Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins (oil-free)

These soft, fluffy, oil-free, vegan chocolate chip muffins are ready to be popped in the oven in less than 15 minutes. These muffins are naturally sweetened, delicious, easy to make, and a great morning pastry or midday snack.

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Remember these zucchini muffins? These are the perfect muffins if you are looking for a good gluten-free, naturally sweetened, oil-free vegan muffin recipe.

Well, I thought I had yet to make a muffin without oil with chocolate chips. So, that became my mission. It took me a few tries, but the result is so delicious! It’s my new favorite breakfast treat. Oh, and they pair very well with a matcha latte too.

This recipe is an easy 1-bowl recipe plus a glass to make the flax egg and vegan buttermilk. And the best good thing about this recipe is that you don’t need fancy egg replacements, flour substitutes, or a banana to replace the oil.

This recipe is so basic and good that you can easily substitute the flour with any gluten-free flour if you wish.

INGREDIENTS

This recipe is simple with basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard. The base of the batter is almond milk, flax eggs, applesauce, and flour. These muffins are naturally sweetened with maple syrup.  

The result is moist, rich, chocolatey muffins.

Plant-based milk: I recommend almond milk or soy milk for this recipe. Both curdle pretty well. 

Flax eggs: the combination of ground flax seeds + liquid + a few minutes creates a good binding texture which is great in any vegan baking recipe. When I’m lazy, I sometimes use whole flax seeds, but ground flax seeds are best for this. 

Flour: I recommend all-purpose flour for this recipe, but gluten-free options also work. Replace the flour in the recipe with equal amounts of gluten-free flour. 

Apple cider vinegar: I recommend apple cider vinegar for making vegan buttermilk. 

Baking powder and baking soda: for fluffy and puffy muffins.

Salt: to bring out the sweet flavors.

Sweetener: maple syrup is an excellent sweetener for this recipe. 

Apple sauce: this acts like an oil in this recipe. It binds, adds flavor and sweetness, and doesn’t make the muffins too heavy.

Vanilla extract: this is an extra flavoring that I highly recommend.

Vegan chocolate chips: the prominent flavor and texture are chocolate chips. Pick a brand you like and check if they are sweetened. If so, you might want to reduce the sweetener in this recipe.

Ingredients for chocolate chip muffins on a white backdrop with the name of the ingredients next to it

EQUIPMENT

You’ll need some essential kitchen equipment for my muffin recipes, such as a glass, a mixing bowl, a spatula, a cooling rack, and a muffin baking pan or molds. For the muffin baking pan I like to use non-stick cupcake liners such as this one.

A white wooden tray with baked chocolate chip muffins placed on top of eachother in front of a white backdrop

SUBSTITUTIONS

Gluten-free
These muffins can easily be made gluten-free as well. All you have to do is replace the flour in the recipe with equal amounts of gluten-free flour. I find in gluten-free baking that a combination of gluten-free flours works best. So, a combination of oat flour and almond flour, for example. I learned this from a plant-based chef when visiting New York.

Sweeteners
While maple syrup is a great sweetener for this recipe, other alternatives are equal amounts of coconut sugar or date syrup (the muffins will be much darker then). If you don’t necessarily want to use a natural sweetener, regular white vegan sugar will also work in this recipe, but you might end up with a sweeter muffin.

Apple cider vinegar
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar for making vegan buttermilk (vinegar + plant-based milk), you can use white (wine) vinegar. Lemon juice is also a great option.

Apple sauce
Apple sauce does an amazing job as an oil replacement. If you don’t want to use apple sauce, you can make this recipe oil-free by using equal amounts of mashed banana.


Plant-based milk
For this recipe, almond milk is a great option, and it curdles pretty well. But you can also use soy, oat, or cashew milk. All will curdle pretty well. If your muffins don’t have a great texture, it might be because of the milk (brand) you are using, so try to use a different one next time.

Vegan chocolate chips
If you cannot find vegan chocolate chips, you can also use chopped vegan chocolate. The muffins will look slightly different but will still be delicious.


This is such a great basic recipe that it leaves room to experiment. I have also replaced the chocolate chips with blueberries or raspberries, which were delicious! You can also use half chocolate chips and half raspberries or blueberries.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS (step-by-step)

You can find more details about this recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of the page with full instructions. 

Step 1. Vegan buttermilk

In a glass or small bowl, combine the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and ground flax seeds. Whisk together and set aside for the almond milk (or soy milk) to curdle. 

The flax seeds with the milk create a flax egg, and the apple cider vinegar will curdle with the milk creating vegan buttermilk. This is an essential part of making the muffins rise. 

After about 5 minutes, the texture of the milk should be thicker.

A measuring glass with almond milk on a white backdrop


Step 2. Muffin batter

For the next step, you will need a medium-sized bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix to combine. Add the vegan buttermilk and stir again. Then add the apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix until combined. There should be no clumps, and the flour should be well mixed with the wet ingredients. Don’t overmix. 


Step 3. Make it a chocolate chip muffin

Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Be gentle! And don’t overmix your batter. 

A white bowl with the ingredients for chocolate chip muffins in it with a hand with a spatula mixing it together



Step 4. Time to bake

Transfer the dough to a muffin baking pan or silicone muffin molds. Bake for about 20 minutes and let cool completely in the muffin tin before serving.

FINAL TIPS

When using a muffin baking pan, I recommend gently dropping the muffin baking pan with the batter on the kitchen counter a few times before placing it in the oven. This will prevent little air gaps in the bottom of the muffins.

When they are ready to be taken out of the oven, these muffins will have risen beautifully but will need at least 20 minutes to cool. During this time, they will fall a bit. This is normal, and they are still super fluffy and tender on the inside.

If you don’t let these muffins cool long enough, they might be difficult to remove from the muffin baking pan. If you use a silicone muffin mold, this process will be easier and may require less cooling time. But better be on the safe side, and let the muffins cool in the muffin tin.

You can use a standing mixer or a hand mixer for this, but it’s unnecessary, and you might be overmixing the batter if you use a mixer. When mixing a liquid with a gluten-based flour, overmixing will activate the gluten proteins, leading to tough, chewy, and unpleasant muffins.

Don’t overcrowd your muffin tins. They will need a bit of space to rise.

If you can, use a kitchen scale. I have also measured everything in cups, but the most precise way of baking is, in my opinion, with a measuring scale.

A white napkin with baked chocolate chip muffins placed on top of eachother in front of a white backdrop

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make the batter in advance?
You can make this batter about 1-2 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When you are ready to bake your muffins, follow the instructions in the recipe after the ‘’making the batter’’ step. Your batter will be much colder than when making it the day itself, so allow the batter to get to room temperature or bake the muffins a few minutes longer. The texture might also be slightly different when the muffins are done. But the difference will be minor. 

How do I store the baked muffins for later?
These muffins are best when served immediately. They are perfectly fluffy and slightly warm.

But these muffins can also be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature. Or freeze them for up to 1 month. To thaw, let the muffins sit at room temperature for about an hour and bake for a few minutes to create that ‘’fresh out of the oven’’ temperature. 

A white wooden tray with baked chocolate chip muffins placed on top of eachother in front of a white backdrop

You will love these vegan chocolate chip muffins. They are:

  • Easy to make and delicious
  • Made with accessible ingredients
  • Chocolatey
  • Fluffy
  • Tender
  • Perfectly sweet
  • A bit moist on the inside
  • Slightly crumbly on the outside
  • Gluten-free version is possible
  • Oil-free and naturally sweetened

I love the texture of these muffins, and the chocolate flavor is irresistible. The inside is perfectly moist, and the outside is slightly crumbly with more chocolate chips—a perfect (healthier) breakfast pastry with a smoothie or a tofu scramble. But afternoon tea with this chocolate chip muffin only gets better.

A white backdrop with baked chocolate chip muffins and a hand above it opening a muffin showing the inside



For more easy baking recipes, you might want to try these recipes:


Are you going to make these vegan chocolate chip muffins? If so, I would love to see them. Leave a comment, rate the recipe here, and tag it on Instagram #thegreencreator @thegreencreator so I can see your recreations. 

A white wooden tray with baked chocolate chip muffins placed on top of eachother in front of a white backdrop with pinterest text over the top image
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Chocolate chip muffins in white cupcake liners placed on each other on a white wooden tray

Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 muffins 1x
  • Category: breakfast, sweet, snack
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These soft, fluffy, oil-free, vegan chocolate chip muffins are ready to be popped in the oven in less than 15 minutes. These muffins are naturally sweetened, delicious, easy to make, and a great morning pastry or midday snack.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (125 grams) apple sauce
  • ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (90 gr) chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius degrees) and line 8 muffins with paper liners (I prefer non-stick paper lines such as these).
 
Vegan buttermilk
In a glass or small bowl, combine the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and ground flax seeds. Whisk together and set aside for the almond milk (or soy milk) to curdle. Rest for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and curdled, resembling buttermilk.

Muffin batter

To a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and mix together with a spatula to combine. Then stir in the vegan buttermilk. Next, add the apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir until just combined. There should be no clumps, and the flour should be well mixed with the wet ingredients. Don’t overmix. 

If the batter appears to be way too thick, add a bit of almond milk. The batter should be pretty thick, though, and not pourable. It should be moist and scoopable.

Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Be gentle, and don’t overmix the batter. 

Bake
Divide the batter evenly between the muffins tins (muffin baking pan or silicone muffin molds). About ¾ of the muffin tins should be filled so there is space for the muffins to rise. 

When using a muffin baking pan, gently tap it on the kitchen counter before placing it in the oven. This will prevent little gaps in the bottom of the muffins.

Bake for about 20 minutes and let cool completely in the muffin tin before serving.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tins. 

Then remove from the tins and let cool on a cooling rack. The texture is best when the muffins are completely cooled.


Notes

  • These muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days and up to 1 month in the freezer. To thaw, let the muffins sit at room temperature for about an hour and bake for a few minutes to create that ‘’fresh out of the oven’’ temperature.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use a ratio of 1:1 of gluten-free flour.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. This will cause the gluten to react, resulting in dense and unpleasant muffins.
  • The cooling part of this recipe is just as important as the baking. 

    Please read the above post for further information and images.
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2 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins (oil-free)”

  1. This was delicious! So happy to have an oil-free muffin recipe now to fall back on. Bookmarked it! thx

    Reply

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