Today, in full fall fashion, I’m bringing you these adorable Vegan Pumpkin Muffins. These gems are a burst of fall in your mouth. And seriously the softest, most velvety vegan/gf/oil-free muffin ever.
Why I love these Oil-Free Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
Dietary needs — these muffins are plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free
Full of fall flavor — spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger absolutely transform the flavor of the muffin to be a burst of warm, nutty fall flavor in your mouth
Soft & velvety texture — pumpkin puree helps create an extremely moist (but not dense) muffin. It has that perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture. All without oil!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Pumpkin: These muffins wouldn’t be pumpkin without, well, pumpkin. Make sure to buy 100% pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
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
Nut Butter: Instead of using oil, we'll use nut butter as the fat source. I recommend using pecan butter (especailly since we're adding some chopped pecans to the muffins). Pecans are higher in fat, so they help create a lovely texture. You can also use mixed nut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.
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!
Baking Powder & Baking Soda
Pumpkin Pie Spices: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, ginger. Don't skimp on the spices. I know it seems like a lot, but these spices are where the muffins really get their flavor. You can also sub the individual spice measurements for 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
Pecans: I love adding nuts to give the muffins some texture and more of a rich, nutty flavor. You could also add chopped walnuts or pepitas. Or even a dried fruit like raisins or cranberries.
How to make Plant-Based Mini Pumpkin Muffins
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
Step 2. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, syrup, nut butter, and apple cider vinegar. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Step 3. Add the oat flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Step 4. Fold in the pecans.
Step 5. Scoop into your muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 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 pecan butter or another nut butter, use sunflower seed butter or pepita butter.
Chopped Pecans. 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 these cute little muffins that give us a burst of fall in one bite. We are grateful for these treats. Amen.
Love WFPB muffins? Me too! Here are some of my favorite plant-based muffin recipes: