{Gluten-Free} Corn Muffins with Blackberries & Orange Zest

I don’t know what sort of assumptions you harbor about food bloggers. Hopefully good ones. Curiously finding myself in the “food blogger” category, I was thinking about assumptions today.

According to my own standards, I should probably be…

– Shopping at specialty grocers for uniquely delicious fair-trade happy items
– Always eating something delectable, in-season, and beautifully plated
– Using a carefully selected collection of linens, bowls, and knickknacks for staging
– A CSS wizard, and
– The owner of a huge cookbook library

Realizing that I do none of these things is a little sad. (Cue impostor syndrome…)

Here’s how real life looks for this blogger. Whether you find it off-putting or encouraging, it’s the truth:

Whole Foods? Hah. We shop almost exclusively at the dingy chain grocer closest to our house. I want to give intelligent reasons for this, like “Change in our food system is only going to happen from the bottom up! Buy organic at your local grocer for the proletariat and vote with your dollars!” but that’s a stretch. Mostly, we shop there because it’s cheap and close enough that I can bike there. Wohh Wohhhh (sad trombone).

Every meal is a delight? Pff. Most of my “meals” consist of: two muffins, scrambled eggs, or a quesadilla and an apple. At work I subsist on tea, instant oatmeal, and peanut M&Ms out of my boss’s candy dispenser. It’s a good day when I cook real food and get to eat it twice by taking leftovers for dinner. Guaranteed, your food life is more varied and interesting than mine.

Pretty dishes and a perfect kitchen? Please. When I do cook something “blog-worthy” and attempt to take pictures, there’s that constant nagging voice that says I should maybe invest in some staging pieces. You know, linens that aren’t faded or stained, unchipped dishes, those irritatingly ubiquitous striped papers straws? (Man, I’m tired of those straws.) And you’ll also notice that all pictures cleverly avoid displaying our ugly rental kitchen. I’m trying to make things look nice, but it’s a slow, slooowww process.

And what about the actual mechanics of blogging? I took an “HTML for Business Students” class in college, where I scraped by with a ‘B’ and basically learned to talk to IT staff. Not really applicable here. Popping open the source code on my blog still makes me want to cry.

[Naturally, and in the spirit of semi-blindly taking on things that are way over my head, I’m working to move this blog to a self-hosted site. Because I totally got this, guys. Web design can’t be that hard, right?]

And finally, cookbooks. For reasons that are anyone’s guess, I am cookbook averse. Occasionally people give them to me, and sometimes I check them out from the library. I read through them twice and bookmark two dozen recipes, and then they sit on my shelf. This is an absolute shame, because the world is increasingly full of beautiful, thoughtful cookbooks with well-tested recipes that are truly a labor of love. Living in a vacuum by definition means you’re missing out.

So in the spirit of at least pretending to be a food blogger, I thought a bit about my cookbook collection this morning while putting off getting out of bed. The promise of food was eventually enough motivation to face life for the day, and I grumpily stumbled to the kitchen to throw together some muffins. Specifically, gluten free corn muffins with blackberries and orange zest.

Fortunately for all persons involved, they turned out to be delicious–perfect crumb and texture from the cornmeal, lightly moistened with yogurt, exotically perfumed with orange zest and studded with pretty purple berries. I’m quite pleased with these, undignified polka dot wrappers and all.

And now, even after the success of the muffins, another blogger insecurity arises. After far too much time blogging, I have yet to learn how to end a post with anything other than Go Make These Now! These Are Amazing and I Want You to Have Them, Too. So there it is. Get baking!


Corn Muffins with Blackberries & Orange Zest
Yields 12
This recipe is loosely based on a recipe from the Blackbird Bakery Cookbook. Karen Morgan has a reputation for doing magical and mysterious things with guar gum, and these muffins have convinced me to delve further into her recipes soon.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 1/4 cups (190g) cornmeal
  2. 1/2 cup (90g) millet flour
  3. 1/2 cup (70g) tapioca starch
  4. 1/3 cup (45g) sweet rice flour
  5. 1/2 cup (110g) sugar
  6. 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 2 tsp. guar gum
  8. 1/2 tsp. salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 6 Tablespoons (80g) melted butter
  11. 1 cup (220g) yogurt + milk, about 50/50
  12. 1/4 cup (60g) orange juice, from about half a medium orange
  13. zest of one medium orange (1 Tbsp.)
  14. one 6-ounce container of blackberries, washed and halved if they're large
  1. Preheat oven to 375F, and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and orange zest and mix well with a wooden spoon, until most of the lumps are gone. Fold in berries, trying not to crush them.
  3. Dollop batter into muffin tins, filling 3/4 of the way full. (I put the extra batter into six mini muffin tins after filling the 12 regular ones.)
  4. Bake 20 minutes (12 for mini muffins), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Adapted from Blackbird Bakery Cookbook
Wooden Spoon Baking http://www.woodenspoonbaking.com/