Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops


I’ve seen those special muffin top pans, but am simply not impressed. It’s one extra bulky item to store in my little kitchen that basically produces stubby muffins. For the upcoming loved one “holidays” I wanted that true crusty muffin top experience – just lightly fluffy in the middle, like a tender breakfast cookie. And that’s exactly what these vanilla chocolate chip muffin tops are.

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops!! Crisp on top with a lightly tender middle, and no special pan required! A naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan recipe via / @GoDairyFree

Of course I thought about creating a new pancake recipe for Mother’s Day, but that topic seems a little overdone. Muffins popped into my head next, but why not just make the best part of the muffin (in my opinion) for a very special treat! And since I think most of today’s moms enjoy special indulgences, but feel good when they keep things healthy, I decided to make these chocolate chip muffin tops with some nutritious ingredients.

And naturally when we talk about luxury and health, chocolate comes to mind, right? Chocolate chip muffins are both Tony’s and my moms favorite flavor (the vanilla part is for me!), and in addition to my prior post on the health benefits of chocolate, some more studies have emerged this year to help you pick the best dairy-free chocolate.

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops!! Crisp on top with a lightly tender middle, and no special pan required! A naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan recipe via / @GoDairyFree

I love that you get TWO muffin tops rather than a muffin top and bottom. For a breakfast in bed treat, I serve these chocolate chip muffin tops with cut fruit, fresh-squeezed tangerine juice and nut butter for “frosting”.

It seems that the cacao percentage shown on the front of chocolate packages directly correlates to the amount of health-promoting antioxidants (the more, the better). Also, the darker the chocolate, the more it promotes satiety.

For these chocolate chip muffin tops I use PASCHA Organic Chocolate Chips because I can mix and match the percentages. They offer 55% (which has a milky vibe), 85% (a big jump up in antioxidants and intensity, but still smooth), and 100% (for you cacao purists). For Tony, I go all 55%, but for loved ones with less of a sweet tooth, I do a combination of the 55% and 85% or just go all 85%.

To note, PASCHA Organic Chocolate is made in a top allergy-friendly facility (no dairy, egg, gluten/wheat, tree nut, peanut, soy, or sesame present), is Certified Gluten-Free, Certified Vegan, Certified Paleo (the 100% options), Non-GMO Verified, Certified Organic, Certifed Kosher Pareve, and they Give 1% Back for the Planet. They pull out all the stops – can you see now why I love working with and using this brand??!!

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops!! Crisp on top with a lightly tender middle, and no special pan required! A naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan recipe via / @GoDairyFree
This post is sponsored by PASCHA Organic Chocolate, but the love for muffin tops, their chocolate, and this recipe are definitely my own.

Special Diet Notes: Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendy.

Need a Margarine Sub? We like the buttery flavor in these chocolate chip muffin tops and the ingredients are pretty darn good in the margarine brand that I use, but you can sub in melted coconut oil, if preferred. Just make sure to bring your dairy-free yogurt to room temperature, and you will probably need to chill the dough for at least 15 minutes before mounding onto your baking sheet.

Lower Glycemic? I use an organic cane sugar, which many people consider “unrefined”, but you can sub coconut sugar or your granulated sugar of choice in an equivalent amount. It will affect the overall flavor and sweetness a touch, but you can adjust with a little more or a little less, if you like.

Okay with Wheat? I like baking with oats, but you can certainly use all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour or white-wheat flour in this chocolate chip muffin tops recipe. Use 2 cups in place of the oats and starch, and you can omit the flax seeds, if desired.

Prefer Eggs? I haven’t yet tested this chocolate chip muffin tops recipe with eggs, but in theory, you should be able to sub 2 large eggs for the dairy-free yogurt. This will decrease the sweetness a bit.

Want a Flavor Mix-Up? You can substitute mashed banana or pumpkin for the dairy-free yogurt; adjust the sweetness as desired. The pumpkin will make it a little less sweet, while the banana might add a touch of sweetness, depending on how ripe your fruit is.

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
As usual, see my post above for tons of options to modify these chocolate chip muffin tops, including using wheat flour and swapping out the sugar.
Serves: 12 muffin tops
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Place the oats and flax seeds in your spice grinder (or small food processor) and whiz until powdered, about 60 seconds.
  3. Add the oat-flax flour, starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, ½ cup sugar, margarine, and vanilla with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined. Fold in the dry mixture until combined, but do not over-mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. The dough should be a cross between muffin batter and cookie dough. If too soft for spooning, place it in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to thicken.
  6. Scoop dough into 6 mounds on your prepared baking sheet, and using damp hands, shape into domes. They spread a little during baking so go ahead and make those mounds a little tall. Sprinkle tops with remaining ½ tablespoon sugar.
  7. Bake (I like to do 1 baking sheet at a time) for 12 to 15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and no shininess is peeking through the top.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes before devouring! Best served warm; can be reheated.
Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops Recipe made on a Baking Sheet! (no special pan needed + naturally dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free & vegan! )

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. These were delicious! Thanks for an easy and yummy recipe! We all loved them :). I followed your recipe and they came out perfectly.

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  3. Lauren @ Wicked Spatula on

    Love love love these! I haven’t heard of that chocolate brand before so I’m definitely checking them out! I usually opt for 85 or 100% The darker the better in my opinion!

    • I think you would love that brand Lauren – as virtuous as it gets and really tasty! I’m actually not into super-dark, but love their 85% – very smooth.

  4. I really want to try this out with coconut flour – even if it doesn’t turn out true to form…. I am pretty sure it will still taste amazing!

  5. These look sooo good, Alisa. I should be so lucky on Mother’s Day! I had to laugh because I never see muffin tops without thinking of Seinfeld.

  6. I always use coconut oil in my baking and cooking and glad you suggested that! Love that it’s a delicious and very healthy treat as well! Pinned. 🙂

    • Coconut oil is my baking fat of choice too Abigail! Melt is the first buttery spread I’ve tried where I’m happy enough with the ingredients that I splurge sometimes 🙂

  7. Alisa, I’m with you, muffin tops are the best part (of the muffin.) These look so puffy and delectable and love your list of substitutions, so all of us can make these regardless of our dietary preferences and needs.

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