Chocolate, Pumpkin and Hazelnut Muffins are a healthier grain free and dairy free treat. The natural sweetness of pumpkin together with cacao makes a wonderful chocolatey muffin!
I love pumpkin; I think it’s one of the most versatile vegetables. I could eat it in a different way for breakfast, lunch, dinner… and even dessert. Hence, these Chocolate, Pumpkin and Hazelnut Muffins! They’re a lovely sweet snack or after-dinner treat. Pumpkin is so naturally sweet that it works so well in desserts without the need to add too much additional sweetener. It also keeps these muffins beautifully soft and is a sneaky way to add a little extra veg into your day.
There is just something so satisfying about baking up a batch of muffins. You feel like a domestic goddess pulling that perfectly-portioned little tray out of the oven, and the smell while they’re baking is generally quite heavenly. The even better thing about making your own muffins is that you have the opportunity to make them relatively healthy. Store bought muffins tend to be sugary bits of cake, masquerading as a “healthy snack”!
In these Chocolate, Pumpkin and Hazelnut Muffins, pure pumpkin combines with fibre-rich coconut flour and hazelnut meal. Add in a little cacao and rice malt syrup, and you’ve got a much healthier sweet treat that’s relatively low in sugar. These muffins are also dairy free and grain free/paleo, so they accommodate a wide range of dietary needs. All without sacrificing flavour, of course! Using hazelnut meal in these muffins gives them such an indulgent taste. To me, hazelnuts are kind of an indulgent nut (possibly due to an association with Nutella, I won’t lie!) so using them in baked goods makes things that little bit more special.
I love to ice these muffins with a little nut butter/coconut oil frosting (instructions below), but they are just as lovely without frosting. You could also add handful of chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate chunks into the batter instead!
Chocolate, Pumpkin and Hazelnut Muffins
Chocolate, Pumpkin and Hazelnut Muffins are a healthier sweet treat, made grain free (gluten free) and dairy free.
- 225 grams pumpkin puree - 1 cup
- 56 grams coconut flour - 1/2 cup
- 25 grams hazelnut meal - 1/4 cup
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 eggs
- 83 mL rice malt syrup - 1/3 cup*
- 60 mL coconut oil - melted, 1/4 cup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 180 C. Spread the 3/4 cup of hazelnuts out on a tray and roast for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool while you get on with the muffins.
Line a muffin tin with liners/baking paper.
In a bowl sift together the coconut flour, cacao, bicarb soda and salt (it's not essential to sift it but it helps to ensure the batter will be smooth). Then, stir in the hazelnut meal and cinnamon. Set aside the dry ingredient mix.
- In a food processor combine the eggs, pumpkin, coconut oil, rice malt syrup and vanilla. Pulse it all together until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredient mix in to the food processor and pulse again until the batter is evenly combined.
Remove blade from processor or transfer to a mixing bowl so you can handle the batter. Roughly chop the roasted hazelnuts. Fold the chopped hazelnuts through the batter.
Divide the batter between the muffin holes. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until firm to touch (or test with a skewer, it should come out with a few moist crumbs).
Allow the muffins to cool, then they can be iced if desired (see notes below). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for a longer life.
*You can substitute honey, maple syrup, coconut syrup or date syrup instead of the rice malt syrup.
*If you would like to ice the muffins as pictured: combine 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 3 tablespoons coconut butter (or a nut butter) over a low heat on the stove until just melted. Remove from heat and quickly stir in 1-2 tablespoons of cacao powder (adjust depending on how intense you want the icing to taste). You can also sweeten as desired using a liquid sweetener like rice malt syrup or stevia. Allow this mixture to cool and thicken up then use to ice the muffins. Top with chia seeds too if you like.