you!

  11. Nicole

    These look good. I made your banana teff cake into muffins to take on a trip and have been enjoying them for breakfast all week. I found myself getting annoyed for just a second when I had to get out my measuring cups for that cake instead of the scale. How this site and Gluten Free Canteen have changed my baking ways. ?

    Good luck with all of your change!

  12. The Cozy Herbivore

    These look great! I love the addition of pistachios– seems like they would pair really well with the oats. And I’ll try to send some of this unseasonably gorgeous East Coast weather (it’s been in the 70’s all week!) your way… I’ll huff and I’ll puff and hopefully this sunshine will get to you soon. 🙂

  13. Karis

    I am really focusing right now on trying to make a new flour mix. I can’t have potato anymore, so my old standby will have to be changed. I like your approach of using many different grains, but what I have experienced with the different grains is a different level of hygroscopic properties for each. For instance, if I try using teff or amaranth, my cake would be mushy or gummy. However, I haven’t baked by weight (although I much prefer it) because I didn’t realize that I needed to. Does baking by weight solve this problem or do you have to make liquid adjustments according to the flours you use?

  14. Dana

    This might be a dumb question, but do you use ground psyllium husk or whole? I can’t find the post where you originally talked about it, and I see both available at the health food store. Thanks and best wishes for everything!

  15. molly

    in, out, in, out.
    shuck ‘n jive.
    belt it out.

    i never remember, in the moment, to breathe, dance and sing. only ever after. but for what it’s worth…


    1. Emily

      Respectfully –

      I find the term “shuck n’ jive” pretty offensive, considering its history.


  16. Amanda

    After being diagnosed with having celiac disease for a little over a year and a half ago, I was devastated because I love to bake. I thought that eating great tasting foods I once loved was a thing of the past, but since then, I discovered alot of wonderful gluten-free recipes and started to enjoy baking again. I followed this recipe accordingly and used Bob’s gluten-free oats. The muffins came out wonderful and tasted delicious. Here’s a link to alot of the gluten-free recipes I use, enjoy.

  17. Debbie

    These look delicious. I love the idea of using cooked oats and jam as a sweetener. I think I will try making them with additional chia and flax seeds and a little stevia. Thanks for the recipe and good luck with the move!

  18. Urban Farmer

    I have some cooked buckwheat cereal leftover and am going to give it a try in these muffins. Alas, I cannot eat oats, but will play around and see how buckwheat works.
    As it is Saturday, I imagine you are exhausted and wishing you could find a few things that are buried in the bottom box, somewhere… =) As someone who moves every 2 years I will say, eat out, breath and love the journey of moving. It is a unique experience.

    1. Urban farmer

      It worked great with the buckwheat cooked cereal from Hodgen Mills. I threw in some blueberries and used flax. What a great recipe Shauna, thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Mary

    I read Soulemama’s post about these muffins, and I immediately went into the kitchen to make a pan of oatmeal just so I could make them! I waited for the oatmeal to cool – it seemed to take forever! I ended up overestimating my oatmeal so I made a double batch of the muffin batter. I made it as she said, but substituted my 140 grams of whole grain mixed flours for the AP flour. I added dried cranberries and a handful of mini dark chocolate chips. It made enough batter for 12 muffins, and as I only own one muffin pan, I poured the rest of the batter into a round pie pan. Not only did the muffins turn out beautifully, but it makes a delish cake base, too! Next time I’m going to try it with chunks of apple and some cinnamon.

    Give this batter a try – make whatever you feel like making out of it! Maybe mashed banana and cocoa, or maybe I’ll add some canned pumpkin and pie spice. I don’t think you can mess it up, because if I could make these, anyone can. This is honestly the first GF baking experience I”ve had that tasted like something I’d try again.

  20. Christina

    Wow. I had to comment on this recipe as I just made it, and two thumbs up yummy! They are dense and moist making a very satisfying snack. I added shredded coconut, cranberries and chocolate chips. Thanks for sharing your life, and expertise in the Kitchen, I recommend you to anyone who will listen 😉

  21. Angie Halten

    For me, everything tastes better with chocolate! Added a few chocolate chips and these turned out fabulous! Good luck on all your upcoming changes/additions :o)

  22. Julie@sweetgumbakery

    Well done on handing your manuscript in. Sounds like your week has been hectic. Wishing you luck with your adoption plans, sounds very exciting!

    Also – the muffins look very tasty!

  23. Morri

    Congratulations on all the amazing changes coming your way, Shauna! And these muffins look like a great part of any meal. What have you used as toppings (or additions to the batter)? Any recommendations?

  24. alan

    came onto your great website and love oatmeal so will try your recipe. hope your weather improved.

    best wishes

  25. sara

    Hi Gluten-Free Girl. Just stumbled into your blog and I love it! Recently found out I’m gluten intolerant and I’m so excited to have such a great resource…can’t wait to try the waffles! 🙂

  26. Tamara

    My kids are sugar addicts so I’m looking for a healthy muffin recipe that’ll entice them (without so much sugar). They love carrot spice and pumpkin spice muffins (non-GF). One of my old recipes involved soaking grated carrots in sugar and orange juice and then adding tons of spices. Really yummy but with gluten and a lot of sugar. I’d love to incorporate the nut flours so they get a little bit of nutrition. They don’t like raisins/nuts/dried fruit in their muffins. I saw the blog’s basic muffin recipe (and this one, obviously) but I’m not an accomplished baker so I need a specific recipe. We’re moving into GF so… any ideas about how to incorporate these wet ingredients into a sweet, healthy muffin that they’ll gobble up? My previous attempts went uneaten (sadly, the mold got to them before the kids did). Help! Thanks so much.

  27. gisele

    Awesome. I thought the same thing when I saw Amanda’s post – I have to make these, but gluten free! Many thanks for the recipe.

  28. Sarah G

    I’ve been making these for a while, and I have a burning question (pun intended) — why did you not use one of your all-purpose ratios or include starch in any way to replace Amanda’s wheat flour?

  29. Zara P

    Re: “270g cooked oatmeal, cooled” – I’m unsure what method you’re using to cook them. Do you mean like porridge? If so, what ratio of liquid to oats do you use when cooking your porridge? (Maybe this is an American-Australian lost in translation thing…)

    I am trying a FODMAP diet – which is not gluten-free, just no wheat (among other things) – for people who don’t absorb fructose. So your site will be quite helpful! Thanks!

  30. Tina

    Tried to make these twice and it just didn’t work out 🙁 they don’t cook well.. cooked on outside and raw inside.. Think the ratio of water to oats is off?

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