Hosting overnight guests this holiday season? Make these quick and easy Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Oat Muffins for a breakfast everyone can enjoy! Whether your guests avoid gluten because they have celiac or because they simply feel better when they don’t eat it, these muffins will be a hit, and you’ll be the hero for making something they can eat too! And don’t worry, your gluten-eating guests won’t even know these muffins are gluten-free because they taste so good!
I have several family members coming for an overnight stay this holiday season who either have celiac or avoid eating gluten because they feel better, as well as family members who avoid dairy too. Because I knew I would need breakfast food that I could make ahead, I decided to take a classic family recipe, make it gluten free, and turn it into muffins.
While my dad didn’t cook a lot when I was young, he had a few staple recipes that he always made. Cranberry bread was one of them, and it always makes an appearance at their house at Christmas. It’s loaded with fresh cranberries, orange juice and is based on wheat flour and bran cereal, neither of which are gluten free.
To make these muffins gluten free, I’m swapping cassava flour for the wheat flour and gluten-free oats for the bran cereal. The cranberry bread my dad makes is already dairy free so I didn’t have to make any changes there.
If you’ve never tried (or even heard of) cassava flour, you definitely should! It’s a relative new-comer in the gluten free baking world, even though it’s made from a plant that has been consumed for centuries in many parts of the world. It’s made from a root, which grows similar to a potato, and it grows in tropical regions of the world.
If you think you’ve never used or eaten this plant before, you might be surprised that tapioca comes from cassava (or yuca or manioc, which are other names for this plant). Tapioca, which is processed using only the starch of the cassava root, is different from cassava flour, which is processed using the whole root (minus the skin). This makes cassava flour (as opposed to tapioca) much more suitable as a substitute for wheat flour in your favorite baked foods. Trust me, it’s nothing like making tapioca pudding.
Because of a different project I’m working on, I have cooked and baked with cassava flour A LOT over the past couple of years, and I really like how foods made with it taste as well as how they work compared to the same foods made with other gluten free flours. There are two main brands of cassava flour available in the US, and both of them work equally well. Here is a link to the cassava flour I am using in these muffins.
As for oats, have you heard that oats are not gluten free? If so, you’re not alone, in fact, years ago when I studied nutrition in college, we were taught that oats contain gluten. This is not really accurate – a lot of oats contain gluten because they are processed around other flours or grains that contain gluten and, therefore, they register as having gluten because of cross-contamination. Oats on their own are gluten free, and if they are processed in a gluten free facility, there is no risk of contamination.
The important thing to remember when buying oats for gluten free baking is to make sure the package specifies that the oats are gluten free. With more and more people eating gluten free, it is easier than ever to find gluten free oats. Both Bob’s Red Mill and Quaker sell gluten free oats.
With cranberry season in full swing, these muffins are a perfect way to use them. If you’ve only ever eaten dried cranberries or cranberry sauce from a can, you’re in for a real treat to eat fresh cranberries. Compared to dried cranberries or canned cranberry sauce, both of which have added sugar, fresh cranberries are a pop of tart, fresh tang. Eating them alone will make your mouth pucker, but chopped up in these muffins, they make the perfect yin and yang flavor balance with the sweet maple syrup and orange juice. I hope you love them as much as I do!
P.S. These Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Oat Muffins are also dairy free, so your friends or family who don’t eat dairy will be happy too!
Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Oat Muffins How-To Photos:
These are the two gluten-free products I used to make these muffins. Here is a link to buy the cassava flour I use. I can get the gluten free oats in my local grocery store!
I use a food processor to make the muffin batter really quickly – it the quickest (and least messy) way to chop the cranberries.
If you’ve never used olive oil in baking, don’t worry, your muffins won’t taste like olives. Use “regular” and not “extra virgin” for the best results.
Using a Microplane to finely shred orange zest is the easiest way. Shred only the very outer orange part of the peel, which is the zest.
Fresh cranberries are the star of these muffins – so pretty and festive at this time of the year!
Add the cranberries to the batter and give it a couple more on-off turns with the food processor and they will be chopped easily.
The muffin cups will be very full of batter.
Eat these muffins warm for a real treat!
(NOTE: this post contains affiliate links)
Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Oat Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups cassava flour
- 1 ¼ cups gluten-free quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil*
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon finely shredded orange zest
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line twelve, 2 ½-inch muffin cups with paper liners; set aside. In a food processor bowl combine cassava flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Cover; pulse on and off a few times to mix the dry ingredients.
- Add syrup, orange juice, oil, egg, and orange zest to dry ingredients in food processor. Cover; pulse on and off a few times until batter is just combined. Add cranberries. Cover; pulse on and off a few times to chop cranberries (do not chop cranberries too finely or batter will turn pink). Spoon batter into paper liners in muffin cups (cups will be full).
- Bake muffins for 14 to 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers of muffins comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 2 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled completely.