Light, lemony, and oh so luscious – these chickpea flour muffins have it all. With fluffy tops and pillowy centers, they’re the perfect little bite at breakfast or brunch. The addition of chickpea flour makes the classic lemon poppyseed muffins you love even more satisfying, healthy, and gluten-free.
Why I Love This Recipe
If I had to eat one type of muffin forever, it would be lemon poppyseed muffins. They’re zesty, they have cute little poppyseed freckles, and they’re so light and fresh.
This recipe is a twist on a traditional lemon poppyseed muffin recipe, because it’s star ingredient is chickpea flour! This flour swap makes these tasty bites more filling, nutritious, and naturally gluten-free.
Unlike many other gluten-free baked goods, these chickpea flour muffins aren’t too dense or crumbly. They’re perfectly soft, with puffy, golden-brown tops. With a few key cooking tips, I’ll help you whip them up like a pro. Let’s bake!
What’s the Deal with Chickpea Flour?
Chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour) may seem like a trendy substitute for wheat flour, but it’s nothing new! Flour made from chickpeas has been an important ingredient in many cultures for ages. (See this great article on chickpea flour’s origins from NPR for a deeper dive.)
Specifically, besan or chana flour — which is made from brown chickpeas —is commonly used in Indian kitchens to make anything from pakora (fritters with spices) to sweets like besan laddoo (a sweet, bite-sized dessert typically enjoyed during celebrations). Did I pique your interest? Check out this fabulous roundup of besan/gram flour recipes.
The chickpea flour that’s found in most US grocery stores is made from white chickpeas. The flavor and texture is a bit different from besan flour (see this thorough comparison article for more info on the differences), but they both have benefits.
Since chickpea flour is made from our pals, chickpeas, it’s packed with nutrients! It contains a fair amount of protein and fiber and is especially high in manganese (which helps with metabolism) and folate (a b-vitamin that promotes healthy cell growth).
As an added plus, chickpea flour is naturally gluten-free, and can be used as a 1-1 replacement for wheat flour in recipes. The taste is fairly neutral when baked but can taste a bit bitter when raw.
For the concise numbered instructions and ingredient amounts, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card!
First, pre-heat your oven to 375°F, then line a 16-cup muffin pan with paper or silicone liners. (Psst… I used a 12-cup pan and a random small pan because I didn’t have a 16-cup pan. Make it work, people!)
Next, please remember not to improvise when you’re baking. Trust me, I’ve been through many failed attempts and sunken crater muffins to get to this fabulously fluffy chickpea flour muffin recipe!
Mix dry & wet ingredients separately
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the chickpea flour, sugar, poppyseeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and eggs. Once the mixture is smooth, mix in the melted butter.
Be sure to use a traditional “drippy” yogurt instead of a more solid Greek-style yogurt. I’ve tried this recipe with Greek yogurt before, and it made the batter very puffy and the muffins deflated quickly in the oven.
Combine wet with dry ingredients
Make a little well in the dry ingredient bowl and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently mix the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon until just incorporated. (My rule of thumb is to mix a bit less than you think you need to.) If you over-mix, you’ll have dense, flat muffins without the crumbly tops you see pictured.
Since chickpea flour absorbs liquid so well, this batter will feel thick, almost like cookie dough, but trust the process… they turn out lovely!
Scoop & bake
Scoop the batter into your prepared muffin pan. (I use a cookie scoop for this). The cups should be just full, not overflowing. (Overflowing muffins will turn out flat and sunken.) Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
Top & Enjoy
If you want to get fancy and make these really feel like bakery-style muffins, sprinkle them with coarse sugar crystals. It’s important that you do this after baking. Adding the sugar before baking can make your muffins sink in the middle. Let your muffins cool for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before serving.
If you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 days. Leftover chickpea flour muffins are divine when reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds or toasted in the toaster oven.
- Vegan version – (FYI I have not tested this yet, but this is what I would try – if you do, let me know in the comments!) Swap coconut oil in instead of butter, vanilla non-dairy yogurt instead of the standard yogurt, and swap the two eggs for chia “eggs.”
- Dairy-free – Follow the vegan instructions above but feel free to leave the eggs in.
- Make it a meal – These little bites are quite filling thanks to the extra protein and fiber they contain, but you’ll want to round it out to make it a full meal. Serve with scrambled eggs and fruit, a protein bar, or a yogurt.
Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Flour Muffins
- standard muffin pan
- muffin liners
- large and medium bowl
- spatula or wooden spoon
- 2¾ cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp poppyseeds
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt traditional style
- 2 medium lemons zested
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- coarse sugar to coat optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 16-cup muffin pan by adding paper or silicone liners.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients (chickpea flour, sugar, poppyseeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and eggs. Once the mixture is smooth, mix in the melted butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until just incorporated. (See photos above – don't over-mix!)
- Scoop mixture into the prepared muffin pan. (I use a cookie scoop for this). The cups should be just full, not overflowing. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
- Top with coarse sugar crystals (if desired) and cool for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before serving. (Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 days and are divine when reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds!)
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- Since chickpea flour is gluten-free, some extra care needs to be taken to ensure your muffins have a solid structure.
- Use a traditional, “drippy” yogurt instead of a more solid Greek-style yogurt. A traditional-style yogurt will lend more moisture to the batter and will keep your muffins from puffing and deflating.
- Try not to overfill your muffin pan.
- Don’t add any sugar crystals or other toppings before baking!