These chocolate muffins are only slightly sweet and have an adult-like cocoa flavor rather than an overtly fudgy chocolate smack. Between their restrained chocolatiness and the fact that we call them muffins rather than cupcakes, it’s really quite easy to convince yourself they’re healthy.

Common Questions

What is Dutch-process cocoa?

Dutch process cocoa is cocoa that goes through a different process than your average powdered cocoa. The result is a less acidic, smoother, darker, and more mellow cocoa that’s absolutely worth the swap. Read more on the differences between natural and Dutch Process cocoa.

Can this recipe be made dairy free?

Absolutely. Simply add your favorite plant-based milk in place of the dairy.

When should I serve cocoa muffins?

We think that these muffins are just as splendid for breakfast as they are at snack time, or even for dessert. Want to make them more dessert-like? Add chocolate chips to the batter. More nutritious? Toss in some nuts. Whatever you decide, just be sure there’s a big glass of milk and some napkins handy.

Can I freeze cocoa muffins?

You can. Just cool them completely, secure them in an air-tight ziptop bag, and freeze them for up to three months.

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Amazing recipe! I’m a baking novice and wanted to try out a muffin recipe. These were easy to make, came out super moist and chocolate-y! I will definitely be making them again, maybe adding chocolate chips next time!

Cocoa muffins piled on top of each other on a white cake platter.

Cocoa Muffins

4.79 / 96 votes
These easy chocolate muffins, made with flour, sugar, cocoa, eggs, oil, and vanilla, have a not-too-sweet but intense cocoa flavor. For those of us with more adult chocolate cravings.
David Leite
Servings12 muffins
Calories211 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • Nonstick spray or paper muffin cups
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, (whole or low-fat but not nonfat)
  • 1/3 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray the muffin tin or line them with paper muffin cups.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten, then whisk in the milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until moistened.
  • Fill the prepared tins about 3/4 full. Reserve any leftover batter for a second batch. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the muffins have firm, rounded tops, and a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  • Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Gently rock each muffin back and forth to release it. Remove the muffins from the pan and let them cool on the rack for 5 minutes.
  • Make them disappear. You can keep them in an airtight container or in resealable plastic bags for up to 24 hours at room temperature or stash them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Adapted From

The Ultimate Muffin Book

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 muffinCalories: 211 kcalCarbohydrates: 32 gProtein: 5 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 32 mgSodium: 122 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 14 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Photo © 2015 cookingalamel. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I had a chocolate craving and found this easy cocoa muffins recipe. I will definitely be making them again. They’re moist, chocolatey, and delicious, and they’re not overly sweet.

I’d never have thought to put a pat of butter on a warm chocolate muffin, but I did as the recipe suggested and it was delicious.

I also like that these freeze well. Freezing them is great for portion control, especially since my hubby and son aren’t big chocolate eaters and I don’t feel I have to eat up a whole bunch before they go bad. I can eat one, save one for the next day, and freeze the rest for later.

This simple chocolate muffin recipe is a great recipe for little ones to help make because the muffins mix together in no time. I like them because they’re not very sweet.

I also think these would be good as mini muffins by reducing the baking time to about 10 minutes.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My favorite kind of recipe: simple, straightforward, and a really delicious result – and I didn’t have to scroll through nine pages of backstory to get to the good stuff! Thank you, David, these turned out great.

  2. I baked the cocoa muffins and they turned into domed shapes, and I followed the recipe. Did anyone have the same experience?

    1. Leanne, there are a couple of possible reasons. Your oven temperature could be off. Do you have an oven thermometer? You could have mismeasured. Do you have a scale? Weighing baking ingredients is always preferred. Overmixing the batter can also cause excessive doming. How did they taste?