Grain-free Ginger Spice Muffin Tops

The potential coconut sensitivity that I mentioned on Friday = false alarm.

Thank goodness.

I spent most of the weekend panicking that my love for coconut had eventually led to a sensitivity. (When you eat too much of one thing, especially when you’re prone to allergies, your body can begin to develop a sensitivity to it)

What I neglected to think of was that having something high in fat after being on a cleanse for a week; regardless of what type of fat, would lead to stomach pains.

Sure enough, I had coconut on Sunday and didn’t have any type of reaction.


But there’s a lesson in all of this. Maybe I should try to limit coconut to a couple servings a week just so I don’t develop a sensitivity to it.


Just after I finish these delectable bundles of ginger spice goodness, kay?

I’m starting up with spin classes again this week and knew that the added cardio would require me to eat more.

Instead of grabbing for a LARABAR, handful of store-bought granola, or a packet of trail mix, I wanted to create with something I could really feel good about eating. Something that was,

  • higher in fat because I know my body likes it
  • high in protein to keep me full
  • higher in fiber ’cause we could all use a bit more
  • big without being big. Read: I like to eat a lot but don’t enjoy feeling heavy and bogged down after ward

I remembered really enjoying these coconut and apricot muffin tops last year so decided to adjust the flavor, cut the sugar; and yes, even reduce the coconut.

Grain-free Ginger Spice Muffin Tops

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

I wanted to make a mid-morning snack that was low in sugar, high in protein, fiber, and less than 250 calories for the perfect snack-sized treat. Enter the ginger spice fluffy muffin top made with coconut flour! Each serving is two muffin tops so you really feel like you’re indulging without feeling too full afterward. Dress them up with nut butter, fresh fruit, or enjoy plain.

Yield: 8 muffin tops

Servings: 4




  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  2. Place dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all wet ingredients with a hand mixer.
  4. Add dry to wet and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds.
  5. Let the batter sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken up
  6. Scoop ~2 tablespoon piles of the batter using a tablespoon, leaving 1 inch between each stack – I stacked each tablespoon on top of one another to get really fluffy muffin tops. To do so, put a tablespoon of batter down on prepared baking sheet and then put another tablespoon directly on top of that one then move on to the next pile.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean and/or the edges are slightly golden. Mine were absolutely perfect at 19 minutes.

Alternatively, the batter can be used to make mini muffins too. Yields 24 mini muffins. Bake at the same temperature for 14-16 minutes. Mine were perfect at 15 minutes.

View nutrition facts

You may have noticed the xylitol in the recipe today, a new ingredient to the blog. I’d purchased it when I visited London last year but with the hustle bustle of the holidays, I’ve only just gotten around to experimenting with it.

After testing it out in a couple of recipes, I was sure that I liked xylitol more than stevia. But to me sure, I decided to make two batches of muffin tops and performed a little experiment in my make-shift test kitchen.

I made one batch with 20 liquid stevia drops and the other with the xylitol called for in the recipe above.

Thankfully Kevin volunteered for the blind study. He didn’t know what he was testing for, only that the two recipes were different in some way. If I would have told him there was stevia involved he wouldn’t have volunteered.

He took a little nibble of each one, a big bite of each, then focused in on the xylitol sweetened muffin top and polished it off quickly.

I guess that just about sums up which of them was his favorite.

He said that the xylitol sweetened treat was sweeter and tasted more real and natural.

So if you’ve ever been wondering if xylitol is worth looking into, I’d say heck ya!

Okay… off to spin class.

Happy Monday!

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. I need to try xylitol. I don’t know why I haven’t yet, but you’ve convinced me I need to now. These look amazing! Thank goodness you’re ok with coconut. That would be bad if you couldn’t have it. Enjoy your class today!

  2. Very interesting about the xylitol! I remember reading your sugars post a while ago and you briefly mentioned it, but is it as easily digestible as stevia? I seem to remember reading about it and since it’s a sugar alcohol I wondered if it might be a little tougher for our digestive systems to take. Either way, these look so cute! I usually only like to eat the top of the muffin anyway! ;)

    • I need to investigate the digestibility. It’s interesting. When I eat stevia I find that it’s harder on my digestion than when I eat xylitol. Stevia has been linked to digestive issues – constipation, gas, bloating, but I haven’t read up on xylitol just yet.

  3. I’ve been hearing a lot about xylitol lately, and I always thought it was a chemical of sorts for so long. I’m definitely curious about the taste now!

  4. Where were these last night when I was trolling my kitchen for a snack?! :)

    I have had the same experience with xylitol. It doesn’t have the “funk” aftertaste like stevia. I made Granola Cookies with it last week and my mom couldn’t tell at all – she said they were the best cookie I’ve ever made! Thanks for introducing me to it!

  5. So if you don’t have xylitol on hand, what else could I substitute? Would I need the same amount? These muffin tops look so so good that I want to try them, but might go with sweeteners I have in the pantry already. Thanks Leanne!

    • If you have stevia you could use 20 drops as I did in the taste test. I’ll edit the recipe to reflect it. If you don’t you may be able to get away with 1-2 tbsp of honey. I haven’t tried it, but it should work.

  6. These look great :) I bet these would be an awesome snack for my kids! And I’ve been really curious about xylitol actually. The fact that your hubby said it tasted more “real” means a lot to me, other sweeteners usually don’t taste “real” enough to me – I don’t know how else to describe it!

  7. These look fantastic! I’m very interested in grain-free recipes, especially baked ones. We had a bad experience in my house with xylitol, so I think if we try it again, it has to be in very small amounts or my husband won’t come near the kitchen, lol!

  8. Hi Leanne,

    What a very tempting recipe! I see frosting in some of the photos. What kind?

    • Hi Tracy – I haven’t tried to make that substitution. You may want to try half egg replacer and half apple sauce if anything. But I could be wrong!

  9. You had me at muffin tops.

    I checked out that post that you linked to [coconut apricot muffin tops] and I can’t believe I’ve missed that one! I’m putting those on my “to make” list for sure :) And it’s funny that you linked to that post today. My biology teacher brought up “how horrible coconut oil is for our health” and “it’s the worst kind of fat you could ever have… cholesterol… saturated fats… yadda yadda” the other day. On the inside I was yelling at him to stop misinforming his students! I shot him an e-mail about coconut oil to discuss how it is processed in the body [medium chain triglycerides as oppose to long chain, etc.], and after reinforcing his stance on how bad it is for us IN class today, he bashfully, in private, told me that I could possibly be right, AFTER class. I wanted to shake him!

    Sorry for the rant :) I would love to learn more about xylitol, though! Have a great night, Leanne! :)

    • Oh my gosh! I wonder if he’s obligated to follow the course material and cannot deviate? At least he admitted you were right hehe

    • I added a link to the product I use. You can get it at any health food store. Good luck!

  10. These look great love :) I am really wanting to make them, but don’t have coconut flour, so will attempt with almond flour seeing as how I have it on hand?

    I was wondering though – is there something I could use in replace for the coconut oil? What are some options?

    • Hi Meg – glad you like them! You could try to replace with almond flour, I’m just not sure how they would turn out. Because coconut flour is very dry, I didn’t have to use a lot in the mix. You wont have the same experience with almond flour, so you may have to play around with the ratio. As for the coconut oil, if you have grapeseed oil on hand that should work too. Enjoy!

    • Hi Alexandra – I haven’t tried so I’m not too sure. If you give it a whirl, let me know how it works out!

  11. OMG these look so yummy, the saliva is actually pooling in my mouth, no kidding! And up on my list of things to try. Just wish I had some right now… I think the nut butter topping really has the deciding drool factor for me.

    • Glad you like them, Simone! I just finished making another batch!

  12. I can’t wait to try these muffin tops!
    I live in London, and xylitol is showing up in many of our food stores. (of course, I can’t find
    coconut flour in London)
    I volunteer at a Breast Cancer Support Center and the dietician recommends we use xylitol in place of
    sugar in any recipes we prepare. I’m looking forward to trying it in place of Stevia.

    I’ve recently found your website/recipes and LOVE the information you’re providing.

    • Hi Susan – I’m thrilled to hear you like my blog! I was just in London a couple of months ago and managed to find coconut flour at the Whole Foods in Kensington and I believe there was some at the location on Brewer street – look upstairs where they have all the asian products. Good luck!

  13. I haven’t been doing enough baking lately – need to break out my coconut flour! These sound fantastic :)

  14. Yum yum: made 12 medium muffins with this fabulous recipe. Absolutely lovely! Another healthy treats in the kids luch boxes (and mine…). Thanks!

  15. I made these today! My batter was quite watery (perhaps because I used applesauce to save coconut oil) that I was little scared as it went in the oven, but in the end it came out delicious! I used fresh ginger (grated), and added a little cardamom. Thank you for the recipe!! I think it’s also going to be great savory ;)

    • I’m always scared when I make these too, but they always, always turn out perfect! Glad you liked them, and love that you swapped out some oil for apple sauce and cardamom would make these sing! Will have to try that next time :)

  16. i haven’t read ALL the comments to make sure i’m not repeating anyone, but just thought that i’d share what info i know about xylitol. its most major health benefit is the fact that it cannot be metabolized by the bacteria in your mouth- it is the sweetener in toothpaste, and in ‘teeth cleaning’ gums, and because of this antibacterial property is used in some medications. i have not heard much information to say that it has any risks other than the usual concerns for altered sweeteners, but I am aware that it is a fairly common allergen, and also one that people are much less likely to think about (esp. when most people only get it through their toothpaste). also, i would caution anyone with liver problems or high risk of liver probems to shy away from this particular sweetener, because some tests suggest that it may affect liver functions.

  17. Just wondering why only egg whites. have you made this with the whole egg? i’ll be wasting a lot of yolks!

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