Believe it or not, sweet potatoes have a very special place in baked goods. They add delicious flavor and texture to muffins, brownies and even cookies! These vegan sweet potato muffins are naturally gluten-free, as they are made with oat flour.
The end result? Perfectly moist and tasty muffins that can be eaten with breakfast or for a quick snack on the go.
Ingredients needed for these sweet potato muffins
If you’re browsing recipes for sweet potato muffins online, you will see many different variations. This is a great base recipe, and there are a lot of substitutions you can make.
- Oat flour – the flavor of oats goes very well with the flavor of sweet potatoes. Making your own oat flour at home is easy. See below.
- Baking powder – this is what helps make the muffins rise to their fluffy muffin-ness.
- Dark brown sugar – when it comes to baking with sweet potato, dark brown sugar works best. Another substitution would be coconut sugar. You can also scale back the amount of brown sugar used, and add a touch of maple syrup.
- Sweet potato – they wouldn’t be sweet potato muffins without the potato, right? Be sure you are using sweet potato instead of yam. And yes, you could easily make these pumpkin muffins by substituting pumpkin as well!
- Oat milk – you can use any dairy-free milk, but oat milk tastes the best when working with the flavor of these vegan muffins.
- Neutral oil – vegetable or canola oil have a neutral taste. You can use olive oil, but you may taste it come through to the final flavor.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg and salt – sugar and spice and everything is nice! You can add a little bit allspice to this recipe as a substitution. Or, try pumpkin pie spice instead of the nutmeg for a more festive flavor.
How to make vegan sweet potato muffins
Making vegan/gluten-free sweet potato muffins is not much different than regular muffins. But, there is no dairy or egg added. The sweet potato adds a wonderful amount of moisture and helps to bind the muffins.
Prep: First, you want to peel and chop your sweet potato. Be sure to remove any blemishes and cut your potato into medium sized chunks.
Then, cook your sweet potato by steaming or boiling. As soon as it is soft, you can mash it. You can also cook your sweet potatoes whole and then scoop out the soft filling. Set aside. While the potato cooks, preheat your oven to 350°F and line your muffin trays.
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar (or coconut sugar), oat milk, and mashed sweet potato. Stir until smooth consistency is met. Then, add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Step 2: Stir in the oil until completely mixed in (the mixture should not separate, see photo below).
Step 3: At this point, stir in your oat flour and baking powder until combined.
Step 4: There should be no remaining lumps when your batter is completely mixed. You are ready to scoop the muffins into their liners and bake!
Tip: Spray a cookie dough or ice-cream scoop with a bit of cooking oil before scooping the batter into prepared liners. This will help the batter release while also giving your perfectly even scoops so the muffins cook consistently.
How to use sweet potatoes in baked goods
Over the years, I have made many mistakes baking with sweet potatoes. You’ll want to follow these tips for the best results in your muffins.
- Always peel your sweet potatoes before using them in baked goods like muffins. You do not want any tough potato peel in your sweets!
- Be sure you are using sweet potatoes and not yams. Yams have a different (more starchy) flavor that does not work as well in this recipe or other baked goods.
- Cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time for easier recipe prep.
- Do not microwave your sweet potato if you plan on using it in baked goods! While this does cook the potato, it often results in a dry texture. I recommend steaming or boiling for this recipe so they retain moisture.
- Store your muffins in the fridge and reheat to room temperature for the best taste possible.
What if I don’t have oat flour?
These gluten free sweet potato muffins are made with oat flour. Did you know that oat flour is simply whole oats that have been ground up? It’s usually less expensive to buy oats and make your own flour at home!
If you do not have oat flour, I would not suggest substituting the flour as it is not a 1:1 replacement. Instead, make your own oat flour (it’s easy). Simply grind your whole oats (NOT quick oats or steel cut) in a high powdered food processor until they are a flour consistency.
Variations of these sweet potato muffins
The best thing about making muffins is how versatile they are. You can add in different ingredients for varied textures and flavors. Here are a few ideas:
- Chocolate chips – chocolate and sweet potato go very well together, believe it or not! Try mixing in some baking chips the next time you make these muffins.
- Walnuts – add in some walnuts or pecans for extra crunch.
- Maple syrup – cut back 1/4 cup of the sugar and add in a few Tbsp. of maple syrup for a sweet, fall flavor.
- Vegan butter – slice these muffins in half and smear them with a little vegan butter for a satisfying snack.
- Lemon zest – a tiny bit of freshly grated lemon zest adds a bright flavor to these muffins as well.
I consider these muffins to be pretty easy to make. Once you have the sweet potato cooked, the rest of the prep is simple! And, these muffins make your entire house smell amazing while they cook. They’re perfect for a fall party, or just a cozy weekend indoors.
Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins (With Oat Flour)
- 2 ½ cups oat flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 ½ cups mashed cooked sweet potato about 1 large potato
- ½ cup oat milk
- ⅓ cup neutral oil vegetable or canola
For topping (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Peel sweet potato and chop into medium sized cubes. Boil or steam till soft, then strain and mash. Allow them to cool before using.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Then, line your muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine them sugar, oat milk, and mashed sweet potato. Stir until smooth consistency is met.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir well to incorporate.
- Stir in the oil until completely mixed in (the mixture should not separate).
- Then, stir in the flour and baking powder until well combined. There should be no remaining lumps.
- Scoop even portions into the prepared muffin tins, filling to about 1/2 inch from the top.
- Optional: Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. brown sugar over the top of each muffin if desired.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to muffins to cool for 30 minutes before serving.