Lemon Chia Seed Muffins (Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free)


Sadly I don’t have a story about how I loved the classic poppy seed lemon cake because believe it or not I actually have never had it before.  But I do like lemon desserts a lot. They’re incredibly irresistible because of that subtle zing at the end of the sweetness that  kind of peeks your interests  enough to make you want go back for another bite. A tart and tangy zap to the tongue that starts an electric charge on desire for more. Kind of strange how that slight sourness makes you want to go back for another. The salivation starts and so begins the cycle of going back for the rest of that tart little muffin.


It’s slightly hard to understand really because it’s a sour aspect to it but it’s just one of those balancing properties that bring it together I suppose. Although at the same time I know several people who seem to not like lemon desserts, to which I do not comprehend. All I can do is feel sad for those who are missing out on a tantalizing, citrusy strike to the senses. Well wait, I do like biting into lemons now that I think about it.  But don’t worry, I made sure not to make this one that sour. We wouldn’t want to make our face pucker into itself would we?

Thankfully my though for lemon deserts was spiked by a good friend of mine named Izy,  whom runs a fantastic blog with the most gorgeous photography and happens to be my age,when we were talking about her love for lemon desserts. That brought me to the realization that I needed some lemon dessert love in my life.


Due to my tastes and what I know a lemon dessert should be like I did add a little bit of vinegar to the batch to give it a little bit more tang to the flavor as a whole. I noticed that a lot of people actually use yogurt in their lemon desserts but I didn’t have any when I made this, and after experimenting with it I actually liked the one with vinegar a little bit more for the muffins. Although, the vinegar one isn’t necessarily better, it just has a bit more depth to the zing where as the yogurt provides a smoother creamier zing. So it depends on the mood you’re in really.


This was originally going to be a poppy seed muffin but then I thought, well poppy seeds are great and all but I have this elephant sized bag of chia seeds that I need to get rid of. Actually it’s not that large, but they are so little and there are so many it might as well be. Surprisingly this did actually help me get rid of them because I had to test these so many times to actually get them right. One unfortunate thing after another.

All I know is that if you do it in a muffin pan and it seems like it is sticking then abandon all hope because they are stuck in there for eternity. Sure you could pull them out but that of course is going to tear them to bits and leave nothing but an odd looking crumbled nub instead of a nicely shaped bottom.

Delicious Lemon Chia Seed Muffins from Slim Palate

Lemon Chia Seed Muffins (Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free)
4.6 from 18 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-12
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup almond milk mixed with ½ teaspoon liquid stevia or ½ cup honey
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl add coconut flour, chia seeds, baking soda and pinch of salt and mix together thorougly so the chia seeds adn baking soda are combined in the coconut flour well.
  3. In another medium bowl crack eggs and add, vanilla extract, almond milk mixed with stevia or honey, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Add lemon zest to the dry ingredients you just mixed and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix very well until fully incorporated, the mixture has thickened and there are no clumps of coconut flour left.
  5. Pour into paper muffin cup lined regular muffin tins or greased muffin tins ¾ way to the top. (I tried greasing my muffin tins and making them and they stuck, but it might just be my muffin tin. I also noticed that foil muffin cups are better than the paper if you want them to not stick at all to the paper and have perfect scalloped edges.)
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or when pierced with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
  7. Pull out of the oven and twist out of muffin tin and place on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
The amount you get out of this really varies depending on how much you fill your muffin tin papers.


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67 Responses to Lemon Chia Seed Muffins (Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free)

  1. Kyla 25 March, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    These look awesome! I’m new to using Chia seeds, so forgive me if this is a novice question, but: is it okay to use ground Chia seeds? Or will whole ones be the only ones that work?

    (PS – love your blog!)

    • Slim Palate 25 March, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Hi Kyla, for these you’re definitely going to want whole chia seeds. It’s kind of like a lemon poppy seed dessert, you want them whole for the appearance and the texture.

  2. Maria 25 March, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Wow these look amazing! I’ve made lemon poppyseed muffins with coconut flour before but using the lemon zest and they were quite wonderful. Actually I’m known to eat the lemons at restaurants which accompany water too, much to my parents’ embarrassment. It didn’t help that when I was little I tried eating the rind too!

  3. Jemima 25 March, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    I love your recipes! I don’t cook with anything except Stevia at the moment – so I love that I can browse your page & find something delish to cook! Cheers! :)

  4. Caralee 26 March, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    Josh these look amazing and delish! Your photography is beautiful too. Can’t wait to try them.

  5. Enell 26 March, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    This looks so good! Would it be possible to use almond meal in stead of coconut flour? I can’t find it anywhere?

  6. Sally 26 March, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I’m so excited to make these for Easter! Did you use powdered or liquid stevia? I’m guessing the liquid that comes with an eyedropper, but I don’t want to ruin the batch if not! Thanks for your lovely blog, I particularly enjoy your food writing!

    • Slim Palate 27 March, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks for reminding me to fix that. It’s liquid stevia.

  7. Jessica 26 March, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    These look soo good! Just getting into Paleo and have made your recipe for cauliflower mash part of my families repertoire! Just wondering if I could substitute chickpea flour for the coconut flour?

    • Slim Palate 27 March, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      I don’t think you could make that substitution. Coconut flour is very unique in how it works. I linked to a pretty great source of coconut flour on the recipe part of this post.

  8. Katie 28 March, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Just pulled these out of the oven and they are WONDERFUL! My 2.5 year old loves them. I followed the recipe to a T, using honey instead of liquid stevia. I found your blog from The Food Lover’s Kitchen recommendation today and am so glad they recommended you! Your story is amazing. Keep up the incredible work!

  9. Emily 6 April, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    WOW! I just pulled these out of the oven and they are FANTASTIC! I made the stevia version. I used silicone muffin liners and the cakes fell right out. Thanks so much for posting the recipe!

  10. jenn nahrstadt 7 April, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    i made these as a treat for myself this morning, and i’m pretty pleased with the results.

    one thing i noticed is that the texture is pretty eggy. it seems almost kind of custardy it’s so fragile.

    thoughts on substitutions for eggs?

    • Slim Palate 7 April, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      Hmmm, that’s really odd. I tested this about a dozen times with no problems. Did you change anything in the recipe? Perhaps you didn’t bake them long enough.

  11. Jenny {Paleofoodiekitchen} 9 April, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Oh wow I’ve got to try this after my 21 day sugar detox! I love anything with lemons and I’m glad to see coconut flour instead of a nut flour.

  12. Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing 10 April, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    These looks so good! I can’t wait to try them.

  13. theresa 21 April, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Coconut flour seems to sit on my stomach like a rock.Do you know what the almond flour substitution amount would be?


    • Slim Palate 21 April, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Well you could sub almond flour for this recipe but you would get a completely different texture, taste, and it would be a totally different recipe at that point. Sorry that coconut flour doesn’t work for you. I’ll see if I can work on another recipe similar to this one with almond flour.

      • Michele 31 May, 2013 at 2:14 am #

        Hello Joshua,
        I recently found your site through “theclothesmakethegirl” and I LOVE it. I tried these muffins yesterday and mine hardly stuck. I used a silicon muffin pan for 12 muffins. I think next time I would only make 6 because I was only able to fill them 1/3 and they did not rise much. Yours look fluffy and perfect. Had you only made 6 on the the try that worked?

        Also, I added some shredded unsweetened coconut in addition to the chia seeds. Perhaps next time I’ll try with only the coconut.

        Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes.


  14. K 15 June, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    I just made these earlier today and they turned out amazing! I was trying to stay sugar free for my family and used the stevia. I was completely shocked that they tasted awesome, even with stevia! If anyone wants happens to use coconut milk instead, that is fine. I had to. I forgot to soak my almonds the night before for milk. They still turned out great. (Canned light coconut milk- not in the carton)

  15. Linda 25 June, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I baked the muffins tonight and they were the BEST muffins I ever made! Loved ‘em and so did my beau.

  16. Shellysim 5 July, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Could powdered stevia be used? I don’t have liquid in the house and wanted to try these out. They look fantastic!

    • Slim Palate 6 July, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      I’ve never tried using it in it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Substitute the same amount of your powdered if it is pure stevia extract.

  17. Joy 19 July, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Just baked these today and they are delicious! One question though – do you usually sift your coconut flour?

    • Slim Palate 19 July, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

      That’s a really good question actually, no I don’t usually sift my coconut flour I usually just run the tongs of a fork around in thee to break up any clump if there are any but I really need to start sifting it and see if there is a difference.

      • Joy 20 July, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

        Good to know! Thank you! I’m new to coconut flour and I read somewhere that it’s important to sift it but I sifted for this recipe and ended up adding a bit of coconut flour cause the batter seemed too thin. Of course you didn’t say to sift so that was just an experiment of sorts on my part, but they still turned out really well, it’s an awesome recipe!

  18. Chris 1 August, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    These. Were. Awesome.

  19. Linda 3 August, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I just made these – and not only does my house smell wonderful, but this is the best thing I’ve ever made with coconut flour. Delicious! I have to go put them away now before I eat any more of them!
    PS: do you know if they freeze well???

  20. Kasidy 24 August, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    These are Devine!!!
    Just pulled them out of the oven and they are so very very delicious!!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Next weekend I’m making the vanilla Petite scones!

  21. Kasidy 27 August, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    If I wanted to make these almond instead of lemon. What would I do to change it?

  22. beth 30 October, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    I found that when I added the melted coconut oil it hardened back up. I was able to save it by lightly mixing in a blender, but I would recommend bringing the eggs and almond milk to room temperature.

  23. Faith 15 November, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    I really like your rec- can I use dark amber maple syrup? I do not have honey in hand.

    • Slim Palate 15 November, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      I don’t see why not, just make sure you sub the same amount. The maple syrup may make it less sweet in equal quantities though.

  24. Sue-Ann 19 November, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    I…love… this. It was so easy, the smell was divine while mixing and baking… will be eating it shortly – I’m on a ketogenic diet and so I limit my carbs… this recipe was perfect. I added some granular stevia, but just a dash or so. Will report on how they taste… but they rose so well, I halved the recipe and it made 3 good sized cupcakes, just enough for my work snacking for the next couple days :)

  25. Sue-Ann 19 November, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Ahhh… I halved your recipe with the exception of the coconut oil :( Mine was super moist, but the taste was awesome :) Will be making another batch (Correctly this time) again soon!

  26. Hp 3 January, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    I just tried this and was disappointed. I used coconut milk instead….maybe that’s why it tested weird, dry, tasteless and not fragrant. Or maybe I used the wrong liquid stevia (glycerite) as well. I used all other ingredient in exact proportions….

    From all the positive feedback, this is definitely the problem with the chef….

  27. Jeannine 7 January, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    I tried substituting the coconut flour with almond flour–not a good result. The taste was ok but the texture became more like a custard with chia seeds on top. Wish I would have read the comments first as I didn’t realize coconut and almond flour were not replaceable. Will try this again sometime with coconut flour.

    • Slim Palate 7 January, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      If you check my FAQ’s page it mentions that you cannot sub almond flour for coconut flour. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

      • Jeannine 23 January, 2014 at 7:37 am #

        I tried again this morning and used all the correct ingredients. My four kids looooooved them and so did I. This is definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks

  28. Tiffany 12 January, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    I might have made too many substitutions because my first attempt with these was utter failure. They taste great but very mushy and fragile even though I baked for 35 min.

    Instead of 4 eggs I used 2 eggs plus 1/2 cup of apple sauce. Instead of liquid sweetener, I used coconut sugar.

    Something went awry with my subs which sucks because I thought this recipe was great aside from the fact that I thought it had too many eggs/high fat content. :(

    • Slim Palate 14 January, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Once you make that many substitutions I cannot vouch for the recipe any longer.

  29. Glyn 1 February, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    Hi Joshua, I was turned on to your blog following your interview on the Fat Burning Man Show – you’ve got some great recipes here! The first of your recipes I’ve sampled is for these lemon and chia muffins and they’re delicious! They turned out perfectly with a lovely cakey texture and a deep, satisfying lemonyness. I’m having these for dessert tonight served with a primal cream cheese frosting! Thanks! I look forward to the release of your book.

    • Slim Palate 1 February, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Thank you Glyn, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  30. Rachel 1 February, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    These were really interesting (lemon pound cake meets a macaroon). I followed the recipe except I only had about 1/2 of the coconut oil. They were still very tasty and very moist (they didn’t seem to be crying out for more fat). The coconut oil did clump up when I added it. I also used a blender to mix the wet ingredients. I used the full amount of honey, and they were just a tiny bit too sweet for my taste –probably the perfect amount of sweetness for most people. I might try the stevia next time, but I did love the honey taste (maybe 1/2 stevia and 1/2 honey next time).

  31. McKenna 1 February, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    I discovered you through Abel James and I love your story, humor and intellect. Way to go kiddo! You rock! And so did these yummy muffins. :-)

  32. Deb 7 February, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Just made these. I used milk instead of almond milk and only a 1/4 honey. I also put a chocolate macaroon drop on top. These were good. Very yummy indeed!!

  33. Milena 24 February, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    I just made some of those and followed the recipe and I am so happy with the result. Delicious! Thank you!

  34. Keri 3 March, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Can I used redwine vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar? That’s one ingredient I don’t have on hand :-(

    • Slim Palate 3 March, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      I don’t recommend you do, the taste is significantly different.

  35. Lauren 18 March, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Just made these (with the honey) and they are AWESOME! I agree with some of the reviewers, they are a *tad* sweeter than I’m used to (may try 1/3 cup), but they have such a rich lemony taste! Also, this may sound strange, but they even tasted good right freshly baked – My experience is with many coconut flour baked goods is that they have a bit of a strange taste right out of the oven (but fine when cooled). They were not too “egg-y” either, which is also something I run into with coconut flour cooking. Again, so good! This is my first “Slim Palate” recipe, can’t wait to try more.

  36. Diem 2 April, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    Our family saw your cooking demo of these muffins in Austin this past weekend. I’ve been eating paleo for the past year and usually don’t do treats, but my kids and I loved the samples from the demo so much I had to try it out. I reduced the amount of honey to 1/3 C based on the suggestion of other reviewers. It wasn’t sweet enough for me. I should have just stuck to 1/2 a cup. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes! Best of luck to you Josh.

    • Slim Palate 2 April, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Awesome, glad you guys enjoyed them. The ones we demoed were actually the poppyseed ones from my cookbook here by the way: http://amzn.to/1aidgBG

      • Diem 2 April, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

        Ah, I thought they tasted a different. I will have to get my hands on your cookbook then ;)

  37. Monica K 12 April, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    Hello! I was wondering if you think these could work as bars? I know it’s a cop out. But I don’t have any muffin cup liners and I suppose I could go to the grocery but there are certain barriers involved, like getting dressed. Thanks for this lovely recipe!

  38. Gaby 4 May, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    I made this with cocnut milk instead of almond milk and went heavy on the lemon juice & zest and it’s delicious, also baked in loaf tin as no muffin cases and was fine – wasn’t a massive rise but very light – broke in half when I tipped it upside down – I was a bit heavy handed and should have waited longer for it to cool more. I used a Thermomix and did the zest and wet ingredients first with the dry 2nd mixing both well and leaving half of the lemon juice to activate the bi carb.

  39. Jess 9 May, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    What the shit. These are amazing. There should be a warning at the top that you will be required to make an additional 5 batches once you taste the first one!!

  40. katie 13 May, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Do have any calorie/fat/dug are info on these?

    Mainly so I can see how many I can eat without it being really too naughty

  41. Kellie 17 May, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Yummy!! Just made theses ….very very good! Will makes them again.

  42. Michelle 8 September, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    I made these last night and they turned out well. I used rice malt syrup instead of honey. I think next time I might use even more lemon zest! Good recipe.

  43. Heather 9 September, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    For anyone who wants the nutrition info, calculated with stevia:
    Nutrition Facts

    10 Servings

    Amount Per Serving

    Calories 161.4

    Total Fat 10.2 g

    Saturated Fat 7.2 g

    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g

    Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g

    Cholesterol 75.8 mg

    Sodium 138.2 mg

    Potassium 103.7 mg

    Total Carbohydrate 10.5 g

    Dietary Fiber 5.2 g

    Sugars 3.3 g

    Protein 6.6 g

    Vitamin A 3.4 %

    Vitamin B-12 6.2 %

    Vitamin B-6 2.5 %

    Vitamin C 1.4 %

    Vitamin D 7.2 %

    Vitamin E 0.1 %

    Calcium 7.4 %

    Copper 0.3 %

    Folate 3.2 %

    Iron 2.6 %

    Magnesium 1.4 %

    Manganese 0.3 %

    Niacin 0.3 %

    Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %

    Phosphorus 8.5 %

    Riboflavin 8.5 %

    Selenium 1.8 %

    Thiamin 0.8 %

    Zinc 3.1 %

    Just crunched the numbers on SparkRecipes before making…


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