Perfectly spiced vegan gluten-free pumpkin muffins are ideal to make during the fall or any time of year! They’re soft, fluffy, and filled with warm, cozy flavour, plus, they’re egg-free and dairy-free.
They’re quick and easy to make and if you prefer to use something other than chocolate chips, like nuts, seeds, or dried fruits, you can!
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This recipe was inspired by my friend Christa's mom who would always bake pumpkin spice muffins and other treats. I remember being so excited when I'd go over after school and she had just baked a fresh batch.
Those muffins were AMAZING, and obviously memorable since I still remember them after all these years. They were spiced perfectly, they were loaded with chocolate chips, and they were my favourite thing to eat when I visited their home.
Over the years, I tried many times to re-create them and I've hit the mark with these vegan gluten-free pumpkin muffins.
The major difference between these and the pumpkin spice muffins from my high school days is that these are vegan and gluten-free. But you wouldn't even know it.
They're fluffy, flavourful, perfectly spiced, and so good, you'll want to make them ALL THE TIME! It's not just a fall recipe!
Before you read all you need to know about making this recipe, if you're a pumpkin fan and you love pumpkin recipes, (like pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, and pumpkin pudding!) then you'll want to check out these other vegan gluten-free pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Bread
- Vegan Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats
- Pumpkin Spice Waffles
- Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Ingredients You'll Need
Like all of my other vegan gluten-free muffin recipes, this one also calls for simple ingredients.
I always recommend sticking with the recipe the way it's written for the best results, especially with vegan gluten-free baking, but below you will find info about each ingredient and what you can and cannot substitute.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Gluten-Free Flour Blend – I have only used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (the one in the RED bag without xanthan gum) to make this recipe, I have not tried any others.
It’s extremely important to always use the same flour the recipe calls for to get the expected results (not just this recipe, but any vegan gluten-free recipe you are following!) If you don't need this recipe to be gluten-free, you can make them just vegan pumpkin muffins by using regular flour, see the recipe notes below.
NOTE: When baking, measuring your flour accurately is so important to get the best results. Check out my article about how to measure flour correctly before you start.
Pumpkin Purée - Use unsweetened pure pumpkin purée for this recipe, NOT pumpkin pie filling. You can use canned purée or you can make homemade pumpkin purée. If you do not have access to pumpkin, you can use a different puréed squash, like butternut squash or you can make my vegan sweet potato muffins instead, which are similar to these.
Sugar – I use coconut sugar in these muffins, but brown sugar can be used instead. I have not tried making this recipe with liquid sweeteners (like pure maple syrup or agave) or sugar alternatives, so I am unsure how they would work.
Not all sugar is vegan, some are processed using animal bone char, so to be sure that yours is, buy an organic brand (organic sugar is not processed using bone char) or one that is labelled as vegan.
Oil - This recipe is made without butter, instead, I use melted coconut oil, but any neutral-flavoured oil, like safflower, or sunflower can be used instead. If you use coconut oil, make sure that your other ingredients are at room temperature so it does not solidify when added to the recipe. I have not tried to make this recipe oil-free; the combination of the oil and pumpkin helps to give the muffins an extra soft and moist texture.
Flax Eggs – Since this recipe is made without eggs, flax eggs are used as a replacement. Chia eggs will work as well if you cannot have flax.
Spices – A mix of three spices is used to give the muffins their warm fall flavours, so they cannot be left out but if you have pre-blended pumpkin pie spice, you can use that instead. See the recipe notes if using pumpkin pie spice.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda - Make sure these ingredients are both fresh, they’re both very important for the muffins to rise properly and have a perfect texture.
Salt and Vanilla Extract - Just a little of each is needed to enhance the flavour of the muffins.
Chocolate Chips - Use your favourite vegan chocolate chips, I always use vegan semi-sweet / dark chocolate chips. If you don't want to use chocolate chips, you can use chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Not sure which chocolate chip brands are vegan? Read my article "Are Chocolate Chips Vegan" to find a comprehensive list of vegan brands to look for at your grocery store.
How to Make Them
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
2. Mix the wet ingredients.
3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix them into a batter.
4. Add the chocolate chips (if using) to the batter.
5. Stir the chocolate chips in.
6. Divide the muffin batter into your prepared muffin pan. You can use either a spoon or an ice cream scoop to do this. I like using a scoop because it’s quicker and easier to divide the batter, this is the scoop I’m using in the picture below.
8. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them sit in the pan for a few minutes before removing them and placing them on a cooling rack.
Storing Leftovers and Freezing
These muffins will keep for up to four days at room temperature, in an airtight container. They are best the day of and the day after they were baked. They will begin to dry out the longer they sit.
To freeze, once they have thoroughly cooled, wrap them tightly so they're airtight, place them in a container or freezer bag, and freeze.
They will keep in the freezer for up to two months. When you're ready to serve, thaw at room temperature. You can even take it a step further and warm them up in a toaster oven or microwave.
Want more muffins? Be sure to look through this list to see all of my vegan gluten-free muffin recipes!
What's the Texture Like
If this is the first time you're making a vegan gluten-free recipe, you may have heard that they're not great, that they're always dry, taste strange, or that they fall apart. That's not the case with these muffins.
This recipe, like all of my others, has been tested extensively and made by many of my readers (take a look through the comments below!).
They have a fluffy texture that's soft and moist, exactly how a muffin should be!
But to get this texture, you must follow the recipe exactly as it’s written. If you make any substitutions or changes to the recipe in any way, you risk your muffins not turning out as they should.
Tips for Success
- Use the same flour I use. Baking vegan gluten-free can be tricky because different flours produce different results. I know this particular flour works perfectly for this recipe, so to duplicate that perfection, please use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (in the RED bag!).
- Measure and have all your ingredients ready to go before starting. This will make the process run smoothly, quickly, and easily. Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Measure your ingredients correctly. I highly recommend using a scale (this is one I own and love) and my weight measurements when making this recipe. If you don’t have a scale, lightly spoon the flour into your measuring cup until it is overflowing and then drag the flat edge of a butter knife across the top to level it off. (NEVER dunk the measuring cup into the flour to fill your measuring cup because this will guarantee an incorrect measurement of up to 1.5x more flour and a recipe fail.) Learn more about how to measure flour correctly.
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. These are important ingredients that make the muffins rise and become fluffy. If they are not fresh, your muffins will turn out dense and gummy.
- Don’t over-bake. If over-baked, you’ll end up with dry, crumbly muffins.
- Read this post from top to bottom before you start. I’ve included many tips and tricks to get things right. Also read through the actual recipe before getting started.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results.
Yes. Pure pumpkin and pumpkin purée are the same. They are simply pumpkin that has been cooked and then blended until smooth with no added ingredients. The only ingredient on the label should be pumpkin.
Pumpkin pie filling is NOT the same as pure pumpkin and pumpkin purée. It has added ingredients like sugar and spices and should only be used when baking a pumpkin pie or a dessert that calls for pumpkin pie filling. When baking, pure pumpkin or pumpkin purée is usually what is called for so you have full control over the flavours and level of sweetness, only use pumpkin pie filling if the recipe calls for it.
No, this recipe does not transform well into vegan pumpkin bread. If you'd like to make pumpkin bread, follow my recipe for Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
If You Make This Recipe
Please tell me how your delicious pumpkin spice muffins turned out! Leave me a star rating and comment below or you can post a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see them. I’m @delightfuladventures on Instagram.
If You Like This Recipe
You may also like these other vegan gluten-free muffin recipes:
- Sweet Potato Muffins
- Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
- Applesauce Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins
- Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Double Chocolate Muffins
- Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 ¾ cups (245g) gluten free flour blend (see important notes about flour below)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (see note about spices below)
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup (240g) unsweetened pumpkin puree (see note below)
- ¾ cup (113g) coconut sugar
- ½ cup (120ml) melted coconut oil (plus extra for greasing muffin pan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup (135g) chocolate chips (raisins, nuts, or seeds can be used instead, see note below)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177° C).
- Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- Line a muffin pan with liners or generously grease the inside of each cup with coconut oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
- In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and flax eggs together. Stir until blended.
- Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Using a spoon or a large scoop, divide batter into the 12 muffin cups.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the largest muffin comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes and then remove and place them on a cooling rack.
- Please read all of the info above and below before making this recipe.
- It's important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results will always vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of flour to make this recipe (other than Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Amazon link) in the red bag, NOT the blue bag), so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if substitute with another gluten-free flour blend.
- I've tested this recipe with all-purpose flour and it works great, so if you aren't gluten-free, you can use regular flour (1 ¾ cups /219g) as a substitute for the gluten-free flour.
- This recipe will NOT work with coconut flour or any other single gluten-free flour (like oat flour, almond flour, cassava flour etc.), it must be a blend, the one mentioned above for the best results.
- Make sure to measure your flour correctly.
- If you do not have the three separate spices needed for this recipe, replace them with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
- Any type of neutral-flavoured oil can be used in place of coconut oil, such as safflower or sunflower.
- Brown sugar may be used instead of coconut sugar.
- These muffins will keep for up to four days at room temperature, in an airtight container. They are best the day of and the day after they are baked. They will begin to dry out the longer they sit.
- To freeze, once they have fully cooled, wrap them up tightly so they're airtight, place them in a container or freezer bag, and freeze. They will keep in the freezer for up to two months. When you're ready to serve, thaw at room temperature.
- Make your own pumpkin puree instead of buying the canned stuff. Click here to see how easy it is and how to do it yourself.
- Nutrition info is based on one muffin made with chocolate chips and using the recipes as written. Nutrition info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.
This post was originally published January 5, 2015, images were updated September 2017. The post was updated again in October 2022 with new images and to add more helpful info. These are the old images: