Easy Pancake Mix Muffins (gluten-free!)

If you're a regular reader, you know about my love affair with muffins. You probably also know that I like to bake a batch of muffins on the weekend and toss 'em in the freezer to eat with my breakfast throughout the week. I do this pretty much every week, and I must admit that this little tip saves me tons of time, energy and tummy-grumbling during my pre-work morning routine.

Back in September, I shared my favorite recipe for Spiced Apple Muffins which are made with fresh apples and great spices to kickstart your digestion and for mental clarity. That's my go-to recipe for most weeks and I never get tired of it. So, what's the problem? Well, because of my current gluten-free experiment, this favorite recipe of mine is on the "no-no" list!

As I continue along on my gluten-free experiment, I know I just can't survive without my morning muffins. So, after much research and a little hope, I developed a tasty gluten-free muffin recipe that reminds me of my favorite Spiced Apple Muffins.I made this recipe super quick by taking a little shortcut and using Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix as the base for my batter. Trader Joe's is somewhat of a champion of gluten-free foods and their pancake and bread mixes are great tools for people who are just "trying out" the gluten-free life. I also used some of my famous homemade apple butter in this recipe, but you could use fresh apples or any fresh fruit of your choosing.

Gluten-Free Pancake Mix Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins

2 cups gluten-free pancake/waffle mix
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer (just the dry mix)
1/2 tsp dry ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c canola oil
1 cup plain nondairy milk of your choice
1/4 c sugar (optional, but suggested)
Approx 1/4 cup apple butter or finely chopped apples

Lightly grease muffin tin and set aside. Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients, except fruit, until just combined. The batter will look a little thin.

Fill muffin tins halfway with batter. Using a teaspoon, add a small dollop of apple butter or a few chunks of fresh apple to each tin. Don't worry about exact measurements here. Just distribute evenly among the tins.

Here's what your muffins should look like at this point:

Top with remaining batter. You may see some of your filling poking up a bit from the center of your tins, but it shouldn't be exposed. You'll want to shoot for something like this:

Bake 18-19 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing from muffin tin. I suggest cooling these muffins upside down, as the filling tends to settle to the bottom and this will prevent it from oozing out before it sets.

The good news is that you don't have to wait until your muffins are completely cooled in order to break 'em apart and scarf 'em down! Who could resist?

Top with remaining batter.

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