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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    A Look Back.

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins.

I took yesterday off to hang with my family.  Despite having a wonderful long, three-day weekend, I barely picked up my camera or documented a thing.  Some weekends are better left to the memory.  But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have any fun.  Quite the opposite – a Valentine’s Day party, a date night out with Casey, a Gymboree class with Cullen, a new Barre class with a friend, lots of yardwork (okay that was Casey, not me), and all sorts of other good stuff. 

Also, some baking.  I’ve made these twice in the past two weeks, and both times they have not lasted more than a day or two.

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

We don’t follow a gluten-free diet in our house, but these muffins are just for you if you do.  I’m really getting into coconut flour.  I love the texture and slight coconut-y taste it lends to baked goods.  And since I was making coconut muffins, I figured I’d make these gluten-free since I know so many of you are avoiding grains these days!

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (12 large muffins)

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients – flour through sugar – and mix until combined.  If you don’t have these flours, feel free to swap in all-purpose, whole wheat, or whatever combination of GF flours you have on hand.  But I highly, highly recommend trying coconut flour if you haven’t had it before.  It has a great texture that is not like anything else I’ve tried. 

In a separate bowl, mash the banana with a fork until it is almost liquefied. Try to mash as many lumps as possible! Add the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, vinegar, and sunbutter, and whisk until everything is combined.

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and fold together into a thick batter.  Grease a muffin tin and spoon batter into the cups. I know a lot of recipes tell you not to overfill the cups and make sure to leave room at the top. I am telling you to do the opposite. The batter should be enough to fill all 12 cups to top. It won’t overflow – I promise – and you’ll have BIG, fluffy muffins at the end!

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

So now here comes the strange part.  Do not be alarmed if your muffins turn GREEN-ish when they cool. It is a natural reaction between the chlorogenic acid in sunflower seeds (sunbutter) and baking soda.

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

It is WEIRD, but it is also perfectly safe and normal, and the only noticeable difference is the color!  I played around with the recipe a few times hoping to get rid of the green effect, but no dice.  I promise it is no big deal.  Just close your eyes.  :)  If you want to try a different (less green) nut butter, I recommend this coconut peanut spread from Earth Balance.  The coconut flavors would work perfectly in the muffins.  But personally, I prefer sunbutter – so delicious. 

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

Giant, fluffy delicious muffins ready to eat.  I hate making muffins at home that end up so small that they disappear in two bites.  These are overflowing and substantial, and will leave you feeling very satisfied.

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

Cooled down the next day for breakfast, and looking just a little bit greener.  :)

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

I love the texture these muffins have from using gluten-free flours, and it makes me excited to try more gluten-free baking in the future.  Here’s hoping my next project is a little less colorful!

(Gluten-Free) Coconut Sunbutter Muffins by Daily Garnish

As always, I hope you enjoy!

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64 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Morgan     at 2:02 pm

I haven’t tried baking gluten-free yet, but I am incredibly intrigued. I’m curious how you figure out the flour ratios though? Thanks for sharing :)


Sarah G Reply:

I’m not sure how Emily did it, but Gluten Free Girl & The Chef are the experts at explaining how to convert any recipe to gluten free… by WEIGHT. Whole wheat and AP flours have a specific weight, and you would just weight your sub flours to that. The volume is very different, so it’s important to buy a cheap scale and jump in if you are serious about baking gluten free…. If you use weight you can very easily and successfully adapt any of your favorite recipes (like Emily’s Banana Bread! :-)


Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 2:18 pm

I don’t remember what it was I made, but some kind of cookie or muffin with sunflower seeds (whole seeds, not butter), when I encountered that same reaction. My first thought was that my beautiful baked goods had gone moldy in less than 24 hours, and I was really frustrated. I was glad to find out that it was just a weird interaction, and the food was perfectly safe and tasty. The green would make these perfect for St. Pat’s day in a few weeks :)


Babs     at 2:23 pm

Who cares about colour – it’s all about the taste! I really need to try sunflower butter. Adding it to the next grocery store trip (although I imagine it might be tricky to find in Melbourne).


Michaela Reply:

Babs: it’s super easy to make it yourself. Grind sunflower seeds, a bit of white sugar (or add molasses at the end), salt and some vegetable oil. If it’s not grinding, add some more veg oil. Taste near the end to make sure it’s sweet enough. (Sunflower seeds are a bit bitter, so the sugar is necessary.)


Babs Reply:

Good idea. Thanks, Michaela :)


Tara     at 2:45 pm

So curious to hear how Cullen enjoyed the Gymboree class! I actually taught at Gymboree for several years, and I can really picture him having a total blast!


Brittany @ Kitchen::Candid     at 2:46 pm

I’ll have to share this with my two family members who suffer from a gluten allergy. I’m sure they’ll love having delicious muffins!!


Johanna B     at 2:53 pm

Can’t wait to try these muffins. I have Celiac Disease and therefore, must eat gluten-free. I’m glad you want to try other GF recipes for us cuz I like the things you make.


Lauren     at 2:59 pm

I just bought coconut flour this weekend and was not sure what to do with it…I am totally trying this! Thanks for the inspiration!


Helen     at 3:00 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe. These muffins look great!


Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 3:11 pm

Very interesting about the green affect! These sound delicious though. Any other flours you’d suggest to sub for the rice flour? Or could I just add more coconut and almond flours?


Sarah G Reply:

I would recommend to NOT sub more coconut or almond flours. That will throw off the moistness/fluffiness, oil, and other factors. Coconut is very moist, rice is very absorbent, and almond is very oily. If you want to sub rice flour, I would suggest (sweet) sorghum flour, arrowroot starch, or potato starch. Tapioca might be good too for texture, but some people find it has a metallic taste.


jennyv     at 3:43 pm

I had the greenish/blue(?) tint when I made paleo almond butter brownies (except I subbed sunflower butter!) I wondered what happened, and now I know :)


Anne @ eatcleaneatreal     at 3:49 pm

OH. MY. GOSH. You combined some of my new favorite foods (coconut flour and sunflower butter) into one single muffin. I am obsessed with coconut flour right now, even better when you also use coconut oil. I find the combo adds sweetness without sugar!


Leah M     at 4:01 pm

Looks great! Thanks! I’m gf and love coconut flour. Will try very soon.


Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant     at 4:25 pm

Mmmm these look delish! Thanks for the gluten free recipe :)


Jenn from Much to My Delight     at 5:19 pm

I’ve been wanting to experiment with different flours and these muffins sound like the perfect introduction. I have so many friends who are gluten-free these days that it’s good to have recipes on hand for entertaining a mixed crowd!


Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 6:00 pm

I don’t go 100% gluten-free but I definitely try and eliminate gluten where I can because even though I’m not celiac, I notice a big difference in my weight control when it’s limited.

Funny – I quick scanned the ingredients to figure out where the green color was coming from. I never would have guessed it was from the sunflower butter! I bet these would be great with almond butter too to go along with the almond flour and I have all those ingredients already. Going to give it a try!


Jess Reply:

I just did a batch with almond butter instead, since that’s what I had, and it’s really good, and also, not green. I added chocolate chips as well, because why not.


Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel     at 6:20 pm

Woahhhh!! The green!! How freaky and cool!


Lauren     at 6:57 pm

OMG…you literally just combined my two favorite things in the world into one muffin…coconut and sunflower seed butter, I’m making these RIGHT NOW!


Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 7:28 pm

So crazy that they turn green! They sound wonderful :)


Jamie @ juicejamandjoy     at 7:52 pm

I have some gluten-free family members and we all love coconut, but I have yet to try coconut flour. I’ve looked into it a couple times at the grocery store but never buy it because its pricey. Have you ever made your own? These muffins look delicious by the way!


Debbi     at 8:06 pm

I never heard of sweet rice flour. Where do you find that? What else do you use it for?


Sarah G Reply:

Bob’s Red Mill and Ener-G brands make it. It is a great starch for gluten free baking; I think most people use rice flours to begin learning. I think you can also get it in bulk at Whole Foods, but be warned that brown rice flour, white rice flour, and sweet rice flour are each very distinct flours that will give you very different results in baking!


Erin     at 8:12 pm

Green muffins! They sound like they will be delicious, but I might save these for Halloween…or St Patrick’s Day! :)


afarmerinthedell.com     at 8:17 pm

these sound fantastic Emily!


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 9:18 pm

Those look delicious! I can’t wait to try them when I can go back to having nuts in a month! The green thing is kind of funny. I’m glad you pointed out why it happened because had I made these on my own, I’m pretty sure I would have thought I botched it and wondered if I had used moldy ingredients :)


Mags @ From the Mind of Mags     at 10:31 pm

I am so going to try these! Also,the turning green part is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day that is coming up. And it’s a natural way so you don’t have to use yucky fake food coloring.



Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health     at 10:48 pm

That’s so weird that they turn green! But they sound delish!


carri     at 10:52 pm

these look perfect
for my gluten free self!

2 q’s:
do you think i could
sub peanut butter for
sunflower butter?

also, you mentioned subbing
AP gluten free flour.
would i just sub that for
the rice and coconut flours
or for the almond meal as well?

thank you for this! x


Sue     at 11:39 pm

At first I thought the green color was spinach.
To avoid the green spots you could try to add some vinegar or lemon juice. A few drops should do. This neutralizes the alkaline baking soda.


Holly Reply:

Yep, I just read on the Sunbutter website about adding lemon juice and/or cutting baking powder/soda amounts in half! Check it out on the recipe page at Sunbutter.com


Lucy     at 1:57 am

Having just found out my allergy is gluten related – I’m going to be trying out this & lots of ur other gluten-free receipes! Thanks & love the blog by the way – really inspirational.


Emily @ Life on Food     at 3:24 am

I asked for coconut flour for Valentine’s Day. I cannot wait to start baking with it.


Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 4:44 am

Nice! I’ve been thinking about purchasing some coconut flower. I love the green, so fun haha!


Christine     at 4:57 am

These sound great! I haven’t seen the coconut peanut spread before. Where did you find that?


Meg D     at 6:14 am

I feel like Cullen will really like the colors in a few years and beg you to make the ‘green muffins’!


Emmalu     at 6:59 am

Love your blog/recipes. I use many. Any advice as to how I can replace the bananas in this muffin recipe? I know my husband would luv these -yet we do not eat bananas.
Thank-you soooo much. Also any nutritional content/count on these? I would so luv to know.


Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}     at 7:03 am

Yum! I’ve never tried sunbutter and am curious!


Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 7:30 am

I bet these taste great — but I have this problem with that green reaction! I can’t get past it to eat, especially after the color deepens when the stuff is stored in the fridge. I did make sunflower butter cookies with baking powder once and they didn’t turn green, though!


Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 9:29 am

I get so excited whenever I see my fave blogs posting coconut flour recipes because I have a big container of it just waiting to be used up! I love that this one doesn’t require a million eggs, either. I definitely prefer when there’s a mix of flours as opposed to just coconut; and you’re right, it adds such a unique taste and texture! Can’t wait to try.


Emily @ Tips on Healthy Living     at 10:06 am

I don’t have sweet rice flour–can I substitute anything else? I have almond meal and coconut flour–can I just add more of one or the other? This is a great (green) recipe!! Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks!


Sarah G Reply:

I was out of sweet rice flour and used sorghum (Bob’s calls it “Sweet” sorghum). You could also use potato starch or arrowroot, and I think those would give the same texture. They are all very starchy, sweet, dry flours. I would use more of almond or coconut, since that would really change the ratio of weight, oil, and absorbent/moist factors of each flour.


Atsuko     at 10:48 am

They look great! I will bake them this weekend. Emily, I have a question to you, which has nothing to do with this post. Right now I am 5 months pregnant at a new city where neither my husband and myself have our family and friedns. This sounds similar to you. How did you make a circle of good friends, especially same expecting or first time mom-to-be at a new city? I feel that having friends who are also pregnant could be nice, but I do not know how to meet. This friend making sounds harder I feel as I become older… Any suggestions? Thanks:)


Emily     at 12:03 pm

These look delicious!!! I am obsessed with coconut, especially since I’m dreaming of warmer days in the northeast :)

I’ve also been wanted to try out coconut flour….thanks for a great recipe to try it with!


Janelle     at 12:52 pm

These are right up my alley – yum! Thanks for the gf recipe!


Gena     at 7:08 pm

If there is anything that does NOT freak me out, it’s green food :)

Do you think this one is veganizable, or are the eggs too important to sub out? Looks lovely :)


Meredith Reply:

I was wondering the same thing :)


Caroline @ Capture the Cadence     at 11:43 am

Looks yummy! Where do you buy unsweetened coconut? I can only seem to find sweetened coconut. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong area…


Sarah G Reply:

Bob’s Red Mill makes it.


Katie     at 9:46 pm

I just made these with a few subs – oats for the rice flour, cashew butter instead of sunflower butter, and I used sweetened coconut. I also added a dash of cinnamon before I realized it wasn’t in the recipe! Whoops. But it turned out great, we loved them! Can’t wait to try it with sunbutter :)


Friday Favorites | Ali Damron     at 4:11 am

[...] Breakfast Muffins. Coconut Sunbutter Muffins.  Emily with Daily Garnish is probably my favorite blogger.  I love her recipes as they are [...]

Sarah G     at 1:25 pm

Emily, thanks so much for this. You never disappoint! My husband was diagnosed with Celiac about a year ago, and my four year old has always had adverse reactions to wheat, so I’ve made huge strides in baking gluten free. HOWEVER, coconut flour was one I still hadn’t delved into. There are so many diverse (and strong) opinions about it! Thanks for giving me a good excuse to finally use it. Although coconut is not my favorite flavor, I know that any recipe you post will most likely be totally worth my time!! Thanks for all you do.

Aaaaand, in response to a different post, I just want to recommend that you read Gone Girl this year. I was happy that I read the last page before reading the book…. It will keep you up at night, though, since you might not be able to put it down.


Meredith @ The Veggie Doc     at 6:04 pm

I made these muffins tonight to take with us on a long car ride tomorrow morning! Of course I had to sample one– they were great! I used oat flour instead of almond meal and peanut butter instead of sunbutter because it’s what I had on hand– still delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.


Mia     at 7:50 pm

This happened to me with cookies before. It totally creeped everyone out and no one would eat them except me. Ha! They will be perfect for St. Patrick’s day.


Belinda     at 12:09 pm

I think the green is great! It’s perfect timing for St. Patty’s Day coming up :)


Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 10:29 am

We made these this weekend using brown rice flour instead of sweet rice flour. They were FABULOUS. So moist, perfectly sweet, and pretty filling! Power muffins :)


Weekend+Motivation for Monday |     at 6:25 am

[...] these muffins.  Obviously, I love coconut so I thought these were amazing.  I used Almond Butter and [...]

JJ     at 4:44 pm

I was so excited to make these until I saw that there are bananas in them. *Sigh* Why do all the yummy things have bananas in them? I’m allergic!


Sunday Food Prep Inspiration 7     at 9:00 pm

[...] sauted onions and mushrooms for my husband to add to his eggs for breakfast, as well as made myself these muffins.  The bottles in the background are some homemade kombucha we prepped this weekend as [...]

Kendall     at 10:27 pm

I was paranoid to switch a gluten free flour but I went for it and used oat flour instead of sweet rice and they turned out lovely. Maybe didn’t rise as much as Emily’s but they are not at all dense. Coconut flour is so cool! Also I used “once again” sun butter which is not as tasty as the trader joes (there is no added sugar) so I added an extra tablespoon or so of coconut sugar and they were just sweet enough. Great recipe!!


Emily Malone Reply:

Awesome – love hearing this!


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