These gluten free chocolate muffins have tons of rich chocolate flavor and are really satisfying for breakfast. Make the lighter option, and they have only 180 calories, with all that rich chocolate flavor.
These rich chocolate muffins have way way less sugar than I would usually use in muffins or cupcakes, and lots less butter. They’re tender and chocolatey, but clearly muffins and not cupcakes.
The lighter gluten free chocolate muffin variation
This is not a “diet” blog. I don’t count calories, and I don’t ever want my 2 girls to hear me complaining about the way I look, so I never do it.
In the same spirit, I don’t generally provide nutrition information for my recipes (that, and it’s crazy labor-intensive to do it). The exception is when I offer a recipe as “lighter,” or “light.”
Since both fat (yum!) and sugar (yum!) are not only delicious but act as tenderizers in baking, it can be very, very difficult to bake light without ending up baking a tough muffin. That’s why every muffin ever made or sold in the 1990’s was low fat but heavy as a brick and tough as shoe leather—or packed with sugar.
What makes the lighter version so light?
In this lighter recipe, I cut out a fair amount of the butter, but added in some unsweetened baking chocolate and concentrated even more on reducing the sugar in the recipe. Fat may be calorie-dense, but it’s satisfying.
I do love the taste of sugar, but I think we all know how bad it is for us. And it tends to create cravings. That’s why these muffins have only 7 grams of added sugar per muffin. For some perspective, that’s less than 2 teaspoons of sugar in the whole muffin.
I added a few chocolate chips to the batter, and then a few more to the top of the muffin, and the nutrition information includes those few chips. You could leave them out, but mini chips are great for lighter baking since they really do go a long way.
Ingredients and substitutions
The dairy in these muffins is in the form of both butter and buttermilk. Unsweetened chocolate should already be dairy-free, but make sure.
If you can’t have butter, try using vegan butter. Miyoko’s Kitchen and Melt brands are great butter substitutes. Otherwise, Earth Balance buttery sticks should work fine. Just use about half as much salt since Earth Balance is very salty, and about 1 tablespoon less liquid since it has more moisture than butter.
In place of buttermilk, you can use half non-dairy plain yogurt and half unsweetened nondairy milk. You can also use that combination with dairy if you can have dairy, but don’t happen to have buttermilk on hand.
In place of the eggs, try using two “chia eggs.” One “chia egg” is made by combining 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water. Mix in a small bowl and allow the mixture to sit until it gels.