These soft & tender vegan pumpkin muffins are made in one bowl in just 30 minutes! They are filled with warming fall spices, simple ingredients, and delicious pumpkin flavor.
Although I love making pumpkin mug cakes when I'm short on time or energy, there's something that's hard to beat about a fresh batch of vegan pumpkin muffins just out of the oven.
These muffins are tender, filled with pumpkin spice flavor, and super easy to make. Muffins are one of my favorite things to veganize, because they are the perfect cross between breakfast, dessert, and snack and they are really easy to make.
Like most of my vegan desserts, the goal is to make a dairy-free/egg-free version of classic baked goods. That means we are using mostly traditional baking ingredients, with no shortcuts to make the muffins healthier!
If you like my vegan pumpkin pudding and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies then you are sure to love these muffins!
- Dietary features: vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), vegetarian, nut-free, and soy-free optional
- Quick & easy: These pumpkin muffins come together in one bowl in just 30 minutes.
- Made using classic baking ingredients, just without the eggs or dairy.
- These muffins freeze well and are great as a grab-and-go snack or breakfast.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pumpkin puree: Arguably the most important ingredient in pumpkin muffins. Choose a can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling!
- Pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg: Pumpkin pie spice is a mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. It's worth having on hand for other baked goods like pumpkin oatmeal or pumpkin pie.
- Non-dairy milk: Unsweetened, unflavored soy milk is my go-to in baked goods. Almond, oat, rice and most other non-dairy milks also work.
- Light brown sugar: If you prefer a less sweet muffin I recommend decreasing the light brown sugar instead of the maple syrup. Light brown sugar can be replaced with regular sugar as needed. Some sugar isn't vegan, so double check the label or choose organic to be sure.
- Maple syrup: This adds extra fall flavor. Swap with agave or other liquid sweeteners as needed.
- Olive oil: Choose a light olive oil. Canola oil will also work. I have not tested an oil-free version of this recipe. Yes, melted vegan butter works in place of oil for a richer muffin.
- Baking powder and baking soda: Both are important for leavening, meaning that they make the muffins fluffy!
How to make pumpkin muffins
- Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combine. I usually use a large wooden spoon for this step.
- Add the wet ingredients directly to the dry ingredients. Stir until the muffin batter is just combined, careful not to overmix. The batter will have a thick, scoopable consistency.
- Add the muffin batter to 9 muffin tins, using about ¼ cup of batter per tin. You can lightly spray the muffin tins with cooking oil or use muffin liners.
- Bake the muffins at 350F for 18-20 minutes. The muffins are ready when the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Muffin making tips
- Muffin size: This recipe makes 9 medium-sized pumpkin muffins. You can make 11-12 muffins if you really want to fill all of the muffin tins, but they'll be a little smaller. Bake smaller muffins for 16-18 minutes.
- Batter consistency: The muffin batter should be thick enough that it is scoopable. If needed, add 1 tablespoon milk at a time to thin it or 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour at a time to thicken it.
- Don't over stir muffin batter! This affects leavening and can result in denser, less fluffy muffins. Instead, stir the muffin batter until the dry ingredients are just combined.
- Don't overfill the muffin tins. They should be about ⅔ full, otherwise the muffins will overflow as they bake.
- Spoon and level flour: For the most consistent results, measure flour using the "spoon and level" method. To do this, use a spoon to measure flour into the measuring cup. Then use the flat side of a knife to wipe off excess flour. Do not pack the flour into the cup.
- To make mini muffins, cut the bake time in half to 9-11 minutes.
- Add-ins: Add toasted walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips as desired. To toast walnuts, simply add ½ cup coarsely chopped raw nuts to a small sheet pan and toast for 4-5 minutes in a 400F oven. Once toasted, fold the nuts into the muffin batter.
- Gluten-free option: I have not tested this recipe with a gluten-free flour. If you wish to try, I recommend using an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix like Bob's Red Mill brand.
Leftovers: For best quality, store in a closed container for 3-4 days at room temperature. Refrigerating muffins dries them out.
Freezing: Pumpkin muffins freeze very well. Let cool to room temp before transferring to a freezer-safe container. You can also freeze them in a sealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let thaw at room temp or just pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.
Can I use this recipe for pumpkin bread?
I'm including this here because I've been asked, but I actually haven't tried converting these muffins into pumpkin bread.
I have had success turning my vegan zucchini bread into zucchini muffins, so I think it should work. But I can't promise it will turn out!
I'll make sure to update this section when I try this. Until then, please let us know if you try it out!
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Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
- 2 cups all purpose flour see note #1
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- ⅔ cups soy milk see note #2
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners.
- Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl (all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg).
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (pumpkin puree, soy milk, light brown sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, vanilla extract). Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. It's okay if there are a few small lumps remaining in the batter.
- Fill 9 muffin tins until almost full, about ¼ cup batter per tin. Place the muffins on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Gently turn the muffins out onto a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!
- Flour: I recommend using the "spoon and level" method for measuring your flour. Simply use a spoon to add flour to your cup measure until overflowing, then use the back of a knife to level off the excess flour. Don't shake the measuring cup or press down on the flour to fill it full.
- Milk: I like using unsweetened, unflavored soy milk in my baked goods but almond, oat, or any other similar non-dairy milk will work.
- Add-ins: Optional add-ins include pecans, walnuts, and mini dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Leftovers are best within 3-4 days. Store at room temperature in a closed container. Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Did you make this recipe?
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I made them according to the recipe and they are delicious! I was so glad to find a vegan muffin recipe that uses pantry staples. Thank you!
Thanks for the review, I'm so glad to hear that you liked them!
Can you use while wheat flour? Also, can better be named in a pan to make bars instead?
You can use all white or all wheat flour. Wheat will be a bit denser but still good! And I haven’t tried this in a pan but I think it might work if you’re going for a cake texture instead of bars. Would love to hear if you try it!
... I should also mention I only used a little handful or so of coconut sugar, rather than the 1/2 cup light brown (that’s what I had on hand) 🙂
This recipe turned out very delicious and so easy to quickly throw together.
I used about 1 and a 1/2 cups millet flour; threw in a small handful of ground flax meal and pumpkin seeds. I got 10 nice sized, fluffy muffins from it. These are great for breakfast, snack or even dessert. Was thinking of making a little icing to top for a sweet treat after dinner 🎃
Yum, I bet icing on the top would be delicious! Thanks so much for the review!
Would this work with oat and or almond flour?
Hi! I don’t think almond flour will work but oat flour should. They might be a bit more dense. I can’t say for sure since I haven’t tested it myself but let me know if you give it a try! Another gluten-free option is to use a gluten free all purpose flour blend like the kind by Bob’s Red Mill.
Would apple sauce work instead of oil??
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
It might work, but since I haven’t tried it out myself I can’t say for sure. The texture may end up different but I think it would add a nice flavor. Let me know if you give it a go!
I replaced the oil with apple sauce. Let's call it a pumpkin gummy bear. Also, I used cupcake liners, that was a flop too. Lessoned learned.
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
Thanks for reporting back but I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out!
can i use olive oil instead of canola oil? i am going to make all of your vegan stuff... looks soo yummy!
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
Yes, olive oil should work. Thank you! Let me know how it goes.