There is a memory I have of my mother, in the kitchen of our old red-brick semi-detached house, sometime during my childhood. I was probably eight, or nine or ten, I really can’t remember.

But what remains of this memory, which is faded in parts here and there, is the smell of orange zest that has been freshly grated, perfuming the air with the fragrance of the season’s ripest oranges.

My mother is standing at the kitchen counter, preparing the ingredients for what will later become her signature butter cake. In front of her are bowls of flour, sugar, butter and eggs, among other things. And in quick, deft, practiced movements, she mixes up the ingredients, beating the batter together until it has become a thick yellow liquid, heavy yet smooth. She sprinkles the orange zest across the batter, gives it a couple of final stirs, and pours it quickly into the prepared baking mold, and then pops it into the oven.

I remember the delicious aroma of the cake baking in the oven, a mixture of whiffs of butter and oranges. But it is mostly the smell of oranges that I recall.

Because smells are so often tied to our memories, the smell of orange zest never fails to take me on a quick trip down memory lane. And thinking about my mother’s butter cake makes me want to recreate it, in a healthier version.

Today’s recipe is a grain-free version of the cake, made as muffins.

In this case, almond meal is used in place of wheat flour, honey instead of sugar, and coconut oil for butter. The rest of the ingredients are essentially the same.

Let’s begin with placing paper muffin molds in a muffin tin – if you’re not planning on using paper molds, make sure to grease the tin generously with butter or coconut oil, then set it aside. You can also pre-heat your oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit /180 deg Celsius now.

Grab a large bowl next, and then mix the almond meal, baking powder and salt all together. In another large bowl, mix the eggs, honey, and coconut oil, until well-combined. Now pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir until you get a homogeneous mixture. Throw in the orange zest, and stir some more. All that’s left to do is to divide the batter evenly between the muffin molds, and garnish the top with a small handful of slivered almonds. Carefully place the muffin mold on a baking tray, and place it in the middle rack of your oven.

After 15 to 20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean, remove the muffin mold from the oven, and let it cool completely before removing the muffins.

This is a quick and healthy snack that’s worth every single bite – imagine toasted almonds on top of a golden brown muffin with a moist crumb and a citrus flavor.

I hope you’ll like it as much as I do too!

Grain-Free Honey Almond Muffins
Grain-Free Honey Almond Muffins

This is a quick and healthy snack that’s worth every single bite – imagine toasted almonds on top of a golden brown muffin with a moist crumb and a citrus flavor.


  • 3 cups almond flour/almond meal
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter /ghee/ coconut oil at room temperature – extra for greasing if not using paper muffin molds
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds


  1. Heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (or 180 deg Cel). Arrange the paper muffin molds in muffin tin. If not using paper muffin molds, grease the muffin pan with butter/ghee/coconut oil and set it aside.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients – almond meal, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add eggs, honey, and coconut oil in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Finally throw in the orange zest.
  5. Mix well to achieve a homogeneous batter
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the different muffin molds, and garnish with slivered almonds on top.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the middle rack of the oven or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
  8. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the muffin mold.


Felicia Lim

Felicia is a Singaporean who’s currently located in Buenos Aires, also known as the “Paris of South America”. When she’d first moved to Argentina, she found herself grappling with the mysterious concept of cooking. Thankfully, with the help of cooking classes and constant practice in her tiny kitchen, she’s developed a love for cooking and with that, a passion for food blogging.... Read More

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