Fall has officially begun, and October is just a few days away, but in so many ways, it still feels like summer to me. The days are still (very) warm, the trees are still green, and I'm still drinking mostly iced coffee in the mornings, as the cozy feeling of a warm latte doesn't quite beckon me yet. But I can't deny that it is technically fall, mostly for the reason that fall means pumpkin baking season, one of my absolute favorite times of year. The season is such a short one that I really try to embrace it full-heartedly, because even though you can bake with pumpkin any time of year, this is the only time when it actually seems fitting.
I think that what made me fall in love with pumpkin in baking was Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. We used to buy it at my favorite bakery in town, and it was always such a treat, with its moist crumb, chocolate chips scattered throughout, and warm, aromatic blend of pumpkin and fall spices. Since then, I've learned to enjoy pumpkin in so many other ways, but that bread has probably always been my favorite. So this year, when I opened up my first jumbo can of pumpkin, I couldn't help but remember that bread and crave it once again. It only seemed appropriate to fulfill that craving with some homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, but in the form of muffins - individually sized for easy eating.
I ate my first muffin straight out of the oven for breakfast, and at that moment, it was easy to believe that fall was beginning. That warm, moist, spicy muffin, studded with melted chocolate chips, was exactly what I was craving, and it felt so perfect just soaking up that sense of coziness that fall baking brings as I munched on a muffin that morning. When I went to take photos of the remaining muffins, I could still smell the blend of pumpkin and spices the entire time I was photographing, and it was that smell that really transported me back to the days when I first enjoyed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. Even though I didn't realize it until I smelled it, that familiar scent was the final test for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins that told me these were the ones I was yearning for. It may still feel like summer in many ways, but at least I can enjoy a warm muffin in the morning and have a sense that fall has arrived.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Embrace fall with a batch of homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. Served warm from the oven, these moist and spicy muffins will instantly make your morning cozy.
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon all spice (or 4 whole all spice berries, ground)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup yogurt (I used Greek)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chocolate chips, plus more for muffin tops (I used dark chocolate; use whatever type you like)
- Preheat oven to 375 F and grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to evenly combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the brown sugar on medium speed, for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Add yogurt, oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract and beat into the mixture until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix in at lowest speed just until evenly incorporated. Fold in ¾ cup chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Divide the muffin batter between the 12 muffin cups. Top each muffin with about 5 chocolate chips, placed strategically around the top surface, pointed-tip up. Place muffins into oven, reducing temperature to 350 F once inserted, and bake for about 25 minutes. Test muffins with a toothpick, making sure it comes out free of batter. Enjoy warm, and allow to cool before storing leftovers in an airtight container. Tip: Leftover muffins are great warmed up in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds.