Have a healthy Easter with these grain free Paleo Hot Cross Muffins! Gluten free and dairy free, these are really easy to make and full of protein rich almond flour.
NOTE: This recipe for Paleo Hot Cross Muffins is actually quite an oldie of mine, but as I’ve built up more experience baking grain free treats, I’ve revamped it! This post is re-published. My knowledge of different flours has grown, and so I’ve made some tweaks to help produce a lighter, softer muffin.
Paleo Hot Cross Muffins are filled with lovely plump fruit and lots of spices that make your kitchen smell amazing. I love baking these; the fragrance is incredible! I especially love the baked apple here, that becomes wonderfully soft and sweet. It’s a bit less intense than dried fruit, which I think can be overpowering in too large quantities.
And, that thick honey-cashew butter cross piped on the top of these muffins…it’s SO good. You’ll see below in the recipe instructions I’ve included directions on using a zip lock bag to pipe them on. That’s one of my favourite kitchen tricks! Sure you could just smooth the icing on top; but then they wouldn’t be paleo HOT CROSS muffins now, would they?!
I love to gently warm one of these muffins up before serving, so it’s just a bit hotter than room temperature. Biting into a warm muffin with a slightly gooey, cashew-butter cross on the top is the best. You warm them in the oven (on a low heat) or just pop one in a microwave for a few seconds. With a cup of tea or coffee, a little Paleo Hot Cross Muffin is the kind of Easter ritual you’ll want to enjoy more than once! I think they’re perfectly acceptable as breakfast, too…
Paleo Hot Cross Muffins
- 200 grams almond meal - 2 cups
- 55 grams tapioca flour - 1/2 cup
- 18 grams coconut flour - 2 tbsp
- 2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 60 mL coconut oil measured melted - 1/4 cup
- 83 mL honey - 1/3 cup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 apple
- 1 orange
- 3/4 cup sultanas
For the Crosses
- 1/2 cup cashew butter
- 3 tbsp honey
- Preheat oven to 180 C and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or baking paper.
- Combine the almond meal, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, spices and sultanas in a large mixing bowl.
- Zest the whole orange and add the zest to the dry ingredients. Do not discard the orange.
- Core and cut the apple into small dice (about 5mm) and add to the dry ingredients. Set the dry ingredients aside once you've done this.
- Cut open the orange and squeeze out 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice into a separate bowl (including bits of pulp and orange flesh is fine, just make sure there are no seeds).
- Add the eggs, melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract to the orange juice, and whisk it all together.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredient mix and combine until smooth.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases. Bake the muffins for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tops turn a deep golden brown and the centre of the muffins feel firm to touch.
- Allow the muffins to cool to room temperature before piping on the crosses. When they're ready, mix the cashew butter and honey together. If your mixture is really solid, you can warm it for a few seconds in the microwave or on the stovetop so it's easier to use. Once mixed, scoop mixture into a zip lock bag/sandwich bag. Snip a corner off the bag and use this to pipe crosses over the top of the muffins. (You can also use a proper piping bag if you have one!)
- Store muffins in an airtight container in the fridge, where they should keep for up to 5 days - if you're only making them the day before you want them, they should be fine to leave out overnight on the countertop (in a container), unless you live somewhere really hot. You can also freeze them (where they should keep for up to 3 months).
*you can use maple syrup, coconut syrup, date syrup or rice malt syrup instead of honey. (Basically, use a liquid sweetener).
*purchase organic dried fruit if you can so that you avoid the sulphur dioxide that’s used to preserve conventional dried fruit. You can also swap the sultanas for other dried fruit, or for nuts, seeds and/or cacao nibs or good quality chocolate chips, if you prefer!
*if you don’t have the exact dried spices that I used, don’t worry! Just use what you have on hand and adapt the recipe to suit your spice cupboard.