These easy to make vegan sweet potato muffins are perfect as a breakfast, brunch or mid-morning treat! Delicious, undetectably vegan, and easily gluten free. Step by step instructions included.
Spiced Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins
These spiced vegan sweet potato muffins are perfect for breakfast, brunch or a mid-morning treat. They’re fuss free and easy to make – they’re a variation on my fail safe basic muffin formula that uses equal weights of wet and dry ingredients.
As always with muffins, remember that the batter should be lumpy; it will sort itself out as it cooks. If you over mix it, the muffins will be tough and have tunnels in the dough. I gently fold the ingredients together, with no more than 15 folds.
Why do you add vinegar to these vegan muffins?
Firstly adding vinegar to the plant milk causes it to turn to buttermilk which helps the muffins rise and adds flavour, lightness and a fine crumb.
Secondly the bicarbonate of soda reacts with the vinegar and helps to give the muffins some extra lift, and is why you need to bake as soon as you have mixed the batter.
The reaction between the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda starts as soon as the wet and dry ingredients meet. They react to product bubbles of carbon dioxide which gives the batter its mousse like texture which makes for a light and fluffy muffin.
Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins Variations and Substitutions
When adjusting a recipe, it is best to switch one thing at a time. This muffin recipe is fairly forgiving but still make adjustments one at a time. Here are a few ideas for variations:
Flour – I used regular all-purpose flour here. The recipe is forgiving enough to use different flour or a mix. If you use self-raising flour leave the baking powder out. You can also use gluten free flour if needed. Substituting some, or all with spelt flour will result in a slightly nutty muffin with a cakier texture.
Sugar– A less refined brown sugar will taste better here, and the flavours will pair well with the spices. I generally use a mixture of super fine (caster) white and a dark brown muscovado. The easiest way to get rid of lumps and clumps in brown unrefined sugars is to rub them between your fingers. A few small lumps will give you delicious caramelised little pockets of sugar in the muffins so don’t worry about getting rid of every lump. BUT you need to break up those big lumps before you mix in the liquid.
Milk – I generally use homemade unsweetened soy milk, to make soy milk at home see my post on how to make soy milk in a soup maker. Any milk (plant or dairy) will work her – use what you usually have in the fridge.
Oil – Again this is very adaptable – any will work. I tend to use sunflower but any lightly flavoured oil can be substituted. Rape / canola, light olive or corn oil. Coconut oil will work but completely change the flavour.
Spices – this recipe uses a traditional mix of ground allspice and cinnamon, but other combinations are well worth trying. How about including cloves, nutmeg, or a hint of ginger?
Toppings – I’ve topped these muffins with a few rolled oats, but I could have used some nuts: maybe lightly crushed walnuts or a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Or a little granola for the crunch.
This recipe makes 6 regular sized muffins, or 12 fairy cakes. Reduce the cooking time if making smaller muffins.
How to Make Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins – Step by Step
First things first – switch the oven on to warm up!
Step 1 – cook a medium sized sweet potato until soft, then peel and mash. I find the easiest way to do this is to pop the potato in the microwave and cook until soft, then mash with a fork on a chopping board.
Don’t throw any spare sweet potato away – you can throw the skin into soup, or we feed ours to Herbert the miniature wire haired dachshund!
Step 2 – pour the milk into a bowl and add the vinegar, stir and wait for it to curdle. Measure out all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and the oil into a separate bowl.
Step 3 – add the mashed sweet potato to the dry ingredients and mix everything together using the fork to get rid of any lumps
Step 4 – Add the curdled soy milk and oil and gently mix this should take no more than 15 folds. You want a batter that is lumpy. The vinegar will react with the bicarb and the batter will have a spongy texture.
Step 5 – line a muffin pan with cases and divide the mixture equally between them. Sprinkle over some rolled oats before baking for 25 minutes.
Vegan Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins
- 150 g sweet potato (cooked and mashed)
- 180 g plain flour
- 60 g sugar (half caster, half muscovado)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 handful rolled oats (for the topping)
- 180 ml soy milk
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to GM5/190°C/375°F.
- Measure the milk into a bowl and stir in the vinegar. The milk will curdle and thicken.
- Cook your sweet potato. I usually pop it in the microwave for 5–6 minutes until soft. Discard the peel. Then mash the flesh using a fork on a chopping board.
- Weigh all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the sweet potato and mix well.
- Pour the milk mixture and oil into the dry ingredients and briefly mix until combined. You should have a lumpy, uneven batter. Do not fold the mixture more than 15 times.
- Pour into a prepared muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes until risen and golden. If you are making fairy cake sized muffins, check after 15 minutes as you will need to reduce the baking time.
Hints & Tips
- This recipe makes 6 regular sized muffins or 12 fairy cake sized muffins. Reduce the cooking time if making smaller muffins. The nutritional information provided is for a regular muffin (one sixth of the batter).
- The batter should be lumpy and will sort itself out as it cooks. If you over mix, the muffins will be tough and have tunnels running through them.
- Bake as soon as you mix the batter, as the reaction between the vinegar and bicarb creates bubbles to give a lighter muffin.
- This recipe is 11 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion.
VariationsWhen adjusting a recipe, it is best to switch one thing at a time. This muffin recipe is fairly forgiving but it's still best to stick to this rule. Here are a few ideas:
- Flour – If you use self-raising flour, leave the baking powder out. Gluten-free flour is fine. Spelt flour will give a slightly nutty muffin with a cake-like texture.
- Sugar – A less refined brown sugar will taste better and pair well with the spices. I use a mixture of super fine (caster) white and a dark brown muscovado. Rub lumps of unrefined sugar between your fingers to break them down before adding liquid.
- Milk – Any milk (plant or dairy) will work in these muffins.
- Oil – Any fairly neutral flavoured cooking oil will work. Coconut oil will work but will change the flavour.
- Spices – This recipe uses a traditional mix of ground allspice and cinnamon, but other combinations are well worth trying. How about including nutmeg, ginger or even a hint of ground cloves?
- Toppings – I've topped these muffins with a few rolled oats, but I could have used lightly-crushed walnuts or a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Alternatively, use a little granola for the crunch.
Recipe for vegan spiced sweet potato muffins first published November 2009. Updated with recipe tweaks and new images September 2018.