Lemon Berry Muffins with Quinoa Flour – Gluten Free

by Sharon on October 25, 2013

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-15

So when I was in the middle of my Master Cleanse, I was blogging about Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins . It was self inflicted cruel  and unusual punishment and I became obsessed. I could not wait for the cleanse to be over so I could make muffins. I plotted, planned, researched … what kind of muffins? Chocolate? Fruity? What kind of flour? Spelt? Something gluten free? I painstakingly prepared for these muffins like the crazy OCD lady I truly am. These beautiful babies are the result.

Sweet, fresh, lemony, creamy … who’s in?!

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-1

I have heard about using quinoa flour in baking for a new gluten free option and I was excited to try it. And I mean I was really exited to try it. You know you’re a food blogger when trying out a new flour results in a giddy kitchen dance and you actually take a photo said flour bag. Yippee!

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-2

When I whisked the dry goods together I really caught the aroma of quinoa. It was a bit bizarre. The quinoa flour seemed pretty flat and fine.

Before adding in the organic cane sugar, I rubbed in lemon zest to add a citrusy flavour.

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-4

This brand of organic berries was on sale at Fortinos so I stocked up on a couple of bags and am looking forward to using them up. It has cherries, blackberries, and blueberries.

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-6

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-7

I added in a touch of sweetened cream cheese to the centre of each muffin. I used less cream cheese than with the carrot cake muffins. With the carrot cake ones I wanted to emulate the thickness of the typical cream cheese frosting and with these I just wanted to add a touch of creaminess. I sweetened the cream cheese with a bit of sugar and lemon zest. Yum.

I filled the muffin cups 1/2 way, added about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture, then topped them off with the rest of the muffin batter. I found the quinoa flour yielded a little less than my usual spelt flour and making a dozen resulted in smallish muffins. I recommend only making 10 muffins so they are a little larger than the ones I made.

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-10

The verdict was an enthusiastic thumbs up! I quite enjoyed the sweet, citrusy flavour. It was a nice switch up from the usual chocolate or peanut butter. I also liked the quinoa flour for baking. The muffins had a nice crust on the top and there was a faint taste of quinoa which gave them a slight earthy sweetness. It’s nice for those with coconut allergies to have another gluten free option besides coconut flour.

Good stuff. 🙂

Lemon Berry Quinoa Flour Muffins-13

Yields 10 muffins

Lemon Berry Muffins with Quinoa Flour
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  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup berries (I used frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a muffin tin
  2. Whisk together the quinoa flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest and rub themtogether. I just used my fingers .Add to the flour mixture and stir
  4. In another bowl, mix olive oil, egg, almond milk, and vanilla
  5. Combine the wet ingredients into the quinoa flour mixture, adding it bit by bit until just combined. Then fold in the frozen berries.
  6. Stir together the cream cheese, lemon zest, and sugar. Fill each muffin cup half way with batter and then add a teaspoon of cream cheese filling to each. Finish with the remaining batter so you can't see the cream cheese filling.
  7. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens October 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm
I totally love that I’m not the only person out there who would do a little jig over something like trying a new flour! Gorgeous photos – love that distressed black wood which totally shows off the food! And … Mmmmmm ... the recipe sounds fantastic, especially with the hidden treat of yummy cream cheese. :D Perfect!
Sharon October 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm
Thanks Shelley! I have a friend at work that is our kindred spirit ... he loves trying new flours. When I was in BC this summer I bought him a little sack of organic yellow pea flour and he was so excited! I just enjoyed the fact is is called yellow.pea.flour ;) And you know what else is funny? The background of this photo is actually a placemat :) I'm glad it looks like real wood.
Toronto Girl West October 27, 2013 at 1:06 am
That looks delicious!!! I felt like I could taste your muffins when I saw the lovely combo of the sugar, blueberries, and lemon!! :)
Sharon October 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm
Thanks Karen :) I wish you could have actually tasted one! They were pretty delicious ...
Hilary McDaniel October 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm
I'd love to try these. I just learned I have to be meat,wheat,and dairy free. Plus, grains only once in awhile. I seem to be fine with spelt and almond flour. I don't have quinoa flour, just the grains. Could I grind it like I do almonds? Any suggestions? It's so hard to follow this but my immune system was so compromised by wrong eating, I'm willing to follow. I feel fabulous now, but am so tired of fish and veggies. No peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, eggplant. Other than that, all other veggies and fish. No tropical fruits, but I can have all the others. Would love a sweet and this has all I can have except no cream cheese. So I'm thinking I'll try w/out it. Any suggestions?
Sharon October 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Hi Hilary! Thanks for checking out my site :) As far as the flour goes for this recipe you could totally use both spelt or almond flour instead of the quinoa flour. I don't know about grinding the quinoa itself into a flour. I'm curious now if that's all you'd have to do ... I will investigate! I feel for you with all the restrictions to your diet. I hope you will be able to find some more recipes here that suit your lifestyle!
Lydia November 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm
I've made my own quinoa flour by grinding whole quinoa in my vitamix...you might not be able to do it in a regular blender though, a high-power blender like a vitamix or blendtec is key.
Sharon November 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm
Good to know! I have a feeling that the Vitamix will be moving to the top of my Christmas list ;)
Galit January 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm
Looks and sounds amazing! Would love to try but what can I substitute for cream cheese? I can't use the Toffuti cream cheese either.
Sharon January 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Hi Galit! Thanks for checking out the site :) Either butter or (if you are vegan)Earth Balance in place of the cream cheese would taste delicious. Happy New Year!
Amy January 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm
I was able to grind my own Quinoa flour with my Ninja....
Sharon January 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm
Nice! I'm going to have to try this.
tess September 20, 2015 at 4:36 pm
Trying to find easy way to grind quinoa into flour for muffins ( p.s do all quinoa muffin recipes have to use and additional flour beside quinoa and any heart healthy quinoa muffins which contain no sugar or butter?) and possible make noodles. Saw a mention of Ninja. Did it work? What type of Ninja as they're are a few models and packages some of which comes with drink vessels which have a ninja blending top with a blade, a food processor bowl, or a blender container? cheers, tess
Sharon September 21, 2015 at 9:17 am
Hey Tess! I can't really speak to the Ninja as I don't have one, but I do know that people have had success using a coffee grinder to process quinoa into flour. I plan to try that method out soon.
Dairy-free January 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm
Great news! Daiya now makes cream cheese! No soy, no dairy. Tapioca-based. It tastes GREAT and has the right consistency. They make cheese, too--and PIZZA, although I haven't found that yet. All I can say is yum yum yum. :-) P.S.--Just tried Earth Balance --great substitute for butter, but it has soy. :-(
Sharon January 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm
I am also not down with soy. Organic dairy works for me, but Daiya is a great brand for vegans. Cool they have a cream cheese now!
Andrea January 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm
Can you make these without the cream cheese center all together? I haven't seen a clear reply to that question... Thanks!
Sharon January 27, 2014 at 7:10 pm
Sure! The cream cheese adds a nice tang and creaminess but is not a requirement. :) Maybe replace it with a bit of butter or oil to keep it moist.
Jenn February 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm
Thanks for the recipe! I just prepped the dry ingredients as I have a gf buddy coming for a visit in the morning. I've never heard of using olive oil in a muffin recipe...I suppose that canola oil would be a good 1:1 substitute. Oh, and I only have mascarpone cheese, which I assume could sub in for cream cheese... I'm sure it will work out well! Thanks.
Sharon February 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm
The mascarpone will taste amazing! :) I use olive oil as it has more nutritional benefit than the canola but it should work just fine. You're a nice friend to bake muffins! Have a great time. :)
Margo December 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm
I can't wait to make these! Do you think they'll freeze well? Thank you!
Sharon December 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm
I have never tried freezing these. We typically eat the batch! ;) I'm fairly sure they would freeze fine though. Thanks Margo!
Dawn @Oh Sweet Mercy November 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm
Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been looking for a good recipe that I could make allergy-friendly for a lady at our fellowship. This is now my go-to recipe. I have never used quinoa flour and didn't know what to expect but the texture of these muffins was just phenomenal. I had to make a few adjustments to make these egg and dairy free (and I didn't have a few ingredients so had to make do). I'd like to share for those in the same boat. 1. Egg substitute: 1/2 banana, smashed well. 2. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil and just mushed the solid coconut oil into the banana. 3. Had to add more almond milk as there was not enough liquid (probably should have melted the coconut oil first...) 4. Maple extract because I didn't have vanilla 5. No berries and left out cream cheese. This made a VERY flavorful basic muffin with a lovely kind of almost caramelized crust. Again, thank you so much. It means a lot to my friend when she has something she can eat at our weekly gatherings. There are also others with food allergies/sensitivities who will love them too.
Sharon November 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm
I agree with you on the caramelized crust! It's so nice. Thanks so much for the great suggestions. I'll be trying those out myself. :) You are a very kind person to think of others, both by making these for your friend and to take the time to share your version of it for vegans here. The world needs more Dawns! Thanks again. :)
Dawn @Oh Sweet Mercy November 16, 2015 at 11:51 am
Aww shucks... thank you! I know how hard it is to eat in this world when you can't have what everyone else has (my daughter and I are gluten sensitive and my son is sensitive to all kinds of stuff so I read labels and learn to substitute a lot! Plus we really try to eat "real food" and our extended families...not so much). I try to "do unto others" as best I can!
Sharon November 17, 2015 at 10:13 pm
I like the 'others' concept. :) I guess if there is an upside to gluten sensitivities, it is freshly prepared meals from whole foods.
Janis February 17, 2016 at 6:03 pm
I am looking to try your recipe to add some variety to my grains and I thought I would share a site where I learned not only to grind quinoa flour, but to also roast it to give a softer flavor. Enjoy! http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/what-the-heck-is-this-roasted-quinoa-flour/
Sharon February 18, 2016 at 11:10 am
Great! Thanks so much for the link, Janis. :)
Darmody September 18, 2016 at 12:18 am
Do you know the calorie count for one muffin? Thanks
June January 2, 2017 at 4:04 am
Sharon, I just made these muffins and they are so yummy. Thank you for sharing how to use quinoa flour.
Sharon January 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm
Hey June! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Quinoa flour opens up a whole new world! :) Happy new year.
Laurie January 18, 2017 at 3:02 pm
I'm 52, been baking most of my life-followed this recipe-I get pie crust consistency, not batter. Am I missing something??
Sharon January 19, 2017 at 11:08 am
I'm sorry I can't help, Laurie. I always get batter? Did you bake them? How did it turn out?
Janelle March 19, 2017 at 10:54 pm
The muffins turned out good! I have a dairy intolerance so I substituted the 3 tablespoons of cream cheese and used unsweetened applesauce instead.
Sharon March 20, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Thanks so much Janelle! Love the applesauce swap, too. A good substitute to lighten these up also! :)
Janelle March 19, 2017 at 10:58 pm
I Should clairify haha, I mixed the applesauce all together into the batter (I didn't plop it into the batter like the directions for the cream cheese)
Monica April 22, 2017 at 3:18 am
I made this today and they came out great! I used normal milk, since I didn't have any almond milk. And I used Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese, and mixed in. I used coconut oil, instead of olive oil. The batter was a bit dry, more like a cookie batter. I will definitely make them again! Thank you for a great recipe!
Sharon April 22, 2017 at 9:21 am
Thanks Monica! I love how you made these your own. :)
Nancy January 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm
I live your recipe, thanks so much for sharing it :) I twisted a little using pineapple instead. I didn't have any berries. My husband and I love them!
Sharon January 9, 2018 at 2:41 pm
Pineapples sounds like a delicious substitute! So glad you enjoy these. Thanks Nancy! :)

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