Enjoy a bit of the tropics with these gluten free pineapple coconut muffins, filled with tropical flavors and covered with a coconutty crust.
Oh, how I wish I could actually be in Hawaii (or anywhere tropical) eating these pineapple coconut muffins right now! I bet you do, too, unless you’re one of those people who likes cold, dreary weather. In which case you must be from a different planet, haha! All joking aside, as many hot flashes as I’ve had these past few years, I still would rather take 90-degree weather over freezing temps. In the tropics, even if it’s hot it doesn’t feel hot because there seems to be a constant island breeze.
Although we’re not experiencing any really cold temps like my sister is in Texas right now (or my other sister in Wisconsin), we’ve probably had at least 5 inches of (cold) rain in the past two weeks and it just means everyone is miserable. So what better way to cheer things up than to make something tropical.
My mom raved about pineapple coconut mini muffins she got from Aldi and that got me thinking about making something similar. I started with my muffin base that I’ve used for bakery style blueberry muffins, as well as apple cinnamon muffins. From there, I added pineapple and coconut, both inside and out. They’re bright and flavorful with a nice toasted coconut topping and might just be my favorite muffins so far!
Ingredients in Gluten Free Pineapple Coconut Muffins
Muffins are always the perfect grab and go breakfast option because they can be eaten at room temp and with little to no mess. That’s why if I’m going to eat a muffin for breakfast, I’m going to make them as big and bold as I possibly can, using a jumbo muffin pan (affiliate link) and jumbo muffin liners (affiliate link). But these can also be made as regular sized muffins, or even mini muffins. Here’s what’s in ’em:
- Kim’s gluten free all-purpose flour blend–you could use a store bought blend, but these muffins haven’t been tested with any other flour blend.
- Baking powder
- Granulated sugar
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Crushed pineapple
- Shredded coconut
Adding the Sugary Crunchy Topping
You could leave the topping off these muffins and they’d still be absolutely delicious. But when I was developing these, I wanted to add a little toasted coconut taste to them as well, and this was the perfect way to do so without having to toast the coconut separately. Plus, I reduced the sugar inside the muffins so we can add more on top!
In a small bowl, mix together demerara sugar (or brown sugar) with two tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice and 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut. Spoon this sandy mixture over the batter in each muffin cup.
Tips for Getting Domed Muffin Tops
- Thick batter helps the muffins rise up and not out.
- Start baking the muffins at a higher temperature. The blast of heat will also push them up and not out.
- Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. It might seem like you’re overfilling, but this will ensure a domed muffin top.
- Allow the batter to rest briefly while you make the topping.
Want to escape the cold and get a bite of the tropics? Gluten free pineapple coconut muffins will at least take you away using your taste buds!
Gluten Free Pineapple Coconut Muffins
- 3 cups (420 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend a store bought blend may be used, but has not been tested
- 4 tsp (16 g) baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1½ cups (360 ml) buttermilk dairy-free milk mixed with 1 tbsp vinegar may be substituted)
- ½ cup (120 ml) canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 20-ounce (567 g) can crushed pineapple, drained, reserving 2 tbsp of the juice
- ½ cup (46 g) sweetened shredded coconut
Coconut Crunchy Topping
- ½ cup (46 g) sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
- reserved 2 tbsp pineapple juice
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line muffin tins with paper muffin liners and then spray them with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in the well. Top with the drained pineapple and coconut and use a spoon to gently mix everything together. Don't overmix. Let the batter rest while you make the topping and your oven preheats fully, at least 5 minutes.
Make the Topping
- In a small bowl, mix together all topping ingredients.
Assemble and Bake the Muffins
- Scoop the muffin batter into the prepared liners, filling all the way to the top. Top each muffin with about 1 tbsp of the topping for jumbo muffins, ½ tbsp for regular-sized, and 1 tsp for mini muffins.
- Bake at 425° F for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375° F. For jumbo muffins, bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. For regular-sized muffins, bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, and for mini muffins, bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack. Muffins can be kept at room temperature for a few days, well covered, or can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction Sparkling Jumbo Blueberry Muffins