I taught a vegan baking class at Ovenly last week, which was a lot of fun. We made brownies and muffins (these ones). The former were of course richer and more decadent and in many ways the star of the class. But at the end of the night, when I was on my way home, it was the muffin I reached for as a late evening snack, and then reached for again the following morning.
I love muffins. There are more elaborate and exciting baking projects, for sure, but there’s nothing like a good muffin. They can be breakfast, snack, or dessert, they’re low-key and easy to make, and there’s never an end to the combinations and possibilities of a fresh batch. I look forward to the start baking season (i.e. autumn) every year, and muffins are often the first thing I make.
This weekend, I decided to celebrate baking season and pumpkin season simultaneously with these vegan pumpkin cranberry walnut muffins.
It was a spontaneous baking urge to make them, and I didn’t plan to post them this week, but they’re too good not to share. They’re tender, sweet, spiced, and they scream “fall.” Here’s the recipe.
- 2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (such as grapeseed, safflower, or melted coconut)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly oil or line a muffin baking sheet with liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
In another mixing bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk them together. Add the pumpkin purée, oil, and sugar. Mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk together till the batter is well-mixed, but a few small clumps are OK. Add the cranberries and walnuts to the batter and use a spatula to fold them into the batter.
Use a muffin scoop or a 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the muffin tin with the batter. Transfer the muffins to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are risen and firm, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin emerges clean.
Allow the muffins to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool for another 15 minutes. Enjoy.
The only downside of muffins, at least as a breakfast option, is that they rarely fill me up unless I have two, pair one with fruit, or slather one with almond or peanut butter. You could do any of that with this batch. You could also enjoy them as an afternoon snack with a glass of tea or non-dairy milk. I’ve had them in my home for a few days, and I’ve savored them in all of those ways.
If you’re dying to make these and have different nuts or dried fruit at home—raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, dates, or whatnot—you can definitely make substitutions as needed.
It was a surprisingly warm weekend, but the baking ritual still felt really good: a culinary welcome to the change of seasons. Hope you’ll enjoy these sweet treats as much as I have. And before I go, a big thank you all for the supportive and generous words on becoming an RD. I’m grateful and looking forward to what’s next!