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These vegan pumpkin muffins are rich, moist, and packed with spices. Top them off with rich cashew cream cheese frosting for an indulgent fall treat!

I know, I know. SO much pumpkin is happening on the blog this year. And I’m not done yet. To say I’m excited about fall would be a bit of an understatement.

I’ve seriously been accumulating a list of fall recipes since, like, about the time the first buds started sprouting on the trees in March.

This particular recipe is one that I first posted back in the early days of this blog and have been meaning to update for a while now. Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting are a favorite, so this was one recipe I was quite happy to work on this year.

In addition to giving the photos a makeover, I tweaked the recipe a bit. The original muffins were a bit on the smallish side. I don’t get to eat pumpkin muffins that often, and I like ’em big when I do. If you made the original version and were happy with the size, just cut down on the recipe by a third, or make 18 muffins instead of 12, and cut the bake time down to 16 to 18 minutes.

The other issue was the frosting. Cashew cream cheese frosting was a new thing to me back then, and it turned out as more of a glaze. Since first making these muffins I’ve made a few batches of cashew cream cheese frosting for doughnuts and carrot cake, among other things. The new version is much thicker and creamier, but if you were in love with the old frosting just scroll down to the bottom of the recipe — I’ve included it in the notes.

To make these muffins, start by mixing all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the two. Stir just until everything is mixed — don’t overdo it.

Drop the batter into paper-lined muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes.

Make the frosting while the muffins bake. Preferably soak your cashews in water for 4 to 8 hours, then blend them up in the food processor with some maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla. Give it a taste — it should be creamy, delicious and just sweet enough.

The muffins cool before loading them up with frosting.

Tips for Making Perfect Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

  • Don’t overmix the batter. Doing so can overwork the gluten in the flour as well as causing your baking soda and powder to fizzle out prematurely. This is important any time you’re making muffins.
  • These muffins will keep at room temperature in a sealed bag for about 3 days, and the frosting will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.
  • You can also freeze the frosting and the muffins separately.
  • Stir-ins like nuts and chocolate chips work great with these muffins.
  • Did you forget to soak your cashews? Boiling them for 15 minutes works in a pinch, although soaking usually yields the best results for me.
  • You can also freeze soaked cashews for later. Just leave them in their soaking water and seal them up in a freezer-friendly storage container. Then thaw by placing the container in a hot water bath or microwaving for a few minutes. I like to keep a stash in the freezer at all times for recipes like this.

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4.8 from 5 votes Print

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

These vegan pumpkin muffins are rich, moist, and packed with spices. Top them off with rich cashew cream cheese frosting for an indulgent fall treat!

CourseDessert CuisineAmerican Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Soak time 4 hours Total Time 40 minutes Servings 12 Calories 287 kcal Author Alissa


For the Muffins

  • 1 ½cupsall-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾cuporganic granulated sugar
  • 1 ½teaspoonsbaking powder
  • ¾teaspoonbaking soda
  • 2 ½teaspoonsground cinnamon
  • ¾teaspoonground ginger
  • ½teaspoonground nutmeg
  • ¼teaspoonground cloves
  • ½teaspoonsalt
  • 1 ½cupscanned pumpkin puree
  • ¾cupunflavored soy or almond milk
  • cupcanola oil,or your favorite baking oil
  • 1 ½teaspoonsvanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 1 ½cupsraw cashews,soaked in water 4-8 hours
  • ¼cupmaple syrup
  • 2-4tablespoonsunflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1tablespoonlemon juice
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • ¾teaspoonsalt


To Make the Muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

  2. Line 12 muffin cups with papers.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
  4. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, milk, oil and vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until blended.

  6. Divide the mixture among the muffin cups.

  7. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops spring up when touched lightly.

  8. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

To Make the Frosting

  1. While the muffins cool, place the cashews, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of milk, lemon juice, vanilla and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.

  2. Blend until smooth, adding additional milk to thin the mixture to the desired consistency.

Frost the Muffins

  1. When the muffins are cool, remove them from the tins and spread with frosting. Optionally, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  2. Serve.

Recipe Notes

This post was updated in 2018 to include a new (and improved) frosting recipe and to make larger muffins. If you prefer smaller muffins, cut down on the recipe by ⅓ (or make 18 muffins instead of 12) and only bake them for 16 to 18 minutes. The old frosting recipe called for 1 cup of soaked raw cashews, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 4 cups of powdered sugar and about ¼ cup of non-dairy milk (as needed to get the right consistency).

Nutrition FactsVegan Pumpkin Muffins Cashew Cream Cheese FrostingAmount Per Serving (1 muffin with frosting)Calories 287Calories from Fat 131% Daily Value*Fat 14.5g22%Saturated Fat 2.1g11%Sodium 342mg14%Potassium 201mg6%Carbohydrates 36.7g12%Fiber 1.7g7%Sugar 18g20%Protein 4.5g9%Calcium 70mg7%Iron 2mg11%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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LOVE THESE! I want them right now!


  • They look delicious!


    • Oh dear. Mine went soooo wrong. I used baked pumpkin and I think it was too wet. They imploded as soon as they came out of the oven. And I didn’t soak the cashews long enough so the icing was a miserable failure too… They were like sad little tubs of collapsed goo topped with a lumpy coulis of failure.

      I will try again though! And this time I will find canned pumpkin from somewhere so as to avoid any mishaps, and I will soak my nuts adequately. I’m still going to rate the recipe 4 stars because I could still tell from the sad goo and sauce disaster that it has great potential.

      Love your blog btw. Super excited to make the coconut bacon as soon as I can find liquid smoke!


      • I’ve made my version of these countless times!!! I normally double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan. I replace the oil with applesauce, add a flax egg, and about an additional 1/4th cup flour (white wheat flour is what I use). And I’ve never made the cream cheese icing. This recipe is delicious and thank you so much Alissa!!!


        • the cashew cream cheese frosting is absolutely to die for! My girl ate it right out of the bowl!!!


          • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

            More about me →

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