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Lunchbox Freezer Cooking: 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Day 2)

We’re big fans of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins here. So, of course, when I saw this recipe recently, I just had to try it — especially since I already had all of the ingredients on hand — thanks to some free credit from Vitacost.

I thought it would be fun to change things up for our Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series and make these muffins, instead of our usual amazingly-delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe.

These were very easy to make and were surprisingly yummy — especially for the ingredients. But they aren’t anywhere near as good as our favorite recipe. However, they are much quicker to make. And, I’m guessing, they are much lower in fat and calories, too.

If you haven’t tried our family’s favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe, you’ve got to give it a whirl. I can almost guarantee you’ll like. Unless you’re one of those strange people who don’t like chocolate or pumpkin! 🙂 By the way, my friend Jamie, has an egg-free, milk-free version of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins over on her blog.

Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!


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  • Cassi says:

    We enjoy making these with just pumpkin and french vanilla cake mix 🙂 They are a favorite!

    • kat says:

      vanilla sounds so yummy! thanks for the tip! 🙂

    • Leah says:

      I was wondering if you could use another flavor of cake mix. I have most of these ingredients on hand, I think and I was planning on opening a large can of pumpkin and looking for inspiration…this will be perfect.

      • Wendy says:

        I make this with spice cake mix (minus the chocolate chips) and it is delicious. But I don’t believe the picture of baked muffins here is the ones from the recipe. While these muffins are very moist and delicious, they come out of the oven looking exactly like they did when they went in. They don’t rise like a regular muffin, so if you want pretty muffins, you’ll need to use another recipe.

        • Crystal says:

          Yes, sorry if there was any confusion! The bottom picture was of my other Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe that I linked to below it, for those who are looking for another *even better* recipe. 🙂

  • Karen says:

    We are not fans of pumpkin at my house, but my MIL makes these as mini-muffins and my kids (even the picky one) gobble them up. She uses a Devil’s food mix and mini-chocolate chips; all you taste is chocolate!

  • Pam says:

    I usually make them with a spice cake mix. So yummy! You can make them as cookies, too. Just scoop them out onto the cookie sheet and bake them. They come out as soft cookies. Easier and faster to eat. 😉

  • jamie says:

    Love the pretty picture of the muffins!

  • Emily says:

    So you don’t have to add butter, eggs or milk???

  • Kim says:

    I was just wondering what kind of chocolate chips are pictured in your photo. I have not seen dairy, soy, nut free brands and would like to look for them! Love your blog!

  • Linda says:

    They look yummy! Are you able to use multiple rewards codes on Vitacost’s website? I tried using a 20% off coupon code and a $10 referral credit and it would only let me use one. Just curious.

  • Shelly says:

    These muffins look really yummy. I have had a hard time finding dairy free boxed cake mix. I used to be able to find one that was dairy free, but lately I have not seen it at the store. I will have to make a pantry chocolate cake mix up and gives these a try with that recipe. My kids really like muffins and these look easy and yummy. How can you really go wrong with chocolate?

    • Duncan Hines makes several flavors of dairy-free cake mixes! 🙂 Devil’s food (chocolate) is one of them. Spice cake was one, strawberry maybe….I can’t remember the others. But they definitely are the cake we use for our dairy allergy son…when I don’t want to make from scratch.

      • Shelly says:

        I used to buy the Duncan Hines Devil’s food mix. Maybe I have just been missing it on the shelf at our store. I will have to look around better the next time I go. I know at the store there always seems to be more Pillsbury and Betty Crocker on the shelf than the Duncan Hines.

  • Jessica says:

    I’ve come across this recipe before and tried multiple times but it just doesn’t taste good. Either it’s too heavy and the muffins don’t rise or the texture is off in some other way 🙁

  • Julie says:

    I do not like pumpkin or pumpkin pie. However, these do not taste like pumpkin. I skip the cupcakes and just dump it all in a 9 x13. I sprinkle chips on top too. You can use sugar-free cake mix as well. NOTE: make sure the pumpkin is 100% pure and not pumpkin pie filling (with spices). Also can mix pumpkin with lemon or orange cake mix.

  • Kasey says:

    Hi Kim,
    They look like the Enjoy Life brand. They can be purchased at many health food stores and even some Target carry them. The Enjoy Life website has a store locator, I believe. I have a son with multiple food allergies and these are delicious and the only chocolate chips I use!

  • Love these great 11 year old insists upon bringing her lunch to school 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Other delicious variations are a chocolate cake mix, can of pumpkin, and about a cup of water mixed and baked into muffins or a loaf. It’s really moist and only 100ish calories for one muffin. Also, you can do a spice cake mix, can of pumpkin, and cup of water (with or without chocolate chips) for a spice cake version.

  • LMN says:

    I am preparing and freezing squash to use in pumpking recipes such as these. What amount should be in each package? Should I measure by cups or weigh?

  • Rachel says:

    What size of a pumpkin can is shown (sorry, my eyesight isn’t the greatest)? I have a really large can that I know is too big, but I am trying to figure out how many batches it could make.


  • Tabitha says:

    Crystal, do you think this would work with vanilla cake mix? I have that on hand and chocolate chips. Yet another simple recipe! Love it!

  • Susan says:

    My overall-not-a-picky-eater tweenage daughter is one of those crazies who doesn’t like chocolate or pumpkin. I these look good and I would eat them, but she’d turn up her nose. 🙂

    However … not to be critical because, Crystal, I adore you … but why are you calling this a muffin? Sorry, but it’s a cupcake! Surely I’m not the only reader who thought that upon reading this post. 🙂 Even though pumpkin is very good for you in and of itself, adding it to chocolate cake mix and chocolate chips just doesn’t turns a cupcake into a healthy lunch, I don’t think. Where’s the protein? Where’s the vegetables? Where’s the healthy carbs? It would be a good dessert tho, or snack.

    Your favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe … now those I’ve tried and they are good, and certainly more healthy that this cupcake recipe. I’ve taken them to work to share and the’ve gone over very well.

    • Crystal says:

      I’m pretty positive that if *this* is a cupcake, then my other recipe is definitely a cupcake — as it is sweeter and higher in fat. 🙂

      However, I’m going to argue that both of them are muffins because they aren’t frosted. Cupcakes aren’t cupcakes unless they have frosting! 😉

  • Lisa-panaMOM says:

    Oour favorite is a spice cake and can of pumpkin. I think cake mix and pumpkin is an old Weight Watchers recipe. We’ve been making those for years.

    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips. And their dark chocolate bar is amazing.

  • Lori says:

    Hi Crystal

    Have you tried coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil in these muffins? Do you think it would work? That would make them a little healthier.


    • Crystal says:

      You mean my other Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe (this one doesn’t have oil in it)? I’ve done olive oil in it with great results. And I know some people who have done half oil, half applesauce, too.

  • Jennifer says:

    I made these with a yellow cake mix and they are wonderful! I did put a smear of cool whip on top to get the frosting effect.

  • Connie Hageman says:

    This recipe works fine for dropping the dough and having cookies and different cake mixes. I like the lemon cake mix with some poppy seed added to the pumpkin. I found the less expensive cake mixes work better than the pudding added mixes. Add 2 eggs and it becomes a cake. It is a good reason to stock up when cake mixes are really cheap.

  • Mel says:

    I make these (sans chocolate chips) for my nieces & nephews on occasion and they SCARF those suckers. They think it’s a chocolatey treat, and I’m happy because they’re getting extra fiber and vitamins from the pumpkin in a low-fat/low-cal muffin. It’s a win-win!

  • Jan Guthrie says:

    I agree with other posters. If you want to use the pumpkin as a fat substitute, hen follow the above recipe as given. If you want to taste a “pumpkin-spice” flavor, you’ll need to alter it slightly.
    I used a yellow cake mix, 1 cup of pumpkin, and I added 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice and about 3/4 cup chocolate chips. The batter looked like cookie dough so I beat in one egg.
    I baked at 350 for 27 minutes.
    I would like more spice flavor, so next time I might use allspice or 1-1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice.
    This recipe does make good cookies too, like whoopie pies, with cream cheese/sour cream filling (or just use white frosting though it’s much sweeter-tasting).

    • Kara says:

      Just wondering where you get your mini chocolate chips from. You always seem to have them on hand : ) What kind of deals are you able to get on them?

      Spice cake mix and pumpkin puree also make a great quick and easy pumpkin muffin…if anyone hasn’t heard that recipe yet : )

      • Crystal says:

        I get them from Vitacost with free credit that I’ve earned by sharing the $10 off coupon code, as mentioned in the post. It’s one of my favorite free splurges. 🙂

  • Lilianne says:

    I love your original pumpkin muffin recipe! It’s a big hit with my family/friends/husband’s coworkers 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    These look so easy and delicious! But then again of course they do…pumpkin and chocolate!? Yes please! 🙂 Can’t wait to try them!

  • Belinda says:

    All I had was Devil’s Food and they’re totally chocolate! I can’t even taste the pumpkin & I really like pumpkin. They make really good chocolate, chocolate chip muffins though. I may try the french vanilla idea next time.

  • Gina says:

    I love this recipe. I got it from Weight Watchers years ago. (I believe one serving counts as 2-points.) The muffins always turn out moist and delicious. I’ve never tried it with chocolate chips. I think I will, now! 🙂 I have tried it with many different box cake mixes and have yet to be disappointed. I actually had it marked to share on my blog. I also hadn’t considered making them and freezing them for future use. Thanks for posting these variations! I have a tendency to get stuck in ruts.

  • Sharon says:

    This is very similar to an older Weight Watchers recipe and super yummy. I used the can of pumpkin, devil foods cake mix, and 1/2 of water. 100 calories. Make sure to store in fridge since it has pumpkin. They are yummy cold or warmed up!

  • Theresa says:

    I have made these with a gluten free chocolate cake mix and it still works great! Yummy!

  • Toni says:

    We make these often, but use spice cake mix instead of chocolate. They are always very well received when we take them to pitch-ins.

  • Brittany says:

    I make these with vanilla or yellow cake mix and add cream cheese frosting. You can either do what I do & plunge the piping bag tip into the cake to make filling or you can just spread some on top. I’ve had them both ways and they are fantastic and so easy!!

  • Risa says:

    Would it work to bake this in a loaf?

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