Pumpkin Vegan Cornbread Muffins (Perfect with Chili)

By Alexandra Caspero on November 9, 2018
Incredibly moist cornbread muffins! We love these most with a big bowl of chili.
Makes 12 muffins

 These pumpkin vegan cornbread muffins are perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! A must-make.

Vegan cornbread muffins with a secret ingredient– pumpkin! That’s right. Added canned pumpkin makes these cornbread muffins incredibly moist without any eggs or butter. 

Have you started thinking about your Thanksgiving menu yet?

We typically make the drive up to Wisconsin for the big holiday every year. Which is nice because I get to bring a few of my favorite treats up with us without having to stress about making the whole meal myself. 

If you’re looking for something to bring I’ve been enjoying these vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins this past week and I think they’d make the perfect appearance for your Fall table!

vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins

Ingredients for pumpkin vegan cornbread muffins

Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious homemade corn muffins.

  • Non-dairy milk; I prefer a unsweetened oat milk but any dairy-free milk, like soy milk or almond milk, will work
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pumpkin puree 
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil, canola oil or other neutral oil. Melted vegan butter will also work, though the oil makes these muffins incredibly moist. 
  • Yellow Cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour; you can also sub whole wheat flour, though the muffins will be more dense. If you prefer a whole-grain flour, then I recommend using whole wheat pastry flour for best results. For a gluten-free version, I recommend using oat flour or a gluten-free flour blend. Other gluten-free flours, like almond, will not work. 
  • Baking powder
  • Spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt

The combo of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg give these a classic pumpkin taste, so if you don’t want them to taste like pumpkin, then just omit the spices. For a savory muffin, omit the sweeter spices and add in smoked paprika, cumin and/or chili powder instead. 

Think of the pumpkin like applesauce in other muffin recipes; it adds in much needed moisture to the cornmeal and the added spice profile pairs perfectly for a holiday table.

vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins

How to make vegan buttermilk using apple cider vinegar 

Buttermilk is an important part of baked good. The lightly acidic milk, even non-dairy milk, combined with baking soda in a recipe adds lightness and tenderness. 

To make your own dairy-free buttermilk, whisk together apple cider vinegar with oat milk. Let this sit for 5 minutes while you prep the wet and dry ingredients in order to lightly curdle.

Oat Milk is preferred for homemade vegan cornbread muffins

Oat milk is higher in carbohydrates than other non-dairy milks, which is similar to dairy milk. Because of this higher carbohydrate, or sugar, content the oat milk will brown like cows milk, which is why I call for it here in this recipe. 

You can use other non-dairy milks, but the muffins will be slightly paler in color.

vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins

Which cornmeal is best for muffins? 

I prefer a medium grind cornmeal for best texture, but any kind of ground cornmeal will work in these muffins. If you are using a larger grind, then you may need to add more liquid if the muffin batter becomes too thick.

Vegan Corn Muffin Instructions

To start, make the vegan buttermilk by whisking together the milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Next, whisk together the wet ingredients of pumpkin puree, maple syrup and oil in a mixing bowl, then add in the homemade buttermilk. 

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. 

Lightly grease a muffin pan, or use muffin liners in muffin tins, then fill 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove promptly from the oven and let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

vegan pumpkin cornbread muffin batter

How many muffins does this make?

This recipe makes 12 regular muffins. To make 24 mini muffins, use a small muffin pan. The mini size pan makes for perfect snack size muffins!

Freezer Directions

I freeze a lot of muffins! Especially with it just being my husband and two young toddlers, we often have leftover muffins. 

To freeze, cool muffins completely. Then, wrap securely in foil or freezer wrap, then place in freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months. 

For the perfect texture, thaw and warm in the oven or microwave before serving.

vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins

What to serve this cornbread muffins with

Lightly sweet, incredibly moist with just a hint of pumpkin spice. They are just as delicious warm with cold butter (or apple butter!) as they are dipped into hearty chili. I also love them with a drizzle of honey. 

Enjoy them with your favorite soup recipe, or these tried and true favorites: 

Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
White Bean Chili
Black Bean Soup
Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup
Instant Pot Lentil Chili 

vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins

If you try this recipe, come back to leave a rating and a comment! Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

Print

Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large muffins 1x
  • Category: baked good, thanksgiving, dessert, snack
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: thanksgiving, vegan, american

Description

Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread! Muffins! These cornbread muffins are perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! A must-make.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large muffins 1x
  • Category: baked good, thanksgiving, dessert, snack
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: thanksgiving, vegan, american
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large muffins 1x
  • Category: baked good, thanksgiving, dessert, snack
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: thanksgiving, vegan, american
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat milk (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix!)
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and oil together in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk mixture.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add to the milk-pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill 3/4 full into lightly greased or paper-lined muffin tins. This will make a little more than 12 muffins.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove promptly from the oven and let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes; then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

Oat milk browns like dairy milk, which is why I call for it here in this recipe. You can use other non-dairy milks, but the muffins will be paler.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Jaci Wise
      December 9, 2019 AT 1:49 pm

      This recipe has become a frequent flyer in our kitchen this past year! We swap out unsweetened almond milk in place of the oat milk, because we always have it on hand. Sometimes if we can’t find pumpkin purée, we’ll use left over sweet potatoes instead and both ways are SO delicious! My husband isn’t dairy free, but he loves these muffins and so do my children. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try some of your others.

    2. Christen Pendleton
      November 25, 2019 AT 1:47 am

      Hi Alex, Is pumpkin purée found in a can? Thanks!

      1. Alex
        November 25, 2019 AT 3:10 pm

        Yes!

    3. Katie
      April 16, 2019 AT 5:54 am

      Hello Alex, can i use light olive oil? As I’m histamine intolerant? Or perhaps melted butter or ghee?

      1. Alex
        April 17, 2019 AT 8:13 am

        I don’t see why not! Thanks!

    4. Lindsay
      November 9, 2018 AT 1:58 pm

      What do I set the oven to

      1. Alex
        November 9, 2018 AT 2:21 pm

        Hi Lindsay, cook the oven to 350 degrees F.

    5. Jean
      November 9, 2018 AT 11:50 am

      Have you tried this recipe with pea milk? Would it still brown?

      1. Alex
        November 9, 2018 AT 2:22 pm

        Hi Jean, pea milk is very low in carbs/natural sugars so I don’t know they it will brown the same way. Coconut milk, which is similar, also produces pale baked goods. Doesn’t mean you can’t use it- but they won’t be as golden!