Sunday, 11 January 2015

Muffin Pizzas (or Pizza Muffins) - gluten free

Who loves pizza? If you answered 'me' then you'll love these! They have all the flavour of pizza in a handy, perfect for packed lunch, picnic or party table muffin. Which begs the question, are they pizza muffins or muffin pizzas? And do I really care? They are so delicious you could call them anything you like and I would happily down a basket full......

They even work well as an alternative breakfast and quick snack. Eat on their own or serve with salad or soup...... Have them warm or cold...... Enjoy them fresh or freeze and use as a speedy 'grab later'. These are fabulously versatile as well as being incredibly flavoursome. You have to try them..... really!

I have wanted to try making muffin pizzas for a year or so, having seen a number of versions out there, both made with wheat and gluten-free flours. This particular version has been amended and adapted from a fellow Canadian blog The Baking Beauties, which has some lovely, very practical day to day recipes for those of us who cannot eat gluten.

What I love about this recipe is that it produces a wonderful, fluffy, soft gluten free crumb, which stays perfectly squidgy for several days. You can store it in the fridge and just bring to room temperature before you scoff and it tastes like it has just been made. Alternatively, you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and indulge in a perfectly warm muffin experience.

It is equally adaptable on the filling-front. If your favourite pizza topping is pepperoni, throw it in to the mix! Want a veggie version? Forget the meat and load it with sweetcorn, peppers, fried onions, mushrooms, or anything else that takes your fancy. Want to go Hawaiian? Top them with pineapple.....

If you want vegetarian cheese, just make sure you use non-rennet alternatives. And if you prefer them spicy, ditch the herbs and chuck in some chilli!

Seriously.... I think I have just found a new love. They are so full of good stuff (and just like pizza, you have complete control of what goes into them) that I may be eating a new version every week. The balance of flavours is spot on and really does taste just like pizza. Herby, cheesy, tomatoey yumciousness.....

Kids absolutely love them (I've checked), so they are perfect for a quick, healthy packed lunch (that you can also sneak some extra good stuff into)....... pretty much a meal in one!

I am sharing these muffins with a whole bunch of challenges that seem to fit the theme (which I guess is an indication of just how versatile they are)..... I want to get the word out as far as possible.... if you have never tried a muffin pizza, give them a go!

First up : Family Foodies with Lou at Eat Your Veg (and Vanesther at Bangers & Mash) which this month celebrates recipes for healthy kids. We all know that pizza is a favourite with the little ones..... If you want some control over what they are getting down and need to hide it beyond suspicion, these are perfect lunch and snack fodder...... a balanced meal or a healthy snack all in one handful!

Biscuit Barrel, which this month is being hosted by Alexandra (The Lass in the Apron) for the first time (on account of Laura from I'd Much rather Bake Than.... being swamped by college work). Alexandra has set this month's theme as Innovation & Discoveries. These little bites of Italian-infused   inspiration are the best discovery I have made in ages and I suspect I will be making a regular batch to keep in a tub in the fridge.

Tea Time Treats with Janie at The Hedgecombers (and Lavender & Lovage). January's theme is packed lunches.

Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too.

Cook, Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.

Cooking with Herbs with Karen at Lavender & Lovage, who has designated January the month of the store cupboard. These muffins are full of store cupboard ingredients and household staples, from flours, herbs and baking essentials to a jar of passata, cheeses and frozen sweetcorn.

And finally : the No Waste food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. I found about quarter of a bag of Mozzarella cheese lurking in the back of the fridge from before Christmas, which I fear would have been destined for a nasty green end had I not found it just in time and used it to sprinkle on top of these muffins..... just like real pizza!

Muffin Pizzas (or Pizza Muffins) Makes 18


80g brown rice flour
80g sorghum flour
80g tapioca flour
25g GF oat flour (make at home as here)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ tablespoons golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon GF baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
large pinch dried thyme
30g freshly grated parmesan
250 ml soured cream
3 large eggs - room temperature
60 ml (55g) melted butter
150 ml tomato passata (sieved tomatoes)
110g mature cheddar cheese - cut into small cubes
60g sweetcorn kernels (I used frozen)
50g ham - shredded/chopped
100g grated Mozzarella cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Prepare a couple of muffin tins with muffin cases.
  2. Weigh and mix together the flours, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and herbs, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
  3. Add and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the soured cream, eggs and melted butter until fully combined and smooth.
  5. Add 60 ml passata and whisk again.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, cheddar cheese, sweetcorn and ham and fold-in until evenly combined.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases (about two-thirds full) and smooth the tops. Then make a small dip in the centre of each.
  8. Divide the remaining passata between the muffins, spooning a little on to the top of each (the dip should help to hold it)
  9. Divide and sprinkle the mozzarella on top of the passata. 
  10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and the top springs back to the touch (use the tip of a spatula or wooden spoon to test, so that you don't burn yourself on the cheese or tomato topping)
  11. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool, or enjoy warm, fresh from the oven.
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  1. Oh my they look tempting, and just perfect for the lunch box theme for this months Tea Time Treats!
    Thanks so much for sharing :)
    Janie x

    1. Thanks Janie. My daughter is munching at least one every day at the moment! They make the idea of packed lunches much more appealing!

  2. These sound amazing Kate! I love pizza so much and would adore it in muffin form :)

  3. I think my girls would love these - they love pizza and muffins so it's an easy guess. I'll give them a go and let you know how we get on xxx

    1. If they are anything like my daughter, then they will definitely enjoy them. Let me know how you get on!

  4. Oh how funny! I am just making muffin pizzas too! The pizza base is resting right now for a morning start! These muffins are very popular in Italy at the moment and they really are a great idea. I am making classic ones so I am intrigued by your recipe here. They certainly are healthier and gluten free so even better + they look really cute!

    1. Thanks Alida. I look forward to seeing yours! I can see why they would be popular... they are delicious!

  5. Yum yum yum what a great idea and why have I not thought of this before?! This would have been a good gluten free savoury alternative at my afternoon tea party - I'll remember it for next time.

    1. Ha! My thoughts exactly! I will definitely have this one up my sleeve for any buffet scenario from now on.

  6. I should make a mental note not to visit your blog hungry! I am now drooling. These are a great idea for breakfast on the run #CookBlogShare

    1. If they have made you hungry that's a good sign I guess..... I make no apology for drool-worthiness! It's amazing how much good stuff you can pack into a handful.... and absolutely a much healthier breakfast than many I eat in a hurry!

  7. Oh my, I am going to have to make some of these and add them to my lunch box. yum

  8. This looks really yummy - I love pizza and I love muffins so this sounds like an excellent marriage - and the tomato cheese topping sounds genius

  9. I think you might be just a little bit enamoured Kate. They do sound good though and I am a big fan of savoury muffins. Now I don't need packed lunches any more, I've rather got out of the habit. These will just have to be tried. I didn't realise you were Canadian.

    1. Ha ha! enamoured I may be.... these are worth falling in love with! I am not however Canadian (though having read back, I see where the confusion came in!)..... my fellow Canadian bloggers are fellows for their gluten freedom and blogginess.....Mmmmm.... must improve my grammar!!!

  10. Wowsers these sound magnificent! I've made loads of savoury muffins over the years but have never thought of 'pizza muffins', loving your idea of adding the passata and some of the filling to a dip in the middle. Thanks so much for linking them up to January's Family Foodies event.

  11. oh oh oh! What a simply perfect idea! I love muffins and pizza will be bookmarking this recipe for future baking day :-)

    1. Thank you Janice. They are so worth trying. Let me know how you find them if you do give them a go x

  12. A super idea! I love the sound of these - perfect picnic/hillwalking snacks too! Thank you for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge :)

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Absolutely perfect for hillwalking....... I just need to find some hills now (sadly, our landscape is not as rugged as yours) x

  13. Super easy! My 14 yr old son made these for dinner tonight. :) Instead of spaghetti sauce we used homemade pizza sauce. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. This is looking delicious. I would love to bake this for the coming occasion Thanks for sharing the recipe


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