Muffins can be funny little things. They walk a tight line between being something nourishing we eat for breakfast and being, well, a dessert. That’s probably why my two little ones request them for breakfast so often.
These muffins actually were inspired by a dessert. Ina Garten’s orange chocolate chunk cake is one of Tim’s favorite desserts, and his dad makes it every time we visit. (Here is smitten kitchen’s version of Ina’s iconic dessert)
I thought I would be a good wife by giving Tim a portable, acceptable-to-eat-for-breakfast version of one of his favorite desserts. Turns out I was being a good wife and mother, as these have become my kids’ favorite muffins to date. Couldn’t have anything to do with the chocolate chips, could it?
The thing is, while these are perfectly satisfying enough to be called dessert, these muffins are much less sinful than the cake version. First, they are made with whole wheat flour instead of the processed white stuff. They have half the fat and more than 100 percent less sugar. I also used low-calorie, unsweetened almond milk, making them dairy-free. (You can use any milk you choose in this recipe.)
Yet. They have that intense orange flavor, paired with chocolate chips that is fabulous. The essence of Ina’s dessert is here. These healthy orange chocolate chip muffins are light, moist, and everything you want a muffin to be.
You really can’t go wrong with this healthy muffin recipe. Feel free to make a double batch and throw some in the freezer. You’ll be glad you did.
Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar or organic sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (let sit a few minutes) or buttermilk
1/4 cup orange juice
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, or grape seed oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon wild orange essential oil OR 1-2 tablespoons orange zest
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I use EnjoyLife’s dairy and soy-free chips)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a muffin pan, or line with paper liners and spray them with oil. Set it aside while you prepare your ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix or you’ll end up with dense muffins.
Fill each cup of the muffin pan almost to the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the muffins are just turning golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack before removing the muffins from the tin. Enjoy!