Cardamom & Sunflower Muffins

It’s Thursday morning and Elsa and I are packing our bag, we are flying to Barcelona in a couple of hours. Correction, I am packing while Elsa is unpacking the same things (apparently it’s very funny). Luise is already there with some friends, so we are meeting her up to have a family weekend before we begin to shoot our book. And talking about the book, we have cooked up a whole bunch of great recipes lately. We still work on the recipe list – loosing one recipe, adding another. But at the moment we feel pretty satisfied with the mix.

The day before Luise left, we packed a basket and went on a picnic in the beautiful park Rosendals Trädgård in Stockholm. It was almost too early for that kind of picnic, since half the park wasn’t even properly opened. But we found a bench around a tree where we could enjoy muffins, strawberry & bean salad and an arrangement of different pies. Everything tasted so gooood!

These muffins are not monster big or heavy like the american version. They are quite small, very light and filled with a wonderful cardamom flavor. They totally melt in your mouth! And they are gluten free. We got the idea for these after trying a pistachio muffin recipe from Bea’s wonderful cookbook. We wanted to make something similar but with a new set of ingredients and flavors.

We will post the recipes for our gluten free coconut pies (which you can see in the first photo) as soon as we are back from Barcelona. Now you have to excuse me, I need to pick up all the sweaters that Elsa has thrown out of the bag.

Cardamom & Sunflower Muffins (Inspired by a recipe from the La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook)
Makes 10 muffins

½ cup (90 g) sunflower seeds, shells removed
½ cup (60 g) walnuts
1 tsp baking powder

50 g butter
4 tbsp agave syrup OR honey
1/2 vanilla bean OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cardamom, freshly ground
4 egg whites

Set the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Immediately put the sunflower seeds on a sheet in the oven. Roast for 8-9 minutes, until slightly darker but not burnt. Remove from the oven and let cool down. Grind the walnuts and the roasted sunflower seeds into flour using a mortar, coffee grinder or food processor (if you use a mortar you may want to grind a little at the time). Sift in baking powder and salt and set aside. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add agave syrup, vanilla and cardamom.
Set aside and let cool off. Beat egg whites for about a minute, until very foamy. Stir down the nut flour and pour over the melted butter. Divide the batter into muffin molds, about 2 dollops in each mold. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden on the outside and baked inside. Don’t bake too long. They will become a little firmer when cool.


  • Sylvie
    Oh my! These muffins are super fluffy and they really do taste cardamom.I love it. I forgot to put honey in the recipe (... and this actually never ever happens to me), but topped them with it and it was delicious. Thank you for your wonderful ideas! Will definitely bake them again.
  • Christina
    I tried your recipe today and loved it so much! Thank you! I replaced the butter with sunflower oil and that worked perfectly fine. Do you think I could even replace the oil with applesauce? Would the nuts and seeds add enough fat? Love from Germany, Christina
  • Emilia
    I'd really love to make these but I don't see any flour in the ingredients. Did you somehow leave that out of the list by accident?
  • Amy
    Made these this afternoon and they were fabulous! I added some grapefruit zest on top for some extra zing, so good!!
  • Kaitlin
    These sound awesome and I want to make them, but the beginning of the second paragraph of instructions confuse me a bit. Can you clarify how/in what order the flour, butter, and egg whites are mixed together?
  • Sarah
    I tried these and I think I need some help! The batter was very runny and soupy. When they baked all the nut flour floated to the top so the bottom half was like an omelet and the top nice like a muffin... they smelled amazing though!
    • Christine
      I'm not sure what measurements you were using (imperial or metric), Sarah, but I would suggest weighing the sunflower seeds and walnuts rather than using the 1/2 cup measurements listed. I measured both ways and found that the sunflower seeds ended up being more like 3/4 cup, which might explain your runny batter! Otherwise, I followed the recipe as is and mine came out lovely. I hope this helps, best of luck!
  • Just made these tonight with 2 whole eggs instead of the 4 egg whites and coconut oil instead of butter and they turned out great! So amazed at how delicious they are - the texture and flavour is wonderful. Nice work!
    • I made these last night to bring into my last day at current company today. Following Erin's success, I used coconut oil and whole eggs rather than just whites. I also made a double batch so that I could leave some at home and take some into work. They worked fantastically and I loved them! I'll be making another batch at the weekend for other friends and may try a different nut to walnut as the ones I have are rather bitter. Delicious, thank you very much Green Kitchen Stories and Erin. Also, I agree - cardamom is AMAZING!
  • Peter Kihlman
    Those look yummy!! Gonna try making them tonight, once again using banana instead of honey ;)
  • I am feeling your Tartine Gourmande inspiration in your recipe as well as your photos! Lovely touch and enjoy the packing! Actually-- enjoy the trip!The packing is foreplay.
  • Sini
    I would love to make these! I wish you a wonderful time in Barcelona as well as fun (I know it's hard work but it should be fun too, right?) with the cookbook shootings.
  • I am on a serious muffin kick lately- so these will be next. Thanks for the recipe- and beautiful pictures, as always..
  • what a feast! have a beautiful holiday!
  • I really love your blog! Your photography and recipes are so inspiring. Keep on going!
  • Beautiful pics and delicious recipe. Must make the boyfriend do some, he's the muffinman in our household.
  • Dagmar
    Those pies in the background look stunning! It sounds good - and healthy as well! :-) Regards Dagmar Denmark
  • This sounds to be nothings less than PURE awesomeness! I'm so doing a batch of these this weekend! Yay! :)
  • I had a go at these and they're great! - These will be made on repeat for sure.
  • Fantastic post and photos as always. Cardamom and nuts are my favourite combination, and in a grain-free treat - how fantastic. This looks like my weekend bake sorted. Thank you.
  • Wow, stunning pictures! Now I am craving a nice summer day for a great picnic!
  • This is just a lovely recipe and post..I'm a huge fan of Bea and her blog, and Green Kitchen as well...Bravo!
  • Love cardamom. Use it in teas, desserts, and savory as well. Can never have enough. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It all looks very tempting-picnic and the muffins.
    • Hi Renu, I also have a crazy crush on cardamom right now. I never buy pre-ground cardamom though, I buy them in pods and grind them in a mortar. Makes the flavors so much more intense. Mmm... /David
  • Cardamom is a favorite spice of mine and I love a petit muffin like the ones you've made here. Have a wonderful trip!
  • What a nice picnic! Everthing looks so yummy :)
  • Such temptation! I will give these a try and hope they taste as good as they look.
  • These muffins look absolutely gorgeous! I will most definitely be trying them in the near future. I can't wait for the coconut pie recipe, too! Have fun in Barcelona!
  • These sound absolutely lovely!
  • What an intriguing combination of flavours. The use of sunflower meal is interesting!
  • Let the picnic season commence! These sound like delightful spring muffins and I can't wait to make them. Do you think it would be possible to incorporate the egg yolks into the batter as well (but still beat the whites separately), or would it disturb the balance of the ingredients? Sometimes my cooking is not coordinated enough to take advantage of leftover yolks. Have a great time in Barcelona!
    • Hi Sasha. We usually incorporate the egg yolks in our muffins, so it should probably work fine in this recipe as well. But I don't think that they will turn as light and airy with the egg yolks. Give it a try and let us know how it turned out. OR you could use the egg yolks to make an aioli or just use them in a morning scramble. Good luck! /David
  • emily
    That looks so inspiring! I am seriously drooling right now. I am normally not much for muffins since they are too heavy, but these sound just perfect. Can't wait for the pie recipe. Been searching for a good gluten free pie crust.
  • Just stunning! That´s one inspiring recipe! Now you two have a great flight and a lovely & crazy sunny weekend! (Hope the packing went well too;) HUGS Elenore

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