Monday, August 8, 2011

vegan pumpkin & chocolate muffins

D'you know, this is my first ever attempt at vegan baking? I feel a bit silly about that, for a number of reasons: I know vegans, I read vegan blogs, I know some of my readers are vegan. What really pushed me to finally have a go though, was something I've been thinking about while putting together my forthcoming (mega)post on buffet dinners. When planning my last large-scale dinner party, I think one of the most useful things I did was to put some time into finding dishes that cater to nearly everyone. Your guests may or may not eat meat, or can't eat gluten, or are allergic to eggs, or puff up after prawns, but it's so important for the meal to be a shared experience - and it's harder for that to happen when there's a "special" plate in the back corner for the person who can't eat whatever else is on offer.

I'm so glad I finally got around to making these, because they're totally one of those treats that nearly everyone will enjoy - whether they're vegan or not. These muffins are fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg, studded with dark chocolate and little oily bursts of walnut and are the colour of sunshine, thanks to the pumpkin puree. They're nice warm or at room temperature and they're super moist, without being wet (there's nothing I hate more than a stale, cakey, dry muffin: blerg). 

I've made a couple of changes to the original recipe. I upped the cinnamon, swapped the flax seeds for chia (super energy!) and I also dialed back the sugar. I didn't want anything too sweet and I thought they were perfect this way, but increase it back to the original 1 cup if your sweet tooth's calling out. And yes, I "made my own pumpkin puree": down under, I don't think there's much of a choice! If you're wondering what the best way to do this is, visit The Pioneer Woman for an excellent guide. 

Vegan pumpkin & chocolate muffins
Adapted from Caroline's recipe at Whipped
Makes 12

1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup mild-flavoured vegetable oil (grapeseed etc)
2 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup wholemeal flour
2/3 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped roughly
3 teaspoons raw sugar (optional)

1. Heat your oven to 180/350.
2. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, water, oil, chia seeds and vanilla until thoroughly blended.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
4. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add a tiny splash of water. When your consistency is right, add the chopped chocolate and nuts.
5. Spoon into a 12 capacity nonstick muffin tin and top each with raw sugar if you're using it. 
6. Bake 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool in tin for at least ten minutes, then turn out onto a rack. 


  1. I bow down to you, because I've always thought "WANT .... but too hard" when I read recipes for baked pumpkin goods and know I'd have to make my own pumpkin puree. Always tempted to spend ridonkulously large amounts of money on ordering Libby's from USA Foods...

    P.S. Cinnamon is the shiz.

  2. I'm totally the same (usually) Hannah and I too have considered buying tinned pumpkin from USA foods. But I read the pioneer woman's post and thought: you're being ridiculous, just put some pumpkin in the oven then the food processor and then the freezer. Pretty easy, embarrassingly enough.


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