Get a double dose of cinnamon with these vegan cinnamon muffins with an extra swirl of cinnamon. They’re so delicious that no one will know they’re oil-free!
It sounds a little pathetic, but these days the only dinner guests in my house are of the 11-year-old girl variety, so I never get the opportunity to pull out all the stops and make a five-course dinner and blog about it. Not that I’m complaining.
No, I’m more about feeding my family than impressing guests, the rare exception being those Sunday mornings when I wake up and remember that I have some other parent’s child under my roof–and that it would probably reflect badly on me if I let her go home hungry. (I can hear it now: “They only have soymilk and weird brown bread and there are cats everywhere and Mrs. V kept talking about Satan!*”)
So I’m always a gracious host and do my best to feed the little visitors. But when the visitor is used to bacon, cinnamon rolls, and Fruit Loops with whole milk–and my usual breakfast options are oatmeal, smoothies, and whole-grain cereal with soy milk–then we have a problem. Even my special occasion, tofu-based breakfasts of omelets or quiches or frittatas are out of the question when the guest thinks that tofu is “pukey” and wants nothing to do with it, even the deep fried kind in the Chinese take-out she refused to eat the night before.
[Note to parents of E’s friends: This guest-child is a composite, exaggerated for effect, not your little princess. Rest assured that when she spent the night with us, your daughter was a perfect angel, eagerly eating whatever was put before her at the table without making gagging sounds or miming barfing into her lap. Your child has never done that in my house. Really. Almost never.]
So, to my way of thinking, it comes down to two options: pancakes or muffins. D is more of the pancake maker of the household, so if he happens to be awake (ha!) I’ll usually pass the spatula to him.
I personally prefer making muffins because, frankly, they’re easier. Mix ’em up, pour ’em in, and let ’em bake–no standing over a hot skillet waiting for bubbles to appear. I can be checking my email or reading the Sunday paper while the house fills with the heavenly aroma of muffins baking. They also keep well, so if the rest of the house sleeps for another hour or two, no harm done; I’ll usually save them a couple.
Since I don’t cook breakfast very often, when I make muffins I like to shake it up and try different recipes, never cooking them the same way twice so that I’ll have something new to blog about, something that isn’t made of eggplant. Consequently, I’m never exactly sure that they’ll be edible. Once I tried to make quick cinnamon rolls, adapting a recipe that was on the Vegetarian Times website, but the fat-free vegan treatment just didn’t work for them and they came out misshapen and tasting like cinnamon-flavored dog biscuits. The kids called them Cinnamon Splats and used them to play hockey in the driveway. [Children are such a joy.]
So it was with some trepidation that I tried another cinnamon-heavy recipe, especially since the guest last Sunday morning was the same girl I’d tried to poison with Cinnamon Splats. I managed to be out of the room taking photos of the muffins (just in case) when the rest of the family sat down to eat, so it was only after the fact that I heard that they were, indeed, delicious.
Actually, I didn’t hear that from our guest, but D and E insist that she did, in fact, give them the Omnivore Seal of Approval. I ate mine a little later, after it had been photographed half to death, and I found it very tasty. D and E apparently ate theirs with margarine–so much for fat-free–and E liked them so much that she asked for them again the next morning. (Sorry, they’re all gone, but have you tried my licorice version?) So consider these kid-tested, mother approved.
*The only “Satan” I ever talk about is seitan. But yep, that’s how I pronounce it.
November 2020 Update
My daughter made these cinnamon swirl muffins the weekend after Thanksgiving with a couple of changes. We no longer have agave nectar in the house, so she used maple syrup. And she decided to take my reader’s suggestion about the apple and added one peeled, chopped Honeycrisp apple to the batter.
They were AMAZING! She read the entire post before making them and says I really undersold the recipe, and I have to agree. They were moist and tender, sweet and cinnamony, and the apple chunks added a great flavor and texture. I can’t express just how good they were, not just for a fat-free muffin but for any muffin at all. You’ll just have to try them.
Cinnamon Swirl Muffins
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour I used white whole wheat
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/3 cup soy yogurt -may substitute apple sauce
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 apple peeled and chopped (OPTIONAL)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray or use a silicone muffin pan. (I find it best not to use paper liners–the muffins will stick to them.)
- Mix together dry ingredients (flour through flax seeds) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix wet ingredients (yogurt through agave). In an even smaller bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture, add the chopped apple if you're using it, and stir just until thoroughly moistened. Do not beat or overmix. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle each half-full muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and fill with remaining batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over each muffin. Take a toothpick or thin knife, insert it into the batter and swirl gently.
- Bake for 17-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
If cinnamon swirl doesn’t float your boat, how about trying one of my other muffin recipes (Cinnamon Splats not included):
Please pin and share:
SusanVAugust 1, 2009 at 11:18 am
Comments that were left before the blog was moved to WordPress:
Fourth post this week! Yay. I love reading your posts. These look great. I hope to be making them soon.
Lane of VeganBits.com
2:00 PM, April 19, 2008
That’s because seitan is EVIL! 😉
Those muffins, however, look decidedly divine. xoxo
2:45 PM, April 19, 2008
Will delurk just to say how much I enjoyed this post!! Pure vicarious domestic bliss 😀 Nicely done!
3:54 PM, April 19, 2008
Your comment about sending the kid home hungry had me in stitches.
The recipe looks good too.
5:13 PM, April 19, 2008
Those cinnamon swirl muffins look really good. I bet they smelled amazing while baking!
6:08 PM, April 19, 2008
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said…
Oh boy — this recipe is going on the bulletin board for the next eight days…. and after that, when there’s bread in the house again, these muffins will be there, too!
8:01 PM, April 19, 2008
Ooo yum. I’m a bit of a muffin-aholic. Might have to make these soon 🙂 Actually not might… they’ll be breakfast tomorrow.
8:41 PM, April 19, 2008
Susan, I commend you for taking on the challenge of feeding a large group of 11-year-olds – your “note to parents of E’s friends” made my laugh out loud, haha!! :0D
Okay, now I DEFINITELY have to make those Cinnamon Swirl Muffins (especially since I’m too intimidated to make cinnamon rolls, haha) – yum!! Once again, you’re a brilliant baker!
8:45 PM, April 19, 2008
What great idea to win over them omni kids! No one can ever resist a cinnamon roll in a muffin!
Hahaha- I’m sure most kids do find tofu “pukey.” Guess they just don’t know what they’re missing….
8:50 PM, April 19, 2008
What a great funny wry post, Susan, and delicious sounding, too. I laughed out. It brought back memories of when my son was E’s age, and I let the boys make waffles when there was a overnight. By junior high and high school, they were into being vegetarians or vegans, too, so, everything goes full circle, I guess. . .then your weird healthy food suddenly becomes cool. . .you just never know. . .one year it’s a hockey puck, the next year they want to know how to make them. . .:)
9:31 PM, April 19, 2008
Urban Vegan said…
What a great idea….cinnamon bun flavor but without all the goo [read: fat!].
10:01 PM, April 19, 2008
wow. i really adore your blog! what a great post!
11:13 PM, April 19, 2008
I would skip every five course dinner for these muffins!
1:04 AM, April 20, 2008
Melisser; the Urban Housewife said…
Mmm, cinnamon swirl ANYTHING sounds great to me!
3:48 AM, April 20, 2008
mmmmm, these look so tasty!! i have a question.. if you don’t have the soy yogurt in the house, can you sub in egg replacer in some format? my husband’s the vegan one in this house but he doesn’t like soy yogurt so we never have it around.. but we have plenty of egg replacer! 🙂
7:34 AM, April 20, 2008
Yum! I just made cinnamon swirl cupcakes last week. Mine were much more decadent and not fat-free but they are vegan. I can’t wait to try this recipe for a healthier approach to breakfast.
9:26 AM, April 20, 2008
OpenID Aly said…
These look absolutely adorable!
10:39 AM, April 20, 2008
Mmm! I made these, and replaced the soy yogurt with mashed bananas and they turned out great!
10:54 AM, April 20, 2008
Gleek, Laura used mashed bananas instead of the yogurt; apple sauce would also work. Good luck!
12:48 PM, April 20, 2008
Love the swirl! I’m a big fan of cinnamon, so must try these out. Thanks!
4:53 PM, April 20, 2008
I made these this morning for a special Sunday snack for my wife and me. I had to make a last minute substitution of sour cream for the yogurt and I need to learn to read a recipe before I actually make it but they turned out well. I think your description of the taste was spot on: they were good but a bit on the bland side. We tried them with various combinations of butter, Toffuti cream cheese, and whipped topping but I think the buttered ones were the best. Thanks for the recipe!
5:52 PM, April 20, 2008
These were good even if a little bland. Omni-boyfriend and I appreciated that they weren’t too sweet. I also ate mine with Earth Balance (sorry to my fat free intentions.) Their flavor isn’t muffiny. They’re crumpety, but with a muffin texture. It’s weird, but good. I’ll definitely make them again.
6:15 PM, April 20, 2008
Private Chef said…
Hi there, just stumbled accroos this from stumbleupon and am loving the healthy angle. Seems like more and more people are into the healthy option these days which has to be a good thing! I am pretty sure the new health craze started in the USA and is sweeping accross the rest of the world with people totally obsessed with what they eat nowadays! I think the most important is having a healthy diet most of the time while allowing some treats once in a while! I have been developing a series of healthy video recipes myself on http://www.ifoods.tv that I hope can help people stay healthy. Keep up the good work on the site and hopfully more people will be eating healthy before we know it! Cheers
7:01 AM, April 21, 2008
I just wanted to report back that I made these and think that they are fantastic! They are the best fat free muffins I’ve ever eaten. Which doesn’t mean that they can’t compete with regular ones. They definitely can!
I only made two alterations: I didn’t have soy yoghurt so I used silken tofu instead and I cut out some nutmeg and added more vanilla, because I don’t like nutmeg in baked goods that much.
Anyway, I am glad you posted the recipe, these are awesome!
8:04 AM, April 21, 2008
ooh these look great! and even better for being sugar-free AND using agave nectar! Sugar is my satan right now and I’m finding sugar- and chemical-sweetener-free recipes to be few and far between…
8:18 AM, April 21, 2008
This post had me cracking up!
I will have to try these muffins. I love anything with spices (i.e. cinnamon and nutmeg) in them!
10:15 AM, April 21, 2008
this was hilarious!
what do you think i could use instead of flaxseeds— i think i have some sort of strange intolerance to flax.
2:24 PM, April 21, 2008
pleasantly plump vegan said…
yay for muffins!
5:05 PM, April 21, 2008
Virginie Péan said…
Luck am I, this recipe falls well : yesterday I bought cute muffins and cupcakes tins. They are not so easy to find in France, because these cakes aren’t so common for us. They take part of an american/british exotism…
Last week I received the Vegan Express book. Congrats for the photos !
4:31 AM, April 22, 2008
Anonymous–You might just leave the flaxseeds out. I like to include them, but I’m not sure they contribute anything essential to the recipe.
6:57 AM, April 22, 2008
I love this post. Satan. Hehe.
These look amazing! I <3 cinnamon.
9:39 PM, April 22, 2008
Hehe, satan hu? Funny, I could definitely see a kiddo getting that confused with seitan :D. I like this recipe! Two desserts in one. Being that I'm a muffin and cinnamon roll fan, these will get baked in my oven very soon :). Thanks for sharing!
11:20 AM, April 28, 2008
Just made these... oh my, I hope some last until tomorrow. I can't stop eating them.
Thanks for the recipe!
10:59 PM, April 28, 2008
They are delicious. Thanks!
2:50 PM, April 29, 2008
I made these today and they were absolutely amazing!!!
Not to mention that they made the whole kitchen smell delicious!!
Thanks so much for the recipe!!
2:43 PM, March 20, 2009
AnonymousNovember 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm
I was craving cinnamon and these were the perfect fix, i used pumpkin instead of soy yogurt and 1/3maple syrup instead of agave. Turned out good! 🙂
IlariaMay 23, 2010 at 7:57 am
SOOOOOOOOOO yummy!! We made these for breakfast this morning and tehy were so good! Having the last 2 for dessert tonight!
AtaraOctober 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm
I feel like these could have some more oomph by putting some fruit in them Im going to try the recipe and put some diced fresh apples into them I think it might be perfect with the cinnamon and nutmeg! Thanks for this recipe ill keep u posted!
poetriaDecember 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Hey there! I only recently found your blog, and I just wanted to say, I made these muffins this morning, and they were glorious 🙂 Thanks for posting the recipe – it’s a definite keeper! The texture of these was fantastic, too – so fluffy. (I did alter the recipe just a tad: I noted that you said you found them to be a bit on the bland side, so I upped the cinnamon a bit. And since I didn’t have orange juice on hand, I used cranberry juice instead, which worked just fine.)
Thanks again for this recipe, and all the other excellent-looking recipes on your blog, which I must try. And, a very Happy New Year to you and yours! 🙂
NatashaJanuary 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm
do you have to put the flax seeds in?
SusanVJanuary 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm
Flax seeds act as an egg replacer, so if you want to leave them out, you could use a tablespoon of powdered Ener-G egg replacer. Just leaving it out may cause the muffins to fail to rise.
sdterpApril 19, 2011 at 11:41 am
LOL Cinnamon Splats. Ya kill me.
As for “Satan,” you could try “SAY-tan” instead of “SAY-tən\” and you can even hear it here http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seitan…just click on the speaker.
Then your daughter’s friend’s parents won’t be quite so worried about the crazy vegan, fat-free, seitanist down the street. 😉
DyanMay 3, 2011 at 12:09 am
Due to my pantry’s shortcomings, I made this with all whole wheat white flour, subbed mashed banana for the yogurt, used unsweetened almond milk, replaced about half the agave with brown rice syrup, and used brown sugar instead of regular. I can hear you groaning already, but they turned out awesome. All three of my non-vegan, junk food/dessert-loving roommates thought they were delicious, too.
SusanVMay 3, 2011 at 7:31 am
No groans here! I’m just happy they turned out great!
DyanMay 10, 2011 at 11:08 am
Ah, yes, I suppose that’s only if I’d concluded with, “Why didn’t your recipe turn out?!” 🙂 Thanks again for another fool-proof recipe!
leaJuly 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm
My very un-vegan husband wants to eat only toaster strudels and special K protein bars for breakfast 365 days per, unless that is, if he goes to McDonalds for a greasy steak bagel. I have tried to bake him many vegan breads and muffins only to end up eating them myself (he once actually took a bite, then spit it out and said “I can’t eat this.”) Well, this morning he ate two of your cinammon swirl muffins. While I was afraid to ask if he liked them, he did eat two entire muffins without comment. This may be the strangest compliment you have ever gotten, but let me assure you it is a compliment! Thank you for helping make my husband a healthier eater!
CarolynAugust 30, 2011 at 11:14 am
I made these this morning for breakfast. I didn’t have every ingredient and we have wheat allergies in the family. I ended up substituting tofu for the yogurt and pineapple juice for the orange juice. I blended the wet ingredients together in the blender since I only had regular firm tofu. I used Tom’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour. And they turned out perfect! Yum!
JackiOctober 7, 2011 at 10:42 am
“They only have soymilk and weird brown bread and there are cats everywhere and Mrs. V kept talking about Satan!*”
Omg, ha ha, this is hilarious!!
MarinaFebruary 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm
I’m gluten free . Do u think I can substitute the flour for quinoa? I saw in Martha Stewart show i recipe for quinoa muffin? Thanks
Susan VoisinFebruary 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm
I think you will have better luck with an all-purpose gluten free flour blend.
kaitFebruary 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm
Mrs. V kept talking about Satan! LOL. You rule, Mrs. V.
MarieMarch 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm
I just made these and they came out absolutely fabulous. I love baking, but since I recently decided to go Vegan I felt kind of restricted in my baking-related dreams. So I’m really, really glad that I found this blog and the fat-freeness makes it even more awesome (I’ve been struggling with my weight and fat-free goodies make things so much easier). Anyway, I used 2 cups of spelt-flour, substituted half the yoghurt for a banana and to half the batter I added a grated apple. They came out wonderfully moist, a little sticky on top from the sugar and just overall super delicious. Thanks you so much, now I can finally do what I love again, only fatfree and vegan!
sepetersApril 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm
I made these two days and they are almost gone! They are so delicious! I made mine using powdered stevia that measures cup for cup like sugar. I really like that they are not too sweet, but mine were a little dry… I live in AZ, perhaps my flour is dry. If I add more applesauce will they still raise?
KarenJune 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm
this recipe is grrrrrEAT!!! i switched the flowers with Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free mix and they still came out f-ing fantastic !
Adeline BashOctober 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm
Thank you for the recipe! My mother and I made them for a Sunday afternoon pick-me-up and they were fantastic. We added a little crumb topping as well, made of chopped pecans, brown sugar, melted earth balance, flour and cinnamon. Hope your kids’ friends appreciate these muffins as much as we did! Keep up the fabulous work.
SallyDecember 1, 2012 at 8:47 am
This post was so humorous! I found these muffins about 2 weeks ago looking for bran muffins and … um I haven’t made any bran muffins yet (I have some bran sitting here wanting to be used) … and I laughed several times about the Mom who talks about “Satan” … and I woke up this morning having had a whole week of full moon something – was it in the water this week or what? Any way, after a week of living through full moon whatever, all I could think about was Susan’s cinnamon muffins that looked so good, and now they are in the oven and they smell so good … Thanks for the smiles this week through the full moon-itis and the muffins.
I promise I will use that bran next …
SallyDecember 1, 2012 at 9:01 am
O – and your humor is wickedly delicious. From the instructions “In a smaller bowl … in an even smaller bowl …” New week starts today. Thanks 🙂
TammyApril 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm
Susan, these muffins were perfect! Slightly sweet but not overly so…very tasty! Thanks for all you do for us plant-based foodies! 🙂
RaymondApril 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Hi..looks really good but please update ww point. It’s actually 4 points and not 3
oliviaAugust 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm
Is it alright to substitute regular flour for the whole wheat flour in the cinnamon swirl muffins? Thanks!
Susan VoisinAugust 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm
Yes, they should come out okay with all regular flour.
ReneeOctober 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm
I’ve been a vegan for 11 days, but before that made a huge move to cut out all processed foods. The one thing I’ve struggled with is soy/coconut yogurt. I’ve looked at many different brands and they seem just loaded with highly processed and chemical ingredients. What kind of soy yogurt do you use? Is there something I could use to replace the yogurt? I think I’m in a place where I’d rather not eat yogurt than have something that’s so processed. Thanks for any advice you can provide to this new vegan! 🙂
MarciaOctober 15, 2013 at 11:36 am
Sounds delicious! Just a couple of questions:
Why the two different flours?
Is the orange juice a must for this recipe?
TomMarch 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm
I made these a couple of weeks ago and I have to say, they were fantastic! These came out moist, sweet, cinnamon-y and slightly orange-y. My not at all vegan roommate said, ” These are the best baked thing you’ve ever made.” I didn’t bother mentioning they are fat free.
GermaineMarch 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm
Absolutely delicious! My husband said he could eat them all day!
CarissaApril 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm
What can I substitute for the ground flaxseed?
Susan VoisinApril 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm
One tablespoon of corn starch (or other starch) might work but I haven’t tried it.
KarleNovember 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm
I awoke early today Sunday and had a lot to do but clicked on Facebook on my iPad, There I found the link in Fat Free Vegan to this great muffin. I looked at the ingredients and realized I could make them with a couple substitutions. I had unflavored almond yogurt and all the rest of the ingredients. As your daughter did, I chopped a small apple and added it to the mix. I wanted to use maple syrup. I didn’t have enough and used the suggested agave. The muffin came out of the oven in 17 minutes. Delicious. Thanks.