These easy vegan rocky road muffins are so good that they will have you questioning if they are actually plant-based! They are light, fluffy, gooey, and satisfying AND the perfect treat to kick-start your day or enjoy as an afternoon treat. They are also quick and easy to make and our kids love getting involved in the whole process. Yay for kid-approved baking and 35 minutes from prep to plate!
Why I Made This Recipe
When I was planning my first bake for 2022 (and for my blog), I wanted something easy that is a family favourite. Chocolate has always been a weakness of mine and since developing my dairy intolerance a few years ago, it has definitely been one of those comfort foods that I have continued to crave, especially when I am baking. Luckily they are plenty of vegan alternatives available in most countries. AND now that it is also easy to find vegan marshmallows, I couldn’t resist making some rocky road muffins.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To ensure that this recipe is allergen-friendly, I am using a couple of substitutions in place of egg and butter. I am also using vegan chocolate chips and vegan marshmallows. I also have some recommendations if you are not vegan or have other dietary requirements.
Main ingredients: I’m using all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. A lot of muffin recipes use self-raising flour which is often hard to find in Canada. I have added extra baking powder and salt to all-purpose flour to give the muffins that extra rise. Remember that baking powder adds PUFF to a recipe which is exactly what we want here. For gluten-free muffins, I recommend using a 1-to-1 GF flour substitute such as Bob’s Red Mill.
Cocoa Powder: I am using dutch processed cocoa powder. Regular cocoa powder will work just as well if you can’t find dutch processed.
Sugar: Ok so I’m a sucker for brown sugar and use it in as many recipes as I can. I love the caramelly undertone that it adds to my baked goods. If you don’t have any brown sugar on hand, use 100 grams of regular white sugar (granulated or fine but not powdered). You can also substitute with coconut sugar.
Apple sauce: To keep the muffins nice and moist, I am using 100g of apple sauce. This is a great egg substitute in muffins as it adds sweetness and extra moisture. Using cocoa powder in the batter can cause it to dry out so the addition of the apple sauce will keep everything nice and moist. You can replace it with a mashed banana if you prefer. If you are not vegan and wish to use eggs, sub the apple sauce with 2 large eggs.
Plant-Based Milk: Dairy milk is often used in muffins to add richness and moisture. My preference is to use almond milk as I like the creaminess that it adds to my batter. I also find that it reacts very similarly to dairy milk. If you prefer to use nut-free milk, you can go ahead and substitute it with your preferred non-dairy alternative (150 ml). I even think using chocolate plant-based milk would be amazing in this recipe.
Canola oil: The oil is used to add fat to the muffins. You can substitute with melted plant-based butter (50 ml).
Chocolate: I decided to use chocolate chips in this recipe but you can substitute with chocolate chunks and even add in some vegan white chocolate if you prefer. Just use the same quantity (50 grams).
Marshmallows: I used vegan mini marshmallows in this recipe. If you can’t find the mini ones, just cut up the larger ones or you can omit them from the recipe entirely (I do highly recommend for that ooey-gooey texture though). You could really jazz up the muffins and use dried fruit like cranberries if you prefer.
How to Make Rocky Road Muffins
Did I mention how easy these are to make? Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C) and gather all of your ingredients. I like to make sure I have everything ready as this mixture comes together really quickly. Read on for my step by step guide to making these gorgeous muffins. Have more questions? Check out my FAQ section.
You can make these muffins either in a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl and mix by hand. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Add the brown sugar and combine, ensuring any lumps are broken down with a spatula.
Next, let’s add in our wet ingredients. Add your plant based milk, oil and apple sauce and mix everything together with a hand mixer.
Then fold in your chocolate and marshmallows with a spatula.
You should end up with 6-7 muffins, depending on how full you like them. Bang your muffin pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are firm to the touch.
Allow to cool and then enjoy!
This is such a versatile recipe so play around with the ingredients and have fun with it. You could add nuts, dried fruit, white chocolate chips, and even sprinkle extra brown sugar on top for a crunchy topping.
This recipe makes 6-7 muffins depending on how generous you are when you fill the muffin cases.
Absolutely. Simply swap the all purpose flour for a 1-to-1 gluten free baking blend. I highly recommend Bob’s Red Mill and often use this when I want to remove the gluten from my recipes.
Of course. Sub the apple sauce with 2 large eggs and continue with the recipe as per the instructions.
This is a small batch recipe which is best enjoyed on the day of baking but if you have more willpower than me, cover the remaining muffins and store them at room temperature for 2 days.
Craving More Treats?
Love muffins and cupcakes? Check out more gorgeous recipes here. And if you are craving more chocolate recipes, why not make these:
- My mini chocolate donuts take less than 10 minutes from prep to plate (Vegan with easy GF option)
- Treat yourself to a slice (or two) of my decadent chocolate fudge cake (DF and GF)
- The only chocolate chip cookie recipe you’ll ever need (Vegan)
Easy Vegan Rocky Road Muffins
- 200 grams All Purpose Flour (1 & 2/3 US Cups)
- 50 grams Cocoa Powder (1/2 US Cup)
- 10 grams Baking Powder (2 tsp)
- 2 grams Salt
- 100 grams Brown Sugar (1/2 US Cup)
- 150 mililitres Plant Based Milk (see recipe note)
- 50 mililitres Canola Oil (1/4 US Cup)
- 100 grams Apple Sauce (1/2 US Cup)
- 50 grams Vegan Chocolate Chips (just over 1/4 US Cup)
- 25 grams Vegan Mini Marshmallows (1/2 US Cup)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and gather all of your ingredients.
- Whisk together 200g flour, 50g cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Add 100g brown sugar and combine, ensuring any lumps are broken down with a spatula.
- Add 150ml plant-based milk, 50ml oil, and 100g apple sauce and stir to combine.
- Stir in half of the chocolate chips and marshmallows with a spatula.
- Fold in the remaining chocolate chips and marshmallows.
- Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffins cases about halfway. Bang your muffin pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes until muffins are firm to the touch.
- Allow to cool and then enjoy!
- This recipe makes 6-7 muffins depending on how generous you are when you fill the muffin cases.
- My preferred plant-based milk is almond milk but you can substitute it with any plant-based milk such as oat or soy milk if you are nut-free. Just use the same amount.
- If you wish to omit the oil, use 50 ml melted butter to add fat to the muffins.
- Mashed banana can be used instead of apple sauce.
- Best enjoyed on the day of baking but if you have more willpower than me, cover the remaining muffins and store them at room temperature for 2 days.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 muffin serving size. Please note that nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.