Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins (vegan)

veganpumpkingingerbreadmuffins

I love to transform my favourite recipes into something new. Often, it’s not too far of a stretch to take a solid recipe base and create something different and fresh. Maybe I’m a baking nerd, but I just love the process of calculating measurements, swapping new ingredients for others, figuring out new baking times, and streamlining the method. My goal with recipe writing is to provide as many pertinent details as I can so you feel like I’m in the kitchen with you, but I also try to simplify and condense, too. It gives me great joy to refine and improve a dish and the written recipe itself over multiple trials.

Yup, I’m definitely a baking nerd. There’s no denying it.

My Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Spiced Buttercream is a bit of a legend on this blog. I created the recipe for a blogging competition, Project Food Blog, five years ago (side note: my recipe writing style has clearly changed since then!). Despite being buried in the archives, this loaf has stood the test of time and remains popular during the fall and winter seasons. I’ve had requests for a muffin version – something a bit lighter and more wholesome that could pair with breakfast or an afternoon snack. (Wait a second. The original loaf with frosting doesn’t count as breakfast? I’ve been doing it all wrong.)

Joking aside, it’s a great idea. So maybe it’s a few years late, but I’m not a miracle worker! Ok, maybe I am. I made the original loaf more wholesome by using whole-grain spelt flour rather than all-purpose white flour. Despite using this heavier flour, I was astonished by how light and fluffy the muffins turned out! Spelt flour is incredibly tasty with a lightly sweet and nutty flavour that works so well in a muffin. Actually, I kept saying to Eric that these muffins taste a bit like a spiced bran muffin (in a very good way!). In just 1/4 cup of whole-grain spelt flour you’ll find 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre, too. Look for whole-grain spelt flour in the natural foods or specialty section of grocery stores or you can find it online. Keep in mind that it’s not gluten-free so it won’t work for those with gluten allergies. You’ll also find pumpkin, blackstrap molasses (a great source of iron), pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and more. It’s like a big fall hug. Get ready, because your place is going to smell like a gingerbread house. No joke.

veganpumpkingingerbreadmuffins2

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Vegan, soy-free

Despite using whole-grain spelt flour, pumpkin puree, and molasses, these muffins rise beautifully and they are so light and fluffy! I think you’re going to love them. They are perfectly spiced (not too strong and not too light) and great for fall and winter baking. You won’t believe how incredible these muffins will make your house smell, too. Throw a batch in the oven before company comes over and your entire place will smell like a gingerbread house! This recipe is adapted from a reader favourite recipe: my Pumpkin Gingerbread loaf with Spiced Buttercream.

Yield
1 dozen
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook time
22 Minutes
Total Time
37 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the wet ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree*
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil**
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
For the dry ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cups whole-grain spelt flour***
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see tips below for link to recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Heaping 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with large paper liners. (this is my favorite brand as they never stick!)
  2. In a mug or small bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (spelt flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth (chia mixture, pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses).
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. No patches of flour should remain. Be sure not to overmix the batter as spelt is a delicate flour.
  6. If using, stir in the chopped walnuts. You can also reserve some for garnish on top, like in the photos.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin liners. They should be about 3/4 full or a bit more. Add any reserved walnuts on top and gently push down (optional).
  8. Bake the muffins for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then transfer each muffin onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

TIPS:

* If your pumpkin puree is a bit grainy, try throwing it into a food processor and processing it until smooth before making this recipe. Or you can beat it with electric beaters. This will simply prevent clumps in the dough.

** If using melted coconut oil, make sure that the rest of the wet ingredients are all at room temperature (do not use refrigerated milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, etc. as they will harden the coconut oil).

***I haven’t tried these muffins with any other flour yet, but I expect that regular all-purpose flour will work (like in the loaf recipe). If you try any different flours please leave a comment with what you used and how it worked out!

Here is the Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix recipe

Make it nut-free: Simply omit the walnuts.

pumpkinspicegingerbreadmuffinsvegan

Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin Photography

Oh She Glows

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