Fifteen Spatulas

Chocolate Chunk Muffins

These are REAL chocolate muffins.  A lot of the muffins sold in coffee shops are really cupcakes being packaged and sold as muffins.  Pshhh…they’re just a bunch of muffin posers.  Muffins are drier, have a coarser crumb, are less sweet, and are made via a different baking method.  These are also a lot easier to make.  No stand mixer needed, no hand mixer needed.  Just some good old elbow grease, a couple bowls, a spatula, and a whisk.

Just remember to leave the batter nice and lumpy. If you stir it until it’s smooth and consistent and you don’t see any more flour, you have stirred too much.  It’s kind of hard to tell with the lighting, but if you look closely you will see there is unmixed cocoa powder and lumps in my batter:

Nothing wrong with a few lumps.  I’m convinced the Black Eyed Peas were secretly singing about muffins in that “Lovely Lady Lumps” song.  Just kidding.  What happens if you overmix?  Drier muffins.  Now you wouldn’t want that, would you?  Next, use a disher to drop scoops of batter into the muffin tin, filling the cups completely:

Put the muffins in the oven and bump the temperature up to 400 degrees F.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the interior of the muffin is 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen


9½ oz all purpose flour (about 2 cups)
3½ oz cocoa powder (about 3/4 cup)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1½ cups sugar
2 extra large eggs
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plain yogurt (or buttermilk)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1½ cups chocolate chunks or chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Toss the chocolate chunks into the dry ingredients (coating the chocolate chunks with flour prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin while baking).

Whisk together the sugar, butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla until well blended and consistent.

Stir the wet mixture into the dry and stop stirring when the flour has disappeared, but there are still lumps. If you stir it until it's smooth and consistent and you don't see any more flour, you have stirred too much. Overmixing will yield a drier muffin.

Use a disher to drop scoops of batter into the muffin tin, filling the cups completely.

Put the muffins in the oven and bump the temperature up to 400 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes, until the interior of the muffin is 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer (or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Chocolate Muffins #7 from his book I'm Just Here For More Food.

Leave a comment:


  1. whatsaysyou posted on March 28, 2011 at 8:49 am (#)

    Yummy muffins :) Can I have some?

    • Joanne replied on March 28th, 2011 at 9:55 am

      hehe of course you can have some!

  2. Tnyo posted on March 28, 2011 at 8:54 am (#)

    Wow this looks amazing! Will definatly try it!

    • Joanne replied on March 28th, 2011 at 9:56 am

      They are really gorgeous muffins aren’t they? I was having so much fun photographing them!

  3. Meg posted on March 28, 2011 at 9:56 am (#)

    Those look awesome! You’re right — most “muffins” I eat do seem more like cupcakes than anything. I’ll have to give these a try sometime, though I’m sure it’ll be hard to break the “mix until smooth” habit.

    • Joanne replied on March 28th, 2011 at 10:03 am

      It’s true! These are not really sweet. LOL Alton Brown has a long rant in his book about muffins vs. cupcakes and it is so entertaining. Alton Brown is my hero. And the lumpy thing is hard….but so important or else it will be dry!

  4. Samantha Ullrich posted on March 28, 2011 at 10:04 am (#)

    I’m loving the new blog header! And these muffins look delicious. Being at school during the week with no oven is torture!

  5. Victoria posted on March 28, 2011 at 10:43 am (#)

    Hey Joanne! The muffins look de-LISCH and I love your new layout! :)

  6. freshandfoodie posted on March 28, 2011 at 10:45 am (#)

    Yum! These look awesome! I love the addition of yogurt or buttermilk — they must be extra moist.

  7. Stephanie@PlainChicken posted on March 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm (#)

    OMG – looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try them.

  8. Hester aka The Chef Doc posted on March 30, 2011 at 1:18 am (#)

    Oh my gosh… these are absolutely scrumptious! Definitely going in the archive :-) They look really moist, too!

  9. Emily @ Life On Food posted on March 30, 2011 at 6:20 am (#)

    This is my ultimate treat at a coffee shop. I know they are horrible so it is a rarity. I am scared to make these myself I think I will gooble them down!

  10. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos posted on March 30, 2011 at 6:54 am (#)

    oh wow, this looks delicious!!

  11. Eftychia posted on March 30, 2011 at 7:19 am (#)

    They really look delicious. This is a recipe I will try for sure. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. sweetie posted on March 30, 2011 at 8:08 am (#)

    these look fantastic and thanks for the helpful tip about LEAVING the flour clumps — i always try to resist leaving them in!

    you left the eggs out of the recipe list but i see them in the directions. can you update the list so we know how many to add? thanks!

    • Joanne replied on March 30th, 2011 at 9:20 am

      Wow, thanks for catching that! It is amazing….I think I proofread all my posts at LEAST 5 times yet I somehow left the poor little eggs out! All fixed. Thank you again for catching that!!! And yes, the lumps are important =)

  13. zurin posted on March 30, 2011 at 10:00 am (#)

    I am so going to make these. They are absolutely gorgeously chocolate! Love the dome and cracks. Congrats on top 9 . every bit deserving.

    • Joanne replied on March 30th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you! Yes, they bake up BEAUTIFULLY don’t they?

  14. Rosie posted on March 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm (#)

    I just came across your blog for the first time and I love the look, love your concept and love the recipes I’ve seen so far… these muffins look amazing and I will definitely be trying them this weekend! If I can wait that long!! Yum.

    • Joanne replied on March 30th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you Rosie! So much! Let me know how it goes, happy cooking!!!

      • Rosie replied on March 30th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

        They say good things come to those who wait…..meh…..I’ll test that theory another day 😉 I made them today and they’re awesome! So chocolate-y, perfect texture, and they rose beautifully! I popped some in the freezer so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them all… thanks for sharing this great recipe!

        • Joanne replied on March 30th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

          Rosie, That’s so exciting you made them already! I am glad you like them. Sounds like you executed things perfectly and left the lumpy lumpies! And you were rewarded =) And yes I do that freezer trick too. I recently came back from a trip and was so glad I had frozen some of my blue corn cornbread because all I had to do was take it out and toast some. My fridge was completely empty!

  15. MommyLongJon's posted on March 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm (#)

    I LOVE YOU! Not in a weird sort of way, but those are the absolutely best directions I have ever read! And I can see the little lumps of cocoa powder; great picks too. This looks like a superb recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I also appreciate you pointing out the difference between muffins and cupcakes, as people tend to leave bad reviews when they try the wrong recipe and didn’t end up with what they thought they wanted.

    • Joanne replied on March 30th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      This is the kindest comment I have ever received! Thank you so much. I would like to think I can sort of explain things…I try! There are too many recipes that don’t explain things at ALL and it makes cooking so much more difficult when it already intimidates people to begin with. Awww YAY you made my day <3

      • Mariah Long replied on April 1st, 2011 at 1:17 pm

        Soo glad to have made your day! You made mine and my best girl friend’s too with such amazing muffins. The results of these muffins totally validate my impression of you. I agree with you completely on the focusing more on quality than making it “low fat”. A small portion of something delectable is much more satisfying than a gob of something mediocre. I sent half a dozen of these goodies downrange to my husband today- he is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Hope they are as good when he gets them as they were for us today. Thanks again- M:)

        • Joanne replied on April 1st, 2011 at 11:02 pm

          Awww thanks. I’m sorry to hear your husband is deployed. I understand how that goes…my husband is in the Navy and is gone for several months at a time. It’s hard. Fortunately I keep busy in the kitchen!

          • mommylongjon's replied on April 4th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

            Thanks, we are at the tail end of the deployment, so it is only a matter of time now! I think it’s great you poor your energy into cooking. I am just finishing up my teaching certification and would love to take some cooking courses! Maybe when we return state side.

            Deployments definately are the heartache of military life, but we have been really blessed. That is neat you are so close to the water, do you like seafood? My husband’s grandparents live on the Oregon coast and they are very self sufficient with fishing, crabing, raising cattle, and growing veggies- some fruits too. They do a lot of canning. I think that would be a ton of fun.

  16. Culinarian posted on March 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm (#)

    These look incredibly delicious!

  17. Anna posted on March 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm (#)

    Wow, those are some nice looking chocolate muffins! I may have already tried Alton’s recipe since I’ve made so many chocolate muffins, but I don’t remember making any that looked that good.

  18. amandagarbutt posted on March 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm (#)

    haha i love that you stipulated they aren’t bald cupcakes! that is my biggest pet peeve!

  19. joseph posted on March 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm (#)

    going to try these babies today @ the cafe i work in then let you know..yum

  20. Peggy posted on March 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm (#)

    Umm… totally drooling over here! I’d prefer a muffin over a cupcake any day!

  21. Gina @Addicted Baker posted on March 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm (#)

    These look absolutely delicious. I love how the top has cracked and puffed out. Yummy!

  22. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour posted on March 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm (#)

    Luscious looking muffins! I too despise muffin posers. Congrats on the top 9!

  23. Laura posted on March 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm (#)

    a question from one muffin lover to the another: why do you turn the temperature up on the oven right before you put the muffins in? I have never heard of that before, does it change the way they rise?…I am intrigued!

    ..these look amazing btw…

    • Joanne replied on March 31st, 2011 at 12:25 am

      Hi Laura! Don’t quote me on this…but I think it has to do with how the muffins set. Have you ever read articles or recipes that discuss how different temperatures affect how a baked good can “set” too quickly? Anyway, I just did it because that’s how Alton Brown did it in his original recipe that I adapted this from….but he doesn’t explain why in his book :(

      • Laura replied on April 1st, 2011 at 12:44 am

        hmm..I am going to look into that..thanks!

  24. Joy posted on March 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm (#)

    The muffins looks great.

  25. Kat @ Cupcake Kat posted on March 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm (#)

    These are amazing looking muffins. I need to make them!

  26. MommyLongJon's posted on April 1, 2011 at 5:44 am (#)

    Help! :) I am right in the middle of the recipe and noticed 1 whole table spoon of baking powder; is this correct? Why so much? They look to die for, so I don’t want to change the recipe if it calls for it and if it doesn’t, I don’t want to waste my ingredients putting too much in. Could you please clarify?


    • Joanne replied on April 1st, 2011 at 9:59 am

      Yes 1 whole tbsp of baking powder, that’s right. I hope you continued on with the recipe…let me know what happened!

  27. Mariah Long posted on April 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm (#)

    Ok, I did finish the recipe and only added 1 TSP instead of the 1 TBSP. They turned out FAB!!!! I ran out of butter :( and wanted to make them exactly as you had the recipe, but wanted a choco muffin soooo bad, so I just subbed 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup apple sauce. Was very nice. My friend has eaten almost half my batch, lol! It is a good thing she works out like crazy. haha I am going to keep this recipe forever! My muffin tops were not as high as yours due to the lesser amount of B powder I assume, but they still had a nice crackle finish and a pretty lofty mound. Of course the tops were not crunchy either like I assume they would have been had I used the butter, but regardless it didn’t take away from them. I used choco chips cause I didnt’ have the chunks on hand. You are such a great baker.

    I have been so tired of failed recipes lately and this was a delicious change. :) I will try them with the full amount of B powder and butter once I get some. I would like the giant muffin tins to give these as gifts, do you use them with this recipe?

    • Joanne replied on April 1st, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      I am glad they turned out well Mariah! No, I am using the standard sized muffin tins, they probably just look big because it’s hard to scale things when looking at a photograph. Personally I would probably steer clear of the giant muffin tins….just because the larger mass things have, the longer the outside has to cook in order for the inside to fully bake through, which can translate to a drier exterior. But if you try it let me know how it goes =)

  28. Jenn posted on April 4, 2011 at 9:40 am (#)

    These are so easy and way too yummy!! I had to give half the batch away or I would have eaten them all!

  29. Beth posted on April 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm (#)

    I’m intrigued. Yes, most of the time chocolate muffins are actually cupcakes. These look hearty enough to be the real thing!

  30. Ann posted on April 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm (#)

    I tried making these today and they were GORGEOUS. The timing was perfect and they were gooey and chocolatey and oh-so-heavenly!

    I substituted half cup of flour for instead 3-in-1 milo powder and used ghirardelli dark chocolate + ghirardelli chocolate covered mints instead because I didn’t have chocolate chips. It was divine 😀

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Joanne replied on April 16th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      YAY! I’m so glad they turned out well for you. They seem to be going well for everybody! And *drool* chocolate covered mints? YUM!!!

  31. Allison posted on May 25, 2011 at 1:08 am (#)

    The fact that they billow up at the top is just so attractive……the only thing better than chocolate is even more chocolate! Thanks for the awesome recipe. Yet one more clever excuse to work dessert into every meal of the day…..

  32. As Freedom Is A Breakfast Food posted on May 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm (#)

    I love this! I’m definitely going to try it out…looks like one amazing recipe!

  33. Katarina posted on May 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm (#)

    These muffins look so delicious!

  34. Twin Bed Frame posted on December 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm (#)

    You couldn’t be more correct!!

  35. Charity posted on January 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm (#)

    I had a muffin at a restaurant that looked similar to this one but it had cherries in it. The cherries were either maraschino or pie filling cherries. Do you think I could add cherries to this recipe?

    • Joanne Ozug replied on January 21st, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Hi Charity, yes you could add cherries, I’d probably only do 1 cup of chocolate chips and then add 1/2 cup of chopped cherries. Let us know how it turns out if you try!

  36. Shuba posted on February 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm (#)

    I made this and it tasted so awesome. It was extremely moist too. This recipe is a keeper.

    The only thing I would change is the sugar, I would reduce it to 1 cup or less. I reduced the sugar a little and used brown sugar but it was still quite sweet. But if you have a sweet tooth, the recipe is perfect as it is.

    • Joanne Ozug replied on February 23rd, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Hi Shuba, that’s fantastic! I’m glad you were able to adjust the recipe to fit your tastes, and you can definitely tweak it further. Happy baking!

  37. Trish's Thought posted on January 28, 2015 at 3:18 pm (#)

    2015….and came across your blog. Made these today, in mini muffin tins…Awesome! So good, I made another batch for the local fire department for a snack