Plant-Based Fresh Fig Muffins are healthy treats that feature delicious fresh figs. These healthy muffins are vegan, gluten-free and fruit-sweetened!
Figs are in season from August to October (and also for a brief time in June). So fall is the perfect time to enjoy these delicious fruits.
You can get dried figs in the grocery store year round, but fresh figs are a little harder to find when they're out of season. Make the most of this time and make these tasty fresh fig muffins.
Honestly, you can't find a lot of recipes on the internet that use fresh figs. If you find one, figs are used as a decoration for the top of a smoothie bowl. That sounds great, but baking with fresh figs is so fun.
Why I love these Fresh Fig Muffins
Dietary needs — these muffins are vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free
Featuring fresh figs — these muffins feature ripe, fresh figs both inside and on the top of each muffin. The beautiful sweet flavor of the figs really shines through
Soft & velvety texture without oil — applesauce helps create an extremely moist (but not dense) muffin. It has that perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture. All without oil!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Fresh Figs: make the most of fig season by using chopped fresh figs. If it's not fig season, you can make this recipe with dried figs or with another fresh fruit of your choice.
Arrowroot Powder: or cornstarch. Just a bit of arrowroot or cornstarch helps to coat the figs and prevent them from turning to mush inside of the muffins
Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce gives these muffins the perfect light and fluffy texture. You can also use a banana or pumpkin puree but both of these will likely give a flavor you don't want (and if you do want, try my strawberry banana muffins or my pumpkin muffins)
Maple Syrup or Date Syrup: in a previous version of this recipe I used date syrup, but I now recommend using maple syrup for the best texture. If you want a completely fruit-sweetened muffin, this recipe does work with date syrup and you can sub in a 1:1 ratio
Apple Cider Vinegar: in combination with baking soda, ACV helps the muffins to rise properly, so don't skip this!
Homemade Oat Flour: I recommend using homemade oat flour, which you can blend easily in your food processor. Homemade flour is fluffier than store-bought and results in a lighter texture. The recipe will still work with store-bought oat flour.
Almond Flour: Almond flour is my go-to flour to balance oat flour. Almonds have more fat, which means that they help lighten up the muffin, making it less dense. AND they add flavor!
Nutmeg: the vegan bakery I worked at used nutmeg in many baked goods and I swear this is the key to giving vegan baked goods the same flavor as 'regular' baked goods. I add nutmeg to many of my baking recipes now and it seriously works - don't skip this spice!
Baking Powder & Baking Soda
Walnuts: I love adding nuts to give the muffins some texture and more of a rich, nutty flavor.
How to make Fresh Fig Muffins
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
Step 2. In a small bowl, toss the chopped figs with the arrowroot powder. Set aside.
Step 3. In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, syrup, nut butter, and apple cider vinegar. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Step 4. Add the oat flour, almond flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Step 5. Fold in the figs and walnuts.
Step 6. Scoop into your muffin cups and press a slice of fig onto the top of each cup. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and let cool completely. Enjoy!
Expert Tips & FAQ
I'm allergic to nuts. What can I use instead?
Flour. Instead of almond flour use cassava or coconut flour.
Nut butter. Instead of nut butter, use sunflower seed butter or pepita butter.
Chopped Walnuts. Stir in pepitas, raisins, or omit the nuts entirely.
I have to say, muffins aren’t always the easiest to get right. As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have trouble. But below are some common issues that you might run into…
Gluey Muffins: I often have gluey muffins if I use store-bought oat flour. Store bought is easy, and has its uses, but it is ground very finely, so it sticks together. If you find your muffins are super dense, try using homemade oat flour, which is coarser.
Crumbly Muffins: The opposite of a gluey muffin. If your muffin simply breaks apart, it may need more fat or moisture. This could occur if your nut butter is thick and not super runny. Try to use a runny nut butter (not the end of the jar). Or add some extra moisture, like a flax egg or a bit of non-dairy milk.
Burnt Muffins: Hopefully you are able to keep an eye on your muffins as they cook, but sometimes muffins burn even when we are watching. My first tip is to cover the pan with foil so the tops don’t continue to burn. You can also remove burnt parts as soon as you see them and place the muffins back in the oven so the entire muffin can get crispy again. If your oven tends to run hot, decrease the temperature and bake for the same amount of time.
Avoid Moldy Muffins. Muffins made entirely from plants will get moldy faster than the average muffin. If you plan to keep your muffins around for more than 5 days, store these guys in the fridge.
Freeze in an air-tight container. These muffins hold up well in the freezer. Simply defrost them in the microwave when ready to eat.
Thank you God for fresh fruits. We are grateful for your abundance. Amen.