The Speckled Palate

October 30, 2019

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

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Bake fluffy, pumpkin spice vegan muffins all fall long! These Vegan Pumpkin Muffins are loved by both kids and adults at breakfast and brunch. Makes 12 muffins.

Close up of a vegan pumpkin muffin with a bite taken out of it

We first made these muffins a few weeks back for my younger one’s playgroup because y’all should know I have a thing with vegan muffins (despite not being vegan or eating a vegan diet most of the time.)

I absolutely love entertaining and often host people who have dietary restrictions and diets different than my own. As a host, I always want to make sure I have a recipe for these friends—which led to me developing a vegan muffin recipe years ago when I realized I had nothing to feed vegan friends for brunch.

At our playgroup, everyone gave rave reviews—including our 1-year-old, who stalked around the room and requested bites from everyone, like I hadn’t just fed her two muffins of her own.

So this past weekend, when a friend and her family were visiting, I suggested we bake muffins, and we landed on this recipe at Madison’s request. They were gone the next morning, and everyone was head-over-heels about them.

When I asked Madison what I should say about the muffins, do you know what she told me?

“PILLOWY FALL GOODNESS. YOU NEED THEM. THAT IS ALL.”

So. There’s that. You should bake these immediately, friends.

Other vegan breakfast and brunch recipes we adore: Coconut Oil Southern-Style Biscuits | Orange Cranberry Vegan MuffinsVegan Breakfast Apple CrispVegan Pumpkin Biscuits with Maple Butter 

Need some brunch inspiration? Check out How to Host Brunch if you’re wanting to do it at home. I also wrote how to host a HOLIDAY brunch, too, since that time of year is almost upon us.

Ingredients are shown in bowls, before mixing

Tools you need to make Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

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Collage showing how ingredients being poured into each other, in two images

How to make Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Preheat your oven, and line your muffin tin with baking cups. (If you don’t have these, you can spritz your muffin tin with nonstick baking spray. I really like this avocado oil kind because it can withstand higher oven temps.)

In a large mixing bowl, measure out your dry ingredients—the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves. Whisk them together until comined, and then set aside.

In another bowl or a large glass measuring cup, measure out the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer or a whisk to beat them together, ensuring they’re well-combined and mixed.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix because overmixing will cause the muffins to become rubbery.

Immediately, dollop the batter into the prepared muffin tin with either a cookie scoop (I love my one tablespoon one for muffins like this!), and pop them into the preheated oven.

I put about 2-3 tablespoons of batter into each muffin, but eyeball yours because you want them to be about even.

You do not want to let this batter sit out because the moment the baking soda and vinegar hit each other, they begin fizzing. We want the muffins to go into the oven immediately after they are mixed so that this reaction can help the muffins rise sky high!

Bake the muffins until golden brown and fluffy, then remove from the oven. Let them cool off slightly before enjoying with your favorite breakfast beverage and sides.

Collage showing how to stir the batter and the batter in a muffin tin, before baking

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

Vegan muffins are one of my favorite things to make for an at-home brunch because they are so easy to make and eat! They’re also a fan favorite of both vegans and non-vegans alike, so you can feed ’em to a crowd quite easily.

What are some occasions you can make vegan pumpkin muffins for?

  • Play dates and play groups: We have friends with severe food allergies and intolerances, so vegan muffins have been a go-to of ours with the friends who have milk and egg allergies. You can make these in a mini muffin tin, too, for smaller kids!
  • Brunch with friends: Everybody loves brunch, and hosting one at home is easier than you’d expect!
  • After-school snacks: This is a sweet treat that’s perfect after a long day of school, so bake ’em in the morning and let the kids enjoy ’em in the afternoons. 

Overhead of Vegan Pumpkin Muffins on a cooling rack

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes these vegan muffins rise?

I like using a combination of baking soda and vinegar for my vegan muffins because when the two get together, they fizz and fuzz and make the muffins rise gorgeously.

So that’s what I use in my vegan muffins, even though I know a flax seed or vegan egg substitute could work here, too. The problem with those is I don’t have those on hand most of the time, so I go with something I have on hand that works!

The one downside of the baking soda and vinegar is that if you do not bake the muffins immediately after mixing the wet and dry ingredients, they might not be as fluffy. They’ll still taste good, though.

Why aren’t my muffins rising?

Because there are several different factors that might go into this, here are a few things to check:

  • Is your baking soda old?
  • Is your baking powder old?
  • Does your oven run at the correct temperature? (Vegan muffins struggled to rise in my 1960’s oven because the oven never ran at a consistent temperature.)

What milk should I use?

We’re partial to unsweetened almond and unsweetened cashew milk in our house, but you could conceivably use any type of non-dairy milk, so long as it’s not coconut cream or something that’s really thick. Just make sure it’s not sweetened, as your muffins might become too sweet otherwise.

Can I use a different type of oil?

Yes, you can. I recommend an unflavored, neutral oil, like vegetable oil, if you’re going to replace the avocado oil. You can also use coconut oil or olive oil, though those two have more flavor than avocado or vegetable oil.

Pumpkin puree in a bowl, with a spoon

Quick Tips and Tricks for the best Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

  • Bake them immediately. Since the muffins rely on baking soda and vinegar to rise, they begin bubbling and rising when the ingredients meet. Because of this, they need to bake immediately after they are mixed.
  • Make them in advance! The beauty of muffins like these is you can bake ‘em the evening before you have friends over for brunch or a play group or a play date. They make entertaining a breeze because they require no fuss the morning of.
  • Pumpkin spice alert: If you like nutmeg, feel free to add 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon to the dry ingredients when you add the other spices. Personally, I am not a nutmeg fan, so I leave it out.

Baked muffins in the muffin tin, after baking

What can I serve alongside these vegan muffins?

Close up of a Vegan Pumpkin Muffin on a cooling rack, with text

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Fluffy, pumpkin spice vegan muffins are perfect to bake all fall long! These Vegan Pumpkin Muffins are well-loved by both kids and adults at breakfast and brunch.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  2. In a large glass mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves together. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, measure out the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat until well combined.
  4. Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  5. Dollop the batter into the prepared baking cups using a tablespoon measure or a cookie scoop. (I put 2-3 tablespoons in each muffin.)
  6. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, then enjoy warm!

Notes

Tips and Tricks for the best Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

  • Bake them immediately. This batter is not the kind of batter that should sit around after you mix it up or dollop it into the muffin tins. Since the muffins rely on baking soda and vinegar to rise, they begin bubbling and rising when the ingredients meet. They need to bake immediately after they are mixed.
  • Make them in advance! The beauty of muffins like these is you can bake ‘em the evening before you have friends over for brunch or a play group or a play date. They make entertaining a breeze because they require no fuss the morning of.
  • Pumpkin spice alert: If you like nutmeg, feel free to add 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon to the dry ingredients when you add the other spices. Personally, I am not a nutmeg fan, so I leave it out.
  • What milk should I use? We're partial to unsweetened almond and unsweetened cashew milk in our house, but you could conceivably use any type of non-dairy milk, so long as it's not coconut cream or something that's really thick.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12 muffins

Serving Size:

1 muffin

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 187mg Carbohydrates: 18g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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