Lite gluten free chocolate muffins. 180 calories, with all the rich chocolate flavor. Have it all!
In the spirit of January and potential New Year’s resolution-type feelings, I give you a lightened up muffin recipe. These rich chocolate muffins have way way less sugar than I would usually use in muffins or cupcakes, and lots less butter.
They’re tender and chocolatey, but clearly well-suited for breakfast. And I didn’t even bother to tell my kids they were “light.”
Can we talk about these lighter recipes for a minute? First, the hand-holding: I was a little nervous last week that you wouldn’t be into a lighter gluten free baking recipe since this is not a “diet” blog.
I don’t count calories, and I don’t ever want my 2 girls to hear me complaining about the way I look, so I never do it. Ever. In the same spirit, I don’t provide nutrition information generally for my recipes (that, and it’s crazy labor-intensive to do it). Unless I say “lighter,” or “light” in a recipe title.
Second, baking light in general: It’s hard! Since both fat (yum!) and sugar (yum!) are not only delicious but act as tenderizers in baking, it can be very, very difficult to bake light without ending up baking a tough muffin.
That’s why every muffin ever made or sold in the 1990’s was low fat but heavy as a brick and tough as shoe leather—or packed with sugar. Or both.
In this lighter recipe, I cut out a fair amount of the butter, but added in some unsweetened baking chocolate and concentrated even more on reducing the sugar in the recipe. Fat may be calorie-dense, but it’s satisfying.
I do love the taste of sugar, but I think we all know how bad it is for us. And it tends to create cravings. That’s why these muffins have only 7 grams of added sugar per muffin. For some perspective, that’s less than 2 teaspoons of sugar in the whole muffin.
I added a few miniature chocolate chips to the batter, and then a few more to the top of the muffin, and the nutrition information includes those few chips. You could leave them out, but mini chips are great for lighter baking since they really do go a long way.
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (20 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
7 tablespoons (84 g) granulated sugar
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 2 egg whites (50 g) at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) lowfat buttermilk at room temperature + enough water to make 2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) liquid*
2 ounces miniature chocolate chips (optional, but included in nutrition info below)
*This ends up being 3 1/3 fluid ounces water + 2 fluid ounces lowfat buttermilk to make 5 1/3 fluid ounces total liquid.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin, and set it aside.
In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the chopped butter and chocolate and place over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the water in the pot doesn’t touch the bowl. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Set the bowl aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the melted butter and chocolate mixture, egg and egg whites, vanilla, and buttermilk and water mixture, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick but smooth. Add the (optional) 2 ounces miniature chocolate chips. Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups, smooth the tops with wet fingers.
Place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 19 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information per muffin, as calculated with recipes.sparkpeople.com (I only provide nutrition info for recipes that I call “light” or “lighter”):
Calories 175.3 | Total Fat 9.1g | Cholesterol 28.6 mg | Sodium 116.7 mg | Potassium 111.7 mg | Total Carbohydrate 21.9 g (Dietary Fiber 1.9 g; Sugars 9.1 g) | Protein 3.0 g
Originally published on the blog in 2014. Recipe unchanged, photos and video all new.