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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Muffin Magic

By Reshma Shah and Brenda Davis

Pumpkin muffins are a fall favorite, brimming with warming spices that make them irresistible. There is nothing like pumpkin muffins fresh from the oven to celebrate autumn. This wonderfully healthy version features almond butter, spelt flour, and maple syrup. They are perfect for breakfast, in a lunch box, or as an after-school snack.

Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1⁄3 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
1⁄3 cup smooth almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15-ounce can 100% pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate chips (substitute raisins if you prefer!)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a 12-muffin tin with parchment liners.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, plant-based milk, almond butter, and vanilla. Mix in the pumpkin puree.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Gently stir in the chocolate chips or raisins.

5. Fill the muffin tins 3⁄4 full with an ice cream scoop or spoon. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top if you like.

6. Bake for 22–28 minutes or until fluffy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container. These muffins also freeze well if you happen to not eat them all first.

Chef’s Tip Pumpkin pie spice is not just for pumpkin pie. It is perfect for muffins, pancakes, crumbles, cookies, and is so well worth keeping on hand. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, make your own by combining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1⁄4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families by Reshma Shah, MD, MPH, and Brenda Davis, RD (November 2020, HCI). Find out more at

Brenda Davis, RD, is a registered dietitian and widely regarded as a rock star of plant-based nutrition. She has been a featured speaker at medical and nutrition conferences in more than 20 countries on 5 continents and is the author of 11 books on vegetarian and vegan nutrition. Find her at

Reshma Shah, MD, MPH, is an affiliate clinical instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine and has been a practicing pediatrician for nearly 20 years. Learn more about her at