Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Created by Laura Wright
4.95 from 53 votes

Vegan sweet potato muffins with pecan streusel are a cozy treat that’s perfectly sweet. Made with spelt flour, maple syrup, and roasted sweet potatoes.

An overhead shot of vegan sweet potato muffins perched inside of a bowl that is lined with a navy blue linen napkin.
A head on shot of vegan sweet potato muffins with pecan streusel, sitting on top of a black cooling rack with a white background.
A head on shot of muffin ingredients on a wood butcher block counter with open shelving and white subway tile in the background.
An up close, overhead shot of a split open baked sweet potato on a white plate.
An overhead shot of pecan streusel being made in a grey bowl. In the bowl, there is: chopped pecans, coconut sugar, and 3 big cubes of vegan butter.

I love a seasonal and lightly sweet muffin to have with coffee and since we’re so far out from local fruit, it’s gotta be these vegan sweet potato muffins with pecan streusel. These vegan carrot muffins would also be perfect. I made them with a base of light spelt flour (I use this one from Flourist), roasted and mashed sweet potatoes, maple syrup, coconut oil, and a bunch of other goodies.

The topping is held together with vegan butter (I’ve been partial to this one that’s made in Ontario lately) and coconut sugar. It’s so crunchy with the perfect level of salty and sweet. If you’re looking to substitute the spelt flour or you want to make this as a loaf, I provide some suggestions for you in the recipe notes!

This muffin reminds me a bit of a coffee cake with the cinnamon and crunchy topping. But then there’s that added cozy and satiating goodness of the sweet potato in there. It makes these muffins beautifully orange and definitely a breakfast superhero ;). I have lots of great savoury sweet potato recipes as well.

I also love that this one is a solid 10-ish ingredients. Super simple if you pre-roast sweet potatoes at the start of your week like me! I like to have them on hand for quick lunches, to add to treats like this, or even to chuck into my daily smoothie.

More Sweet Potato Goodness:

Hope you give these cute little muffins a try! I also hope that you’re all hanging in there and keeping well.

AN overhead shot of finished pecan streusel in a grey bowl on a white background.
A 3/4 angle shot of sweet potato purée being poured into a glass bowl with dry ingredients for muffins. The purée is bright orange.
An overhead shot of a hand applying pecan streusel to sweet potato muffin batter in a muffin tin.
A side angle shot of baked sweet potato muffins in a muffin tin. The tops are domed, the muffins are slightly orange-hued, and the pecan streusel is golden brown.
An up close, overhead shot of a split vegan sweet potato muffin on a white plate with a little bit of vegan butter smeared onto the cut side. There is a butter knife perched on the plate as well.

Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Vegan sweet potato muffins with pecan streusel are a cozy treat that’s just sweet enough. Made with spelt flour, maple syrup, and roasted sweet potatoes.
4.95 from 53 votes
An overhead shot of vegan sweet potato muffins perched inside of a bowl that is lined with a navy blue linen napkin.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 10 Muffins

Ingredients

Streusel

  • ½ cup pecan halves, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold vegan butter

Sweet Potato Muffins

  • 2 cups light spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • cups mashed cooked sweet potato flesh
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Notes

  • This recipe is based on my banana bread recipe, so feel free to sub mashed banana for the sweet potato!
  • I know it seems fussy to have liquid sweetener in the muffin and granulated sweetener in the streusel, but the streusel really does require a granulated sweetener for that crunch and structure.
  • Substitutes for the light spelt flour: whole spelt flour (the muffins will definitely be more dense and may require some extra non-dairy milk in the batter), all purpose flour, and gluten-free all purpose mixtures should work (I always recommend the one by Pamela’s).
  • If you love cardamom, a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom in the muffin batter would be delicious in this recipe.
  • I think this recipe would work fine in a standard loaf pan, but you may have to cover the top with foil to prevent the streusel from burning. For a loaf, I’d bake it covered at 350 for about 35 minutes and then another 15-20 minutes uncovered.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 10 cups of a standard size muffin tin and set aside.
  • Make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the chopped pecans, coconut sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the vegan butter to the bowl and mix it in with your fingers, breaking up the bits of butter and working them into the sugar and pecans. Once you have a sandy and crumbly texture, and the streusel sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers, set aside in the refrigerator.
  • In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir with a spatula to evenly mix.
  • In an upright blender, combine the mashed and cooked sweet potato, maple syrup, coconut oil, non-dairy milk and vanilla. Blend on high until totally smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the puréed sweet potato mixture into the large bowl with the spelt flour mixture. Use your spatula to get all of the sweet potato mixture you can out of the blender. Gently stir and fold everything together until JUST combined.
  • Divide the muffin batter evenly among the 10 prepared muffin cups. Grab the pecan streusel from the fridge and divide it evenly among the tops of the muffins. Really press it into the muffin batter with your fingers.
  • Bake the sweet potato muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are domed and slightly darkened and a paring knife/cake tester inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Let the muffins cool completely before enjoying!
An overhead shot of vegan sweet potato muffins in a bowl lined with a navy linen napkin. To the side is a white plate with a split open muffin and a butter knife.
27/01/2021 (Last Updated 02/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, dessert, snack, spring, summer, sweet, sweet potatoes, vegan, winter

54 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Deepak

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe and going to try soon and share it with my friend.

  • Avi

    Would you be able to share the recipe measurements in grams? I’d love to quickly make the recipe with a kitchen scale vs multiple measuring cups. Thank you!

  • Evelyn

    Would canned pumpkin purée work as a substitute for the sweet potato? Just stumbled upon this recipe and I have all the ingredients already in my pantry barring the sweet potato.

    • Laura

      I think pumpkin would work great here!
      -L

  • Brittany

    5 stars
    I want to share how much I love these muffins! I have been making them for a while and they never disappoint. I wanted to share I doubled the batter for the first time and it was very successful! I made the streusel topping once, which was delicious of course, but I typically just make the muffin base on its own. They freeze great and they are toddler approved. Thanks Laura!

  • Elsbeth

    Oh, and I did not put the sweet potato in the oven. I peeled them, cut them in 1 inch cubes and steamed them for about 14 minutes. This shortened the preparation time and worked out well too.

  • Elsbeth

    5 stars
    Deliciously most muffins, not overly sweet. I used 1 cup of almond flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. That also worked out very well. The streusel topping is really nice. Will keep making these for sure.

  • Wendy

    5 stars
    Yum!

  • Linda Kasinska

    5 stars
    So glad i found this recipe, these are delicious

  • Nancy

    Just made these. Substituted pumpkin purée for sweet potato, mashed banana for the oil and added pumpkin spice. They are delicious!!! And so moist.

  • Megan C

    5 stars
    Wow, these came out awesome! I used a mix of canola oil and coconut oil for the topping and added maybe 1/4 c instant oats. Mine made 12 muffins and were done at 14 minutes. I didn’t measure the sweet potato, so I might have had a little over the half cup.

  • Dana

    I made this a week ago, loaf pan instead of muffins; the flavor was divine but the batter was VERY thick and the loaf was incredibly dry and crumbly though we ate every bite it was so delicious.  I used TJ’s GF flour and since I didn’t quite have 1.5 cups of sweet potato I used a bit of banana.  Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong?  Want to make again tomorrow!!!

    • Laura

      Hi Dana,
      The batter is naturally very thick, but it should not have resulted in a dry end product. I’m guessing that the flours in your GF mix may have just absorbed more moisture than what I used for the original recipe! The banana substitution wouldn’t have contributed to dryness I don’t think.
      -L

  • Corinne

    The muffins are in the oven!  Second time making this deliciousness this week.  I have never made muffins nor do I like them…you know the store bought ones…too big, too bland, too sweet…  My son loves them so much and so does my BFF and her family!  Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

  • Janie

    5 stars
    WOW – impressive and de-lish !!!

  • Karen

    5 stars
    These are some of the best muffins I have ever tastes. SO moist and delish! I used walnuts instead.

  • Morgan

    Hi! How do you roast the sweet potatoes for this?

    • Laura

      Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then, wash your sweet potatoes and prick a few holes in the exterior with a fork. Place them on the foil-lined baking sheet. Roast the sweet potatoes until they are tender, about 45-50 minutes. Let them cool completely before proceeding with this recipe.
      -L

  • Sara

    5 stars
    This makes a really fantastic muffin! I was worried about the density and the sweet potato seemed to suck up all the wet ingredients as I was pouring the batter into the muffin tins, but they came out beautifully moist with great structure. Thank you!

  • Barbara

    I love this!

  • Erin

    5 stars
    I loved them! I am new to vegan baking and don’t always like the results. These were really great! I bought sprouted whole wheat flour by accident instead of spelt so I used it. I will try them with spelt next time but I really enjoyed them and the house smells amazing. Thank you!

  • Jenelle

    5 stars
    These were sooo delicious and easy to make! Definitely a recipe I will go back to. Thank you for sharing, Laura!

  • Joy

    5 stars
    I made this recipe while slightly distracted talking to be people I was about to serve it to. In my distracted state, I accidentally added a 1/2 tsp of salt to the streusel and forgot to add the coconut oil to the batter. Surprisingly, the muffins turned out AMAZING! I don’t think they needed the oil and the extra salt in the streusel was great for those who like a salty-sweet combination. Thank you for this awesome recipe! Definitely going to make it again!

  • Amie

    I followed the recipe exactly but my muffins spread and sank in the middle. I wonder if it’s because of the brand of vegan butter I used (melt brand buttery sticks). What kind did you use?

    • Laura

      Hi Amie!
      The vegan butters that I typically go to for baking are: Miyoko’s or one by a brand called Nuts For Cheese. Both are cultured vegan butters with a puréed cashew and coconut oil base. I believe Melt is all oil-based, so it is possible that this made a difference! I also find that the “doming” of muffins can really depend on what muffin pan I use sometimes. Did you open the oven at all while they were baking? I also wonder if maybe your sweet potato purée was just more moist than what is typical? Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors at play with baking recipes!
      -L

  • Chelsea T

    5 stars
    Made these the other evening and they are delicious. They are very moist and the perfect treat to motivate me to get out of bed. I will be directing friends to this recipe :)

  • Sherri B

    5 stars
    Used all purpose flour because I ran out of spelt, and they turned out great. I sometimes remove sweet toppings from muffins because I find them overly sweet, but these were perfection!

  • Caroline Atwood

    4 stars
    These did not turn out as pretty for me. The sweet potato puree was a little thick and the batter was super thick as a result. I ended up adding almost a whole cup of soy milk to make it workable. And sadly despite pressing the streusel into the muffins it still seemed to slide off unto the pan while baking. Ah well. They certainly taste awesome just maybe my amateur baking skills need some help! Love your stuff as always Laura. 

  • Jess

    5 stars
    These were so delicious and cakey! I consume dairy so used butter for the topping and melted butter in the muffins. I was about 1/2 cup short of cooked sweet potato, so I topped up the rest with applesauce. They were perfect. Thanks for the awesome recipe! 

  • Nanda

    These look great. A couple things: Bob’s Red Mill seems to have stopped making Light Spelt Flour. Do you have a reliable alternate source? Also, would you be able to add an estimate of number or weight in grams of sweet potatoes needed for 1.5 Cups cooked sweet potato flesh? That would be super helpful to know how much to bake.

    • Laura

      Hi Nanda,
      I buy the sifted spelt flour (which is basically light spelt flour) from Flourist. They are always well-stocked and ship all over North America. Your sweet potato should weigh around 275 grams before baking.
      -L

  • Kortneii MacKenzie

    5 stars
    Delicious! That strudel topping is Devine! Thank so much for sharing!

  • Lydz

    Would they work with butternut squash? I don’t have sweet potatoes at home atm but would really like to bake these!

    • Laura

      I think cooked butternut squash would work fine here! Might be a bit less sweet though.
      -L

  • sadie

    5 stars
    these are exceptional! used regular spelt flour and worked like a dream

  • Marge

    Couldn’t stop thinking about these muffins since you posted them, so I made a 6am batch when it was zero degrees outside (it seemed appropriate). I dislike making substitutions to the recipes that you work so hard to create, but unfortunately I didn’t have quite enough sweet potato to make the 1.5 cups, so subbed about 1/3 thick applesauce. Didn’t seem to affect the recipe much except maybe a little bit wetter, requiring a few more minutes in the oven than recommended. They were amazing, incredible, so filling and moist, so perfect. Will be making these over and over again, thank you!

  • Julie

    4 stars
    Not bad!!  I somehow forgot to measure my sweet potato, haha. I baked an approx. amount that I figured would be close to what I needed once mashed….then I ended up dumping all of that SP into the blender without measuring. Oops! I baked for 18 1/2 mins at 400F.  They are pretty good although some of the topping got just slightly burnt and so some bites are just a tad bitter. I also used whole grain spelt flour as that is what I had, not light spelt. Overall, pretty tasty!!  They don’t seem very sweet to me, which I found surprising (and I’m not someone who is used to eating super sugary sweets by any means). I will try these again I think! :) Really interesting. Something different vs usual blueberry or banana muffins, etc. 

  • Kimmy Quillin

    5 stars
    I can’t enough praise to these muffins. Laura, you nail it every time with every recipe! 
    I was worried, because my sweet potatoes were cold from the fridge and solidified the coconut oil in the blender. The batter looked drier than I anticipated, but they baked out great! I baked them n a scone pan because I don’t have muffin tins, and the portion is lovely.
    If your sweet potatoes are cold, maybe set them out get to room temp beforehand.

  • Ivy

    5 stars
    I made this with AP flour and used a loaf pan following your instructions in the notes – it turned out great. Thanks for the receipe!

  • Leeann Lane

    Can I substitute almond flour for spelt flour?

    • Laura

      Hi Leeann,
      I don’t think you can do a direct 1-for-1 substitution with almond flour here. It’s more dense and much higher in fat. You would have to change a bunch of other ingredients in the recipe and possibly introduce a stronger binder like a starch or an egg (if you consume them). Even beyond that, I can’t guarantee that it would work. When dealing with grain-free flours like almond or coconut, within the context of substituting for a wheat flour, you’ll always have to switch up other components of the recipe. If you need a grain-free or possibly paleo version of this muffin, might be best to Google “grain-free/paleo sweet potato muffin” or something similar to find a recipe from a site that specializes in those kinds of treats.
      -L

  • Ruth

    Could you provide the nutritional/ calorie info for these? They look awesome!!

  • Lova wilson

    4 stars
    I am into more healthy eating for myself n family so I’d use eggs or even just egg whites to make the batter less dense……, some may use lighter flour like corn starch or potato starch or rice flour… what do you think?
    Best Lova wilson

    • Becky

      How many eggs?

  • Tal

    5 stars
    These muffins are amazing! They’re super easy to make, delicious, and stay soft and moist. They also keep you full, which isn’t always the case with muffins, so I’ve been eating these for breakfast :) 

  • Stacey

    I’m a muffin lover and these are so incredibly moist! I put them into 7 giant silicone muffin cups and it turned out awesome. Thanks! I’m going to pass the recipe along to my sister.

  • Lisa

    5 stars
    Just made these with GF flour.  So delicious!!  Thank you!

    • Laura

      Thanks for letting us know how it worked with GF flour, Lisa! Do you mind sharing which one you used?
      -L

      • Lisa

        I used approx 1.75c of Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 and then the last 1/4 or so of teff flour.  They were really good!

  • Erin Bauer

    Could you use chilled coconut oil instead of vegan butter in the topping?

    • Laura

      I did test chilled coconut oil for the topping and it just didn’t work. It made the topping extremely weepy after baking and it just oozed all over the pan unfortunately. I’ve never had luck with coconut oil in crunchy toppings like this.
      -L

      • Erin Bauer

        Thanks so much.  I’ll probably stick with the butter then. 

  • Jacquelyn Benson

    Thoughts on how successful these would be using canned sweet potato purée?

    • Laura

      I think it would work fine! Usually the moisture level in canned purée is similar to sweet potatoes roasted at home.
      -L