Cranberry & Spelt Pumpkin Muffins (Plant-Based)

Cranberry & Spelt Pumpkin Muffins (Plant-Based)

I’ve always been picky about all things pumpkin. Too often they can taste one-note, overly sweet, and too dense. Enter these Cranberry & Spelt Pumpkin Muffins to break molds and save Thanksgiving mornings! They’re moist but still fluffy – some fluff is a must, in my book – and the cranberries brighten up the richness of the pumpkin. I really like using half spelt flour in these muffins because the flavor is a little deeper and nuttier, but you can use 100% AP flour if you don’t have spelt on hand. Also note that the vegan ingredients this calls for are aquafaba (the liquid that drains off a can of chickpeas) and neutral oil (such as safflower or avocado oil). This recipe makes two dozen muffins, so you can feed everyone who’s gathering for the holidays, or just stash a dozen in your freezer for hibernation mode. 

Cranberry & Spelt Pumpkin Muffins (Plant-Based)

Servings: 2 dozen muffins

Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake time: 22-25 minutes


  • 2 dozen-cup muffin tins (if you just have one, like me, you can bake these one batch at a time. Since the batter is plant-based, it’s ok for it to sit on the counter a little while). 
  • A very large mixing bowl


  • 78 ml plant milk (⅓ cup)
  • 177 ml neutral oil (¾ cup)
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin purée (425g)
  • 159g aquafaba (¾ cup)
  • 320g brown sugar (2 cups)
  • 200g granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 490g flour – half spelt, half AP flour (3.5 cups total)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 200g fresh cranberries (2 cups)
  • Optional: 60g shelled pumpkin seeds (½ cup), for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two dozen-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  • In a very large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients: plant milk (I used coconut), neutral oil (I used safflower), pumpkin purée, aquafaba, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk well until the wet ingredients form a smooth batter. 
  • In a second large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: spelt flour, AP flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ground ginger. Whisk well so that the ingredients are combined evenly (it’s particularly important to make sure the leavening agents are evenly distributed). 
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk just until no lumps remain in the batter – no more! This prevents over-mixing and tough muffins.
  • Add in the cranberries and using a spatula, fold them into the batter until evenly distributed. 
  • Distribute batter among lined muffin tins. Optionally, top each muffin with about a teaspoon of shelled pumpkin seeds for some extra crunch and color. 
  • Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a gentle poke to the top-center of the muffin makes it spring back at you – this means it’s cooked through.

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