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Willing Cook-A-Long: Baked Apple Bites

October 28, 2011

This week’s Willing Cook-A-Long challenge was to make Baked Apple Bites from Giving up on Perfect, though it appears this recipe originally comes from Emboldened by my success with making gluten-free pumpkin scones, I jumped to make this one safe for Joseph as well.

The Changes

To make these gluten free, I substituted King Arthur Gluten Free Multi Purpose flour 1:1 for the flour and added 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum. To make them dairy free, I substituted Earth Balance Soy-Free butter spread for the butter, and rice milk for the cow’s milk, both at 1:1 ratios (ok, I actually added slightly more butter since it was easier to measure 6 Tablespoons rather than 1/3 cup).

The Method

Mix together sugars, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. My daughter loves helping me to cook, so she’s the one stirring in these pictures.

Add the butter, and cut it into the flour with two knives or a pastry blender until the butter pieces are smaller than the size of a pea.

I used a gala apple to make these muffins. I would be interested in seeing how a tarter apple like granny smith would affect the taste. Since we were making mini-muffins, I didn’t want my apples to be too big, and I thought it would take forever to dice them to be as small as I wanted. So, I decided to shred them instead. Although since I did that first, by the time I mixed them with the egg and milk, they had started to brown since I didn’t coat them with lemon juice. Something in the egg or milk hid that fact though.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until incorporated. The batter will be thick and sticky.

Grease mini-muffin tins (if you’re like me and haven’t done so at the beginning) with dairy-free butter. Place a spoonful of dough into each mold. Since I only had enough tins for 24 muffins, that’s what I did, and each mold was practically filled.

Mine baked at 350 for 17 minutes, and got slightly brown. I wondered if they were done until I stuck in a toothpick, which came out clean.

Here I deviated again. Instead of dunking the muffins in cinnamon sugar, I just sprinkled some over the tops of all of them (after brushing them with more dairy-free butter).

Serve warm (actually, they’re not bad when cooled either).

Baked Apple Bites

Adapted from

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, and Soy-free


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 + 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Soy-free Butter Spread + extra for greasing
  • 1 1/2 cup apple (1 medium) peeled, cored, and shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease mini muffin tins with Earth Balance butter.

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup white sugar, brown sugar, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Cut in 6 Tablespoons dairy-free butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add milk and apples and mix until combined. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes (or until slightly browned and toothpick comes out clean). Melt 2 Tablespoons of dairy-free butter and brush over the tops of the muffins. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the muffins.

Makes 24 mini-muffins.

*To make your own flour mix, follow these instructions from King Arthur: Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature.

What I Thought

My whole family liked these, though my daughter only ate two in the first sitting, while Joseph devoured 4 of them. They were all gone 18 hours later. I was surprised to notice that the Earth Balance brushed on top left a sour, acidic taste. It was fairly light though. The texture was very nice, though I didn’t recognize it as a cake donut until they had cooled down. I would definitely do these again.

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Gluten-Free Wednesdays

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2011 12:20 pm

    I’m glad these turned out so nicely for you. I think I used a granny smith apple and they were the right amount of tartness. Thanks for joining up again this week! See you next Friday.

    • October 28, 2011 1:12 pm

      Good to know about the granny smith. Maybe I’ll try it that way next time.

  2. November 2, 2011 8:05 am

    They look appetizing, is a must try even though my daughter isn’t a baked apple lover, the rest of us are 🙂

    • November 2, 2011 8:08 am

      I found that the shredded apple were very subtle in the muffins, kind of like zucchini in zucchini bread. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. November 2, 2011 10:48 am

    I have never used the earth balance soy-free spread for baking before as I wasn’t sure how well it would hold up compared to non-spread margarine/shortening/butter meant for baking. How did it work?

    • November 2, 2011 1:17 pm

      It’s held up pretty well. The things I’ve baked with it have tasted good, and had good texture.

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