Cupcakes and Muffins · Dairy-Free · Fiesta Friday · Gluten-Free

Cinnamon, Pear and Almond Cupcakes (g/f)


So I seem to be back on my feet and back at work this week! So the first cupcakes I thought to give a go for this Fiesta Friday were in fact chocolate ones, which did look delicious. Although the original recipe had them as either mini loaves or cupcakes. I was excited to give another dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate mix a go, especially as these were based on quinoa flour, and I have ended up with a whole lot of it that needs using before the end of November. The mix was very simple to put together, and it did look like a winner. But the end result was good texture wise, not so much so flavour wise. I loved the texture. It was rich and rather fudge-y. But I don’t think either dad or I are big fans of quinoa flour when it’s not mixed in with others. It has an almost…metallic after taste, which didn’t quite mesh with the chocolate flavour from the cocoa powder. I will admit that it was nice in terms of sweetness, and overall I think I would have liked these a lot if not for them being based solely  on quinoa flour. So I suspect if I do bake them again I would have to experiment a few times with changing up the flours, so that that aftertaste from the quinoa isn’t so prominent. I will, however, keep a hold of the link because it still has a rather straightforward dairy-free chocolate icing recipe and those are good to have on hand. I will also add the link to this post for those who want to experiment with an egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe.

In the meantime I had a lot more success with adapting another recipe from Good Without Gluten! I’m still in the experimental stage when it comes to the cooking time of the friands, but I think I have cracked their Pear Almond Cupcake recipe at last! The first time I made these I realised how flavourless they would end up being, as the recipe had no spices or sugar in it at all. So I have since experimented and rectified this through adding both cinnamon and brown sugar, and I also added a little more of the almond meal to the batter because like with the chocolate chip cupcakes’ batter this one seemed a little thin. But other people might not mind their batter being so thin, so feel free to experiment! I also leant more towards the side of adding more pear than the amount of pear suggested in the original recipe as I found that otherwise the pear can end up being spread a bit thin between each cupcake, and what I like best is taking a delicious bite of warm muffin and finding soft poached pear inside each bite. Yum! But if I had to pair these with an icing, I think something…caramel, would work really well.

Adapted from Good Without Gluten’s

Pear-Almond Muffins

Makes: Up to 24, depending on the size of the cupcake tin, Prep: 15-20 mins, Cook: 1520 mins


  • 240g gluten-free flour blend (320g rice flour plus 240g cornflour plus 100g almond meal)
  • 30g almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 pears (Or a whole 410g tin of sliced pears)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways and seeds scraped (Or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • 60g dairy-free vegetable margarine, melted  (e.g. nuttelex, or some other dairy free substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml rice or almond milk (Lactose free milk is also doable)
  • Up to 3/4 cup brown sugar, plus extra for decoration (Seriously sweet toothed readers might want to add more, but I thought that was good enough)
  • Flaked almonds, to decorate

*NOTE: If the batter seems a bit runny, you can add a little extra almond meal to firm it up, but don’t go overboard. Go with what you prefer, as I know some people don’t mind extremely runny batters.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced, and line up to two cupcake tins with patty pans.
  2. Peel the pear, and poach it in 300ml boiling water per pear with the vanilla beans and seeds, until the pear becomes soft, then drain and cool the pear before dicing it. NOTE: I cheated and used tinned pear for this step in order to make it even quicker to get super soft pear and it worked fine. I also worked with a ratio of 300ml of water per pear, as based on the original recipe, or about 300ml of water per 4 large slices of pear. But if you have a preferred method or ratio for poaching pears, feel free to use that instead!
  3. Combine the dry ingredients.
  4. Combine the melted margarine with the eggs and milk and give it a good whisk.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into this, and stir until you have a smooth batter. Then add in the diced pear.
  6. Spoon the batter into the patty pans, sprinkling a few flaked almonds and some brown sugar on top, and bake for 15-20 mins, or until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into their centres comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool a little before tipping out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. NOTE: I recommend serving these gently warmed, with a drizzle of honey, or perhaps cut in half with some more nuttelex or another dairy free spread. Yum! I preferred mine warm with honey, but see what you prefer!

49 thoughts on “Cinnamon, Pear and Almond Cupcakes (g/f)

  1. I too have a distaste for quinoa flour in baked stuff, just smells very strong! I like your GF flour blend, do you think I could use part brown rice flour in the blend? I experiment with GF baking often. 🙂


  2. Oh, these do look so cute! And what a wonderful flavour combination too…interesting about the metallic after taste using only quinoa flour. Sometimes a little coffee flavour works to boost the chocolate flavour but I am not sure if it would tone down the quinoa! Thanks so much for sharing these with us at Fiesta Friday!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s