Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are a staple at our house. While you might think of pumpkin as a seasonal ingredient, it doesn’t have to be.

Pumpkin is nutrient dense and paired with chocolate chips, your kids will be gobbling these muffins up.


Why Add Buttermilk and Bran to Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins?

Muffins are traditionally made with white flour, large amounts of sugar and oil. These muffins are moist thanks to buttermilk. and use less oil than most recipes.

The wheat bran boosts the fiber, but thanks to the pumpkin and chocolate chips, the flavor remains recognizable and delicious. I prefer these bran muffins over ones made with whole wheat flour.

Top: muffins made with all purpose flour Bottom: muffins made with bran and all purpose flour

Top: muffins made with all purpose flour Bottom: muffins made with bran and all purpose flour

The texture of bran muffins is different and may be something that your child takes time to accept. My picky older son wasn’t a fan of these muffins, but my toddler and husband loved them.

Left: muffins made with bran, Right:muffins made with all purpose flour

Left: muffins made with bran, Right:muffins made with all purpose flour

Pumpkin Nutrition

Pumpkin is high in beta carotene which your body converts into vitamin A. It is also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Both canned and fresh pumpkin are nutrient dense.

If you are buying fresh pumpkin, look for the smaller ones to use in recipes. They are often called sugar or pie pumpkins and are preferred over the larger ones you might be familiar with from Halloween carving. The flavor is sweeter and they have a texture that is less stringy.

Buttermilk Nutrition

Don’t let the name deceive you. Buttermilk doesn’t contain butter and is typically low in fat. Commercially available buttermilk is made from pasteurized milk by adding bacteria (don’t worry, they are the good kind). It is thicker than regular milk and the bacteria increase the acidity giving it a tangy flavor.

Buttermilk can be used in biscuits, pancakes, muffins and even sauces and marinades. It has a longer shelf life than regular milk so you can buy a quart and not worry about needing to use it up in just a week.

Wheat Bran Nutrition

If you have only seen wheat bran as the dry, flaky bits in a box, you might not know that it is part of the outside of a kernel of wheat. When wheat is being milled (ground up) for use, often bran is discarded. However, it is an excellent source of fiber with a half-cup topping 12 grams.


The type of fiber in wheat bran (insoluble) is especially helpful for softening the stools and managing constipation. For some kids, it can be hard to get enough fiber and adding wheat bran to recipes is an easy and effective way to increase fiber intake.

Get Cooking!

Go ahead and give these fiber and flavor packed pumpkin chocolate chip muffins a try. If you do, please leave a comment and tell me what you thought. Be sure to Pin this recipe so you can easily find it, too!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Flavor and fiber packed. These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins feature bran and buttermilk. They will be a year-round favorite. Perfect for a quick breakfast, snack or sweet treat.

Makes: 12 Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Br

Prep time:

Cook time:

  • 1.5 cups wheat bran (I use Hodgson Mills)
  • 1 cup lowfat (1%) buttermilk (I use Kate’s Creamery)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or use paper liners and set aside.
  2. Combine wheat bran and buttermilk in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes while preparing remaining ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and vanilla. Add to buttermilk-bran mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add to pumpkin-buttermilk-bran mixture and stir until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Recipe Notes:
    1. Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving)230kcal, 29gm carbohydrate, 4.8gm fiber, 11gm fat, 4.5gm protein.

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