Macadamia Coconut Lime Muffins (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


I think it would be safe to say that if nuts didn’t exist, neither would this blog. If there were no almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts to grind up and use in place of wheat flour, I would no longer be much of a baker. Oh sure, I’d make the occasional treat for my family and friends, but that would be rare and certainly not worth blogging about. Suffice it to say that nuts are the basis of almost all of my baked goods and play a major role in many of my other recipes too. I simply don’t know what I would do without them. And besides Brazil nuts, which I will forever maintain taste like dirt, I really haven’t met a nut I didn’t like. Cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts…you name it, I will eat it. Or grind it up into a flour and bake with it.

One nut I haven’t had a chance to work with much are macadamias. I’ve had them before, certainly, in cookies and dipped in chocolate. But I can’t think of when I’ve ever made anything with them myself. But I was contacted recently by Oh! Nuts, asking if I wanted to feature any of their products in my holiday baking. As you might guess, they are an online purveyor of premium nuts and nut products and I have worked with them before. I’ve always had a great experience, as well. From the moment I order something to the time the package arrives, it usually ends up being less than 48 hours. And the products themselves never disappoint. Their whole nuts are fantastic, and I think their almond flour is very good as well.

This time, I decided to break outside my comfort zone and try working with the macadamia nuts. I had lots of ideas for fancy desserts and was thinking of using the macadamias in a tart crust. Then I came across a lovely looking macadamia nut cake recipe from Technicolor Kitchen that included coconut and lime. This recipe ground up the macadamias to make them the base of the cake, along with a small amount of flour and I thought I could do an admirable job converting it to low carb and gluten free. But I changed my mind, as I am wont to do, and decided to take the flavours and make them into muffins. Because cake is always good, but muffins are a necessity. In the chaos that is morningtime with three small children, muffins are a quick, easy breakfast option that I can grab on the go.

The Results: I’m glad I did what I did here, because these flavours are fantastic in a muffin. What a great breakfast treat these were. My only regret is that I made a half-batch instead of a full (6 instead of 12). They went too quickly, especially since I let my husband have some. And now I am out of muffins and will have to come up with some other sort of breakfast item in the morning.

So many thanks to Oh! Nuts for supplying the macadamias for me to play with. A few quick notes here – macadamias have a high oil content and when grinding them, they can quickly become macadamia butter. Grind them only to the point where they resemble a coarse meal, don’t try to get them any finer than that. Also, if you are looking for a quick way to toast the coconut, just put it into a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until it begins to get light brown all over.

Macadamia Coconut Lime Muffins

2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
2 tbsp unflavoured whey protein powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lime zest
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
10 drops stevia extract
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

2 tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup powdered erythritol

Preheat oven to 325F and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 2 cups of the macadamia nuts until finely ground but not pasty (be careful here – macadamias contain a lot of oil and become butter very quickly!). Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in coconut, almond flour, granulated erythritol, unflavoured whey protein, baking soda, baking powder, salt and lime zest.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs. Add macadamia nut mixture and beat until well combined. Beat in coconut oil, almond milk and stevia extract until fully combined. Stir in chopped macadamia nuts.

Divide batter between prepared muffin cups and bake 25 minutes, or until tops are set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan.

For the glaze, whisk together lime juice and powdered erythritol until smooth. Drizzle over cooled muffins.

Serves 12. Each muffin has 7.1 g of carbs and 3.4 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.7 g.

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  1. says

    Love it! And if nuts didn't exist… neither would vegetarians! 😀 LOVE coconut, lime, and macadamia nuts… and I'd eat these muffins for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time! 😀

  2. says

    I've never heard of Oh Nuts! so I'm glad you were asked to test their stuff. I'm especially glad because I don't think there's a chance I can find unsalted macadamia nuts in the stores around here and I'd love to make these for my mom. Ok, they're for myself, but she'll benefit too. :)

  3. Kiri W. says

    Ooooh, what a heavenly flavor combination, and low carb, too! You're a wizard 😉
    Since I've been craving all kinds of coconut, I'll have to give these a try.

  4. says

    We were just going through the pantry tonight and the husband said to me, "What do you plan to make with that coconut?" Now I can tell him muffins! These sound sooo good. I"m a huge lover of macadamia nuts.

  5. says

    I think I want a taste of everything. Except brussels. Childhood issues with those. But everything else is a yes. If I lived next door to you I'd find reasons to "drop over." LOL.

  6. food_dreamer says

    Erin, you could easily make a regular version of these. I'd say do a mostly-flour based muffin but sub in maybe 1/2 cup of ground macs. Then do the chopped up macs in the batter too. I think you could get similar results in flavour.


    Blog: All Day I Dream About Food

  7. says

    These flavors sound great Caroline. I wondered about the fat content in the grinding too before reading what you wrote. I've spent a great deal of time in Hawaii where these are native and they ARE delicious but high in fat (which makes them delicious). Glad you found such an interesting way to use them and thanks for sharing your methods.

  8. says

    Here's your Caribbean past creeping into a muffin. Love these! They sound fresh and light and packed with amazing flavor :) And they're super cute which gives them extra points :)


  9. Cindy says

    Is there something I can substitute in place of the coconut – I love coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut flour, but don't like coconut flakes. Maybe flax or extra almond flour and maybe coconut extract for the flavor? What would you suggest? Thanks

  10. says

    Baked goods often tend to disappear around husbands — but that gives you an excuse to make some more now! 😉
    Macademia is one of my favorite nuts, and both the hubby and I love coconut too, so I think those muffins would be a winner for us. I'll just have to make sure to bake a double batch :)

  11. food_dreamer says

    Hi Cindy,

    I think either flax or almond flour would be fine to help replace the coconut. Or you could just skip it altogether, but I can't be sure of the texture of the muffin. The macadamias are so oily and might need a little propping up with a fiberous substance.


    Blog: All Day I Dream About Food

  12. says

    I love these and that lime glaze is killing me, not to mention macadamia nuts are my fav in baked goods. You certainly put the lime in macadamia nut! Can I make these without the whey powder?

  13. says

    Totally agree with you about Brazil nuts…I just can't get myself to like them! They're always left in the bag of mixed nuts.
    These muffins sound perfect…love the flavors. They look like they would be a nice light bite.

  14. says

    These look great! Unfortunatly I am the only nut lover in this house, but I bet if I made a batch of these, everyone would eat them! Great looking muffins!

  15. mariapaula says

    Love this recipe! I have a couple of questions… I have seen that the primary sweetener you use for your recipes is Erythritol but you also add a few drops of Stevia, for what purpose do you add the Stevia? (I cannot stand the taste of Stevia so I am afraid to put it in and have the product come out with a Stevia taste or even the after-taste of Stevia).

    Also, I have attempted to add Whey Protein to few recipes and it always leaves a very distinct flavor that many people do not like (including most of my family). I use BioChem Natural Whey Protein. Does the protein powder you use leave a Whey flavor as well?

    Thank you for all of the WONDERFUL recipes, you are a genius!

  16. says

    Carolyn, do you mind telling me what brand of whey protein powder you use. I’ve yet to buy it, and want to get a good brand. And, by the way, I adore brazil nuts, a remembrance from my childhood when mother would take me to the “dime” store and they would have big bins of Brach’s Nut Mix – She bought the mix often, and I would always pick out the plump, fat, chocolate covered brazil nuts first. Good memories…

    • Carolyn says

      Sorry, I fixed the recipe. It should not have said “divided” above. 2 cups for the flour and 1/2 cup chopped to stir in afterward. Does that help?


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