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Grain-Free Birthday Cake Muffins

Hi, Culinary Couture readers! Thanks so much to you guys and Meriem for having me here today to share some one of my favorite recent addictions, er, treats. My name is Nora and I write the blog A Clean Bake. Since Meriem is focusing on other things this month, I am thrilled and honored to step in for her, especially today of all days. Why today? I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this but today is Meriem's birthday! Let's pause for a group "Happy Birthday Meriem!" Ready? 1...2...3 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERIEM!

Um, well, I am going to trust that you said it with me, because otherwise thaaaaaat's embarrassing.

So, let's talk about these muffins instead! My "claim to fame" (or at least that's what I tell myself) is creating better-for-you versions of your favorite sweets and treats that don't taste "healthy". You know all of those recipes that are called things like "skinny"? That's not what these are. Things that are low-cal are usually full of chemicals and empty calories. I cook with real, healthy, whole, unprocessed foods and I make them taste great! No cardboard cookies and styrofoam cakes here, friends.

These muffins are a perfect example. I make a point to force, ahem enlist, taste testers who are used to conventional sweets, and if they don't have a reaction like "I can't believe this is grain-free! Are you sure??" then it's not ready. Let's just say I blinked and all of these muffins were gone...and I didn't get a single one.

So, now that I have done my dog and pony show, I'll bet you must be wondering what the heck could be left to make a sweet, rich, moist and festive cupcake worthy of a birthday breakfast for a cake connoisseur like Meriem. Sure, these could be frosted and passed off as cupcakes, but in the presence of such a master like her, I would never in a million years even try to compare. So, muffins it is. Also, sprinkles for breakfast are part of a complete breakfast. (Cereal is so five minutes ago).

Want to know what these are made of? Nuts. Yes, that soft and crumbly interior you see is made from almonds. Almond meal, specifically.  They are sweetened with honey, and moistened with whatever your fat of choice is (dairy butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil will all work), and baked until golden brown, warm and inviting. All of this means that you won't have the kind of sugar spike and crash that makes mornings endless and forces you to eat your lunch at 11:00AM, leaving you sad and foodless for the rest of the afternoon.

This batch only makes 6 muffins, but the recipe doubles or triples easily, depending on the size of your family, or breakfast birthday party. If you are not a fan of artificial colors, you can certainly leave out the sprinkles, but I swear there is no better reason* to get out of better than a sweet and festive (and incendentally also healthy) muffin!

(*except coffee. There is also coffee.)

Grain-Free Birthday Cake Muffins

Yield: 6 muffins
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1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1 large egg (or vegan egg replacement, such as flax egg)
3/4 tablespoon good quality pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tablespoons melted butter, vegan butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-piece muffin pan with muffin papers and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the egg, vanilla, honey almond milk and melted butter/oil.

Pour the wet ingredients (egg, etc) into the dry ingredients (flours, etc) and whisk vigorously to combine. Fold in chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Portion the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling to about a 1/2" from the top of each cup. Brush the tops with oil or butter to help encourage browning (optional). Garnish the tops of each muffin with additional sprinkles.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container in the fridge, or cool mostly and serve while still warm.

Recipe source: A Clean Bake

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