New year. New goals. And while I didn’t set any hard and fast resolutions this year, I am making an effort to lose a few pounds. And for me, nothing has ever worked better (or been more sustainable) than paying attention to my caloric intake. It’s about balance for me. I need to eat more “real” food, snack smarter, and cut back on how much I bake.

And during this past year of lockdown, I baked A LOT. So while I need to cut back on how often I make my amazing homemade French bread or my Copycat Texas Roudhouse Rolls, I also need to live in a world where baked goods exist. I want to be able to eat pancakes with my kids and know that I will NEVER sustain a lifestyle in which I’m never allowed to have a cookie.

So, with that in mind, I knew I needed to find a way to make lower calorie versions of some of the baked goods I love to make and enjoy.

These  are similar to my Cupfakes, but have more of a muffin texture thanks to the pumpkin puree.

Now let’s get real. Are these as good as enjoying a Costco chocolate muffin? Of course not. But those are also 690 calories. These are 87. (They’re only 80 if you don’t add the chocolate chips on top – but I think you deserve to live a little. It’s 7 more calories.)

These were a hit with all four kids, and my husband and I enjoyed them too.

low calorie muffin, low cal muffin, chocolate muffin under 100 calories



1 15 oz. boxed chocolate cake mix (*mix only! Do not add the oil, water, and eggs called for.)

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 cup water (or black coffee!)

chocolate chips (optional)

To Prepare: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line standard sized muffin tins with muffin cups or spray generously with cooking spray.

Mix together the dry cake mix, pumpkin, and water or coffee. (I didn’t have any leftover brewed coffee, so I actually added a few spoons of finely ground coffee to mine.)

Fill each muffin cup with approximately 2 T of muffin batter. (Using a cookie scoop saves me so much time.)

Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the batter prior to baking. (I used 4 chips per muffin when calculating calories.)

Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*This recipe yielded 21 standard sized muffins for me. More/less muffins will adjust the calories.