Espresso Chocolate Muffins Recipe

Chocolate and espresso start the day off right.

Close-up of an espresso chocolate muffin. The top is studded with chocolate chips.

Serious Eats / Yvonne Ruperti

Why This Recipe Works

  • Flavoring the batter with cocoa powder and topping each muffin with chocolate chips provide rich, chocolaty flavor.
  • Espresso powder adds a complementary depth to the chocolate, as well as a bit of caffeine.

Every Friday night I'd torment myself in my bakery kitchen. Saturday was the biggest money day of the week, so I tried my best to make sure that the pastry cases would be good and stocked. That meant baking pies, piping rosettes on cakes and cupcakes, weighing out dry mixes for scones and crumb cake, rolling up cinnamon bun dough, and mixing up buckets of various muffin batters so that everything would be ready to go when I slid through the door the next morning and fired up the ovens. I didn't party much on the weekends in those days. In fact it was usually just me in an over-caffeinated frenzy near midnight, blasting and singing along to tunes on the John Tesh radio show (yup).

I'd like to think I had a good work ethic, but the truth is I just didn't know when to stop. I always felt like I needed to make "just one more thing". Like when I'd decided to mix up a batch of chocolate muffins. I'd already had blueberry, strawberry, and pineapple muffins, not to mention raisin bran muffins and corn muffins....but a muffin line-up without chocolate? Never! So there I'd be, bleary-eyed, stirring up the batter for these incredible muffins. Moist and chocolaty, there are handfuls of chocolate chips folded into the batter and then sprinkled on top. A tablespoon of instant espresso powder deepens the flavor. (It'll help to perk you up too.)

Let's be real here. Yes, chocolate muffins are sturdier than a cupcake. And yes, most muffins these days are pretty sweet and more cake-y than muffin-y anyway. But let's not fool ourselves. Chocolate muffins are just a sneaky way to eat dessert for breakfast. But there's nothing wrong with that. Rise and shine my fellow chocolate fiends.

June 2012

Recipe Details

Espresso Chocolate Muffins Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 45 mins
Serves 12 muffins

Chocolate and espresso start the day off right.


  • 2 cups (10 ouncesall-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ouncescocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ouncesgranulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray standard muffin tin (see notes) with nonstick pan spray. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk sugar with eggs until light, about 30 seconds. Whisk in oil, milk, vanilla, and espresso until combined.

  2. Whisk dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined. Stir in 1 cup chips.

  3. Evenly divide batter between muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining chips. Bake until set, 17 to 19 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan 15 minutes, then remove muffins from tin and place on wire rack to cool.

Special Equipment

Standard size muffin pan


I used a standard-size muffin tin with 1/3 cup volume. If your muffin tin has smaller cups, your yield will be higher.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
329 Calories
14g Fat
48g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 329
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 247mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 153mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)