These Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins are deliciously decadent and perfect for the autumn season! Made with a handful of healthy ingredients, these high protein pumpkin muffins are a chocolatey breakfast, snack or treat!
October is one of my favorite times of year, and we love all things pumpkin, like these Pumpkin Waffles! These muffins are heavy on the pumpkin, using 2 whole cups, but more chocolatey in taste. Without that being my intention, they've turned into a bit of a "hidden veggie muffin" in our house! I like muffins to swing a little on the healthy side, it's not a cupcake after all!
These protein pumpkin muffins replace some of the white flour with oats and almond flour, use maple syrup instead of white sugar, and applesauce to lessen the amount of needed butter.
Plus don't forget all that healthy pumpkin, rich in fiber, vitamins and full of antioxidants. So of course they aren't totally healthy, but a balance. My very picky 6 year old said, "Mom I don't like these muffins, I LOVE them!"
If you love muffins a little on the healthy side, try these other favorites!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These muffins have replaced the usual gobs of white flour, refined sugar, and vegetable oil with some cleaner ingredients!
- Flour, Almond Flour & Rolled Oats - Rolled oats and almond flour in pumpkin chocolate chip muffins really bump up the protein! You could also substitute some oat flour or a gluten free flour mix.
- Cocoa Powder - Giving you that rich chocolatey color and flavor, I like to buy the dark chocolate cocoa powder.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda - Give your muffins that rise!
- Salt - Always an important ingredient in baking, a little salt enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients. So you won't taste salt, but the chocolate will taste all the more chocolatey!
- Cinnamon - A hint of cinnamon brings out that warm cozy pumpkin taste.
- Maple Syrup - The sweetener in this recipe, real maple syrup replaces white sugar and provides an even better flavor.
- Applesauce - Using applesauce in baking is a replacement for some of the needed butter or oil, while also adding moisture to the muffins. Use store-bought or Homemade Applesauce.
- Butter - The fat for the muffins, melted butter brings a rich flavor and soft texture. You could also substitute melted coconut oil.
- Pumpkin Puree - You can make your own or use canned, but 2 full cups of pumpkin puree makes these a healthier pumpkin chocolate chip muffin! And don't forget, you can buy canned pumpkin all year long, so it's a great way to add a good serving of vegetables to a double chocolate snack! If you are roasting your own pumpkin and making puree, give these Roasted Pumpkin Seeds a try too!
- Water - Chocolate muffins with pumpkin puree make for a pretty thick batter! Just a bit of water thins it out to the right consistency.
- Eggs - They add protein too!
- Chocolate Chips - Melted into the muffins, you can use any kind of chocolate chips you like. Add extras as a topping!
See recipe card for quantities.
These easy chocolate pumpkin muffins can be made all in one bowl with no mixer or fancy equipment. Just preheat the oven to 375° and whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Add in all the other ingredients.
Mix until well combined.
Portion evenly into 18 lined muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes. You can check the muffins after 20 minutes, but don't open the oven door before that, you can cause them to sink instead of rise! Serve muffins with butter!
How to Store Pumpkin Muffins
Store these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days on the counter, or a bit longer in the fridge.
Muffins can also be frozen for up to 4 months. To thaw, just set out on the counter overnight. They can also be warmed in the microwave. A great addition to a lunchbox or mid morning snack with coffee and a banana!
Variations for the Pumpkin Puree
You can buy pumpkin puree in a can all year, but in the fall it's also fun to make your own. You can roast pumpkins, I even just roast the cut outs from the jack-o-lantern eyes and smiles! Then puree them in a food processor.
This recipe would also work with any type of pureed winter squash such as butternut or acorn squash or even leftover mashed sweet potato. It's great to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! It's a great way to add a healthy vegetable to a sweet treat! Try these Pumpkin Protein Waffles too!
Use Up Halloween Candy in Muffins!
Every parent cringes when the candy filled plastic pumpkins come home and get dumped out for sorting. We know they can't possibly eat it all, so instead we save it and put it to good use!
Any chocolate candy bars can be used in place of the ½ cup of chocolate chips in this recipe.
You can finely chop Reese's peanut butter cups, Hershey bars, Snickers, or whatever you have! Of course, some candy bars may change the flavor a little, but a little peanut butter or caramel isn't going to hurt these muffins at all!
This tip works all year with chocolate Easter eggs and Valentine's hearts. You can buy chocolate chips a little less often, and get your kids to bring their candy buckets and help out in the kitchen! These Peanut Butter Nutella Protein Balls are great for using up candy too!
These semi-healthy protein pumpkin muffins are super kid-friendly snack and a great addition to a lunchbox too!
- Don't Peek While the Muffins are Baking - Opening the oven door to take a peek while the muffins are still gooey and rising can cause them to sink in the middle. They need that consistent hot air to keep them rising into that lovely muffin top. You can take a peek and check for doneness after 20 minutes.
- Get Real Maple Syrup - If using it as a baking ingredient, go for the real stuff! It's more expensive, but pancake syrup is just colored corn syrup, you don't want that in your muffins, or on your pancakes! I've found the best price on maple syrup to be at our local farmers market, buying in bulk! I get a gallon at a time and it's definitely far cheaper than the smaller bottles at the store. It lasts in the back of the fridge all year.
- Use a Portion Scoop - Not just for ice cream, a portion scoop can help you get your muffins all the same size. Consistent muffins will bake evenly. Fill them just to the top of the liner for big puffy muffins tops!
While these are already fairly high protein pumpkin muffins, you can add even more by tossing in a few tablespoons of chia or flax seeds. They won't change the color or taste and will boost the protein a little bit more.
No, these muffins do contain gluten, nuts and dairy, so they really are not allergy friendly. For nut-free muffins you could substitute another flour for the almond flour. For gluten-free muffins you could substitute a gluten-free flour for the white flour. I have not tested these combinations, but I think both would be fine.
More Favorite Recipes for Fall!
If you made this recipe, I'd love to hear how you liked it! Be sure to leave a star rating or a comment below!
Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
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- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup chocolate chips plus more for topping
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
- Add all other ingredients and mix until combined.
- Portion the batter into 18 lined muffin cups, filled almost full. Add a few extra chocolate chips to the top of each muffin.
- Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes. Ovens can vary, check after 20 to 22 minutes.
- Serve with a great deal of butter!
- Do not open your oven door to peek at the muffins until they have baked for at least 20 minutes. This could cause them to sink as they are trying to rise. All ovens vary, test for doneness at 22 minutes.
- Pumpkin puree can be homemade or a store-bought 15 ounce can. You could also use butternut squash or any winter squash puree for a healthy variation.