Vegan Chocolate Mini Muffins (no sugar!)

So, I’m really excited about these muffins. (!!!) Remember when I gave up sugar for a week? And then tried to switch over to only natural sweeteners?

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

Obviously I fell off the wagon a little.

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

Well, I’m finally back on track with these muffins. There’s no sugar in these—-not even a liquid natural sweeteners. No honey, agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup. The best part? The first bite made me want to dance around my kitchen. They are AMAZING.

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

These luscious little healthy chocolate muffins are sweetened solely with dates. DATES!

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

Speaking of dates, I need to go on one. Erik is finally done with his wretchedly difficult first year of grad school and it sounds like he killed his qualifying exams (fingerscrossed!). So we meant to celebrate with a nice dinner last Saturday. Um, instead we spent a lot of the day on the floor of my air-conditioned bedroom trying to work up the will to brave the hot air of the pool, then hauled out our rusty bikes and worked up ridiculous sweats biking approximately a mile to get fro yo as a pre-dinner snack…and then passed the new taco place in Rice Village…and caved to the siren call of shrimp tacos.

This also makes excellent loaves.

This also makes excellent loaves.

Which were delicious, but this man deserves steak. And I am a vegetarian. I don’t advocate meat. But I am willing to support the consumption of steak here—that’s how hard he’s worked. I welcome any other ideas of how to spoil the guy if you have any suggestions! :)

Now that I’ve distracted you with talk of steak, let’s muffin talk. You know those giant double chocolate muffins at Costco? These are better. My favorite combo of whole wheat flour and oat flour makes these irresistibly plush. You can puree your date paste for a smoother texture, but I left mine rustically chunky, which meant my muffins were threaded with warm, sugary chunks of dates. Heaven.

(I’ve really been feeling the mini muffins lately, though this is equally good in loaf form.)

Healthy vegan chocolate date bread

Moist, not too sweet, and studded with melty chocolate chips, these muffins feel like the definition of decadence. They’re so easy. Just one extra step past a typical muffin recipe–making the date paste–is so worth the end result. Once you make your first date paste, you’ll be asking yourself where it’s been all your life (Erik thought it looked disgusting, but did agree that it’s delicious!) Get yo’self some healthy muffins. Right now!

 

Healthy vegan chocolate date bread

Vegan Chocolate Mini Muffins (no sugar!)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes

Yield: approximately 26 mini muffins or 1 standard loaf

Serving Size: 1 mini muffin

Calories per serving: 82

Fat per serving: 2.3g

Vegan double chocolate muffins are moist and tender from a combination of whole grain flours and healthy fats. Sweetened only with date paste, they're rich but not too sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups dates, chopped and pitted
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional <--this adds sugar.)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini muffin tin or standard loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Place the dates and water in a small saucepan, uncovered, over high heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, add the baking soda. Mixture will foam up; reduce the heat to medium or medium high if mixture starts to foam over. After a minute or two, the dates should begin to break down. Use a wooden spoon to stir/mash up the dates a little. Let simmer for another five minutes or so until the dates break down into a paste-like mixture. Add an additional splash of water if the mixture starts to look dry before the dates have completely broken down. Once dates are a stir-able mass, set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the date paste, vanilla, milk, bananas, oil and peanut butter and stir until well combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Place about a heaping tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin well or pour batter in prepared loaf pan. Bake for 12-13 minutes for mini muffins or about 40-45 minutes for a loaf. Muffins are done when the tops feel firm to the touch.

Notes

Adapted from The Muffin Myth.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2013/05/21/vegan-chocolate-mini-muffins-no-sugar/

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48 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Mini Muffins (no sugar!)

  1. Pingback: Top Posts of 2013 | The Pancake Princess

  2. Jamie

    On Monday I baked some cupcakes using mostly sugar, vegan butter and oil. Today I baked these cupcakes and have to admit these tasted alot better and are so much better for me!! I didn’t add the two tablespoons of oil and threw in some walnuts for a bit of texture and they turned out fine. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe !

    Reply
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  4. Stephanie

    I made your recipe as stated….and these chocolate muffins were delicious!!! I couldnt believe how moist they were. Thumbs up!!!

    Reply
  5. Lianna

    OMGOMG I LOVEeee those massive double chocolate muffins from costco. I haven’t had one in ages but when I was a kid my mom would always buy the packs that came with 3 flavours and I would eat all of the double chocolate ones before anyone else could even try a piece haha making the date paste sounds kind of daunting but I’m willing to try it if it means a healthier and yummier version of my beloved costco favourite!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Omg okay so I would be the one to take a piece of each muffin because I could never decide which one I wanted!! Except for one kind of darker brown colored one that I didn’t really like. And I’d pick all the blueberries out of the blueberry one. But the chocolate and lemon poppyseed!!! Swoooon.

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Hi Karen–thanks for the lovely comment! You know, I’d be a little wary of using PB2 instead of full-fat peanut butter since I used it partly to replace the need for additional oil in the muffins. But I would be curious to hear how it turns out if you do try it!

      Reply
  6. Sara

    I made your recipe in bread version and forgot to add the almond milk. I’m not sure it made a difference. It still came out perfect. I wonder if you need it? For the bread version you have to remember servings. I cut mine into 12 servings… still the sugar is very high 17g… but better then white sugar. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  7. Jen

    These are DELICIOUS!! I made these tonight using raisin paste instead of date (I had a TON of raisins I needed to use), and they came out WONDERFUL! My husband is addicted to sugar, and I am trying to show him that we can still have sweet, delicious treats WITHOUT refined sugar! These were the PERFECT recipe to win him over! :) He’s already eaten 2 of them! Thanks for a fantastic recipe! We’ll make these often for SURE!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Jen, I am so happy to hear that you guys liked these!!! Thanks so much for letting me know :) You’re awesome for helping your husband cut his sugar addiction–I know how powerful those sugar cravings can be!

      Reply
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  9. Amycakes

    Just wondering — these look great (!!) but do you think prunes will work as a sub for the dates?? I secretly love prunes and always have them lying around…

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Amy! To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten a prune–are they as sweet as dates?

      I just googled and according to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, yes, you can also make prune paste to use the way you would use date paste. Also apricot paste and raisin paste! I’m learning tons of new things :) Hope that helps!

      Reply
  10. Brandi

    Ahh I just checked out where you got the recipe inspiration from over at a muffin myth! That’s a great recipe. Of course I liked that you made it chocolate. I’ve wanted to try doing cookies with all dates, but haven’t done it yet. These look delicious. Do you taste banana? I hate bananas, lol!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      That sounds great!! Just curious–why don’t you eat chocolate? I’ve been curious to try carob but just haven’t gotten around to it since I have so many chocolate chips on hand…

      Reply
  11. Julia

    I’m jumping up and down about these! They look so moist and full of flavor! When I read the text on the photo, I thought it said Vegan Double Date Muffins, which I thought was a real knee slapper. Love the double chocolate. Love everything about the muffins…will action soon!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Haha–that would be a fab name for these. Bake these babies up and you’ll be on a double date in no time! ;)

      Hope you like them!! They are definitely a moist, delicious muffin that I want to make again right now!!

      Reply
  12. vic@cakebook

    These look delicious!! I love baking with dates too – they’re such a surprise aren’t they! Actually think they taste like candy as they are!! I’ve been off the sugar the last couple of months too *yawn* – good for my health – bad for my blog – haha :)

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      No WONDER you’ve been so MIA!! I’ve been missing your post :((( But GOOD FOR YOU for getting off sugar–and staying off for months!!! I’m so impressed. Did you have a plan for staying off or did you just cut it completely out of your diet? Do you think you’re going to keep not eating sugar indefinitely?? I’m so interested in no-sugar diets…

      Reply
  13. Megan

    These are so cute! I want to make something indulgent tasting this weekend, but not too unhealthy. This fits the bill. Thanks!! Great timing!!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Janet! Yes, I learned that trick from Katie at The Muffin Myth. It’s so interesting to see how the baking soda makes the dates completely break down!

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Yay! Angela, I do too. I would love to cut sugar completely out of my diet but since that seems to be nearly impossible, these are great muffins to have in your kitchen arsenal!

      Reply
  14. Alex @ Brain, Body, Because

    O, MY.

    I don’t even know where to begin! These look faaaaaaabuuuuuulous!

    I am conflicted, though, because they use two ingredients that I’m trying to avoid (wheat flour and peanut butter).

    I think that I can probably buy 3/4 c. whole wheat flour in bulk from Whole Foods…but the PB is a stumper. Do you think it would work if I used 1.5 tablespoons of additional oil? I’m trying so hard not to have PB in the house, which didn’t make me sad at all…until now! I want these muffins so badly!

    Also, do you think you used about 1/2 c. chocolate chips? Just guessing.

    Reply
      1. erika Post author

        Alex! You are so great. Thanks for catching the chocolate chip omission–I fixed that. I used 1/4 cup (and then dotted the tops of some with a few extras…).

        Okay so I was really conflicted in using wheat flour in these. I wanted SO BADLY to make them completely gluten-free and vegan, but whole wheat flour + oat flour is just SO GOOD and makes really puffy muffins. If you are okay using other flours, I would suggest subbing buckwheat or spelt flour for the whole wheat flour. Using all oat flour would probably make these really gummy :( Or a gluten-free flour blend.

        And yes! You can definitely use a little additional oil instead of peanut butter–I think 1 tablespoon would do the trick. Ha, I actually added the peanut butter just so I could decrease the fat coming from pure oil! Thanks for the kind words lady–hope you like them!!

        Reply
  15. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Thank you thank you thank you! I need more recipes like this, Erika, so keep ‘em coming! This will give me my carby chocolate fix in a healthy way. Lord knows I need the help – I keep stuffing my face and sitting on my butt. Summer’s coming and so is my lil sister’s wedding (I need to fit into a bridesmaid dress that is just a LITTLE BIT snug right now) and the way my gut is growing, I’m starting to feel a bit panicked. Maybe if someone dangled one of these muffins in front of me while I’m on the treadmill, I can get some exercise going. And yes, give the man a steak! He deserves it :)

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Omg!!!! Wedding!!! I love weddings!!! How exciting–congrats to your sister!! I hope you post some deets on your blog–I LOVE hearing about weddings even though as time goes by I am less and less sure that I’ll be having one of my own! Hah. Nancy, if you lived here, I would drag your butt to kickboxing with me (best thing ever) and then I would happily dangle muffins for you in front of a treadmill. Haha you are the best :)

      Reply

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