Recipe: Sweet Citrus Muffins (Vegan)



A friend of mine had a birthday last week. She doesn’t eat any sugar at all (nope, not honey or maple syrup, either), but of course that didn’t faze me. I know all about cooking without sugar.

Then I opened up the pantry to find I was almost out of xylitol. I had a few tablespoons. Not enough to make a cake.

So I made muffins that were a little sweeter than usual. I saved most of the xylitol for icing, and used Splenda and Purevia (a stevia sweetenener) in the batter. I tend not to bake much with either of the latter because they both have an aftertaste, but needs must! And mixing them seemed to balance their flavors out, or at least to ensure that neither overpowered the flavor of the batter.

I also included sweetness in the form of homemade candied orange peel. I periodically make them using a candied orange peel recipe like this one on, substituting xylitol or erythriol for the sugar, then store the results in the freezer for later use. I suppose I ought to blog about my approach the next time I prepare them; if you Google “sugar-free candied orange peel,” most of the results are loaded with sugar in the form of agave or honey, making them not diabetic friendly.

Anyway, the experiment was a success! My friend loved the muffins, and so did her kids.


The recipe is below.


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • cookie sheet
  • muffin tin with 12 2 ½-inch cups
  • cooling rack
  • small saucepan or metal measuring cup


  • 1 cup rolled oats (regular or quick)
  • 1 cup cooked millet, cooled
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (use white whole-wheat flour if available)
  • ½ almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or equivalent non-sugar sweetener (I used 1 Tbs Splenda, 1 Tbs Purevia for baking, and 1 Tbs xylitol)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peel, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup pureed carrots
  • ½ cup grapefruit or orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as coconut or canola)
  • 1½ teaspoons orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For icing:

  • 1 teaspoon  butter
  • 2 tablespoons powdered xylitol or erythritol
  • 1 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice
  • pinch salt


Making the muffins

  1. Toss the oats, millet, and walnuts and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Toast in a 400°F oven until slightly golden (about 12 minutes), stirring once or twice. Let cool.
  2. Set aside a quarter cup of the oats, millet, and walnut mixture. put the rest in a mixing bowl with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Mix together.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients, sweetener, and flax together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are wet. Batter should be somewhat lumpy.
  5. Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tin. Fill each cup about three-quarters full.
  6. Sprinkle the tops with the oat, millet, and walnut mixture that you set aside earlier.
  7. Bake at 400°F for 17 minutes, or until the tops are firm and golden brown.
  8. Cool on racks before eating.

For icing:

  1. In a stainless steel measuring cup, warm butter on your stove’s lowest heat setting until melted.
  2. Mix in the sweetener and lemon juice until smooth — about a minute.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to desired consistency. Drizzle on top of muffins.
  4. Store leftover icing in the fridge for up to 1 month.


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