Muffins are always a delightful treat in the morning, but lately I’ve been turning them into a treasured mid-afternoon snack–especially when I’m on campus between classes. I think I ate so many dried fruit/nut bars as a post-bacc student (Pure Bars, I’m lookin’ at you) that I got a little weary of them. I still like to make them at home (my lemon kissed cashew hemp bars are a favorite), but I’ve also been branching out into other snacks that can satisfy a sweet craving and be easily transported. These vegan, gluten free pumpkin muffins fit the bill, and they happen to be a perfectly seasonal treat for fall.
We’ve all had pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins before, and for the most part, these are a fairly traditional spin on that recipe. What I love about them, though, is the addition of blackstrap molasses, which turns them into a pumpkin and gingerbread hybrid of sorts. It adds a beautiful, deep color, both before and after baking, and it also adds an unmistakable flavor and rich sweetness to the muffins. Coupled with the cinnamon and cloves, it screams all things autumn.
The texture of these muffins isn’t bad either: check out that perfectly moist crumb! For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour, which is my go-to. Other varieties should work, though there can always be some differences in texture based on the brand you pick, so I’d recommend using Bob’s or a brand that you’ve had consistent and successful results with. Whole wheat pastry flour will also work perfectly, and spelt flour will add a very nice, earthy flavor. Here’s the recipe.
Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Spice Muffins
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup almond or soy milk
- 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 12-muffin baking sheet with liners, or lightly oil and flour the muffin cups.
- Mix the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, raisins, and walnuts together in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and almond or soy milk till frothy. Whisk in the pumpkin, molasses, and oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well.
- Pour the batter into liners by the heaping 1/3 cup and bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin emerges clean. Allow the muffins to cool, and dig in!
If you’d like to make this recipe your own, try folding in different nuts or seeds or dried fruit (in place of raisins, for example, chopped dates or dried cranberries; in place of walnuts, pumpkin seeds). I love to top these with a little apple or pumpkin butter, jam, almond or cashew butter, or–for a traditional treat–some Earth Balance or homemade vegan buttery spread (there’s a great recipe in Lisa and Nicole’s new book, DIY Vegan!).
A basket of these muffins would be a lovely contribution to any Thanksgiving spread! You could also use them for holiday gifting, or whisk together the dry ingredients and include a card with wet ingredient and cooking instructions as a DIY present. Whether you do that or simply choose to keep them around as a tasty snack, I hope you enjoy them.
Before I go, a quick head’s up that the Spright vegan class sold out in a flash this past Sunday! I’m thrilled that there was so much interest, and so far, the class experience is a total blast. I’ll be leading again in December, and once again, the class will be 100% free, so I’ll keep you guys posted on signup dates. Hope to see many of you in future classes!