These paleo, gluten free and vegan muffins incorporate mandarin orange juice and zest into almond meal with a hit of desiccated coconuts and are topped with Chinese almond and some mandarin orange zest. This recipe will result in really tasty, aromatic and nutritious muffins.

Mandarin Orange Almond Muffins [Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free]



19 Muffins

Cooking Time




Dry Ingredients:

  • 4 1/4 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water

For the Mandarin Orange Juice (1 1/4 cup):

  • 4 medium mandarin oranges (choose mandarin oranges with thicker and firmer skin)
  • 1 teaspoon grated mandarin orange zest

For the Toppings:

  • 1/3 cup ground Chinese Almond or blanched almond
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated mandarin orange zest


For the mandarin orange juice:

  1. Place peeled and seeded mandarin oranges and 1 teaspoon mandarin orange zest into a food processor and pulverize until you get a smooth juice. Strain through a fine sieve, using a tablespoon to press on the mandarin orange pulp to release more juice. You need 1 1/4 cup of mandarin orange juice.

For the muffin batter:

  1. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer and then attach the wire whip or beater. Using medium speed, mix for about 2 minutes or until ingredients are well combined.
  3. Continue on low speed, gradually pour the wet ingredients mixture prepare in step 1 into electric mixing bowl and then increase speed to medium and mix for another 2 minute.
  4. Then gradually add in the mandarin orange juice and continue to mix the ingredients on low speed for another 2 minutes.
  5. Stop mixing and then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
  6. Mix on medium setting for another 5 minutes or until batter is well combined.

For cooking the muffins:

  1. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 310°F and line muffin pans with muffin liners.
  2. Spoon and fill each muffin pan with some batter, until it reaches nearly the top edge of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle some ground Chinese almonds or blanched almonds and mandarin orange zest onto the top of each cupcake pan. Use a small spoon to even out the top of the muffin batter.
  4. Bake the muffins for 40 minutes or until golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean.
  5. Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place the cooked muffins on a cooling rack.