I’ve been baking for a long time, and was truly obsessed for awhile. It started innocently enough… and then became a full-blown life project! And finally I have this versatile and delicious recipe for the best vegan muffins to show for it.
When I started baking I used packaged muffin mixes. Then I started reading food blogs and branched out into a few simple homemade recipes. Then I started baking in earnest for my housemates (and as a distraction from thesis writing during graduate school), trying new flours and new flavors everyday. I lived in a big shared house and would bake bread, muffins, scones, cookies, and other goodies to feed a house full of hungry taste-testers. At one point I counted about 12 different flours in my pantry!
And then a few years ago, I just stopped. I’m unclear really why – maybe I just outgrew my need to practice baking? Perhaps I just stopped craving all the sweet things all the time? Perhaps it was because I started cooking more, and spent my time working with veggies instead of flours. And so now, I bake very rarely, and when I do, it’s usually a few standard items like my small-batch cookies or a classic vegan chocolate cake for a special occasion.
But this past Autumn was really chilly here on our little island, and with the chill (and the impending Thanksgiving holiday), I got swept up in a muffin making bender. And it was so good to break out the muffin pans, dig out my old recipes with handwritten notes, and get floury again. I went back to my printed recipes that I’ve been using for years – they are messy, torn, covered in oil, and filled with notes.
The vegan muffin recipe below is my favorite recipe because it is totally universal: I have used banana, pumpkin, or sweet potato, and you can add whatever spices you like or cocoa powder, and it’s always delicious. These muffins freeze really well too. Simply bake as normal, let cool, then package in an airtight container for muffins on the go. The crumble topping is optional, but really delicious. And it makes the muffins super cute!
The Perfect Vegan Muffin Recipe
2 cups whole spelt flour (can also use all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour, or a combination)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup plant-based milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup mashed bananas (or pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree)
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar, sucanat, brown sugar, or turbinado sugar
½ cup mix-ins (coconut shreds, raisins, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, etc)
For the topping:
¼ cup flour of choice (see above)
¼ cup sugar of choice (see above)
2 Tablespoons rolled oats
2 Tablespoons of crunchy topping, like coconut shreds or pumpkin seeds
pinch sea salt
1-2 Tablespoons oil used above
- If using the Topping, make this first. Toss together all topping ingredients and press together with your fingers to make a crumbly but somewhat dry mix.
- Preheat your oven to 350º and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners, or grease with a little extra coconut oil.
- Dry ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- Wet ingredients: In another large bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar. Let stand one minute to curdle.
- To the milk/vinegar mixture, add bananas/pumpkin/sweet potato, oil, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet, and fold together gently until no dry spots remain. Stir in mix-ins if using.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, then top with crumble mixture. Alternative: divide into 10 muffins only, so that they come out bigger and look extra cute (like in the photos here). Fill empty muffin holes with a few Tablespoons of water to distribute heat evenly during baking.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from oven, let cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes, then move to baking racks to cool fully.
- Serve warm, with vegan butter and a little drizzle of maple syrup.
Other notes: Coconut sugar is my preferred sweetener generally, but it’s much less sweet than turbinado or sucanat. Choose your sugar based on our sweetness preferences. If you wanted to make these chocolate muffins, add ¼ cup cocoa powder and stir in ¼ cup of mini chocolate chips; to make sweet potato zucchini muffins, use the sweet potato puree option and stir in ¼ cup shredded coconut and ⅓ cup shredded zucchini.