These healthy chocolate muffins are dairy-free and made with whole wheat flour, applesauce and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. They’re fudgy, rich, perfectly moist and absolutely delicious.
Sweet treats can be healthy! I love taking my favorite sweets and putting my spin on them so I’m not left with a blood sugar spike and an upset stomach. I made a few simple swaps for an EBF-approved version of a chocolate muffin!
Why You Need to Make These Healthy Chocolate Muffins
Healthy + chocolate in one recipe? What more could you ask for! These delicious muffins are made with upgraded ingredients so you don’t leave with a sugar high after indulging.
They’re perfectly moist and fudgy… the best kind of chocolate muffins.
I like eating them for breakfast, snack or dessert! Yes, chocolate for breakfast is fair game in this case!
This is a great recipe to make with kids! They’ll love helping you pour ingredients into the bowl and mix and will obviously love the end result.
whole wheat pastry flour – whole wheat pastry flour works better than regular whole wheat flour if you’re looking for the light and fluffy texture that regular all-purpose flour provides, but still want the nutrients of whole wheat flour. My go-to brand is Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour. If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour you can also use white whole wheat flour, a blend of all-purpose and regular whole wheat flour or just regular all-purpose flour.
cocoa powder – cocoa powder makes these muffins chocolate flavored! Make sure you use unsweetened cocoa powder.
baking soda and baking powder – helps the muffins rise.
salt – brings all of the flavors together.
eggs – helps bind the liquid and oil together. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature or they can make the coconut oil solidify while mixing.
maple syrup – the natural sweetener of choice for these muffins. I haven’t tried making these with honey but that should work as well.
unsweetened applesauce – helps reduce the amount of oil you need while still keeping the muffins super moist. Make homemade applesauce or use store-bought unsweetened applesauce.
coconut oil – helps make the muffins moist and fluffy! The oil also helps prevent the muffins from sticking to the liners.
vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
chocolate chips – add a little more chocolate to these muffins with chocolate chips! I like using Lily’s dark chocolate chips because they are low in calories and sugar.
How to Make Healthy Chocolate Muffins
Start by mixing the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and whisk a little before adding the other wet ingredients. Then add the maple syrup, applesauce, milk, oil and vanilla and whisk again until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix or your muffins will end up really dense… we don’t want that! Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter evenly between 12 muffin tins that are lined with paper or silicone liners. Bake in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Tips For Success
It’s super important to make sure you’re using room temperature milk, eggs, maple syrup and applesauce! If any of these ingredients are cool or cold, the coconut oil will solidify and create clumps. If you notice this happening, you can set the mixing bowl on the warm part of your stovetop as the oven preheats or set the mixing bowl in a larger bowl of hot water until the coconut oil melts again. You just want to make sure you don’t get the batter too hot or the eggs will start cooking. Here’s a guide for how to bring things like butter, eggs and yogurt to room temp.
When combining your dry and wet ingredients make sure you mix until just combined and don’t over-mix, otherwise your muffins could turn out too dense or rubbery. It’s even okay if there are a few streaks of flour remaining as they’ll get mixed in when you stir in the chocolate chips.
Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to let cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t leave the muffins in the muffin tin for too long because they’ll continue to bake and could dry out!
If using paper liners, make sure to let the muffins cool completely before trying to remove the liners otherwise your muffins will likely stick. If you’re trying to speed up the process, place your muffins in the fridge to cool down quicker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use all-purpose flour?
Yes! All-purpose flour will work just fine in place of whole wheat pastry flour.
Can I make these muffins gluten-free?
I haven’t tested a gluten-free version of these muffins, but I would imagine using a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour would work just fine in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour.
What can I use instead of applesauce?
Bananas would be the best substitute for the applesauce. 2 small bananas should equal 1/2 cup mashed. Pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree would also work in place of the applesauce.
Is there an egg substitute?
I haven’t tested an egg-free version of these muffins, but let me know if you decide to experiment in the comments below! I would imagine using two flax eggs or chia eggs in place of the regular eggs would work just fine.
How do I prevent my muffins from sticking to the liners?
I highly recommend using silicone muffin liners or parchment baking cups for the best results and to avoid the muffins from sticking too much. I also recommend spraying your liners with a little cooking spray. Also, make sure to let your muffins cool completely before trying to remove the liners otherwise they could stick. If you want, you can pop the muffins in the fridge to cool for an hour or so before removing the liners.
How to Store Healthy Chocolate Muffins
After allowing the muffins to cool completely, store them in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature or for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. For longer storage, you can freeze these muffins for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or bag. I like to use my Stasher bags for easy storage. To defrost, place muffins in the fridge overnight, at room temperature or defrost in the microwave.