These light, tender vegan strawberry muffins are the perfect muffin for spring. They’re full of juicy, fresh strawberries, and they’re so easy to prepare.
Oh, these muffins.
I made them for the first time about three weeks ago, in a fit of excitement about the beginning of strawberry season. I kept the recipe simple: basically, a vanilla muffin with chopped strawberries folded in and a bit of sparkling sugar on top.
I was expecting to be happy with the recipe—I love both muffins and strawberries, after all—but I wasn’t prepared for how special these would be within their simplicity.
It’s the strawberries. Those juicy pockets of fruit become so sweet upon baking. With their presence, the strawberry muffins don’t need any bells or whistles.
This muffin recipe is all about fresh, seasonal fruit, and it’s better for it.
How to make vegan strawberry muffins
When I wrote about vegan buttermilk earlier this week, I mentioned that a lot of vegan baking recipes don’t actually require egg replacer.
I’ve found this to be especially true when it comes to quick breads: muffins, banana bread, pumpkin bread, and so on. It can also be true when it comes to vegan cake recipes.
This is possible with the right flour (or flours) and leavening agents. Eggs usually provide structure and leavening to baked goods, along with some richness, from fat.
It’s easy to create that same richness with plant-based fats, such as oil, vegan butter, nut or seed butter, or vegan yogurt.
Mimicking the effect of egg on leavening and structure/binding is trickier, yet very possible. Leavening agents, combined with something acidic (like vegan buttermilk), create rise.
Using a flour with gluten preserves structure. So can the right combination of gluten-free flours and starches.
All three of these ingredients—leavening agents, vegan buttermilk, and all-purpose flour—come together to make the vegan strawberry muffins work.
The muffins are light, but they still have structure. The muffin crumb is sturdy enough to support the fresh, diced strawberry pieces, without their collecting at the muffin bottoms.
Vegan strawberry muffin ingredients
Simplicity is the name of the game for this particular muffin recipe. Here’s what you’ll need.
I use unbleached, all-purpose flour for the vegan strawberry muffins, not to mention nearly all of my other baking endeavors. It gives me light, moist, fluffy treats with very consistent results.
If you’ve got your heart set on using a whole grain flour in the recipe, that’s OK. Just be prepared for the muffins to be slightly denser or more dry than they would be otherwise. I recommend white whole wheat flour for the best results.
If you bake gluten-free, I recommend an all-purpose flour and starch blend. This one is my favorite by far.
I use my go-to combination of baking powder and soda in a 2:1 ratio for the strawberry muffins.
And in order to make those muffins rise, I use my vegan buttermilk.
This straightforward mixture of unsweetened, non-dairy milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) contributes some acid to the muffin batter.
In doing that, it sets off a neutralization reaction with the leavening agents, which are bases. That reaction produces tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide, which help the strawberry muffins to rise.
You can read more about how that magic happens in this post!
Melted vegan butter
I use melted butter as the fat source in the muffins. I like the way buttery flavor works in this recipe.
However, you can use a neutral-flavored vegetable oil to make the strawberry muffins, too. Refined avocado oil is my go-to for baking.
The strawberry muffins are sweetened with cane sugar. If you like, you can use coconut sugar as a substitute.
These muffins benefit from just a hint of vanilla flavor. I use vanilla extract, but if you have vanilla powder or syrup instead, that’s fine.
The muffin recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of chopped, fresh strawberries. Typically I tell readers that frozen fruit is a fine substitute for fresh in baking recipes.
For these strawberry muffins, though, I think that it’s important to use fresh fruit. The texture and flavor of chopped, fresh strawberries is key in the recipe.
Sparkling sugar is a shimmering sugar that can be used to very simply decorate muffins, scones, and cookies. It gives them just a tiny bit of irresistable, sugary crust on top.
Each time I mention sparkling sugar, I’m asked where it can be purchased. I really like the sparkling sugar from King Arthur Baking, which you can order from the KAB online shop.
However, you can also find a bunch of sparkling sugar options on Amazon. If you have a local cake decorating store or specialty baking store, you ought to be able to find it there, too. Sometimes sparkling sugar is even easy to locate in the baking section of a big grocery store.
If you don’t have sparkling sugar but you do happen to have demerara sugar in your pantry, you can use the latter instead.
Can I substitute blueberries for strawberries?
If you don’t have fresh strawberries, an alternative option is to use fresh blueberries in their place. Go for the same amount of fruit: 1 1/2 cups.
Meal prep & storage
Homemade muffins are without a doubt one of my favorite sweet breakfast foods for making ahead. I nearly always make a dozen and freeze half.
Homemade muffins make a wonderful, on-the-go light breakfast or sweet snack.
As far as breakfast goes, you could of course pair the strawberry muffins with all sorts of other foods. I like to have them with a cashew or almond yogurt and some additional, fresh strawberries.
You could serve them with some nuts or nut butter, a pat of vegan butter, a smoothie, or a nice, frothy oat milk latte. Or whatever else you might be in the mood for.
Store the muffins in a sealable container or resealable bag at room temperature for up to 2 days or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Room temperature storage will keep the muffins moist—fridge storage tends to dry out baked goods—but keeping them in the fridge will extend their freshness.
Can I freeze vegan strawberry muffins?
Definitely. The strawberry muffins can be wrapped or transferred to an airtight container and frozen, individually or in batches, for up to 6 weeks.
More treats for strawberry season
If reading this post makes you excited to bake, then you might enjoy these additional ways to savor fresh, juicy spring and summer strawberries:
- Easy vegan strawberry shortcake
- Strawberry pumpkin waffles
- Strawberry rhubarb crumble bars
- The best vegan strawberry scones
- Strawberry ginger chia pudding
- Vegan strawberry French toast casserole
- Chocolate strawberry quinoa breakfast bowls
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (240g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 T lemon juice, allowed to sit and mingle for 5 minutes or longer; 240mL)
- 6 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (85g)
- 3/4 cup cane sugar (145g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups diced, fresh strawberries (205g)
- 1/4 cup sparkling sugar (optional, for topping; substitute demerara sugar)
- Preheat your oven to 350F and oil or line a muffin baking pan with liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In another, medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, cane sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet mixture. Use a spatula to fold the ingredients together, until you have a batter and no visible streaks of flours remain in the bowl. It's OK if the batter has small lumps—don't over-mix!
- Set aside 1/4 cup of the diced strawberries. Fold the rest of the strawberries into the batter gently, until they're just distributed.
- Use a muffin scoop or 1/2 cup measure to fill the muffin pan (each muffin container should be about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way full). Dot the tops of the muffins with the remaining strawberry pieces. Sprinkle each top with 1 teaspoon sparkling sugar, if using.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are puffy, set, and turning golden at their edges. As soon as the muffins are cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool for 10-15 more minutes before enjoying.
I’ve made the strawberry muffins four times (!) since I first made them left than one month ago.
I’ve now shared them with yoga friends, gifted them to a friend on Mother’s Day, and enjoyed a batch all to myself. I’m happy to say that I still have some in my freezer.
I hope you’ll like them as much as I do. Here’s to spring.