Healthy whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are a fall favorite! They make a great snack or quick breakfast.
Why you’ll love it: Isn’t anything with chocolate chips something to love? I think so!
How long it takes: 15 minutes to prep, 23 minutes to bake
Equipment you’ll need: a mixing bowl, measuring utensils. muffin tin, oven
Servings: 12 muffins
I know that pumpkin is usually associated with fall (think Halloween treats and Thanksgiving pumpkin pies) and I hope you make these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins this season, but I actually think that pumpkin is delicious year round.
Canned pumpkin is available in grocery stores whatever the season and it’s so nutritious, rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A) and minerals. And pumpkin is low in calories! I’ll choose this good-for-you pumpkin curry soup for a healthy lunch (it only takes 20 minutes to make!) and yes, whole wheat pumpkin muffins any day of the year.
About This muffin Recipe
Ben and the kids love these muffins. My kids deemed me the best at making muffins, better than grandma! Grandma is THE muffin maker and always has muffins for the kids. Sorry, mom. I think they were influenced by the over-sized chocolate chips, if we’re being honest. I’ll let you keep the crown.
This recipe is a pretty straight-forward muffin recipe; however, I’ve made it healthier. I eliminated all of the refined sugar and replaced it with just a quarter cup of pure maple syrup. We don’t need all that extra sugar, right? And truth be told, the chocolate chips add sweetness too.
There’s very little added fat because the muffins get plenty of moisture from the pumpkin puree and unsweetened applesauce. And of course, there’s whole wheat flour to add nutrition, fiber, and a nutty flavor.
I’ll run you the recipe here to get you started, with lots of extra tips.
You’ll find the printable recipe card with complete directions and nutrition information at the end of the post.
What You’ll Need
- Canned Pumpkin Puree: Use pure 100% cooked pumpkin. Don’t mistakenly buy canned pumpkin pie filling because it has added sugar and spices.
- Eggs: A couple of large eggs add protein and help bind the muffins together.
- Unsweetened Applesauce: I often use applesauce in my muffins to replace some of the oil or butter. You won’t be able to tell the difference! One snack size applesauce is just the right amount.
- Pure Maple Syrup: This is not the time to use pancake syrup which is fake manufactured maple syrup. Buy the real thing!
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil solidifies so you’ll have to melt it first. Good substitutes are melted butter, or any type of mild-tasting oil. You’ll only need a quarter cup.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Added for sweet-tasting flavor.
- Whole Wheat Flour and All-Purpose Flour: Use a mixture of both types of flour if you can. All whole wheat flour can make the muffins rather heavy and dense. They will turn out fine if you use only all-purpose but why not add a little extra nutrition?
- Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt: Normal muffin stuff for leavening and flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: I always make my own pumpkin pie spice blend but you can buy it pre-made as well. If you’d rather, just substitute plain ground cinnamon.
How To Make These Muffins
This is an easy one bowl recipe! Find a nice big bowl, get the oven preheating, and prepare a muffin tin. This recipe makes 12 muffins.
Start by mixing together the wet ingredients: eggs (give them a little stir first to break up the yolks), pumpkin, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla.
Whisk until the mixture is nice and smooth.
Next, add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Start with the two kinds of flour, then add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. When all the dry ingredients are in the bowl sitting on top of the wet ingredients, lightly stir just those dry ingredients until they are kind of mixed together.
I love this little trick. Many recipes use another bowl to mix the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet ingredients but why make another bowl dirty? It works just fine!
Okay, now stir the flour mixture right into the egg/pumpkin mixture. Make sure there aren’t any dry pockets of flour but don’t beat the batter like crazy either. Just stir it until it’s blended, nothing more. Overmixing leads to tough, flat muffins with large holes in them. Yikes, you don’t want that!
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter equally into the muffin cups and sprinkle a few extra chips on top of the batter if you want. Those chips are just a promise of all the goodness inside.
Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a crumb or two attached. If the toothpick comes out sticky with batter, bake the muffins a couple more minutes and test again.
Enjoy warm or at room temperature. I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to eat one right away, nice and warm out of the oven. Why not make yourself a cup of coffee or some homemade hot chocolate? This ginger spiced hot chocolate is perfect with a pumpkin muffin!
You’ll find two kinds of canned pumpkin on grocery shelves. Look for the label that says “100% pure pumpkin.” That is simply canned pumpkin puree with nothing added to it. It’s used for a variety of recipes, including pie.
Another type is pumpkin pie mix. This is canned pumpkin with added sugar and spices to be used only for pumpkin pie.
Most pumpkin pie spice blends contain: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. There is more cinnamon in it than the other spices.
They’ll keep fine on the counter for a few days. Check out the Storage Tips section for more about this topic.
Make It Your Own
- Substitute milk chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or whatever your favorite is for the semi-sweet chips.
- Substitute chopped nuts for the chocolate chips: pecans or walnuts are good choices. Dried fruit is good, too, like raisins, cranberries, or cherries.
- Not crazy about whole wheat? Simply use all-purpose flour instead of the whole wheat flour.
- Looking for even more fiber? You’ll love Pumpkin Bran Muffins with whole wheat flour and bran flakes.
- Like a more savory muffin? Try Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins.
- Use a gluten-free flour, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, if you prefer. Note: I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour.
Pumpkin muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days as long as your kitchen is reasonably cool. Store them in an airtight container or resealable bag. If you want them to last even longer; store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
These muffins freeze beautifully too. Use a freezer safe container or bag. I like to freeze them in individual bags because they make a great lunchbox treat. They thaw quickly.
Why not bake a double batch? It’s just as easy make twice as many muffins and then you’ll have extra to freeze.
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (see note)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate (semi-sweet) chips, more for topping if desired
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
- On top of wet ingredients, add dry ingredients: Whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt. Mix together dry ingredients gently before mixing dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir until combined, do not overmix.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Top with additional chocolate chips, if desired.
- Bake for 19-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean or with crumbs.
- Let cool 4-5 minutes in pan before removing from pan onto a rack to cool completely.
- If desired, replace the coconut oil with melted butter or another mild tasting oil.
- Chopped nuts, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or mini chocolate chips can be substituted for the semi-sweet chips. Raisins, dried cranberries or cherries are good, too.
- For more pumpkin pie flavor, increase the amount of the pumpkin pie spice to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Or, if you’re out of pumpkin pie spice, just substitute a teaspoon of cinnamon instead.
- This recipe is written for plain canned pumpkin. Don’t use canned pumpkin pie filling because it contains sugar, spices, etc. already and the recipe won’t turn out.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.