Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins (vegan)

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 28, 2015


I love to transform my favourite recipes into something new. Often, it’s not too far of a stretch to take a solid recipe base and create something different and fresh. Maybe I’m a baking nerd, but I just love the process of calculating measurements, swapping new ingredients for others, figuring out new baking times, and streamlining the method. My goal with recipe writing is to provide as many pertinent details as I can so you feel like I’m in the kitchen with you, but I also try to simplify and condense, too. It gives me great joy to refine and improve a dish and the written recipe itself over multiple trials.

Yup, I’m definitely a baking nerd. There’s no denying it.

My Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Spiced Buttercream is a bit of a legend on this blog. I created the recipe for a blogging competition, Project Food Blog, five years ago (side note: my recipe writing style has clearly changed since then!). Despite being buried in the archives, this loaf has stood the test of time and remains popular during the fall and winter seasons. I’ve had requests for a muffin version – something a bit lighter and more wholesome that could pair with breakfast or an afternoon snack. (Wait a second. The original loaf with frosting doesn’t count as breakfast? I’ve been doing it all wrong.)

Joking aside, it’s a great idea. So maybe it’s a few years late, but I’m not a miracle worker! Ok, maybe I am. I made the original loaf more wholesome by using whole-grain spelt flour rather than all-purpose white flour. Despite using this heavier flour, I was astonished by how light and fluffy the muffins turned out! Spelt flour is incredibly tasty with a lightly sweet and nutty flavour that works so well in a muffin. Actually, I kept saying to Eric that these muffins taste a bit like a spiced bran muffin (in a very good way!). In just 1/4 cup of whole-grain spelt flour you’ll find 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre, too. Look for whole-grain spelt flour in the natural foods or specialty section of grocery stores or you can find it online. Keep in mind that it’s not gluten-free so it won’t work for those with gluten allergies. You’ll also find pumpkin, blackstrap molasses (a great source of iron), pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and more. It’s like a big fall hug. Get ready, because your place is going to smell like a gingerbread house. No joke.


4.9 from 107 reviews

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Vegan, soy-free


Despite using whole-grain spelt flour, pumpkin purée, and molasses, these muffins rise beautifully and they are so light and fluffy! I think you’re going to love them. They are perfectly spiced (not too strong and not too light) and great for fall and winter baking. You won’t believe how incredible these muffins will make your house smell, too. Throw a batch in the oven before company comes over and your entire place will smell like a gingerbread house! This recipe is adapted from a reader-favourite recipe: my Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Spiced Buttercream.

12 large muffins
Prep time
Cook time


For the wet ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water
  • 1 cup (240 g) unsweetened pumpkin purée*
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil**
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (105 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) blackstrap molasses
For the dry ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cups (260 g) whole-grain spelt flour***
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Heaping 1/2 cup (70 g) toasted chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a muffin pan with large paper liners. My favourite brand of liners is “If You Care” brand as they never stick!
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (spelt flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
  4. In the same bowl as the chia mixture, whisk together the wet ingredients (chia mixture, pumpkin purée, oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses) until smooth.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. No patches of flour should remain. Be sure not to overmix the batter as spelt is a delicate flour. The batter will be quite thick.
  6. If using, stir in the chopped walnuts. You can also reserve some for garnish on top, like in the photos.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin liners. They should be about 3/4 full or a bit more. Add any reserved walnuts on top and gently push down (optional).
  8. Bake the muffins for 20 to 24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, and then transfer each muffin onto a cooling rack until completely cool. Serve with homemade almond milk.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 12 large muffins | Calories 220 calories | Total Fat 7 grams
Saturated Fat 0.5 grams | Sodium 200 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 35 grams
Fiber 4 grams | Sugar 16 grams | Protein 4 grams

Nutrition info is based on 12 servings.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.


  • * If your pumpkin purée is a bit grainy, try throwing it into a food processor and processing it until smooth before making this recipe. Or you can beat it with electric beaters. This will simply prevent clumps in the dough.
  • ** If using melted coconut oil, make sure that the rest of the wet ingredients are all at room temperature (do not use refrigerated pumpkin, maple syrup, etc. as they will harden the coconut oil).
  • *** I haven't tried these muffins with any other flour, but I expect that regular all-purpose flour will work (like in the loaf recipe).
  • Make it nut-free: Simply omit the walnuts.


Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin Photography

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

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Patricia February 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm
Recipe Rating:

Amazing!!! I love these muffins-the salted nuts ( I used almonds) give it that salty and sweet combo


Pam February 16, 2016 at 10:00 pm
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I made this recipe,but used Farmer’s Market Sweet Potato Purée (organic) in place of the pumpkin. They turned out AMAZINGLY GOOD! I have since repeated with a double batch. I am almost afraid to make them with the pumpkin because my husband and all of my co-workers rave about the sweet potato version!

Fantastic recipe, Angela!


Ali February 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm
Recipe Rating:

Just made these and just left out the brown sugar entirely… Still so good! I also substitued the walnuts with some pumpkin seeds as we have a nut allergy in the house… although I’m home alone right now and I can’t stop eating them!!!


Amanda March 16, 2016 at 8:26 am

I couldn’t find spelt flour at the store so I ordered it online at www.purebrandsusa.com/#!product-page/cczr/cdc6301b-af04-aa8f-dc66-438925e5302c and made these yesterday and my goodness, they are so delicious! They will definitely be a staple in my household.


Angela Liddon March 17, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Hi Amanda, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the muffins! :)


Alice March 16, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Would like to bake in loaf pan?


Rena March 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Recipe Rating:

Just bought your book yesterday and came on line to see these. AMAZING. I love gingerbread and these totally satisfied. So yummy I am wondering in your new book if there will be calorie, fat, sugar count? Good to knows for portion control. Thank you


Ruthanne April 19, 2016 at 7:23 am
Recipe Rating:

Hi Angela,
I love these pumpkin gingerbread muffins. They are super moist and delicious. Thank You!


Angela Liddon April 19, 2016 at 10:17 am

Thank YOU for the kind comment Ruthanne! I’m happy to hear the muffins are a hit.


Erin April 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm
Recipe Rating:

I only had 3/4 cup of sprouted spelt flour, Angela, so I used that and all-purpose flour to make up the rest. The muffins turned out beautifully! Thank you!


Janeen Zheng April 29, 2016 at 8:43 pm


I just wanted to let you know that I tried making these pumpkin goodies and absolutely loved them! I became vegan about 3 weeks ago in efforts to eat healthier, and the transition has not been easy. Recipes like this have enabled me to make the transition much swifter. Learning how to be vegan has impacted me in both nutrition and personality, as over all I have become happier and more energetic!


Angela Liddon May 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

Janeen, I’m honoured to be a part of your journey! Thanks for sharing your story as I’m sure it’ll inspire many others.


Laura May 14, 2016 at 9:39 am

Angela – I just need to say how great your new style of blogging is! I love the detail and info, plus links and only once a week is so nice. Daily blogs are okay, but waiting for yours is special. Best wishes with #2 “bun”.


Lesley May 19, 2016 at 2:44 pm
Recipe Rating:

Hi Angela,

These muffins are amazing! I made a double batch and instead of spelt flour I used 100% whole wheat flour and they turned out perfectly.


Sara August 31, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Hello! I have ground chia seeds. Will this work the same?


Bronwyn September 9, 2016 at 11:06 am
Recipe Rating:

This is one of my very favorite recipes! Great flavor and texture. Now that fall is on its way, we’re all craving a batch buuuut my oldest has been pronounced celiac. Wondering if anyone has tried a gf flour that was successful, before I empty the cupboards trying. Thanks!


Carolyn Christy September 15, 2016 at 7:01 am

have you ever made our own pumpkin puree? if so how did you make it


Angela Liddon September 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

I have, Carolyn! You can find my tutorial here (or recently added to the app!).


Jennifer October 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Has anyone tried this recipe with rice flour or other gluten-free flours? These recipes looks so yummy and I’d love to get this one to work! Being Vegan and Gluten-Free with a picky toddler is quite a challenge. Thanks!


Jennifer October 23, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Has anyone been able to illuminate the brown sugar with success?


Jennifer Donelson October 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm

All hail the vegan queen!! I just made two batches of these for a bake sale we are having at work on Monday. They are awesome!! Thanks for the recipe. :)


Angela Liddon November 1, 2016 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the lovely comment, Jennifer!! Hope the bake sale went well. :)


Terry Davidson November 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm
Recipe Rating:

These muffins are a big hit in my house. I have to make a double batch…as they don’t last very long. Just like your Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, another one of our favorites (I USE ALMOND BUTTER INSTEAD OF THE PEANUT BUTTER)


Angela Liddon November 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

I’m so glad you enjoy them, Terry!! (And the cookies, too!) :)


Stasia November 21, 2016 at 11:00 am
Recipe Rating:

These were yummy! Thanks for another great recipe!! I tweaked and subbed homemade applesauce for the oil, skipped the brown sugar and liners. They turned out beautifully. Not very sweet, which I liked for breakfast, but next time I’ll try increasing the maple syrup to 1/4 cup.


Angela Liddon November 22, 2016 at 10:00 am

Thanks so much for sharing those recipe tweaks, Stasia! It’s great to know they worked out so well.


Annie November 23, 2016 at 9:02 am
Recipe Rating:

Hi Angela!
I wanted to share that this is my all time favorite muffin! I am guilty of making it through out the year, its taste great in the summer :) Also I never have spelt flour on hand so I use 1 C. oat flour and 2/3 C. all purpose flour. They turn out great! I have used all oat flour and enjoy them but they are more dense. Thanks for an awesome recipe that keeps me coming back for more!!!!
Many Blessings,


Angela Liddon November 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this lovely message, Annie! I’m glad you like the recipe. :)


Lindsay S November 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm
Recipe Rating:

These have such amazing flavor!! Just made them on Thanksgiving morning, topped with coconut whipped cream. My only little hurdle is like some others have said, they didn’t rise much for me and seemed to take way longer to cook through (I had them in almost 30 min. and still a knife wouldn’t come out clean). I followed the recipe except for subbing Arrowhead Mills organic all-purpose GF flour, which usually is a great sub 1 for 1 for any other flour. But they were a little soggy in the middle still while the tops were almost burning. Maybe my baking powder or soda is old?

My ridiculously high texture standards aside, these are Delish! :) Everyone loved them. Many Thanks on Thanksgiving!


Crystal November 29, 2016 at 5:09 am
Recipe Rating:

These muffins were aromatic and moist. All of my omnivore friends couldn’t believe they were vegan!


Sarah December 31, 2016 at 10:54 am
Recipe Rating:

These muffins are great! My non-vegan family love them. I make mine with steamed sweet potato instead of pumpkin and they come out beautiful and moist. I use regular wholemeal flour.


Angela Liddon January 3, 2017 at 10:07 am

I’m so glad to hear they turned out well with sweet potato, Sarah! Thanks for sharing. :)


Eszter January 30, 2017 at 5:56 pm

This became my goto muffin recipe, thank you so much! When I don’t have pumpkin, I add mashed sweet potato instead. Very adaptable recipe!


Cindy March 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm
Recipe Rating:

I cannot count the number of times I’ve been asked to share this recipe over the past 2 years since I first tried it. It is delightful and a hit with everyone with whom I share it! Most definitely my go-to muffin recipe.Thank you so much.


Jane November 8, 2017 at 8:38 am
Recipe Rating:

Love the flavor – like a warm gingerbread cookie straight from the oven. My only suggestion to other bakers is to grind the chia seeds. Every once in awhile I’d get a little unexpected crunch (like sand in your sandwich at the beach) from the chia seeds.


Shannon B. November 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm

I just made these AGAIN because they are absolutely incredible.

I used 1c. whole wheat flour and 2/3 c Teff flour. Increased both the baking soda and baking powders to 1.5 tsp/each (results in extra light/fluffy muffins as opposed to heavy ones).

I use the entire can of pumpkin and add about an extra 1/4tsp pumpkin pie spice.

In addition to the walnuts, I add 1/2 c. raisins.

This is such a fantastic recipe! My sister just asked me to share it with her.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 11, 2017 at 8:37 am

Hey Shannon, Oh I’m so happy you love these muffins so much, and thank you for sharing your modifications. I always love hearing about how others change them up successfully. I think I’m going to need to make these this weekend now!


Sara November 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Hi Angela! Tried so many of your pumpkin recipes this fall and loved them all. This one also looks amazing. However, I may not be able to find blackstrap molasses where I’m living. Could you suggest a substitute please? :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

Hey Sara, You may be able to sub in regular molasses but I haven’t tried it before. Regular molasses is pretty sweet I think, so you’d probably need to reduce the brown sugar a bit. There’s also the option of simply leaving out the molasses all together and seeing if the muffins turn out (I haven’t tried this either). If you try anything out please let me know how it goes!


Vanessa November 13, 2017 at 11:21 am

hi can you tell me what the difference is between using regular molasses and blackstrap molasses in these muffins? I live in spain and I’ve never seen blackstrap here…


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Hey Vanessa, Blackstrap molasses is much less sweet than traditional molasses. If you use regular molasses I might suggest reducing the brown sugar a bit.


KLF November 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm
Recipe Rating:

Great muffins – for both us and our kids!
I swapped the toasted walnuts for chocolate chips and I DO NOT REGRET MY DECISION! They are moist, tasty, light and fluffy. I will freeze half the batch and hope it maintains its deliciousness!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm

LOL!! No one ever regretted a chocolate swap, I agree. Thanks for your review!


Evelyn November 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm
Recipe Rating:

I just made this recipe for the first time and loved it! It was easy, quick and so flavorful. Not super sweet which was much appreciated. I haven’t made anything from your website or cookbooks that hasn’t been a hit. Currently cooking another Oh She Glows recipe, can’t get enough!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 23, 2017 at 7:52 am

Aww thank you so much Evelyn! I appreciate your kind words about my recipes. So glad these were a hit. And you are right, these muffins are lightly sweet.


Kristel Hudtwalcker November 25, 2017 at 12:54 am

Yumi. Made this one too. Replaced the spelt flour for a mix of whole flour and rolled oats. Also reduced a little the sweet. For me the taste amazing. Thank you again. Cheers from Peru xxx


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2017 at 7:26 am

Hey Kristel, So happy this worked with your subs and that you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for sharing.


Stephanie January 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm

This looks amazing! Just wondering if you use light or dark brown sugar?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 3, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Hey Stephanie, Thanks!
To be honest, I use light and dark interchangeably depending on what the grocery store has. I do tend to prefer dark since it has a bit deeper flavour. Both will work though! I hope you enjoy the muffins!


Carrie Nign March 1, 2018 at 9:50 am

These are the most delicious vegan muffins I’ve made since your banana bread muffins! I used all purpose flour, substituted maple syrup for the blackstrap molasses and applesauce for oil. They rise so well and the texture is perfect. Must include the walnuts–they finished the muffins off perfectly!


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 1, 2018 at 11:16 am

I’m so glad you loved them so much Carrie! I love your swaps.


Linda June 22, 2018 at 9:08 am

Has anyone tried these with almond flour?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2018 at 6:28 am

Hey Linda, Since almond flour doesn’t have any gluten or starch they would likely crumble. Maybe a combo of almond flour and a GF all purpose flour may work? I haven’t had much luck with them though. I’d love to hear what you try out.


Mia F September 13, 2018 at 11:25 am

Hi Angela,
I’d like to try this recipe as a bread instead of muffins. Any suggestions on the oven temperature and bake time?
Love your recipes and following your blog.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2018 at 6:20 am

Hi Mia, Oh I’d love to hear how the loaf turns out. Usually sweet breads can take upwards of an hour in the oven at 350F. I would probably start checking it after 40-45 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes thereafter.


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