Cinnibun Oat Streusel Muffins

I had no idea how much garbage was in the food I ate before I began studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist. From the preservatives, unnecessary sugars, carcinogens, dyes, flavors and chemicals, it didn’t phase me. But, a couple of weeks into my training something clicked…

The food I’m eating is slowly killing me.

One of the foods that struck a chord with me was high fructose corn syrup aka HFCS.

Why HFCS scares me:

  • It’s in everything
  • No nutritional value – empty calories. I don’t know about you, but I like to get the biggest bang for my meal buck, and HFCS doesn’t help the cause.
  • Inadequate source of nutrients and minerals – void of many of the essential amino acids
  • Causes a huge spike in blood sugar – leading to weight gain, blood sugar problems – hypoglycemia, diabetes
  • Increases chance of developing osteoporosis, tooth decay, anemia, and osteoarthritis

You’d be amazed at all of the places you can find HFCS: pies, cookies, candies, bread, marinated meats, lunch meat, sauces, cake frosting, salad dressings, cinnamon buns…

No, not cinnamon buns :(

One of my clients passed on these funnies by Dave Kellett that I just have to share with you. To give you some background, the FDA is currently deciding whether or not “high fructose corn syrup” can be renamed as “corn sugar” so that the public doesn’t see it as such a bad ingredient.

The thing is, it is bad. Coconut sugar, yacon syrup, stevia… these are good sugars. Corn syrup should not be viewed as a safe ingredient.

Whatever the outcome is, education will always be our strongest tool!


And another…


And one last one [my favorite - haha rainbow droppings]…


Thankfully the recipe I’m about to share with you is 100% corn free, loaded with the good stuff that’ll keep you full for hours, will help to balance your blood sugar, and even contribute to weight loss with all that darn coconut in there.

And hey, they’re sweet too!

Cinnibun Oat Streusel Muffins

Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free

These are some serious muffins. They share a strong resemblance to cinnamon buns with an apple crisp type topping. They are fantastic sprinkled over ice cream, overnight oats, or a big bowl of morning smoothie!

Inspired by: Alaina


  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar/coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut cream – the top cream from a can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Streusel topping

  • 1/4 cup uncontaminated quick oats or oat flakes
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with 8 muffin liners. Place a couple of tablespoons of water in the unused tins to prevent your muffin pan from burning. Set aside.
  2. Mix oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, coconut oil, and coconut in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine almond flour, coconut flour,baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, blend together eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil, milk and vanilla.
  5. Blend dry ingredients into wet and scoop a 1/4 cup at a time into prepared muffin cups.
  6. Spoon topping onto muffins and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack and allowing to cool for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Makes 8 muffins.

Do you try to avoid high fructose corn syrup?

Did you read comics as a kid? What was your favorite?

I loved Archie comics!!

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. I gotta tell you, my heart gets warm when I see things published like this about HFCS. HFCS is like… my arch nemesis. What an insidious thing! I have so many friends that are working their butts off to drop some weight, but the scale doesn’t move because they are being attentive to HFCS (and other sugars that spike your blood glucose).

    The healthy/organic community in my hometown is just budding now, so there are a few things still hard to find. For instance, I have to make my own ketchup from scratch, which I do gladly.

    The problem is all of the mass produced corn in the US. It’s so overproduced because of GMOs, chemicals, and pesticides that the CHEAPEST way to manufacture ANYTHING is to incorporate corn, somehow. GMO corn and GMO soybeans… just try and escape them without planting a garden in your back and and living off of it. Now I’m all amped up at 7:30 AM.

    Corn is in everything – not good corn either. Gross, nasty inedible corn – it’s in most of th emeat, it’s even in batteries.

    Ok, I’m done. *takes a breath*

    TO make a long story short: I agree with you.

    • It’s so true, many of my clients have a hard time losing weight and I’m convinced one of the reasons is HFCS. That stuff is downright awful, I’m so thrilled to hear you agree with me! Have you ever tried making ketchup with raisins? It’s delicious!!
      Don’t even get me started on GMOs… I guess that’s a conversation for another day. I get amped up about it too, so no worries!


        I’m going to take a guess that you’ve seen this video about sugar and corn syrup and why they are contributing (if not causing) the obesity epidemic. This is called Sugar: The Bitter Truth and wow has it jumped up my motivation! :)

  2. The whole “corn sugar” thing is crazy…CRAZY! It drives me nuts! But those cartoons are hilarious!!! hahaha…..I don’t think I’ve ever see Sheldon comics before….And yes, I did read the comics every day when I was in 6th and 7th grade. I went through that phase!

  3. Yes! I avoid HFCS am much as possible. Same with MSG.
    Have you seen those government sponsored commercials, “The Sweet Surprise?” LIES!!!
    Of course the government would tell us that super processed corn is fine and dandy for our bodies, the government subsidizes corn crops!

    • MSG – that’s another scary one! I haven’t seen them, but they sound similar to what the Canadian commercials “Corn sugar, Cane sugar, coconut sugar, it’s all sugar” :| First time I saw it I threw my hairband at the TV.

  4. Because I’m corn intolerant (basically from eating so many foods with HFCS when I was younger if you ask me), I avoid HFCS like the plague. Although, I really don’t buy processed foods at the store (except ketchup… and hummus) so anything I snack on, I make at home. And I sure as heck don’t have a 5 pound jug of HFCS lying around my house. :)

    • I’m the same way. I’ve eaten so much corn in my time that I just can’t tolerate it anymore. Interesting that most celiacs are corn intolerant… I couldn’t imagine having that much HFCS and baking with it, ick!?

  5. Do you try to avoid high fructose corn syrup? = yes but not sure how well I do at it. Oh well :)

    I had a serious obsession w/ cinnabuns during my time as a mall worker in h.s. they smell sooo good in the mall!

    • Judging from your delicious recipes, I’d say you do pretty well!
      I went through the same cinnamon bun addiction when I was a kid. My mom would buy these HUGE ooey + gooey buns every Friday after work and they’d be gone by Sunday. I usually polished off the whole thing. Insanity!

    • I did the same thing and it totally helped. No judging here!

  6. Wow, these look great.. and will not harm the bod! It is so difficult to find truly healthy food that will really satisfy a sweet tooth! These may have solve that problem!

  7. Ugh. Unethical food marketing is my number one soap box topic. On the other side of the coin though, I’ve started to notice whole fruits and vegetables being marketed to children lately. As much as I don’t like anything being marketed to kids, it’s hard to argue with a cute cartoon orange encouraging children to choose him as a snack rather than a cookie full of HFCS.

    • It’s great that those cartoons are coming out. I’m 100% supportive of that!

  8. I’m such a huge muffin fan. It all started with a little muffin place set up in the mall called Mmmm Muffins! I think there are still some venues left in food courts.. but theyre located in Vancouver. Not sure why they went out of business here but they had the most delicious and BIG topped muffins…with every flavor u could dream of. My mom and I would always get the cinnamon bun muffin which had a yummy streusel on top too. When I got older I ended up finding a couple ingredient lists from their website and was so shocked at how little ‘real food’ was in them! No matter how grainy and hearty they seemed, there was nothing ‘grain’ about them…all starch, modified ingredients, hydrogenated oils, and lots of sugar and syrup. No wonder we end up having to just make our own huh!!

    these look AWESOME! :)


  9. Pure rainbow droppings, HAHA. I love that! I’m totally calling things like fruit loops rainbow poo. My husband calls marshmallows snowman poo. Hah… Mmkay, that’s enough talk about droppings.
    The muffins look awesome! Loooove cinnamon buns. In fact I promised I’d make my hubby some, but the kind he likes aren’t too good(white flour, sugar, etc). At least they’re free of droppings though.
    I loved Archie comics too :D

  10. I really try to just stay away from processed foods in general and stick to basic real food in its natural form. Doing that helps me keep HFCS at bay and far away from my body. Unfortunately, sometimes I just want something sweet to eat, which is where it may appear, but in the end I know a little here or there won’t kill me. But your recipes sound and look delicious and are that “something sweet” I crave!! Goodbye HFCS!

    • That’s the best way to do it – eating whole foods eliminates the need to even worry about HFCS being hidden somewhere. It’s good that you have a healthy balance, if you want a little something sweet, that’s okay! It’s when we overdo it that it’s not good!

  11. Heart ticklers!! LOL! I forwarded all of those comics to my husband who will also get a huge kick out of them like I did. I think it’s so stupid and misleading to the public that they want to just change the name of their product to corn sugar. It’s so terrible how prevalent it is in processed foods. There were some commercials on TV awhile ago (not sure if they aired in Canada) where people were trying to convince you that HFCS is ok in moderation. The people in them were really annoying. I was yelling at the TV like an old person. Ugh!

    I really, really want to make these muffins! They look so good!

    • Similar commercials aired in Canada that said “Corn sugar, Cane sugar, coconut sugar, it’s all sugar” :| I too got just as angry.
      Don’t mean toot my own horn… but these muffins ARE delicious. They will definitely be a regular treat at our house.

  12. Oooh I know what I’m making this weekend! These look so yummy! Can the celtic sea salt be substituted for himalayan salt? I only ask because I’m running low on room on my spice rack.

    In general, I try to avoid processed foods and foods with refined sugar whenever I can. When I traveled to the US last fall, I noticed that almost all of their yogurts had HFCS. But then they also had aspartame as well. I’m not sure why both types of sweetners were needed but most yogurts (flavoured) were sweetned with both.

    I loved Archie comics too! I laughed when I read the comics you posted. I was reminded of a few coworkers who were picking through a gift basket recently trying to find a “healthy” snack. They settled on apple spiced pretzels… because they were made with apple. I didn’t even want to tell them where they went wrong :)

    Just so I can explain it to people – how does your body process low GI sugars like palm sugar and Agave vs. refined sugars.

    • Sea salt will work fine, I just use Himalayan because it has more minerals, but it can be replaced no problem. It’s amazing that the yogurt had HFCS + aspartame. That’s insanity. I’m going to try and make homemade yogurt this weekend… we’ll see how it goes.
      For sugar – what makes a ‘bad’ sugar bad is the amount of fructose. Not saying that fructose is bad, its very beneficial when it’s in an apple (with all the fiber, nutrients, etc) but when it’s on it’s own, it impacts our blood sugar. Coconut/palm sugar, yacon, stevia, agave (although I don’t believe that agave is low fructose, so it’s not one of my go to sugars anymore) has low fructose therefore it doesn’t impact your blood sugar, doesn’t request that your body use insulin to balance you out. Make sense?

  13. I adore anything with cinnamon and these little muffins look divine.. I do try to avoid HFCS at all costs its amazing how many things contain it… sad!

  14. These look great. I love anything that much more when it has a streusel topping.

    I actively eliminated HFCS from my diet over two years ago, although I recognize that there’s only so much I can control. I won’t buy anything that has HFCS listed in the ingredients, and I try my best to avoid it elsewhere. I seriously hate those commercials that position it as being “sugar” — straight up lies!

    • You’re right, streusel rocks! So many people are angry about these commercials! Yay!!

  15. Those comics are freaking hilarious!! I hadn’t heard about the re-branding of corn syrup. I personally have never been a fan of it, and use it rarely. Pretty much in Pecan Pie’s only, and not always then. Your recipe looks SO delicious! I will have to add this to my must make list!

    • I’ve made a pecan pie with agave nectar once and it was pretty tasty. I’m going to try it with coconut sugar next Christmas, we’ll see how it turns out!

  16. Oh my gosh – I miss Cinnabon so bad! Not the crappy feeling I had after eating them, but still… Can’t WAIT to try these!!!!!

    • I went to school at CSNN (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). It is super fun!

  17. ugh…i hate how HFCS is in basically anything! while i believe that too much sugar is too much sugar and isn’t good for the body even if it’s from a natural source like maple syrup, date syrup or coconut sugar; but i’d still certainly rather have sugar from a more natural source! and honestly; is it really necessary for so much HFCS to be in, essentially, EVERYTHING these days?! Drives me crazy. Like you, I never really realized how much of the food these days is basically made up of chemicals. It sort of pains me to see it flooding the supermarkets :[
    These muffins, however – look amazing. And I finally got coconut sugar – yippee!! (and carob!)

    • YES I cannot wait to see what you do with those 2 ingredients. You’re so creative!

  18. Oh MY, these muffins look sooo good!! Everything you said about high fructose corn syrup is very interesting, thanks for sharing… I was wondering your thoughts (if any) about xylitol? I have been hearing about this sweetener lately and am wondering if it’s really better for you…. Thanks!

    • Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and like stevia does not spike blood sugar levels. It is not as sweet as stevia and has a nicer taste, so it is a good alternative. Another great benefit of xylitol is that it has anti-bacterial properties, which is why you see it in many natural dental products such as gum, toothpaste and mouthwash. I think xylitol is right up there with stevia, I fully support its use! I haven’t tried it in my baking, but when I’m looking for protein bars and such I chose ones that are sweetened with coconut sugar, xylitol, or stevia. All are great choices!

      • Definitely good to know!! I received some as a sample and it is a pretty decent substitute for sugar taste-wise – I was just wondering about health-wise! I appreciate your insight Leanne, thank you!

  19. You’re so lucky you have access to organic food. Cayman is trying but the items are limited and incredibly expensive. I boo this name change. Seems sneaky. Like the military saying collateral damage or operational exhaustion. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

    I didn’t read comics as a kid but I’m addicted to them now! I worked in a comic book store in college. Don’t forget, May 7th is Free Comic Book Day. I know they have at least TWO Archie titles this year so make sure you head to your nearest comic store to get your free swag :)

    • I didn’t know there was such a thing as free comic day, that’s SO cool! Our access to organic food is limited too. There are specialty shops, but everything is ridiculous expensive. Red peppers for instance are $6 each!

    • Thanks! I got them at the dollar store for 25 cents, a steal of a deal!

    • Thanks for the shout out, I loved all of the featured breakfasts. Mmm Mmm!

  20. The funnies are funny, but they make a huge point: If something gets a bad rapport, then just market it’s image. Best example right now is BP with their “community” television ads. But the same problems still exist even with the new fancy logo and marketing campaign.

    I really wish that there could be more education about this, I wish I knew more about it when I was in school.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Marketing is a powerful tool that can either be used for good, or for the not so good… in this case, it’s just downright wrong! Education is our strongest tool though, so when you’re out with friends or family, pass on the message!

    • Thanks for the inspiration, it was really fun to play around with your recipe!

  21. A-to-the-men. Plus, with the over-use of corn, most people are developing intolerance’s to the stuff! So, it’s bad for you, annnnd, your body will eventually begin to reject it – Awesome.

  22. I love cinnamon buns, these look fantastic!

    I definitely avoid HFCS as much as I can. I know there will be times I do have it – I have a severe gummi bear addiction! – so I feel actively avoiding it for the most part lets me have some gummi once in a while :)

    even in baking, I would much rather sweeten naturally, with juice or fruits.

    • I’m with you on the gummi bears! Have you ever heard of HARIBO candy? It’s a German company and many of their products don’t have HFCS – them Germans really know how to control the crap that’s in our food. Anyways, they make a MEAN gummi bear. They are so delicious.

  23. Hi there, firstly, those muffins do look good. However, there is something I want to ask as it has been bugging me for a long while and you seem very qualified to answer it! I come from a Southeast Asian country, and coconut milk/cream has always been viewed as being decadent as it has a very high fat content. The same thing goes for desiccated coconut (that’s what it’s called in the UK. it’s basically the same as unsweetened shredded coconut) – it’s very high in fat, with most of that being saturated. How does that make it weight friendly?

    Secondly, while being part of the EC can be somewhat strange and annoying, I must admit to being glad that the EC has strict regulations on food.. I’ve known about HFCS for years but hardly ever come across it in any of the foods I consume.

    Thanks for answering my question, and I apologize if I come off as being rather abrasive, I really am rather curious as to the coconut issue – many health food blogs I’ve come across seem to extoll it as well.

      • Thank you for the prompt and helpful reply! I was a bit confused at first (still), but I did some searching and realized that the problem is that there are different kinds of saturated fats, but nutritional information doesn’t reflect that.

        Also, out of curiosity, why do you specify uncontaminated oats…? I suppose you mean organic?

        • uncontaminated oats ensure that the oat doesn’t have gluten. I’m gluten free, so uncontaminated oats are the only ones I can eat.
          When it comes to reading the nutritional information, you really have to check the ingredient listing + label. It can be a bit of a struggle at first, but comes with time!

  24. I even saw HFCS in canned tomatoes once…. really? Can someone explain to me how THAT is necessary? The most damaging fact for me for HFCS is the fact that a by-product of the way the extract it is mercury. I just read a study recently that estimates that the number one source that American’s are consuming, or contacting the neuro-toxin mercury is through HFCS. I’m disappointed in the FDA for allowing this, LET ALONE SUBSIDIZING IT! ARgh!

  25. Hey Leanne!
    I just made these amazing goodies with a few modifications. I subted some almond floor for a bit of protein powder, used all egg whites and added some coca powder to the dough, because it came out a little too sweet for me. I LOVE the result and the streusel tastes just like cinnabuns. Mmmmm! THANKS for sharing :)
    Love, Maria from Denmark

  26. These were the second recipe for baked goods that I have made from your blog, to give to others… They were great. Only one person commented to me that they were dense (which I kind of think you should expect in a gluten-free baked good, most of the time) but still amazing. I can’t believe there is so little sugar in these – no one could tell.

    My only worry was that the ‘batter’ wasn’t like typical muffin batter… It was like dough! Just not nearly as stiff. Did I do something wrong to end up with it like that? They still rose beautifully and filled out into the ‘moulds’ in the muffin tray, but I was definitely a little bit worried when I put them in… Obviously no worries now since they turned out so well. ;) They made the house smell heavenly! (Gotta love cinnamon!)

    • It was so long ago that I’d made these, I can’t recall what the batter was like! I’ll have to make them again and update the recipe/directions if need be. I remember them being dense and delicious, though!

      • I remade these a couple of weeks ago, and I just wanted to report back to say that I must’ve done something wrong the first time. They were great before, but when I made them a second time, the batter was much more like what you would expect for muffins, and the texture of the finished baked goods was out of this world. Cakey and slightly crumbly, indeed! But crumbly in a good way – as in, crumbling apart into deliciousness when you take a bite. I think these may become a regular treat for me – they are so good!

        • Oh good! Thank you for reporting back, Jenny! I was a bit concerned (as I am always when someone says that one of my recipes didn’t turn out well) I’m glad you liked them ;)

  27. I need a subsitute for coconut sugar/palm sugar. I can’t find either in my grocery store availability.

    Would agave work? Or…….

    • Hi Juli – I believe I posted this message to you on Facebook… but just in case: If you’re good with cane sugar, demerara or sucanat sugar would work. Alternatively, you can use brown sugar. Hope that helps!

  28. I made these muffins this weekend and they were great! Thanks for the recipe. I doubled the recipe and used flax eggs instead. For some reason the dough seemed really thick and my muffins took about 35-40 minutes to cook. The tasted delicious, but they were very crumbly. Any suggestions? I’d like to try the recipe again.

    • Hi Kim – I’ve never tried this recipe with flax eggs so I can’t tell you exactly what to expect. When I follow the full recipe, it yields a very cakey doughnut. Because coconut flour is very dense and crumbly naturally, you could try to add a bit of apple sauce to the mix to see if that helps with the next batch you make! Sorry I couldn’t be more help :)

  29. I am so happy to have been told about your blog. I will be trying many of your recipes. Thanks for sharing!

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