These Sweet Potato Coconut Chai Muffins are gluten free! Fresh pureed sweet potato and coconut milk give them a moist, rich texture, and chai spices both in the muffin and the icing impart a wonderfully warming flavor throughout.
I don’t have many muffin recipes here on Le Petit Eats. In fact, I think my Apple Snickerdoodle Bran Muffins might be the only other muffins you can find here! I decided I needed to change that, because when I’m not catering and have the weekend off, muffins are actually one of my favorite weekend breakfasts to make (John is the pancake king, so we’re covered there). Making them on Sundays while John watches football is the best, and then we have Monday breakfast sorted, which is always a welcome bonus.
Lately I’ve been especially into health-ifying my muffin recipes, either by sneaking in nutritious ingredients or adapting them to be gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or refined sugar-free…or all of the above! But sometimes if I go too crazy with the healthy modifications John isn’t so into them, so it’s a tricky balance.
These Sweet Potato Coconut Chai Muffins are based off a gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free pumpkin bread recipe I developed for one of my regular clients. She loves it so much she’ll even ask me to make it in the middle of summer!
So for these Sweet Potato Coconut Chai Muffins, I took that pumpkin bread recipe and made a few adjustments, obviously substituting fresh pureed sweet potato for the pumpkin and chai spices for the traditional pumpkin bread spices. I had a hunch that coconut milk would be a great partner to mingle with the sweet potato and chai spices in these muffins and boy, was I right.
The coconut milk imparts a richness and moistness to these Sweet Potato Coconut Chai Muffins- they’re fluffy and springy, but they’re not too coconut-ty, if you’re concerned about that. The flavor is actually quite subtle and lets the chai spices really sing.
Then I wanted to top these muffins with something fun- because all the best muffins feature a whimsical topper- so I made a simple chai spiced icing and topped it with unsweetened coconut flakes as the icing was setting. If you want to keep these Sweet Potato Coconut Chai Muffins free of refined sugar, you can omit the icing- they’re still so full of flavor without it.
Here’s a little pro tip, but I can’t take credit for it. John is not only the pancake king, he’s also the donut king! He actually just launched a donut company called Hook & Press, offering the best artisan, hand crafted donuts in town for special events (shop coming soon!). Through his recipe testing for glazes and icings he learned that if you heat up the icing as you mix the ingredients together (in a bowl over a pot of simmering water) it will help the icing to harden and set. So I used that technique here with awesome results and included it in the recipe.
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Sweet Potato Coconut Chai Muffins
For the muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup sweet potato cubed, steamed and pureed
For the Icing:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon non-dairy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper liners.
In s medium sized bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, coconut milk and sweet potato.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly
To make the icing, whisk together powdered sugar, non-dairy milk and spices in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer the icing to a piping bag with a small round tip (or a Ziploc bag with the tip snipped off). Pipe icing onto muffins and immediately sprinkle with shredded coconut.