Lower-Guilt Cake Mix Muffins

These are super easy and, while not quote-unquote good for you, not as bad for you as they look. The recipe came from my mom’s coworker; I’m told it was originally a Weight Watchers recipe. I find they freeze and thaw pretty well.

1 box Devils Food or spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup water (I often swap in coffee, especially with chocolate cake)
1/2-3/4 cup mini chocolate or butterscotch chips (regular size are also okay)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or grease a muffin or mini-muffin tin.
  2. Dump the cake mix in a bowl. I often zhuzh it up with some cinnamon (for chocolate) or other spices (for spice cake) here, but that’s extra. Mix in the pumpkin and water. Mix in the chips. I think the idea is that you use chocolate chips with chocolate cake and butterscotch chips with spice cake, but do you. Here’s the chocolate batch I did last night, using a combo of semisweet and dark chocolate chips.
  3. Transfer batter to the tins. I use a scoop and don’t necessarily pay attention to tin level, but I’d say fill the cups 3/4is full. For example:
  4. Bake 20-22 minutes for mini muffins, until the tops spring back a little (you can also do the skewer test). Bigger muffins will need a little longer; I think I ended up going 24-25 minutes on these last night. Transfer to a rack. Enjoy.

    (If you’re counting, there are four more muffins here than in the pictured pan. I had batter left and didn’t feel like doing a second bake for four muffins, so I used a second pan and baked them all at once.)

I got 16 regular size muffins out of this batch, which would have been about 40 minis. I used closer to 1/2 cup of chips, so more chips would probably make the batter go a little further. Thanks for looking!

Glamour shot for the thumbnail, minus the couple I ate last night


Fun way to sneak in some vitamins and fibre! Can you taste the pumpkin over the chocolate?

I don’t notice it. I think that’s why it calls for those particular cake mixes; they do a better job of overriding the pumpkin. I did it with a confetti cake once and definitely could taste the pumpkin.

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Thanks so much for sharing this!

I may need to make these. They need to be in my belly.

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