Sweet Potato and Five-spice Muffins by Gwyneth Paltrow

In the last few months, I have been working towards a healthier version of my diet. What this means to me, is still being able to enjoy the food I am eating, but substituting the obviously unhealthy things for something better. In my quest to cut back on dairy and eggs ( the reason for this being that my doctors suggested it would be better for my skin health) I came across a great recipe book by Gwyneth Paltrow. 

I suggest getting the entire recipe book "It's All Good." However, I thought I would share this recipe and my experience with baking gluten-free, egg free and dairy free. The first time I baked these I did not mix the mixture very well and so they turned out quite small and quite dense. I noticed that they don't rise the way traditional muffins do. This second time around I filled the cups more and followed the recipe and mixing directions more thoroughly. What I have learned recently is that with baking you need to be way more precise than regular food cooking. I'm adding all kinds of flare to my regular cooking.... do not do this with baking apparently. HA


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup good quality maple syrup plus 2 extra tablespoons for brushing  
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (if the flour doesn't include xanthan gum and 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400F. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a paring knife or a fork. Bake until soft (when a paring knife can cut through with zero resistance), about one hour. Set the sweet potato aside until it's completely cool. 

Peel the sweet potato, discard the skin, and mash the flesh in a mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk the olive oil, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla into the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and evenly distribute the muffin batter among the cups. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, brushing the tops with the extra maple syrup during the last 5 minutes of baking. Let the muffins cool before serving.  

* Below left is the final product with some blueberry muffins making an appearance in the corner. The right-hand image is the before so you can see how full the cups are. I made 18 cups filled this amount but next time I know I can fill just 12 cups with all the mixture safely - just like the recipe suggests. 

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