healthy vegan pumpkin muffins cooling on a rack

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (Vegan, Whole Grain)

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These secretly healthy vegan pumpkin muffins are soft, fluffy & moist, made with whole grains and lightly sweetened for a wholesome breakfast.

I know it’s December and pumpkin isn’t really trending anymore, but I also know that I can’t be the only one who gets excited by the holiday sales on canned pumpkin and ends up buying way more cans than I actually need. Like I really only need one, maybe two, cans for pumpkin pie — but every year I buy at least five over the course of multiple trips to the store. I just can’t say no to a great sale! So, I’ve committed to actually using all the pumpkin that I buy, which means lots more pumpkin-flavored treats this season (and for many months to come!). Starting with these healthy pumpkin muffins that are whole grain, lightly sweetened, and made from plant-based ingredients!

INGREDIENTS

These vegan pumpkin muffins are made with 12 wholesome ingredients:

  • Pumpkin Purée ⟶ I used canned pumpkin, but you can try using fresh pumpkin if you like. Please note, however, that moisture content can vary so you may need to add more/less milk or flour.
  • Applesauce ⟶ adds moisture and a bit of sweetness
  • Maple Syrup & Molasses ⟶ complements the pumpkin and spices, as opposed to sugar which would just sweeten
  • Walnut Butter ⟶ My new favorite nut butter to bake with! Learn how to make your own in the tips down below ↓
  • Whole Wheat Flour ⟶ My go-to whole grain flour because it’s affordable and accessible (where I live). Don’t worry, despite being made with whole wheat flour, these muffins are still soft and fluffy!
  • Soy Milk ⟶ My go-to plant-based milk since it’s creamy and high in protein. However, I think any plant-based milk will work.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, & Vanilla Extract ⟶ for extra cozy flavor!
  • Vinegar & Baking Soda ⟶ makes the muffins fluffy

Feel free to throw in some pecans, chocolate chips, cranberries, or any other add-ins you think would pair well with pumpkin!

vegan pumpkin muffins cooling set on wire rack

PUMPKIN MUFFIN TIPS & FAQ’S

Don’t over-mix the batter!
Over-mixing means more gluten formation, causing your muffins to be tough and gummy. To prevent over-mixing, use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl for dry flour.

Can I use fresh pumpkin?
Fresh pumpkin should work, but you may need to adjust the amount of liquid or dry ingredients since moisture levels can vary. I haven’t personally tested it this way yet, so I can’t give exact measurements.

Can I make them gluten-free?
I haven’t tested these muffins with gluten-free flour yet, but I usually have success baking with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-1 Baking Flour*.

What if I don’t have walnut butter?
You can actually make your own walnut butter at home really easily! Just toast walnuts in the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, cool for a bit, then blend them up in a food processor until smooth and runny. If you don’t have walnuts, you can use almond butter, or another nut/seed butter (note that the flavor may change slightly depending on the type of nut/seed butter you use).

STILL HUNGRY?

Check out these other healthy vegan muffins!

vegan pumpkin muffins stacked on top of each other, set on a wire rack

I hope I’ve inspired you to make these healthy pumpkin muffins! If you try them out, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking, leave a comment/rating down below, and let me know how you liked them! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy baking! ♡

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (Vegan, Whole Grain)

These secretly healthy vegan pumpkin muffins are soft, fluffy & moist, made with whole grains and lightly sweetened for a wholesome breakfast.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240g) pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup (120g) applesauce
  • ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup*
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) molasses**
  • cup (85g) walnut butter**
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp (75ml) soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅔ cups (190g) whole wheat flour**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup add-ins such as pecans, chocolate chips, cranberries optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, walnut butter, vinegar, milk, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and use a spatula to gently fold the flour into the wet ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl for flour. When most of the flour has been mixed in, add your add-ins (if using), and fold a couple more times until just combined and no dry flour is left.
  • Divide batter among muffin cups and bake at 400°F for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake another 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, or freeze for longer storage.

Notes

MOLASSES: If you don’t have molasses, you can replace with more maple syrup.
WALNUT BUTTER: You can easily make your own walnut butter by toasting walnuts at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, then blending in a food processor until smooth. If you don’t have walnuts, you can use almond butter, cashew butter, or another nut/seed butter of your preference. Note the flavor may change slightly depending on what kind of nut/seed butter you use.
FLOUR: Whole wheat flour and white whole wheat flour both work. White whole wheat flour is made from white wheat and produces a slightly softer, lighter muffin. All purpose flour can also be used, but start with 2 tbsp of milk and adjust as needed (whole wheat flour is denser and requires more liquid).

*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!

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