I followed this recipe for low-carb lemon poppy seed muffins. I only substituted coconut for almond flour and granulated monk fruit for splenda. The mix was really loose and dry when I put it in the tins. I baked it for the max specified 20 minutes and they didn't rise (I didn't swap baking soda for powder, like some do). If I want to make these again, what do I modify to get these muffins to look like actual muffins?

Also, I saw these posts (1 and 2) but I'm doing low-carb and the answers don't fit as I'd expect.

3 Answers 3


Your recipe has no gluten in it. Baked goods without gluten tend to have a crumbly texture; muffin batter usually contains at least some wheat flour, which contributes gluten toward the muffin's structure. The Kitchn has a good blog post about using vital wheat gluten, which can be added to a recipe that is in need of a more bread-like structure (assuming no dietary restriction on gluten). If you add too much, you'll have to adjust the other ingredients in the recipe to compensate (mainly liquids, but possibly fats as well) but a little goes a long way; for your recipe, one tablespoon might be a good starting point.

Vital wheat gluten does contain similar carbohydrates to those found in regular wheat flour, but much less; where regular flour is almost entirely carbohydrates, vital wheat gluten is mostly protein. Consult the nutrition info before you buy it if you're worried about adding carbs to your recipe.

Adding gluten can also affect how the muffin rises, so you might find that's enough on its own; but it's not directly a leavening agent. More good info here: What does gluten "do" in baking?

  • is right about gluten and rising. There are other additives that are often included in gluten-free flour mixes to mock the structure that gluten provides. I would have been amazed if an all almond flour muffin rose like the one in the picture. If you Google other recipes for almond flour muffins you will see pictures that display a not-so-generous muffin rise. Also, the recipe you chose excludes egg - a recipe that included egg might have provided a little extra structure for some rise. Don't blame the monk fruit. Perhaps you should consider using a low-carb gluten-free mix? Jan 3, 2015 at 23:50
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    And you're absolutely right about that. I apologize. I read through the recipe several times and totally missed seeing the eggs there. Jan 4, 2015 at 0:06
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    @StephenEure the link to the name has a technical function. When a comment is started with @ name, it creates a notification. The owner of a post is always notified, so the system removes the superfluous link even if you type it out. This is what probably happened this time.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 4, 2015 at 2:00
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    Most muffin-method recipes do not rely on gluten to provide structure--in fact, the complete opposite is true: directions often stress the fact that you should not overmix, lest you actually begin to develop gluten structure. The reason his muffins were crumbly is because he tried substituting coconut flour in place of almond flour without compensating the amount of moisture. I've created many muffin method recipes which use almond flour and work without using vital wheat gluten.
    – NSGod
    Feb 11, 2019 at 23:36
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    @NSGod I don't have much experience using coconut flour but your explanation seems plausible. You should consider submitting an alternative answer, it might be helpful to future readers.
    – Air
    Feb 15, 2019 at 20:06

Coconut flour really soaks up moisture, so it can't just be substituted for other flours. You should use a coconut flour recipe, but if you can't find a coconut flour recipe for what you want to bake you need to (approximately) double the liquid in the recipe.


When swapping coconut flour for almond flour, you use only one third the amount. Coconut flour is EXTREMELY absorbent, so if you use one cup of almond flour, to swap with coconut flour would be one third cup, not a full cup. Otherwise, you're going to have one dry, crumbly mess.

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