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Vegan Chocolate Walnut Muffins

Have a muffin.

Once you taste one of these, you might not believe they were vegan.

They were inspired by a recipe in Sweet And Natural Baking, which I picked up on clearance at a local bookstore. The recipes in the book mostly call for using a fruit juice reduction – concentrated, syrupy fruit juice – in place of sugar or other sweeteners. I haven’t tried too many things in it yet, but so far I’m fairly pleased with the results.

Muffins are cakes that you have a socially acceptable excuse to eat at breakfast. Chocolate muffins are really just chocolate cake. Socially acceptable though it may be, you might feel a bit guilty after your second one. But these are pretty healthy, particularly for a chocolate muffin. Low in added fat, no refined sugar or flour! And did I mention that they are very tasty?
These muffins are quite chocolatey, with a nice taste and moist texture. My tasters actually found these difficult to describe. One said that they were more muffin-like than cake-like. Another found them to have a vaguely brownie-like cakiness. Confused? Everyone agreed that they were great and much more satisfying than your average muffin. And that’s all that really matters.

Vegan Chocolate Walnut Muffins1

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup maple syrup
¾ cup vanilla soy milk (or plain, with ½ tsp vanilla added)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup chopped walnuts, plus 8 walnut halves

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 8 muffin cups in a baking tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, soy milk and vegetable oil. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and stir until smooth, adding walnuts at the last minute. Do not over mix, but try not to have any pockets of dry ingredients left in the batter. Spoon into prepared muffin tins, filling each 2/3 full. Garnish each muffin with a walnut half.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Let cool slightly before serving. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, before storing well wrapped or in an airtight container.
Makes 8 muffins

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  • Joe
    September 4, 2005

    Yum Chocolate and walnuts! Great combo for a muffin.

  • T
    September 4, 2005

    Hey Nic- this actually looks very appetizing! Its motivating me for the next IMBB 🙂

  • Nic
    September 4, 2005

    Joe – I agree. I think that pecans would be great in it, too.

    Tanvi – Vegan does’t have to mean scary, but it does get a bad rap sometimes. Usually I don’t worry about using granulated sugar of some sort in vegan foods, so I was really pleased at how well this came out with the maple syrup.

  • Jessica
    September 4, 2005

    Hi Nic,
    The Joy of Cooking has a great vegan chocolate cake that melts in your mouth! I love it because you can’t tell it’s vegan, and there are no special ingredients required-just flour, cocoa, sugar, oil, baking soda and vinegar!

  • FoodNinja
    September 5, 2005

    You want to hear something odd.. My gurl has a soy intollerance. It makes her sick. But I love soy. alas it is a love that was never ment to be.

  • Nic
    September 5, 2005

    Jessica – I’ve tried that cake. I think that sometimes it is refered to as wacky cake. I haven’t made it in a while – thanks for reminding me. It’s a good one.

    Templar – That’s too bad! I think that soy is actually a fairly common allergen. I’ve heard of people substituting soy milk for regular milk – rarely the other way around, but I’m sure it would work fine with dairy.

  • fiordizucca
    September 9, 2005

    hi nic 🙂 do you know what can i sue instead of maple syrup? – you might want to try another version of a vegan chocolate cake 🙂

  • fiordizucca
    September 9, 2005

    sue* = use !

  • Nic
    September 10, 2005

    Fiordzucca – You could try rice syrup or reduce fruit juice (apple, perhaps) by about 3/4, until it is very syrupy.

  • rae
    September 12, 2005

    i can’t wait to try these! in fact, i’m not going to wait at all. as soon as i finish typing i’m headed into the kitchen. i’ve never made a vegan cake-y type thing that i’ve been satisfied with, except for an incredible coffee cake…hmm, maybe i can whip up a batch of that too…

  • Jam
    March 28, 2006

    Hi Nic, a newbie to blogging (just set up my blog a few days ago!) here. Just to thank you for this recipe. I made Double Chunk Chocolate Muffins today based on this, and it was great! I did substitute buttermilk for soy milk though, so I can’t call it vegan! =)

  • Reina
    April 24, 2006

    Hi Nic, these muffins came out beautifully! I didn’t have maple syrup so I used 1/4 brown sugar and added a bit more soy milk. They’re so chocolatey…thanks for the recipe!

  • Amber
    May 1, 2009

    These are fantastic. I have tried about a ton of various vegan chocolate muffin/cupcake recipes and this is one I’ll make again. Made with brown sugar, applesauce, and dark choc instead of walnuts: a bit dense, but nice tender crumb. The selling point is that they’re gooood and chocolatey instead of just plain and boring like other recipes. Thanks!

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