Gluten Free Lemon Vanilla Bean + Coconut Muffins

Looks can be deceiving. These basic little muffins might look a little dry or boring on the outside but don't let them fool you; they are sweet, gooey and delicious on the inside. These muffins are gluten-free and vegan which is a win for plant-based eaters. I worked really hard on these muffins; but trying to recreate the gluten-filled traditional wheat flour muffins is almost impossible. So instead of being hard on myself I decided to just rethink the way a muffin should look and feel and accept the outcome. These muffins are more like a cross between a donut and a cupcake. Um, yep, you heard me right. So I think I should call them cake nuts or muffnuts? Or maybe not actually. (I'm laughing really hard right now)

lemon vanilla bean gluten free muffin recipe | #puremamas

These little muffin doughnut cupcake hybrids are yumI So instead of being bummed I decided to give myself a darn high five (that isn't really a thing). I mean who wouldn't want to eat something that has the texture of a muffin/donut/cupcake and tastes like lemony coconut cream vanilla bean pudding? Nobody!

gluten free lemon muffins | vegan #puremamas

Another high five moment this week: I finally got myself a legit big girl camera a few days ago and I've been experimenting ever since. I have been a Nikon gal since the start of my blogging journey for not other reason except that is the camera I had here at home. But now, after all these years, I decided it was time to play around with the Canon toys. I am not going to claim to be a good photographer because I'm far from it. So to say I'm a Nikon person or a Canon person would not be honest. I truly have no clue about most of it (but I do not use the auto feature, I can tell you that). I can however say with confidence that I am extremely thankful for Lightroom because the editing part is where I have experience. But I assure you I will get better at using this camera - it's one of my 2017 new years goals. 

vanilla bean + lemon gluten free vegan muffins recipe | #puremamas

Anyways, my kids loved this recipe. All 12 muffins are gone! Devoured! And I just made them an hour ago (oops, maybe they need a lesson in moderation). I ate two though and my husband had at least one. But they are THAT good. You can add berries to this recipe as well - we did blackberries one time and my kids wouldn't eat them. Just the thought of berry chunks made them less appealing. But please use this recipe as a base and have fun with it. You can make blueberry or raspberry muffins. Get creative. 

Not to mention these little gems are gluten-free and vegan! The lemon glaze topping is optional (it is made with powdered sugar) but adds a very cupcake or donut like dimension. A healthier option would be my berry chia seed jam.  Of course my kids liked them better with the glaze (duh). You could also top them with walnut butter for added protein or mashed banana for natural sweetness. 

gluten free vegan muffin recipe | #puremamas


Yields approx 12 muffins


  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, approx 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (lemon peel grated with a fine cheese grater)
  • 1 egg substitute (or 1 real egg if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp coconut cream (the thick white stuff at the top of the can)
  • 5 Tbsp (about 3/4 stick) vegan butter (plus a little extra for greasing the muffin pan)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Divide the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients into separate bowls. Beat the wet ingredients until thoroughly mixed (about 1 minute) using a hand mixer or by hand with a whisk. 
  3. Stir dry ingredients together and then sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
  4. Using a hand mixer (or you can mix by hand) combine everything really well until mixture is wet and there are no clumps. 
  5. Grease a standard size muffin tray with any extra vegan butter or coconut oil. 
  6. Divide the muffin batter into the muffin tray. 
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Keep checking them to see how they are doing and to be sure they haven't gotten too brown.*
  8. Let them cool. Glaze them after they cool. Or eat them as is without the glaze.   

*please note that these are gluten free muffins so they won't be exactly like the traditional wheat flour muffins. They don't get as airy and fluffy, but here are some tips to help them rise. These remind me more of a cupcake inside. 



  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted to remove chunks
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice or almond milk


  1. Using a hand mixer blend all of the above ingredients until well mixed and there are no more visible clumps.
  2. When the muffins have cooled almost completely, you'll want to top them with this glaze. Glaze will harden. 
gluten free vegan lemon vanilla bean coconut muffin recipe | #puremamas

Please comment and let me know your thoughts on the recipe. I'd love the feedback and feel free to tag me @julinovotny on Instagram if you do in fact make these.