Gluten-Free Winter Squash Spice Muffins

Our secret to undetectably gluten-free baked goods lies in the flour.

by John D. Ivanko
PHOTO: John D. Ivanko/

With more people than ever before being diagnosed with a gluten allergy or intolerance, we’re incorporating more gluten-free treats into our signature baked goods at our bed-and-breakfast, Inn Serendipity. Because gluten is the magic in flour that holds together cakes, cookies and muffins, finding a gluten-free option that doesn’t result in a dry-tasting product can be a challenge. You can’t simply swap out the all-purpose flour in a recipe for rice flour or another gluten-free option.

Fortunately, we found a flour product that makes gluten-free baking simple: Deya’s Gluten-Free Cake Flour. With just the right mix of potato starch, white rice flour, tapioca starch and a few other ingredients, we’re able to use this flour in place the all-purpose wheat flour that we normally use for our favorite recipes. We met the company’s owner, Deya Warren, this year at the National Restaurant Show. She explained that she created the mix so that her flour could be used as a one-to-one replacement, offering comparable texture and flavor to wheat flour, but without the gluten.

We’ve started using Deya’s flour in the recipe below for Winter Squash Spice Muffins. A little morsel of something sweet, like chocolate chips, goes a long way in a muffin recipe. The unexpected tidbits you’ll find when you bite into these muffins blend wonderfully with the other spices. In place of the winter squash, you can readily use pumpkin. The frozen pulp purée from either winter squash or pumpkin also works well in this recipe.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Winter Squash Spice Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins


  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup winter squash purée
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1¾ cup gluten-free cake flour (or regular all-purpose flour for a non-gluten-free version)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil 12 standard muffin cups.

In large bowl, combine eggs, squash and butter. Add spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and flour.Mix until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill prepared muffin cups until almost full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan and placing on wire rack to fully cool.

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