Low-fat Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

I make the pumpkin muffins from Vegan With a Vengeance a lot.  If you’ve been to my house, I’ve probably served them to you at some point.  I love pumpkin so much and these muffins really are the best!  I do tweak the recipe to make it healthier – subbing in whole wheat pastry flour and reducing the sugar, and today I decided to make yet another healthy substitution.  Rather than completely eliminating the oil, a-la Engine 2 Diet, I cut it in half and used applesauce for the other half.  I totally got away with it!  The family ate these with just as much enthusiasm as usual.  If you wanted to make these completely oil-free, I’m sure they would work with 1/2 cup of applesauce.  If you try it, let me know how they turn out!

I made these in mini-muffin tins today, just for fun.  This recipe actually yielded 24 mini-muffins, nicely puffed over the top of the liners, plus 4 plump regular sized muffins.  Aren’t the minis cute?

The Best Pumpkin Muffins (Becky’s healthier version) adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance:


  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp molasses


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin or a 12-cup muffin tin, or use paper liners.*

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl.  In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, canola oil, applesauce, and molasses.  Gently fold wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Fill muffin tins almost to the top.  With mini-muffin tins, you can fill them all the way to the top, with regular muffin tins, fill them about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake 10-12 minutes for mini muffins, 18-20 minutes for full-size muffins.  Allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

*If using paper liners, spray them lightly with cooking spray.  I neglected to do this and the muffins stuck to the liners ever so slightly.  I think they stick more because they are lower in fat.  They peel away more easily when they are completely cool, but who can wait that long?  😉

13 comments Add yours
  1. I made these using 1/2 cup applesauce to make it fat-free. They’re a bit mushy and a little bland but I’ll still be eating them for breakfast throughout the week. 🙂

  2. I feel bad b/c this seems like such a wonderful blog and I give you so much credit, but, I too found these to be very bland tasting. I’m really trying hard with my new plant-strong lifestyle and I almost didn’t even want to waste excess calories (especially ones containing sugar) on a non-exciting muffin. They don’t taste bad, they just don’t really have much taste at all. I’m so sorry!

    1. Did you make them without any oil? I have to admit I haven’t tried them that way myself – maybe using some oil is necessary for these to turn out. I usually make them following the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe (with whole grains and less sugar) and my family loves them! Sorry they didn’t turn out for you!

  3. I LOVE THESE MUFFINS!! They are delicious! I followed the recipe for the most part. But I used 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce and no oil. I thought they were delicious and so flavorful. I might make another batch today & try bringing the sugar down to 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 and maybe adding walnuts for a little crunch. I think these muffins taste awesome and so do my family and friends. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe.

  4. I made these last night for the first time, they are SO tasty! I used 1/2 c applesauce (no oil) and I used vanilla flavored coconut milk for the non dairy milk. These were a hit with everyone in the house. Next time I will try cutting the sugar a bit and see how that goes.
    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  5. Just wanted to let you know I made these with the following variations: no applesauce and didn’t want more oil, so I used 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin instead of 1, and half a cup of chocolate chips for my sweet tooth. They were absolute perfection; the spice mix is balanced and just the right amount of sugar. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  6. I just made these as a tester for a treat for my daughter’s pre-K class. Initial assessment: guilt free- no oil, no eggs. A bit “mushy” and my husband could taste the “dark taste” of molasses. I used: Stevia instead of sugar; used 1/2 cup of my own homemade apple sauce from 2 honey crisp apples (this made over a cup; the kids loved the leftovers!) I used the whole can of pumpkin to pump up the flavor (organic). I baked for 10 mins- the ones I tested with a knife were done. Some were not. Things I will do differently: swap maple syrup instead of molasses- same amount or perhaps more. Cut Stevia to 1/2 cup; increase the pastry flour to 2 cups (to offset the extra pumpkin) and increase the cinnamon and nutmeg. I might add choc chips for the kiddies! Overall- not a total bust! Ate them warm, perhaps when they cool they will take on a new flava’!

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