Swaying palm trees. White sand. Shockingly blue water. It’s been too long since I’ve been to a tropical isle, and every year right about now, my cravings for paradise only intensify. This year, though, we’re staying put in the Pacific Northwest again – so I’ll have to remain satisfied with Vegan Tropical Muffins instead. The good news? They’re a surprisingly effective reminder of the tropics!
With tropical flavors like banana, pineapple, and coconut, when I’m eating one, I can almost feel the sand on my toes. Okay, not really – that’s taking it a little far. But they do taste tropically delicious, for sure. So there is that.
These muffins have a dual personality. Just out of the oven, they’re light and crumbly with a satisfying crunchy streusel topping. After they’ve sat for awhile in an airtight container – and especially the next day and beyond – they moisten up and really become the delectable gems I love.
I’ve made these with and without the pineapple, and they’re plenty good without. But with the pineapple?
Vegan Tropical Muffins with Crunchy Coconut Streusel
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxmeal + 3 tablespoons water)
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt (I like fine-grain sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 medium ripe bananas (mashed (about 1 cup))
- 3/4 cup canned lite coconut milk or almond milk
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (cooled slightly)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease with a little coconut oil or an oil mister.
- Make the flax egg. In a small bowl, stir together the flaxmeal and water. Let sit for about 5 minutes until thickened.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in the flax egg, milk, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk together, just until blended. Stir in pineapple chunks with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups - about 1/3 cup worth of batter for each cup. I use a trigger-handled ice cream scoop and it makes scooping so, so easy.
- Make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, coconut, and salt with a fork. Add the maple syrup and stir with the fork or use your fingers to mix until crumbly. I prefer to use my (clean) fingers to mix the streusel together. Top the muffins with the streusel mixture, dividing evenly between the muffins.
- Bake until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for about five minutes in the tins, then remove from the tins and place the muffins on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Muffins keep well in an airtight container or zipper bag at room temperature for 3-4 days. They also freeze well.