Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin tops

I am not a baker.

I love to bake, but I’m not a baker. I just wasn’t blessed with that magical touch that some people seem to have. If I follow a recipe, I can usually have pretty good success. But that’s a big if. I’ve been known to completely leave out the baking powder in Irish soda bread, accidentally add garlic powder instead of ginger, and even forget to add the eggs to zucchini bread.

And when it comes to trying to alter recipes? You can pretty much kiss goodbye any chance of it tasting good. My parents will never let me forget the time I tried to make substitutions to a carrot muffin recipe and I ended up with what they called “little turds”. That was probably being generous… they were pretty bad.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Top Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

But last weekend I was feeling brave, so I decided to try to make some changes to a pumpkin cookie recipe I made last winter. I wanted to veganize them, add some oats, reduce the sugar and oil, and turn them into pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. That’s a lot of changes… and a lot of risks for me! So I held my breath, waited a painstakingly long 18 minutes for them to bake, then barely let them cool before giving one a try…

… and what do you know, they tasted delicious! The only problem? They didn’t really resemble a cookie. So I’ll call them pumpkin chocolate chip muffin tops and pretend that’s what I intended to make all along, okay? Okay.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Top Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin tops
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Healthy pumpkin chocolate chip muffin top cookies. Whole wheat, vegan, and nut free!
Yield: 8-10 cookies
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour*
  • ¼ cup quick oats
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water
  • ⅓ cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In a small bowl or ramekin mix together the flax and water, then set aside and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  4. In a larger bowl, add the "flax egg", sugar, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Mix well, then add in the flour and stir until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips gently.
  5. Spoon the batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least an inch between the cookies. Bake for about 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Then remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
*Can use half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour instead

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Top Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Looking for more healthy baking recipes? You might like:

Healthy chocolate chip gingerbread spice bars
Oat and flax date squares
Soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies

Do you have much luck with baking, or are you hopeless like me?

Have you baked anything with pumpkin yet this fall?


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37 Responses to Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin tops

  1. hehe we call muffin tops “muffies” and your pumpkin chocolate chip combo is fantastic!

  2. Yum….These look delicious and I definitely plan on giving them a try! Recently, I was making cornbread and accidentally added a whole bunch of baking soda instead of baking powder, needless to say the muffins were a major fail. ;)

  3. yum muffin tops! those would be really good w/ pumpkin butter! happy weekend my friend!

  4. I have had MANY baking fails. With lots of practice (and reading copious amounts of baking info on the internet) I’ve gradually improved. I still mess up often but more often then not they work out.

    And sometimes they don’t turn out as you had intended them to but they still taste delicious! Have a wonderful weekend Chelsea :)

    • Chelsea

      I actually love reading about the science of baking – I learned about it in one of my nutrition classes a few years ago and I found it so interesting! Too bad it hasn’t helped me that much in my own baking. :P

  5. helloveggy

    Vegan baking certainly can be tricky; I don’t fret because it’s all going to get mashed up in my mouth anyways!

    Yes fall baking is in full swing over here, as evidenced by my increasing amount of pumpkin recipes. I can’t stop. I won’t stop ;)

  6. These look SO good!!
    I also am quite excited that these are vegan since I can’t have eggs.
    Makes my day when that happens.
    I’ve definitely pulled out the pumpkin baking already and I can’t wait for even more!

  7. They sound good to me! The hubby has been asking me to whip up another batch of my pumpkin muffins, which is odd because I’m no baker either.

  8. I love to bake and I definitely have more of a knack for it than I do cooking. Though my cooking is slowlyyy improving. Slowly, haha. These look great!

  9. I think I’m half and half with the baking touch – if I follow a recipe, I’m golden – even my first attempts at homemade bread and pie crusts turn out really well. But as for making up my own recipe? Yea…not so much. I did make up a recipe for some pumpkin bread the other day that turned out ok, but I definitely want to try it again and try to improve it.
    And as long as they’re tasty, that’s all that counts, right? :-p

    • Chelsea

      See that’s my problem – I don’t have the patience to test my own recipes a million times. If they don’t work out the first time, I tend to give up haha. I’m looking forward to your pumpkin bread recipe once you’ve tweaked it though!

  10. Muffies! :D I actually love to bake a lot more than I like to cook, and since I’ve been doing it since I can remember, I think I’ve got a pretty good knack for it. There’s just something so comforting about carefully measuring out the ingredients and [im]patiently waiting for yoru delicious creation to come out of the oven. And you better believe I’ve broken out the pumpkin already! I’ve made muffins and a lot of savoury recipes, but I definitely need to whip up some kind of chocolate chip bread or cookies, stat.

    • Chelsea

      I find baking really comforting too – as long as I’m following a tried and true recipe. If I’m concocting a new recipe, it’s kind of stressful!

  11. Every one knows that muffin tops are the best part of the muffin ;)! Does being able to follow a recipe count as being good at baking? I am still building up the confidence in the baking arena to experiment with various swaps but for now, I am sticking with ingredients/quantities which I am familiar with. These look delicious- I’m betting you could remix them by replacing the pumpkin puree with applesauce or mashed banana next time!

    • Chelsea

      That’s a great idea to switch up the pumpkin for something else. I love banana muffins, so I’ll have to try that next!

  12. Kudos for experimenting with baking!! I have to admit that I am not an adventurous while baking, though I do love baking and following recipes.

  13. Have to echo Khushboo- the muffin tops are the BEST part of a muffin so will be bookmarking this- I can’t believe I never thought of that! Not sure if you watch seinfeld but there was an episode surrounding the infamous muffin tops- ahh memories.

    I’m a hit and miss- its either really good or really bad!

  14. These look really good!!!! And brilliant for having them more like a muffin (even if not on purpose haha). I totally need to get my hands on some canned pumpkin!

  15. Luckily I’m not hopeless in the baking department, but definitely in the cooking department. I think I do better with exact measurements :) These look amazing by the way- need to make them!

  16. So you say your not the best baker, but I see you make tasty looking treats pretty often! Yes your expertise is with savory stuff, but the sweets are not far behind if you ask me :) I definitely do like to bake, though I get way too frustrated if something doesn’t come out the way I hoped. It’s mainly because I hate wasting ingredients (so expensive some of the time!)
    More times than not though, the baked goods turn out to be just that, good!
    On that note, this a winning recipe, obviously perfect for fall, and the best part of a muffin :)
    Enjoy your holiday this weekend Chelsea!

  17. Sometimes when recipes don’t go as planned, you end up with something even better. And that makes it even more amazing :)

  18. Love this! And I know EXACTLY how you feel! I’ve definitely had my fair share of baking blunders in the past so whenever I have a winner, I want to shout it from the rooftops! I’m so much better with cooking since things don’t have to be so precise! I’m much more of a taste-as-you-go kind of chef! Plus, the waiting for the oven to work it’s “magic” stresses me out! Lol

    • Chelsea

      Yeah exactly! I like that I don’t have to be as precise with cooking. Plus I can tweak it along the way. Whereas with baking, you kind of just have one shot… and once it comes out of the oven, you find out if you succeeded or failed. :P

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