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Cinnamon Pecan Muffins

Uh-oh, there goes another white t-shirt.  1 month into 2013 and 2 white t-shirts have bitten the dust.  This one got hit with an attack of the cocoa powder; plus some red food coloring, just to make it more interesting.  And no, I do not use red food coloring – I was in the process of throwing it away.  Just thought I’d clear that up right out the gate.  One of these days I hope I can remember not to wear a white t-shirt when I am cleaning out cupboards in the kitchen, or eating anything drippy.  At this rate my white t-shirt budget will be higher than my almond flour budget, and baby, that’s big.  Luckily, you don’t need much budget to make these Cinnamon Pecan Muffins.

Cinnamon Pecan Muffins | Carrie Brown I have something here for you to get all googly-eyed over.  I’ll give you a clue.  It’s a muffin.  A whole batch, in fact, of Cinnamon Pecan Muffins.

I thought it only fitting to add a muffin recipe to this post, because there certainly ain’t no muffin tops anywhere else on this page.  Plus, I promised you muffins last weekend, and muffins you shall have.  These are probably my most thrilling experiment with baked goods yet.  I still can’t quite believe it when I eat one.  If you didn’t know this was a healthy muffin, you’d never guess this was a healthy muffin.  These Cinnamon Pecan Muffins are all KETO and LowCarb goodness.Cinnamon Pecan Muffins | Carrie Brown

It looks just like a regular muffin.  And by golly, it tastes just like a terribly tasty regular muffin.  When I took these into the office earlier in the week they were met with an enormous amount of muffin love.  Everyone is still really confused about how they can possibly be wheat-, gluten-, grain-, sugar-, dairy- and added fat free, but that didn’t stop them swooning once they’d eaten one.  And demanding the recipe.  Repeatedly.  Oh, and did I mention fast and easy to make?  These Cinnamon Pecan Muffins are really fast and easy to make.

Cinnamon Pecan Muffins | Carrie Brown

Here, have some Cinnamon Pecan Muffins and rejoice the day you discovered what healthy really meant.  And that you can eat more and exercise less and yet be healthier and slimmer than ever.

I bet you are SO ready for that!


Cinnamon Pecan Muffins

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  10 mins  |  Cook time:  30 mins   |  Total time:  40 mins  |  Serves: 12

What You Need

What You Do

  1. Spray 12 silicone muffins cups with coconut oil and place them in a muffin pan.
  2. In a coffee grinder, grind the chia, sunflower seeds and coconut well.
  3. Tip the ground seed mixture into a mixing bowl (preferably one with a pouring lip) and add the almond flour, ground flax seeds, almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, xylitol, and pecans and mix all together well.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and cold water together.
  5. Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well until completely mixed.
  6. Pour the mixture into the muffin cups, stopping a little short of full.
  7. Bake the muffins in the center of the oven at 325F for 30 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes until you can handle the silicone cups.
  9. Turn each cup top down in one hand, and using the other hand gently squeeze the sides of the cup all the way round until the sides release and the muffin pops out. Be gentle.
  10. Place each muffin on a cooling rack to cool.


Top Recipe Tips

  • You can replace the protein powder with the same amount of egg white powder. If you do this, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and an extra TBSP of xylitol.


Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


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Carrie Brown - Cinnamon Raisin Muffins




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  • Claire LucasHi Carrie, can’t wait to make these!! Can you tell me what almond meal is called in the UK?ReplyCancel

    • carrieClaire – I am not sure if it goes under a different name, but it looks like your best bet is a health food store or place where you can get bulk foods like nuts and beans. Please let us know where you find it! Alternatively, you may have to get whole (skin on) almonds and grind your own.ReplyCancel

  • MikkiCarrie these look Delish! If I left out the xylitol and whey powder (maybe added vanilla essence) do you think that would dramatically change these? Thank you! Mikki.ReplyCancel

    • carrieMikki – you will likely want some kind of sweetener in there, but if you want to replace with an equivalent to xylitol that would work. If you take the whey out it will lower the SANEity, and I would add in the same amount of almond meal to keep the ratio of dry v. wet ingredients the same. I wouldn’t worry about the vamilla extract. I am also not guaranteeing these will work or be as yummmy! Hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • UrzayHi Carrie these look sensational and I’ll be trying them today or tomorrow.
    I actually bought coconut flour and ground chia seeds last week – could I use those instead of the chia seed and unsweetend coconut? And if so, would I use the same amount of weight? The thing is I’m a great cook but not that good in making weets and desserts i.e. in the baking department, so you might think this is a silly question.ReplyCancel

    • carrieUrzay – there are no silly questions! Especially when it comes to baking :-) Yes on the ground chia seeds, NO on the coconut flour – it will throw the recipe off. Coconut flour is not just ground coconut.ReplyCancel

  • UrzayCool thanks Carrie. I just checked the ingredients list on my coconut flour:- Dried coconut meat only. The brand is “Banaban”ReplyCancel

    • carrieUrzay – right, coconut flour is coconut meat but most of the oil is removed which makes it behave very differently to whole coconut meat that has been dessicated or shredded. Coconut flour absorbs liquid like a sponge. Trust me – using coconut flour will not be a good substitution.ReplyCancel

  • UrzayCarrie I trust you indeed I do like I said not real good in the baking dept hahahaha. anyways since I’ve now bought this flour, any suggestions in how to use it in baking bread like products. I will also go to youtube and see if there are any recipes.
    Thanks for your time and help
    Cheers UrzayReplyCancel

  • MikkiThanks Carrie, I’ll play around with it and see how it tastes :)ReplyCancel

  • SusanI am going to make these for sure because a lot of the ingredients remind me of your hot cereal which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    thank you for continuing to create great SANE recipes!ReplyCancel

    • carrieSusan – I think you will love them!! They have solved my Cinnamon Raisin Bread addiction! :-))ReplyCancel

  • JuanitaHi Carrie, I would like to know if it’s okay to use Stevia or Splenda instead of Xylitol. It makes my stomach hurt! Thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • carrieJuanita – in this recipe, yes. In most other baked goods recipes, no.ReplyCancel

  • DeborahCarrie, these look great. I’ll try them for sure. ReplyCancel

  • DeborahI made these today. To make them more SANE, I omitted the cinnamon and raisins and used a bar of ‘no sugar added’ chocolate (chopped into small pieces) and the zest of an orange. They are really good. My 20-year-old son ate 4 of them after dinner, so that’s a pretty great endorsement :)ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasI’ve just got to say, I loooove these!! First batch was gone in two days, making more today and I know they’ll go just as quick. I’m going to freeze test one too, so will let you know how that goes. Haven’t found almond meal yet, so just used a bit more ground almonds, which didn’t seem to do any harm. Thank you Carrie :)) yum, yum, yum!ReplyCancel

    • carrieSo glad you love them, Claire! Let us know how the freezing goes. You’re a stronger woman than I!ReplyCancel

  • DianeI just made a batch. I baked them in heart shaped tins and watched closely for time differences but none. I also tweaked to my liking, no sweetener, no raisins, no cinnamon, no water, replaced with dried cranberries and an orange (vitamixed to oblivion) with the zest. I ate one muffin and had to post. Now off for another. Not only are they delicious, they taste normal.ReplyCancel

  • DeborahDiane, I LOVE the idea of the whole orange in the Vitamix. I’m going to try this for sure since my first batch is pretty much gone (eating the last of them today). Did you use unsweetened dried cranberries? The only ones I’ve used in baking are sweetened and I wondered if unsweetened would be a little too tart.ReplyCancel

  • DianeYes, my cranberries were sweetened. I have not run across unsweetened dried fruit and I am trying to rid my diet of sugar. Let me clarify the orange was zested first, then I peeled it, throwing my peels in the compost pile. I sectioned my orange then blended it for a while. This recipe was a big success. Next time I try it with raisins. Carrie, I have been trying so many of your recipes with tasty results. And yes, I have tried leeks. A lot of leeks. Not in this recipe though.ReplyCancel

    • carrieLove it, Diane! Even without leeks ;-)ReplyCancel

    • carrieDiane – the only dried fruit I buy that is sweetened is cranberries – everything else you can (and should) get with no added sugar. Thanks for the recipe love!ReplyCancel

  • DeborahDiane, thank you for letting me know that about the oranges. I was wondering whether or not to throw the whole thing into the Vitamix. I did think that perhaps that wasn’t the case because you said ‘with the zest’. YUM, I’m very excited to try it with the orange. Will do that in the next couple of days for sure!
    Carrie, I’m in love with leeks too, so I love all the recipes you post which include them :)
    Thanks so much for this and all the great recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Ladyp1234These were delicious. I loved the hint of seeds and the slight crunch. Yum. Unfortunately my daughter tasted the seeds and refused to eat but I’ll try it without perhaps and also try with orange. I just left out the raisins.ReplyCancel

    • carrieThanks, Lady P! Does your daughter know how insanely (ha ha) good those seeds are for her??!ReplyCancel

  • DeborahHi Carrie,
    It was 70% cocoa chocolate, but the no-sugar-added kind which is sweetened with maltitol. I buy it at a local grocery store for $2 for a 100g bar which I think is a pretty decent price. I was also thinking of adding some raw cacao nibs next time.ReplyCancel

    • carrieCheck this out on malitol: The whole sweetener thing is a minefield :-( I am working on a post on sweeteners which I hope will help everyone. I will also do a post on chocolate, because that too can be very confusing. Sigh. Nothign is ever straight forward is it?? Love your ideas, Deborah! THANK YOU for being part of the move towards SANEity.ReplyCancel

  • DeborahHi Carrie,
    Yes, I’ve read all the info. on all the sweeteners and had actually avoided pretty much all of them for many years. I always stay far away from asparatame and avoid sucralose much of the time although I recently started using it occasionally as it’s in one of the protein powders I have. When it comes to maltitol, I figure if I get a tiny bit in my chocolate in a muffin, that’s not a big deal. I don’t eat much of it and since I eat no grains (haven’t for almost a year) and rarely any kind of starch except for a treat once in a blue moon, I’m doing ok :)
    Loving all your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrieThat’s awesome Deborah! As long as we are aware before we make choices, it’s all goodness. Huge congrats on your no-grain way of life and great job on your perspective. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasHi Carrie, well I ate the frozen one this morning (I defrosted it first of course) – it was absolutely fine :) So this weekend I will be making three batches and freezing one of them. Yay :)ReplyCancel

  • Ladyp1234A post on sweeteners would be great. You’ve encouraged me to continue trying to get my daughter to eat these with seeds. However, at 13, listening to me is not top of her agenda!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrieMaybe chia seeds making her more gorgeous would make her see them in a different light?!ReplyCancel

  • KerryI made these muffins yesterday and they are fantastic. I had two yesteday while they (were still warm) and I have had two for breakfast today (I know, I have been really restrained). I think they were even better the next day. Thank you so much for coming up with yet another cracking recipe. By-the-way, I didn’t have vanilla whey so I used chocolate, I didn’t have almond meal so I used some more ground almonds.

    For the English people – I have found Xylitol in Sainsbury’s and it is called Totally Sweet.ReplyCancel

    • carrieNow I want to eat some, Kerry! Thanks so much for all the love. HUGE THANKS for the Xylitol info!!ReplyCancel

  • MVPI have now made 3 batches of this muffins and am still head over heels for them! My 1 year LOVES them and eats them as afternoon snacks. These are a great treat to have handy so you don’t sneak inSANE treats! <3ReplyCancel

  • JuliaWhen measuring the dry ingredients in ounces is it best to weigh or just measure with the measuring cup? I’ve tried both and the amount of almond flour almost doubles when you weigh it. My entire family loves them!ReplyCancel

  • PaulaHi Carrie. Just made these muffins and there were fantastic! Because of you, I bought a digital scale. My daughter has made several batches of your strawberry jam and it is delicious on paleo bread, mixed in yogurt, and just plain out of the jar!

    So far, we have only used the powdered form of xylitol, but several of us are looking to share a bulk purchase, and were wondering whether we should get powdered or granular. I tried to do some research, and one website said the powdered can be substituted one for one for regular sugar, while the granular you only need half the amount. Is this the case? Which form do you use? Do you use both, for different applications? And can you make powdered yourself out of the granular by putting through food processor or coffee grinder?

    Thanks for any help you can give us with this. And thank you, too, for all the hard work you do coming up with these recipes!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Paula!

      I LOVE that you bought a food scale!!!! I use the brand of xylitol called XYLA. It is granular. If I need it powdered I powder it myself in the Vitamix. PLease send me the links to the place where it says for granular xylitol you have to use half. That powdered cna be used 1:1 but not granular suggest they are using another filler and that could be really bad. If you would send me links to both places that would really help me solve this. In the meantime, I recommend XYLA granular xylitol – it’s what I use in all my recipes.ReplyCancel

  • PaulaCarrie, here is the website where I got that information. It was just an article on how to use xylitol. It didn’t actually sell anything.

    We did purchase the Xyla brand from The Natural Sweetener Store.

    Do you think it will powder up in a food processor? We don’t have a Vitamix.

    Thanks for your help! Can’t wait to try more of your yummy recipes!ReplyCancel

    • carrieI would ignore that article :-) For my recipes I use granular XYLA xylitol, so if you are baking my recipes then you need make no adjustments. If you are switching out XYLA granular Xyliotl for sugar in other recipes, switch out 1:1.

      I am sure it will grind just as well in a coffee grinder or food processor as a Vitamix. It does take longer than regular sugar, it seems to be a lot harder than sugar, but it will powder eventually. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • DeborahPaula, I’ve ground mine in my coffee/spice grinder and it powders beautifully. I did this when I made meringues and the texture was just right. Hope that helps :)ReplyCancel

  • PaulaThanks, Deborah! And thanks, Carrie!
    I just ordered a 55 lb bag for several of us to share, and just in case anyone wants to order from the Natural Sweetener Store, there is a coupon code for 15% off. It’s 15OFF. That saved me $30!ReplyCancel

  • LisaI wonder if you’ve done any experimenting with coconut flour in place or in addition to using nut flours? And if so, is there a rule of thumb for substitutions that you’ve come up with? I know coconut flour takes in a lot of liquid and you need to account for that, but not sure where to go after that, except for trial and error.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHI Lisa – I am trialing cocnut flour at the moment, so there will be some recipes coming soon. I can tell you that coconut flour is a pain in the a**!!!ReplyCancel

  • JyotiIs there a Sane alternative to Coconut oil spray? I don’t like the taste or the smell of coconut oil.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Jyoti – you cannot smell or taste the coconut oil after it is cooked. The alternative would be to use melted butter. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life[…] used it as a starting point for my Cinnamon Raisin Muffins, which is also a Top 15 most popular recipe, and I have another couple of recipes I am working […]ReplyCancel

  • KellyHi Carrie,

    I was comparing your recipe to a “classic insane” recipe for muffins, and i was wondering what you thought of rice flour, or other types of flour much more similar to wheat flour, and a lot more accessible for me than all those different seeds. I’m having a really hard time finding all the right ingredients, converting all the measures and everything, and it’s making this sane lifestyle a bit harder.

    No problems at all with all your amazing vegetables dishes! I love them! :)


    • carrieHi Kelly – I will get all the recipes on the blog updated with measuring conversions as soon as I can. As for the ingredients – rice and other flours made from grains similar to wheat flour as just as inSANE as regular flour, so you would not be doing yourself any favors except in the easier shopping department. Once you have stocked your cupboards with SANE ingredients it all becomes a lot more natural and easier. Amazon is a great resource for finding stuff without all the running around. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • BrendaHi Carrie – My husband despises raisins… would subbing in chopped apples work? or would they be too wet?ReplyCancel

  • AliciaMUFFINS!! Carrie, these are amazing. Who needs grains with a genius like you in the kitchen? I can’t even imagine how many tests and tweaks it took to come up with these morsels of perfection. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • MonicaAmazing…just amazing, Carrie! Hubby and kids devoured them and I will be making these weekly. Thank you SO much!ReplyCancel