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I call these Skinny Chocolate Banana Fudge Muffins my miracle muffins. No butter, no oil, whole wheat, with tons of rich fudgy flavor. You won’t miss all the calories and fat! 

2 images of chocolate banana muffins

It’s about time I baked some chocolate muffins. Considering my breakfasts during the week have been nothing short of bran cereal and apple slices. Sigh. I honestly can’t think of a more boring way to start the day.

Needless to say, some pizazz was surely needed to pair with my morning java this weekend. It may come as no surprise to you that I chose chocolate and bananas as my non-boring breakfast of choice Saturday morning. You see, I have a little thing for the pair. See here, here, and definitely HERE. (<– involves sprinkles!)

I like the two paired together almost as much as I love chocolate & peanut butter together.

chocolate banana muffins

Enough about me. When I asked a few friends what they’d like to see more of on the blog, their first answer was healthy recipes! Healthy *sweet stuff* of course – this IS a baking blog you know.

I bake a lot of healthier items that never make it on the blog in fear that I may bore you. So, it was my mission to bake something for breakfast that I could share on the blog, pleasing all my readers – the health-conscious and the chocoholics. These muffins are incredibly lightened-up – we’re talking no butter, no oil, and whole wheat flour. Is that possible for such a beautiful fudgy muffin? Indeed, it is.

Start with some sad-looking bananas. Brown speckled & practically black. The bananas are paired with apple sauce, to replace the oil or butter in the recipe. Oftentimes replacing the fat in a recipe with a lower fat product like applesauce will substantially affect the consistency and flavor of the finished baked good. If not done correctly, your muffins can bake up dry and taste like cardboard.

Today, we’re looking for a soft, moist muffin, so that’s why it is crucial to use super-ripe and super-soft bananas. Trust me, the uglier the banana, the better flavor and texture your muffin will have.

3 images of chocolate banana muffins

I used half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour in the batter. I was looking for a lighter muffin to start my day – not something dense and heavy. While much more wholesome than white flour, whole-wheat flour has the tendency to weigh down your baked good. I like to use whole wheat flour in oatmeal bar recipes – when I’m looking for a dense texture. Using a combination of all-purpose flour and heavier whole-wheat flour, you’ll get the best of both worlds – light texture, wholesome goodness. Done and done.

Let’s talk chocolate. Double dose of the good stuff here. I sifted unsweetened cocoa powder in with the flours and baking powder. I used Hershey’s Special Dark, but feel free to use your favorite kind. I love using unsweetened cocoa powder in healthy recipes – you get chocolate flavor for hardly any calories! Unsweetened cocoa powder is the force behind my Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies. 😉

Next, you’re going to throw some semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter before dropping into your muffin cups. Top with more chocolate chips. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. The chocolate flavor overpowers the banana flavor, so expect a chocolate explosion rather than a banana overload. Wait til you try one warm and melty out of the oven. (!!!)

2 images of chocolate banana muffins

And as if all of this wasn’t enough… the BEST part about this recipe is how EASY it is! Your batter will come together in one bowl, in about 5 minutes. The muffins take about 20 minutes in the oven, which was 20x the time it took me to wash the 1 dish from the batter. 😉

You will never, ever guess that they aren’t made with butter or oil! Low in fat, high in flavor, easy, and combines fudgy chocolate & bananas. Topping with peanut butter… optional but recommended. Is there really a better breakfast out there?!

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stack of chocolate banana muffins

Skinny Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

I call these skinny chocolate banana fudge muffins my miracle muffins. No butter, no oil, whole wheat, with tons of rich fudgy flavor. You won’t miss all the calories and fat! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 large, very ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar (reduce to 1/2 cup for a less sweet muffin)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (79g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (65g) whole-wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Line a muffin tin with baking cups. Set aside. In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork. Mash them very well – no big lumps. You should have about 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir in the sugar, egg, and applesauce.
  2. Sift* the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder into the wet ingredients. Lightly mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky. Do not overmix.
  3. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups – fill them all the way to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Muffins freeze well up to 3 months, thaw in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking.
  2. Sift Dry Ingredients: Be sure to sift your dry ingredients together to avoid pockets of cocoa powder lumps.
  3. Recipe adapted from Hot Polka Dot.

Keywords: chocolate banana fudge muffins

stack of chocolate banana muffins

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these last night and WOWSA! They were light and creamy and flavorful and not at all heavy! It’s hard to believe they are skinny — or to eat just one! 😉 Thanks again for another great recipe! 🙂

  2. I made these yesterday. I must say, these are some of the best muffins I have ever had. I love chocolate. The applesauce and the bananas really makes for a moist muffin. Thank you!

  3. LOVE this recipe! I just made these into mini cupcakes using mini chocolate chips and they are so good! It tastes like chocolate banana bread and I love that these are healthy! I will definitely be making these again 🙂

    1. Hi Kelli – this batter will fit into a loaf pan quite nicely. I’m unsure of the exact baking time though.

  4. Sally, would it be alright to use your sky-high muffin top trick with this skinny muffin? Muffin tops are my favourite part of a muffin… (As well as everyone else’s, I’m sure.) Thanks for the recipe!

  5. These muffins are incredibly delicious! I have such a hard time finding things my 8 year old son will eat for breakfast and he loves these! I make them once a week for him! Thanks for a great recipe.

  6. Made these this afternoon and they are delicious!! They taste better than majority of the non-“skinny” muffins I’ve tried! I especially love them with peanut butter too.

    Thanks for the great (and super easy) recipe!

  7. These muffins are amazing! I discovered your site through this recipe, searching for whole wheat banana chocolate muffins. They are delicious and I love that they are healthy too! I am now addicted to your site! Thank you for the fabulous recipes!

  8. Hi Sally, quick question. Is it possible to use plain yogurt instead of apple sauce in this recipe?

    Thanks, and love the blog btw!

  9. Made these and used your “initial high baking temperature” trick. Baked at 425 for 5 min and then at 350 for 8-10 and now they have gorgeous domed tops and are delicious! Love this trick!

  10. WOW! My friend made these and said they were good – but I didn’t imagine just HOW good. These are fantastic, especially warm, out of the oven! I mixed it up and did 1/2 chocolate chips and 1/2 white chocolate chips for some color contrast. So moist (hate that word) and decadent!

  11. Would be great if you included the actual measurement for the mashed bananas (i.e. 1 cup) since bananas come in all sizes. I often freeze mine if I don’t have time to bake right away. Yummy muffins! Keep up the great recipes.

  12. If I wanted to make this in a 9×13 pan, should I double the recipe? And how long do you think I should make it for?

    Thank you Sally! Love your recipes! I’ve made this before as muffins and they were delicious, now I’m planning on making it as a “cake” for my daughter’s fourth birthday!

    1. Hi Farhana! I recommend doubling the recipe, yes. I’m unsure of the bake time but you can use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  13. Hi Sally! Would this recipe work using only AP flour and no whole wheat flour?
    Thank you!

  14. Ive made this recipe 10+ times, it’s so good. I only add 20g of sugar and a handful of chocolate chips. Add a dash of cinnamon and espresso powder. Soo good, every time.

  15. I have never before left a review for a food item but these are amazing! My kids prefer them over any other banana bread recipe. So hard to believe there’s no butter or oil! And I only use 1/2 C. chocolate chips – still delish! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  16. Made this in recipe in an 8×8 pan, came out perfect! Had to at least double the cooking time but that was probably just due to our oven. Kept checking it with a skewer until it was done. Easy!

  17. I didn’t have apple sauce, so I used mayonnaise (saw it used in a baking show). It works! So good

  18. Hi Sally! I love these muffins! I have a question about bananas: how ripe is too ripe? If the bananas are fully brown/black, start to liquify a little on the counter or smell a little fermented, are they too ripe to use? I’m constantly trying to get bananas to the correct “ripeness” and sometimes I’m not sure if they’re too far gone!

    1. Hi Aimee, That sounds like they may be too far gone. You want them to be soft with lots of brown spots. See the third photo in the post for Banana Cake for a good visual!

  19. These are so fudgy and moist my kids and husband devour them! They are such a treat and we top with whipped cream if we’re feeling especially decadent!

    Question – do you have the nutritional information for these?

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Missi! So glad you loved these. We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  20. These muffins are delicious! They are a hit in my family. We are always looking for healthier dessert options. This is one of our go-tos.

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