Garam Masala Muffins with Orange Glaze (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me last week putting out a plea for interesting muffin ideas. I was in one of those odd moods, where I wanted to make something but I couldn’t figure out what. I knew I wanted muffins, but that’s pretty standard for me, I love my morning baked goods with coffee. What I couldn’t put my finger on was what flavour of muffin I wanted to make. I didn’t want the standard fare, I wanted something unexpected, something that would wake up my tastebuds. I got a lot of great responses from people, one of the more interesting of which came from my younger brother, who suggested ginger cranberry. An excellent suggestion, although it still wasn’t quite what I wanted. But the idea of ginger led me to stand in front of my spice cabinet, willing it to inspire me.

And so it did, in a most unexpected way. I spied a package of garam masala and was put in mind of a recipe for garam masala cookies I’d seen a while ago. I may have mentioned my affection for garam masala a few times here, in particular when I used it to flavour my Eggplant Chips. I’ve only ever tried it in savoury dishes, but the idea that it could be used in sweets makes a lot of sense. Many of the spices that are used in a typical garam masala are ones I think of as good with sweets: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes anise. But then there is the pepper, cumin and coriander that I typically associate with savoury foods. Still, why not give it a try?

I wasn’t quite sold on the idea of using the garam masala alone to flavour the muffins, so I did a little searching for complementary flavours. A quick google search of “garam masala cookies” brought me one from an Arizona newspaper, AZ Central, for Orange & Garam Masala cookies. It was just the sort of thing I was looking for. I thought a little orange zest in the muffin would offset the spices nicely, and a glaze made with orange juice and powdered sweetener would top the whole thing off and make it a little more pleasing to the eye.

The Results:
Garam masala in muffins? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, because it’s fantastic! The flavour was reminiscent of gingerbread, but with a peppery kick at the end. And I think the citrusy tang of the orange zest and glaze was the right thing to play off the spiciness. These were so good that both my husband and I were eating them for both breakfast and snacks. We didn’t even try to share with the kids, with their unsophisticated palettes! But I can assure you that garam masala in a sweet baked good is wonderful and that you will be seeing it again on here at some point. I am sure I won’t be able to stay away.

My only beef with this recipe is that it made 10 muffins, which is an odd amount. I could have stretched the batter to make 12, but they would have been peeny weeny muffins and I don’t like peeny weeny muffins. 10 good-sized muffins make me far happier than 12 peeny weenies. And that is the technical term, in case you were wondering.

Garam Masala Muffins with Orange Glaze

2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tbsp grated orange zest
24 drops stevia extract
1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup powdered erythritol
1 tbsp orange juice

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, erythritol, protein powder, garam masala, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in eggs, stevia and orange zest until combined. Add half of almond flour mixture, then almond milk, then remaining almond flour mixture, beating after each addition.

Divide batter between prepared muffin cups. Bake 24 to 27 minutes, or until tops are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool in pan.

For the glaze, mix powdered erythritol and juice together in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled muffins.

Serves 10. Each muffin has 6.3 g of carbs and 2.4 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.9 g.

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  1. Jeanette says

    So clever, I would never think to use garam masala in muffins, but I'm sure the orange glaze really compliments the spices.

  2. Claudie says

    As soon as I read your title, I thought: "I must see this recipe!" Garam masala muffins?! That's awesome. I was introduced to garam masala a while ago by a friend who uses lots of spices, and since then I've been trying to incorporate it in many dishes, but muffins… That's something totally new. And your muffins look great, especially with that orange glaze on top, so I'm bookmarking this :)

  3. kita says

    What an interesting flavor to find in a muffin. I totally want to try one just so I can wrap my head around it. It sounds amazing though!

  4. Becka (The Elegant Eggplant) says

    What an interesting and creative recipe!! I would never have thought to put these things together, but looks like it works. I could probably eat tree bark with garam masala on it, though :)Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Divya Yadava says

    I've had garam masala cookies before and they are awesome. It's almost like allspice, but more earthy notes. This muffin recipes sounds like a great way to try garam masala in a different way!

  6. Nava Krishnan says

    I normally use garam masala for cooking but you have done a great job with this ingredients into the muffins, looks so tempting.

  7. RavieNomNoms says

    Holy frekkin moly Carolyn! These look amazing! I just love how all of your things are low carb. I really need to start to do that because I am trying to lose some weight and FAILING miserably. I need to try some of these delicious looking low-carb things ASAP and I think I will try this to start out 😉

  8. geokatgirl says

    Brilliant idea!! We rubbed our capon for Cdn Thanksgiving with garam masala and the house smelled divine.

    I am excited to make these!!

  9. Sandra says

    Really beautiful creative using gram masala, and orange glaze is fantastic idea too!!! Well what to never disappoint, Carolyn!!!

  10. Jen at The Three Little Piglets says

    I think that sounds crazy good! Someone just suggested to me that I add a pinch of garam masala to my tea, so why not muffins?!

  11. JavelinWarrior says

    I love how you explained how you came up with the flavor combo – and now I have to find garam masala so I can make these muffins. And can could anything go wrong when covered in orange glaze?

  12. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says

    Awesome idea! Unexpected but I'm sure it's delicious. The cranberry ginger sounds good too, I might have to try both!

  13. Cake Duchess says

    How cool are these little muffins! I have to try them. I love how different they are and they look wonderful.:)

  14. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen says

    What an interesting idea! I've only ever seen garam masala used in savory dishes. Definitely worth a try!

  15. Foodiva says

    Oh my, garam masala and orange sounds like a heavenly combination! I won't mind to have 4-5 peeny-weenie sized ones of these (which is probably only 1-2 normal ones, right? :-)).

  16. Kristin says

    This is such a great idea. I used garam masala in class for the first time the other day. I think my next venture might just be muffins!

  17. Kristin says

    This is such a great idea. I used garam masala in class for the first time the other day. I think my next venture might just be muffins!

  18. Ali says

    Such a unique post, glazing the muffing with orange zest and spicing it up with garam masala was a great idea. I wonder how it tastes? got me craving for some.

  19. Kate from Scratch says

    Fantastic idea! I don't like peeny weeny muffins either, I always go a little heavy on filling the cups too. These look fantastic…well done!

  20. Parsley Sage says

    There will be no 'knocking' from this corner. These look amazing! I haven't had garam masala in a sweet dish before either but it sounds pretty genius. That orange glaze has me drooling all over the keyboard…


  21. Lisa says

    I always have Garam Masala on hand but rarely get the chance to use it. This is certainly a unique way! Gotta try it – they look terrific!

  22. Mari says

    It is something worth trying…I could just imagine the mixture of orange zest and garam masala. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  23. Mari says

    It is something worth trying…I could just imagine the mixture of orange zest and garam masala. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  24. Britne @ Shabbott's Habits says

    What a unique idea and I love the orange glaze. The photo of the muffins on the rack with glaze dripping over the side has my mouth watering and wishing that it was breakfast 😉

  25. scratch-made wife says

    You're so stinking creative! I'd never have thought to put all of these flavors together. I'm glad they turned out nicely and took care of your craving. :) The pictures are to die for, so I don't doubt one bit the muffins were tasty.

  26. Ann says

    I agree – it sounds awesome, so I definitely would try it! What amazes me is that you make such AMAZING muffins/baked goods all gluten and sugar free. Such talent!

  27. Emily @ Life on Food says

    I am so intrigued as to what these would taste like I am just going to have to make them. I use garam masala in my chicken tikka masala and that it all. You are right though it makes perfect sense to use in sweets as well as savory.

  28. Donna Hardin says

    Yeah….I have all the ingredients…the spice addition sounds wonderful. Hope to try it out soon. Thank you!

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