Fall dreams are made of these fudgy and perfectly spiced DOUBLE Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins. Naturally vegan, oil-free, no mixer required and there are even whole grain and gluten-free options!
If you happen to be a lover of my Vegan Chocolate Banana Muffins, which I know so many of you are, then this one's for you because it's an adaptation of that very recipe. We are simply switching the banana for pumpkin puree and adding a bit of pumpkin spice. Nothing complicated. Nothing fancy. But everything delicious.
Ingredient & equipment notes
Here’s the rundown on what’s going in these muffins and why:
- Pumpkin - Pretty essential in a pumpkin muffin but you could use any squash-based puree instead or even sweet potato puree.
- Flour - You can use all-purpose flour (plain flour in the UK), spelt flour or wholewheat flour in this recipe. Make your muffins wholegrain by using spelt or wholewheat flour. Spelt is an amazing flour when you want a light fluffy texture and the nutrients of wholegrain flour. It gives a much better result than wholewheat.
- Nut/seed butter - The source of fat in the recipe. Fat is necessary for a good texture and in this recipe, it helps with the fudginess and richness. That's why I use it instead of oil or vegan butter. It also helps the muffins stay fresh longer (not that that will be much of an issue ;O)
- Sugar & maple syrup - We are using a mix of both. Both sweeten, the sugar gives structure and the maple syrup adds more fudginess. You can use any sugar you like. White sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar are all fine. Keep your muffins refined sugar-free by using coconut sugar.
- Chocolate chips - I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips in my baking. Most dark chocololate chips are naturally vegan but be sure to check the label when shopping just in case. You can also use the same amount of chopped up dairy-free free chocolate bar if you prefer but it will melt into the batter. Chocolate chips are designed not to melt and so will hold their form better.
- Cocoa, baking powder and baking soda - Cocoa to make the muffins chocolate flavour and also to add acidity. Baking powder and baking soda are necessary to leaven the muffins. Baking powder as per usual in baked goods, and baking soda too because it reacts with the acidic cocoa creating extra bubbles and lift. This provides the extra leavening that eggs would in a non-vegan recipe.
- Salt & vanilla - For flavour. Salt is just as important for enhancing flavours in sweet recipes as it is savoury. Use good quality sea salt and not table salt. Vanilla adds another flavour layer.
- Pumpkin spice - It's fall so pumpkin spice is mandatory ;O) And it works so well with the other flavours, bringing a lightly spiced warmth to the sponge (see recipe notes for an alternative).
- Plant milk - Just a small amount to thin the batter a little. It will still be pretty thick though.
To make them all you need is a muffin pan and a bowl and spoon, although a food processor makes it all even quicker and easier. I am loving this muffin pan. I use no liners, just a little oil instead, and they release perfectly every single time.
How to make chocolate pumpkin muffins
These double chocolate pumpkin muffins are really easy to make in just a few steps. Here's how:
- Combine the wet ingredients (by hand or in a food processor).
- Add the dry ingredients and fold/pulse in until combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and folden/pulse through.
- Spoon into a greased/lined muffin pan and bake.
- As with all of my baking recipes where precision is key to excellent results, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients, rather than using cup measurements. This one is cheap (under $20) and works brilliantly.
- Don't overmix your batter. This is so important. Overmixing will affect the texture and the rise of your muffins.
- Don't skip my oven temperature hack! The trick to a perfectly domed muffin top is a good recipe and oven temperature. They need an initial, very hot blast, which creates steam that will raise those muffin tops right up from the inside out. Then you need to turn them down after 5 minutes so that the insides cook through more gently.
- Don't overbake them. It's better for the muffins to be very slightly underbaked (hello extra fudginess!) than overbaked and risk them getting dry.
Follow my instructions and tips and you will be graced with perfectly fudgy Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins!
Enjoy these fudgy pumpkin muffins just as they are, or make them your own. Here are some ideas:
- Use any squash-based puree or sweet potato puree instead of the pumpkin.
- Add a few drops of orange extract or orange zest to the batter. It works so well with chocolate and pumpkin.
- Add a handful of nuts or seeds.
- Add a dollop of nut butter to the centre of each muffin. Simple fill the muffin well halfway, add the nut butter then put more batter over the top. It shouldn't alter the cooking time.
- Make a simple glaze with a cup of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of cocoa and a couple tablespoons of plant milk.
- Melt chocolate and drizzle over the top of each muffin.
Once completely cool, store in an airtight container with some paper towels top and bottom. Muffins can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
You can use this combination of spices instead or omit the spice completely:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Yes. Cook it first, then run it through a blender to make a smooth puree.
Hungry for more?
Double Chocolate Pumpkin MuffinsAuthor:
- 2 cups ( 450 grams) pumpkin puree , NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 6 tablespoons nut or seed butter , it should be drippy and not dry
- ¼ cup ( 60 mls) maple syrup , real maple syrup and not pancake syrup
- ¼ cup (60 mls) unsweetened plant milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar , any works here, white, brown, cane, turbinado, coconut..Just use whatever you have.
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt , not table salt
- 1¾ cup (210 grams) flour , spelt, all-purpose flour (plain flour in the UK), wholewheat or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda , (bicarbonate of soda in the UK)
- ½ cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice , see recipe notes for alternative
- ½ cup (85 grams) dairy-free chocolate chips , plus a handful more for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425 °F (218 °C) and grease or line a 12 hole muffin pan with liners.
- In a food processor or large bowl, add the pumpkin puree, nut butter, maple syrup, milk and vanilla and whisk/blend together until well combined and no lumps of nut butter remain.
- If making by hand without the aid of a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and pumpkin spice together in another bowl, then add them to the pumpkin mixture. If using a food processor just add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the food processor then pulse until combined and no dry flour is present. Whichever method you use, do not over-mix.
- Add the chocolate chips and fold them in or pulse once or twice in a food processor, just enough to distribute evenly, then spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle the tops of each with a few more chocolate chips.
- Place the muffins in the middle of the oven and set a timer for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes has passed, immediately turn the oven down to 350°F (175°C) without peeking or opening the door and cook for a further 16 to 17 minutes. Check them with a toothpick and if it comes out mostly clean (except for some melted chocolate) then they are done. It is important not to over-bake these muffins. If anything they are better very slightly underdone to keep their moist fudginess.
- Remove from the pan and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
This recipe was originally published on November 14th, 2019. I've since updated the post and now I am republishing it for you. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for following A Virtual Vegan!