You'll never believe these muffins are light! Made with substitutions that won't take away from taste. They are oh, so yummy. The batter is thick and sticky, so spray muffin papers with non-stick spray.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray liners with cooking spray.
Mix pumpkin puree, egg, sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract together in a bowl.
Mix flour, pudding mix, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Add about half the chocolate chips; stir. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture; stir to combine. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; top with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.