Vegan pumpkin muffins are tender, satisfying, and brimming with the flavors of the season. Don't miss this easy recipe.
Why this recipe works
Pumpkin muffins are a relatively easy recipe to make vegan, since the pumpkin puree itself does a lot of the heavy lifting. Our version:
- Is tender and flavorful and substantial enough to be really satisfying
- Has the perfect blend of pumpkin spice
- Incorporates some whole wheat flour if you like, for a bit of extra nutrition
- Is sweet but not overly so
- Can be made with or without walnuts
I first published a version of this recipe here way back in 2011. I've since updated the post for clarity and made a few changes to the recipe.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- You can use 100% all-purpose flour or a blend of AP and whole wheat pastry flour, whichever you prefer
- Use plain canned pumpkin without seasonings
- A balanced mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves — in just the right proportions — makes the perfect pumpkin spice
- Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend.
- A little bit of good-quality real maple syrup adds a gentle layer of complexity to the flavor of the muffins
How to make them
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make a great batch of vegan pumpkin muffins. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Stir together the wet ingredients.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the walnuts.
- Scoop into muffin cups and bake at 375°F for about 25 minutes. That's it!
Expert tips and FAQs
Yes, you can. If you substitute fresh pumpkin purée for canned in this (or really any) recipe, make sure that it's from a sugar pumpkin and that it's very thick.
Pastry flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose (and higher than cake flour). It makes baked goods lighter, and when incorporating whole wheat flour in baking, I like to use this version. Learn more here if you like.
Muffins are best on baking day.
Leftovers will keep, covered, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days. Or freeze them for up to 6 months.
More favorite cozy vegan recipes for fall
More favorite pumpkin recipes
- Easy pumpkin bread with olive oil
- Mini pumpkin whoopie pies
- Healthy pumpkin spice smoothie (vegan)
- Classic pumpkin soup
- 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (90 grams) whole wheat pastry flour (see note 1)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (200 grams) gently packed light brown sugar
- 7 ½ ounces (212 grams) pumpkin puree (see note 2)
- ½ cup (120 ml) safflower oil
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
- 1 cup (120 grams) chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, safflower oil, maple syrup, and water.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold the ingredients together. Fold just until there are no pockets of flour that haven't been incorporated into the batter, and then stop.
- Fold in the chopped walnuts.
- Use a large cookie scoop to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in tin on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove muffins from tins and cool completely.
- Pastry flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose (and higher than cake flour). It makes baked goods lighter. When incorporating whole wheat flour in baking, I like to use this version.
- 7.5 ounces is half of a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree, or ⅞ cup. (You can measure out one cup and remove 2 tablespoons if measuring by volume rather than weight.) If you substitute fresh pumpkin purée for canned in this (or really any) recipe, make sure that it's from a sugar pumpkin and that it's very thick.
- Muffins are best on baking day. Leftovers will keep, covered, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days. Or freeze them for up to 6 months.
Adapted from Joy the Baker's excellent recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g