Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

baked muffins with plate and cup of coffee in background

These Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are oil and refined sugar free! They’re moist, loaded with fresh pumpkin and tons of chocolate chips! The perfect Fall treat!

This recipe was originally published in September 2018 and updated in September 2019. It has been newly updated with new photos and content! 

Pumpkin season is officially here! Oh yes. The spicy pumpkin lattes, the muffins, the scones, the bread, the pancakes…IT’S UPON US! I’m so excited for this and I have no shame about it.

This is the season where the fuzzies start developing in your tummy over cooler weather. The season where you can feel your heart dance when the leaves begin to change.

The season when you can cozy up under a big blanket and read a book with the windows open. Where you can go to a corn maze, pumpkin patch and pick apples all in the same day. Oh yes, my favorite season ever.

overhead shot of baked muffin on top of open muffin liner

Needless to say, I’m SO super excited to be sharing these Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with you!

Why You’ll Love These Muffins:

First off – like I mentioned above – it’s Fall, y’all! Anything and everything pumpkin is on my agenda. 

I love these because the pumpkin flavor and spice comes through SO naturally. These are fluffy and soft muffins – super moist and delicious! 

So you’d think a muffin like this would be super heavy and not the best for you right?! Wrong!

Y’all know I’m all about indulging when it comes to the holidays, but these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are oil-free and healthier than most baked goods! Yassss. Does that mean you get to eat double the amount? Uh, duh. #treatyoself

overhead shot of baked muffins with cup of coffee to the right of them

These little pumpkin babies are SO delicious. They’re extra moist (thanks to the pumpkin + applesauce), dense, and are loaded with chocolate chips!

Eaten warm with a cup of coffee is literally life changing. So let’s get into how to make them! 

Ingredients You Need:

  • canned pumpkin (and not the super sugary pumpkin pie filling – just plain canned pumpkin!)
  • applesauce
  • egg
  • flour (you can use all purpose or whole wheat)
  • maple syrup (extra Fall vibes!)
  • chocolate chips
  • baking soda
  • extra pumpkin pie spice if you’re feeling like you wanna be super basic and amazing

Yup. That’s it! Wanna know how to make them?! Yeah, me too. Let’s get into it.

Best Muffin Baking Tips:

Alright, first, as always, you’re going to need to preheat your oven to 375 or so.

Get a big ol bowl out and add in your pumpkin, applesauce, egg and maple syrup. Mix these together until well combined. Next, sift in your flour and baking soda, a pinch of salt and some extra pumpkin pie spice if you’re feeling nifty.

Mix all of these together in a bowl. Add in your chocolate chips. As many as you want, really. It’s legging season after all.

pumpkin muffin batter in glass bowl

Next, you want to make sure you grease your muffin pan (or use muffin tins!) and fill each of the holes ⅔ of the way full. Sprinkle on some added chocolate chips for the top! Pop them in the oven and let ‘em bake!

side by side photos of pre-baked muffins in pan vs. post baked muffins in pan

Meanwhile, you can sit back and enjoy as your house begins to smell like a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin candle. You’re welcome. Waaaay better/cheaper than Bath and Body Works!

After letting them cool for a bit, they’re ready to eat!

How do these Muffins Retain Moisture without Oil or Butter?

You’re probably wondering how these guys stay so moist if I’m not using butter or oil. Well, the simple answer is: the combination of the canned pumpkin AND the applesauce makes these muffins extra moist!

hand holding muffin with bite taken out of it

You don’t need oil with those two ingredients already in the mix.

Storing Leftovers:

If you have any of these pumpkin muffins leftover, I simply store them in a tightly sealed tupperware container at room temperature. 

When you’re ready, pop one in the microwave to warm it up for about 10-15 seconds. 

These usually last for up to 3 days 🙂 

muffin on plate sliced in half with butter and butter knife beside it

Hope y’all enjoy these muffins as a kick start to Fall. They’re truly wonderful. My favorite way to eat one is warmed up, a schmear of butter and a pinch of sea salt and cinnamon. MIND-BLOWING. Enjoy!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few more you might like: 

Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies 

Honey Maple Pumpkin Pancakes 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

4.7 from 13 votes

Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are oil and refined sugar free! They’re moist, loaded with fresh pumpkin and tons of chocolate chips! The perfect Fall treat!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 238 kcal
Author Haylie


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix pumpkin, applesauce, egg and maple syrup together in a large bowl. Sift in your flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Combine well. Fold in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips gently. 

  2. Line your muffin tin with liners or grease it. In each tin, fill it 2/3 full with batter. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

  3. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. 

  4. Enjoy with a schmear of butter and a pinch of salt! 

Recipe Notes

I've used this recipe for both a jumbo 6 tin muffin pan and a 12 tin muffin pan. Just adjust the batter accordingly in each little tin. 

With the 12 tin muffin pan, I made about 9 smaller muffins. With the 6 tin, you make 6 jumbo muffins. 


37 comments / Add your comment below

  1. These are delicious, Haylie!! Super moist and perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. I added a little extra pumpkin spice because, well, I’m extra. You know me. With or without the pumpkin spice, though, I’m a believer – these are going into the regular cold-weather rotation! <3

  2. 5 stars
    My favourite season too!! Love it! And as I’m reading your blog post, I’m sitting here with a nice pumpkin latte made by the hubs. You know I have GOT to smear mine with butter too 😉 These look super moist, Haylie, and I love that they’re on the healthier side…that means I could easily have a couple 🙂 Happy weekend, lovely! XO

  3. 5 stars
    Yay for pumpkin season! These muffins look great Haylie. Such a great texture. And love that they are healthier and refined sugar-free!

  4. Are you sure it needs a whole tablespoon of baking soda? Seems like more than a usual recipe calls for. My daughter is doubling the recipe and said 2 TB so I said whoa….

    1. Hi Beth!! Thank you for pointing that out for me and UGH – I’m so so sorry. I think I did make a typo!! I believe it should be 1 tsp of baking soda (so for doubling the recipe, it should be 2 tsp). Once again, I sincerely apologize for the mix-up. I’m changing it in the recipe card as we speak!! Thank you again for letting me know! All the best – Haylie

    1. Hi Liz – I’ve personally never tried that but I don’t see why not! However, with cacao nibs, they’re not as sweet as normal semi-sweet or dark chocolate chip and I don’t think they will melt. Let me know how they turn out for you 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  5. 5 stars
    So pumpkin-y! I love that this only calls for maple syrup and only 1/4 cup, you could happily feed these to your children for breakfast!

  6. 5 stars
    VERY good, just what I was looking for–something easy and tasty that was not TOO bad for me. In the interest of making it even less bad for you, what are your thoughts on using whole wheat bread?

  7. I will have to try recipes..some recipes sound spicy my system does not like spicy. Nor too much acid like tomatoes. Will have to read recipes and adapt to what I can eat..all look yummy.

    1. Hi Christine! I’ve personally never tried it…but I did some quick Google searching and apparently you can substitute almond for all purpose at a 1:1 ratio, however, according to the article I read, it could require more egg to bind together the flour. Let me know if you try it out! Thanks for checking out my recipe! -Haylie

  8. 5 stars
    Love these muffins. I made two batches, one with wheat flour and the other Gluten-free. Both turned out great. I also ran out of pumpkin, so I just used a little extra applesauce. I live the flavor and texture of these muffins. Well definitely be making these again!

  9. I’m very disappointed in the texture and the amount of time needed to cook. I used all homemade ingredients except for the spices and flour. Fresh eggs and syrup came from my home. Too moist

    1. Daniel, I’m so sorry that you weren’t a fan of this recipe and didn’t turn out to your liking 🙁 These are super moist muffins due to the pumpkin and applesauce. I hope you will give my recipes another shot in the future. Best, Haylie

  10. 1 star
    I did not like the texture of these at all or the flavor definitely lacking something. Also I made minis only put in the oven for 12 min seemed doughy still. I’ll definitely have to find a new recipe.

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