These vegan pumpkin muffins are rich, moist, packed with the flavors of pumpkin and fall spices, and topped with a creamy cashew cream cheese frosting.
To say I’m excited about fall would be a bit of an understatement. It’s September, and while I understand that it’s technically summer for another two weeks or so, and although it’s rather warm and hovering around 80% humidity outside, I’m rearing and ready to crank up my oven, pull on my hoodie and start slurping up lattes. I hope you guys are with me.
I’ve seriously been accumulating a list of fall recipes since, like, about the time the first buds started sprouting on the trees in March. It’s probably a good thing I’ve vowed to post every day in September, otherwise I’d never get around to most of of my ideas and they might get lost in the food blog ether.
This particular recipe is one that I never got around to last fall. Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting are a favorite. When I made these I discovered that vegan pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting are an even bigger favorite.
See, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the advantages of vegan baking is in the ingredients you end up using as egg substitutes. Eggs have a very limited role in baking. They leaven and bind. That’s it. They add a bit of fat, but no real flavor. When you swap something out for eggs though, you’ve got a million options that can add flavor, nutrients or both. Case in point: pumpkin. Pumpkin puree works beautifully as an egg substitute in a recipe like this (incidentally, lots of other fruit and veggie purees do as well, in case you’re interested in some experimentation). This is convenient, because pumpkin is the exact flavor we’re going for in this recipe. So, I developed a recipe using more pumpkin than would normally be used in pumpkin muffins. The result: extra pumpkiny vegan pumpkin muffins! Honestly, I had to ask myself why all pumpkin muffin recipes don’t just use pumpkin in place of eggs. These were also extra moist as a result of the pumpkin overload. Can’t complain about that.
Cream cheese frosting has been on my list for a while too. On one hand, cream cheese frosting should be really easy to recreate, as vegan cream cheeses are widely available. I usually prefer to stick with whole food versions of stuff like this. In other words, I’m a cashew girl. I’m finding there’s very little cashews can’t do when in comes to recreating my favorite dairy recipes, and this frosting is no exception.
So, these are delicious. If you’re a fall person like me, you’ll love these. If you’re not a fall person, eat these and you will be.
Can’t get enough vegan pumpkin sweets? Try these!
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour preferably Bob's Red Mill, or sub all purpose
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water 4-8 hours
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- up to 1/4 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line 12 muffin cups with papers.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, milk, oil and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until blended.
- Divide mixture among muffin cups.
- Bake 16-18 minutes, or until tops spring up when touched lightly.
- Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before topping with frosting.
- Place cashews in food processor or blender. Blend to a thick paste, stopping to scrape down bowl occasionally.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla. Blend.
- Add powdered sugar, about 1/3 at a time, and blend.
- Add just a bit of milk at a time and blend, until desired thickness is reached.
This makes a large batch of frosting. If you have a small blending device, you can scale down the batch by as much as half. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend reducing the batch size, as you might not be able to adequately blend the cashews. You can freeze what you don't use.
I used a whole 1/4 cup of milk, which resulted in a drippy, gooey frosting, which is how I like it for muffins. If you want something very thick and rich, you could get away with as little as a splash of milk.