Healthy Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time 8-15 min.
Cook Time 12-24 min. (plus cooling)
Total Time
Yields 24 regular muffins or about 48-60 mini muffins (depending on the size of your pans)

Ingredients

    DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • WET INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 15-ounce can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar (use 1 1/2 cups if you aren't using the caramel swirl filling)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • OPTIONAL CARAMEL SWIRL: (If omitting Caramel Swirl to make "regular, plain" muffins or mini muffins, increase the brown sugar in the wet ingredients above to total 1 1/2 cups)

  • 20 whole dried dates
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT

  • 3/4 mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare muffin pans (line muffin pans with 24 foil liners, for regular-sized muffins, or spray mini pans with canola spray or line with liners - you can use liners if you'd like, but we usually don't bother when making mini muffins).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir well with a whisk until evenly combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly.
  4. In a mini food processor (like the smallest one in this set), process the dates, water, brown sugar and vanilla until completely smooth, scraping down sides once or twice as needed.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine and being careful not to overmix. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and stir again briefly, just to combine.

FOR CARAMEL SWIRL MUFFINS:

  1. Spoon about half of batter into prepared muffin liners.
  2. Divide caramel evenly among muffins, dolloping about ½ tablespoon into each cup.
  3. Top caramel with remaining muffin batter.
  4. Using a toothpick, swirl the batter in each muffin cup to distribute the caramel throughout each muffin. Swirl more for thinner, more evenly distributed caramel ribbons. Swirl less to achieve larger pockets of caramel.
  5. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to set and are cool enough to handle. Remove the muffins to wire racks to cool completely.

FOR PLAIN MUFFINS WITH NO SWIRL:

  1. Spoon all batter evenly into prepared muffin liners.
  2. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to set and are cool enough to handle. Remove the muffins to wire racks to cool completely.

FOR MINI MUFFINS:

  1. Spoon all batter evenly into prepared mini muffin pans.
  2. Bake for about 12-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to set and are cool enough to handle. Remove the muffins to wire racks to cool completely.

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Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead Options! The dry ingredients and wet ingredients can be prepared earlier in the day or the night before, and kept in separate covered bowls (dry ingredients on the counter, wet ingredients in the fridge) until you are ready to combine everything together and bake. For best results, however, we recommend that you don’t prepare the caramel swirl until the last minute, as it tends to thicken considerably upon standing. These freeze beautifully, so you may want to make a double batch! To freeze, wrap individually and store in freezer bags. They will thaw in about 45 minutes or, after removing foil liner, can be gently defrosted at 50% power in the microwave in about 50-60 seconds.

5.0 rating
15 reviews
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