110 Calorie Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Moist, fudgy 110 calorie chocolate muffins filled with juicy cherries. You won’t miss all the calories and fat, trust me!

chocolate cherry muffins on a white plate

Fact: I accidentally typed “Skinny Chocolate Cheery Muffins” as the title of this post. I think I’ve had… no, wait… I’ve definitely had too much chocolate recently.

You’re looking at batch #2 of chocolate cherry muffins here. Batch #1 was baked early in the morning the day this happened. I’m sure you can imagine the results. Tasty.

stack of 2 chocolate cherry muffins

The flood was actually a blessing in disguise. Though dealing with the renter’s insurance company has been a huge pain, the flood gave me a chance to clean some things out, decorate a new apartment, and bake an even better batch of these muffins.

You’re absolutely going to love them.

  • They don’t taste lightened-up.
  • They are full of chocolate.
  • Seriously, they don’t taste lightened-up.
  • They are only 110 calories.
  • They are only 110 calories.

So um, did you get that? 110 calories. That is not a typo. How can it be? Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.

You’ll be very impressed that a low calorie muffin can taste this good.

chocolate cherry muffins on a white plate

Today’s recipe is actually based off of my popular Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins. Those were voted in the top three favorite muffins of 2013. They’re moist, flavorful, fudgy, and surprisingly skinny. You love them and today’s muffins are no different.

So how can they be so low in calories, yet so rich in flavor? Easy. You’re going to need a few all-star, magical ingredients. First, applesauce. Unsweetened applesauce takes the place of any oil or butter in this muffin recipe. It keeps the muffins moist for very little calories. You’ll also need Greek yogurt. Or what I like to call “the powerhouse ingredient.” For little calories, a ton of protein, and lots of moisture – Greek yogurt is a miraculous ingredient to use in lightened-up recipes.

All of their chocolate flavor? That comes from cocoa powder. Just enough to give the muffins a strong chocolate taste, but not too much to dry them out. There’s also whole wheat flour in the muffin recipe too. Yup, this recipe is a major WIN all around. Sweetening the muffins is some sugar and honey. I tried to reduce the refined sugar to the minimum amount possible, while still producing a muffin that actually tastes good. And does not taste like cardboard or mulch. I reduced the sugar from 1/2 cup in the first batch to 1/3 cup in the second batch. Still perfectly sweet.

The juicy cherries also do a fine job sweetening each bite. I used fresh dark sweet cherries, though frozen would be just fine instead. Whatever’s easiest for you.

cherries in a pink heart shaped bowl

Here’s the calorie breakdown if you’re curious:

  • applesauce: 75
  • sugar: 249
  • honey: 252
  • egg whites: 34
  • Greek yogurt: 100
  • flour (combined all-purpose and WW): 438
  • cocoa powder: 97
  • cherries: 92

All of that divided by 12 = 110.

The tops of the muffins are sprinkled with a couple chocolate chips each. Those are completely optional, but let’s face it, a little extra chocolate chip never hurt anyone… right? I ate 4 of these muffins over the course of the day yesterday. In my defense, running and chocolate (and umm…baking and gossip magazines) are my stress relievers OK? Usually the chocolate comes in large quantities after the run. Life’s all about balance.

chocolate cherry muffins

I froze a couple of these muffins for breakfast in the coming weeks and I have a feeling a fresh batch will be in high demand often because Kevin loved them too.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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chocolate cherry muffins

110 Calorie Chocolate Cherry Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Moist, fudgy 110 calorie chocolate muffins filled with juicy cherries. You won’t miss all the calories and fat, trust me!


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (133g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 2 large egg whites or 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (183g) plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (64g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped dark sweet cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • optional: chocolate chips for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Do not use liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, honey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Whisk them all together until smooth, with no yogurt lumps remaining.
  3. Sift* the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Get any dry pockets of flour out. Fold in the cherries. The batter will be a little chunky. This is ok.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between each muffin cup – fill them all the way to the top if you can. Bake for 5 minutes 425°F (218°C)* then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce heat to 350°F (177°C) and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 muffins. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, freeze muffins for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave if desired.
  2. Sifting: If your cocoa powder has lumps, I urge you to sift it with the dry ingredients to avoid any dry cocoa powder lumps in the muffins.
  3. Tall Muffin Tops: Why the initial high temperature? See my sky-high muffin dome tricks for more detail.

Keywords: chocolate cherry muffins, skinny chocolate muffins

150 Comments

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Sally they’re so you! Just the way they look, like your cookies, your muffins all have a tell-tale look. I’d spot them anywhere! It’s impressive that you got them to 110 cals, too! And that you used cocoa powder in them and kept them moist – it’s so prone to turning things dry!

    Today I posted choc chip & strawberry muffins and over Xmas made chocolate cherry brownies, so my next combo should be these muffins 🙂 pinned

  2. I’m not a big cherry fan–only tootsie roll pop cherry–BUT I trust in Sally, so I will try these out!

  3. You always have the best muffin recipes! Healthy and delicious, low fat and higher protein? Yes! And I love how moist and fudgy they are (mmm, fudgy!) And your photos are so lovely, as always!

    1. Thanks Mary Frances! This was one of the first photo shoots in my new apartment. Still getting used to the light. I appreciate it!

  4. Yum! They sound and look delicious! As soon as my “No-sugar-January” is over, I’ll be trying these!! 🙂

  5. Erin | The Law Student's Wiferin says:

    Laughed when I read your comment “running and chocolate.” I came home from the gym yesterday and ate half a bag of chocolate covered pretzels to “recover.” lol. Thanks for the lighted up recipe! Makes me feel like I can have it all 🙂

    1. chocolate covered pretzels – I like your style Erin.

  6. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    Mmmmmm … pinning this!
    I love chocolate and fruit together …just goes so well.
    These do NOT look skinny and I trust you that they don’t taste skinny either. You’re right about the Greek yoghurt being the miracle ingredient!

    1. I have been baking with Greek yogurt left and right lately. It’s amazing what it can do in baked goods! Thanks for pinning Helen.

  7. All I can say is “major win.” These are being pinned and made ASAP (I might play around with using cherry Chobani!). Also the picture of the cherries = gorgeous. Perfect muffins!

    1. Black cherry chobani is my favorite flavor! Erin, you’re going to love these.

  8. Um yeah, I would so be that person to eat the entire batch over the course of only a day. GORGEOUS muffins, Sally! Love the choc n cherry combo! 🙂

  9. Ruthy @ Omeletta says:

    I love love chocolate and cherry anything, and nave been on a serious muffin binge lately- it’s like you read my mind 🙂 Pinned and I can’t wait to try!

    1. Perfect. Thanks for pinning Ruthy!

  10. I’m sorry to hear about your apartment, Sally, but at least you turned rain into a rainbow! These muffins look divine, and I like that you added fresh cherries — dried can be so tart. Chocolate and cherries are just one of the best combinations ever!

    1. Marcie, I love the way you put it. “Turning rain into a rainbow” – thank you for that!

  11. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps says:

    Saw these on Instagram earlier and fell in love! These look so good Sally! Glad to hear the apartment disaster is turning out for the better! It’s kind of fun to start all over isn’t it?

    1. It’s been nice to have a “fresh start” in this new year, so I’m looking at the flood as a blessing in disguise! Thanks Nicole.

  12. Cate @ Chez CateyLou says:

    I love your skinny double chocolate muffins, so I KNOW I’m going to love these! They look so great!! I love baking with Greek yogurt! Will definitely be adding a few mini chocolate chips to the tops like you did – I’m ok with a few extra calories 🙂

  13. These look fabulous!! I really want to make them, but I was wondering if you could suggest a possible substitute for the cherries…my husband and I don’t love cherries in baked goods! What else could work? Thanks!!

    1. Any fruit, really. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. Or even chocolate chips, walnuts, really anything you enjoy with chocolate!

  14. Hi Sally, these muffins look awesome!

    1. Can I substitute applesauce with something else?

      1. A few options: 1 large mashed banana, 1/2 cup oil or melted coconut oil, 1/2 cup melted butter

  15. Awesome! Tnx Sally for the speedy reply 🙂

    P/s. things always happen for a reason 🙂 hugs xoxo

  16. I love all your “skinny” recipes. Chocolate and cherry go so perfectly together…these muffins are getting pinned!

    1. Thanks for pinning, Shaina!

  17. OMG Sally thank you so much for this wonderful low cal muffin recipe and I looove when you write the amount of calories for you recipes !!!!

  18. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent says:

    These look delicious! Glad that you are getting settled in the new apartment 🙂

  19. Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg says:

    Mmmmm, chocolate and cherry…in winter. Love it. These are gorgeous. Pinning.

  20. Jessica Flory says:

    Hi, Sally! These muffins look fantastic, and we LOVE chocolate-cherry treats. Do you think it would work if I omitted the applesauce and added extra yogurt? I don’t have any on hand. By the way, I made your skinny peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins the other day. To die for!!! I ate 3 for breakfast. I’m pregnant so I can justify it 🙂

    1. Hey Jessica! I wouldn’t add 3/4 more yogurt. That would completely ruin the taste and texture. How about subbing the 3/4 applesauce for 1/2 cup oil, melted butter, melted coconut oil, or 1 large mashed ripe banana (about 1/2 cup).

      1. Jessica Flory says:

        Thanks so much! I’ll try that.

  21. These look amazing! I love your Skinny Double chocolate muffins and make them all the time for my boys (and myself!). Is this pretty much the same recipe? I’m just wondering which ones re “skinnier”?
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Marci! The recipes are quite similar, practically identical. I reduced the sugar in this batch and swapped chocolate chips in the batter to cherries. Because of the changes, I’m sure these are lower in calories than the skinny double chocolate muffins.

      1. Thanks! I made your skinny Chocolate muffins last week and by accident I forgot to add the honey. Everyone still loved them! It is nice to have something sweet, chocolaty and yummy w/o the calories. The greek yogurt is an added bonus! Thank you so much I love your recipes!

      2. I’m happy you gave the other ones a try, Marci. You must try them with cherries. So good!

  22. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says:

    teehee I bet these muffins do make people “cheery” when they eat them though! I know I would be much happier enjoying one of these right now than my lame lunch that is sadly muffin-less. 😉

    1. My lunch is muffin-less too. Though I do have a couple of these leftover in the freezer. I should go warm one up for my lunch “dessert.” You need to try these out Jess!

  23. Becca @ Crumbs says:

    Ooh these look so good and only 110 calories – thats less than a diet snack bar! I’m going to make a batch of homemade applesauce (not easy or cheap to come by in the UK) and then give these a whirl. I’m not a huge cherry fan, do you think they would work okay with raspberries Sally please?

    1. Becca @ Crumbs says:

      Whoops was thinking of apple butter. I could easily buy applesauce!

      1. Yep, applesauce. And raspberries would be delicious. I love chocolate and raspberry together. Hope you give them a try Becca!

  24. Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina says:

    My mind is blown by the 110 calories in these bad boys, can’t wait to try them out!

  25. These look amazing! I love that they are low in calorie and will be easy for me to eat with braces. A lot of healthier muffin options involve wonderful nuts that are off limits for me right now. Thanks!

  26. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says:

    I love a good chocolate muffin! Especially a skinny version!

  27. Life is ALL about balance. Could not agree more. I rarely cook with cherries and this recipe certainly makes me want to! Makes me think of chocolate covered cherries…yum!! Thanks for sharing, Sally!

    1. Yes! Chocolate covered cherries are exactly what I had in mind when I made these Kelly. Hope you try them!

  28. Hi Sally, I made these today for an afterschool snack and they were a hit! My husband said they were the best muffin he’s ever had. Then I told him they are only 110 calories. He then helped himself to two more lol (my kids also loved them )! Thanks for another scrumptious recipe.

    1. Anne, I’m so glad you already tried this recipe out! And even happier that your family loved them too. I appreciate you reporting back!

  29. Yum! These sound sooooo good…I love chocolate and cherries (real cherries, not that maraschino nonsense 😉 ), and I also have cherry chips (like chocolate chips!) to use up. Your pictures are great! It’s so nice to see fresh fruit in the dead of winter…it reminds me that summer will come back! 😀

    1. cherry chips? what is this you speak of? I must find!

      1. I see them in King Soopers and Target around Christmas…some might still be around your store! If not, they are a little pricey at amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Log-House-Flavored-10-Ounce-Package/dp/B006IXHENE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389784408&sr=8-1&keywords=cherry+chips+baking

      2. Thanks Caley! These are right up my alley.

  30. I have been wanting to bake something healthy for a while, so this came at a *perfect* timing! I baked them just now (without the cherries because I didn’t have any) and they’re perfect! Thank you for continuing to post amazing recipes, despite your rough week. I love your blog and I hope your adjustment to your new apartment is going well and smoothly!

    1. Hi Aska, I’m so glad you tried these muffins out already and that you loved them (even without the cherries). We are getting settled into the new place quite well. Thank you so much!

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