Gluten free sparks creativity: apricot pecan sorghum muffins

Apricot pecan sorghum muffin

I am thankful in many ways for the gluten-free diet. Besides the health benefits, it challenged me to become a more adventurous cook.

Without challenges we tend to follow the mental path of least resistance. Creative writers know how imposing internal restrictions on projects can improve creativity and skill.

I always used to follow other people’s recipes, seldom innovating unless I was missing an ingredient. When I switched to a gluten free diet in March 2008, I was at first grieved over losing many favourite recipes, especially since my mother had just died a month before.

Instead of getting stuck in regret, I began learning how to adapt some of those favourites. This success encouraged me to try taking things I liked best about other people’s recipes and incorporate my own preferred ingredients or techniques. I learned basic formulas to build upon. Adaptation led to invention. These adventures in gluten-free baking encouraged me to become more inventive when cooking meat dishes, soups and stews, too. In short, cooking has become a lot more interesting.

This was one of the first new baking recipes I perfected several years ago. It was inspired by my new-found affection for sorghum flour, which is naturally gluten-free. It has a pleasant, wheat-like flavour, not too earthy or nutty, and imparts good texture for cakes and muffins.

In-season barely-ripe local apricots are my favourite fruit, and fruits are among my favourite foods, so you can see where apricots stand. Dried ones are unimpressive, but good enough to provide a wistful reminder of August from the farthest corner of the year.

Apricot pecan sorghum muffins
Recipe Type: muffins
Author: Van Waffle
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 110 g sorghum flour
  • 100 g brown rice flour
  • 90 g corn starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 180 g can sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300 g low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 100 g vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp candied ginger, chopped
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 12-part muffin tin.
  3. Whisk flours, corn starch, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together eggs, yogurt, vanilla and oil. Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Combine chopped pecans, apricots, ginger and maple syrup. Fold the fruit mixture briefly into the batter.
  6. Spoon batter into the muffin tin.
  7. Bake 25 minutes until muffins are risen, evenly browned and firm to the touch.
  8. Cool for five minutes, then remove muffins to a rack to cool completely.


4 thoughts on “Gluten free sparks creativity: apricot pecan sorghum muffins

  1. Agreed 100%. Having to go gluten-free has done wonderful things for my cooking. As well as the array of new ingredients I discovered, I have learnt to adapt and invent many delicious new things, which influenced further creativity in my cooking overall. When I realised I would have to give up dairy a couple of years ago I found the change far less daunting as I knew I had the skills now to create delicious meals that were also dairy free.

    My re-imagining of my (Jewish!) grandmother’s traditional Austrian Christmas cake is adored by friends and colleagues, both in Tasmania and here in Peru. =o)

    1. The idea of giving up dairy is daunting to me. You’re an inspiration, Toni!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *