Whole Foods has this amazing goat cheese, cranberry, pecan salad that I’m obsessed with. It’s light but still decadent tasting – all sweet and savory and creamy. If it weren’t so overpriced, I would probably eat it all day, every day.

These muffins have all of those key ingredients I love with the added bonus of being enveloped in carbs. Why eat a salad when you could eat a muffin, am I right?

With a tender crumb like that, it’s hard to believe these are gluten-free

Gluten-Free Goat Cheese, Cranberry, and Walnut Muffins (50 of 750)

Adapted from  750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury
Makes 40 mini muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour (not sweet rice flour)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/6 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 oz mild creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, starches, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and black pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, and milk until well blended.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in goat cheese, cranberries, and toasted walnuts.
  5. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are firm at the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

Mmmm, these are something special. I’m always pleasantly surprised when my gluten-free baked goods turn out just as good as regular ones. The rice flour gives the muffins a crazy tender crumb, which is usually one of the hardest parts of gluten-free baking. I’ve had a couple baking mishaps where the gluten-free flour blend I used resulted in a gummy texture, but not these. Rice flour is the secret ingredient. Those 6 bags of sorghum flour sitting in my fridge (sometimes I get a little carried away and buy things in bulk from Amazon) are probably feeling a tad neglected…

Back to these muffins. I opted for walnuts instead of pecans because I think they have a more intensely nutty flavor when toasted. The nuttiness goes perfectly with the sweet and tart cranberries, which pairs beautifully with the creaminess of the goat cheese. Don’t go too crazy with the cheese – it’s got a mild flavor, but it’s got an incredible creamy richness (is it possible to be both mild and rich?) that could overwhelm the muffins if you add too much.

All in all, these are probably one of my favorite muffins to date, gluten-free or not. Who needs Whole Foods when you have these muffins?

Colorful muffin batters are my favorite

Gluten-free goat cheese, cranberry, and walnut muffins