You’ll never want to grab a muffin from the bakery again after making this chocolate muffin recipe! They are made from scratch and get hits of chocolate from melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, making them rich and flavorful, yet dense and moist. Read below for tons of tips on how to ensure moist muffins that are never dry!
I had a version of triple chocolate muffins on the site since 2010 and while they were okay, they sometimes turned out dry and the chocolate flavor was a little underwhelming, so I set out to create a new, improved version and HERE THEY ARE!
If you love chocolate, you are going to go bananas over these muffins. They are loaded with chocolate flavor thanks to melted chocolate, cocoa powder, AND chocolate chips, and have a moist, dense texture. Mornings just got a whole lot better!
How to make chocolate muffins from scratch
These muffins are incredibly easy to make, done in quick bread fashion as are most muffins. With just a bowl or two and a whisk, they come together quickly so you can eat them in no time!
Here’s how we make them:
Preheat oven and line a muffin tin with liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth.
Whisk the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs into the melted chocolate mixture.
Fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture.
Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine. Be sure to mix gently to ensure the muffins are not dry and tough.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Prepping the muffin pan and liners
Any standard 12-cup muffin pan will work for these muffins. I’ve had the Wilton Everglide Avanti muffin pan for ages, but it is not readily available in most places anymore. If you can’t get your hands on one, my next recommendation is the USA Muffin Pan.
You can spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray or use liners. I’ve used tons of different types of liners over the years, and I absolutely prefer the basic white paper liners. You can find them at just about any grocery store or craft store, but they are incredibly inexpensive if you buy them in bulk online (and they last forever!).
What kinds of chocolate and chocolate chips to use
These muffins use THREE kinds of chocolate! Here are my recommendations for the best options for each:
For the semisweet chocolate that is finely chopped and then melted – I highly recommend using good-quality bar chocolate; my favorite brands for baking are Guittard and Ghiradelli. The finely chopped chocolate melts down better and has a smoother consistency than melted chocolate chips, but if you are in a pinch and can only get chocolate chips, those will work, too. I use semisweet chocolate, as I think it’s a good middle-of-the-road option, but if you prefer a more bitter flavor, you could absolutely use dark chocolate here.
For the cocoa powder – We use regular unsweetened cocoa powder for these muffins, and my go-to choice is good ol’ Hershey’s! (Be sure not to use Dutch-processed cocoa, as it will not react with the baking soda in the recipe – check out my post about
For the chocolate chips that will get mixed into the muffins – I also go the traditional semisweet route, and again my favorite brands are Ghiradelli and Guittard. You can totally play around with these chips, though – use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, even peanut butter chips!
Avoiding dry chocolate muffins
No one likes a dry muffin (and I had more than a few while I was testing these!), so let’s talk through how to make sure you get ultra moist muffins each and every time. These are a few key things I did to ensure super moist muffins:
Reduced the amount of flour – Obvious, right?! Less flour = less dry muffins! We can’t decrease it too much since we need the flour for structure, so it’s a delicate balance.
Increased chocolate and butter – I doubled the amount of chocolate that gets melted down and upped the butter a smidge. This creates increased moisture (and added chocolate flavor!).
No baking powder – A previous iteration used baking soda AND baking powder, and it was just too much leavening, creating a muffin that was on the dry side and that lost its chocolate oomph. For this final version, it’s just a small amount of baking soda.
Sour cream – This is a powerhouse ingredient for creating supersoft muffins (and cupcakes!).
High then low – I found one of my main issues in early batches was baking at 375 the whole time. Baking at 350 didn’t give quite the rise needed, but 375 for the whole time dried them out. So I turned to the tried-and-true method of thousands of muffin recipes on the Internet – start at 425 for 5 minutes, just enough to give them some oomph, then turn it down to 350 for the rest of the time to keep them moist.
Speaking of cupcakes…
Muffins vs. cupcakes
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between chocolate muffins and cupcakes? They look similar and are chock full of chocolate, so what’s the difference? In actuality, quite a few things!
Fat and Sugar Content – While muffins can definitely be sweet, you will find a much higher amount of fat and sugar in cupcakes.
Mixing Method – Cupcakes are generally mixed together using the same technique as cake batter, which almost always uses a stand mixer or hand mixer. Muffins, meanwhile, are almost always mixed by hand and very gently.
Batter Thickness – Cupcakes (especially chocolate cupcakes) will usually have a much thinner batter, while muffin batter is exceptionally thick.
Final Baked Texture – Muffins generally have a denser texture than cupcakes, which are fluffier and more cake-like.
The Cake vs Bread Test – If you aren’t sure, think of it this way – if you can put the batter in a round cake pan and get a cake at the end, it’s a cupcake. If you can put it in a loaf pan and get a quick bread, it’s a muffin.
Frosting – Ah yes, the final gimme – if it’s slathered in frosting, you have yourself a cupcake!
Now, whether you consider these muffins or cupcakes, suitable for breakfast or dessert, they are certainly one thing: Delicious.
Storage and freezing instructions
There are a couple of options for storing these muffins if you can keep from eating them all within the first day! ;-)
Storage: Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezing: Once completely cool, the muffins can be wrapped in plastic wrap and transferred to an airtight container or zip-top bag and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
You'll never want to grab a muffin from the bakery again after making this chocolate muffin recipe! They are made from scratch and get hits of chocolate from melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, making them rich and flavorful, yet dense and moist.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups or grease with a non-stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, melt together the chocolate butter until completely smooth. (You can do this in a glass bowl using a microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring after each; or you can use a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water.)
Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate mixture until combined, then whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Finally, gently whisk in the eggs until incorporated, taking care not to overmix at this stage.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula to gently fold and mix until just a little bit of dry flour remains. Add the chocolate chips and gently mix them together until they are evenly distributed and no dry flour remains.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (I find a ¼ cup scoop to work perfectly).
Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months.