Vegan chocolate chilli muffins

Vegan chocolate chilli muffins

vegan chocolate chilli muffins top down

As it’s Friday today, my dearest readers, it’s time for a little bit of indulgence and I happen to have a recipe that’s perfect for the job! I made a tray of double (or actually triple) chocolate chilli muffins that are both vegan and gluten-free, although you can always use wheat flour if gluten doesn’t bother you in the slightest!

These deep purple beauties owe their moist crumb to a magic ingredient that perfectly matches the earthiness of dark chocolate – yes, you guessed it, it’s beetroot! 😉

If you are not a beetroot fan, its taste doesn’t come through in these muffins, I promise, but it does keep these muffins nice and moist, effortlessly eliminating any need for eggs.

I adorned my muffins with coarsely chopped dark chocolate but if you want to make them a bit less ‘whoa’ (i.e. sinful), you are welcome to skip that last ingredient altogether. Anyway, hope you’ll try them and be sure not to keep them in the oven a minute longer than they need as you want to keep them deliciously moist.

vegan chocolate chilli muffins making of

vegan chocolate chilli muffins mixing dough

vegan chocolate chilli muffins close up

vegan chocolate chilli muffins

vegan chocolate chilli muffins sideways

20 min
25 min
20 min
25 min

  • 2 tsp ground chia (or flax) or 1½ tbsp of reduced* aquafaba
  • 180 ml / ¾ cup beetroot puree** (approx. 300 g / 0.65 lb beetroot)
  • 270 ml / 1 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk (or other thin plant milk)
  • 90 ml / ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 180 g / 1 scant cup sugar (I used demerara sugar)
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup espresso or strong coffee


  1. If using ground chia (or flax) seeds, mix them with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside for the ‘chia egg’ (or ‘flax egg’) to become gelatinous. Make an espresso or a cup of strong coffee. If using a block of chocolate rather than chocolate chips, dice it into small squares.
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients (except for chocolate chips or chopped chocolate) in a medium mixing bowl. Mix really well with a hand whisk.
  3. Place beetroot puree, almond milk, olive oil, sugar, cooled coffee and chia egg in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place a sieve over the large bowl and sift ¼ of the mixed dried ingredients into the wet ones. Mix them in after sifting and continue until you’ve used up all the dry ingredients (sifting helps getting rid of any lumps in the cacao, for example).
  5. Heat up the oven to 175° C / 350° F and grease a standard 12 hole muffin tin with a small amount of oil or line with muffin liners.
  6. Mix all the ingredients well together. As this is a gluten-free batter, you don’t need to worry about over mixing, but if you’ve used wheat flour instead, mix gently and be careful not to over mix. Stir ¾ of your chocolate chips or chunks into the batter, leaving the remaining ¼ for decorating.
  7. Divide the batter between 12 muffins and stud with leftover chocolate chips / chunks.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven (on a shelf that’s one notch lower than the middle one) for about 25 minutes, do not overbake as it will dry these beauties out. Let muffins cool down before removing from the muffin tin.

*Reduced aquafaba simply means simmered, without a lid on, until excess water evaporates and the aquafaba becomes thicker. Once it cools it will resemble an egg white (please cool it down completely before using it in this recipe). Even if you use aquafaba from a can / tin, you can still reduce it as described above as it tends to be quite watery straight from a can / tin.

**To make beetroot puree, wash the beetroots and wrap a large piece of aluminium foil around them. Trickle a little bit of water to the bottom of the foil parcel and bake in a 200° C / 390° F oven for about an hour (until you can pierce the beetroot with a knife easily). You can also boil the beetroots in a pot of water instead (which also takes about 1 hour). Let them cool down, peel the skin and blitz to a puree in a blender, food processor or with a hand blender. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to help the food processor. I like to prepare a lot of beetroot puree at once, portion it into small jars and freeze until I am ready to make another batch of muffins.

If you don’t care about making these muffins gluten-free, skip buckwheat and rice flours, cornflour / cornstarch and chia / flax egg and use 180 g regular white wheat flour instead. Be super careful not to overmix the batter as the muffins will come out tough.

This recipe is adapted from my earlier recipe for chocolate cupcakes.

20 g
12 g
3 g
5 g
38 g
*per muffin
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4 reviews, 14 comments
I made these substituting whole wheat flour for the buckwheat/rice flours and applesauce for the olive oil and they turned out great. Wonderful flavor! Thank you for the recipe!
    Thank you Amy, I'm really happy to hear that - thanks for taking the time to let me know. x Ania
Excellent recipe. My first vegan muffin recipe attempt was a success. Pleased with flavor, texture, sweetness level. Made recipe as described. Partner doesn’t like beets but they were hidden well in this recipe so he was pleased. Plan to make again in future without any changes. Much appreciated.
    I'm delighted to hear that, especially that it was your first attempt at baking vegan muffins. I'm very chuffed to hear that you plan to make them again, Susie, and thank you for taking the time to let me know that you and your husband enjoyed them. Ania
Those are ABSOLUTELY the best muffins I ever ate !! EVERYBODY loves them !! And my vegan son is delighted... ;)
    Wow, that's quite a compliment, Isabelle! Thank you so much and so pleased that your son loved them too - little ones are often the hardest ones to please, aren't they ;) Ania
Can you taste the beetroot? I hate beetroot unfortunately but loads of cool recipes include it these days.
    Hi Unity,
    No, I would not say that you will be able to taste any beetroot in these - over a cup of cacao powder and some espresso mask any beetroot flavour and make these taste very chocolatey instead. The beetroot puree is there to replace eggs and make these moist. Hope that helps! Ania
What a beautiful website! I can feel the atmosphere through the screen of all these lovely recipes and your effort making them. Thank you! It was an uplift today as I had almost given up finding something to feed my love for healthier food. I will try some of them and tag you at Instagram when I do :)
Keep creating!
Malee <3
    Hi Malee,
    Thanks so much for lovely words - they made my day! I'm really looking forward to seeing your creations on Instagram.
    x Ania
Tricia Berkow:
Chocolate and chili is the best combination! I love chocolate and chili. Did I mention chocolate and chili is an outstanding combination? Yum...making these for my Vegan, gluten free , stepdaughter. Perfect!
    Ha ha, Tricia, sounds like you really are a fan of chocolate and chilli, so pleased to hear that! Hope your stepdaughter will love these! :)
Sarah | Well and Full:
These muffins look AMAZING, Ania! If I was ever going to make a recipe to convince people that eating vegan is the way to go, it would be these muffins! :D
    Aw, thanks so much, Sarah! That's so sweet of you to say! x
Johanne Rosenthal:
Ania, These muffins look truly scrumptious. This week I am having some old friends over for a holiday lunch. One dear friend has diagnosed herself with a host of food sensitivities and I was wondering what to cook that would include her in all dishes. These muffins fit the bill. She "can't" have gluten, legumes of any sort, leafy greens, alliums( garlic and onions) or any nightshades (eggplant, tomato, onions, peppers). I have worked out a basic menu that will impress but I need to fill out the table and these muffins are so festive!
- All the best Johanne
    Thanks for kind words, Johanne. Sorry to hear about your friend, hope the muffins will put a smile on her face. If she is gluten-free/Celiac, make sure you use gluten-free certified baking powder, although I'm sure you are well aware of that one. Hope the lunch works out beautifully! Ania
Can we see a pic that shows whether it is light and fluffy or fudge like texture
    Hi Sam,
    I don't have a cross-section photo, I'm afraid. If you want fudge-like texture, you may want to try THIS recipe out. These have a moist yet light texture with chocolate chunks embedded in them (which you can skip, of course). Hope that helps! Ania
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