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Gluten-Free Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

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This light, fluffy gluten-free almond poppy seed muffins recipe is made from scratch with simple ingredients for BIG flavor. These bakery style muffins make a delicious are a breakfast or brunch any time!

gluten-free almond muffins with poppy seeds

My favorite muffins growing up were almond poppy seed muffins. Whether it was bakery style jumbo muffins (all hail Costco muffins!) or a boxed muffin mix, I loved that delicious almond flavor and cake like texture. In brainstorming recipes for the new year, I knew I needed to add a gluten-free almond poppy seed muffin recipe to our site!

These sweet muffins use the same muffin method as our Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins. It’s a simple recipe with an added rest time that gives you sky-high fluffy muffins every time!

Best of all, the ingredients are simple and straightforward. Here’s all you need to get started…

almond poppy seed muffins ingredients in small bowls

Simple Ingredients To Get Started

  • Sugar. To sweeten the muffins. In this case, I don’t recommend substituting honey, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup. Regular granulated sugar (white sugar) works best for this recipe.
  • Oil. A neutral-tasting oil keeps the muffins moist. Choose vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or grape seed oil. (I don’t recommend coconut oil or olive oil since they’ll impact the flavor.)
  • Buttermilk. A great trick for moist muffins! The creaminess and acidity of the buttermilk both come into play here to give the muffins a light texture.
  • Eggs. Next, you’ll need 3 large eggs to bind the batter and keep it moist.
  • Almond Extract & Vanilla Extract. I want my almond poppyseed muffins to have a clear, strong almond flavor, so I find a combination of pure almond extract and vanilla makes them smell and taste amazing.
  • Gluten-Free Flour. To keep things simple, we’re using a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. I highly recommend King Arthur Measure-For-Measure flour blend for these muffins. If you use another brand, be sure it contains xanthan gum so the muffins turn out correctly. Do not substitute almond flour, coconut flour or oat flour here.
  • Baking Powder. For some serious puff!
  • Poppy Seeds. These tiny seeds give these delicious muffins their distinct look. Don’t substitute sesame seeds or chia seeds here, since they won’t give you the same results. (Chia seeds will absorb moisture from the batter and lead to dry muffins)
  • Kosher Salt. To balance the flavors.
  • Optional Toppings. To give these gluten-free almond muffins a bakery-style look, I love to sprinkle them with coarse sugar or sparkling sugar and some sliced almonds, but this is 100% for looks. Feel free to skip the optional toppings if you prefer.

TOOLS WE RECOMMEND:

making gluten-free almond poppy seed muffins step by step
a gluten-free almond poppy seed muffin cut in half to show the fluffy texture inside

How To Make Almond Poppy Seed Muffins, Step By Step

  1. Combine Wet Ingredients. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, buttermilk, eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine until smooth.
  2. Add Dry Ingredients. Next, add gluten-free flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt. Stir until just combined.
  3. Let The Batter Rest 1 Hour. This will make for a SIGNIFICANTLY higher rise in your muffins. It’s worth doing!
  4. Preheat & Prep. During the last 30 minutes of the batter resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with parchment paper liners.
  5. Scoop & Top Muffin Batter. Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to divide batter into muffin cups. (It will come almost all the way up the parchment liners!) Sprinkle batter with sparkling sugar and a few sliced almonds on top of each muffin, if desired. (This is just for looks!)
  6. Bake 5 Minutes, Then Reduce Heat. Start by baking the muffins for 5 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking another 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are light golden brown and baked through. A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out with just a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter. (You do NOT need to wait for the oven temperature to reach 350 degrees, just adjust the temperature and keep baking.)
  7. Cool The Muffins 2-3 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  8. Serve & Store. Enjoy right away or store leftover muffins in an airtight container or bag at room temperature 2-3 days (a few seconds in the microwave revives them beautifully!), or freeze up to 2 months.
a gluten-free almond poppy seed muffin with a bite taken out of it to show the fluffy texture

3 Tricks For The Fluffiest Muffins

  1. Measure Carefully & Don’t Make Substitutions. Especially in gluten-free baking, the biggest culprit of dry or dense muffins is adding too much flour. Measure VERY carefully, ideally using an inexpensive kitchen scale, or at least using the scoop and level method. Then, use the ingredients called for. Don’t substitute chia seeds for the poppy seeds, or use regular milk instead of buttermilk. Each ingredient has a purpose here!
  2. Let The Batter Rest. I know this might seem like an annoying step, but your muffins will literally rise twice as high if you let the batter rest about 1 hour before baking. It gives the flour time to absorb liquid, and gives the leavening agents more time to react, which makes the texture of these almond poppy seed muffins ultra fluffy.
  3. Switch Up The Baking Time. Another trick for tall muffins is to adjust the bake time, start by baking for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F., then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. for the rest of the bake time. It makes a big difference in the height of the muffins!
gluten-free almond poppy seed muffins topped with sliced almonds

FAQ + Tips For The Best Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

Try Them With A Glaze! For a special occasion or celebration, you can also try topping these almond poppy seed muffins with glaze. Just whisk together 1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1-2 Tablespoons milk and a few drops of almond extract.

Make Them Mini! For mini muffins, fill each cup of a mini muffin pan 3/4 full. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until the edges are just golden and the centers are cooked through.

What Can I Substitute For Buttermilk? If you’re trying to make gluten-free dairy-free almond poppy seed muffins, or simply don’t have buttermilk on hand, you might be looking for a good buttermilk substitute. I love this Buttermilk 101 post, which compares all the common buttermilk substitutions. My best suggestion would be to use 3/4 cup sour cream + 1/4 cup milk.

🌟 Leave a star review below when you try our Gluten-Free Almond Poppy Seed Muffins recipe! We can’t wait to hear what you think!

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a gluten-free almond poppy seed muffin with a bite taken out of it to show the fluffy texture

Gluten-Free Almond Poppy Seed Muffins


  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This gluten-free almond poppy seed muffins recipe is made from scratch with simple ingredients for BIG flavor. You’ll love the fluffy texture!


Ingredients

Scale

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil*
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (270 grams), weighed or scooped & leveled*
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if using fine table salt)

To Top The Muffins

  • 12 Tablespoons sparkling sugar (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine Wet Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, buttermilk, eggs, almond flavoring, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine until smooth.
  2. Add Dry Ingredients. Next, add gluten-free flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt. Stir until just combined.
  3. Let The Batter Rest 1 Hour. This will make for a SIGNIFICANTLY higher rise in your muffins. It’s worth doing!
  4. Preheat & Prep. During the last 30 minutes of the batter resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with parchment paper liners.
  5. Scoop & Top Muffin Batter. Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin cups. (It will come almost all the way up the parchment liners!) Sprinkle the tops of the muffin batter with sparkling sugar and a few sliced almonds, if desired. (This is just for looks!) Depending on how fluffy your batter has risen, you may end up with a few extra muffins. This is fine, just bake them in a second batch.
  6. Bake 5 Minutes, Then Reduce Heat. Start by baking the muffins for 5 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking another 10-12 minutes, or until the muffins are light golden brown and baked through. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with just a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter. (You do NOT need to wait for the oven temperature to reach 350 degrees, just adjust the temperature and keep baking.)
  7. Cool The Muffins 2-3 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  8. Serve & Store. Enjoy warm muffins right away or store leftover muffins in an airtight bag or container at room temperature 2-3 days (a few seconds in the microwave revives them beautifully!), or freeze up to 2 months.

Notes

  • Gluten-Free Flour. We highly recommend King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure-For-Measure Flour for these muffins. If you use another brand, be sure it contains xanthan gum so the texture turns out correctly.
  • Measure the flour carefully, as even an extra few tablespoons of flour can lead to dry muffins. Weigh flour using a scale or use the scoop and level method rather than using your measuring cup to scoop the flour (which packs flour in).
  • Buttermilk. Actual buttermilk will give these muffins a nice, rich, fluffy texture. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use 3/4 cup sour cream + 1/4 cup milk. 
  • Oil. We recommend a neutral-tasting oil, like vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or grape seed oil. I don’t like coconut oil or olive oil for these muffins, since it impacts the flavor.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rest Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free almond poppy seed muffins, gluten free poppy seed muffins

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One Comment

  1. Amazing gluten free muffin. Your recipe is the best gf muffin I have made. Ever since turning gluten free I have been looking to replace my favorite muffin recipe with a gf one. This one had a nice fluffy texture, domed nicely and did not taste mealy. I cut back the sugar to 125gm which was perfect sweetness for us. Next time I will add some lemon zest to it. Your tip on letting the batter rest for an hour was genius.