Fresh, tart cranberries come together with pumpkin purée and warm spices to create the perfect muffins to enjoy this fall and winter. These Vegan Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins are easy to make, ready in about 30 minutes, and are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast, snack, or even dessert!
Can’t decide between pumpkin muffins or cranberry muffins this season? You’re in luck because these delicious grab-n-go treats contain both!
The perfect combination of tart and sweet in a soft, warmly spiced muffin that’s bursting with juicy cranberries in every bite! A delightful part of Christmas morning brunch, but easy enough for any day of the week.
You’re gonna love these vegan Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ I use all-purpose flour so these pumpkin cranberry muffins bake up soft and fluffy.
For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio, like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour.
Sweetener ~ Fresh cranberries are quite tart, so these vegan cranberry muffins definitely need some sweetness.
I like a combination of brown sugar and white cane sugar, but you can use just one or the other. You could also substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar.
Milk ~ Any unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk will work. I have used both oat milk and almond milk will great results.
Pumpkin ~ Look for canned 100% pure pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie filling.
Cranberries ~ Fresh cranberries are tart and bursting with juice. I always buy at least 5 to 6 bags when they are in season and stick them in the freezer so I can use them all year.
If you’re using frozen cranberries, toss them in the batter while they’re still frozen.
While technically you could use dried cranberries, I really encourage you try them with fresh – they are just so good! If you go with dried cranberries instead, I would decrease the added sugar by a least ¼ cup as dried cranberries are typically very sweet.
Spices ~ These pumpkin cranberry muffins would be perfectly tasty without any spices, but I like a hint of cinnamon and ginger. These flavors complement both the pumpkin and cranberries so well.
You could also use pumpkin pie spice.
Vinegar ~ Vinegar is going to help the muffins rise and bake up fluffy. Don’t skip it.
Almond extract ~ I love almond extract with fruit-based treats, like in my Vegan Kolaczki, and it works really well with cranberries, too. You can use vanilla extract, though, if you prefer.
Extras ~ If you like nuts, you can add about ½ cup of chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts.
Orange zest is a lovely complement to cranberries.
You could also amp up the spices by adding about ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and/or cloves.
How to make the recipe
For exact ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
To another mixing bowl, add both sugars and the pumpkin purée and whisk until smooth and creamy.
Add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Do not over mix! Lumps are fine.
Gently fold in the cranberries to distribute throughout.
Add the batter to a muffin pan. An ice cream scoop with a lever works great for this!
Place 2 to 3 more cranberries on the top of each one, if desired.
Bake the pumpkin cranberry muffins for 22 to 24 minutes until the sides pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire cooling rack.
Storage and freezing
Counter: Store the pumpkin cranberry muffins covered on the counter at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Fridge: If you still have leftovers after 3 days, transfer them to an air-tight container and place them in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer: You can also freeze these muffins. Allow the muffins to cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. They should keep well for up to 3 months.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use the spoon-and-level method to measure the flour. Fluff up the flour with a spoon, then spoon the flour into a measuring cup, overfilling it a little. Using the back of a knife, level off the top.
~ Do not over mix the batter! Stir just until no white flour remains. A few lumps are fine.
~ If you’re using frozen cranberries, toss them in the batter while still frozen.
~ Use an ice cream scoop with a lever to easily fill the muffin cups.
~ Fill the cavities in the muffin pan about ¾ of the way full. There is enough batter to fill all 12 cavities this way. If you taste test some along the way, although I can’t blame you, I also can’t guarantee you’ll have enough.
~ The muffins are done when the sides start pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
~ Allow the muffins to cool on a wire cooling rack before enjoying.
Nope! No need to cook the cranberries. Toss them into the batter straight from the bag. If you are using frozen fresh cranberries, add them to the batter while still frozen.
While I much prefer fresh or frozen cranberries in these muffins, you can use dried. I suggest decreasing the amount of added sugar in the recipe by ¼ cup because dried cranberries tend to be quite sweet already.
Yes, these fresh cranberry muffins can be made in advance and stored covered on the counter for up to 3 days, in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More vegan muffin recipes
- Pineapple Coconut Muffins
- Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins
- Vegan Carrot Oat Muffins
- Vegan Banana Blueberry Muffins
- Vegan Zucchini Muffins
- Vegan Protein Muffins
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Vegan Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canned 100% pure pumpkin purée
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup white cane sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries plus more for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 12-cavity muffin pan lightly with oil or add paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Add the milk, vinegar, and almond extract and whisk again until smooth.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir them together just until combined. Do not over mix! Lump are fine.
- Add the cranberries and mix gently to distribute throughout.
- Dollop the batter into the prepared muffin pan filling each cavity about ¾ of the way. An ice cream scoop works great for this! Add 2 to 3 fresh cranberries to the top of each muffin batter, if desired.
- Bake for 22 to 24 minutes until the tops are set, the sides start to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing them from the pan and let them continue to cool completely.