Bread & Pizza Dolci & Desserts

Pumpkin Muffins with a Chocolate Heart

Halloween is knocking at My Pinch of Italy‘s doors and we’re ready to be asked: trick or treat?

But a treat, of course! Some scrummy pumpkin muffins with a hidden, dark chocolate heart – perfect to enjoy at the witches’ hour or in the morning with a steamy cup of tea. Let’s be honest: the best part of Halloween is having an excuse to bake!

Makes: 6-8 muffins Preparation time: 20 mins + 30 mins for the pumpkin | Cooking time: 60 mins

  • Pumpkin: 250 g
  • White flour: 180 g
  • Demerara cane sugar: 180 g
  • Baking powder: 16 g
  • Sunflower oil: 100 ml
  • Eggs: 1
  • Dark chocolate: 6 to 8 pieces, about 2 cm in lenght and 1 cm thick
  • Cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • Butter, unsalted: as needed
  • Icing sugar: to taste
  • A pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roughly cut the pumpkin in fairly big pieces, removing the seeds but leaving the skin. Bake it at 180°C for 30 minutes and once it’s ready use a spoon to scrap the pulp away from the skin; put the pulp in a bowl and use a fork to mash it. Leave some small pieces whole to give the muffin a more interesting and varied texture.

Beat up the egg with the sugar in another bowl, until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Keep stirring and slowly pour in all the sunflower oil.

Add the pumpkin pulp to the egg mixture, along with the cinnamon, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix everything thoroughly, but be careful not to overwork the muffin dough.

Spread some butter on the inside of some tinfoil muffin moulds; pour in the dough so that each muffin mould is filled halfway to the top. Place a piece of chocolate in each mould, pressing it down in the center of the dough, then cover it with more dough until the mould is completely full.

Tip: To easily get chocolate pieces of the right size, simply take your favourite chocolate block and break off a row for each muffin.

Sprinkle some sugar on top of each muffin and bake them to 180°C for about 25-30 minutes.

Use a toothpick to check whether the muffins are completely cooked through; then, take them out of the oven and let them cool down to room temperature before garnishing them with some icing sugar.

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