Home » Recipes » Desserts » Too Good to Wait: {Gluten-Free + Whole Grain} Chocolate Muffins with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Too Good to Wait: {Gluten-Free + Whole Grain} Chocolate Muffins with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Sometimes a recipe is just too good to wait on. Still, you’ve meant to fancy up the finished product a bit, to plate it prettily, to use the big camera to take nice photos — and so you hesitate. This is a food blog after all. But also sometimes you have a friend – hi Kat! – who’s recently had a baby and had mentioned she might be interested in some more whole grain g-f goodness (she was one of my recipe testers for ‘Flourless.’ so I’m especially mindful of not keeping this one to myself for too long). And you know that while you could bake another batch of these naturally gluten-free chocolate muffins loaded with pistachios and dried cherries you and do all that food blogger-y stuff first — you really, really should just go ahead and write up the recipe just as soon as you can. So here they are, as-is, Insta-pix only. I’m not sorry.

I made up these lovelies last week to share with my Friday yoga group during our post-zen hang out. We nibbled them along with our Starbucks coffees (un cafe filtre pour moi, bien sur, avec un peu du lait) under a cloudy sky. We talked of this and that and when we parted I did a rushed shopping at the Carrefour and went home with DW and SB to make lunch. I’d had two of these muffins with my cafe and darn it if I wished I had tucked just one more in my bag for afternoon tea. The muffins are not cupcakes, no, though I could almost be convinced to call them little cakes. But I think with the combination of oat and brown rice flours, plus a little bit of ground flax seed, plus the dried fruit and nuts they are more on the muffin than cake side, especially if you crave a sweet treat with (or for?) your breakfast.

I imagine I might play around a bit more with this on the next go – because of course there will be another go -, perhaps using butter rather than olive oil, or upping the ante with some chocolate chips. But as the recipe is written I don’t know if I’d really change much of anything. If you don’t have cherries you could use cranberries, though I love the sweet-tart of the cherries against the chocolate so! much. You could use a mix of nuts, though if using walnuts I might briefly toast them first. I had buttermilk in the fridge and thought it would do nicely here, and it did, though I’d like to try to veganize these at some point with coffee or soy or almond milk instead. You know the drill — experiment if you want, or stick to the proportions written below.

Today is: hot, with no break on the immediate forecast. We don’t live in the desert per se, and do get a nice sea breeze here, but San Francisco it ain’t. I will confess I do rather love these days of endless sun but wouldn’t mind another good rainstorm. Maybe in October? ‘Til then the kitchen calls …

[print_this]Chocolate Muffins with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Dense and lush with chocolate, dried tart cherries and a crunch of pistachio nuts are the perfect foil to a combination of brown rice and oat flours in these not-too-sweet muffins. NB: Sorry am lacking weight measurements for the cherries and pistachios; I forgot to take them and now I’m out. If I can replenish my stories I will come back to this post and update.

Makes 12 muffins.

1 cup/100g brown rice flour
1/2 cup/100g (gluten-free) oat flour
½ cup/50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup/50g packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground flax meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup/240 ml buttermilk
1 large egg
5 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped dried tart cherries
¼ cup pistachio nut meats

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 12 regular (1/3-cup) muffin cups. Sift brown rice flour, oat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, flax meal, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and egg in another medium bowl; whisk in the olive oil. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; stir just until incorporated (do not overmix). Fold in the cherries and pistachio nuts.

Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups and place in the oven. Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely. [/print_this]


  1. I would love to make these muffins — and your berry whole grain muffins. I’ve been using brown rice flour and oat flour in waffles and pancakes, and it’s a great combo. But I haven’t yet had much experience with using flax seed in place of egg. I’ll take your lead! PS: I have flourless to my sister in law for her birthday:)

  2. Oh…these sound great! I really like the way you encourage one to experiment with ingredients. It’s very creative and also encourages one to think that there are no failures, just different results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *