I think most wellness experts (which I don’t claim to be) would agree that starting your morning with consistent healthy habits is the key to a good day and a productive week. I start each day basically the same way: brushing my teeth, making the bed, drinking about 20 ounces of water, getting in some sort of exercise, showering, a big matcha latte, and then refueling with a quick and easy breakfast. As much as I’d love to sit down and enjoy a delicious, hot, freshly-made meal in the morning, the day’s usual hefty to-do list looms ahead and I am too eager to tackle it. So, something I can eat without slowing down is ideal. And managing to include chocolate into that quick and healthy breakfast situation always feels like I’m setting my day up even better. So, I’m pretty confident in saying that, starting your day off with one of these Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Muffins is basically a guaranteed great day. What Do They Taste Like?
These healthified muffins are just what you want from a muffin with the classic, crowd-pleasing, flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate. The crumb is light and fluffy but still moist and deeply chocolatey, studded with chocolate chips, and ribboned with peanut butter swirls. The muffin batter is just perfectly sweetened with coconut sugar to welcome the addition of the chocolate chips, making the whole just sweet enough to call a breakfast or snack rather than a dessert. The top and edges are crisp and chewy while the center is still soft so you’ll have no qualms with enjoying the top and the bottom of the muffin. (Which is often not the case with dry muffins.) The peanut butter swirl is made simply with just peanut butter. As there is no peanut butter in the muffin, these are easily made nut free but substituting the peanut butter with a seed butter of your choice. I recommend substituting for sunflower seed butter as this is the most similar in texture to PB. That being said, feel free to use any other nut/seed butter you like for the swirl! To make these strictly paleo use almond or cashew butter.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
If you are used to grain-free baking, you most likely have everything you need already in your pantry! Here are the main ingredients used in this recipe:
Avocado Oil – My current favorite fat for dairy free baking. The taste is wonderfully neutral, still adds the perfect amount of moisture, and has a high smoke point making this perfect for baking. Feel free to sub avocado oil with olive oil or melted and cooled coconut oil.
Coconut Sugar – To make these muffins refined sugar free I use coconut sugar. It has a natural caramel-like flavor that it wonderful in baked goods and removes the need to use refined sugars.
Cassava Flour – This is the best unrefined flour I’ve found so far that is fairly comparable to white flour. It’s a whole food as it uses to the whole yucca root to create the flour and is perfect for gluten and/or grain free baking.
Cocoa Powder – This is what makes these muffins chocolatey, so it’s important to use good quality cocoa powder. For this recipe I used exclusively (and for the first time) the Organic Cocoa Powder from Whole Food’s 365 brand and found it to be of excellent quality at a great price. Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa mix or cacao powder – these are both completely different things and will affect the outcome of the recipe greatly. Some other great brands of cocoa powder are Equal Exchange’s Baking Cocoa or Guittard’s Cocoa Powder.
Chocolate Chips – I almost exclusively use Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips when I’m baking because they are reasonably priced and allergy-friendly. In this recipe I use their mini semi-sweet chips. They are sweetened with organic cane sugar making them not fully refined sugar free. To keep these strictly paleo, or free of refined sugars, use your favorite chocolate bar chopped up into chunks or Hu’s baking chocolate gems. Or to reduce the overall sugar content, leave them out! They will still be delicious!
Nut/Seed Butter Swirl – Ever the people-pleaser, I use peanut butter to swirl into these chocolate muffins. Feel free to use any nut/seed butter you like. Try to select one that is made with a single ingredient and free of added oils or sugars. Ideally, use one that is thick but a bit drippy to help easily create a swirl. And always, always, be sure to stir the butter well in the jar before measuring. I used Once Again‘s natural unsweetened peanut butter here.
As muffins should be, this is a no-fuss recipe that results in delicious chocolatey peanut buttery comfort. The batter comes together incredibly quickly and I’ve included weighed measurements to make the ingredients process even quicker! (If you’re new to weighing ingredients check out my last post to read about the benefits of weight vs volume and here’s my scale rec!) After we breeze through making the batter, we stir in the chocolate chips, add the nut/seed butter of your choice and scoop into the muffin tin. Then, if you’re feeling like you want to add more chocolate and peanut butter to the muffins, we top the batter with a bit more of each. Then into the oven to bake for just about 16 minutes. Yep, that means you can go from empty mixing bowl to muffin-filled baking rack in around 30 minutes! And just like that you’ve got yourself a delicious healthy-ish chocolate muffin to help you kick off your mornings right!
These muffins are gluten/grain/dairy free, easily made paleo, nut-free, and refined sugar free by making a few simple swaps which I’ve included in the recipe text below!
If you make this recipe, please leave a review or rating down below. And I’d LOVE to see your creation! Please tag me on Instagram @freshlydafna and use #freshlydafna.
Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Muffins
These muffins are the perfect way to kick off your morning right - with chocolate! They are super easy to make, incredibly delicious, and the perfect anytime snack! Feel free to use any nut/seed butter to make these strictly paleo and/or nut free!
Gluten/grain/dairy free, paleo-possible, nut free option, refined sugar free option
- 3/4 cup cassava flour (102 grams)
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour (55 grams)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (46 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder (5 grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (2 grams)
- 1 cup coconut sugar (160 grams)
- 1/3 cup avocado or olive oil (79 grams) or sub coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3 eggs ideally room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla (4 grams)
- 2 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice (34 grams)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (132 grams) or other single ingredient nut/seed butter of choice
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips or chunks optional
Heat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by greasing with additional oil/cooking spray or lining with muffin liners.
In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain and all is well combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, mix the wet ingredients together until thick and frothy.
Add in the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just fully incorporated and no white streaks remain.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the milk, and blend on low until just fully mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if necessary, to thoroughly incorporate the milk into the batter. Ensure not to overmix the batter.
Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks, if using. I added 1/2 cup (94 grams) chocolate chips to the batter and reserved 1/4 cup (47 grams) to add to the tops.
Drop big spoonfuls of the peanut butter over the top of batter and using a rubber spatula, turn the batter once or twice to swirl into the batter. Be sure not to stir too much to avoid incorporating the nut/seed butter fully into the batter to ensure thick ribbons of peanut butter in the muffins.
Using a large cookie scoop (or spoon) distribute the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Optional: Dot the top of each muffin with a small drip of additional peanut butter and swirl gently into the chocolate batter with the tip of sharp knife to create a swirly top. Add some additional chocolate chips too if you like!
Bake the muffins in the center of the oven at 375 for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350, baking for an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven when tops are fluffy and set. If testing for doneness with a toothpick, the toothpick with come out with a bit of moist chocolate crumbs when it's done and not completely clean. Ensure not to over bake or the muffins will be dry.
Remove from oven and let cool in muffin tin for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to let cool completely.
Store at room temperature in an air-tight container for about a day or so. Afterwards, move to freezer for longer storage!
Striclty Paleo: Substitute the peanut butter with any other single ingredient nut/seed butter of choice. Good options are cashew, almond, or sunflower seed butter. Use coconut sugar sweetened chocolate chips or chunks or omit entirely.
Nut-Free: Replace the peanut butter with a seed butter such as sunflower or sesame seed butter for the swirl.
Refined Sugar-Free: Chop your favorite maple or coconut sugar sweetened bar into small chunks and use in place of chocolate chips.
Lower Sugar: Omit the chocolate chips and be sure to use a nut/seed butter with no added sugars.
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