Fluffy and lightly sweetened, these chocolate muffins make the perfect breakfast or healthy dessert. Undetectably vegan, oil-free, and whole grain!
Can you believe we’re already almost a month into 2020?! Cookie season is past us (but I’ll still be posting cookies, don’t worry) and we’re heading into February, aka CHOCOLATE month! I LOVE chocolate and am so excited to put it into everything I bake and share it with all of you 🙂 To kick it off I’m sharing these easy, healthy, fluffy chocolate muffins. They’re vegan, oil-free, and made with whole grains — but so satisfying and delicious! They’re lightly sweetened and just perfect for breakfast or a healthy dessert. Sound good? Let’s get started.
ingredients & substitutions
These fluffy vegan chocolate muffins require 12 ingredients:
- whole wheat pastry flour: Pastry flour has a lower protein content than regular flour but slightly higher than cake flour. This creates a muffin with a tender texture (since there isn’t as much gluten development). Regular whole wheat flour will produce a denser, chewier muffin. If you don’t have pastry flour, you can try mixing half cake flour and half whole wheat flour, or just use all purpose flour.
- almond flour: This adds moisture and flavor to make up for the lack of butter/oil.
- cocoa powder: Use unsweetened natural cocoa powder, not dutch-processed.
- coconut sugar: You can also use white granulated sugar.
- instant coffee: Optional but it enhances the chocolate flavor.
- applesauce: This is our egg replacement.
- peanut butter: This is our butter/oil replacement (along with almond flour). You can also use almond butter for a more neutral flavor.
- vegan buttermilk: plant-based milk + apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- The remaining ingredients are baking staples such as vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
how to make fluffy chocolate muffins
Like any other quick bread, we use the muffin mixing method:
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Sift or whisk dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, sugar, instant coffee, baking soda, baking powder, salt) together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (applesauce, peanut butter, milk, vinegar, vanilla).
- Add wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix gently with a rubber spatula until just combined. The batter will still have some lumps in it but that’s OK. Over-mixing the batter will develop excess gluten and the muffins will be very chewy and dense.
- Divide the batter evenly into a muffin pan and transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
muffin baking tips
Probably the most important tip to keep in mind when making muffins or quick breads: only mix the batter until just combined and no dry flour is left. If you’re adding in chocolate chunks/chips, mix your batter a couple times but before the batter is fully combined, add in the chocolate and fold the batter again until just combined.
It’s also important to work quickly once the wet and dry ingredients are combined. The leavening agents (baking powder and baking soda) start acting as soon as they hit liquid, so get the batter in the preheated oven as soon as possible.
To get high-rising muffins, cook the muffins initially at very high heat (425°F). This initial high heat activates the baking powder to create a tall muffin. Then lower the heat to 350°F for the rest of the baking time so the inside of the muffin cooks.
how to store muffins
Short Term Storage (2-4 days)
Muffins tend to become soggy over time, as their moisture migrates to the surface and evaporates, only to be trapped by the container and fall right back on the muffins. To prevent this from happening, line the bottom of your container or ziplock bag with a paper towel. Arrange the muffins on top but do not stack them. (You may need to use multiple containers.) Place another paper towel on top of the muffins, then cover the container. Store them at room temperature.
Long Term Storage (up to 3 months)
To store muffins longer than four days, place them in a freezer bag or wrap tightly in foil and store in the freezer up to 3 months. To reheat them, place a slightly damp paper towel on top and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Or, let them thaw at room temperature the day/night before eating.
Whichever storage method you use, make sure the muffins are completely cooled first.
helpful kitchen tools
Check out these other vegan muffins & quick breads!
I hope I’ve inspired you to give this recipe a go! If you do try it out, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing you recreate my recipes in your own kitchen 🙂 Happy baking!
Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Muffins
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (75g) whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup (14g) almond flour
- ¼ cup (20g) cocoa powder
- ¼ cup* coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp instant coffee optional
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup (60g) applesauce
- 2 tbsp (32g) peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp soy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- ¼ cup chocolate chunks or chips optional
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line or grease a 6-cup muffin pan and set aside.
- Combine vinegar and milk and set aside to curdle.
- In a large bowl, sift or whisk together pastry flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, sugar, instant coffee, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine applesauce, peanut butter, vanilla, and milk/vinegar mixture.
- Make a small well in the middle of your flour bowl and add in wet ingredients. Gently fold together wet and dry ingredients until almost combined, add in the chocolate chunks if using, and fold a couple more times until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and place in oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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