Soft & Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free!)
These one bowl vegan chocolate chip muffins are fluffy, sweet, and moist, yet so easy to make with simple ingredients that are naturally dairy free and easily gluten free! The perfect muffin recipe for all eaters!
These vegan chocolate chip muffins are about to be your new favorite vegan muffin recipe. Aside from the seasonal favorites, like my vegan pumpkin muffins, or vegan blueberry muffins or vegan zucchini muffins, these chocolate chip muffins can easily be enjoyed year round, at any time.
And if you’re really a chocolate fanatic, try my vegan double chocolate chip muffins!
In fact, pair these chocolate chip muffins with a side of chickpea scramble or vegan scones or vegan French toast for a fantastic vegan breakfast spread that wows a crowd! And check out more vegan breakfast options here!
And these muffins can easily be made either gluten free or with regular flour. Seriously!! The texture is undetectably gluten free!
These muffins are:
- Soft, moist, and fluffy
- Secretly dairy free, no eggs, and easily gluten free
- So easy to make with simple ingredients and in one bowl!
- Easily frozen or made ahead of time!
- Perfect for breakfast, dessert, or an anytime treat!
Table of contents
Ingredients & Equipment
For these vegan chocolate chip muffins, you’ll only need a few ingredients:
- Flour: we have options for both gluten free and regular chocolate chip muffins, so keep reading below!
- Granulated organic sugar: you can use granulated sugar or coconut sugar- whichever you prefer! Make sure that it’s organic to ensure that your chocolate chip muffins are entirely vegan.
- Vegan buttermilk: we go over vegan buttermilk a lot in the next sections. This is homemade and not store bought- you’ll combine a dairy free milk, like soy milk or almond milk, with an acid, like apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice.
- Applesauce: I use unsweetened applesauce, and it tastes just fine. The applesauce replaces eggs in regular muffins here.
- Dairy free yogurt: I recommend using coconut milk yogurt or oat milk yogurt. A high fat dairy free yogurt will yield the best texture.
- Vegan butter: You can also use melted coconut oil instead!
- Chocolate chips: I discuss what my favorite vegan chocolate chip brands are below!
- Vanilla & leavening agents: I use a lot of vanilla in these muffins, which I think is why they taste just like childhood! Vanilla adds a lot of “sweetness” without adding sugar (because our brains register vanilla as sweet!). You’ll also use some baking powder and baking soda (to take the edge off of the baking powder taste).
How are these bakery-style muffins?
The tricks to making these chocolate chip muffins go from a home-baked taste to a bakery style taste are nutmeg, vegan buttermilk, and the muffin top (with sugar of course!).
Nutmeg. You might be wondering why use nutmeg in baked goods, such as muffins and donuts. Isn’t that a holiday spice? It is most often associated with holiday treats, but nutmeg is also a crucial ingredient in bakery baking. It’s what makes you associate a muffin with a bakery rather than a home oven. Just a 1/4 teaspoon is all you need to make you think these are bakery chocolate chip muffins!
Vegan buttermilk. This wonderful mixture not only adds moisture to these fluffy and light chocolate chip muffins, but also adds volume and lift, making these extra tall and tender muffins. Trust me, you’ll want to use this!
The classic muffin top. I know many will tell you to only fill your muffin tins 3/4 of the way full, but I always fill mine to the top, especially when using gluten-free flours. We’ll also go over why we need to rest the batter and bake the muffins from a high to low temperature. This helps ensure that you get that classic muffin top look! Sprinkle a bit of granulated sugar on top as well for extra sweetness.
How to make the best vegan chocolate chip muffins (overview)
For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.
Here’s how to make the best vegan chocolate chip muffins:
- Make the vegan buttermilk.Use vegan buttermilk in this muffin batter is such a crucial step to creating light and fluffy vegan chocolate chip muffins. It’s the difference between a good muffin and a great muffin. Simply mix the dairy free milk of your choice with a bit of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to create the curdle.
- Make the batter:The batter of these vegan muffins is so simple. Plus, you can easily just use one bowl. First, you’ll whisk together the dry ingredients (don’t forget the nutmeg!). Then we’ll mix the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips as well. The whole batter process should take no longer than 7 minutes, as long as you have the buttermilk prepared and your ingredients ready!
- Rest the batter.This step is so crucial if you want those high muffin tops, especially for a vegan muffin. More on that in the next section! While the muffin batter is resting, you can line a muffin pan with muffin liners.
- Bake your vegan chocolate chip muffins!Next we just bake the muffins. I fill each cup up to the top, because I love when bakery muffins spill over the edges and have that classic “muffin top.” Use an ice cream scoop for even and quick scoops. And then I also add additional chocolate chips and a sprinkle of extra sugar on top. Place the muffin pan into the oven to bake!
Why rest the muffin batter:
This sounds counterintuitive, but it REALLY works. The science is actually quite interesting behind it. We have baking powder in there, which will act with heat, not wet, so we don’t need to worry about losing any height on our muffins.
When we rest our batter, the flour is able to absorb the liquid from the wet ingredients, and further develop its gluten. This means that the batter will be more sturdier in holding the rise from the baking soda and baking powder, rather than collapsing or sinking after they’ve risen a bit in the oven. So this is really worth the wait! We want those tall muffin tops!
Why we’re baking the muffins from a high temperature to a low temperature
I used to think that you needed to keep the temperature the same throughout the entire baking process. However, with muffins in particular, the best muffin tops occur when you go from a high temperature to a low temperature.
Why is that?
Well, now that we’ve really allowed the baking soda to work with the acidity in order to produce high muffin tops, we now need to help the baking powder (which is a heat activated leavening agent) get to work. A lower temperature (yes, even at 350F) means that the baking powder is slower to rise. While a consistent temperature is great for cakes, as we don’t want to dome our cakes, we DO, however, want to dome our muffins.
Therefore, starting off at a high temperature will quickly activate the baking powder, allowing the muffins to really puff up, but lowering the temperature after they’ve risen quite a bit will ensure the muffins don’t over-bake/not bake evenly throughout.
Final Recipe Tips & FAQ’s
Can I skip the vegan buttermilk and just use dairy free milk?
The vegan buttermilk is so important in making these vegan chocolate chip muffins taste like the came from a bakery! You can use any dairy free milk here. I always use coconut milk or oat milk. To make the vegan buttermilk, simply combine the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar. Leave the the mixture for 5 minutes to curdle.
How can I make these vegan gluten free chocolate chip muffins?
You can use an equal ratio of gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as King Arthurs. Or, if you wanted homemade, you can use 2 1/4 cups oat flour with 1/4 cup arrowroot powder.
Make sure to properly measure your flour and ingredients!
This is so important. Make sure that you spoon and level your flour rather than scooping it into the bag. Otherwise, you’ll end up with way too much flour!
Can I make these into large chocolate chip muffins?
They will bake a bit longer, though, so keep an eye on the oven. You can also make these into mini bite-sized chocolate chip muffins as well!
What brand of chocolate chips are vegan?
For this vegan muffin recipe, I recommend Pascha Chocolate, Enjoy Life (I use the rice milk for a vegan milk chocolate!), or Hu Kitchen. They have amazing options, including sugar free, 100%, and vegan milk chocolate!
Storage & Reheating
To store these muffins, I keep them in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 6 days (though they never last longer than that in my household!). You can also leave them at room temperature covered for about 3-4 days.
To freeze: you can also freeze these muffins for up to 3 months. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350F and bake them for 5-6 minutes.
You are just going to absolutely love these easy vegan chocolate chip muffins!
If you make these muffins, let me know how they go by leaving a comment below, as well as a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find them!
Happy muffin baking!
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If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
These one bowl vegan chocolate chip muffins taste like they came out of a bakery, yet are secretly vegan, gluten free, oil free, and lower in sugar than the classic! A chocolate chip muffin that everyone will love!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, see note for gluten-free options*
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup vegan buttermilk, room temperature see note for how to make vegan buttermilk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1/4 cup dairy free yogurt or vegan sour cream, room temperature, see note for substitutions
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Prep: Line 12-muffin tin with cupcake liners. Measure out all ingredients. Read through all instructions before beginning.
- Whisk the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg.
- Make the batter: In a separate bowl, whisk together the the applesauce, dairy free yogurt, melted vegan butter, and vanilla. Then add in the flour and buttermilk mixture, and use a rubber spatula to fold together until there are no more dry streaks, being careful not to over mix.
- Rest the batter: Fold in the chocolate chips, then cover the bowl with tinfoil or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes. While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 415F.
- Bake: Use a large cookie scoop or a large spoon to fill each muffin tin nearly all the way full. Sprinkle each muffin with more chocolate chips if desired. Place the muffin tin into the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 415F, then reduce the temperature to 350F, and finish baking the muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool & enjoy: Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Use a butter knife to help gently separate the muffin sides from the tin. Remove each muffin from the tin and enjoy!
- Storage: Store any leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days, in the fridge for up to 6, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Gluten Free: to make these gluten free vegan chocolate chip muffins, you can swap in 2 1/2 cups gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur. I like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure. Be sure to add in 1 tbsp of cornstarch or arrowroot starch to the flour blend. Alternatively, you can use 2 1/4 cups oat flour and 1/4 cup arrowroot starch or powder.
Vegan Buttermilk: to make a vegan buttermilk, combine 1 cup dairy free milk with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-6 minutes to curdle. Then use in the recipe.
Dairy Free Yogurt: you can use either dairy free yogurt or vegan sour cream (I personally recommend Forager Project!). You can also use coconut cream fat that’s been separated from the water.
- Serving Size: 1 medium muffin
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 21 g
- Sodium: 117 mg
- Fat: 9.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 44 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 4.9 g
- Cholesterol: 10.9 mg
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