Coffee Walnut Muffins with Coffee Glaze (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


I am a dyed-in-the-wool, unrepentant coffee drinker who comes from a long line of dyed-in-the-wool, unrepentant coffee drinkers. I am one of those people who isn’t fully human until she’s had a cup of coffee in the morning. Even my children, as young as they are, know to stay out of my way until I’ve had at least a few sips of coffee. Sure, it’s an addiction of sorts, but I also love it for the ritual, the sputter of the coffee-maker coming to life, the warmth of the mug in my hands, the deep black-brown turning to a lovely light tan with the addition of cream. There are many things in life I could give up without so much as a backward glance, but coffee isn’t one of them. Asking me to give up coffee would be like asking me to give up my children…although depending on their behaviour at any given moment, my children might be the easier thing to give up.

I’ve found that many people who don’t drink coffee often enjoy coffee-flavoured foods. My husband is one of these people. He loves coffee ice cream, baked goods with a coffee flavour and he even loves the smell of freshly-ground coffee. He just doesn’t like the actual drink. This seems strange to me, but as I too love coffee-flavoured things, I try to capitalize on this fairly frequently. If I could secretly get him addicted to caffeine, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be unhappy with that. After all, addiction loves company and I wouldn’t mind having a partner in crime.

I discovered a few months ago that coffee and walnuts go together very nicely, in my Walnut Torte with Coffee Whipped Cream. So when I needed a grab-and-go breakfast option, muffins with this flavour-combination came to mind. And then, because I find it hard to just go with simple things when it comes to baking, I thought I would gussy it up with some coffee-flavoured glaze. Ground walnuts and almond flour formed the basis of my muffins, with some chopped, toasted walnuts for extra texture and crunch. A few tablespoons of instant coffee added the flavour I adore so much. And the glaze was so easy, just mix a little powdered sweetener with coffee and there you have it.

The Results: Some might think that I was a little heavy-handed on the coffee flavouring here, but I adore these. It’s like coffee in solid form, with a walnutty aftertaste. You could always cut back on the instant coffee, if you want a less in-you-face coffee taste (but why you would want to is beyond me!). These muffins were wonderfully moist from the sour cream. Quite honestly, they were just as good without the glaze as with, but I just like the over-the-top touch of adding glaze.

One word about the glaze – I find when I used powdered erythritol, the glaze looks great when wet, but dries to a dull finish that isn’t as pretty as one might want. When I use powdered xylitol, it ends up looking nicer. I use powdered erythritol for frostings most of the time because it has the least effect on my blood sugars, but for glazes, I prefer a product called Ideal Sweetener Confectionery, a powdered xylitol blend. For these muffins, I used powdered erythritol because I was out of xylitol.

Coffee Walnut Muffins with Coffee Glaze

1 1/4 cups walnuts, divided
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/4 cup erythritol
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
16 drops stevia extract
2 tbsp almond milk

1/3 cup powdered erythritol or xylitol
2 tbsp strong coffee

Preheat oven to 325F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Toast 1/4 cup walnuts, and chop coarsely. Set aside

In a food processor, grind 1 cup of the walnuts until finely ground but not pasty. Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in almond flour, soy flour, granulated erythritol, protein powder, coffee, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat yogurt or sour cream with butter until smooth. Beat in eggs and stevia. Then beat in half of nut flour mixture. Beat in almond milk, and then remaining nut flour mixture. Stir in toasted, chopped walnuts.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes, or until set and a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered erythritol or xylitol and coffee. Drizzle over muffins.

Makes 12. Each muffin has a total of 13.9g of carbs and 2.8g of fiber, but only 4.9g if you subract erythritol.

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  1. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    Carolyn, these look amazing! I love coffee and coffee flavored desserts so I'd adore these!

  2. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots says

    Haha…I love it! I'm a coffee addict too! :-) There's just nothing better than a warm cup of coffee. Ahh…those muffins would be the perfect compliment to a hot cup of coffee. Yum!!!

  3. The Café Sucré Farine says

    These are making me drool just looking at the pictures! Keyboards don't do so well with drool in them :)
    Seriously, these look just wonderful!
    thanks for sharing, Chris

  4. Tiffany says

    I want to eat that glaze with a spoon! And I have a confession to make…. I'm officially back on caffeine (1/2 caff) … the good news is that I can make these muffins! 😀

  5. Pretend Chef says

    Amazing. Coffee lovers unite. I would love the in your face flavor. I too have to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning or else the day doesn't feel right. I enjoy mine black to avoid the extra sugar. Yummy!

  6. Claudie says

    I'm all about LOTS of coffee :) so I think I'll keep your recipe just the way it is and will make those this week! Those muffins look just so delicious, and I absolutely love the glazing! So sad I can't have one this morning already… :(

  7. The Mom Chef says

    The first paragraph made me sigh with pleasure because I'm a coffee love as well (I have a mug in front of me as I type in fact).

    These muffins look fantastic. I love the coffee on coffee cake/glaze and the thought of using walnuts is perfect. I'd have not paired them, but it makes sense.

  8. flyoverfoodie says

    I am also from a long line of unrepentant coffee drinkers…and now the husband and I are both morning caffeine addicts :) These sound fantastic…I think they're going on my "to make" list.

  9. RavieNomNoms says

    Wow!! Look at those! They look so gooey and perfect! I used to be a coffee drinker but now I am a tea drinker, I am POSITIVE that these would be great with coffee or tea haha

  10. Kate from Scratch says

    yummmm……coffeee…add chocolate and I'll do whatever you want me to. I might just follow you around with an adorable lost puppy look about me too, but know…I'll try not to do that.


  11. Sanjeeta kk says

    Oh..I love your writing and the lovely take on a coffee addict :) I am not a coffee addict though, but behave the same way with my malt drink in morning and me without anyone (dare to) disturbing my ritual 😉
    Love the coffee and walnut combo..need a trial soon.

  12. Foodness Gracious says

    Heavy handed, noooo never! I too like my coffee and can relate to your morning ritual, as I type this I'm sipping on my Starbucks red eye. My daughter does give me strange looks in the morning when I actually heave a sigh of releif when I take my first sip. It's just so good!

  13. The Harried Cook says

    Two of my husband's favorite things in the world are coffee and walnuts. I think this would make him SO happy! Thank you for the inspiration… :)

  14. Healthy Mamma says

    HaaaHaaa, I am exactly the same way. When my husband was driving past a Starbucks my then 2 year old pointed and said "Mommy!" 😉
    I can't wait to make these!!!

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  16. Ana Helena Campbell says

    Wow. It looks so beautiful. I had quit coffee recently but I miss the aroma of fresh brewed coffee in the morning.
    Your treats look so tasty and I sure need excuse to have coffee in the house again.

  17. sara @ CaffeIna says

    I'm a member of the same club! If I haven't had my coffee yet, don't even talk to me! if I go out for brunch, I still need to make my own coffee at home to avoid having people not wanting to see me anymore. And from there of course comes a love for coffee flavored desserts. I would go for these muffins every morning!

  18. spcookiequeen says

    My apologies if I'm tormenting you with those rolls, but if I know anybody that could turn them in to low-carb, hint hint. I don't drink coffee, but I love the flavor of it in baked goods, ice cream, you name it.

  19. kitchenarian says

    I think I need to make a big batch of the coffee glaze and just spread it on everything! I love my coffee in a cup and in muffins too; such a great recipe.

  20. Barbara | Creative Culinary says

    Cut back on the coffee part of the coffee glaze? Not me…I might make it espresso but never cut back. I like an intense coffee flavor too!

  21. Linda @ Lemon Drop says

    these look incredible ! thx for sharing :) I love the combo. I made my first coffee & walnut cake yesterday and declare myself an addict !

  22. Kate@Diethood says

    aye aye aye aye…. these are gorgeous!!! I'm having coffee right now and basically drooling over your creation. Beautiful!

  23. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says

    I'm a java addict too but luckily I'm surrounded by them, even my daughter. We will all enjoy these muffins, although I might do a Kahlua glaze.

  24. Parsley Sage says

    Gorgeous! We're big time coffee drinkers so you've got our full support. Toss that coffee flavor into as MANY recipes as you want :)

  25. Chef Dennis says

    You never cease to amaze me with your incredible creations, I would never have even give anything gluten free or sugar free a second look, but you have taken them to a whole new level….wow! I do love all things coffee now, at first it was only coffee, now its anything coffee flavored!
    thanks for such a great post

  26. Roxana GreenGirl says

    i'm still smiling form your comment about your children behavior. Sometimes I feel the same and I only have one!

    I'm not a coffee drinker, I rarely have some sips but I love making coffee, having my kitchen smelling like fresh ground coffee.
    Your muffins look amazing, would love a bite.
    Thanks for sharing Carolyn

  27. janet says

    I would like to substitute a different flour for the soy…do you recommend I use more almond flour, or something else? I cannot wait to try these…they look & sound amazing!

  28. Carolyn says

    Hi Janet,

    Extra almond flour would be fine. I added the soy flour when I found the batter to be a little too thin, so anything that thickens it up a bit would work.

  29. Nami @ Just One Cookbook says

    What a delicious treat! You really don't make desserts look like low carb at all. I love the pictures too Carolyn. :-)

  30. Terra says

    I don't think it is possible to ever have too much coffee in a baked good, Just Saying! :-) I showed your post to my hubby, he was like you need to make those, LOL! They really do sound delicious:-)
    Hugs, Terra

  31. Magic of Spice says

    I am like that with my coffee as well, in fact I never speak before the first cup of the day :) These are fantastic, amazing in fact!

  32. Lizzy says

    You've outdone yourself with these gorgeous muffins! Fabulous photos of another delectable baked good…mmmmmm.

  33. FamilySpice says

    You make high-carb baked goods WANT to look as good your low-carb versions! OMG – I'm drooling! And I'm a tea drinker!

  34. arlene says

    I hate to be the one to ask for a hack right away, as these sound SO good! I am one who does not like to drink coffee, but I LOVE the taste in other food, and love the smell. My hubby is a certified coffee hound! I can’t do soy flour…would flax work? Would I add a little guar or xanthan? I googled it but couldn’t find a definitive replacement for soy in a low carb recipe.

    • Carolyn says

      I don’t use soy flour any more at all, so I am not at all offended! Just sub in almond flour with maybe a tbsp of coconut flour. I think that would work just fine.

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