Vegan Double Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins
Think “S’mores” in muffin form! These double chocolate muffins are rich and moist all while being easy to make and vegan-friendly. The optional “marshmallow” topping consists of vegan Italian meringue which is then browned to give a “s’more” effect.
These muffins will keep in an airtight container for a few days, I also prefer to eat them freshly baked though as the chocolate centre stays nice and gooey and melty! They will make the perfect Halloween treat!
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE USED TO MAKE THESE MUFFINS?
- Flour: I use white and wholemeal flour in a 2:1 ratio for this recipe, you can however use all white flour or all wholemeal flour if you prefer.
- Coconut sugar: This adds a deep caramel-like sweetness to the muffins and is great for most chocolate based bakes.
- Cacao powder: When choosing cacao powder, make sure you choose a pure cacao powder, not cocoa powder which can have added sugar or dairy.
- Baking powder: The leavening agent for these muffins, it produces carbon dioxide bubbles which form air bubbles in the muffins as they bake.
- Baking soda: This provides more leavening to the muffins together with the baking powder, helping them to rise.
- Sea salt: I always add a pinch of salt to desserts, as it helps to bring out the individual flavours of ingredients as well as marrying them together.
- Chia seeds: The seeds are mixed with water to become a “chia egg” and act as an egg replacer, binding the ingredients together.
- Plant-based milk: I like to use soya milk but you can opt for any plant-based milk of your choice here. Oat milk or coconut milk work well. This becomes the base of the vegan “buttermilk” when mixed with the apple cider vinegar.
- Apple puree: As well as adding a touch os sweetness to the recipe, apple sauce helps these muffins stay moist after baking.
- Maple syrup: My go-to liquid sweetener, together with the coconut sugar, it also deepens the flavour of the muffins.
- Olive oil: The oil helps the muffins feel fluffy and springy to the touch, I’ve made the muffins without oil as well and they work just fine, they just aren’t quite as moist and bouncy!
- Coffee: Believe it or not, you can’t taste the coffee in this recipe at all, it is however commonly added to chocolate bakes as it intensifies that chocolatey flavour – yes please!
- Vanilla extract: This enhances and adds another layer of flavour to your cake. You can swap it out for half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or the seeds from half a vanilla pod if you have one to hand.
- Vegan chocolate: Along with the cacao powder, vegan-friendly chocolate chunks bring the “double” to these double chocolate muffins. I also like to add extra chocolate into the centre of the muffins to create and irresistible melty pool of chocolate when you cut or bite into one of these babies.
- Vegan marshmallows: These can be found in most health shops and you can also order them online if you can’t find them. Regular marshmallows contain gelatine which is taken from skin, bone, connective tissue and other animal body parts! If you can’t find vegan marshmallows however, don’t fret! The Italian meringue topping on these muffins can serve as your “marshmallow fluff”.
LET’S MAKE DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW MUFFINS
The flours, cacao powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder all need to be sieved in advance of making the batter. This is essential for working out any lumps, and to leave you with an even powdery flour to act as the base.
For the wholemeal flour, sieving can seem a little counter-intuitive as it removes the husks, but…. Remember that you are sieving the flour to work out the lumps, so it is an essential step. Simply add the husks back to the flour afterwards to make sure the recipe reaps all the benefits of the wholemeal flour.
MAKING THE CHIA “EGG”
Chia seeds are little powerhouses of nutrients and as well as being high in fibre, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, they also serve an array of functional uses when it comes to baking.
When soaked in water, chia seeds form a gel which works as a binding agent that replaces eggs used in traditional baking. The recipe for these double chocolate muffins calls for one chia egg. To prepare the chia egg, simply add one tablespoon of chia seeds to a small bowl with 2.5 tbsp of water. Stir and allow the seeds to soak up the water for 5-10 minutes.You’ll know it’s ready as the water will have been completely absorbed by the chia seeds. Some people prefer to grind down the chia seeds first, but for this recipe I found the leaving them while works just fine – that’s one less step too, yay!
MAKING THE VEGAN “BUTTERMILK”
Buttermilk is traditionally used in baked goods and has a number of uses. It combines with the baking powder to help add a fluffy light consistency to the end product. As well as that, the acidic milk helps to neutralise the taste of baking powder and soda.
Making your own vegan “buttermilk” couldn’t be easier! Its made by simply introducing an acid to the milk and allowing it to sit and turn for a couple of minutes. To make the quantity needed for this recipe, simply mix half a cup of your favourite plant-based milk with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, mix and allow to sit for 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready as the mixture starts to separate.
MIXING THE BATTER
So here’s the thing, you don’t want to over-mix the batter as doing so will undo all the effort you’ve put in to ensure you get light and fluffy muffins. So don’t mix with a heavy hand – instead use a spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. I also recommend not adding all of the dry ingredients at once, rather add them in increments (3-4 should do it) and carefully fold them in each time. Also, it’s ok to have a few air pockets of flour in the mix as these will bake out anyway, just don’t be tempted to over-mix!
ASSEMBLING THE MUFFINS
Line your muffin tray with muffin cases. Grease the tins with some olive or coconut oil if you’re not using cases.
To assemble the muffins, add about a tablespoon of the chocolate batter to each muffin case, then place a square of chocolate into the centre of each one. Fill up the cases with the remaining batter (they should be about ¾ ways filled). Next press 1-2 marshmallows into the top of each muffin.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, check they are done by piercing them with a knife, the knife should come out clean. Make sure you allow the muffins to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further for 30-40 minutes.
There are an array of different ways that you can top and decorate these muffins. Some of my personal favourites include the following;
“MARSHMALLOW FLUFF” (ITALIAN MERINGUE)
As shown in the images throughout this post, this is a great option if you’re looking to give these muffins that “s’more” effect. The Italian meringue resembles marshmallow fluff and can be browned using a blowtorch to give a toasted marshmallow effect. Get my vegan Italian meringue recipe here.
ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
Another option is to top these muffins with my irresistibly good decadent yet light and fluffy vegan Italian meringue buttercream. This topping will keep on the muffins for about 5 days so is perfect if you plan on making them ahead of time for a party. Get my recipe for vegan Italian meringue buttercream here.
If you want to keep the sugar content of recipe as low as possible but would still love a creamy topping, coconut cream is a great choice.
To make your own coconut cream you will need;
- 1 x 400ml can chilled coconut milk (use only the thick cream from the top of the can)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave syrup
- 1/2 a teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Simply add the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk on high speed until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag lined with a piping nozzle and transfer the bag to the fridge to chill for an hour before decorating the muffins.
For these muffins you can use white flour or wholemeal flour, or a mixture of both. I found that the best ratio is 2:3 white:wholemeal. For “healthier” muffins, I’d recommend using 100% wholemeal flour.
If you don’t have apple sauce to hand you can use mashed banana in it’s place, note that this will alter the flavour so I’d only recommend this if you’re a fan of bananas!
You can swap the olive oil out for any other neutral tasting oil. Melted coconut oil also works well.
If you don’t have chia seeds to hand, you can substitute them with flaxseeds. Apply the same quantity and method as the chia egg to create a “flax egg”.
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Plant-based and vegan-friendly
- Rich and moist muffins
- Decadent and chocolatey
- Easy to make
- Free from eggs, dairy and all other animal-derived additives
OTHER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Vegan Double Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins
- 1 cup plain flour sieved
- ½ cup wholemeal flour *sieved, see notes
- ½ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ cup cacao powder sieved
- 1 tsp baking powder sieved
- ¼ tsp baking soda sieved
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp chia seeds *to make chia egg, see notes
- ½ cup soya milk or other plant-based milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup apple puree
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
- 3.5 oz vegan chocolate or chocolate chips *cut chocolate into small chunks if using bars
- 10 squares vegan chocolate *or 10 tsp vegan chocolate chips, for the centres
- 1 cup vegan marshmallows
- 1 batch vegan Italian meringue get the recipe here
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and set aside.
- Prepare the chia egg by mixing the tablespoon of chia seeds with 2½ tbsp water. Stir and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before stirring again.
- To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining wet ingredients to a large bowl, along with the prepared chia egg and vegan buttermilk mixture.
- Add the chocolate chips to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in approximately 3-4 increments, gently folding the mixture each time. Be careful not to over-mix, a few pockets of the flour are fine.
- Line your muffin tray with muffin cases. Grease the tins with some olive or coconut oil if you're not using cases.
- Add about a tablespoon of the chocolate batter to each muffin case, then place a square of chocolate into the centre of each one. Fill up the cases with the remaining batter (they should be about ¾ ways filled).
- Press 1-2 marshmallows into the top of each muffin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, check they are done by piercing them with a knife, the knife should come out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further for 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Italian meringue *recipe linked in the ingredients section) if you'd like to top them with some delicious "marshmallow fluff".
- Once you have prepared the Italian meringue, transfer it to a piping bag and pipe on top of each muffin. Use a blowtorch to brown the tops and serve.