No other flavor quite suits the autumn season in New England as much as pumpkin. August starts to wind down, the air starts to get crisp, and leaves hint that change is around the corner. This is when many of us find ourselves yearning for the comfort of fall flavors, none quite as popular as the infamous pumpkin spice. I begin cooking up all sorts of pumpkin treats; pumpkin bread pudding, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin coffee. But none of these delicious fall favorites are quite as popular with my family as these dairy-free pumpkin muffins.
These muffins are just simply delicious. They're bursting with the warmness of fall spices, a wealth of pumpkin flavor, and the sweet hint of real maple syrup. The crumb is soft and moist, with a cake-like texture that makes for the perfect muffin.
To make the muffins you only need a few minutes of preparation, one bowl, and a handful of pantry staples. The recipe can make either 30 muffins, or 12 muffins and a loaf of pumpkin bread. This is great if you like to prep ahead or batch cook, and they freeze beautifully. My son loves to have muffins for school snacks, so I usually bake up the 30 muffins and freeze half. They're great to have on hand in a pinch.
The Flour (and gluten-free options)
I've made these muffins successfully with both whole wheat and white all-purpose flour. Both options produce a delicious muffin, but I prefer the results from the white flour. It makes for a lighter, more tender texture, where the whole wheat flour results in a healthier but more dense muffin. If you need to make these gluten-free, I recommend the gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour from Bob's Red Mill. Just be sure your gluten-free option contains xanthan gum, or you won't get the right result.
Be sure you're using 100% pure pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling. If you aren't sure, the ingredient list should only contain pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling contains spices and sugar, which will result in a muffin that is over seasoned and much too sweet.
This recipe will make 30 muffins or 12 muffins and a pumpkin loaf. The muffins will take about 25-30 minutes to bake, and about 50-60 minutes for the bread loaf. These are a great addition to your holiday table, and you can use a pretty loaf pan to give it a more elegant look. I've had my eye on this pumpkin loaf pan from Nordic Ware, but I can't quite justify using space in my small kitchen for something I'll use only a few weeks a year. So, this time around I used my wildflower pan. Clearly, I didn't do a proper job of getting my batter into all of the nooks and crannies of my pan for this loaf, but it's pretty nonetheless.
These freeze wonderfully in both muffin and loaf form. They keep in the freezer for two to three months, and thankfully this won't compromise that delightful moist crumb. Once thawed, I transfer my muffins or loaf to a different container to avoid any additional moisture that may have accumulated in my freezer bag. This will help the muffins last longer and discourage an environment for mold growth.
Dairy Free Pumpkin Muffins
- 3 cups white all-purpose flour whole wheat or gluten free 1-to-1 works too
- 1 ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup real maple syrup
- 15 ounces 100% pumpkin puree
- 4 medium eggs
- ½ cup avocado oil coconut oil or canola also works
- ½ cup water or dairy free milk of choice
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare your muffin tins.
- In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk together all of your wet ingredients until well combined. Slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet, stirring in a little at a time. Mix well just until moistened and no longer lumpy. Fill each of your muffin cups ¾ full with batter.
- Bake the muffins for about 25 or 30 minutes. For the loaf, baking will take about 50 minutes to one hour.