Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free "Doughnut" Muffins

Low Carb Muffins
Low Carb Muffins by Laura Dolson. Laura Dolson
Total Time 40 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 20 min
Yield 12 muffins (194 calories each)

If you are gluten-free and/or watching your sugar intake, muffins and doughnuts are probably some of the first foods you crossed off your list. But these muffins, which taste like doughnuts—hence the name—are gluten-free as well as sugar-free. The flaxseed meal and almond meal replace the flour, and a natural sweetener substitutes for the white refined sugar and white powdered sugar. So these are a breakfast treat almost anyone can enjoy without the guilt!

The nutmeg and cinnamon give these muffins that "apple cider doughnut" flavor​ and the almond meal adds a layer of richness. Once you taste these muffins you won't think about having a doughnut again!


  • Dough:
  • 1 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup equivalent natural sugar substitute (liquid preferred)
  • Topping:
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine dough dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add beaten eggs, melted butter, water, and liquid sweetener to the dry mixture. Mix well.
  4. Fill muffin cups a bit more than halfway with the batter.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Allow muffins to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove.
  6. Meanwhile, make the topping: mix the cinnamon and powdered sweetener in a small bowl.
  1. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, dip the tops in the melted butter, followed by the sweetener/cinnamon mixture.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

For a more tender muffin, swap out 1/2 cup of the water for 1/2 cup of buttermilk. You will also need to substitute 1 teaspoon baking soda for 1 teaspoon of the baking powder (still adding the remaining 2 teaspoons) in the original recipe. 

If you can't find a naturally sweetened powdered sugar, you can make your own by blending cornstarch with a sweetener of your choice. Just be sure to carefully read the sugar equivalent as some sweeteners (such as stevia) are 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, so you only need a little bit.

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