Chocolate Muffins #7

Chocolate Muffins #7

Why number seven? Because in order to bring you the best muffin recipe, we tested hundreds of different ingredient combinations and mixing methods and … well, OK, it was actually seven. I was totally committed  to go to 100 or even 200, but number seven was and is pretty dang awesome. By the way, I don’t really like mixing metric weights with standard volumetric measures like tablespoons, but truth is, it’s easier that way. For you … not for me. Just so we’re clear. 

Chocolate Muffins #7


  • 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 ounces cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 9 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
  • 2 large (chicken eggs)
  • 8 ounces buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lube the muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. (I do this inside a plastic grocery bag to keep the spray from going everywhere.)
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. (Air is an important ingredient here so it’s not enough to simply stir the powders together. If you don’t have a sifter, pulse the mixture in your food processor.)
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined using a large rubber or silicone spatula. Resist the urge to mix it smooth. Lumps are good.
  7. Using a disher (think lunchroom lady delivery device) or spoon, drop the batter into the prepared tin. The cups should be full.
  8. Park on oven rack and and boost the temperature to 400 degrees F.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the muffin interiors hit 210 degrees F. (A toothpick inserted in the bottom of a muffin should come out clean.)
  10. Remove from the oven and immediately turn the muffins up on their sides so that steam can escape the pan. Skip this step and you’ll have gummy bottoms. Do you want gummy bottoms?
  11. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Funny that this is #7 for Alton. This is the third chocolate muffin recipe I tried this month. The other recipes yielded muffins that were too dense and lacking in flavor. They both called for espresso powder and Dutch cocoa, less vanilla and way less baking powder. Alton’s version is more complicated (ymmv, but after I weighed it, the flour measured 2 C and the cocoa measured 1 c plus three Tbs. This muffin turned out light, moist, and full of rich chocolately flavor. I sifted, weighed and whisked everything as indicated, changed oven temp, and folded gently. Only modifications were adding 1/2 C white chocolate chips in addition to 1c milk choc.chip, and stirring in 1/2 c toasted chia for crunch and happiness. Delicious!!

  2. 2

    I added toasted walnuts and used white chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips. This recipe seems to lend itself to great mix in variations.

  3. 4

    My first question is does it matter if I use cupcake liners? Will it affect the way the cupcakes cook? My second question is why does it say in your instructions to set the oven to 375 and then on #9 it said to boost the temperature to 400 when you put the muffins into the oven. I appreciate your help.

  4. 6

    I tried to keep everything consistent so for 9.5 oz dry ingredients I took that to mean 1 c plus 3T. I also used half buttermilk and half sour cream, and Hershys Special Dark cocoa powder. They turned out great! Absolutely delicious.

  5. 9

    These were extremely dry. I used a large muffin tin that was filled to the top but the muffin were not cooked all the way through so I had to leave them in for another 12 mins. Maybe that’s why? Should I have used a smaller muffin tin?

  6. 10
    Kacy Shaffer

    Is the buttermilk in weight or volume? Because I left my measuring cup on the scale and once it got to 8 ounces by weight, it was only at 6 ounces in volume. I was not sure which to use so I just went with 7 by volume.

  7. 12
    Annie Callister

    What makes these muffins so dark? They are very yummy, but mine were just brown, not dark brown. Is it because my cocoa powder was not dark chocolate cocoa powder?

  8. 13

    Delicious chocolate muffins. My whole family loved it. This is my first time making chocolate muffins. I’m not good with baking, so made different style muffins only 2-3 other times, not very good attempt. But this time with an amazing result. Very rich flavor, sweet and light. So good!

  9. 14

    I just made them, and they are delicious! Exactly what I was searching for. I only had salted butter so I added just a pinch of kosher salt and I used Hershey Special Dark Cocoa powder. Thanks AB!

  10. 17

    Great recipe. You tru test your recipes. Great breakfast bread, too. Served with sugared sour cream and mixed berries.

  11. 18

    I am wondering why I have to use a specific kind of salt, but I can use any kind of cocoa. I would think the cocoa would make more of a flavor difference than using a specific kind of salt. I haven’t actually done a taste test but isn’t all salt pretty much the same flavor?

    • 20

      There are different flavours to salts, but you have to go pretty gourmet to really tell. Grey Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt, etc. Kosher will not have iodine added, but otherwise it is plain – it is used to kosher meat which is where the name comes from.

      AB is specifying kosher salt here because it makes a difference to the measurement. A single piece of popcorn salt is smaller than one of table salt. One grain of table salt is smaller than one of kosher salt. And kosher is smaller than flake, and so on. So imagine scooping up one cup full of chocolate chips verses one cup full of Hershey’s Kisses – particle size makes a difference to the amount contained in a volumetric measure.

      If you were going to use a salt with smaller grains – which you absolutely could – you would just need to be aware and adjust your measurement accordingly.

  12. 22

    Just did it. These are gems. Chocolate chips adhering the the pan caused the muffin ejection process to be rather difficult, though we remedied the issue on the second pan by placing a small round of parchment paper in the bottom of each cup. Based on how much prettier the muffin tops are in the photos provided above, I would guess that I over-mixed :/ better luck next time. Thanks Alton!

  13. 23

    Educate me. Why kosher salt? I think Himalayan pink salt would be beautiful in this recipe. The only other tweak I would make is to grease my muffin pan with coconut oil instead of cooking spray.

    • 24

      AB is specifying kosher salt here because it makes a difference to the measurement. If your pink salt grains are similar in size and measure equivalent to kosher, go ahead and swap.

      But honestly, you’d be better off sprinkling the fancy stuff as extra on top if you want it. If you mix it into the batter I think you’d lose most of it. But if it is crystals on top then I believe you’ll get more of the “taste”.

  14. 25

    Did recipes 1-6 include 1 tsp of espresso powder? I wonder because coffee always seems to boost chocolate flavour. 1 tsp is small enough you shouldn’t taste it itself, but you’ll notice its effect on the chocolate.

  15. 27
    Lorraine B

    Am wondering what is meant exactly by “turn the muffins up on their sides”? Does that mean to prop the muffin tin on its side? Or remove the muffins from the tin and turn then in their sides? May be a silly question, but there you go 🙂

  16. 28
    Kari Wallace

    lori the easiest way for me to think of it is chocolate cupcakes are made the same way as cake. Chocolate muffins are made the same way as quick bread.

  17. 29

    With sincerity, I wonder: what distinguishes a chocolate “muffin” from a chocolate “cupcake” (except for, perhaps, I have never seen a muffin with frosting)?

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