Filed Under: Breakfast | Chocolate | Dessert | Fall | Muffin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

By Tessa Arias
October 17th, 2019
4.79 from 14 votes
4.79 from 14 votes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are loaded with spices and gooey chocolate chips for a super easy 30 minute recipe perfect for breakfast or a sweet snack!

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I love the combination of pumpkin spice + chocolate! Texture: Tender, fluffy, and gooey with chocolate. Ease: Ridiculously quick and easy 30 minute recipe. Pros: Fast, fun, and flavorful fall recipe. Cons: None!! Would I make this again? Yes. I stashed some in the freezer to enjoy later.

I feel bad for people who hate pumpkin.

This must be the most annoying time of the year for them.

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin with wrapper pulled away and torn in half

For me, it’s my favorite time of the year right alongside Christmas.

Give me ALL the fall flavors, cozy sweaters, and warm drinks. I’m basic like that.

However… the one thing fall baking is often missing is CHOCOLATE. Don’t get me wrong, I love apples, caramel, and straight up pumpkin spice. But I also require my daily dose of chocolate so you know I’m going to find a way to bring it to the autumn party.

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with a napkin

Which is exactly what’s happening with today’s recipe. I hope you adore it!

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Homemade pumpkin chocolate chip muffin batter

How to make MOIST Muffins?

It’s stupid easy to accidentally add too much flour when using measuring cups. That’s often how you end up with dense, dry, or crumbly muffins.

I like to use the spoon and level method or better yet, a digital kitchen scale. Learn more about the importance of measuring flour correctly here.

There’s a small arsenal of ingredients that lend moisture and flavor in this recipe: dark brown sugar, buttermilk, and the pumpkin puree!

Do I have to use buttermilk in muffins?

Yes, please do! It actually makes a difference. If you don’t have it on hand, you can use whole milk instead.

In my Ultimate Guide to Muffins I tested side-by-side muffins made with milk vs. buttermilk. The result was that the buttermilk created a more moist, fluffy, and flavorful muffin.

If you’d like to learn more about the science of buttermilk check out my Buttermilk 101 article. Basically it’s these little details that add up to make the difference between mediocre and amazing baked goods.

Do I have to use dark brown sugar?

No! You can use light brown instead. However dark brown will lend more moisture and flavor.

How to make flavorful pumpkin spice muffins?

Be sure all of your spices are fresh and not expired. I like to use canned pure pumpkin puree. Preferably Libby’s brand. Never use canned pumpkin pie filling.

I also avoid using fresh pumpkin puree because it’s significantly more watery. Learn more about fresh vs canned pumpkin here.

Why you should never overmix muffin batter!!

This will create dense or rubbery muffins which no one wants. Once the dry ingredients are combined with the wet, gently stir with a rubber spatula *just* until it’s combined. Since we’re adding in chocolate chips next, I actually like to leave a few streaks of flour. They’ll get stirred into the batter with the chocolate chips.

How to Bake Tall Muffins

You may have seen that high to low baking temperature trick for getting muffins to bake up nice and tall. That trick works, but I almost always forget to lower the temperature. Which of course ruins the whole batch! So I went ahead of simplified things for this recipe with just one temperature.

The height instead comes from using a generous amount of baking powder in the batter. And a generous amount of batter in each muffin tin cavity.

I recently experimented with the science of muffins and how to achieve beautiful, TALL muffins that look like they belong on the shelf of a fancy bakery. Check out my 3 tips for baking tall muffins here!

Hint: Chilling your muffin batter overnight makes for the BEST ever muffins!!

comparison of muffin batter rested vs baked immediately

Why Do My Muffin Liners Stick?

Oftentimes this is due to the brand of liners. This is my favorite brand of muffin / cupcake liners from the store.

If you find your liners still get stuck and end up ruining your muffins, don’t worry. I’ve actually written an entire article about how to prevent muffin or cupcake liners from sticking here.

How to Store Muffins

Store in an airtight at room temperature for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 15 seconds if desired to get the chocolate chips nice and gooey.

Can you freeze muffins?

Muffins can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost on the counter or in the microwave.

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin broken apart from eating

More Homemade Muffin Recipes:

4.79 from 14 votes

How to make
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are loaded with spices and gooey chocolate chips for a super easy 30 minute recipe perfect for breakfast or a sweet snack!


  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (244 grams) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk, butter, egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups.
  4. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool until barely warm.
  5. Serve or store in an airtight at room temperature for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 15 seconds if desired. Muffins can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Course : Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : fall

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Rick Jones — September 24, 2022 at 6:04 am

    I took your advice and made the recipe and stored it in the refrigerator overnight. Made it the next morning. When I went to eat my first warm muffin, the bottom of it stuck to the liner. I looked at your muffin tips and decided to refrigerate the rest of the muffins. No trouble peeling away the liner this time, and I swear the muffins tasted better the second day! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. #
    Cara — March 31, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    I tried this recipe and found that they were moist and baked nicely. I did notice a bit of an after taste of baking powder. Not sure if that was due to swapping out oil instead of butter and I baked immediately. Would the taste of baking powder disappear if I followed the recipe exactly. I have baked several of your other muffin recipes with great results so not sure what I did do wrong. What do you think?

    • #
      Emily — April 1, 2022 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Cara! Removing the butter could be the issue as butter adds quite a bit of flavor to these muffins. The only other thing I can think of is if either too much baking powder was added, or you’re baking at high altitude and need to reduce the amount. I’d suggest making the recipe as written with the butter to see if that corrects the issue. Let me know how it goes!

  3. #
    Lisa — October 8, 2021 at 7:19 am

    This is the second recipe of Tessa’s the I made that had dark brown sugar in it instead of light. I am completely not sold on it. First of all the good stuff–my muffins came out looking exactly like Tessa’s picture. The texture was fantastic, even though I had to make my own buttermilk, which was not recommended, I know. And nothing was at room temperature as the recipe said. I wanted muffins and I wanted them now. At least appearance and texture turned out fine. The downfall for me was the taste. These muffins were so overwhelmingly bitter, like molasses. Next time I will skip the dark brown sugar. I almost think the recipe would be better with white sugar. I could barely taste the spices. The pumpkin flavor was there, but such a bitter taste and aftertaste! Thank goodness for the gooey chocolate chips that made these muffins salvageable. Next time I will add nuts. They definitely needed some sort of bulk and taste from some nut like walnuts.

    • #
      Emily — October 8, 2021 at 10:39 am

      Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for your feedback! You are more than welcome to use light brown sugar instead if you’re not a fan of dark, which would definitely reduce the molasses flavor. As for your spices, I would double check to make sure they’re fresh and not expired. I hope you give this recipe another try! Hopefully with the change in brown sugar, it will result in the best flavor for your preference 🙂

  4. #
    DEB — October 5, 2021 at 12:53 pm


    • #
      Emily — October 6, 2021 at 9:00 am

      So happy you enjoyed this recipe, Deb!

  5. #
    Jess — September 30, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Best pumpkin chocolate chip muffin I’ve ever made! Passed the test of my PICKY teen! So easy and fast and delicious!

    • #
      Emily — October 1, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      Hooray!! So happy to hear that 🙂

  6. #
    David — September 28, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    I made this into pumpkin chocolate chip bread instead and it turned out excellent! I chilled the batter for 48 hours in my wine fridge (so it’s not as hard and I don’t have to wait for it to warm up), dumped it into a 9×5 aluminum loaf pan lined with parchment paper sticking up, and baked at 350F for about 1 hour.

    • #
      Emily — September 29, 2021 at 9:40 am

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing the details, David! Bread sounds absolutely delicious 🙂

  7. #
    Jennifer Foster — September 11, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Has anyone figured out how many calories are in each muffin if you make 12?

  8. #
    Shilpi Mittal — August 28, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Amazing soft and tall muffins. My kid couldn’t tell if there was pumpkin in it. When I told him in the end, he was really surprised.

    • #
      Emily — August 30, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Yay! Consider it then a sneaky way to get some nutrients in haha 🙂

  9. #
    Corrine — January 24, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Absolutely delicious. Even the picky breakfast eater loved these muffins. I packed them full of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and I added ginger for the extra twang with the pumpkin. Seriously, this is now my go to spice/chocolate chip muffin recipe.

  10. #
    Dana — October 24, 2020 at 3:56 am

    These were amazing! I’ll be making them again.

  11. #
    Nikki — October 21, 2020 at 6:16 am

    I made this recipe exactly as stated. These muffins came out so moist and delish. They are super rich, creamy and perfectly dense. I will make these for everyone I know!

  12. #
    BJ — October 11, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Absolutely delicious and very easy to make – no special equipment needed! My husband loved them. The pumpkin flavor has nice kick to it and when you bite into those gooey chocolate chips, wow!!

  13. #
    Jess — June 20, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Delicious recipe – I made it gluten free and turned out awesome.

  14. #
    Sharon — October 25, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Love the sounds of this muffin but can you use a non dairy milk instead of the buttermilk? Thanks!

    • #
      Marlene — November 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      I made mine with a lactose free whole milk and it turned out just fine! I made my own buttermilk with it. They’re super yummy

  15. #
    Winni — October 22, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Thank you so much for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. The great recipe, my brother’s birthday is coming soon. I will make this one cake. thank you for a useful recipe to share us

  16. #
    custom essay — October 21, 2019 at 4:32 am

    I have one little question for next time… In the fixings, you have recorded cloves however they vanish in the ways. Should cloves be in the formula?

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