If your grocery store, like mine, is completely out of wheat flour, then I’m sure you’re wondering how to keep up the habit of quarantine baking.
Don’t worry! I’m here to share with you a delightful muffin recipe that uses no wheat flour at all, making it free of grains and gluten. I spent many years eating grain-free, so I’m very comfortable using replacement baking ingredients like nut flours and coconut flour. These muffins use hazelnut flour, which provides a wonderful nutty flavor and lots of earthiness. They also rely on honey, dates, and sweet potato instead of granulated sugar for sweetness, so I wouldn’t quite classify them as a dessert (though the cream cheese frosting has them edging into cupcake territory…).
My boyfriend described their texture as “amazing. I normally expect muffins to be really dense, but these are so light.” Without frosting, these muffins remind me a little of bran muffins, though sweeter and of course minus the bran. You get hints of sweet potato and cinnamon, chunks of caramelly dates, a wonderfully moist crumb, and a rich hazelnut flavor. With the addition of a cream cheese frosting lightly sweetened with honey, these muffins become decadent and irresistible. They’re incredibly homey – the kind of thing you’d want to eat while wrapped up in sweaters and blankets in front of the fire. Try pairing them with a mug of chai tea!
Sweet Potato, Date, and Hazelnut Muffins with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
- Melted butter for greasing the pan
- 2 cups hazelnut flour can substitute almond flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup neutral oil avocado, vegetable, etc.
- ½ cup raw honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed shredded sweet potato peeled, about 1 medium potato
- ½ cup medjool dates pitted and finely chopped
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter softened
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup honey
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350º F. Grease a large muffin tin with melted butter.
- Whisk the dry ingredients (hazelnut flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon) together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, sweet potato, and dates). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk to combine. TIP: measure the oil and honey with the same measuring cup, measuring the oil first. The thin coating of oil that remains in the measuring cup helps release the honey without sticking.
- Portion the batter evenly into the muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
- While the muffins bake, prepare the frosting. Using an electric hand mixer or a whisk, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until fluffy. Add the honey and beat until smooth and similar in texture to cake frosting. Taste and add more honey if the frosting isn't sweet enough for you.
- Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then carefully remove and let cool completely.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag or ziploc bag with the tip of one corner cut off. Frost each muffin in a swirl. Chill to solidify and serve cold.