Chocolate Muffins – Christmas Special

Chocolate muffins with an authentic chocolate flavor that last for days are a rare find! This recipe delivers a few clever tactics like hot milk to bloom the cocoa and a little coffee to boost the chocolate flavor (the coffee won’t be noticeable). Meanwhile, the trick to maintaining the crumb ultra-moist and supple is to use brown sugar, oil, sour cream, and less egg!

How To Make Chocolate Muffins

Mix Dry , mix Wet, mix Dry into Wet. Bake. Do you really need any more information from me?

The wonderful thing about these muffins is that because the batter isn’t as thick as other muffin recipes, you don’t have to be as cautious about avoiding over-mixing the batter (which results in a dry muffin).

Sift dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt. I don’t usually sift flour for muffins, but since we’re already sifting cocoa, I suppose we may as well. It’s acceptable to sift the cocoa and flour together in the same sifter.

In a separate dish, sift the cocoa powder.

Bloom cocoa: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cocoa, coffee powder, and hot milk. Adding a hot liquid (typically boiling water) to cocoa powder causes it to “bloom,” releasing its flavor. I use a tried-and-true baking procedure on cakes like Chocolate Cake and Fudge Cake.

Finish the batter by whisking in the remaining wet ingredients (oil, sour cream, vanilla, egg, sugar – sugar is a “wet” component in baking!) with the cocoa powder

After that, pour the mixture into the flour and stir it together. The batter will first seem split (i.e. fine oil streaks) when the flour is included. Whisk until it’s smooth and glossy, but don’t keep whisking after it’s done. Don’t just keep mixing without thinking! This will overwork the gluten in the wheat, resulting in tough muffins instead of pillowy soft! This batter, however, is thinner than typical muffin recipes, making it more foolproof.

Stir in the majority of the chocolate chips, reserving 1/4 cup for the topping.

This batter is THINNER than standard muffin batter. This is one of the reasons why the crumb of these cupcakes is considerably more soft and moist than that of traditional chocolate muffins.

Fill muffin tins halfway. If you have one, use an ice cream scoop with a lever. This handy tool is great for muffins, cupcakes, cakes, and even meatballs!

Don’t overfill the container!

Fill muffin tins within 0.5cm / 0.2? of the paper liner’s rim. Because this batter is relatively thin, the muffin will overflow when baked if you load it any higher. (Please check Note 5)

Reserve the chocolate chips for the top. Place them in the center of the muffin; as the muffin rises, they will spread out.

Bake at 210°C / 410°F (190°C fans) for 5 minutes at HIGH temperature. Starting the muffins at a little higher temperature gives them a head start on rising (which is necessary for this thinner mixture) and a crunchier top.

Bake for 20 minutes at LOW temperature, then reduce to 190°C / 375°F (170°C fans) and bake for another 20 minutes. So, in all, 25 minutes. Because the batter is thinner, this takes a little longer than other muffins (it contains more liquid).

Notes on oven temperature: I realize these oven temperatures are a little out of the ordinary compared to the standard 180°C/350°F. I tested baking them at various temperatures and believed the ones I settled on produced the most outstanding results. The muffins rise nicely, with a crisp dome on top, and a juicy crumb on the interior, with no overdone edges.

How to know whether the muffins are done:

Chocolate Muffins

Check the muffins at the 15-minute mark of the low-temperature baking. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t mix molten chocolate with uncooked batter! If you’re not sure, try a few other areas. (PS. A smear of batter on the toothpick is OK since the residual heat will cook away any leftover rawness.)

Allow cooling in the muffin tray for a few minutes until you can handle them. Because the muffins are sensitive to the interior, they are somewhat fragile right out of the oven, so bear with caution.

Place on a cooling rack and set aside for at least 15 minutes before attacking!


  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (Note 1)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (bi-carb) (Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa powder (Note 3)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp instant coffee granules/powder (Note 4)
  • 3/4 cup full-fat milk, hot
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil (or veg or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (Note 5)
  • One teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or plain thick yoghurt (fridge-cold fine, Note 6)
  • 1 big egg (about 55-60g / 2oz) (fridge-cold fine, Note 6)
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark)
  • (Semi-sweet chips in the United States)


  • Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius / 410 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius fan). Place the shelf in the oven’s top third. Paper cases should be used to line a 12-hole standard muffin tray.
  • Sift dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Sift the cocoa into a separate dish, then add the coffee and HOT milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  • Toss in the remaining wet ingredients: sugar, oil, egg, sour cream, and vanilla to the cocoa mixture. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Mix in the flour: Pour the wet mix into the flour-holding basin. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stop once it’s smooth; don’t overmix it. (Observation 7)
  • Stir in the majority of the chocolate chips, reserving about 1/4 cup for the topping.
  • Fill muffin tin with batter:
  • Up to 0.5cm / 0.2″ from the lip of the paper liner, divide the batter among the 12 holes. (Observation 8)
  • Top with chocolate chips: Sprinkle reserved chocolate chips on top of muffins (pile in the middle, spread when baked).
  • Five minutes at high temperature: Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 5 minutes. The more excellent temperature kick will trigger the increase.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 190°C / 375°F (170°C fans) for 20 minutes. Cook for another 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t mix molten chocolate with uncooked batter!
  • EAT!
  • Allow cooling for a few minutes in the muffin tray before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow 15 minutes for cooling before eating!

Recipe Notes:

Chocolate Muffins

1. You may substitute self-raising flour for all-purpose flour. If you’re going to use it, leave out the baking soda.

2. Baking soda (bi-carb) improves the rise of the muffins and gives them a darker chocolate color (it’s a food science thing!). On the other hand, the baking powder works relatively healthy – use four teaspoons.

3. Dutch-process cocoa powder imparts a richer chocolate flavor and a darker brown color to baked items, as shown. Regular cocoa will work OK, but the color will be paler, and the chocolate flavor will be milder.

4. Instant coffee granules — This time-honored baking method brings out the best in chocolate! You can’t taste the coffee until it’s cooked. It is pretty compelling. There’s no need to buy quality instant coffee granules; any old instant coffee will suffice (I use Moscone, a familiar Aussie brand).

5. Use brown sugar instead of white sugar to moist the crumb. White sugar works OK and gives the muffin a little crispier surface (which is nice! ), but it doesn’t keep it as fresh for as long.

6. Refrigerator-cold substances are OK! Room temperature eggs and other fridge components are preferred in my recipes since they mix more readily into batters. Refrigerator-cold is great in this recipe! Why? Because the batter is thinner, you’ll have to whisk it briskly to incorporate it. But it’s alright if you only have a room-temperature egg!

7. Overmixing is bad — As with other flour-based cake and muffin mixes, mix as much as is necessary. The less you mix, the softer the crumb of your cake will be. (Was there a lot of over-mixing?

8. Don’t overfill the muffin case higher than 0.5cm / 0.2? from the rim since it will overflow rather than rise to a lovely dome if the gluten in the flour is overworked). Because the batter is thinner than the usual muffin batter, this is the case (a reason why the muffin crumb is so moist).

9. Storage – Freshly baked muffins are at their best, and these are no exception. The critical difference is that they stay wet and fresh for three days after they’ve been made, even if they haven’t been warmed up! Store in an airtight jar in the pantry after it has cooled. After the third day, a ten-second microwave will bring them back to warm, fresh perfection. Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months.

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