These vegan blackberry muffins are so soft and so moist - a delicious way to use up freshly foraged blackberries, or use frozen berries instead to make them all year round.
It isn't blackberry season right now, but thanks to frozen berries (either from the supermarket or home-frozen from Autumn foraging trips), blackberry bakes can be an all-year-round treat. Once you've tried making these lovely, moist berry muffins with a crunchy top, you will want to keep making them again and again.
These are brilliant for breakfast, lovely in lunchboxes or make a tasty teatime treat.
Muffin recipes are very easy to vegan-ise as traditionally they have a high content of buttermilk - I just substitute in unsweetened vegan yogurt which works in absolutely the same way. If you don't have any yoghurt to hand you can make your own vegan buttermilk - 'sour' some unsweetened plant milk by adding a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to it, then set aside whilst it does its thing.
📝 What you need
Blackberries You can use either fresh or frozen blackberries in these muffins, it is entirely up to you, (and means you don't have to wait until blackberry season to make them!). Tossing them in flour before adding them to the muffin batter helps them to stay evenly distributed through the muffin, and not sink to the bottom. If you have particularly large blackberries, you might want to chop them in half or else they overwhelm the muffin the end up in!
Dairy-free margarine Make sure you use a good-quality block margarine here, rather than a tub of spread. Block margarine has far less water in it, so holds up much better to baking. I like Flora Plant Butter and Naturli Block, both of which are pretty easy to find in UK supermarkets these days.
Demerara sugar Using demerara sugar in these muffins gives them both a wonderful toffee-esque sweetness and a delicious crumb. Sprinkle a little extra over the top of the muffins for an extra-crunchy crust. If you don't have demerara to hand you can use a mix of half-and-half caster and muscavado instead - either light or dark are fine.
Self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda This might sound like a lot of raising agent, but when you're not using eggs you need to give the cake a little extra lift. The extra bicarb does a great job of this, giving these a super-soft, light and fluffy texture.
Lemon is such a delicious pairing with blackberries. If you don't have one to hand you can use just a drop of lemon essence, or vanilla extract if you prefer.
Dairy-free yoghurt Make sure you choose an unsweetened yoghurt - I usually use soya as it has the highest protein content so works best in baking, but oat or coconut yoghurt will also work fine if that's all you have handy.
Dairy-free milk Use whatever plant milk you have to hand - it is just to loosen up the batter a little so any type of vegan milk, sweetened or unsweetened is absolutely fine.
You can absolutely make these muffins 'by hand' with just a large bowl and a good spatula, and a lot of elbow grease! But some sort of electric intervention does help to get a really fluffy muffin.
But a good food mixer, although quite a big investment, really does make a huge difference for very light and fluffy cakes, buttercreams, and also kneading bread or pizza dough, whisking plant cream or aquafaba, and anything else that needs a lot of power. I have this KMix by Kenwood* which is £289 and worth every penny – I’ve had it for over 10 years now and it is really good quality.
And the one other piece of kit I find just so brilliant for making muffins and cupcakes is a trigger-release ice cream scoop like this one. Just so handy for getting a consistent amount of batter in each cake case, and plopping it in with absolutely no mess. Once you've tried it you will never go back to faffing around with spoons, I promise!
You can substitute all sorts of things in place of the blackberries in these beautiful muffins. How about:
- Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- Blueberries (or see my vegan blueberry muffin recipe which has a delicious streusel topping, yum!)
- Dark chocolate chips (check the ingredients to make sure they are dairy-free). You could swap 2 tbsp flour for 2 tbsp cocoa powder to make them double-chocolate if you like!
- Coffee & Walnut Add some coffee essence (I love Camp Coffee) and a handful of roughly chopped walnuts.
- Cranberry & Orange Use fresh cranberries and orange zest.
Have a look at my Vegan Banana Muffins too - they are so moist and a great way to use up lots of over-ripe bananas!
❄️ Freezing and Storing
These muffins freeze really well. I often make a big batch during blackberry season to keep on standby for the kids lunchboxes. They can go into lunchboxes straight from the freezer, and will have thawed perfectly by the time lunchtime comes around.
You can keep them for a 3-4 days after baking in an airtight tin or container, (though they won't last that long!).
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Vegan Blackberry Muffins
- 150 g blackberries fresh or frozen
- 110 g dairy-free block margarine
- 200 g demerara sugar
- 240 g self-raising flour
- 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt
- 1 lemon
- 260 g dairy-free yoghurt unsweetened
- 4 tbsp dairy-free milk
- handful rolled oats and/or demerara sugar optional - for a crunchy topping
- Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
- Put the blackberries in a bowl and toss through 1 tbsp flour until they are all coated. Set aside until required.
- In a food mixer or large bowl, mix the dairy-free margarine and sugar until soft.
- Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, the zest of the lemon, and finally the vegan yoghurt and vegan milk. Beat until pale and fluffy.
- Tip in the blackberries and stir gently.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, (I find a spring-action ice cream scoop really handy for this - perfect portion sizes and no mess!). Bang the muffin tray down hard on your work surface to bring all the little bubbles to the top. If you like, you can sprinkle a little demerara sugar or rolled oats over the top of each muffin at this point, for an extra-crunchy top.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until an inserted knife or skewer comes out clean.
I'm linking this recipe with the CookBlogShare challenge, hosted this week by Sisley at Sew White.