Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins for the Win!

As pumpkin season ramps up, it’s time to start making better versions of your favorite squash-based treats! In these tender, sweet muffies, you’ll find nuggets of chocolate and dried cranberry, for a truly worthy companion to a cup of coffee or tea. Of course, you don’t need eggs to get an open, light texture, when you use my favorite combo of bubbly mineral water and ground flax.

You’ll Have Great Results When You Use a Scoop

Do you find yourself using a spoon to fill your muffin cups, only to end up with unevenly sized, messy looking muffins, or worse yet, batter that’s dripped on the top of the pan or down the side of the muffin paper? Get a well-made scoop and you’ll be so much happier. You can use it for other things, like scooping ice cream or tofu egg salad, once you have one.

Here’s a link to a 1/4 cup scoop.

Pumpkin and Chocolate are a Great Combo

Everybody is all about the spice, when it comes to pumpkin. But the sweet, mellow flavor of winter squash is also a delectable backdrop for some chocolate. I went with vegan mini-chips, which have the ability to make a little bit of chocolate go a long way. Semisweet is the way to go, to give a little kick to the moist muffin.

Cranberries add a Sweet-Tart Surprise

I go with apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries, rather than either unsweetened or the syrup-infused ones. Check the package, to see what sweetener was used, if any. I find the unsweetened ones are really sour, and quite hard to bite. If you really wanted to, you could soften them in warm water, but they would still be super tart.

How to Make Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins

This is really one of those recipes that require little more than a bowl and a spoon. Just follow the steps and watch the video, so you mix everything in the right order. As always, a big bowl is where you combine the flour, leavening, cinnamon and salt, and give that a thorough stirring. That distributes the rising agents and seasonings throughout the muffin batter evenly.

Then open that mineral water and pour it in the measuring cup. Mix in the ground flax and maple quickly, so the water doesn’t lose its bubbliness. Stir the pumpkin or squash with the oil and quickly stir it all together. When the batter is well-mixed, gently stir in the cranberries and chocolate.

I used a 1/4 cup scoop to make neat, rounded portions of the batter, and I recommend using scoops for cookies and muffins, for even, neatly shaped portions of batter or dough. Here’s a link to a good muffin scoop.

Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Muffins

Keyword #muffins, pumpkin recipe
Servings 12
Author Robin Asbell


  • 2 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup mineral water or club soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 cups in a muffin tin with papers.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, stir to combine.
  • In a cup, measure the mineral water and stir in the flax seed and maple, let stand while you mix the oil into the pumpkin. Sir both mixtures into the flour mixture just until combined, then fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
  • Use a rounded 1/4 cup scoop or a measuring cup to drop the batter into the cups. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for abut 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in a muffin in the middle of the pan comes out with no wet batter attached.
  • Cool on racks.