Gluten Free Chocolate and Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

The delicious duo of chocolate and pumpkin shines in this gluten free crumb muffin.  Perfect for breakfast and ideal for anytime!

My earliest memory of my dad involves a snowball, a mailbox, and my face.

My second earliest memory of my dad, the one that I prefer to remember, involves Sunday morning drives to our local bakery.

Each Sunday morning I would drive into town with my dad.  Our regular stop was the local, mom-and-pop bakery.  I was likely no more than four years old, but I remember the brown paneled walls, the smell of the freshly brewed coffee, and the smiling face of the woman who worked the counter like it was yesterday.  While my dad was busy placing our order, I would press my nose up against the glass display case.  Giant sprinkled cookies and pastries as far as the eye could see filled its shelves.  But each and every time my eyes always stopped to gawk at the same two items: the crumb cake and raisin buns.

I recall many a return drive home from the bakery, me in the backseat with a raisin bun nestled among a piece of waxed paper.  I would systematically unroll the bun into one long strand and pick out the raisins from the folds.  Then I would make my way to the center of the bun…the very best part, the part that would never fully unwind.  There lay a dense, sweet, cinnamon filling just waiting to be savored.  I’ve never found another treat like it.

The only thing better than the lightly glazed raisin buns were the crumb cake squares.  Dad never let me indulge in one of those treats in the car.  They were always neatly tucked away in the white bakery box and secured with the traditional red and white twine.  No, I would need to wait until we arrived home to dive into one.

Once home Dad would carefully place the bakery box on the kitchen counter, undo the twine, pick out his favorite treat, and leave.  He would leave me alone, in the kitchen, with the crumb cakes.  I remember lifting up the lid to the box and standing on tip toes to peer inside.  I would wrap my small hands around one of the squares and sit at the table.  The ratio of crumb to cake was clearly in favor of the crumbs.  There was a thick layer of crumbs lightly dusted in powdered sugar.  I know that there was some kind of cake that those crumbs sat on top of, but I don’t remember it.  See, I never ate the cake.  I only had eyes and taste buds for those crumbs.  Little by little I would remove the crumbs from the cake until there lay a sad, blank rectangular canvas.

Needless to say, I’ve always loved crumbs, and I still do.  I kind of chuckled as I was scrolling through some of my food related blog posts.   Crumb pies, crumb muffins…all evidence of my affinity for crumbs.

The recipe that follows combines some of my favorite flavors: pumpkin, cinnamon, and chocolate.  They all come together to create a delicious muffin.  The flavors are subtle.  The muffin recipe is gluten free and vegan; however, the crumbs do contain dairy.  You can certainly opt to forego the crumb topping, but I have no idea why in the world you would do that to yourself!


Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Crumbs (Vegan)

Chocolate and pumpkin are the perfect fall combination.  This gluten free pumpkin muffin is filled with delicious chocolate crumbs that are just plain hard to resist!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Breakfast, Chocolate, Gluten Free, Muffin
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 14 muffins
Author The Gluten Free Gathering



  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other mild oil)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Jovial's Whole Grain Gluten Free Pastry Flour)
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (plus more for the muffin tops)


  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or other mild oil)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Jovial)
  • 1/4 cup fine ground almond flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard size muffin tin with parchment paper liners. These liners are the best. They release easily every single time. They are worth it.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin, vinegar, applesauce, oil, almond milk, and sugars. Mix on low for one minute. Then, increase speed to medium and mix for an additional minute until the ingredients are well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Next, add in all of the remaining dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Fill each muffin nearly to the top
  • To make the crumb topping, place the flours, sugar, and cocoa into a bowl. Whisk together.  Pour the oil into the bowl and work the oil into the dry ingredients using a fork.  The crumbs will be sandy in texture and dark in color.
  • Distribute 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture over each muffin.  Very gently press down a slight bit. Place 4-5 chocolate chips onto the top of each muffin.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set when a cake tester is inserted into the middle.
  • Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Allow the muffins to sit for 30 minutes before serving.


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