Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins, Bread, and Cupcakes

Kate posted some amazing classic pumpkin muffins last week, and I’ve got my favorite Pumpkin Muffin, today.  No surprise that mine include chocolate.  You guys all know about the best Zucchini bread on the planet, right?  This Double-Chocolate Zucchini Bread?  Well this is a pumpkin-spice version of that recipe, so I’m guessing there are lots of you that already know you’ll be fans!  The best part?  This versatile recipe works as muffins, as a quick bread, annnnnd as cupcakes.  I couldn’t decide which one to really claim here- because they’re ALL so good, so I’m giving you everything.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

These start out so easy as you can literally just dump everything into a bowl.   Unsweetened cocoa powder gives them a gorgeous color and deep chocolate flavor, without being to rich. They still have plenty of pumpkin, which makes them really tender, and just enough of those warm autumn spices.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

One of my favorite secret tricks for pumpkin spice flavored things, is this extract, it’s totally optional in this recipe, but if I have some, I usually toss it in there:

pumpkin spice extract

You can find it wherever Watkins Spices are found.  I buy them at Walmart!

These bake up with the most perfect, rounded domes.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Fresh out of the oven, and plain like this, they make great muffins.  You can even freeze them for quick snacks on the go. 

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

The best part about calling them muffins is that it’s totally socially acceptable to slather butter on them.  Even better, Maple-Cinnamon Butter.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

If you want to turn it into an ultra-tender quick bread, just pop it in a loaf pan.  I did mini loaves and tossed in some salted caramel chips I wanted to try out. 

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

It was perfect.  Totally didn’t need the chips, but it made it look kind of fun. 

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Lastly, you can spread on a dollop of frosting for an amazing fall cupcake.  I did a cream cheese cinnamon-vanilla bean frosting (no recipe, just eyeballed it) and it was fantastic.  This brown sugar caramel frosting would be amazing, as would cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

They’re festive, and kind of perfect inside.  

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

A recipe this versatile definitely needs to be in your recipe arsenal.  If you make them, snap a picture and tag me on Instagram so I can see!

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

A versatile recipe yielding tender muffins, perfect cupcakes OR a glorious quick bread.  Rich chocolate flavor with pumpkin and spices.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice extract optional
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with papers and set aside (or spray loaf pans with non-stick spray.Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined.  Create a well in the center and add oil, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, extracts, and pumpkin.  Mix everything together until well combined, but don't overmix.  Place batter in prepared muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Toothpick inserted in center should come out with just moist crumbs attached. Yields about 1.5 dozen muffins, or 2 standard loaves.  If you're baking mini loaves, or regular loaves, you'll have to eyeball the baking time.  I only timed muffins for you!  For cupcakes, just pick your favorite frosting.  Favorites of mine are: Brown Sugar Caramel Frosting and Cream Cheese Frosting. Let cool completely before frosting.


Author: Sara Wells
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!


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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Just made these as mini muffins. Took about 12 minutes to bake. They were yummy! I did add chocolate chips on the second batch and they were even better. 🙂

  2. Bravo!! Another killer recipe. I whipped-up a few dozen chocolate pumpkin mini-muffins for a school Halloween party and Confirmation class. In both cases, added luxurious cream cheese frosting and – this should come as no surprise – the containers came. home. empty. I love you, OBB! Keep up the great work.

  3. I saw this recipe last night, made them this morning. My 11 year old granddaughter declared them “even better than the school’s chocolate muffins” (which she adores!). Total winner! Thank you for all your blog efforts, I am a major fan!

  4. I debated between liquid and powdered pumpkin spice the other day at the store and got powdered, haha. Does the pumpkin spice extract measure the same as the powder? Can you substitute it in any recipe?