flourless dark chocolate, orange + ginger muffins

It's the first day of spring today and I couldn't be happier! After our non-existent (last) summer, this winter has felt incredibly long and incredibly wet. Our new house is amazing and feels like the home we've always dreamed of, however it's not the warmest house so we'll have to save up over the next few seasons and make sure we get it more prepared for cold before winter rolls around again.

One thing I've loved about moving into this house is that every month brings new discoveries. When we moved in late autumn the trees were all dropping their leaves, many were bare already, so it was a guessing game as to what most of the trees actually were. There's one big old, moss-lined tree smack-bang in the middle of the lawn for instance, that was so ugly all throughout winter I mentioned more than once that if it didn't turn out to be something beautiful come spring or summer it was gone. I now feel bad for having ever threatened its life, as it's turned out to be the most beautiful deep pink magnolia! My favourite. There's also a lovely spidery white magnolia and the most beautiful pink blossom tree right outside Ada's bedroom window. For a few weeks there, when opening her curtains in the morning it's all you could see. If you're lucky, you'd spot one lone Tui (bird) feasting on the sweet nectar too.

I often dream about food. True fact.

I wake with ideas in my head and cross my fingers I'll be able to make them become reality. Sometimes they don't work out first go, as was the case with these flourless muffins. But it's a good day when they work out exactly how I'd hoped, or dreamed in this case.

I wanted these to be light and fluffy, without too much of the usual denseness of most flourless ground almond (almond meal/flour) based muffins. The little addition of coconut flour (a flour I usually despise!), worked wonders in keeping things light, but not dry.  NZ oranges are abundant at the moment and go perfectly with ginger and dark chocolate.

Flourless dark chocolate, orange + ginger muffins

What we call ground almonds here in NZ is also known as almond meal in Australia or almond flour in the US. It's finely ground blanched almonds. I tend to use this sugar, this crystalised ginger and this dark chocolate (not sponsored).
Makes 8


1 cup (110g) ground almonds (almond meal/flour)

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

2 large free-range eggs

3 tablespoons olive oil or melted virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup (50g) unrefined raw sugar

1 cup (250ml) coconut milk or other milk alternative

2 tablespoons finely chopped crystalised ginger

60g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

The finely grated zest 1 orange


Preheat oven to 180c (350F). Line 8 muffin pans with paper cases.

In a small bowl combine ground almonds, coconut flour and baking powder, add a pinch of fine sea salt and whisk to combine.

In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugar and coconut milk. Scatter the dry mixture over, along with the ginger, 3/4 of the chocolate and the orange zest and whisk to combine. Divide batter evenly between the paper cases, scatter tops with remaining chocolate and bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Remove from the oven and set aside 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Best eaten on the day of baking, however they'll store happily in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

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  • Reply
    September 1, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Yum, looks great. I like that they don’t have too much almond flour (that paleo style of baking is too heavy for me too) and I’m sure I have some of that crazy coconut flour lurking in the pantry that I could use in this. Thanks Emma 🙂

    • Reply
      September 1, 2017 at 4:26 am

      You’re welcome Nicky! It seems a few of us might have coconut flour lurking at the back of our pantry’s. It’s a funny flour, but works wonders in tiny amounts like in this recipe. See my comment above for what to use in it’s place if you don’t have it xx

  • Reply
    September 1, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Yum Emma! These sound amazing. What would be a good substitute for coconut flour? Can’t wait to make these this afternoon! X

    • Reply
      September 1, 2017 at 4:23 am

      Hi Tess, I adapted it from a previous recipe of mine where I used ground almonds and desiccated coconut, so while I haven’t tried this version without the coconut flour, I’d try using 1/4 cup desiccated coconut and see how you go. The mixture might still be a tad wet, I can’t guarantee without trying it myself sorry 🙂

      • Reply
        September 1, 2017 at 4:35 am

        Thanks Emma! I’ll give this a go tomorrow x

  • Reply
    September 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Love the recipe! Can you please suggest some replacement for eggs?

    • Reply
      September 3, 2017 at 9:51 am

      You could try chia/flax eggs, mashed banana or apple sauce. The results will be different but hopefully still yum!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Wowie. What beautiful photographs and delicious sounding muffins. Love the combination of ingredients.

  • Reply
    Sarah C
    September 2, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Thanks so much Emma. I whipped these up yesterday afternoon, a special rainy day, first day of spring treat. I subbed in some chia seed bombs for the eggs and some fresh ginger as I had no crystallised ginger and they were delicious. My husband in particular loved them… We’ll definitely be making these again.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

    These look delish Emma. The combo of orange and choc with ginger sounds tantalizing. I have the coconut flour, just need the Almond flour. Your photography is beautiful.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve cooked yesterday and they are absolutely delicious! Thanks for such a great recipe xx

    • Reply
      September 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      So stoked you loved them!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2017 at 4:35 am

    It looks so pretty. The ingredients which you used for this are the great combination. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    September 13, 2017 at 4:38 am

    The flavour of muffin is soo yummy!! best snack for evening time. thanks for sharing i would try it

  • Reply
    September 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Hi, this looks yum. I’m assuming the temperature is convention not fanforced, but could you please confirm. Thx

    • Reply
      October 1, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Bek,
      Yes, I only ever bake using regular bake, not fan bake. xx

  • Reply
    October 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    These look amazing! Do you use canned full fat coconut milk? or boxed milk alternative?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Catherine,
      I use full fat canned coconut milk, any brand I can find that contains only coconut and water, no nasties. xx

  • Reply
    Way2flowers CupCakes
    October 16, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Yummy Yummy… Tasty tasty…, looks great… Your recipes are awesome. Keep helping us with such a lovely recipes.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Have now made these muffins four times. They are really easy and tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      That’s so great to hear Rebecca! Stoked you love them xx

  • Reply
    Joy Pinto Souza
    December 4, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Simple decadent! I tried this recipe and it turned out amazing. Moist and flavourful yet simple to put together. As Nicky commented above, most gluten free recipes call for enormous amounts of ingredients but not this one!
    The aroma of the dark chocolate and orange wafting through the house as these baked in the oven was better than the best scented candle one could purchase…. almost therapeutic.
    Thank you for this. This one’s a keeper!

    • Reply
      December 6, 2017 at 8:24 am

      So stoked you loved them! xx

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