Maple syrup muffins, gluten free

Since moving to the northern suburbs of Sydney and its bush surroundings, a particular bird has become my steadfast night time companion. A birdwatching neighbour assisted me in identifying the resonant hoot of this avian creature. It is the smallest and most common owl in Australia, the Southern Boobook. (Or as I have nicknamed it, ‘The Hoo Hoo Bird’.) It’s voice capacity seems far beyond its body weight, some would say this fact may explain my feelings of kinship towards this evening songbird.

It’s nocturnal call has become a comforting, rhythmical backdrop to what I have dubbed the ‘3 am blues’. Upon waking around that particular hour; every bad thought, hideous possibility and nightmarish circumstance comes to mind. And due to the hour, it feels unbeatable, unbearable and imminently possible.

Too many times to mention has the rhythmic far off call of the Boobook been my lullaby back to the realm of peace and slumber. Lately, this owl has begun to roost very near our house. The closest I have ever heard it. As I write, my eyes droop and my head nods in a Pavlovian response to its soothing call, lulling me to the Land of Nod.

Oh beautiful bird, thank you for your gift of sleep during restless nights of dark thoughts, wakeful breastfeeding babies, anxious parent emotions, vomiting children, snoring husbands, asthmatic lads, grieving nights and wide eyed ‘what if’ overthinking. I wish you propagation, the protection of your bush environment, delicious treats and the continuing joy of your nightly call.

These gluten free muffins are on steady rotation in our household. The recipe doesn’t contain any refined sugar, only maple syrup which gives them a floral, caramel flavour. They are tender, not too sweet and are best eaten on the day (or day after) they are baked.


350g gf flour (see cooking notes)
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs (70g)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbl maple syrup extra for glazing

Preheat the oven to 200C (or 190 fan forced.) Place muffin papers into a 12 hole muffin tin. Spray lightly with baking oil to ensure easy removal.
Sieve all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs then add the buttermilk, maple syrup and grapeseed oil and stir well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Spoon the mixture into the muffin papers and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven onto a cooling rack and using a pastry brush, brush the extra maple syrup over the top of the muffins whilst they are still hot.
Eat them.

Cooking notes:
In regards to gluten free flour for these muffins, I like to use a blend and this will change depending on what I have on hand. The two blends that provide a lovely, tender muffin are: A. 150g chestnut flour and 200g plain gf flour blend such as the Orgran brand. B. 100g Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour and 250g plain gf flour.
If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by adding 1 tbl of lemon or vinegar to 1 cup of buttermilk and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Maple syrup muffins original recipe link

The call of the Southern Boobook

24 thoughts on “Maple syrup muffins, gluten free

  1. I have a similar reaction to the song of pied butcher birds, which sound so sweet and plaintive, I just can’t be miserable when I listen to them – or kurrawongs giggling, which I associate with a very happy time of my life. On the other hand, a damn fine muffin will perk me up no end too!

  2. I miss the call of the boobook, now I just hear the blood curdling screech of the stone curlew. Gorgeous muffins Cheery, I love the fruity flavour of maple syrup. I might add some pecans when I make these.

    • The curlew ain’t quite as reasonant hey? The original recipe adds walnuts but pecans would be tops! Darn our ‘nut detesting’ ten year old. (Ah the irony that he regularly eats baked goods containing nut flours etc… chuckle..)

  3. Owls are rare birds around here but what a soothing call it must be! I can so relate to those dark moments of the soul at 3:00 a.m. when you feel like you’re the only one on earth who is awake and anxious. There must be something in the air (or stars?) at the moment, because my nightly wake-up calls are tough to ignore. The other night I actually got so sick of tossing and turning I got up, worked for an hour, and went back to bed (!). The maple muffins look delicious — I always keep plenty of maple syrup on hand to remind me of home.

    • It’s a strange time of the day… like the veil between life and death is more fragile or something. Getting up was probably better than just lying there in a sheet tangled mess. Maple syrup is so lovely, have you ever harvested it yourself ‘back in the day?’

      • Sadly, no. My family had no culture of that sort of thing, and much of the maple syrup making goes on in parts north and Québecois, well outside of the sprawling urban area of Greater Toronto! x

  4. Hello hello!!
    What a nice post to come back to, I so enjoyed reading your ode to the bird ❤
    I'm leaning far right when it comes to sugar these days so the maple syrup in these muffins seems like the perfect touch!
    Nice to be commenting again ❤

    • Hello Cake!! Happy you enjoyed my wee ode to the owl. Excellent to see you back and so glad your blogging summer break was tops. 💜 I have been pretty ‘chill’ with my postings as well. (In other words, quite irregular.) I do still bake with sugar but always knock the amount back and also have a few no or low sugar recipes using dates etc. Looking forward to seeing where life takes us these next few months. 💜

  5. Our nightly bird is also an owl – a Scopes, one of the smallest owls that are depicted on ancient coins from Athens. It is rarely seen, but visitors always ask us if there is some sort of electronic interference in the area and we have to explain that the Scopes’ sound like electronic beeping in the night. It’s a little reassuring to know it is a natural sound! I do love a good muffin recipe and I now have a huge jug of maple syrup in the refrigerator waiting to be used. There are only so many pancakes one can consume!

    • Oh, the wee Scope sounds so intriguing. Nature is marvellous hey? Pancakes are also marvellous but like anything, get too much. This is a good low fat low, low refined sugar recipe and they are particularly good eaten fresh. (Or the day after, their shelf life isn’t long due to the lack of fat and sugar.) I also think they will be good if you substitute the gf flour weight for regular flour. If you don’t need gluten free.

  6. I looked up a picture of the Hoo-Hoo bird–they have amazing eyes. I know exactly what you mean about everything seeming worse in the middle of the night, and how the call of another creature out there can be soothing. As for maple syrup, I love it! They make it in my state of Ohio and every now and then we buy a big jug.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s