These bakery style gluten free chocolate chip muffins tick all the boxes: they’re easy to make, have a fluffy and moist crumb, and a beautifully caramelised, proudly domed muffin top. Plus, I’ve included some useful tips about how to keep your muffins moist and fluffy, and how to prevent the chocolate chips from sinking!
I’ve got a confession to make: for the longest time, my relationship with gluten free muffins was less of a love-hate and more of a hate-hate variety. For the life of me, I just couldn’t get that beautifully domed top paired with a moist crumb, almost no matter what I did.
And then, after many tears, a few meltdowns and numerous failed batches that filled the trash to the brim… I cracked the muffin code. (You might think I’m exaggerating and being melodramatic – I’m really not.) And since that turning point, churning out batch after batch of perfect muffins has become a piece of cake.
I’m a big fan of bakery-style muffins with that gorgeous caramelised mushroom-shaped top… and I also can’t get enough of chocolate, so I combined these two loves into one delicious (and really easy!) recipe: gluten free bakery style chocolate chip muffins. And aren’t they just mouth-watering?
Why are these gluten free muffins so great?
Now, I might be biased here, but these GLUTEN FREE (!) muffins truly tick every single box.
- They’re easy to make,
- they’re fluffy and moist (even the next day – and on days 3 and 4, they can be restored to their original fluffy glory by microwaving them for about 10 seconds),
- they have have the most amazing domed, caramelised muffin top,
- the light brown sugar and vanilla give them an extra depth of flavour, and
- there’s chocolate chips!!!
(And we all know that adding chocolate always takes things from delicious to out-of-this-world-amazing.)
Things to keep in mind when making muffins: why muffin batter should be thick
Here’s a checklist of Top 3 things to remember when making muffins:
- Thick batter consistency: muffin batter has to be fairly thick, much thicker than that for cupcakes. This helps with the formation of a gloriously domed, tall muffin (rather than a flat, only gently rounded cupcake). When you scoop muffin batter into cupcake liners, you’re looking for a batter consistency that doesn’t spread out (like cupcake batter might) but keeps the shape of the scoop.
- Filling muffin cases (paper liners) all the way to the brim: this is especially important if you want to achieve that beautiful bakery-style (jumbo muffin) top.
- Bake muffins at a higher temperature compared to cupcakes: whereas cupcakes are usually baked at 320 – 350 ºF (160 – 180 ºC), muffins require a higher baking temperature of about 375 ºF (190 ºC).
And the end result, if you follow this advice: a beautifully domed muffin, perfectly caramelised around the edges.
How do you make fluffy muffins, and prevent them from being dense?
A thick batter can have the “side effect” of dry, dense muffins – well, not with this recipe. The addition of milk and yogurt keeps the muffins nice and moist, while a generous amount of raising agents and a squeeze of lemon juice ensure that they’re tall and fluffy.
The amounts of baking powder and baking soda are optimised to give a soft, fluffy crumb without leaving behind any aftertaste, and the lemon juice (as well as the acidity from the yogurt) gives the raising agents an extra boost.
How do you make bakery style chocolate chip muffins?
Making gluten free bakery-style chocolate chip muffins truly couldn’t be easier. Here’s an overview (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the full recipe including ingredient quantities):
- Sift together the dry ingredients, including sugar.
- Add the softened butter and work it into the dry ingredients until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, and add them to the flour-butter mixture. Mix everything together until you get a smooth, thick batter with no flour clumps.
- Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon or scoop the muffin batter into the muffin liners, filling them to the brim (or even forming a small mound of batter rising above the muffin liners edge, in the case of jumbo muffins), and bake at 375 ºF (190 ºC) for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Impatiently wait for the muffins to cool sufficiently to tuck in.
- Run out of patience and burn your tongue on the hot melted chocolate chips (it’s still 100% worth it).
- Repeat step #7 until no muffins are left (or, you know, find some willpower and wait for them to cool).
How do you keep chocolate chips from sinking in muffins?
In short: you don’t have to do anything. No need to coat the chocolate chips in flour or anything like that. If your muffin batter is nice and thick (as it should be if you follow this recipe), then this should automatically and without any further effort from your side be enough to prevent the chips from sinking.
As a failsafe, you can scoop about 1 tablespoon of plain batter (before you mix in the chocolate chips) into the bottom of each muffin paper liner – this is completely optional and it skews the chocolate chip distribution slightly towards the top of the muffin.
And… that’s it, really. These gluten free chocolate chip muffins are pretty much everything you might want a muffin to be, with an extra dose of chocolate.
I really hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
As always: enjoy.
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Gluten Free Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins
These bakery style gluten free chocolate chip muffins tick all the boxes: they’re easy to make, have a fluffy and moist crumb, and a beautifully caramelised, proudly domed muffin top. Plus, I've included some useful tips about how to keep your muffins moist and fluffy, and how to prevent the chocolate chips from sinking!
- 2 1/3 cups (280 g) gluten free flour blend (Note 1)
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (80 g) almond flour (if you have an almond allergy, you can substitute it with an equal weight of gluten free flour blend, but the muffins will be slightly drier)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) light brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum or if using regular flour)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick + 1 tbsp (130 g) softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (140 mL) milk, can be cold or room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (140 g) plain yogurt, can be cold or room temperature
- 2 US large/UK medium eggs, can be cold or room temperature
- 1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 - 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 1/3 oz (150 g) chocolate chips
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases (paper liners).
In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, almond flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
Add the butter and, using a hand mixer with the double beaters attachment or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, work it into the dry ingredients until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, eggs, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice, and add them to the butter-flour mixture. Whisk them together until you get a thick, smooth batter with no flour clumps.
Mix in the chocolate chips, reserving some for sprinkling on top, until evenly distributed.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cases, dividing it equally between 12 (for standard muffins, cases filled to the brim) or 9 - 10 cases (for jumbo muffins, batter makes a small mound rising above the edge of the muffin cases). Sprinkle with the reserved chocolate chips.
Bake at 375 ºF (190 ºC) for 18 - 20 minutes (standard muffins) or 20 - 22 minutes (jumbo muffins), or until risen, golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
Leave in the muffin tin for 3 - 4 minutes, then remove from the tin and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Storage: The gluten free chocolate chip muffins are best eaten on the day of baking, but they can be kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. On days 3 and 4, they're best if first microwaved for 5 - 10 seconds.
Note 1: I used Doves Farm Free plain gluten free flour blend, which contains no xanthan gum. Alternatively, you can use a blend composed of 50% white rice flour, 30% potato starch and 20% maize flour. You can also use an equal weight of regular plain wheat flour if gluten free isn't a requirement.