Moist and flavorful Vegan Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans. Made with pumpkin pie spices, coconut oil, and tahini. This recipe for pumpkin pecan muffins uses canned pumpkin and can be enjoyed any time of the year.
I love a pumpkin muffin. And I don’t always want to wait for fall! Guess what? You can buy canned pumpkin and make these delicious pumpkin muffins any time of year. I love these moist flavorful muffins along with a cup of coffee in the morning. And they make a great after-school snack for the kiddos!
If you are looking for some other pumpkin sweets, try my Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips or my Apple Pumpkin Bundt Cake. Both winners! And for a fun magical pumpkin beverage, try Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice. It’s so yummy! Check out this post with all the vegan pumpkin recipes – both sweet and savory – from Veggie Fun Kitchen!
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To Make These Vegan Pumpkin Muffins You Will Need:
- organic white and brown sugars
- whole wheat flour
- old fashioned oats
- baking powder
- agar agar powder
- pumpkin pie spice, ground cinnamon, salt
- Medjool dates
- plant milk (I used cashew milk)
- canned pumpkin
- apple cider vinegar
- tahini paste
- coconut oil
- chopped pecans
There are optional toppings. Ingredients for a crumb topping is included in the recipe card. You may also frost. Try my Crazy Good Salted Caramel frosting. (But double it).
The FAQs on the Vegan Pumpkin Muffin with Pecans Recipe:
Make sure you read through the FAQs on this post for some pro tips and to get ideas for the three different topping options.
What is Agar Agar? And do I have to use Agar Agar?
Agar agar – or agar powder is a substance made from seaweed that a lot of vegan cooks use as a substitute for gelatin. I also find it useful to use in my vegan baking. If you choose to not use it, the eggless pumpkin muffin might not hold together as well. If you have questions about agar agar, watch this really informative YouTube video by Hot Thai Kitchen.
What if you don’t have agar agar on hand? Will these muffins still turn out right? They will still taste exactly the same! They will be a little more crumbly though – just like most of the vegan baked recipes you’ll find on the internet. So sub in a Tablespoon of ground flax seed to help your muffins hold together if you do not have agar agar.
These muffins are as small as a cupcake. Can’t I make them as big as a muffin?
Of course! I make my pumpkin muffins cupcake-sized for portion control. They are plenty big enough for a little treat. Feel free to use the larger muffin cups to make yours a bigger size. Be aware though that:
- The nutrition information will be different. The total calories for each muffin will be higher.
- The cooking time will be different. You will probably have to add some time. Add in 2-minute increments.
- This recipe will make fewer than 24 muffins if you make them larger.
What type of pumpkin should be used?
You can cook your own pumpkin if you choose. A 15 ounce can of pumpkin is just short of two cups. I do not cook my own pumpkin but use canned pumpkin. It is important to note: use solid pumpkin or pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie mix.
What are Medjool dates and how do we use them?
- Medjool dates are often used in whole food plant-based cooking to add sweetness to the recipe. This is NOT a whole-food recipe but we use Medjool dates to add in a caramel-like flavor. It will also make these pumpkin muffins super moist. Read more on using Medjool dates and get some awesome recipes!
- Pit and soak your Medjool dates for about 30 minutes in hot water. They will be very mushy when done. Drain the dates before adding to a blender with the plant milk.
What is Tahini Paste and why is it used in this muffin recipe?
Tahini is ground sesame seed paste. It is considered a “whole” food that is minimally processed. Tahini is used in vegan baking to add in a rich flavor when we don’t use eggs and butter. It is also used to make hummus as in my Black Bean Brownie Batter Hummus or my Oil Free Hummus. When you first open the jar it will have some oil on top. This is not added oil but is part of the sesame seed that has separated from the paste- just like when you open a jar of natural peanut butter. Stir it in and then refrigerate. You might need to stir again if the jar sits in your refrigerator for a while.
Three Different Topping Options:
- Top with pecans and leave as is. This is the healthiest option.
- Ice with a frosting of your choice. This is the tastiest option and turns these muffins into vegan pumpkin cupcakes. Try my Crazy Good Salted Caramel Frosting. It’s so good! You’ll want to double the recipe for that though in order to thoroughly cover all of the muffins.
Crumble Topping. The recipe for this (optional) crumble topping is included in the recipe card. I use vegan butter for the topping. It might be good subbing in coconut oil rather than vegan butter.
Of course, you will frost your muffins after they are cooled. If you are topping with pecans or the crumbles, gently press into the tops before baking. You can even mix and match your topping choices!
Things I Found Useful in Making this Recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Muffins (affiliate links):
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans
- 3/4 cup organic brown sugar packed
- 3/4 cup organic white sugar
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup oats old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon agar agar *see note
- 8 medjool dates pitted and soaked
- 1½ cup plant milk I used cashew milk
- 15 ounce canned pumpkin solid pack
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon tahini paste
- 3/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans Optional: more for topping
OPTIONAL Crumb Topping
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup organic white sugar
- 1/4 cup organic brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (or coconut oil) melted
- Pit and soak the dates in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a large mixing bowl, combine together dry ingredients and set aside.
- Put pitted, soaked and drained dates in a high speed blender along with plant milk of choice. Blend for about three minutes on high speed until dates have been fully processed and incorporated into the liquid.
- Pour date/milk mixture into a mixing bowl with the coconut oil, pumpkin, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and tahini. With an electric mixer, mix together for about 2 minutes or until mixed, light and fluffy.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once and with a mixer, fully incorporate. You might need to finish mixing by hand with a large spoon. Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will become tough.
- Fold in the pecans.
- Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Top with optional chopped pecans or optional sugar/crumb topping. Bake at 350° for 24-26 minutes, until top springs back when gently pushing. cool on a rack.
- Top with optional frosting if desired. Link will be in recipe notes.
OPTIONAL Crumb Topping
- Chop pecans and melt vegan butter.
- Stir together chopped pecan, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.
- Incorporate oil till crumbly
- Sprinkle on top of unbaked muffins and bake as per recipe instructions. 350° for 24-26 minutes.
- (affiliate link) agar agar is useful to help bind the muffin together and helps make it soft. I have only found on Amazon (affiliate link above). When I haven't had it in my pantry, I've still made the muffin recipe. It will taste the same but might not hold together quite as well.
- You may cook your own pumpkin if you desire. I use canned pumpkin. Make sure you use what is called "solid pack" or "pumpkin puree" and NOT pumpkin pie mix.
- Make sure to drain the water from the soaked and pitted Medjool dates. Otherwise, your batter will be way too wet.
- Spritz the muffin cups with a little cooking oil or the muffins will stick to the paper or sides of muffin cup.
- (Healthiest option) Sprinkle a few pecans on top before baking.
- Frost the tops with an icing of choice. Try my Crazy Good Salted Caramel Frosting with Medjool Dates. If you make this frosting recipe, you will want to double it.
- Make a crumb topping and sprinkle on top before baking. Ingredients and instructions for optional crumb topping can be found above in the recipe. Please be aware that with nutritional information for this optional topping has not been calculated in the nutrition facts.