A long introduction is not necessary for this recipe—trust me, it will speak for itself. I enjoyed the cookies I made a couple weeks ago enough that I went searching for other Bethenny Frankel baked goods. Also on the Health Magazine website, I came across a recipe for Mariska Hargitay’s “guilt-free chocolate muffins.” I made them as soon as the coconut cupcakes were gone, and I only altered a couple little things. Behold.
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp instant coffee granules (optional)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 8 cups of a muffin tin (or 16 cups of a mini-muffin tin) with paper liners and coat lightly with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, sugar, and extracts. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and coffee.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.
Bake for 20-22 minutes (16-18 minutes for minis). Let cool slightly in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Any kind of frosting on these would be preposterously unnecessary. They are so moist and gooey inside, they’re almost lava cake-esque. Using mini chocolate chips was a good idea, I think; since they disperse so evenly, you end up with a muffin that’s melty throughout, instead of just scattered with pockets of chocolate. I’m a big believer in applesauce in baked goods, but the moisture and tenderness of these completely blew me away. No one would ever guess these are vegan, let alone nutritious. They’re fast, easy, healthy, small-batch, and use ingredients you probably already have—what are you waiting for?! Go make them NOW! I promise you’ll fall in love.
Yield: 8 regular or 16 mini muffins. Per muffin (regular): 154 calories, 5g fat (2g sat), 30g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g protein.
Per muffin (mini): 77 calories, 2.5g fat (1g sat), 15g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 1g protein.