Whole-Grain Vegan Cranberry-Nut Muffins

star rating (22) rate this recipe »
dairy free, whole grain, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 muffins

Recipe photo

Muffins without eggs, milk, or butter — what's the secret? Tomato juice, which adds the necessary acidity for leavening; nice, moist texture, and gorgeous burnt-orange color to these cranberry-nut muffins. And don't worry; they don't taste like tomatoes!

Whole-Grain Vegan Cranberry-Nut Muffins

star rating (22) rate this recipe »
dairy free, whole grain, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 muffins
Published: 08/25/2011


Tips from our bakers

  • These muffins keep extremely well. Wrap individually; or set on a plate, and wrap loosely with plastic. They'll stay fresh and moist for up to a week.


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1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease and flour the wells of a muffin pan, or line the pan with paper liners, and grease the liners.

2) Whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the cranberries and nuts.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, vegetable oil, and tomato juice.

4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; don't over-mix, stir just until everything is moistened.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each nearly full. A level (to slightly heaped) muffin scoop of batter for each muffin works well here.

6) Sprinkle the tops with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

7) Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until they've domed nicely and they're lightly browned around the edges.

8) Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

Yield: 12 muffins.


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  • star rating 04/29/2015
  • Wendy from Pittsburgh PA
  • Made these for a class treat- there were a couple of students who were vegan and one allergic to soy, so this recipe looked like the right fit. I made some adjustments: used just 3/4 cups brown sugar & sweetened dried cranberries, also subbed in 1/2 c white flour and 1/4 c whole oats for 3/4 c of the whole wheat flour. Used a bit more cinnamon because I love cinnamon (Vietnamese from penzey's; probably added another 1/4 tsp). Sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. Puffed up beautifully (I was surprised - really fluffy!). I don't like really sweet muffins, but if I were to make them again I would probably use the full amount of brown sugar - they were tasty with less sugar but I don't think the original amount of sugar would have been too sweet, now that I've had them with less.
  • star rating 04/15/2015
  • Sarah from Denver
  • I used orange juice, cut sugar in half, and replaced half the oil with "pumpkin medley" baby food. All of this to make the muffins more "sensible," and they were so good I sensibly ate 3. They were barely sweet enough with half the sugar. I will sprinkle raw sugar on top next time to make them taste sweeter.

    We'd say you made a sensibly sweet choice, Sarah! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  • star rating 03/29/2015
  • Mechell from KAF Community
  • Moist and flavorful. I used half orange juice & water inplace of the tomato juice. I dusted the top of each muffin with sugar/cinnamon before baking. Big hit for Sunday brunch.
  • star rating 03/11/2015
  • chollis from KAF Community
  • Fantastic! These were quick to make, and they came out wonderfully moist. I used sweetened dried cranberries, but I think I will use unsweetened dried cranberries next time. I'll definitely be baking these muffins again. Thanks for creating vegan recipes!
  • star rating 01/28/2015
  • Diana from Michigan
  • This is the recipe I've based off of to make several variations and they've turned out great every time. Instead of the tomato juice, I use the juice of 1 lemon (~1/4 cup) + enough water to equal 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups, for enough acidity and great flavor. In the most recent batch I also reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and used probably about 6tbsp thick applesauce with 2 tbsp canola oil. The muffins are a little moister and heavier than entirely oil but still fluffy and not soggy - and plenty sweet with only 1/2 the sugar. I added lemon zest+1 cup frozen blueberries+dried cranberries and love the combo. I have also used 1/4 cup or more coconut oil in place of vegetable with coconut milk+lemon juice to replace the liquid and they were fantastic. I use whole wheat pastry flour and the muffins are light and fluffy, without being soggy. Keep well for several days, very moist and tender, especially for whole wheat!
  • star rating 12/01/2013
  • stacey from bronx, ny
  • star rating 01/01/2013
  • Debbie from Portsmouth VA
  • I have been making these recipes for several months and love them. After reading some of the reviews, I reduced the brown sugar by 1/4 cup and substituted 1/4 cup applesauce for half of the oil. They still came out great. I always reheat in a toaster overn before eating which makes them even better. I buy the small cans of tomato juice that come in a 6 pack and use two cans to make the recipe. This makes it easier, since I never drink tomato juice.
  • star rating 12/22/2012
  • Amy from Virginia
  • I've tried several other vegan muffin recipes and this was by far the best. As other reviewers suggested, I used orange juice instead of the tomato juice. It gave the muffins a nice hint of orange. Also, I don't care for dried cranberries or nuts, so I replaced them with a cup of frozen blueberries (the "wild"' blueberries which are tiny). I also cut way back on the sugar. I find when you cut back on sugar you need to pump up the spices, so I used 2 teaspoons Vietnamese Cinnamon. (If you haven't tried that cinnamon yet, it is the yummiest-- completely different than regular supermarket cinnamon). Finally, to cut back on fat, instead of 1/2 cup of oil I used 2 TBS of oil and 1/2 cup mashed very overripe banana (about 1 large banana-- must be very overripe). So I suppose by the time I was done I was making vegan banana blueberry orange muffins, andt they were great!
  • star rating 11/11/2012
  • Dorothy from East Lyme, CT
  • These muffins are fabulous! I made them for my husband (who is vegan) and have now made them for 5 weekends in a row since they are so good even us non-vegans love them. The use of the tomato juice is brilliant, and you can't taste the tomato at all. I have substituted dried blueberries for the dried cranberries, and will also try them with dried cherries. One note on the preparation - my muffin tins are dark so I turn the temperature down by 10 degrees and start checking at 16 minutes to keep from over-baking them.
  • star rating 08/11/2012
  • rohna from KAF Community
  • Easy to make and not the slightest bit "tomato-ey," even according to my persnickety 9-yr-old daughter. I made these for some friends who are vegan, but they're going to be lucky to get any. Very good! I think next time, I'll try to substitute applesauce or banana for part of the oil, though, just to cut the calories a bit.
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