Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whether breakfast or dessert, these muffins are the perfect fall treat.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely
Active Time:
29 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
Yield:
30 muffins

It doesn't take much of a dip in the temperatures for Southerners to start planning for pumpkins. Pumpkin picking, pumpkin carving, pumpkin decorating—if it involves pumpkins, Southerners are down for it.

So while you're thinking about pumpkin breads and pumpkin cakes, make room on the menu for these Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins. The single-serve quick breads feature all the spiced notes of classic pumpkin desserts, thanks to cinnamon and nutmeg, but that's balanced beautifully with a touch of bittersweet chocolate in the form of melty baking chips.

Here, get the recipe for Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins, and find out ways to make them better if you plan to bake them time and time again (and you will, once you taste the first one).

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins Ingredients

These pumpkin muffins use a whole can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling—save that for Thanksgiving). We then spice them up with nutmeg and cinnamon. To get the muffins to be tender and light, buttermilk helps them rise (along with baking soda).

This recipe calls for half granulated sugar and half light brown sugar. You can use dark brown sugar if you like a more molasses-forward flavor, or use all white sugar if that's what's in your cupboard. The important point is just to keep the amounts equal so that the cake won't turn tough when baking.

Lastly, semisweet chocolate chips are folded into the batter. We like the semisweet chocolate flavor for these pumpkin muffins because it's not overly sweet and has a nice sharpness that balances with the sweet muffin beautifully. If you have only milk chocolate or bittersweet in the pantry—or if you prefer one of those over semisweet—go for it. The type of chip won't matter all that much. Plus, in the fall, baking companies often release limited-edition baking chip offerings, like caramel and pumpkin spiced. You could give those a try, too.

How to Make Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins

The great thing about making pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins is that the batter isn't complicated. It's essentially a quick bread batter—no rising, no waiting, no punching and shaping. You combine the wet ingredients, then the dry. Then, you stir them together. Other than undermixing the sugar and butter in step 1 (you really want to beat them until they're creamy and lightened in color), there's very little room for error with this recipe.

Chocolate chips are folded into the batter just before it's spooned into muffin tins. This helps keep the chocolate chips suspended in the batter so they don't sink to the bottom.

We like baking muffins in paper liners so they're easy to remove from tins, but if you don't have any paper liners or just want to save them, you can bake in the tins without the liners. Just make sure to coat each muffin well with baking spray with flour. The extra bit of flour in the baking spray helps these muffins release easily without tearing.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

One Batter, Three Delicious Treats

This recipe for Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins has two sister recipes. We use the same batter to make Seeded Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin-Pecan Coffee Cake. Yes, you read that correctly: One pumpkin bread recipe, three delicious ways to enjoy it.

So if you have all the ingredients to make a second batch of the batter (keep extra cans of pumpkin on hand for this very reason), you can turn out several fall-inspired baked goods at once. You need only change up the toppings or the stir-ins to make something unique.

Tips for Making Pumpkin Muffins

- Cool the just-baked batch of muffins in their trays for five minutes before transferring them to wire racks. Otherwise, steam from the hot trays will make them tough.

- You can add your favorite nuts or seeds to these pumpkins for a bit of crunch. We like pecans.

- Use an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice instead of the nutmeg if you don't have any nutmeg on hand.

Other Pumpkin Recipes

If you're in a pumpkin mood, don't miss out on these other pumpkin favorites:

- Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever
- Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins
- Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Pound Cake

Ingredients

Batter

  • 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar

  • 1 ⅓ cups packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, melted

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin

  • cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 3 ⅓ cups (about 14 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until completely combined, creamy, and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Add pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla; beat until blended, about 1 minute.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and nutmeg in a large bowl until completely combined. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in mixer, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.

  3. Gently stir 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips into batter. Line 3 (12-cup) muffin trays with 30 paper liners; spoon batter evenly into wells, filling each about three-fourths full (about 1/4 cup batter in each well). Sprinkle batter in wells evenly with 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Bake in preheated oven, in 3 batches, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes.

  4. Let muffins cool in tray on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm, or remove from tray and let cool completely on wire racks, about 30 minutes.

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