Delicious healthy pumpkin muffins sweetened with dried fruit

Can be enjoyed on their own or topped with sweet potato frosting to make them extra special. Perfect for babies, toddlers and everyone who wants to reduce their sugar intake. Suitable for vegans.

I was asked to create some healthy Halloween treats to serve up at a market stall I worked on last weekend in London. They needed to be free from refined sugar, so sweetened with something like dates or raisins.

And what could say Halloween better than a pumpkin?

Pumpkin works beautifully in baking. Over the years I’ve made pumpkin loaf, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin bars and pumpkin madeleines. For some reason however there is no pumpkin muffins recipe on Sneaky Veg.

It’s time to rectify that omission with this lovely recipe for healthy pumpkin muffins. They can be sweetened with either raisins or dates.

If your child is younger you can make them fairy cake sized. This makes a fairly large batch so you may want to freeze some.

NB: I often use butternut squash to make these muffins instead of pumpkin.
Baking without sugar
Before we start it’s important to point out that sugar from dried fruit, maple syrup, fresh fruit etc is still sugar.

I have a great post on this on this issue called “Is there such a thing as a healthy sugar alternative?” if you’d like to read more about this issue.

Bearing this in mind however it’s more than possible to reduce the amount of sugar you put into your bakes. Sometimes it’s as simple as reducing the amount of sugar a recipe contains. I often do this by as much as half.

As I’ve been cutting down my sugar consumption over the last few years I often find recipes to be overly sweet for my palate now.

In addition to cutting down on sugar I have also experimented a lot with using fruit purée, dates, raisins and other dried fruits, and syrups to sweeten my bakes.

Refined sugar free recipes carrot muffins (sweetened with maple syrup) apple cinnamon cookies (sweetened with fruit and optional maple syrup) chocolate beetroot brownies (sweetened with dates) gingerbread chickpea blondies (sweetened with maple syrup) orange and sweet potato cookies (sweetened with raisins, orange and sweet potato) carrot and banana muffins (sweetened with fruit and maple syrup or honey) rhubarb bars (sweetened with maple syrup) apple flapjacks (sweetened with fruit) jam tarts (sweetened with fruit and maple syrup) How to make healthy frosting
Frosting is so delicious isn’t it? It’s made from butter (or vegan alternative) mixed with icing sugar, with colourings and flavourings sometimes added. However, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative look no further.

You can make really delicious, smooth frosting to top your bakes with using one simple ingredient. Have you guessed what it is yet? (I kind of gave it away with the recipe title didn’t I?!).

That’s right – sweet potato. When blended with a little coconut oil, milk and maple syrup it comes together to form a perfect creamy frosting. Delicious. I’ve added cinnamon to my sweet potato frosting as well to make it taste extra special.
What ingredients do you need to make healthy pumpkin muffins?
You will need the following ingredients for the muffins:
100 g raisins or chopped dates 125 g plain flour 125 g wholemeal flour eg wheat, spelt or buckwheat or use all plain 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp nutmeg 200 g pumpkin purée, homemade or half a tin 120 ml oat milk or other plant milk 120 ml sunflower oil 2 tbsp maple syrup, optional

Can you make your own pumpkin purée?
Yes, by all means you can make your own pumpkin purée. Tinned pumpkin purée* can be hard to find, expensive or both here in the UK so I often make my own.

I usually use butternut squash to make mine as it’s so easy to buy. 

If you’d like to read more about making your own pumpkin purée you might like to read this post by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.
Do you need any special equipment to make this recipe?
If you are making your own pumpkin purée you will need a blender* or food processor*. You’ll also need a food processor to make the sweet potato frosting.

Other than that you will need:
muffin tin* or fairy cake tin* muffin cases* or fairy cake cases wooden spoon mixing bowl* sieve* not essential, but I recommend you get some digital scales* and a rubber spatula* if you don’t already have them. More healthy Halloween recipes 13 healthy Halloween recipes oven roasted pumpkin seeds monster energy balls Pin healthy pumpkin muffins with sweet potato frosting for later

How to make healthy pumpkin muffins with sweet potato frosting

Vegan pumpkin muffins with sweet potato cinnamon frosting

For the muffins 100  g  raisins or chopped dates 125  g  plain flour 125  g  wholemeal flour eg wheat (spelt or buckwheat or use all plain) 1  tsp  baking powder 1/2  tsp  bicarbonate of soda 1  tsp  ground cinnamon 1/2  tsp  ginger 1/4  tsp  nutmeg 200  g  pumpkin purée (homemade or half a tin) 120  ml  oat milk or other plant milk 120  ml  sunflower oil 2  tbsp  maple syrup optional For the sweet potato cinnamon frosting 350 g sweet potatoes (boiled and cooled) 3 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted) 1 tbsp oat milk 1 tsp ground cinnamon Preheat oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Place 12 muffin cases or 24 fairy cake cases in a muffin tin. First place the raisins or dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Leave for 10 minutes. Sift the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices together in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers to break down any lumps if needed. Drain your raisins or dates and pulse in a blender or food processor until you have a thick paste. In a separate bowl or jug whisk together the pumpkin purée, oat milk, sunflower oil and maple syrup. Stir through the raisin or date paste. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour until just combined, then spoon into your cases. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes (fairy cakes) or 25-30 minutes (muffins) until well risen and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool. To make the frosting Place 350g cooked, cooled sweet potato into a food processor. Add 3 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tbsp oat milk and 1 tsp ground cinnamon and pulse until combined. Stop to scrape the sides down at least once. Spoon or pipe onto your cakes.

Have you tried this recipe?
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