Cocoa Muffins

These cocoa 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.

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

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.–David Leite

Cocoa Muffin FAQs

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.

Cocoa Muffins

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

Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 1 hr
12 muffins
211 kcal
4.76 / 54 votes
Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Muffin Book cookbook

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  • 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.
Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Muffin Book cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 211kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 32g (11%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mg (11%)Sodium: 122mg (5%)Potassium: 228mg (7%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 14g (16%)Vitamin A: 93IU (2%)Calcium: 87mg (9%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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.

Originally published September 22, 2004



  1. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! I am 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!

    1. 4 stars
      I am a huge fan of LeitesCulinaria, using exclusively his recipes because I am a novice. But these muffins disappointed. Very little taste; the idea to add choco chips or chopped nuts would help, and a tiny bit more sugar (I usually use very little in all of my baking). Also, the temperature was very high and/or the cooking time was very long. The first batch was lightly burned, and I removed them at 18 minutes. The second batch was better at 15 minutes, but I think a lower temp is the answer. With some adjustments, I will try again because my adorable grand kiddies saw me preparing these on their way to school this morning and will be wanting a treat this afternoon!!!

      1. We’re so sorry that they were a disappointment, William. Do let us know if you try them again with a different temperature or additional chocolate and how they turn out.

  2. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe. On making it the second time I tried using buttermilk instead of regular milk. Added 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to account for the acid in the buttermilk and they turned out a bit moister with a great crumb. Thanks for posting this.

  3. 5 stars
    How do I adjust the recipe when I only have natural cocoa powder ? I’d love to make them!
    I know they will be delicious.

    1. Margot, you should be able to substitute with natural cocoa powder and have them turn out successfully. It is when you are substituting Dutch process for natural cocoa powder you need to make some alterations. If you try it, please do let us know how they turn out.

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