By Joanna Pappo, assistant gardener with Village Vancouver

These buttermilk pumpkin muffins were my favourite fall dessert growing up. My mom would always make them for Thanksgiving, but they slowly became a year-round favourite in our home. As I grew up and started eating more plant-based foods, we played around with my mom’s recipe and found ways of making the same delicious muffins without eggs or buttermilk. No matter which ingredients you and your family prefer to make them with, these muffins are sure to impress. They’re oil-free, made with simple ingredients and are quick and easy to make!


1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (vegan substitute: 1/2 cup vegan yogurt*)
2 eggs (vegan substitute: 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

Add pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans and oats for topping.

*Note: if you don’t have vegan yogurt at home, you can also use another plant-based milk of your choice. The yogurt makes the muffins a little more dense, but the consistency of the milk also works well.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Celsius. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease the tin with cooking oil or butter. If you’re making the vegan version, I suggest using vegan margarine/butter.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, buttermilk (or yogurt) and eggs (or applesauce).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and baking powder.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix well. The batter should be thick but still pourable into the muffin tins. Add more milk as needed. Do not over-mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the lined muffin tin, and fill them just below the rim. Sprinkle with optional toppings.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check if they’re done by sticking a toothpick in the centre of a muffin. If it comes out clean, they’re fully cooked.
  7. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy! They will keep for 3-4 days covered, and for up to a week in the fridge.