These Chocolate Muffins have intense chocolate flavor, with a light and moist crumb. They have double chocolate, with cocoa in the batter and chocolate pieces folded in. 

It took many rounds of testing and revisions to get to this final chocolate muffin recipe, but here we are. This, to me, is a perfect chocolate muffin.

Chocolate Muffins - On a Wooden Board with Bowl of Chocolate Chips

There’s quite a range of baked goods that all fall under the label of “muffin,” so I realize this is partially personal preference.

On the far end of the spectrum are the “muffins” sold in coffee shops and grocery stores, which I find are really more like cupcakes without the frosting. Too sweet, and a bit too rich.

On the other end, sometimes muffins can get a little too “healthy” and become quite dense and dry.

These are somewhere in the middle, and balance out all my favorite elements.

Why These Are My Favorite:

  • Not overly sweet
  • Light, moist crumb
  • No stand mixer needed, no hand mixer needed. Just a whisk and bowls
  • Robust, dark chocolate flavor
  • Gooey bits of melted chocolate throughout
Chocolate Muffin Recipe - Presented On a Wooden Board with Bowl of Chocolate Chips and a Napkin

I originally shared the first version of this recipe in 2011, which was adapted from Alton Brown’s Chocolate Muffins #7 from his cookbook I’m Just Here for More Food (affiliate). 

As I’ve been going through the archives of this blog, I recently re-made them and found them to be too dry and heavy. I think Alton is great, and maybe the muffins are just how he likes it, but I found quite a few reviews also saying his version is too dry.

So I recently did several rounds of revisions and recipe testing, most importantly to change the texture to something much lighter.

These ended up with a similar light and bouncy texture closer to these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, but not quite as sweet. 

How to Make It Step by Step:

Start by sifting together the dry ingredients, which include cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I just use a fine mesh strainer and shake it into the bowl.

Sifting Together the Dry Ingredients with Fine Mesh Strainer, with Cocoa Powder and Flour

Do You Really Need to Sift?

Yes. I know it’s slightly more work, but I tested this without the sifting step, and the muffins were not as light and also drier, probably because extra stirring was required to break up the cocoa lumps.

Sifting breaks up all the cocoa powder lumps, and also incorporates air into the dry ingredients.

Now add chocolate chunks or chocolate chips to the dry ingredients:

Sifted Cocoa and Flour in Mixing Bowl with Chocolate Chunks and a Whisk

I’ve tried both chips and chunks, and really it’s just whatever you prefer.

The chunks are slightly more gooey, with bigger pools of melted chocolate, which I enjoy slightly more.

For the wet ingredients, combine buttermilk with granulated sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and melted butter:

Pouring Buttermilk Into Bowl with Sugar, Butter, and Egg

Please use true buttermilk here, and not milk mixed with vinegar. The real stuff is better.

Buttermilk tends to come in a quart size container, which is more than you need for this recipe, but it’s a good excuse to also try these wonderful Blueberry Muffins or Lemon Buttermilk Pie.

Stir well to combine, then pour this into the dry ingredients bowl:

Pouring Buttermilk Egg Liquid Into Cocoa Dry Ingredients in Mixing Bowl

Whisk and stir together to combine. I usually start with the whisk, then switch to a spatula when the batter gets thicker and almost all of the flour pockets have disappeared.

Do Not Overstir

Make sure to leave the batter nice and lumpy. If you stir it until it’s totally smooth and consistent, you have stirred too much.  

You can see below that the flour pockets have nearly *just* disappeared, with two small specks of cocoa flour in the center here:

Chocolate Muffin Batter - in Mixing Bowl with Blue Spatula

Use a large cookie scoop (affiliate) to portion the batter into paper liners. Then, I like to add a few more chocolate chunks or chocolate chips on top:

Adding Chocolate Chips to Scoops of Muffin Batter in Paper Liners

Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes, at which point the tops will be slightly cracked and puffed:

Freshly Baked Batch of the Fifteen Spatulas Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe in a Muffin Tin

Be So Careful To Not Overbake These

Like most baked goods, it’s really important that these are not overbaked. 

You can check with a thermometer for doneness (they should be 200F), or, I like to touch the top with my fingertip, and if it springs back to the touch (rather than sinking in and staying sunk in), it’s done.

Remove the muffins from the pan, setting them on a wire rack to cool. 

I only let them cool for about 5 minutes, at which point the chocolate will still be gooey but won’t burn your mouth. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Muffins - Sitting in a Muffin Tin Freshly Baked

Next try these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins, or Oat Muffins with Brown Sugar Pecan Crumble. Happy baking!

FAQ and Tips:

How do you freeze chocolate muffins?

Let them cool completely, then freeze in an airtight container for up to two months.

How do you thaw chocolate muffins?

Simply let them sit at room temperature for about an hour, until they are no longer frozen.

How do you store chocolate muffins?

Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or they will dry out. These keep well for about two days at room temperature before losing too much flavor and freshness. Technically they will keep longer than this, but the flavor goes downhill, so I’d recommend considering freezing them.

What type of cocoa powder should you use for chocolate muffins?

This recipe was tested using a regular/natural cocoa powder here, as opposed to Dutch process cocoa. Most cocoa powders you see at the store, such as Hershey’s, are natural.

Are these muffins sweet?

Preferences on sweetness are so personal and depend on your palate, but I think these are on the less sweet side. The cocoa is quite bitter and I find that the amount of sugar here is balanced to be slightly sweet against the cocoa.

Closeup Of Chocolate Chip Muffin on Wooden Board

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

Chocolate Chunk Muffin on a Wooden Board

Chocolate Muffins

These Chocolate Muffins have intense chocolate flavor, with cocoa in the batter and chocolate chips folded in. They're a delicious breakfast treat!

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  • 5 oz all-purpose flour, by weight (1 cup, measured)
  • 1.75 oz cocoa powder, by weight* (6 tbsp, measured)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (plus extra for the top, if desired)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 400F. 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.
  • Whisk together the sugar, butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until well blended and consistent.
  • Stir the wet mixture into the dry and stop stirring when the flour has *just* disappeared, but there are still lumps. Do not overmix.
  • Use a large cookie scoop to drop scoops of batter into the muffin tins. Dividing the batter evenly should fill the cups up nearly all the way.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the interior of the muffin is 200F. You can also touch the top center of the muffin with your fingertip, and you'll know it's done if the muffin springs back.
  • Remove the muffins from the pan, setting them on a wire rack to cool. I let them cool for about 5 minutes, at which point the chocolate will still be gooey but won't burn your mouth. Enjoy!


*Use regular/natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-process.
Storage: Let cool completely, then store at room temperature for two days in an airtight container. Or, you can freeze for up to 2 months.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s Chocolate Muffins #7 from his cookbook I’m Just Here for More Food (affiliate). 


Calories: 155kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 104mg, Potassium: 159mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 174IU, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated with new photos, copy, and recipe. Originally published March 2011.