These tasty muffins feature a unique blend of spicy and sweet flavors.  Chinese five-spice powder is the perfect combination of ground cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and fennel seeds, making it a wonderful addition to quick breads and cakes.  In addition, the sweet potatoes and almond butter give these muffins a moist texture.  


Prep time    15 minutes  

Cook time   20-30 minutes    

Yield            10-12 muffins


Streusel Topping (optional) 

  • 1/4 cup rolled oat (not quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder, store bought or homemade (see Tips & Hints)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk 
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


        1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a muffin pan with paper or silicone liners.
        2. If making streusel, in a food processor, combine all the streusel ingredients and pulse until you have a crumbly mixture.  Do not over-process.  Set aside. 
        3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder, salt, and raisins and mix well. 
        4. Combine the sweet potatoes, almond butter, milk, maple syrup, vinegar, and vanilla in a blender and bend until smooth and creamy. 
        5. Add the blender mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined: do not over-mix. 
        6. Fill the lined muffin cups with the batter and sprinkle some of the streusel on top of each (if using).  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. 

        Tips & Hints

        Chinese Five-Spice:

        • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
        • 1 teaspoon ground cloves,
        • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds,
        • 1 teaspoon ground star anise,
        • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
        Directions:  Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container.