Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and spray a muffin tray with non-stick spray. Or you can add muffin/cupcake to your muffin tray for easier clean-up. Set aside.
For your vegan egg, grab a small dish, mix together ground flaxseed and water. Set aside. The mixture will thicken up as it sits into a gel-like consistency.
Next, make your vegan buttermilk. In a liquid measuring cup, pour in almond milk and add in your apple cider vinegar and mix together slightly. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, sea salt, brown sugar, and whole hemp seeds. Mix together well.
In a separate bowl mix together, vegan flaxseed egg, vegan buttermilk, applesauce, peanut butter, canned pumpkin puree, and melted vegan butter. Mix together well.
Add your dry mixture into your wet mixture and mix gently until just combined. DO NOT over mix your batter. It's even okay to have a few dry flour spots. Your batter should be thick and have some elasticity.
Fold in your vegan chocolate chips gently. Then spoon into muffin tins, dividing evenly into 12 muffins. Top with additional chocolate chips and bake for 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Remove from heat and allow muffins to cool before removing from pan. You can also serve these with vegan butter, peanut butter (or any other nut butter), or even some delicious Date Caramel Sauce. They taste the best when served warm.
Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 48 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 5 - 7 days. They can last in the freezer up to 1 month in a large size freezer bag or container covered. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave.
KEY BAKING TIP: When I say “level” as a measurement, that means that the top of what you're measuring is flat; no flour/sugar goes above the top of the measuring cup or measuring spoon. DO NOT skip the apple cider vinegar (or you can use white vinegar) to ensure your muffins will rise.
NON DAIRY MILK: You may use your choice of nondairy milk. It doesn't have to be almond milk.
FLOUR: Not gluten-free? Just use regular all-purpose flour or preferably spelt flour, sprouted wheat flour, or whole wheat flour.
GLUTEN FREE FLOURS: I used Bobs Red Mill, All Purpose Baking Flour 1 to 1 (blue label). This is the only gluten-free flour I recommend for this recipe. Trader Joes All Purpose Flour and Bobs Red Mill, All Purpose Flour (red label) can work if you add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum to it. Please DO NOT use single gluten-free flours like coconut flour, rice flour, almond flour, etc for this recipe.
PUMPKIN AND PUMPKIN SPICE: Use canned pumpkin puree NOT canned pumpkin pie filling! You can also subsitute with sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree instead! Also Make sure your pumpkin spice is fresh and new to really get that nice pumpkin spice flavor.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIPS: This recipe is good without the chocolate chips BUT so much better with them! If you can’t find vegan chocolate chips (NOTES about that listed in the blog post), you can omit and replace it with your choice of nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc).
OPTIONAL: Both peanut butter and hemp seeds are added for additional “curvy” calories and protein. If you want you can omit them and the flavor will still be wonderful!
ADDITIONS & OTHER SUBSITITONS: You can use any sugar you desire besides brown sugar. I find the extra flavor of brown sugar pairs really well with pumpkin spice.