Chocolate Muffins (gluten-free + grain-free)


Kevin’s Mom, Renee, was here visiting for a 2 week stint before she made her way to Germany to visit Kevin’s sister. During Renee’s time here, we got to celebrate her birthday. Instead of getting her a gift that she’d have to lug around with her on her trip, Kevin and I made a batch of grain-free cupcakes topped with my fudge frosting.

I think Renee worries that Kevin and I are missing out on all the fun stuff because of our gluten-free, dairy-free eating style.


Making a batch of deliciously decadent cupcakes proves that us gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free folk aren’t missing out on any of the fun.


And… she loved them! Even had them for breakfast each day following her birthday.

With the frosting, the cupcakes were light, fluffy and fudge-packed.

Without the frosting, the cupcakes totally passed as a muffin. A gluten-free chocolate muffin under 200 calories and loaded with fiber. Sure they weren’t as fudgy without the frosting, but they were darn good!

So today, I wanted to share the base of this delicious recipe with YOU. Either enjoy them on their own as a muffin (maybe add in some dairy-free chocolate chips) or top them with my fudge frosting and serve them up at your next birthday party!

Grain-free Chocolate Muffins (6)

Adapted from Cupcake Project

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5.0 from 9 reviews
Chocolate Muffins (Gluten-free + Grain-free)
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
If you love chocolate, you're going to adore these gluten-free chocolate muffins. Rich, moist and chocolately, these muffins are a chocolate-lover's dream.
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 6-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  3. Add wet ingredients; milk, egg white, oil and extract.
  4. Mix thoroughly, then add boiling water. Stir completely.
  5. Let sit for 1 minute, then pour into prepared paper liners.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 23- 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. I found that the toothpick held a bit of gumminess due to using chickpea flour but left to cool, they firmed up perfectly to the consistency of a real, gluten-packed muffin.
Sugar - I used demerara sugar for this recipe. I'm sure you could use an equal amount of coconut sugar.
Vegan and egg-free - I'm sure that you could try making this recipe vegan or egg-free by replacing the egg whites with 2 teaspoons of ground flax seed and 4 teaspoons of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes, then use in recipe. I have not tested this, but it's where I would start. That, or an equal amount of apple sauce or banana puree.
Baking soda and baking powder - if you are going to use conventional baking powder or baking soda (not the Ener-G brand), reduce the measurements by half than what it calls for in the recipe.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)


Preheat oven to 350F and line a 6-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly.


Add wet ingredients; milk, egg white, oil and extract.

Mix thoroughly, then add boiling water. Stir completely.


Let sit for 1 minute, then pour into prepared paper liners.

Bake in preheated oven for 23- 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. I found that the toothpick held a bit of gumminess due to using chickpea flour but left to cool, they firmed up perfectly to the consistency of a real, gluten-packed muffin.

Grain-free Chocolate Muffins (4)-2

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How do you manage friends or family members that don’t support or understand your eating style?

Have you tried introducing your friends to new healthy ingredients by baking or cooking for them? What was the result?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. I have some chickpea flour that told me it had aspirations of becoming chocolate muffins… I imagine those muffins will be gone with the wind when my boys get hold of them!

    It’s sometimes hard, even with people who would normally eat just about anything, when you put a label on it, they head straight in the opposite direction. I’ve learned not to bother calling anything “vegan” unless I know my audience will be totally receptive. Instead, I try to call it by the main one or two ingredients then talk further about the recipe only if people ask. At least, that’s the way I approach in-person gatherings – I usually go into more detail on my (poor, neglected) blog. Luckily, the friends who are brave enough to try my experiments often enjoy the results – and if they don’t, they ALWAYS give helpful feedback, which is invaluable.

    • Wow, I wish my ingredients would tell me how they wanted to be used. How handy!

      Great approach, Michelle. Love it! I’ve witnessed that, too. As soon as you label, people run! So, why label? Great idea.

  2. These are SO cute!!! Love the photos – great job Leanne! When I’m with friends/family that don’t support my eating style, I try not to make too much of a deal about it but I do make a point of communicating that it’s a choice I’ve made that helps me feel at my best. As for introducing people to new foods, I’ve found that many of my friends are more than willing to try a long as I prepare it for them! I think a lot of people get intimidated by the time and effort that they think is required to cook healthy recipes, but in a lot of cases, it’s not difficult at all!

    • Thanks Angela! You’re right, if you tell your friends that it’s important to you, and that eating a certain way makes you feel good, I’m not sure what friend would give you grief about that (and if they do, are they really a true friend? Verdict is out on that one…)

  3. Those look great, Leanne! I am going to try the recipe with flax. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    • Awesome! Can’t wait to hear about it, Helyn :)

        • Hmm interesting! I’m happy that they were tasty, and cooked through? Thanks for sharing a picture! I’ll be sharing it on the Healthful Pursuit Facebook page this week as I’ve had so many people ask about a vegan version. I’ll link up to you, of course :)

          • Oh yes, they were definitely cooked through. I haven’t posted them yet on my blog! But will do so in a few days. I want to make a couple more tweaks first. Thanks, Leanne! :)

          • That’s great! I’d love to share a link to your recipe on my Facebook page once you’ve posted it!

    • Hi Marianne – I used chickpea flour and didn’t test it with any other flour. Chickpea flour acts different so I’m not 100% certain that another flour would work. If you give it a shot, I’d love to know how it goes!

  4. For the baking soda and baking powder, I would be using gluten free, but not the ever-g brand, do I still need to halve the measurements?

    • Hi Stephanie – many gluten-free baking powders and sodas recommend doubling up from what is called for in a recipe. If yours mentions that, follow my instructions. If yours does not mention that, cut my recommended amounts in half. Hope that helps!

    • Yum, I like your style, Steph! (And congrats on your little one, he’s amazing! I’ve been silently following your journey for awhile)

  5. Hey Leanne!
    These look so delicious!

    My family and the people around me are much more sensitive to my dietary needs now, but I always let the food do the talking. I would make something that I knew I could make taste great even if it was allergen free. I usually stay away from things that ppl have emotional/nostalgic connections to like mac and cheese so there’s less comparison. I found that if the food tasted great, people were more open to my diet and more likely to let go of the stereotypes of healthy ingredients or alternatives.

    Also, I never tried to convert anyone. I think you can only change yourself and if ppl see that you are happier and healthier, vibrating at a higher frequency then they may change or at least become a little more open.

    • Convert… yes, no… I’ve never ever done that either! Can’t say I ever want to. You’re right, introducing your friends and family to ingredients and new recipes is all you can do, then they can make choices themselves on what works well for their own bodies!

  6. YUM! I could eat these right now! I actually started making things for people and not telling them it was GF, vegan or whatever restriction I did for the baking. But to trick them, I would still call it by it’s traditional name, wait for them to eat it and tell me how much the loved it, THEN I tell them what it really was! Sneaky…I know…but it saves a lot of explaining (which I feel like I shouldn’t have to do anymore). I also love it when they find out it’s healthy with some secret ingredient like sweet potato or black beans.MUAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    • hahaha I do the SAME thing with Kevin. Omg, all the time. Cauliflower in pudding, black beans in brownies, that poor man. He’s gotten smart about it over the years, though. Now, when I present him with something, his first question is – “What’s in this, what are the ingredients?” DARNIT! I can’t lie to him just like that!

  7. I made these tonight and they’re great! I changed it up a little and used two tblsp dark cocoa powder and one tblsp regular (love me some dark chocolate!).

    My family and friends are pretty used to and aware of how I strive to eat. For me it’s all about balance and making sure that they know I’m not “judging” them for what they choose to eat.

    Thanks for an amazing grain-free recipe!

    • Yum! I’m so happy that you liked them. Balance, amen! NO judgement, double amen!

  8. These look awesome, Leanne! As a number of commenters mentioned before me, I think the easiest way to ‘convert’ people to an allergen-free way of eating is to prepare meals and snacks for them that are totally amazing! There are so many misconceptions about what GF, dairy free, etc. foods look like (i.e. BORING!), but it’s totally not the case. The proof is in the GF, dairy-free, grain-free pudding. :)

  9. I’ve had some chickpea flour hanging around in my pantry for a while now. I’ve made socca with it (which is AMAZING) but really wanted to see how it did in baking, especially now that i’m eating mostly gluten free. Your muffins are the first things i’ve baked with it and they were amazing! I think they might even be more cupcake than muffin :]

    Mine did sink a bit in the center, but i think that’s cos I used a 12-cup muffin tin, and didn’t think to put the batter in the middle tins! They firmed up fantastically, though, and I slathered them with a sweet potato peanut butter frosting that I whipped up!

  10. just wanted to let you know that i really appreciate the notes section in your recipes.

    Also, have you tried Camelina oil yet? from saskatchewan? if you have, i’m wondering how you find using it in your recipes. from how i’ve been using it, seems to work just fine…but i have really only been using it for stirfrying and salad dressings. I’ve been told it’s a good substitute for coconut oil…but haven’t had the opportunity to try that yet.

  11. Unfortunately, in our house we end up having to prepare to different meals to cope with the different eating styles. Although I think this recipe might be something we could agree on.

  12. Hi there !

    I just made these … AMAZING and MOIST and YUMMY.

    I made a couple of adjustments … I did the flax egg vs. egg whites. Instead of oil, I used 2 heaping T’s of pumpkin puree. I also added 1/2 tsp each of: cardomom, cinnamon and nutmeg to the dry ingredients.

    Thank you !!!!!



    • Woohoo! Glad that they worked out for you, Kerry! I LOVE the changes you made. Cinnamon and chocolate, hubba hubba!

  13. OMG. These are SO GOOD! The batter is a bit soupy so I though ugh, these aren’t going to set, but oh, I was wrong.

    These are moist, chocolaty deliciousness! I ate two! And I love that it just makes 6. Perfect.

    I was going to take the remaining four to work to share – forget it ;-)


  14. Thanks for the recipe, I am trying chickpea flour for everything lately. I have a double batch of cupcakes cooling as I write. They took an extra 6 minutes to cook. Could using a silicon tray (with the paper inserts) in a convection microwave be the issue. They also fell sagged after cooking. Any advice? BTW when you say egg whites…do you mean un-whisked?

    • Hi Stela – I made these muffins in a convection oven. You used a microwave? I am not sure what the recipe would do in a microwave. Also, I used a metal tin and paper inserts. I was at a low altitude so the extra time could just be where you’re located. Egg whites = unwhisked. I hope that helps!

  15. Hi Leanne,

    I hardly ever comment on blogs but I tried these muffins yesterday and was so impressed that I had to come and say thank you for posting this. I replaced the sugar with dextrose because I am on a fructose free diet, used rice milk as and added a tsp of apple cider vinegar. They came out amazing!!! My baking soda and powder aren’t gluten free (i’m waiting till they’re finished to replace them) but I didn’t half the amounts because I wanted to make sure the muffins came out large enough. And they did, they were big, had a gorgeous crumb, they didn’t collapse and were just heavenly!

    Thank you again!!

    • Hey Rella! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to comment :) So happy that you enjoyed the muffins!

  16. Saw the recipe this morning and immediately went to the kitchen and whipped up a batch of these amazing muffins for my son to take to school for snack. He loved it. I love the light fluffy texture. It was super easy to do….simple and delicious! Can’t beat that. Thanks for posting!

  17. Thanks Leanne – I have been looking for a recipe to make for my son who is celiac and became obsessed with Udi’s double chocolate muffins (which are expensive and processed). I made these and added some Enjoy Life chocolate chips and they were a huge hit. Thank you, not only do I feel better about feeding these to him it is also going to help my grocery budget. (I used Purest Baking Soda and Baking Powder and measured it out before I read your tip but they turned out just fine).

  18. What super delicious muffins. Excellent for my food intollerence. Thank you.

  19. Leanne, these look amazing! I’m so glad that you incorporated chickpea flour into a chocolate recipe and can’t wait to try this out!
    I had a quick question- I recently bought some date syrup to use as an alternative to sugar and was wondering if you thought it would be ok to make the substitution or whether the batter would be too runny?

    Thanks a lot!

    • I’d also love to know if I could sub agave nectar?

      Thanks so much for an awesome recipe, looking forward to making these this week!

      • I’m not 100% sure as I used granulated sugar in this recipe. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

    • Hey Ashley – it may work, but I haven’t tried it. I remember this recipe being very touchy… so I’m not sure if replacing the sugar with a liquid-based sugar, would yield the same result. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  20. I made these with quinoa flour instead (didn’t have chickpea flour and I usually find it to taste a bit metallic so I never buy it) I also used coconut sugar instead. Doubled the recipe as well and only cooked them for 23mins and they’re so good!! Also added maybe a half cup of chocolate chips and they’re perfect. They didn’t fall, they didn’t get too big either even though I was worried about the level they reached in the muffin tins before they were cooked. Excellent recipe!! Thank you!!

    • Wow… I never would have thought to make ALL those changes. And the fact that the recipe worked out? Awesome!

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