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Dark Chocolate Muffins

chocolate muffin, slant

Tall, dark and delicious (as opposed to handsome) is the best way to describe these dark chocolate muffins, although indulgent and rich are suitable descriptors, as well. These Dark Chocolate Muffins are the perfect food to complement your latte during your morning coffee break – assuming that you’re a fan of chocolate and aren’t overly concerned with having something a bit dessert-like before lunch.

Good quality dark chocolate gives the muffins a depth of chocolate flavor that you can’t quite get with, say, milk chocolate. It also keeps the muffins from being overly sweet and cupcake-like (because when you want a sweet and chocolaty, you might as well just eat a cupcake). They are relatively hearty, which means that you can top them with butter, raspberry jam, cream cheese or clotted cream. Since they’re not too sweet to begin with, there is no need to use the darkest chocolate you can find for this recipe. I used 72% Callebaut, but any good quality dark chocolate (65-80% cacao is probably ideal) will work and will infuse that bittersweet chocolate flavor. Feel free to substitute semisweet chocolate for dark if you prefer something a touch sweeter, or if it’s simply what you have on hand.

The batter for the muffins comes together quickly, as the butter and chocolate and melted together and stirred in to the rest of the ingredients, no creaming necessary. When baked, the resulting muffins are tender and moist with a heavy hit of chocolate; they’re loaded with chocolate chunks (or chips) in addition to the melted chocolate in the batter. Be sure to check them with a toothpick for doneness when the baking time is just about up because these muffins can overbake easily and can become slightly dry because of the low sugar content.

chocolate muffin, top

Dark Chocolate Muffins
5 oz-dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chunks, dark or semisweet

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter and chopped dark chocolate. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring frequently until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Whisk until almost smooth. Stir in melted chocolate mixture, making sure the batter is smooth and the chocolate is evenly incorporated, followed by chocolate chips.
Bake for about 16-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool muffins on a wire rack before serving. May be served at room temperature or slightly warmed. Store in an airtight container if not eating right away.
Makes 12.

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  • JEP
    July 16, 2007

    I like the idea of using brown sugar in this recipe!

  • HungryKat
    July 16, 2007

    Mmm.. I’ve tried a few of your recipes and this one looks really good like the rest of them. I especially like the pretty silver muffin liner.

  • mj
    July 16, 2007

    You think I could use 1/2 cup of oil instead?

  • Lydia
    July 16, 2007

    Just the type of recipe I’ve been looking for — my husband is a huge dark chocolate fan and this would be perfect for him. I’m bookmarking.

  • Nicole
    July 16, 2007

    MJ – You could definitely try it, but I think that melted butter will give you a better flavor in the finished product. If you do try oil, melt the chocolate by itself (not with the oil) and stir in the oil separately.

  • McAuliflower
    July 18, 2007

    Awesome! This is the brand of bakery evil that lures me in the mornings with iced tea.

    Interesting that the batter doesn’t use cocoa powder.

  • Anna
    July 19, 2007

    Yum! That looks like a good one.

  • Allison
    July 27, 2007

    Are you sure there’s not a typo in that recipe? I tried making these and they didn’t turn out at all! The batter was very doughy and sticky and not like muffin batter at all, but I decided not to mess with an unknown recipe, so I baked them 22 minutes. They didn’t rise at all — they look just like when I put them in the oven. They’re edible, but a weird, dense texture. They definitely don’t look anything like your picture. Maybe they need more buttermilk?

  • McAuliflower
    August 5, 2007

    I just made a batch with the recipe as written and it came out just as pictured: fluffed raised muffins.

    I’d check the usual suspects regarding your non-fluffy muffins:
    + make sure your baking powder isn’t too old
    + use an oven thermometer
    + don’t overmix the batter
    + combine ingredients as specified

  • Marichelle
    August 15, 2007

    Allison, I also made a batch and it came out almost as pictured. I had my own issues because I decided to add ingredients that I wasn’t supposed to 🙂 I just posted my experience on my blog. I would agree with McAuliflower – it’s probably the baking powder?

  • Lisa
    August 27, 2007

    I followed the recipe exactly (but my chocolate was only 60%) and mine looked just like the picture but a little lighter. I wasn’t amazed by the flavor, though. They were a little heavy, not very sweet and not even super chocolatey and quite dry. They were very good out of the fridge the next morning, though–especially if you weren’t thinking “muffins” while you ate ’em. I’ll make them again and won’t cook them so long, I guess.

  • chef clyde
    June 25, 2008

    lovely recipe…….had fun doing the basic receipes…..was really good loved the effect.

  • amy
    July 28, 2008

    where there enough eggs in your mix? my mix was initially very sticky, and I think it was because I only had quite small eggs. The next time I used three medium eggs and it made a big difference

  • Chocolate Wedding Favors
    July 29, 2008

    Thanks for the info, I\’ll be back tomorrow to read more!

  • Pan
    October 27, 2008


  • Helena
    January 12, 2009

    Allison, I had the exact problem. Sticky, sticky batter and they didn’t raise that much. I used large eggs and my baking powder was newly bought. They also tasted really dry.
    It felt like a huge waste of ingredients!

  • Diana
    April 25, 2009

    I followed this with a bit more, 200g, of dark chocolate and 1c of oats instead of the chocolate chunks, and they came out perfectly. I also used 1/4c white sugar and 1/4c brown sugar and made my own buttermilk using 1c soy milk and 1T apple cider vinegar.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • steph
    June 6, 2009

    the batter was thick so I added more buttermilk and cocoa. I’m just use to tweaking the recipes if the overall batter doesn’t seem right but thats just me.Also, I put it in an angelfood cake pan-just wanted to do something different.

  • edward
    June 12, 2009

    yer that muffin really does look delicious you should make a dark chocolate cake that would be even better

  • Jan
    January 4, 2010

    Anyone know where I can get the nutrition information on this receipe?

  • Anonymous
    January 23, 2010

    I had the exact same problem as Allison, the muffins where too dense, not sweet or chocolaty enough. Nothing to do with the picture, I just wasted my good dark chocolate.

  • Maya Rao
    April 12, 2010

    What happens if you add chocolate milk instead of buttermilk?

  • Jessica
    July 1, 2011

    I had the same problem as some others on the site. The muffins weren’t very sweet nor chocolatey enough. My dough was VERY dense and the end product didn’t rise and were very doughy! Any help??

  • Silvia
    September 10, 2011

    I agree with Lisa. Muffins were not really sweet and were little heavy.

  • Joyce Haivala
    September 20, 2011

    I loved these muffins but they were too dry a day later. I added 1/2 cup of grated zucchini the third time I made them and now they are fabulous!

  • Hettie
    November 14, 2012

    Can i add a caramel frosting on top, or will it be too sweet?

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