Chocolate Brownie-Muffins aka “Bruffins”

Yesterday was my first run in Helena; I ran on snow, cruised at an easy pace for four miles and toured the area around the Capitol. I enjoyed the sunshine, the crisp (and very cool 25F) air and was greeted with multiple friendly waves as people drove by…

I also ran across a furry friend in a neighbor’s front yard, actually THREE. Can you see all of them?

Living almost a week in Helena, I’ve concluded that I love three things already in this little city:

  1. The ability to see deer and large wildlife casually hanging out in the neighbor’s yard (though I’ve seen deer in mountain towns, I haven’t encountered this in a city until now)
  2. The people – 90% of the people have been extremely friendly and extremely helpful (there are some who want to keep to themselves)
  3. The attitude – laid back, no one in a rush and appears to be a slower lifestyle – this is a nice change from the hectic rush-rush of both Denver and Houston that I am accustomed to.

After my run, I enjoyed the remnants of this recipe while I was whipping up a veggie scramble.

I can’t decide whether I should call these muffins, cake or brownies – so I settled on “bruffins”…they are nutritious enough to be muffins but remind me more of a brownie in taste and texture. What I am sure about is that they are delicious, have a dense, fudge-ish texture, and satisfied my chocolate craving 🙂

I adapted the recipe from my vegan amaranth poppyseed cake since I’ve been craving a slice for a while now. These didn’t last long at all…once I had my kitchen un-packed, this was the first thing I made. I put breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas on hold so I could bake. Priorities, right?

Chocolate Brownie-Muffins aka “Bruffins” (inspired by my Amaranth Poppyseed Cake)


1/3 cup amaranth flour (teff, millet, oat or brown rice flour or a combo could be subbed)
3 Tbsp tapioca starch (arrowroot or potato starch could be subbed or possibly another gluten free flour)
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (teff, millet, oat or brown rice flour or a combo could be subbed)
2 Tbsp cacao powder or cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp Mila* (ground chia seeds) or flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp palm/coconut sugar, honey, agave, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1/8 tsp pure stevia extract (I used NuNaturals)
1/4 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin or winter squash puree (can sub applesauce but won’t be as fudgy)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form


1. Preheat oven to 300 F.  Grease or line pans with parchment paper. I used one 6-inch pan and 12 mini muffins but you can make two 6-inch round cake pans or 9-10 regular size muffins.
2. Add all dry ingredients (flours through salt) to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. In a medium bowl, combine your vinegar, squash puree and coconut oil. Whisk to mix well.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir everything till combined (Batter will be thick).
5. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for about 19-21 minutes for 6 inch pans, 14-17 minutes for mini muffins or 18-20 for regular size muffins. Let cool, remove from pans, and enjoy!

*For a little more chocolate decadence, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or chunks

Recipe Notes: I used a combination of gluten free flours to add up to one cup, feel free to substitute your favorite flours. I find the heavier flours like buckwheat and amaranth do well with the addition of a starch (tapioca, potato, arrowroot) to lighten the batter up a bit since eggs are not used in this recipe.

Note – The white flecks in the batter are amaranth that didn’t get fully ground in my Magic Bullet when I was grinding my own flour. I could have ground it longer but I was lazy and didn’t process it long enough. I actually loved the texture and the results though, I wouldn’t change a thing! Mostly ground or fully ground, the end product is still delish!


13 thoughts on “Chocolate Brownie-Muffins aka “Bruffins”

  1. I cannot believe that you went running out in the snow. When it is a chilly 63 degrees over here, I don’t even like walking outside 🙂 And I kinda like the white flecks–it makes your bruffins look like there are snowflakes inside…

    • I figure I better get used to it 🙂 otherwise, I will be trapped inside for 6 months haha! I do miss mild temperatures now and again but there’s not much I can do to change the cold – unless you want to send some warmer weather my way! 🙂
      Nice idea about the snowflakes – love it! You always have something positive to comment, you brighten my day!

      • How about you just get a nice, indoor treadmill? Now that is how I deal with the cold 🙂 hahaha.
        I’m just paying it forward and giving to you what you give to me… xo

  2. OK, these look good. So chewy and chocolaty and moist! I get the feeling that they will very soon be accompanying me to work as my morning snack.

    And seriously? Deers? Just chilling in your neighbour’s front yard? I am sooo jealous! But erm, were you really carrying your camera with you on your run? And I thought I was bad… 😉

    • They are definitely fudgy and moist! 🙂 Perfect snack if you ask me!
      Haha, I had my iPhone running that had music on it, I figured that I better have someway of calling someone in case I fell and completely “ate it” on the snow/icy roads. I’d be a little worried if I ran with my real camera, HA!

      • Ha! Right. Very convenient. I was never able to run with music, Call me chicken, but I just need to hear all the noises around me: cars, dogs, etc. I’d really love to be able to run to the sound of music, though. Must make it so much more agreeable, and easier too!

      • No you aren’t chicken – you are alert and aware of what’s going on, which is smart! I like to zone out and need my music to keep do so 🙂 Otherwise, I am too concerned with time etc and I get bored…that’s unless I’ve had a crazy week and I need some quiet and time listening to things in nature! There’s a time for that too..

  3. Pingback: Chocolate Parfait the Healthy Way! « Natural Noshing

  4. Hi Nora, I saved this recipe and have finally made it…3 months later! It makes a really yummy brownie and I have posted it (adapted for low-cal) to my blog.

    I thought you’d like to know that changing flours can change the batter to the point that it might need some liquid. I used millet and teff and just had to add the eggs…or perhaps I could have used milk…come to think of it.

    But I do think your approach of telling people about choices is great…it certainly inspired me!

    • Nice adaptation Claire! 🙂 I am so glad I could provide inspiration for those yummy brownies! Good to know about the flours, I’ve never had much of an issue with changing flours and the liquid ratios but it might be where I live? Always great to know, thank you!

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