Gluten-free Praline and Cream Pecan Caramel Muffins

On a Saturday morning I felt that the best way to start everyone’s day was to bake muffins. But I was tired of the usual Banana Chocolate Muffins or Blueberry Muffins – even if they are always a hit in my family. So I opened my Evernote and looked for either something unusual or something I had never baked before – and for which I already had all the ingredients in my pantry. That brought me to the Praline and Cream Pecan Caramel Muffin recipe.

I discovered pecans when I first moved to the United States. Even in my early travels to America I had not had the pleasure of tasting this incredible nut. I just love its flavor and texture, and if I could, I would use it in most of my pastries. To me, it’s the American equivalent of the Italian hazelnut; so distinctive that it makes a statement when it’s added to any dessert.

According to Britannica, “Pecan, (Carya illinoinensis), is a nut and tree of the walnut family (Juglandaceae) native to temperate North America. Rich and distinctive in flavor and texture, the pecan has one of the highest fat contents of any vegetable product and a caloric value close to that of butter. ” No wonder it’s so delicious!

I was definitely sold on the muffins, so I adapted them to be gluten-free and here is the recipe for you to enjoy.

Gluten-free Praline and Cream Pecan Caramel Muffins

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: BreakfastDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Pecan Streusel Topping
  • 110 gr 110 Pecans – 1 cup

  • 34 gr 34 Granulated sugar – 2 Tbsps

  • 113 gr 113 Light brown sugar – 1/2 cup

  • 36 gr 36 Butterscotch chips (optional) – 3 Tbsps

  • 28 gr 28 Unsalted butter – 2 Tbsps

  • For the Cream Cheese Topping
  • 6 oz 6 Cream Cheese – 2/3 package

  • 1 large 1 Egg

  • 50 gr 50 Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup

  • 1 tsp 1 Vanilla extract

  • For the Muffins
  • 113 gr 113 Unsalted butter, softened, 1/2 cup

  • 213 gr 213 Light brown sugar, 1 cup

  • 100 gr 100 Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup

  • 1 large 1 Egg

  • 2 tsps 2 Vanilla extract

  • 227 gr 227 Buttermilk – 1 cup

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Glycerin

  • 312 gr 312 Simona’s Flour Mix – 2 cups

  • 2 tsps 2 Baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Salt

  • 56 gr 56 Pecans, very finely chopped – 1/3 cup


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • For the Pecan Streusel Topping:
  • In a food processor, grind nuts, both sugars, and butterscotch chips, if desired, to make a fine meal. Add the butter and pulse to blend. Put the mixture into a mixing bowl. (This is a fine, gravelly streusel.)
  • For the Cream Cheese Topping
  • Without cleaning food processor bowl, blend Cream Cheese Topping ingredients well and then spoon out into another bowl. Chill in the refrigerator.
  • For the Muffin batter and to assemble
  • Mix the butter with both sugars in a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  • Mix the buttermilk with the glycerin. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry and wet ingredients to the mixer alternatively and blend well. Add pecans last and combine.
  • Scoop some batter into each muffin cup, filling about half full. Add a spoonful of Cream Cheese Topping over the center of the batter, and then carefully add the streusel.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes until muffins seem firm to the touch when gently pressed with fingertips. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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