Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins

Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins- uses an entire bag of spinach and you can't taste it! #vegan

One of my very first recipes on my blog, as well as one of my most popular, has been my Popeye Muffins. A green muffin that gets it’s beautiful, bright color from an entire bag of SPINACH! But guess what? You can’t taste the spinach. Your kids can’t taste the spinach. Nobody would know that there was anything different about these delicious muffins if they weren’t green! For all anybody knows you could have used food coloring.. but you didn’t! You snuck in a hefty dose of nutrients with leafy greens, hehehe. And as my secret masking weapon I use… banana! Sweet and flavorful, banana adds the perfect taste while helping keep things moist.

Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins- uses an entire bag of spinach and you can't taste it! #vegan

Since those Spinach Muffins have been so successful for so many people, I thought I would try my hand at creating a recipe for Chocolate SPINACH Muffins!

Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins- uses an entire bag of spinach and you can't taste it! #vegan

And this time I wanted to take things one step further and really ‘healthify‘ them. I swapped out some of the natural cane sugar for maple syrup and coconut sugar. If you don’t have coconut sugar or sucanat, you can definitely use natural cane sugar. I found these to be plenty sweet enough though between those 2 natural sweeteners, along with the banana and chocolate chips. Your call though.

I also created a coconut oil option for those of you that are on the coconut oil band wagon lately. I know that I’ve been riding it for some time now. But since coconut oil will solidify if your milk is too cold, I sometimes find it easier to just use organic, non-GMO canola oil. Or even sunflower oil. I’ve been into that too lately.

Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins- uses an entire bag of spinach and you can't taste it! #vegan

This recipe is fairly straight forward, but I will give you this one piece of advice- the better your blender, the smoother and sneakier you will make that spinach!

Good luck with your trickery ;)

Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins- uses an entire bag of spinach and you can't taste it! #vegan

4.8 from 11 reviews
Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins
Serves: 12-14
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour or light spelt flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unrefined granulated sugar (i.e. coconut sugar or sucanat)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted or ¼ cup organic canola oil
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I like canned lite coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 (5 ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup mashed banana (from about 1 to 2 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips or ½ cup mini chocolate chips, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners (I can get up to 14 out of this batch).
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flours, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, place oil, milk, maple syrup or agave, banana, vanilla and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed.
  4. Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin cups about ¾ full and bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Although I enjoyed the cupcakes as is, if you like your cupcakes very sweet, use natural cane sugar instead of unrefined OR add some stevia in addition to the refined sugar.
If using mini chocolate chips, you may want to use ½ cup instead.



30 Responses to “Secret SPINACH Double Chocolate Muffins”

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  • Iosune | Simple Vegan Blog February 18, 2015, 11:28 am

    Omg! This is brilliant! Thanks a lot for the recipe :)

  • Violet fail February 18, 2015, 2:32 pm

    This would be a good idea to make when my granddaughter comes that way I know she will eat some veg also I’m gonna try the pineapple rice

  • lmachell February 21, 2015, 2:16 pm

    I hope she likes them! :)

  • GiGi Eats February 20, 2015, 6:44 am

    I love SECRET veggies!!!! :)

  • Elizabeth February 25, 2015, 3:47 pm

    Can you make these and the popeye muffins with frozen spinach? (Thawed and squeezed out, and measured so its comparable). Because that is SO much cheaper than a bag of fresh.

  • lmachell March 2, 2015, 8:40 am

    No- sorry. The texture is completely different between the two.

  • Alison July 28, 2016, 6:02 pm

    I use frozen spinach, but I don’t squeeze out the moisture. They are delicious! My kids bake with me (so no secret here!), and they also love the novelty of the green muffins without the cocoa powder.

  • Mandi Johnson March 6, 2015, 12:48 am

    I just want to thank you so much for this! I have been enjoying a simple spinach muffin recipe, but my 2 1/2 year old is skeptical of any food, much less green food unfortunately. So I was wondering the best way to add chocolate, since that seemed to be a good way to hide the spinach green. Your recipe saved me the trouble of developing my own chocolate muffin recipe! I actually used a bit less sugar and half the maple syrup, simply because I ran out of it, and it was still delicious! I baked them in a heart shaped doughnut pan and put a few sprinkles on top of each one before baking, and just those little touches along with the chocolate color made my daughter go crazy with anticipation. And she was not disappointed. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • lmachell March 9, 2015, 8:20 am

    Thanks great Mandi! I am so glad that your daughter ate them :)

  • Katie March 14, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Wow – fantastic recipe… it’s a good chocolate sweet without being overly sweet… it would be great without the chocolate chips too. It will be a regular in our recipe books.
    I’m really enjoying exploring your website, Laura – my husband and I are working towards a vegetable based diet, and this blog is a great asset to helping transition rather than intimidate into health! I really respect that.
    Thanks again!

  • lmachell March 23, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Thanks Katie! I’m glad that you liked the muffins and I appreciate your words of encouragement with my blog writing :)

  • Alyssa March 27, 2015, 5:10 pm

    Hi, just wondering if I can make substitutions to the milk and flour (I have neither ingredients that is called for for those two). Also, do I need to steam the spinach before I purée it? Thanks!

  • lmachell April 1, 2015, 7:03 am

    The spinach should be raw. You can use regular cows milk or any kind of non-dairy milk. And for the flour, you can use all-purpose, part whole-wheat, light spelt, a gluten free mix (you may need a 1/4 teaspoon or so xanthan gum with that), or whole wheat pastry flour (you may need to use a little more of this flour though, and I also can’t guarantee that the muffins won’t collapse slightly instead of dome due to the lower protein value of this flour.)

  • Lynsey Rost April 9, 2015, 6:57 am

    I LOVE this idea! I have a picky almost three year old and I’m constantly having to be sneaky with his food. I’m actually wondering if you have tried this with another fruit in place of the banana?? Like maybe applesauce?? Generally in baking the two are interchangeable, but I know the point of the banana here is to mask the spinach. Do you think the apple would be too mild to mask the spinach flavor?? I want to make this for my niece but she hates banana. Thanks so much!

  • lmachell April 9, 2015, 7:11 am

    I would try it. I think the chocolate flavor might be enough to mask any spinach flavor.

  • Lynsey Rost April 9, 2015, 6:50 pm

    Awesome! Thanks so much! I’ll give it a try and report back!

  • LK September 18, 2015, 1:31 am

    If I just wanted to use natural cane sugar and omit the maple syrup could I do that? Maybe use the same amount of sugar used in the Popeye muffins?

  • Cara October 21, 2015, 1:12 pm

    I used whole wheat pastry flour, halved the sugar, and they turned out fantastic (made them as mini-muffins, took 20min to cook). My 1.5yr old son loves them, as do I – I’m making a double batch this weekend!

  • Vee January 1, 2016, 10:49 am

    This is the best spinach ‘trickery’ recipe! I saw this and made straight away. I make smoothies this way (ie. blend the spinach with liquid first), never did it occur to me to this for baking! So many possibilities.

    Tastes great too – the kids loved them.

  • Sarah March 9, 2016, 11:34 am

    What is the nutritional value of the chocolate spinach muffins and spinach muffins?

  • Krystel May 12, 2016, 6:05 pm

    These are delightful! I cannot believe the amount of spinach packed into these little treasures! I halved the sugar and found them to be plenty sweet enough. I also had spinach in my freezer (purchased fresh but I froze it), and this worked perfectly. I made them in mini muffin tins and they are a perfect little snack for the whole family. My two toddlers love them too. Bonus!

  • Arua June 12, 2016, 2:23 pm

    Hello! Perfect recipe indeed! I was just wondering about their shelf life? Best way to store them?
    Thank you soooooooo muuuuuuuch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mary July 13, 2016, 2:40 am

    Great recipe for chocolate lovers who can’t do a lot sugar!
    Bananas made them moist!

  • Sabrina October 2, 2016, 7:18 pm

    We absolutely LOVE this recipe around here, it is my son’s favourite.

  • Melissa October 18, 2016, 6:07 pm

    Would you please tell me the best way to store these? Airtight container in the fridge or at room temp?

    Thank you.

  • JESSICA August 16, 2017, 12:39 am

    My kids and I absolutely love this recipe!!!

  • Janelle January 24, 2018, 1:43 am

    Our FAVORITE muffins!