Our Paleo Family

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

People who know me well think that I cook from scratch all the time. I do – most of the time, but not all of the time. Even I don’t always have the time to devote to homemade meals and treats. And sometimes it isn’t even practical. For instance, when I need to send food with my kids to a party or a youth group event, I almost always opt for a mix. I do this for several reasons:

  1. teenagers don’t appreciate the quality and cost of paleo ingredients
  2. many kids these days need to be nut free and good paleo baked goods require some kind of nut flour
  3. teenagers eat a lot and using a boxed mix is inexpensive and gets me out of the kitchen fast, but still yields a lot!
  4. these “cheater” recipes are really good! We can’t eat them all the time because gluten free mixes contain a lot of sugar and grain flours, but a little bit now and then is fine – for my family at least.

I apologize for the poor quality pictures below. I took all these photos at the same time so I’m not sure what’s going on with the lighting. You know what a muffin looks like though. 🙂

When I need to send snacks with the kids, my usual go to is a yellow cake mix with the addition of cinnamon. I call those snickerdoodle muffins and they get gobbled up every time. But since it’s pumpkin spice season, I thought I’d try my hand at turning the basic yellow cake mix into pumpkin spice muffins. These too were a big hit – even with those kids who won’t usually touch gluten free stuff with a ten foot pole!

Do you remember back in the day when we tried to make everything low fat? The trick was to replace about half of the fat in a recipe with applesauce to make it lower fat. Well, the purpose here is not to reduce fat, but we’re doing the same thing. We replace half the fat in the recipe with pumpkin puree. The result: pumpkin flavor, pumpkin color and lower fat, even though that’s not a concern for most folks these days. (that’s a lesson for another day!)

The recipe is simple, quick and tasty and I hope you’ll give it a try!

Because cake mixes come in different sizes, this is a method recipe rather than a recipe with specific amounts so read carefully and pay attention to the instructions on your cake mix box.

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins
Print Recipe
Big muffins, mini muffins, a large cake or even as a bread, this quick and easy recipe yields great results that are sure to please!
Servings Prep Time
lots! 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-20 minutes, depending on muffin size
Servings Prep Time
lots! 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-20 minutes, depending on muffin size
Quick and Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins
Print Recipe
Big muffins, mini muffins, a large cake or even as a bread, this quick and easy recipe yields great results that are sure to please!
Servings Prep Time
lots! 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-20 minutes, depending on muffin size
Servings Prep Time
lots! 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-20 minutes, depending on muffin size
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add palm shortening - half the amount called for in the recipe. Most call for about 1/2 cup so in that case, you would use 1/4 cup palm shortening.
  2. Now add the same amount of pumpkin puree as you added palm shortening. One mix I tried called for 1/2 cup butter and 2 tablespoons of oil. In that case, I used 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon palm shortening and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of pumpkin. Make sense?
  3. Now add whatever else the recipe calls for - usually eggs and milk and sometimes vanilla extract. Again, to keep this dairy free, use coconut milk or almond milk.
  4. Whisk all these liquid ingredients together. Now add the cake mix and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Divide into desired portions - I like mini muffins, but large muffins or one large (9x13) cake works too. Follow the directions on your mix for specifics on pan size, baking temperature and baking time.
  6. The typical yield is 48-56 mini muffins or 24 mini muffins and 12 large muffins.
  7. If you want to go crazy, make a simple buttercream frosting* and turn these into cupcakes.
Recipe Notes

*My dairy free buttercream recipe is found here. Just leave out the almond extract and sprinkle in a little pumpkin pie spice.

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