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Vegan Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

You can make Vegan Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins fast and easy. This copycat recipe captures everything you love about the original Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins: the sweet crispy pumpkin seed topping, assertive pumpkin spice flavour, and that cream cheese frosting injected into the center of the pumpkin muffin. Luckily, we can make it dairy-free and egg-free with simple grocery store ingredients and vegan cream cheese.

Skip to the printable recipe.

Video Tutorial for Vegan Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This video includes tutorials to veganize both the Tim Horton’s and Starbucks’ versions of a Pumpkin Spice Muffin.

Why you’ll LOVE these Vegan Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • Easy and FAST to make in about a half hour
  • sweet crumb topping with crisp sugared pumpkin seeds
  • pumpkin-y fluffy muffin with just the right amount of pumpkin spice
  • decadent vegan cream cheese frosting injected into the muffins!

Plus, you can make these muffins with regular all-purpose flour, your favourite gluten-free one-to-one baking flour, or oat flour! 

inside Tim Horton's style vegan pumpkin spice muffins

Differences between Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins VS Starbuck’s Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

I was in college when the Pumpkin Spice Muffins landed in every coffee shop everywhere. My campus had both Tim’s and Starbucks so I’d visit one or the other (or both) depending on where my classes were that day, how long I had to be on campus, and who I spotted in the lineup.

gluten-free vegan pumpkin spice muffins
I had tried the Starbucks Cream Cheese Pumpkin muffins and LOVED the cream cheese center baked into the muffins. It was like having pumpkin cheesecake. However, once I tried the Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice muffin, I was torn. The Timmies version was much more pumpkin-y. The spices were stronger and the pumpkin seeds on top were much tastier. They were crispy and flavourful while the Starbucks’ version was plainer in comparison. Tim’s cream cheese frosting was not baked in but injected after baking. At the time, I wished they made a Pumpkin Spice Muffin that was somewhere in between.

My ideal pumpkin spice muffin would be somewhere in between these two iconic muffins; Tim Horton’s muffin and crispy pumpkin seeds plus Starbuck’s baked in cheesecake-like filling. So I included the instructions if you want to make my version or the version more true to the Timmies’ original.

If you’re more of a fan of Starbuck’s Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffin, click here for that veganized recipe.

What is Pumpkin Spice

You can buy pre-made Pumpkin Spice Mix for this recipe OR make your own. In the spice aisle, you’ll find it commonly labelled as pumpkin spice mix or pumpkin pie spice because it’s used in pumpkin pie recipes. However, it doesn’t actually contain pumpkin. You can make your own by combining ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves and a little nutmeg. For this recipe, you can use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice mix or use the measurements below:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

pumpkin spice spices

How to Make Vegan Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F and prepare your muffin baking tray by coating the top surface with vegan butter and lining the cups with muffin liners.
  2. Make the Tim Horton’s-style cream cheese frosting by blending 2 Tbsp vegan cream cheese, 2 Tbsp vegan butter, 3/4 cup icing sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Put the frosting in a piping bag and leave it in the fridge for later.cream cheese frosting and immersion blender
  3. Combine the dry ingredients for the batter in a large mixing bowl. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. See the printable recipe for the full amounts.pumpkin puree and vegan buttermilk
  4. Fill up the muffin tins with batter.Muffin baking tray filled with Vegan Pumpkin muffin batter
  5. Separately, use a fork to blend 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp flour and 2 tsp vegan butter and sprinkle over top of each muffin.mixing white sugar crumb with fork
  6. Make the sugared pumpkin seeds by laying pumpkin seeds on a plate, spraying them with oil, then coating with icing sugar. Press these seeds on to the tops of the muffins.vegan tim horton's style muffins ready to bake
  7. Bake in your preheated oven for  8 minutes before turning the heat down to 350°F to bake for 20 more minutes; 28 minutes total or until baked through. The higher initial temperature helps the muffins rise, crisp up the pumpkin seeds and add color to the muffin tops. But it is important to lower the temperature for the rest of the baking time.
  8. After the muffins cool, poke a hole through each muffin almost to the bottom but not quite. Then pipe the vegan cream cheese frosting in to the centers. Enjoy!Finished Vegan Tim Horton's style Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Printable Recipe for Vegan Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Vegan Tim Horton's Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Finished Vegan Tim Horton's style Pumpkin Spice Muffins

These vegan muffins are soft and delicious with nutritious pumpkin puree and warming pumpkin pie spices. Like Tim Horton's Pumpkin Spice Muffins, sugared pumpkin seeds on top and cream cheese icing in the centers.

Make these vegan pumpkin spice muffins with regular all-purpose flour or make them gluten-free with gluten-free oats or your flavourite gluten-free one-to-one baking flour.

If you prefer the baked-in cheesecake-like filling of a Starbuck's Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffin, click here for that veganized recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Bake Time 28 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes

Ingredients

Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (see notes for gluten-free alternatives)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Spice Mix (see below)
  • pinch salt

Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy milk or your choice of plant milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (1 14oz can)
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or your choice of neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumb Topping

  • 2 tablespoons white or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons vegan butter

Sugared Pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon icing sugar
  • oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Lightly grease the top surface of your baking tray with vegan butter. Line it with parchment or silicone baking cups.

Make the Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Blend all the icing ingredients with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a piping bag and store in the fridge while you make the muffin batter.

Make the Pumpkin Spice Muffin Batter

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt). In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a spatula to get every bit of the wet mixture out. Fold together gently until no dry spots or wet streaks remain. Do not over mix, especially if using regular flour. Over-mixing causes the gluten to develop and can cause gummy or overly dense muffins. This is not a problem if you are using oat flour.
  2. Fill up the muffin tins with batter.
  3. Use a fork to blend the crumb ingredients together until well combined and crumbly. Sprinkle the crumb over top of the muffin batter.
  4. Place the pumpkin seeds in a bowl or on a plate. Spread them out, then spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle icing sugar over top then stir to coat them all over. Sprinkle the coated pumpkin seeds over top of the muffin batter. Press them on to the muffins' surface gently.

Bake and Finish

  1. Bake at 425°F for 8 minutes, then turn down temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 20 more minutes for a total time of 28 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven and let the muffins rest for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  3. When the muffins are cool, use a straw or sharp knife to cut away a 'v' shape from the middle of each muffin. Or just use a chopstick to poke a hole and wiggle it a bit to make more space. Then using a piping bag, fill each muffin with the Vegan Cream Cheese Icing.
  4. Enjoy! Like most baked goods, these muffins are best served on the same day.

Notes

Gluten Free Version

For gluten-free muffins, use gluten-free oats and blend them until they become oat flour. I used my bullet blender to blend oats into flour. Measure the flour after blending.

Also use oat flour in the crumb mixture.

Alternatively, you can use a gluten-free one-to-one baking flour.

Pumpkin Puree

Not all cans contain the same amount. During testing, I found that my 14oz cans contained a bit more than 14 ounces. Measure out 1 1/2 cups plus two tablespoons of pumpkin puree for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 293Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 5g

Nutritional Information automatically calculated by a plugin and may not be correct.

Did you make this recipe?

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Showing 2 comments
  • Ali
    Reply

    This is on my to do list, thank you! I just heard that the pumpkin spice muffin is available now and it’s a sweet indulgence that I cannot partake in too many time sadly. But this… makes me so hopeful! 🙂

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hope you enjoy, Ali!

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