Vegan Pumpkin Muffins with (ahem!) Cream Cheese Frosting

This morning I had to lock myself in my bedroom for a few minutes to get away from my children. It was like that old IKEA commercial where the mom says, “Somebody needs a time-out!” and then goes and lays down in her IKEA-furnished sanctuary of a bedroom. It was a lot like that commercial, actually, because we have sort of an unacceptable amount of IKEA furniture for people who no longer fall into the Young Alumni category at our alma mater.

While I was locked in there, I was, of course, checking Twitter. And that’s how I learned that today is World Vegan Day, which kicks off November as World Vegan Month. Who knew?

Now, it’s true that the word “vegan” can sometimes make me want to lock myself in my bedroom for a few minutes. For one thing, the idea of swearing off broad categories of anything in this world, food especially, 100% forever, is not supported by my operating software. I’m no tragically boring middle-of-the-roader, but I’m also not a 100-percenter. I’m a 90-percenter, I think. For example, this weekend I attended a fantastic two-day workshop on raw vegan food (more on that in a later post), and on the way home I popped into our local organic grocery. Everything I bought would qualify as vegan, as is often the case these days. But when one of the vendors asked which of his handmade cheeses I wanted to sample on the way out, I said “all three, darling!” and I kissed him on the mouth. Ninety percent of that story is true.

Okay, so it’s true that I’m not vegan. But it’s also true that the more I learn, the more I firmly believe in a whole-foods, almost totally plant-based diet. Ninety percent plant-based, at least, to put a stake in the ground. And that’s why I rashly decided, while locked in my bedroom, to announce a little blogging project here today. (That and the fact that I needed a project, maybe.) Every single day in November, I’m going to post a vegan recipe or tip, either new or from the archives. If you know me at all, you already realize there will be no meat substitutes and no recipes that use quotation marks or purposeful misspellings. (No “cheese,” and no cheez, promise.) Just the same old good food as always. I bet you’ll find that where the archived recipes are concerned, you never noticed that most of them were vegan. I know I didn’t. But I’m glad they are.

Just to be totally confusing, this first recipe is for an incredibly delicious and nicely textured vegan pumpkin muffin, but with extremely non-vegan frosting. Feel free to substitute your favorite vegan frosting if you’re into that sort of thing. Me? I’m happy to use my weekly ten percent on a couple of bites of the goodness below.

See you TOMORROW. Eek!

  • “But when one of the vendors asked which of his handmade cheeses I wanted to sample on the way out, I said “all three, darling!” and I kissed him on the mouth. Ninety percent of that story is true.”

    I have not read anything this funny in at least 3 weeks, or possibly 3 years.

    The muffins look great. I can see that the oil takes on the role of butter, but I wonder what plays the part of the eggs? Or maybe they’re just totally unnecessary in this?ReplyCancel

    • Oh, good! I like to make you smile.

      As for the eggs, my best guess is that the fairly large quantity of baking soda and baking powder is sufficient for leavening, and the pumpkin and maple syrup are acidic enough to produce a nice crumb and moist enough to override any weirdness you sometimes get from adding too much of those leaveners.

      I don’t really understand why the batter emulsifies properly, but when you stir the wet ingredients together, you only panic for a few seconds before realizing it’s going to happen.

      Magic, maybe. Though I would appreciate any more scientific hypotheses, now that we’re on the subject.ReplyCancel

  • mmmmmm….
    Sounds DEEEE-lish. Since Pumpkin muffins are such a big hit around here, maybe I need to give these a try!
    And as always, I {love} reading our posts… and most importantly “hearing” you as I do!ReplyCancel

  • This looks amazing and something I’m gonna try out for sure!! The picture is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • “But when one of the vendors asked which of his handmade cheeses I wanted to sample on the way out, I said “all three, darling!” and I kissed him on the mouth. Ninety percent of that story is true.”

    You only asked for 2 samples? Ditto Cheryl’s comment above :).

    I wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes for Halloween. I had even bought cupcake toppers and liners only to realize over the weekend that my muffin tins are in storage. Owell … Hope you enjoyed your cheater’s vegan muffins!ReplyCancel

  • These look delicious, definitely going on my must make list!ReplyCancel

  • [...] at the beginning of World Vegan Month when I said I’m a ninety percenter? Well, here’s something I did this weekend. I had like ninety percent of my hair chopped off. [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] whole-foods recipes is questionable at best. I never pretended to be anything more than a ninety percenter, anyway. Grab a spoon, cheese lovers. We’ll have plenty of time for kale and quinoa [...]ReplyCancel

  • Joanna

    These turned out great! Cut the recipe in half, eliminated the white sugar and oil. Reduced amt of brown sugar and only used whole grain flour. Tasted great made them three times already! Pecans are a lovely addition! Used agave syrup in place of maple. Bravo!ReplyCancel

  • [...] Via and recipe available at Umami Girl [...]ReplyCancel

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