Dairy Free Poppyseed Muffins by Cara Stolen


You have challenged my perceptions and shredded my expectations from the moment you arrived in this world. Even before you were born, as a wiggle worm in my belly, you were busy kicking holes in my universe (and my bladder). From your birth story, to your food sensitivities, to your crooked Cleft grin- nothing went according to plan.

I make you dairy-free poppyseed muffins almost every week, using a recipe I have perfected since you started eating solid foods. We even served them at your first birthday party (with a little coconut whipped cream for frosting). Right before adding the wet ingredients to the dry, I whisk the oil into the almond milk-egg-vanilla mixture. It becomes frothy and fragrant, and appears to emulsify for just a second before immediately beginning to separate.

That mixture of liquids is like you and I. Sweet and cohesive in one instant, separated and messy the next. You are chaotic and loud when I need quiet and organized. I am serious and focused when you are wild and silly. You are furious and happy in a matter of minutes, and know just exactly what to do to trigger my anxiety. I know some of this is par for the course- you are 2 1/2. But deep in my soul I know that you and I will always struggle.

I’ve learned to savor the sweet, cohesive moments when they come. The impromptu hugs, shared giggles, and “I love you’s.” I stick them in the back of my mind to save for a rainy day- when we are stuck inside, sick of the weather and each other.

Parenting you is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not naive enough to believe it will get easier anytime soon. But in the meantime, I’ll hold on to our sticky sweet moments. I’ll cut up another muffin for you and relish in your sweet grin and ‘thank you Mom.’ And I’ll pray again tonight that I’m doing ok at this Mom thing.


Dairy Free Poppyseed Muffins


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbl. poppy seeds

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

2 large eggs**

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a muffin tin with paper liners.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and poppyseeds.

  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl add the almond milk, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk briskly to combine.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

  5. Using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, fill the muffin tin, dividing the batter equally between the 12 cups.

  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*To make muffins GF, use a high quality GF flour mix and substitute 1:1 for AP flour. I like Bob's Red Mill.

**To make Vegan, a Chia egg can be substituted here. Before mixing the dry ingredients, mix 2 Tbl. Chia seeds with 6 Tbl. of warm water in a small bowl. Add to the rest of the wet ingredients at that step.