by Olena

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

by Olena

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Recipe made with plant based protein, whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, dates and without added sugar. |

Moist, tender and full of pumpkin flavour muffins with the most delicious crumb topping – bits of pecans (or walnuts) caramelized in maple syrup with hints of salt and cinnamon. And they are good for you filled with protein, healthy fats and sweetened with dates. Perfect for snack, breakfast and school lunches. My kids devoured these pumpkin protein muffins in minutes and they are picky with muffins.

You wouldn’t find these pumpkin protein muffins chalky if you use good quality plant-based protein powder. My top picks are VEGA and Orgain. I stand by their taste and cleanliness. If VEGA is too expensive for you, try Orgain. It is 1.5 times cheaper on Amazon.

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Recipe made with plant based protein, whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, dates and without added sugar. |

These pumpkin protein muffins turned out perfect all three times I made them. I tried my hand at making them gluten free by substituting spelt flour with almond meal, and it was a big failure. I suspected that. In all my experiences baking with protein powder, I came to a conclusion that flour with gluten is a must. It simply absorbs extra moisture and helps the muffins rise. Otherwise, you will end up with soggy and flat muffins.

And my 2 cents on gluten…I’m getting my shield ready.:) Seriously, I have done an extensive research on gluten. According to medical professionals, only 1% of North Americans are truly sensitive to gluten. Are you shocked?! Otherwise, going gluten free is not necessary. By completely removing gluten from your diet, your body will be missing out on important vitamins and nutrients found in foods that contain gluten. So, we come to my favourite saying “Everything in moderation” and that’s exactly what I do and it works for me. By incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet, you will avoid excessive consumption of gluten naturally and then have this delicious healthy gluten muffin for a treat. Amen.

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Recipe made with plant based protein, whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, dates and without added sugar. |

And on replacing protein powder with something else…I get asked that a lot. My answer: baking is a science enough on its own. I do not think you can simply swap 1 cup of flavoured and sweetened protein powder with a cup of flour and expect same results. These muffins are meant to be made with protein powder to be enjoyed more of…I like my chicken and protein powder, what can I say?!

The batter will be quite thick, the spatula should stand in it. If your batter is runny for some reason, add more protein powder or flour. I use spelt flour because it’s higher in fiber than whole wheat flour and because Costco had it for a great price.:) Feel free to use whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour as well. No more special instructions, just pure enjoyment and fun! I hope you are having fun baking with pumpkin again.:)

Looking for more healthy pumpkin goodies? Try my pumpkin granola muffins, flourless pumpkin muffins with coconut, or pumpkin protein oat bars.

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Recipe made with plant based protein, whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, dates and without added sugar. |


Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Recipe made with plant based protein, whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, dates and without added sugar.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


Wet Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray non-stick 12 muffin tin with cooking spray (I use Misto). Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or a powerful blender, add Wet Ingredients and process until smooth. Mainly look for all dates to be processed. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, add Crumb Topping ingredients and mix. Set aside.
  4. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine Dry Ingredients. Pour into the bowl with Wet Ingredients and gently mix just enough to combine. Do not over mix otherwise muffins won’t rise properly. Fill each tin 3/4 full with batter, top with about 1 tsp of Crumb Topping and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let muffins cool for about 30 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.



What’s inside the eBook:

  • 25 brand new recipes that have never appeared on iFOODreal before
  • 20+ gluten free recipes
  • Easy, kid frienldy recipes with nutritional info including WW Points+
  • Lots of chicken and quinoa + more healthy comfort food like Parmesan Chicken Meatballs, my mom’s Ukrainian Borscht and Kale Artichoke Lasagna and so much more. Would you be surprised to hear that you can make a Philly Cheesesteak in a slow cooker too?!

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

7 comments on “Pumpkin Protein Muffins

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  1. Sorry – as to prior comment, I meant to say that I HAVE successfully made a recipe similar to this before – using an AP Gluten Free Flour Blend plus a little whey protein isolate (to help with the lack of gluten), and using the plant-based protein blend requested in recipe (as it absorbs and behaves differently in baking). These look so good that I am at least going to put them on my to do list!!

    1. Hi Shawna. I hear what you are saying. From my experience, whey protein does add fluffiness and air to baked goods so I see how it would work with GF AP flour. I really sympathize with people like you who’ve been diagnosed with celiac. It is not easy and I feel for you. Other folks should just learn to have better relationship with food. Because to say wheat and gluten are bad is just so wrong. If my kids didn’t eat organic sprouted bagels, bread, pasta and English muffins they would eat a bunch of GF crap instead full of chemicals and sugar. I know because I am a mother. They need to eat. Ukraine, my home country, was a bread basket of Europe and for centuries bread fed and saved people. Not quinoa and kale. So I truly believe we need to respect food for what it is vs. all these fads and trends.

  2. You are more than correct as to the fact that the vast majority of people going gluten free do not need to. But, for those of us with a medical diagnosis, a Gluten Free AP Flour Blend combined with some whey protein isolate (can make your own blend w the protein already in it) MAY just make a recipe like this doable. I’m still researching post-diagnosis (recent) as to whether those rules apply here. Also, MAYBE add few tablespoons non-fat dry milk for softer baked goods. Problem for me is that the FEW pro Gluten Free Flour websites do NOT watch calories at all, but focus on making best tasting copycat or whatever. That’s not really my thing, because I follow Clean Eating – but those with TRUE medical problems probably go there first, and of course, parents want to give their kids the foods/snacks they are missing out on. So, there is a place for that also. Just commenting because of your statement above. And hoping to find the rule to know in advance if an AP Flour Blend will work in a recipe as wheat flour alternative…

  3. I just made these muffins and they are super delicious!! I only had ¼ cup of hemp protein powder left, so I topped it off with almond flour to substitute for the vegan protein powder. I told my partner that they aren’t healthy, and he just ate one and said “oh man this is really good. I like it when they aren’t healthy!” 😉

    1. LOL, too funny. Men are just like kids. I recently made a frozen pie with cashew cream and told the kids it’s with ice cream – licked the bowls. My kids love these muffins, that means they don’t taste healthy.:)

  4. I recently discovered your site, and it is fantastic! My question is about protein powder. If I have whey protein powder, can I measure the same amount as your vegan protein powder? Are they interchangeable in your recipes?

    1. Hi Michele. Thank you.:) Whey and plant based powder act differently in baking. Whey thins out the dough and plant based powder absorbs the liquid and thickens it. So, I can’t say you can use them interchangeably. I’ll be honest, I haven’t baked muffins with whey protein for years. What you could do is add whey to a bowl with liquid ingredients, then after you mix Dry with Wet, bring the dough to a thick proper muffin consistency by adding more whey and/or flour. You just have to be careful not to overmix. Kind of mix a few times and let the batter absorb the liquid.

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