These Welsh rarebit muffins have the oozing cheese and spices of the traditional version minus the bread. Instead of the usual toasted bread, this version uses a gluten-free coconut flour muffin batter.
My husband and I were introduced to Welsh Rarebit at a quaint little cafe in Thailand, of all places. They served the most delicious food that would please the palates of tourists from around the world. And while we have no Welsh roots at all, we absolutely fell in love with the comforting flavors of mustard and loads of cheese.
This recipe is my interpretation of Welsh rarebit as muffins. For those who don't know, Welsh rarebit is a heartwarming dish of melted cheese sauce on top of toasted bread. The cheese sauce often contains mustard, beer, and Worcestershire sauce, along with a little all-purpose flour as a thickening agent.
These coconut muffins don't include making a sauce, but they do have many of the usual flavours like tiny cubes of cheese, mustard powder, and Worcestershire. Instead of beer as a liquid component, I opted for milk for more richness in the coconut muffin batter.
How to Make Welsh Rarebit Muffins
To start making these Welsh rarebit muffins, you will need a 12-cup muffin tin lined with parchment or silicone liners. This batter can stick to the muffin tin, so it is ideal to have the liners for easier removal and clean-up rather than greasing with butter.
Next, you whisk the dry ingredients together including the coconut flour, tapioca starch, leavening agents, and seasonings. The eggs, butter, milk, and 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce get blended together before adding to the flour mixture so that they incorporate easier. Once they are stirred together into a smooth batter, you fold in the cheese cubes leaving a few to garnish the muffin tops. You want to use a strong cheese here like a sharp cheddar.
The total time for baking these muffins is between 15 and 18 minutes since oven temperatures can vary. To test for doneness, you can insert a skewer. It shouldn't come out with gummy batter, but a few dry crumbs are perfectly acceptable. If you hit a cheese cube in the muffins, you can simply test with the skewer again. Another way to ensure the muffins are properly baked through is to press the tops. If the muffins hold the indent, they probably need a little longer to bake. Meanwhile, if the indent spring back, the muffins are done!
What Makes these Muffins Gluten-Free?
Rather than using traditional all-purpose flour, these muffins include a combination of coconut flour and tapioca starch. These are excellent alternative flours that work very well in muffins. They don't necessarily produce the same fluffiness that plain flour muffins do (because they don't contain gluten), but they still give these muffins a great texture next to the oozy cheese.
Tapioca starch is excellent because it absorbs liquids very well like coconut flour. It also helps to add a crisp and chewy texture to baked goods. You should be able to find both at your local grocery store in either the usual baking aisle or natural food section.
All of the other ingredients are naturally gluten-free, but you may want to double-check packages to ensure that they were all produced in gluten-free facilities. The biggest danger could be the cheese, especially if you decide to buy pre-shredded cheese as some manufacturers add starch to make sure the cheese shreds don't stick together.
Worcestershire can also sometimes contain gluten via added soy sauce or malt vinegar. There are gluten-free brands out there, though, so just be sure to pay attention to the product you are buying if you have to avoid gluten.
How to Eat Savoury Muffins
Savoury muffins may seem a little unusual, but they are great because they can be a snack or part of a main meal. In fact, these muffins would be delicious to eat alongside a comforting soup or stew in place of the usual biscuits or slices of bread for lunch or dinner.
They are even great for an on-the-go breakfast or lunch. Since they contain a lot of flavourful ingredients like sharp cheddar cheese and spices, they don't need the addition of butter or any other spread. Just pack them in a sealable container and enjoy at school or work, or wherever else you might be. These also make a welcome addition to a potluck or brunch table, so keep the recipe in your back pocket when you see family or friends.
Can You Freeze these Savoury Coconut Muffins?
You definitely can if you decide to make a larger batch of these as they will keep perfectly safe. However, it will be ideal to consume them within 2 months or so as cheese's texture can change during lengthy freezing.
The reason is that cheese can form ice crystals during freezing which softens the cheese when thawed. The muffins may even benefit from warming in the oven slightly to eliminate some of the extra moisture after freezing.
To freeze the muffins, simply place in an airtight container in a single layer. After freezing, you can pull the muffins out to thaw as needed. If you plan on eating these muffins quickly, storing them in an airtight container in the fridge should keep them fresh for a few days.
Other Coconut Flour Muffin Recipes You'll Love:
Welsh Rarebit Muffins
These Welsh rarebit muffins have the oozing cheese and spices of the traditional version minus the bread. Instead of the usual toasted bread, this reinterpretation of Welsh rarebit comprises of a gluten-free coconut flour muffin batter.
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 200 g (7 oz.) sharp cheddar cut into small cubes
Preheat your oven to 350° F and line a muffin tin with parchment cases or silicone liners.
In a bowl whisk together coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt with mustard powder and chili powder.
In another bowl whisk together eggs, melted butter, milk and Worcestershire sauce until smooth and combined.
Add the flour mix to the wet mixture and stir until all lumps are gone.
Stir in cheddar cubes; leaving a few to put on top of each muffin. Divide batter into 12 muffin cavities. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store covered.
Optional: Stir ⅛ - ¼ cup crispy bacon bits into the batter.