I feel bad for people who hate pumpkin.
This must be the most annoying time of the year for them.
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.
Which is exactly what’s happening with today’s recipe. I hope you adore it!
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
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!!
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.