Chocolate Chip Covered Cherry Muffins-Revamped and Even Healthier!

I recently made these muffins for a friend’s daughter. Poor thing fractured her leg, so I knew some dessert would made her feel better. I made these for her previously and she loved them.

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Chocolate Cherry Muffins

I first posted the original recipe here. While it was decently healthy, after looking at my recipe, I knew I could make it even healthier. I am constantly learning, advancing and striving to become a better, more experienced baker and recipe creator. By the way, her family is not vegan, so this isn’t a “healthy” tasting recipe if you’re wondering. I work hard to make my recipes taste just as fabulous as the butter and sugar loaded ones that I used to make prior to becoming vegan. 

Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Well, not only did I make it way healthier, with almost half the fat, but it tastes even better. My husband and I couldn’t believe it! I went from 1/4 cup oil to only 1 tablespoon and I found I preferred the less oily taste. I just don’t like heavy muffins. I, then, changed the sweetener to using natural maple syrup, instead of all dry sugar. I switched the dry sugar to less and to coconut sugar. I also used coconut milk, reducing it from 3/4 to a 1/4, making it nut-free as well! Her daughter is allergic to nuts, so that’s why I switched from almond milk to coconut milk.

The fat content went from 11 grams to 6.9 per muffin….not too shabby, huh!!

The result is a lighter, fluffier and perfectly moist muffin. Muffins should be moist and light, not heavy or gooey. Using the syrup and the cherries take care of the moisture in the recipe, so butter and oil isn’t really needed. The cherries also intensify the chocolate flavor, which is another purpose to them. I could probably get away with eliminating the only tablespoon of oil and using a nut butter for the fat, but this needed to be a nut-free recipe. I will try sunbutter maybe next time. I’m not a fan of completely eliminating all fat and using all applesauce or fruit puree in cakes/muffins (unless you are going for banana or pumpkin muffins) because that can make them too heavy, dense and mushy….not what I was going for here!!

Recipe:  Makes a dozen  Prep time: 20 mins  Bake time: 15-20 mins

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1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

One 16 oz bag of frozen dark cherries

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened low fat coconut milk

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon grapeseed or neutral tasting oil

3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with decorative paper liners. I like the StayBrite liners from Reynolds. They do not stick, they cook perfectly and the paper liners retain their beautiful pattern and color.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients through a fine mesh strainer. This ensures a soft, light cupcake with no lumps. Whisk until everything is evenly distributed. I like to use my hand as well to make sure the leavening agents are mixed well. Stir in the chocolate chips. I like to do this now to avoid over mixing the wet batter at the end.

In a small saucepan, add the frozen cherries and turn the heat to low. Once it is simmering, stir and mash with a fork making sure they are heated through and no longer frozen. This should only take a couple of minutes. Pour into a food processor and pulse a few times until it forms an applesauce consistency, do not fully puree! Let it cool a few minutes. Measure out a cup and save the rest for a smoothie or mixed into your oatmeal. :)

In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and the cooled cherry jelly. Whisk everything really well. Add the wet ingredients slowly to the dry ingredients and gently fold in everything with a spoon until just combined, do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into a 12 cup muffin pan lined with paper liners, using an ice cream scooper. Add a few chocolate chips on the top of each one. Bake for 15-20 minutes. They are done when the toothpick comes out with just a few crumbles on it. Mine were done at 18 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to cool completely on a rack.

Nutrition: 218 calories/ 6.9g fat/ 39.5 carbs/ 2.75g protein

Chocolate Cherry Muffins

They smell pretty fantastic too…………..

Chocolate Cherry Muffins

These end up having a rich reddish-brown color that makes them gorgeous and Valentine-ish! These would be perfect to make for your sweetheart for Valentines Day.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Light, fluffy and moist….just how a muffin should be!


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Categories: Chocolate, Fun With Fruit, Gluten Free, Sweet Treats, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN


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38 Comments on “Chocolate Chip Covered Cherry Muffins-Revamped and Even Healthier!”

  1. January 27, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

    You’re very clever! they look totally decadent! :)

  2. January 27, 2013 at 8:10 PM #

    These look so decadent, I can’t believe they are so healthy :D


  3. January 27, 2013 at 8:23 PM #

    Look at you go! That’s amazing that you modified a healthy recipe to be even healthier. So inspiring! On a side note, your pictures look absolutely beautiful!

    • January 27, 2013 at 11:18 PM #

      You’re so sweet, thanks so much Leah! I look at some of my older recipes and want to change them now, lol!

  4. January 27, 2013 at 10:03 PM #

    I am totally impressed with these muffins, yet another great recipe I have to try. You are helping change my impression of vegan cooking/baking. A beautiful recipe and I have to say it again COOKBOOK!!!

    • January 27, 2013 at 11:20 PM #

      Thanks a million Suzanne!! That’s a wonderful compliment!! Lots of flops happen in my kitchen, but lots of magic does too! I would love to do a cookbook one day! You are one of my biggest supporters and it means so much to me!! :)

  5. January 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM #

    “Light, fluffy, and moist” If only all muffins met these criteria, the World would be a far better place. I’m fascinated by and applaud your abilities to take a recipe and make it GF or Vegan or both. Well done, Brandi.

    • January 28, 2013 at 7:09 AM #

      Thank you so much John! I love creating these recipes and then I sometimes further want to tweak my own recipes! I love sweets, so making them healthy is a must, so I don’t feel guilty about eating them! Thank you for the compliment :)

  6. January 28, 2013 at 4:06 AM #

    Loving the use of frozen cherries :-)

    • January 28, 2013 at 7:10 AM #

      Thank you Sarah! It really does enrich the chocolate and give moisture!

  7. January 28, 2013 at 5:04 AM #

    I totally agree, Brandi – dense, gooey muffins are the worst and yours look perfectly light ‘n moist. I LOVE the combo of cherries with chocolate. I am going to be making this recipe asap!

    • January 28, 2013 at 7:14 AM #

      Yes Nancy, some vegan or gluten-free muffins and/or cupcakes are blobs of mush…totally not worth it if the texture is off. It needs flavor and texture! Not always easy to do, but necessary if I’m going to eat it, haha! Please let me know if you do! :)

  8. January 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM #

    Hello Brandi, How are you ? Love this recipe I bet they are flavoursome and moist which is sometimes for vegan cakes or cup cakes difficult to make. Please send some over :)

    • January 29, 2013 at 6:06 AM #

      I agree Thom…a lot of vegan baked goods are terrible but considering all my family and friends love my treats and none are vegan, that means its possible! I’m a big believer that there is no point to healthy desserts if they taste terrible or the texture stinks. These were so delicious and my hubby’s exact words were “I can’t believe these are healthy!”

  9. January 28, 2013 at 9:42 AM #

    I love chocolate and cherry together! These cupcakes look delicious AND healthy. It is very difficult to create something where the food is both – very impressive!

  10. January 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM #

    Wow! I’m sure those tasted fantastic and they look completely pro!! I so admire your baking prowess in making healthy baked goods taste like the original. That’s something I still need a lot of work on!

    • January 29, 2013 at 6:13 AM #

      Aww thanks Erika! You can do it girl. You are a wonderful baker! I have no doubt in your abilities!!

  11. January 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM #

    I don’t eat a lot of muffins but chocolate chewy ones are my all time favorite. And you have cleverly turned the recipe into a healthy version. These muffins looks so good and beautiful. It’s time for me to try making it. Thank you for sharing Brandi. I love reading your every posts. It always makes me happy :-)

    • January 29, 2013 at 6:14 AM #

      You’re so sweet Danny! You made me happy with your amazing compliments! Thank you so much! I bet you would enjoy these too…chocolatey, light and tender!

  12. January 28, 2013 at 11:11 PM #

    Gulp! I just can’t take my eyes off this. Those muffins – I really need chocolate now. And it’s not just delicious, but also healthy! Brilliant!

  13. January 29, 2013 at 12:52 AM #

    The cutest little muffins I have seen and I am sure they were delicious!

  14. January 29, 2013 at 5:37 AM #

    Oh my goodness, these look phenomenal! And, I just happen to have some whole wheat pastry flour burning a hole in my pantry right now! I will definitely need to try these. ;-)

    • January 29, 2013 at 6:08 AM #

      Thank you Melanie!! They are super delicious and guilt free! Please let me know if you try them :)

  15. January 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM #

    Waw! These muffins look incredibly tasty & fab even too! :) Yummmm!

  16. January 29, 2013 at 8:06 PM #

    Simply lovely Brandi! I love how you were able to almost completely eliminate the oil and still have the flavor improve! YUM!

    • January 31, 2013 at 7:00 AM #

      Thanks so much Somer!! I actually found them to taste better without the oily taste…crazy! My hubby agreed too! :)

  17. January 30, 2013 at 6:29 PM #

    Umm is it bad I want to fracture something just to have you make me these?? SO kidding, but really these look amazing! UGH I subscribe to your blog, but never get these updates!?!?

    • January 31, 2013 at 7:05 AM #

      Hahaha Brittany! I swear it’s a conspiracy, because the same thing happens to me with your blog…I have to manually check yours myself because I don’t get updates. Boooo!

  18. February 1, 2013 at 3:51 PM #

    OMG, these chocolate muffins look so delicious !!! Thanks for the follow and for commenting on my blog. Fashionably delicious wishes from Marseille, France, from the girl who ate an organic chocolate “brookie” (a mix between a brownie and a cookie : it’s to die for !) 3 hours ago !!!

    • February 2, 2013 at 6:32 AM #

      Thank you so much! You should try them, they are so good! Thank you as we’ll, if you hadn’t come by my blog yesterday I wouldn’t have discovered yours! Those brookies sound DELSH!! :)

  19. February 2, 2013 at 12:32 AM #

    Brandi, these are so wonderful. They look scrumptiously elegant!

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