I made these dairy-free Maple Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins a few years ago while selling at a local Farmers’ Market. Pumpkin is one of those foods that I used to think I wouldn’t like. I mean, it looks odd and the orange colour wasn’t the most appealing to me. To be honest I never understood why people would get all excited over pumpkin baked goods, but these muffins and my semi-raw pumpkin pie have changed my mind big time. These muffins are amazing! I’ve made several other batches since, and even ventured out into creating different recipes like these Pumpkin Smoothie Pancakes. YUM!!! So good!
Dairy-Free Maple Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
I made these muffins using low-gluten flours and eggs, but they can very easily be made vegan with a healthy egg replacement: chia seeds. I’ve also provided a gluten-free option because these muffins are prime candidates for it! Anything that uses a thick binding ingredients like banana, applesauce and pumpkin purée usually works really well for gluten-free baked goods.
Pumpkins are great to add to your diet because they contain fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. They get their orange colour from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that transforms into vitamin A in the body. This important antioxidant helps to battle the oxidation that occurs in the body and is helpful in improving our cardiovascular health. The best part? Because this vitamin comes from food, our body recognizes it and absorbs it much more easily than supplements! Eat food from all colours!
For this recipe, you’ll need to bake a small pumpkin ahead of time (learn how to bake a pumpkin, it’s really easy). You’ll also need some apple sauce. If you don’t have any already made, you can simply peel 2 apples, core and slices them, put in a pot over medium heat, add a teaspoon of sugar, cover, bring to a boil, reduce temperature, simmer (covered) for a few minutes. Remove from heat and mash with a fork. It’s that simple.
Maple Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins | Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan + Gluten-Free Options
Healthy pumpkin muffins with maple and cranberry. Dairy-free, whole grain, refined sugar-free and 2 options are provided: vegan or gluten-free.
- 1/2 cups rye flour For GF option, see below in notes
- 1.5 cup spelt flour For GF option, see Notes below
- 1.5 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin-pie spices or spice cake spices (a mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and clove)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 organic free-range eggs For vegan option, see below in notes
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup organic applesauce
- 1 cup baked pumpkin mashed (or you can use canned pumpkin)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1.5 cup fresh cranberries or frozen
- 2 Tbsp raw unsalted pumpkin seeds chopped (optional)
- 3 Tbsp dried cranberries chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add in the oil, then the applesauce, and then add the mashed pumpkin, until smooth.
Mix wet mixture in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in cranberries with a rubber spatula.
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be very full), then sprinkle the chopped pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries on top of each muffin (optional). Bake until puffy and golden brown, and a clean knife comes out clean, approx. 35 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins to cooling rack to cool completely. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days.
Option: For a decadent treat, mix 1/4 cup icing sugar with 1 Tbsp water until completely dissolved. Drizzle over the muffins.
The pumpkin needs to be baked ahead of time.
For vegan option: mix 2 Tbsp of chia seeds with 1/3 cup water, wait 5-10 min before using instead of eggs. Follow the rest of the recipe instructions as normal.
For gluten-free option: replace the flours with 1.5 cup brown rice flour and 1/2 cup tapioca starch. Add 1 tsp to the wet mix as well. Follow the rest of the instructions as normal.
Note: I do not believe anyone should worry about counting calories, but here is the nutritional information for one serving
Calories: 213kcal | Fat: 8g | Saturated fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 193mg | Carbohydrates: 31g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Protein: 4g | Vitamin A: 3225% | Vitamin C: 2.6% | Calcium: 54% | Iron: 1.6%
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These are such great muffins, I love the flavour of the cranberries and then the pumpkin and applesauce keeps them soft and fresh tasting.
Looks great ECP! A couple of questions for you…
Why do you choose to split the flour between rye and spelt? Why not use just spelt?
I am not a big fan of all things pumpkin, so can it be left out or can you suggest other substitutes?
Thanks and keep on creating!!
I like to use various flours, it gives it a deeper flavour, but feel free to only use spelt if that’s what you have! Also, as I mentioned, I also felt the same way about pumpkin before, but you really don’t taste it in these muffins, it just adds a lot of moisture and binds the ingredients together. Otherwise, feel free to use extra applesauce, but obviously it won’t taste exactly the same. I would highly giving the baked pumpkin a try! It tastes nothing like the canned pumpkin yucky stuff most people use. 😉
These muffins are stunning! I was just like you… I did not under the “pumpkin” craze until I took the time to really taste this wonderful food. Pinning to try. Thanks for sharing ♥
Thank you so much Maria! They will quickly become a Fall favourite 🙂
These muffins look beautiful! With the cranberries in there, they would be especially nice for Christmas. I always appreciate your gluten-free options, and I’m pinning this recipe to try.
Thanks Cathy, I enjoy experimenting with various ways to create a delicious dish, so I love to play around with gluten-free baked goods. Glad you’re enjoying them!
I love when baked goods are jam packed with a variety of fresh ingredients! These look fantastic!
Thanks! Me too! It gets so bland otherwise, right? 😉
I know what you mean about the pumpkin fad; I think I was turned off by the “pumpkin” spice latte thing :-). But like you, I’ve been won over by recipes like these wonderful muffins. Must try for sure!
I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one of those, the thought of it makes me gag. haha
Baked pumpkin makes all the difference for flavour. Slow roasting it brings out the sweetness that makes it taste oh so good. If you haven’t guessed I’m a pumpkin fan. Love the inclusion of cranberries. A must try for sure.
Baked pumpkin is amazing! 🙂
Yes please! These are absolutely perfect to serve up to my family through the week, or guests when staying over for brunch!
Thanks Kaitie! If you do, your guests might never leave! 😉
Such a gorgeous taste of this season, kinda makes the cold weather a bit bearable….but just a bit.
hahaha we gotta do what we can to get through the winter, right?! 😉
These look absolutely scrumptious. I have some leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge, so I think I’ll pick up some cranberries and try making them this weekend 🙂
Thanks! I hope you do, you will devour them! Happy baking!
Oh my gosh…these look PERFECT! I am loving all the flavours and that bonus icing drizzle – such a great treat!
Thank you! 🙂 They are incredibly flavourful yet so healthy!