Recipe: Gluten-Free (and Vegan!) Pear Cardamom Muffins

The wisp of crispness in the air is always a reliable prompt to get back into the kitchen. There is no better way to celebrate the beginning of fall than by baking something sweet and fragrant. These muffins fill the air with the aromas of cardamom, coconut, vanilla and pears. Not only are they gluten-free, but they are also vegan, naturally sweetened and whole-grain. They will most likely please everyone.

Chia seeds and ground flax, along with a little mashed banana, bind the batter and provide a moist and cakey backdrop for the cooked pears. The chia seeds also impart a lovely crunchy texture. Served with a cup of tea, the muffins make the perfect mid-morning or afternoon treat.

Gluten-Free Pear-Cardamom Muffins

Makes 10

These muffins are best the day they’re made, but they will keep in the fridge for a day beyond that. Just be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving.


2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup millet flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup almond meal

1/2 medium banana, mashed

6 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 pears, peeled and diced (2 cups)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

Combine flax, chia and almond milk in a medium bowl, whisk to combine and set aside for 10 minutes or until thickened.

Sift millet flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom into a medium bowl. Add the almond meal, stir to combine and set aside.

Add the mashed banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, vinegar and salt to the flax-chia mixture and whisk to combine. Gently stir in almond meal mixture until just about combined, add pears and stir again.

Divide mixture into prepared muffin pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

More guilt-free desserts:

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. She is the author of At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen and blogs at

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