I’m not a vegan, but I’m very interested in eating less meat and animal products, for ethical, environmental, and humanitarian reasons. As I strive to eat more and more meat free meals each week, I’ve been perusing vegan cooking blogs and have been inspired to try my hand at vegan baking. I’ll probably never end up a vegan, but I can see myself going mostly vegetarian– I’ll never give up eggs or dairy completely, though. (Seriously, there is almost nothing in life that isn’t improved by cheese.)
This weekend, I decided to give the whole vegan baking thing a go, and I started with pumpkin muffins. True fact: there are a few things I hoard like the apocalypse is coming. It’s not anything practical, like toilet paper or something– no, I hoard butter, which I buy every time I go to the store, and canned pumpkin. You may remember a few years ago when there was a canned pumpkin shortage? Anyway, at that time, I wanted to make something pumpkin-y, but there was no pumpkin to be had. When I finally got my hands on a can of pumpkin, I held it to the sky like Scarlett O’Hara with her turnip and swore that as God is my witness, I’d never go without pumpkin again. Look in my pantry and you’ll find probably six cans of the stuff. I like pumpkin, and, though many think of it as just an October/November treat, I enjoy it as long as the weather is cold.
I looked at a few different pumpkin muffin recipes, and this is what I cobbled together.
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
(This recipe was supposed to make 24 muffins. Mine made more like 28. Magic!)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin (Make sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup soy milk (almond milk would work too)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
+ a few tablespoons sugar and a bit of cinnamon (I used 3 T sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon) for sprinkling on top of the muffins
Feel free to fold 2 cups of chopped nuts into the finished batter if you’d like.
Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and maple syrup together in a smaller bowl. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full with the batter, then sprinkle each with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Verdict: These muffins have great flavor, and I’d totally make them again. I took them to church on Sunday, and everyone loved them. They were a particular hit with the kids, even my friends’ kids who are extremely picky. My only complaint is that they’re a little denser than non-vegan muffins. If I decide to fiddle around with the recipe some more, I might add a little baking soda to see if I can get more fluffiness.