concord grape muffins


I felt pangs of guilt during my farmers’ market shop last weekend. I mean, I’m supposed to love spring and summer, right? After the long frost of winter subsides, the glimpse of a scarlet hued strawberry sends me giggling with excitement. In fact, there are still some available, an oddity, really, for this time of year.

And the raspberries and blackberries. What are you guys still doing around? Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a lovely summer, plucking piece after piece to eat as-is or bake in a tart. But you’ve had your turn. It’s time to call it a season and let others have their day in the sun.

Usually my first visit to the market after vacation is filled with regret. If only I’d canned one more jar of peaches, or made fresh tomato bruschetta more often. This year, though, a wave of excitement washed over me. While I’ve been a firm believer in eating locally and seasonally, this is the first time I’m really okay with saying goodbye to my summer loves.

It also happens to be my fourth year canning and preserving.

I started that first summer with strawberry jam. Two years later I dipped my toes in deeper with tomato jam. Last year I tried my hand at canning peaches, inspired by Amanda Hesser’s article in The New York Times Magazine.

This year I added tomatoes to my repertoire, both freezer preserved (the easiest way ever) and canned. I now have a freezer full of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, grated zucchini, and some shelled peas. The pantry is has a full shelf devoted to assorted homemade, homecanned goods. Too little to last the whole winter, but just enough to keep my tastebuds sane until spring returns.

Preserving has renewed my love for the fall harvest, which lingers long after the warming rays of summer given way to cold, crisp skies.


So, it is no surprise I resisted the cartons of blackberries and raspberries still hanging on for one last romp in the baking dish. See, the concord grapes were waiting to say hello. They know I love how the fruit pops messily from the skin. They know I accept them, seeds and all. No one else in my house ever pays them proper attention, finding their seeds bothersome.

Until I made these muffins.

Now, they come crawling out of the wood work, asking for some homemade butter to smear across the warm tops.

As poetic as this all sounds, I must warn you to set a plan for making these muffins. Seeding the grapes is a zen art, and one that I learned must be done only when you are truly prepared to surrender yourself, or at least the 15 minutes or so it took me for the amount needed here.

The first time I made them, I prepped the grapes in intervals. A little playtime with Virginia, then some slicing and seeding. This cycle continued for a while until they were all done, so it didn’t so seem too tedious.


The second time I seeded them the night before, measured all my dry ingredients and left the kitchen set up to bake a batch when I woke, so the Mr. could bring some into work the next day.

The third time? It felt like sheer torture. The clock was ticking, with only an hour left before I had to meet the new babysitter. The fact that I was also testing a new gluten free all purpose flour mix I created upped the stress factor exponentially. Every seed seemed like an enemy, unwilling to surrender to the tip of my knife.

The moral of this story is only take on what you have the time to successfully and enjoyably accomplish. As for the last batch, you know the gluten-free ones? All that stressing was really because I wasn’t sure if my labor was for naught. It was my first time creating my own all purpose flour mix. With just five minutes left on the timer, I flicked the oven light on. The pictures below are the end result.

gluten free concord grape muffins

Yes, it was all worth it.

gluten free concord grape muffins

A tender, light crumb bursting with pockets of grape jelly—the concord’s skins and flesh melt into little pools of jam. I’ll leave you with the recipe for the regular version since my mix is still in development. It needs to be tested on a variety of recipes before I can give it the universal seal of approval.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for some gluten-free inspiration, pick up a copy of Cooking For Isaiah,  written by my dear friend, and proof that living a gluten-free life doesn’t have to be one of denial. In fact, it can be filled with potato leek soup with white truffle honey, smoked duck breast ravioli, and pumpkin dumplings with bacon and radicchio. Cooking for Isaiah is both gluten-free and dairy free, making Silvana’s chocolate dipped chocolate donuts a win-win-win for the whole family.

concord grape muffins

This recipe can now be found here.


  • Jennie

    Yes, Cheryl, our ingredients are similar. Interesting to see the different takes and techniques that can be applied. After adapting a biscuit recipe to make muffins a few months ago, I’ve never looked back. It makes for the lightest muffins ever. My friend’s daughter is allergic to eggs too, so this make everyone happy.

  • Carolyn

    At the market yesterday, I found seedless concord grapes. They taste exactly like their seeded cousins. Some are making thier way into these yummy muffins!

  • Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free

    These look fantastic. My husband and I just harvested a couple of HUGE bowls of concord grapes growing in our backyard. He just stood, very zen-like, for about an hour, and seeded much of the batch. I’m going to try my hand at making Gluten Free Grape Biscuit Muffins your biscuit muffin recipe and my own gluten free flour mix. And I’ll freeze the rest of the grapes to use for future endeavors – I have Grape Sorbet and Grape Smoothies in mind. Yum! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Jennie

    Carolyn—Funny you should mention seedless concord grapes. I’ve never seen them but did come across Mars grapes this past weekend, which are seedless and taste very similar to concords. I’m going to give them a try.
    Ellen—How lucky that you have concords growing in your very own yard! I basically just swappe din an equal amount of GF all purpose flour into my recipe, so let me know how yours come out.

  • Brooke

    Thank you for this recipe! I first made it last fall when I woke up early and couldn’t sleep on the morning we were heading to Vancouver to have our first child via c-section. We enjoyed the homemade muffins in those blurry new parent moments at the hospital. I have been making these muffins all summer with blueberries and peaches waiting for grapes to make their appearance. I found coronation grapes at the farmers market and they turned out great. I definitely appreciated the seedless Concord grapes I had last year! The seed removal process took longer than I anticipated (also I doubled the batch) and I felt better after I re-read your post. I worked at it in shifts between playtime, diaper changes etc, and I ended up baking the muffins the next day. Baking in stages when an 11-month old dictates the day. I find the methodical measuring of ingredients and rubbing the butter in to be therapeutic so I’m grateful for the time I can scrape together to bake.

  • EcoCatLady

    I just stumbled upon this recipe while trying to figure out what to do with the enormous bowl of concord grapes that I just harvested from my backyard, and I wanted to thank you.

    I’m currently sitting here trying to refrain from eating the entire batch! I was skeptical at first, both about the lack of eggs and the skins – I was sure they’d come out tough… so glad I gave it a try.

    I see a freezer full of grape muffins in my near future! OK… one more – 3 muffins doesn’t count a gluttony yet, does it?


  • Jennifer Perillo

    I’m so glad you liked them Brooke! I’ve got some grapes sitting in my fridge, hoping to make a batch myself this week! xo-JP

  • Jennifer Perillo

    Three muffins is a totally acceptable serving Cat! After all, the season for concord grapes is so short. 🙂 xo-JP

  • Katie

    These look and sound absolutely delicious! I’m curious – will you share your gluten free flour mix? Last time I made GF blueberry muffins and the consistency was rather dense and unappetizing. 🙁

  • Jennifer Perillo


    I must admit that GF version was years ago, and the blend I made didn’t work well in other recipes. My dear friend, Silvana Nardone, is well-versed in all things GF, and has a great blend you can use. Her site is called Silvana’s Kitchen.


  • Carol

    I’m getting ready to make these and noticed that the list of ingredients has both US and metric equivalents except the grapes themselves. Is 8 ounces of seeded grapes a cup?

  • Jennifer Perillo

    Hi Carol,

    Ounces is actually a US measurement (metric would be grams and kilos), so I’m not sure how many grapes are in a cup exactly. I’ll try to make note next time make this.


  • Regina

    I found this recipe last month while searching for recipes for conord grape vinegar. I’ve made three batches of these delicious muffins and have become a hero to my colleagues at the office because I shared! Neighbors love them, too. Thank you so much for such a great recipe! You are truly talented.

  • Yael

    Aha! I bought concord grapes by accident this weekend and haven’t been able to find a way to stomach them. (I tried “muddling” them into. . .water. . . last night because that’s what I had for fancy drinks at home. Lesson learned: what works at a fancy bar with simple syrup or lemon juice and soda and maybe some alcohol doesn’t work as well with none of the above haha.) Should have known the answer would be here. 🙂

  • Yael

    PS Ok, I just have to ask the lazy-20-something question: What if I didn’t seed the grapes? Would the seeds make everything taste gross or would I just have to occasionally spit seeds out of my muffins? Because if it’s the latter. . .

  • Jennifer Perillo

    You’d end up having to spit out a lot of seeds. I imagine that would be annoying, and perhaps not fun for anyone you decide to share the muffins with, too. -JP