Just because these chocolate muffins are oil-free and gluten-free doesn’t mean that they won’t be full of tasty, yummy deliciousness! I used gluten-free oat flour and applesauce instead of oil and these work quite well for this recipe.
I originally tried making these oil-free chocolate muffins with Lankanto Sugar-Free Monkfruit Baking Sweetener and they were quite tasty, but after reading more about monk fruit, I decided using date sugar would be the better option.
I understand if you don’t want to use any sugar substitutes, especially if you’re strictly whole food and plant-based. I do advise using the least processed foods plus little or no sugar except dates, date sugar, date syrup, maple syrup, and molasses.
If, however, you love baking and want a sugar-free treat once in a while this sugar substitute might work for you if you’re trying to cut calories. Lankanto also has a regular sugar substitute (Lankanto Monkfruit Sweetener) and this baking version.
Just be sure to leave out the mini chocolate chips because they are made with sugar and oil.
Alternatively, you could try using cacao nibs which have no oil or sugar. They are bitter by themselves, but when mixed with other ingredients this bitterness doesn’t stand out quite as much. I’ve used cacao nibs in this Mint Chocolate Smoothie recipe.
What is Lankanto Sugar Substitute
Let’s dive into this sugar substitute a little more. It contains both monk fruit and erythritol. According to Dr. Michael Greger from nutritionfacts.org, erythritol is one of the better sugar substitutes.
Don’t expect miracles from monk fruit, though. It’s a better choice than most substitutes, however, Dr. Greger points out that while blood sugar does not spike initially after eating this sugar substitute (and others in the study he covers) it averages out at the end of the day to be the same when compared to those eating real sugar. Here’s Dr. Greger’s video, Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Safe? He wanders around a bit before getting to the nitty-gritty at minute 2:20 in the video.
If you’d like to read more about artificial sweeteners, here’s my article, Zero Calorie Sweeteners: Are they Healthy and Safe?
These vegan chocolate muffins are quick to put together. Once you’ve mixed the dry ingredients, the oat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt then you just need to add the wet ingredients, plant milk, apple cider vinegar (which helps baked goods rise), and vanilla.
I like my muffins a little larger so you can fill 10 muffin wells instead of the 12 if you’d like. Otherwise, divide the batter evenly among the 12 wells. I made a note about this in the recipe (and in the nutritional label).
Baked goods made without oil can be a little drier than those made with oil so keep that in mind. These chocolate muffins are best eaten right out of the oven.
Other Muffin Recipes
Try one of these…
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for these Oil-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Muffins! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
Tasty Oil-Free, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Chocolate Muffins
- 2 cups oat flour gluten-free
- 1/2 cup date sugar *or Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
- 1/2 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
- 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips *optional or try cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 400°F. For medium-sized muffins, line pan with paper liners or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. For larger-sized muffins line or grease only 10 wells of a muffin pan.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.2 cups oat flour, 1/2 cup date sugar, 1/2 cup cacao powder, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add the plant-based milk, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla, and stir until just combined. Don't over mix! Gently fold in the chocolate chips.1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- For larger muffins, divide the batter evenly among the 10 wells of the prepared muffin pan. For small, divide into 12. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins have cracks on the top. Test for doneness at 15 minutes.*12 muffins may take 20 minutes whereas 10 muffins may take 25 minutes. *If testing with a toothpick, you may touch melted chocolate chips. Instead, touch lightly with your finger and if they bounce back, they're probably done.
I haven’t tried this yet, but plan to. I assume you meant unsweetened applesauce, not sweetened?
Yes, unsweetened applesauce. I’ll update that on the recipe. Thanks.
I have to say it: I LOVE these muffins! So moist and fluffy, and I really love the amazing dark chocolate flavor. Definitely going to be making these again soon! 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed the muffins! Thanks for the feedback. 🙂
I am on wfpb diet. Instead of Monkfruit Suger can I use date paste?
I haven’t made these with date paste but it’s worth a try. I think they would add a little extra moisture so maybe they’d take a little longer to cook. I’d love to hear how it goes if you make them. I can add it in the notes as an option. 🙂
Yeah, this isn’t wfpb. None of your desserts are. This is false advertising. Sugar is not a whole food.
I admire your commitment to being a purist. If you’re completely truly eating whole food, you wouldn’t eat pasta, bread, tofu, whole wheat flour, tortillas, and so on. Because I want people to be successful with their plant-based diets, some minimally processed foods are included and acceptable on a WFPB diet.
Now when it comes to sugar, some forms are more fully accepted on a whole-food, plant-based diet than others. Dates, date sugar, or date paste are the best. However, even Plant Pure Chef, Kim Campbell, part of the family who founded the plant-based movement uses coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, and even confectioners sugar in her recipes. Here’s an example, Fig Oat Bars.
I’m doing my best to help people change their diets and get better. I hope they make progress and stick with it. Like other leaders in the movement, I make allowances for alternatives to white and brown sugar such as date syrup, date sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and good sugar-free substitute if people care to try them or not if they’re being strict.
Thank you for your recipes and helpful tips. Have you heard anything about Purecane sweetener? You can find it on Amazon. I am new to WFPB and I used to be an avid saccharin user all my life in my ice tea. I wondered what your opinion is about Purecane. I just tried it and like it.
Hi Diane, This is the first I’ve heard of Purecane sweeteners. The ingredients look simple enough with erythritol and sugarcane Reb M. Dr. Michael Greger points out that erythritol is one of the better sugar substitutes in this video. That’s why I’ve used the Lankanto brand Monk fruit containing erythritol in this recipe. It seems like a decent choice if you want a sugar substitute. I couldn’t find much about sugarcane Reb M, though. It appears to not spike blood sugar, at least initially, like other substitutes. It may take more investigating to understand if this sweetener has the same effect as monk fruit does, not spiking initially after eating but averaging out at the end of the day, as mentioned in this recipe post.
Hi, the recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it out! But I don’t have apple sauce, will omitting apple sauce still work? Keep up the good work!
You’ll need something to replace it, maybe a mashed banana or pumpkin puree. These may add some flavor. You could also substitute 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk since it’s thinner. That’s just a guess since I haven’t tried it. Hope something works for you. 👍 Let us know how it goes. Cheers.