The Quest for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffin, Batch 1

23 Sep


My Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of people having their first Pumpkin Spice Lattes of the season. I cannot eat pumpkin spice lattes, and this makes me sad. I can, however, make muffins, now that it is finally cool enough for me to want to bake. At first, I thought I would make a pumpkin spice muffin, and went looking for recipes. I found a ton, but none that caught my fancy. Then, I had a shower epiphany that what makes a pumpkin spice latte great is the COFFEE. So, I went looking for pumpkin spice latte muffin recipes, and found this one:

This recipe appealed to me because it looked like it would be super easy to make sugar free. I figured while I was playing with it I’d do it with soy flour to up the protein and replace the eggs with a soymilk and flaxmeal mixture to add some sweetness. Instead of a strusel topping, I went with shredded unsweetened coconut and walnut pieces.

There were some issues.

1) The coop didn’t have any soy flour, so I bought gluten-free all purpose flour

2) I thought the coconut and walnuts would get nice and toasty on top of the muffins but they didn’t, really, and didn’t end up adding much. Maybe if they were in the filling?

3) The pumpkin flavor barely came through at all

4) They are really just not sweet, so they taste more like moist spice bread. Which is pleasant, but in no way even vaguely approximates the pumpkin spice latte experience.

I intend to eat these (duh, they’re muffins) and then make a second batch replacing the pumpkin with sweet potatoes and putting in a cream cheese center to play up the “latte” aspect. I will probably not use vegan cream cheese but you EASILY could. I am going to post the recipe changes I made, in case you are looking for a nice moist breakfast spice bread. I also think this would be an excellent banana muffin recipe (of course, there are a gajillion of those) if you subbed out the pumpkin for ripe bananas.

Original recipe from Healthy Food For Living with my changes in green:

adapted from Annie’s Eats Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

yield: 12 muffins


  • 1 1/3 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I will use less next time)
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • a mixture of 2 tbsp flaxmeal + 6 tbsp unsweetened vanilla soymilk
  • 1/4 cup room-temperature brewed strong coffee or espresso
  • a teeeeensy splash of vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (or in a large bowl, using an electric mixer), beat together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, and canola oil, scraping down the sides as necessary. Beat in the egg substitute. Beat in the brewed coffee (or espresso). With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, slowly beating just until incorporated.
  4. Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a large spoon, fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full.
  5. Top with a mixture of unsweetened shredded coconut and chopped raw walnuts
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Place muffin tin on a wire rack and let muffins cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove muffins from tin and cool completely.

After I’ve had a chance to make a new batch, I’ll post the results. Onward, healthy soldiers!

Be careful out there. -C


2 Responses to “The Quest for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffin, Batch 1”

  1. thehungrymum September 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    They look & sound so good. What a shame they didn’t live up to your expectations. Love the idea of the cream cheese centre. Yum.

  2. kate christian September 24, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    You could just turn the oven on broil and put them under it for 3 miutes at the end- it would make the coconut and nuts taste better

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