pumpkin mini muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

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mini muffins

Pumpkin and pumpkin spice is everywhere. The flavor has permeated the food and lifestyle scene. From cereal to coffee to candles, it is the flavor for fall. Granted, many of us are ready for 2020 to be in the rearview mirror, but it seems that PSM started showing up right after the 4th of July! The great news is that this winter squash can be both a delicious and healthy addition to your menu — and it pairs well with chocolate! What’s not to love?! Read on for more….

mini pumpkin muffins

Canned vs Fresh Pumpkin

For those of you that remember I used to work for Martha Stewart you may be surprised I am an advocate for canned. It’s is one of the few vegetables whose canned version is quite good and face it, who has the time to make their own fresh puree?

Even if you do want to get your Martha on and truly bake it from scratch, not just any gourd will do when cooking or baking. Those that we carve up into jack-o-lanterns are too watery and stringy to use in the kitchen. Instead, look for pumpkins labeled as sugar  or pie pumpkins. (For more about winter squash check out this post.)

If you want fresh puree I suggest quartering the pumpkin and remove the seeds. (Leave the skin attached.) Place on a foil lined sheet pan and bake in a preheated 350°F oven until tender, at least 45 minutes. Then, remove the skin and puree the tender vegetable in a food processor until smooth. It’s not that it’s hard or that fresh can be incredibly tasty, it’s just that the canned version can be an easy addition to your pantry staples.

pumpkin mini muffins

Is Pumpkin Good for You?

According to the Mayo Clinic, both fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin are packed with nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A and iron. Heads up when looking for canned. Canned pumpkin products may be labeled as “pumpkin,” “100 percent pumpkin” or “pumpkin pie mix.” Canned pumpkin pie mix contains added sugar and is, therefore, higher in calories than regular canned pumpkin. Make sure to look for pure canned pumpkin puree. And bonus — zero Weight Watcher points if you are a WW follower!

One pet peeve I have with canned pumpkin recipes is that so many of them call for 1 cup — a partial can. Who the heck has room in their fridge for half-empty (or half full) can of pumpkin. I make it my personal mission to create recipes that only use an entire can.

pumpkin mini muffins

Baking is Easy

Need more pumpkin in your life? Check out my Baking is Easy series for the National Peanut Board. Click below to see my how-to video for Pumpkin Layer Cake with Honey Glazed Peanut Cream Cheese Filling. No cake pans? No problem! It’s made in a sheet pan and cut into rectangles. Super easy!



Mini Muffins

These bite-sized snacks pack in everything you love about pumpkin spice with natural warm flavors and pumpkin puree. The small size makes portion control easier — but you have to be careful! It’s easy to pop these tasty treats in your mouth without thinking! Helpful hint — don’t eat from the basket or main plate. Make sure to set aside exactly what you want to eat so you can be conscious of points and portion.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoy it and if you give them a try, let me know what you think!

Bon Appétit, Y’all

Virginia Willis

pumpkin mini muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

These tasty treats are addictive! At about 2 points per muffin, they are not carrot sticks, but they are very satisfying.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: butter cookie, fall, healthy, muffin, pumpkin
Servings: 48


  • Nonstick spray
  • 1 15- ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or to taste OR 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice, and ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips about 3 ounces


  • Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Place about 1 tablespoon of batter in each of the prepared cups. Transfer to oven and bake until risen and browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly then invert mini muffins out of the baking tray to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Store in the refrigerator an airtight container for up to 5 days. I freeze these and pop a couple out as I need or want them.

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Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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