During my senior year of high school, my mom gave me a monthly subscription to Cooking Light Magazine, and I pored over each issue when it arrived in the mail. After reading the articles and admiring the photographs, I traced my finger down the list of ingredients in every recipe and carefully marked the ones I wanted to try.
Even back then, I gravitated more towards baking than cooking, so I mainly added cookies, muffins, and quick breads to my recipe list. I actually considered attending culinary school for a moment or two—that’s how much I loved to bake!
When the holiday issues showed up in our mailbox, I started my same ritual of slowly savoring the magazine page by page, but I paused when I reached a recipe for classic gingerbread. Growing up, I had only ever baked gingerbread men cookies with my family, so I hadn’t realized that those same flavors could be baked into a quick bread!
With how much I adored the cookies, I immediately walked into the kitchen, saving the rest of the magazine for later (basically unheard of for me!), and started pulling out measuring cups and mixing bowls. A little while later, I slid the 9”-square cake pan into the oven and set the timer, impatiently waiting for it to ring.
After pulling it from the middle rack and allowing it to cool on the stovetop for a few minutes, my mom and I each cut a small square from the corner of the pan for a taste test. Which turned into another tiny slice… And another… And another…
And by the next morning, half of the pan had magically disappeared!
I still find gingerbread just as tempting, so I try to turn it into treats with built-in portion control a little more often, rather than baking it in a regular cake pan. And as a lifelong chocoholic (which is why I published my Healthier Chocolate Treats Cookbook!), I love mixing chocolate into the batter too, which could be dangerous… It makes the gingerbread even more irresistible!
So last week, that’s exactly what I did with these Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Mini Muffins! With their small size, I can easily grab one, if I just want a little taste, or nibble on a couple more, if my stomach starts growling and needs a bigger snack. And with no butter, refined flour or sugar, I don’t feel guilty at all when I sneak a few extra!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY GINGERBREAD MINI MUFFINS
Ready to bake? And make your kitchen smell warm and cozy and oh-so-festive? That’s one of my favorite perks about gingerbread treats! I even bought multiple gingerbread-scented candles last winter and left one on my desk, deciding never to light it, just to make its aroma last all year. Yum!
But we aren’t here to talk about candles… We’re here to make muffins! To start, you’ll need white whole wheat flour. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? White whole wheat flour is actually made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat, whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat, but they both have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!). White whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture, similar to that of all-purpose flour, and that makes these muffins taste exceptionally tender!
Note: Whole wheat pastry flour would be a great substitute, and I’ve included my preferred gluten-free option in the recipe as well.
With only 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or butter, these muffins get the rest of their tender texture from Greek yogurt. It’s one of my favorite ingredients in healthier baking! I’ve used it in everything from brownies and cupcakes to muffins and scones… And even frosting! It adds the same moisture to this batter as extra oil or butter, and it gives your mini muffins a protein boost, too.
For the iconic gingerbread flavor, you’ll need two ingredients: molasses and ground ginger. The latter is fairly obvious, I’m sure! I prefer my gingerbread on the spicy side, but you can easily reduce the amount of ginger for a less “zingy” flavor. The molasses provides the other half of the classic gingerbread taste with its rich, warm, subtly earthy flavor. It’s cheap, shelf-stable, and keeps for ages. Please don’t skip or substitute for it!
To sweeten your muffins, you’ll use another one of my favorite ingredients: liquid stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that’s clean eating friendly, and it’s very concentrated. You only need ¾ teaspoon to sweeten this entire recipe! This is the kind that I buy because I love its sweet flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertastes like with some other stevia products. You can find it at many health-oriented grocery stores, but I buy it online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. (And you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
These are my all-time favorite mini chocolate chips! They taste very rich and melt really well. Biting into one of them all warm and melty and gooey… Pure bliss! You’ll want to use mini chocolate chips because their smaller size ensures the mini muffins bake evenly—and gives you at least one morsel of chocolate in every bite!
Would you blame me if I didn’t share a single one?? 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy gingerbread mini muffins!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Mini Muffins
- 2 cups (240g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tbsp (9g) ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup (60mL) 60mL molasses (not blackstrap!)
- ¾ tsp liquid stevia
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (150mL) nonfat milk
- ¼ cup (56g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly coat 32 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter or coconut oil, egg whites and vanilla. Stir in the Greek yogurt, mixing until no large lumps remain. Mix in the molasses and stevia. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently fold in 3 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, and gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 11-14 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch. Cool in the muffin cups for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Scones
♡ Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Skinny Gingerbread Latte
♡ Classic Gingerbread with Maple Glaze
♡ Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
♡ Baked Gingerbread Donuts with Maple Glaze
♡ Banana Gingerbread Muffins
♡ Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Mini Muffins
♡ Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Mini Muffins
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins
♡ Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins
♡ Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy gingerbread-flavored recipes and healthy muffin recipes!